Having a rough day?

Posted: April 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

I often think of this story when I am facing a new opportunity or feeling anxious about existing events or life changes. My 3rd great grandfather Francois Coudriet and grandmother Marguerite immigrated here to the US from France in the early 1800s with a young son and one on the way. The courage and confidence in the face of uncertainty and fear is amazing as I am sure many others faced at this time in search of opportunity and a better life with NO SAFETY NET. I suck it up and move ahead with confidence always when I think of it.

At the age of twenty-four he married Marguerite Bueret, she was born
in 1804, and on September 2, 1928 their first child was born, a son, Serdon N. Two years later, with Marguerite pregnant, they sailed to Philadelphia to make a home in the New World.

In Philadelphia a Mr. John Keating proceeded to encourage a settlement
there by offering twelve acres to the first twelve settlers. Mr. Keating
had laid out 22,000 acres and had published descriptions of the tract
in France. The sale of these lands began in 1827.

The difficulties and hardships that confronted Francois and his wife, who was with child, and with two and one half year old Serdon are unimaginable, as they sailed across the ocean, landing in Philadelphia and probably following the roads along the Schuylkill river headed west.

They then set out for Harrisburg (probably having talked with Mr. Keating) and when they reached Lebanon, their second child was born on May 10, 1831. It is imagined they traveled with a wagon, a team of horses and a cow trailing along in back. Conditions obviously were quite rugged.

When Marguerite had recovered from childbirth, they proceeded to Harrisburg and then up the Susquehanna to Williamsport. From there, again following the river, they traveled to Bellefonte, leaving the last of the “roads” soon after they left Williamsport. When Francois arrived in Bellefonte he had one dollar and twenty cents in his pocket, the last of the savings he had accumulated to get passage across the ocean and to outfit himself to come this far. He obtained employment in a blast furnace making barely enough to support himself and his family. He was not satisfied and it was during this time that he made several trips to what was known as the “Keating” lands, as Covington township was then styled and after careful selection he purchased fifty acres in this region and was given as an incentive the twelve acres as one of the first settlers. He obtained employment and built his own Log Cabin from trees on his property with no assistance. He later became a successful businessman as did his sons.

No reward without risk. The risks we take almost always have a “safety net”. The people of this time did not. Way impressive.

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