I was inspired by this New York Times article to muse a bit about my own experiences of “Googling myself.” Yes, we all have done it. I just didn’t realize that all those others with my name are my Googlegängers. I do like the term.

But since I am arriving quite belatedly into the world o’ blogging (I just joined Facebook a couple months ago as well), I thought that this would be a good way to introduce myself – by talking about some of the other “me’s” out there.

My name is Sarah Carrier. At some point during the Middle Ages my ancestors decided to leave France and try their luck in jolly old England. That probably wasn’t a bad idea – if the name “Carrier” (but with some accents and another ‘e’) had anything to do with their occupation, they were hauling rocks out of a rock quarry. Not too prestigious.

There are numerous Sarah’s in my father’s family, and my father’s name, Thomas, is also quite popular. When I Google my name, some of the results refer to my ancestor, Sarah Carrier, who lived in Andover, Massachusetts in the late 1600’s. Her father’s name was also Thomas. In some sources online it says that he was a “poor Welsh servant,” but according to our own family’s genealogy, this is not correct. But when she was 7 or 8 years old, Sarah confessed that she and her mother, Martha, were witches. Sarah’s brothers also confessed, under torture and duress, that their mother was a witch. Martha was tried and executed during the Salem Witch Trials on August 19, 1692. After this tragedy, Thomas moved his family to Connecticut and founded Colchester. There is a lot more to that story, but at least you have the gist of it.

I have to say that I knew about this other Sarah Carrier already, and she is my ancestor, so it’s really just cheating to call her my Googlegänger. However, a very chilling find is that Sarah Carrier, an African-American woman, was killed by a racist mob in her home on January 4, 1923. This senseless murder occurred in Rosewood, Florida, and Sarah was not the only victim of this crime – many members of her family and members of the community were murdered by the mob. The survivors fled to the swamps to hide. The massacre was one of the worst race riots in history, however it has largely been ignored by historians. The entire town of Rosewood, which was predominately Black, was destroyed. It was not until 1993 that this crime was even investigated by authorities, and only after the prompting of the survivor’s families. The State of Florida, after initially denying claims for compensation, approved a compensation bill for Rosewood families, and erected a marker in remembrance. John Singleton directed a film about Rosewood.

Here is a picture of Sarah Carrier:

(Displays For Schools, L.L.C.)

I suppose that this exercise has ended on a somber note, but I am glad that through something as silly and trivial as “Googling myself,” I learned about Sarah Carrier and the Rosewood Massacre. I am proud and humbled that we share the same name.

~ by atomlattice on April 10, 2008.

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