Thursday, December 01, 2016

Alexander Mahood (1878–1968) - from Portavogie to Kansas

Emigration to America is a constant stream. People I went to school with live there, I have two cousins who live there. Obviously they emigrated within the past generation, not in the 1700s. They’ve never shot a musket or fought in a Revolution but they are just as important (maybe more important) than earlier migrations. We should try to connect better with those folk. I wonder if stats exist somewhere?

Outgoing President Barack Obama has re-stated his Scotch-Irish roots in a major interview in The New Yorker magazine. Here's the extract, and it's even more direct than the speech he ave back in the summer:

Obama will go down in history as the first African-American President, and he derives immense pride from that, but he never fails to insist on the complexity of his story. “I’m half Scotch-Irish, man!” he said. “When folks like Jim Webb write about Scotch-Irish stock in West Virginia and Kansas and so on, those are my people! They don’t know it, always, but they are.” (full article here)

Kansas is in the Mid-West, disparagingly described as 'flyover country' to the urban elites on the west and east coasts. Our people live there too. Below are two clippings reporting on a Portavogie man who was born around 1878 who emigrated to the USA around the turn of the century I assume, and lived in Kansas City. I am pretty sure my ancestors would have know him before he left. I wonder did Mahood ever encounter Obama's grandparents?...

Mahood 1 Mahood 2