When my wife and I ran a small country inn in Vermont, many of the tourists enjoyed peppering Olya with all manner of questions about her childhood in Siberia. Russian culture fascinated them. At some point in the conversation, they’d usually turn to me to find out my background, and I would say “Mostly Swamp Yankee.” “What is a Swamp Yankee?” they would ask. Surprisingly to me at first, my straightforward reply always got a laugh: “A family that has been in New England for 300 years and has nothing to show for it.”
Since 2011, I have been working on our family tree with increasing levels of energy, interest, and enjoyment.
We may have not so much material wealth or huge tracts of land to show for our longevity here in the hinterlands of New England. But the family I have uncovered has overcome many hardships and persevered here not for just 300 years, but for almost 400 years. And I am so grateful to each of our ancestors for their struggle and their strength. This project is an effort to honor their memories.
Seth Michael Hopkins ~ Brandon, Vermont ~ 19 February 2014