Monday, January 28, 2008

My Family History Parade Float

Bill West is holding a Genealogy Parade on 6 February on his West in New England blog with floats, marching bands and other parade-type entries defined by genealogy bloggers.

This is my definition of a large float that depicts my family history. Naturally, a float can contain a limited number of elements - I chose four to represent different time periods in my own family history and our nation's history.

My concept is a long, 100-foot long, 15 feet wide float with four main scenes, and smaller tableaux with people in period costumes representing my ancestors in between those four main scenes. Here are the four scenes:

1) Up front - Coming to America - a scale replica of the Mayflower that sailed into Massachusetts Bay in 1620. There would be Plymouth Rock nearby, with several people near the rock - I want Miles Standish (not mine), Richard Warren (mine), Susanna White (mine, holding her newborn son Peregrine) and George Soule (mine) with a flutaphone in his hand whacking the corn stalks. On the sail of the ship would be the Mayflower Compact.

Between 1) and 2) - Figures representing a blacksmith, a wheelwright, a minister, a governor, a militia man, a brickmaker, a spinner with their tools and machines. Also, a salt box house representing Norman Seaver's home in Westminster MA.

2) 30 feet aft - Revolution - a scale replica of Lexington Green, with Redcoats in the road and Minutemen behind the stone wall and trees, dressed in farmer outfits with muskets, and a town crier with the Declaration scroll in his hands. Yep, they'd be firing at each other...

Between 2) and 3) - a town hall with selectmen, a farmhouse with livestock, and a "little house in the forest" scene depicting early settlers in Western Pennsylvania.

3) 60 feet aft - Westward Ho - a scale replica of the Four-Mile House in Rolling Prairie WI (built by my ancestor Ranslow Smith), with a wagon, livery stable, farm implements, livestock, etc, plus family members in prairie dress.

Between 3) and 4) Scale replicas of a Civil War soldier with his horse, a steam railroad engine, a shoemaker, a teacher with books and children, a World War I Marine, and an early automobile (that says "San Diego or Bust" on it).

4) 90 feet aft - Settlement - a scale replica of the house I grew up in in San Diego, 1920 vintage, with my family members standing nearby. On the aft-facing wall of the house would be pictures of my grandparents, parents, me and my siblings, and our spouses and children, with a banner at the top "We Must Give Our Children Roots and Wings."

Overarching the last tableau - a banner that reads "Randy's Family History - Honoring My Ancestors."

Along the sides of the float would be a time line from front to back, with surnames of my father's ancestry on one side and from my mother's ancestry on the other side, culminating in large print SEAVER on one side and CARRINGER on the other side.

I wish I was artistic - I would sketch something out to depict what I mean. You can see some fancy Rose Bowl floats at

I toyed with the idea of having about 10,000 descendants (13 generations?) of the immigrant Robert Seaver, who settled in Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, come running down the street after the float, each playing a flutaphone, but I couldn't gather all of the names in time. Besides, it might cause significant aural damage, not to mention wake up Bill's little town of Abington.


Jasia said...

10,000 descendants playing flutaphones??? LOL! What an image...thanks for the laugh!

Bill West said...

The genealogy flutaphone phenomenon
marches on!

Thanks for the laugh at the end of a long day, Randy. And nice float!