To create a fictional account of the migration of two families from puritan New England to Western New York through American history.
Recently I learned that both sides of my family, the Corwin's, my mother’s side, and the Gardner's could trace their American roots back to the 17th century. I have also learned that the Corwin name is very prevalent in the saga of the Salem witch trials. One of the magistrates and the sheriff, his nephew, were both named Corwin. I have also learned that he Gardner name is prevalent in Massachusetts history, most notable in the establishment of Gardner, a Massachusetts city named after Col. Thomas Gardner. The branches of these typical American families that I am interested in migrated from New England in the late 18th century and early 19th century following similar tracks through the Hudson valley to settle in Niagara County in western New York. Both establishing new settlements on what would have been western frontier land on the southern coast of Lake Ontario. These two families then both lived and farmed the Niagara region in various places in coexistence until they were joined in the patriotic rural wedding of my parents on July 4, 1945. The project, for which I am requesting funding, is to trace the ancestry of these two families back to their arrival in this country. I want to establish their route of travel, and time lines to determine if they would have known each other, and maybe traveled together at times during the course of their 350+ year experience in America. My plan is to take the summer, and travel from western New York to New England, in an RV re-tracing, through genealogical research, their routes to this part of the world. I want also to learn of any connections to the Corwin's of Salem, or the Colonel. It is my hope to learn the names of my ancestors, and the times at which they are at each location, and personally visit my own personal American story. The result of this project, and the summer of travel, is to complete the necessary research to match timelines, and names, being able to use them in a fictional account of their travels through American history. Wherever it is possible that they would have been in the same place in at the same time, I will use this research in its accurate form. Where and when it appears that they were not in the same place at the same time, (more likely) I will use the names and dates to create a fictional account where they were at least aware of each other as families. The idea is to create a novel that is an account of two American families that by circumstance, have known and migrated together for over 300 years, finally joining in the 20th century. One can imagine them experiencing, and having similar, or opposing opinions of almost every major event in the history of the settlement and establishment of this nation. Through the telling of the story of these two families, I hope also to tell the story of America. The rewards of this project are many. Check them out. Besides the very real opportunities to interact with and assist a working author in the creation of a project, it is possible to receive first edition signed copies of modern contribution to the American literary tradition. It is possible to be a part of a private reading created only for contributors or have your name and contribution acknowledged in a permanent way. This can be done through acknowledgment on a special thank you page at the beginning of the novel, or in a timeless fashion, by using your name as a character name.
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