It never occurred to me, until very recently, that I would have roots running deep into the soil of these United States. My father and his parents were born in Germany, and the scant information on my mother's family set out in my baby book suggested that her family had come to this country around the time of or just after the Civil War, from Wales and Ireland. So it has been with no small surprise that I have discovered, over weeks and months since I began researching my family tree, that I can trace my roots back to 17th century America. One ancestor -- a great great great great great great great (Gx7!) grandfather named Nicholas Gentry -- emigrated from England to Virginia and was serving in the colonial militia there in June of 1680. Another ancestor -- a 7th or 8th great grandfather depending on which of two lines of descent you look at -- named Davis Davenport owned land on the Mattapony River in Virginia before 1695. I have found that a great great great grandfather named William M. Robertson was born in North Carolina around 1794. And I have discovered that at least two of my forefathers, David Baker of Virginia and Elijah Gentry Sr. of South Carolina, fought in the Revolutionary War, and that at least two of my great great great grandfathers -- Elijah Gentry of Mississippi and Jesse Fore of South Carolina -- fought in the War of 1812.