I’ve been able to trace two branches of my family tree to the very early 1600’s or earlier. The white bread ancestors I can account for arrived around the 1680’s or 1690’s. It had to be pure dumb luck that the Heatons and the Elmores could pay their way up front. The usual alternative was a loan secured by agreeing to work for whoever would buy the contract of indenture. At least the indentured colonists only had to serve for seven years or so. Then they were free to find their own way.
The first African slaves were sold in Virginia in 1617. That's before the Mayflower colonists fetched up in New England. And at least fifty or sixty years before my ancestors crossed the water. The slave trade, but not slavery, was outlawed in the early 1800’s. Years before the Irish survivors of the combined effects of failed crops and persecution got off the boat, Decades before the waves of European migrants who arrived between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
And that’s what may be sticking in the craws of the Flour Power (I didn’t come up with this, found it on the net) Tea Partiers. I’d love to see the family trees of the likes “I speak for the real Americans” Palin, or pill poppin’ Limbaugh, and or “we’re in danger of a Socialist dictatorship” Beck. Al Sharpton’s African ancestors may have gotten here first. :-)