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Dancing for descendants

5 Aug 2015

I spent last week with the American Travelling Morrice, doing morris dance performances in the area around Hillsdale, NY, from the Hudson to western Massachusetts. Thursday we were in the town of Chatham, starting at the Old Chatham Country Store & Café in Old Chatham. I met there some people who said they had ancestors from Chatham.

As do I: My mother was born in Chatham, on her grandfather Hanson’s farm. The Hansons (or Hansens) came over from Denmark around 1888, but on my maternal grandmother’s side there’s ancestry in that general area (mostly in Nassau, several miles north) back into the 18th century.

We compared some surnames but didn’t find any connections on my mother’s side. Turns out, though, they were on their way to Plymouth, MA to attend the Alden Kindred’s annual meeting on August 1. So we were related, but on my father’s side.

Next year the ATM will begin on the first weekend in August and will likely be somewhere in eastern Massachusetts. Maybe I’ll make a stop in Plymouth and meet some more Alden descendants.

But this year on August 1, I was dancing in Hillsdale, Copake, and Philmont. It would have been my mother’s 98th birthday.



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