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Although this book covers memories of the first thirteen years of my life as I was growing up in Wheaton, Illinois, the life stories of family members included in various chapters cover a much longer period of time. My family has been in this country for nearly 400 years. My ancestor, William Nickerson, arrived in Salem, Massachusetts from England with his wife, children and in-laws in June of 1637. He and members of his immediate family would go on to purchase and settle what is present day Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Every generation of my family has been involved in or witness to events that have shaped this country.