Category Archives: 1850 – 1900

Samuel and Elizabeth Cavanaugh

The Story of Samuel and Elizabeth Cavanaugh (Also Kavanagh: In Ireland they spelled their name with a K when they came to America they changed it to C.) Elizabeth (Liz) Keegan, daughter of John Keegan and Mary Ann Coleman Keegan was born in Dublin, Ireland on 6/7/1860. Samuel (Sam) Cavanaugh, son of Patrick Cavanaugh and Sarah Reed, was born on ... 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 »

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 »

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 »