The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Saturday, January 30, 2010

George Bush's Remarks

Vice President George Bush's Remarks at Tricentennial Ceremony of German Immigration to America, Krefeld, June 25, 1983

Three centuries ago, after a 75-day voyage across the Atlantic in a cramped ship, 32 Mennonites and Quakers from Krefeld and two infants that had been born during the passage landed on the East Coast of the New World. It was October, the air had grown crisp and the autumn rains had begun. Exhausted and sick after their voyage, the Germans trudged from Philadelphia, then a settlement with two dirt roads, through six miles of dense forest to found a settlement of their own.

As winter approached they chopped down scores of trees and built their first homes of logs. "It may neither be described nor believed," wrote Franz Daniel Pastorius, the Krefelders' leader, "under what conditions of need and poverty...this German township was founded."

Yet the Germans had found what they came for, freedom of worship, and in a modest way their settlement soon began to thrive, the people grew flax, raised sheep for wool, and became known in the American colonies for their weaving. News of their success encouraged other Germans to leave the Old World for the New...

...Three hundred years ago, when that first ship set sail for the New World from Krefeld, one of those on board was named Thones Kunders. Eight generations later the family name had changed from Kunders to Conrad, and Charles Conrad, Jr., a direct descendant of Thones, became an astronaut and walked on the moon...

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