Category Archives: W. Europe

From Hans Georg Mülli to George Mealy

From Hans Georg Mülli to George Mealy: Cabinetmaker to Computer Programmer    In the year 1849, in the village of Schöfflisdorf, in the canton of Zürich, in Switzerland, Hans Georg Mülli was living with his wife, Anna, and three children—Heinrich, Johann Jakob, and Anna. He was a cabinetmaker. In that year he went to Zürich to apply for a passport for ... Read More »

Mary: out of the catalog

Generational forgetting has been strong in my family, but my aunt insisted that her daddy said his mother was a catalog bride from England. I so wish she had kept a diary that had been passed down. I have to imagine what her life was before and after the emigration to Oklahoma and a husband who appears in a few ... Read More »

Rich Gordon: British Isles Heritage

Piecing together a family’s story of immigration to the United States can be a challenge for many people. Richard Sherman Gordon’s family tree has roots that reach back hundreds of years in America, but most of their stories have been lost over the generations. What remains are tidbits of family lore, and for Rich’s family, there is also a lovingly ... Read More »

Arie Van Bree, woodcarver from the Netherlands

Ken Vanbree’s great grandfather, Arie Vanbree was born in 1845.  At the age of 11, Arie moved with his four siblings and father from the Netherlands to New York by sailing ship. It is believed that Arie’s mother died before the family decided to immigrate. They sailed  on the “Arnold Boninger” a Prussian ship which left from Rotterdam and arrived in ... Read More »

From Cotton in England to a Store for Jockeys in California

Mary Beth Train’s immigrant story is because of King Cotton. Her maternal grandparents arrived in the United States in 1920, with her mother, Winifred, age 6 and uncle, Geoffrey, age 4. They sailed from Liverpool, England to New York on the Corona.In England that family had lived in Colne, a small mill town in Lancashire in the northwest. Mary Beth’s ... Read More »

Ragnild Syversdatter and Kittel Groth

Another young woman who courageously made possible a “better life” for the family in America was Ragnild Syversdatter Groth. When her parents agreed to the request that their seventeen-year-old daughter marry Kittel Groth, who was fifteen years older, she had no idea that five years later her husband would succumb to the “America fever.” He sold the family farm in ... Read More »

Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen & Lars Paulson Troo

  In the steerage the family slept on a straw-covered plank bunk with barely enough room for four – let alone five. After much seasickness all of Guri’s children suffered from measles and her youngest son died. The greatest bravery was shown by Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen,a little woman in physical stature but a giant in faith. In May 1857 this thirty-eight ... Read More »

Vincenzo Cortese

The apricot trees in Santa Clara Valley have been planted and watered to flourish into a fruitful county. The nutrients of the soil in which these trees were rooted remain plentiful in the legacy of Vincenzo Cortese. In the year 1911,  thirteen-year-old Vincenzo Cortese followed his father and older brother to Chicago alongside his mother and sister. The journey from ... Read More »

Maja Greta Andersdotter

My great grandmother Maja Greta Andersdotter may have immigrated from Sweden to the US twice. She was born in Grevbak, Skaraborg, Sweden on Dec. 13, 1847, to Anders Johansson and Maria Svensdotter. She was the eldest of what eventually were six children in the family, including one who died in infancy. In the early 1850s the family was influenced by ... Read More »

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