I will cover two topics in this letter both political and genealogical.
I thank Corey Fyke, editor of The Westerly Sun, for having my numerous letters published. Other community leaders as well as those not leaders should express their views. I by far use this forum! Your constituents should know your views and perspectives! Differences of opinion and debate should be celebrated and allowed freely!
At the last town council meeting in Hopkinton, I was on the losing side of a 3-2 vote on sending a letter from our Town Council to the School Committee. It was in regards to non-parents commenting on some things in schools. I am well aware the other side will argue that it is still possible. But clearly the obstacles to objecting seem onerous and make it more difficult for residents. The debate was important because it happened!
The Chariho School Committee clearly wants to restrict public discussion. At least at the Hopkinton Town Council level we had a discussion! The leadership of the Chariho School District likes to rule with an iron hand! I still hope both Linda Lyall and Catherine Giusti will debate or have a discussion with Pastor David Stall and myself on “Chariho Is Listening” on radio station WBLQ with Jean Gagnier. I ask them not to “duck it!” The public deserves to listen to what we have to say! Before I change subjects, congratulations to our students and staff on their achievements at Chariho.
Genealogy is one of my passions. Although I am a lifelong bachelor, genealogy is a great interest. it On my maternal side, from the 1500s onward, I share ancestors with many United States presidents and other notables. Some were admirable and some were much less so! Since Thanksgiving is so much connected to the Mayflower and Native Americans celebrating, we need to make note of that. Let us be grateful for the United States of America, with its warts and all. It is a place many aspire to live. Too many want to tear it down, and yet enjoy the freedom and benefits living here! This holiday season make it a point to talk about family history.
What concerns me is that most people don’t seem to realize, once you go back back to the 1600s you have thousands of ancestors. Many are duplicate ancestors because of cousin intermarriages. Walter Palmer, a Stonington, Conn., founder — I have well over a dozen lines just from him.
I descend on my maternal side from a number of Mayflower Compact signers: James Chilton, William White, Francis Cooke, John Alden and his father-in-law William Mullins, and multiple lines from Richard Warren. I belong to the Alden Kindred of America, and went to my second reunion this year in Duxbury, Mass. John Alden is my 10th great-grandfather. But you have 4,096 10th great-grandparents, and half being male, that leaves you with 2,048 10th great-grandfathers. We have many ancestors who did commendable and not commendable actions in their lifetimes!
In closing, Happy Thanksgiving to all. Keep in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and 401-677-9503.
Scott Bill Hirst
The writer is a member of the Hopkinton Town Council.