Like leaves in the wind, the lives of seven generations of the Elwell Family were driven by early American history to progress and peril. Fourteen years after the Mayflower, Robert Elwell landed at the Massachusetts Bay Colony and prospered in one of the first settlements in the New World. His children fought in the first Indian War and endured the Salem Witch Trials. A new frontier in West Jersey became a refuge and starting point for a westward migration that lasted for over a century. Patriot Thomas Elwell sought his fortune on the Allegheny frontier. He survived eight years of Revolutionary War service including combat in northern battles, a winter at Valley Forge and the southern campaign leading to Yorktown. Thomas married and moved west to Fort Cumberland to welcome troops mustering to put down the Whiskey Rebellion before homesteading in Ohio's Knox County. His children pushed westward to build lives in the new Northwest Territory before their children fought in the Civil War.