Category Archives: STORIES

Hans Christian Vinther and Ida Frederikka Otilia Sturve Vinther

Hans (1846 – 1908) was born in Denmark and immigrated to Illinois in the early 1870’s. Probably he left to avoid being drafted into Bismark’s German army. A short time later, he and a close friend, Martin Nelson moved to Texas. Then Hans sent for his German fiancée, Ida, (1852 – 1931) to join him. Hans’ brother Jorgen Theodor Vinther ... Read More »

Nicole Cheng

Nicole is a recent immigrant from Taiwan who is studying English at the San Mateo Adult School. Watch her talk about her new life on the video that is embedded into the post on our Made Into America web site. Read More »

Minako Sano.

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to live in the United States in 1955. My immigration status then was “spouse of an American Citizen.” I studied English at a women’s college in Tokyo known for its excellent English studies program, and after graduation, I worked as interpreter/translator for the occupation personnel under General MacArthur in Tokyo ... Read More »

Christian Juergen Alpers

Christian Juergen Alpers completed a course of study to become a Lutheran pastor in Hermansburg, Germany and then, in 1875, immigrated to an area southwest of New Prague, Minnesota where about fifteen German Lutheran families had settled in the mid 1850’s. The school was one of several institutions sponsored by German mission societies, and the graduates were sent to locations ... Read More »

Miki Ohno

A calligraphy teacher from Japan is beginning a new life in the U.S. She spoke from her ESL class at the San Mateo Adult School. Watch the video clip below. Read More »

Kansen Chu

He wasn’t always San Jose City Councilmember Kansen Chu. When he arrived in the States, he had been Kansen Chu the engineer and then Kansen Chu the waiter. Though he grew up in Taiwan and attended the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology with a major in electrical engineering, his parents and two brothers had followed his uncle to ... Read More »

William Peck

My ancestor William Peck was among the first of the early settlers to New England. With his wife Elizabeth and one son, he came to this country in company with Governor Eaton, Reverend John Davenport, and others in the ship Hector, arriving at Boston from London, June 26, 1637. While Massachusetts was desirous of such settlers, they preferred a separate ... Read More »

Morris Edmond Kraus

My grandfather, Morris Edmond Kraus, emigrated to America in 1881, presumably to escape conscription into the army of the Kaiser. His home was a village, Barendorf, that is near the town, Schonberg, in Saxony. He came to Ohio to live with an uncle, John Pentzel, who had arrived about 10 years earlier. Through relatives Morris obtained a job in a ... Read More »

Maral Haddeland

Maral Haddeland lived in Quebec, Canada, outside Montreal. She lived with her mother and father, two brothers, and one sister. Her family owned a dairy farm and sold milk from their 50 cows. Her dad was a farmer and worked with the hired workmen to keep the farm going, though everybody pitched in with helping on the farm. Maral’s family ... Read More »

Jennie Mehtala Shank Newman and Her Sisters

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s life could be difficult in Northern Finland. I was told that my grandfather Mehtala made tar, and charcoal from the wood the tar was extracted from. That was a thriving business in Finland; wooden ships built in England needed tar to caulk seams. Finland sent what was needed via a vast network of ... Read More »

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