Category Archives: 1900 – 1950

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 »

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 »

George H. Northcott

George H. Northcott was my grandfather. He came to Detroit, Michigan in 1919 from London, Ontario, Canada. He was a mechanical engineer and led a group of engineers who designed and built the London Port Stanley Railroad. He also worked on the great fleet of the ore boats that plied the Great Lakes. (My father was born in Duluth, Minnesota.) ... Read More »

Doris Stoddart McDonald

Doris Stoddart McDonald was born in 1907 in the small town of Colchester, Ontario, just outside of London. Her maternal grandparents were from Devon and her father was the first in his family to emigrate from England to Canada. She always – from the time she was a little girl – wanted to be a nurse. After high school she ... Read More »

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