Category Archives: 1900 – 1950

Sam Chou: The First Snow

  He hopped from one heat vent to another, over the ones that lay outside the school buildings. It was below zero degrees Celsius, and he had only worn a down jacket and jeans. He was freezing and needed to stay warm. Sam Chou was starting his second semester at the University of Wisconsin in the year of 1990. He ... Read More »

Liz Gulevich

Liz Gulevich was one of our featured storytellers at our salon November 9, 2014 called “Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys.” She tells a captivating story about the empowerment of her immigrant mother during her mother’s sunset years in Palo Alto, California. There’s a surprise near the end that involves an audience member. Read More »

Heavenly World Series for Rabbi

After someone hit a home run, my grandfather turned to my father and said in Yiddish, “So what has he accomplished? He started out at home plate and he ran all the way around to get right back to where he started.” At 6:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, my clock radio awakened me in my home in the Bronx ... 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 »

Lazar and Dena Kasofsky Leave Russia

Larry Klein’s grandfather Lazar Kasofsky, born in 1884  in the rural town of Slonim, Russia, was the eldest of seven children in a Jewish family. Late 19th Century  Russia was a dangerous place for Jews. In addition, the Russian army conscripted boys at age sixteen, many never to be seen by their families again. With these facts in mind Lazar’s parents, Jacob and Ester Hanna, decided ... 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 »

Isobel MacGillivray and Arthur Cobb

My mother, Isobel, was born in 1891 in Inverness, Scotland and immigrated to Utica, NY in 1920. My father, Arthur Cobb, was born in Brechin, Scotland, in 1890, and in 1920 he came to Utica, NY. His mother had already immigrated to Clinton, New York, where she worked as a housekeeper. Isobel and Arthur met through the Scottish club in ... Read More »

Ivan (John) and Sarahfina’s 10 year odyssey

My Grandma and Grandpa decided to leave Simbirsk, Russia and begin a new life in the United States. They started their emigration from Simbursk in Oct. 1900 traveling through Siberia to China. Eventually they left Harbin Manchuria China, with John (Ivan), their only surviving child, and made their way to Kobe, Japan. In March of 1910 – 10 years since ... Read More »

Carl Carlson

My grandfather was born in Sweden and came to America with his wife near the turn of the 20th century. He was known on the East side of St. Paul, Minnesota as “Coffee Carlson” because he delivered coffee to various places throughout that part of town. He married Beda Wilhelmina Rudeen, but there is very little written about them. They ... Read More »

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