Book Review: Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720

Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720; by Shirley A. Kitner Mainello; published 2013 by Anchor House, Bloomington: Indiana; ISBN 978-1-4817-2757-0; 5 inches b 8 inches softbound; 245 pages.

 

“If the weather cooperated and the captain was honest, the trip could take six to eight weeks.  If they met storms, high winds, bad conditions, or dishonest captains the voyage could last two to three months.  There are documented cases on record in which the trip took as much as twelve weeks.” – Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720, page 245.

Working in the library every day, gives one a different perspective on Berks County history.  The more you are here, the more you immerse yourself in the past.  Often, the genealogists who visit seem only concerned about collecting names and dates.  They sometimes forget that these names and dates were real people, who often had to overcome hardships, make life-changing decisions and struggle to survive in order to better their future.  Through extensive research, Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720 tells the story of three families and their decision to leave Germany and travel to America.  The author draws the reader into these families, and transports the reader along with them as they travel down the River Rhine and later over the Atlantic Ocean to Philadelphia.  The Journey was by no means easy and was fraught with sickness, death, greedy princes and uncertainty before they reached Rotterdam to begin their travels across the ocean.  While written for younger audiences, Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720, is a must read for anyone beginning their genealogical journey.  It provides perspective to a researcher, whose family made a similar journey and settled into Berks County.  It also lays the foundation to better understanding the immigrant ancestor and makes the more real than just names and dates.

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One thought on “Book Review: Journey: The Compelling Tale of a Journey to America, 1720

  1. Reading and researching in a library can definitely take you back in time so completely that you feel as if you know those people better than the strangers you encounter going about your “real” life. And, I definitely agree with you that a real appreciation for genealogy is about more that names and dates! I spent a few hours yesterday with such a genealogist, who teared up more than once telling me about some long-dead ancestor whose “story” she knew well enough that she could cry for that person…something mere names and dates don’t cause.

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