Category Archives: Landed In

Tho Tran

When Saigon fell in 1975, my father had just turned 24 years old and could not imagine fleeing the country of his birth and leaving his family behind. So, he decided to stay in Vietnam and was subsequently captured and detained (along with other men who were in the military, who were connected to the South Vietnamese government, or who ... Read More »

Rebecca Cohen and Blanche Meisel

My great-grandmother, Rebecca Cohen, came to the U.S. in 1899, with her 6-month old daughter, Blanche, in her arms. She was fleeing the Cossack-led pogroms in the Russian Pale of Settlement, the only place the autocracy let Jews have permanent residency. We don’t know exactly where her shtetl was–somewhere in what’s now Belarus, near Minsk. My great-grandmother started a farm ... Read More »

Frederick and Amelia Becker

Frederick Christian (Fred) Becker was born in Germany on 8/30/1865 and came to this country as a small boy. His family started their new life in Cincinnati, Ohio, in an area known as “over the Rhine.” When Fred was about 12, he broke his arm running along a railroad track. His arm was never set properly and from then on ... Read More »

Gelsimino Joe Tufo

My grandfather was born in Verbicaro, a small Southern Italian inland town in  Calabria, Italy. His passport says that he was born in 1892.     His family was quite poor working in the fields.   His mother collected spare coins in a handkerchief over the door sill until she had gathered enough to send her 17 year old son ... Read More »

Andrew Mellows’ land of opportunity

It was 1970, my education in electrical engineering was as complete as it was going to be and I had a junior engineer position in a small division of a large company in England. Engineering was poorly paid and my prospects were abysmal. An opportunity arose to volunteer in a small school for American children in Mexico with the promise ... Read More »

Diversity Increases With Each Generation

According to family lore, the first North American immigrants in our family were on my maternal grandmother’s side. A family of a mother, a father, and five kids were awaiting passage in England for the Colonies when the father, playing a game on the village green, broke his neck and died. Mother and children came anyway—to Maine in 1700. The ... Read More »

Alex Abraham

My mother’s father, Alex would tell us that he came from Lebanon. Other times he told us his family had lived in Syria. When pressed to pick a country, he looked confused. He came to New York when he was eight, with an older brother and his mother. Within two years his entire tiny family in this country died. His ... Read More »

Daniel O’Connell

The Irish: O’Connell’s My Grandmother who lived with my family for about 10 years marred a Kinney, however her family and maiden name was O’Connell. Grandfather Kinney I never met as he died the day I was born. I was given the name of Charles as it was his name also. The O’Connell family immigration to the United States goes ... Read More »

Matilda Spilger

The Germans: Spilger Family (Grandfather is 2nd from right and Grandmother is 5th from left) The German family is more current as my grandmother, Matilda Spilger, emigrated from Stuttgart, Germany sometime in the 1880’s. She was married but I never met my grandfather Spilger as he died before I was born. He was born in Hessen Darmstadt, Germany. I do ... Read More »

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