As I welcomed today, this 4th of July, 2019, it began as all others, the usual morning routine; I knew there would be no holiday picnic, no family close by to gather with. There would be late night tv mixed with the dread of bombs bursting in air over our evening sky and we would be up consoling our fur baby and keeping him calm. Then another thought began to surface.
This was the first 4th of July since finding my English ancestors, the first, knowing I had actual family who made their life there in England, the first time to think about the importance and impact of my ancestors choices on mine and my families lives. The first time I would be thinking of and looking at our separation and independence from Great Britain in a totally new light.
My great grandfather Samuel Haimowitz immigrated, arrived and settled in the United States of America sometime between 1900 and 1902 while his brother Marks Hyamovitch arrived in England in 1901 where he settled and established his family. Both of them immigrating from Romania.
Samuel and Marks
There are so many questions regarding these two brothers and their choices. The most obvious for me is why had Samuel chosen America and why had Marks chosen England? Had they traveled from Romania together before Sam left for America? If so why had Marks remained? What had influenced their choices? Was it a financial or personal preference? What had been their relationship prior to their decisions? Both men were carpenters and perhaps they worked together at some point. Their age difference is about 5 years. Sam the oldest born about 1875 and Marks in 1880. It appears as with many families with great distances between them that over the years and generations information and contact between these two families was lost. All these questions and more remain now for those of us who have come after them.
Just last month a cousin, Arline, traveled with her husband from California to London to meet for the first time this branch of cousins. It has been about 70 years since a member of the English branch traveled here to New York. It had been through one lone photo taken at this meeting, that survived with the English branch, that connected us all together again. In just a couple of weeks, Arline, who I too have never met, will travel from her home to mine in Washington state and we will meet.
This 4th of July has taken on a very new and special meaning for me…the 13 colonies may have separated and declared their independence back in 1776 but I am declaring and my proclamation is no amount of time and distance or declaration by our forefathers can separate or divide me from my extended family. We are forever connected not only through DNA but the bond of humanity.