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Did your family arrive in the US, Canada, Australia or elsewhere as immigrants? Do you know their story?

My maternal great-grandparents came to work on the Iron Range. There were immigrants from 43 different countries who were recruited to work in the mines. My Cornish great-grandfather was a captain in the mines and my Slovenian great-grandparents were storekeepers. The immigrants faced hard work, poor living conditions, dangerous work, and discrimination. But 100 years later all these immigrants have assimilated and helped this county to thrive.

Posted - March 6, 2023


  • 2967
    The most recent immigrants, my grandparents; 1910 and 1911, were from Poland and Austria. 
    They met in Boston, while crossing a walking bridge over a river. 
      March 7, 2023 4:34 PM MST

  • 1365
    Such stories are very interesting. It gets a bit more complicated still if we treat nationality as the figment it is. Around here, there is a common joke (of sorts) about how all our ancestors were born in different countries: some in the Ottoman Empire, others in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the following in the Kingdom of Serbs and Croats and Slovenes, then Yugoslavia, etc... All this without migrating! 

    And something related fascinates me: what about those people from earlier still? Lombards, Illyrians, Avars, what-will-you. These identities we all carry with us also erase a great deal of history, I think. We're fitting them into boxes that seem convenient, but the primary purpose of which is arguably nothing but conflict - something fabricated centuries ago, to be exploited, or at the very least with which to defend against others. 

    Sorry, I'm not actually in a position to answer your question, although my parents were born on the other side of Europe from where I was born, and it appears probable that any children of mine will sprout in yet another country.
      March 7, 2023 6:33 PM MST

  • 845
    Your post is another perspective that should be recognized.  Even though it's general, it's also part of ancestry. Thank you.

    I had a friend that was born and raised in Pakistan. His parents were born and raised in India. Parents and son were raised in the same town. This post was edited by NYAD at March 9, 2023 8:47 AM MST
      March 7, 2023 7:20 PM MST

  • 1365
    I started to worry I had digressed too much or become overly political, so thank you.
      March 8, 2023 5:53 PM MST

  • 845
    Digression seems to be common on this site. It also makes the initial subject more interesting or fun (like the laundry softener comment). This post was edited by NYAD at March 9, 2023 5:00 PM MST
      March 8, 2023 7:25 PM MST

  • 9872
    Thanks for answering.  My question doesn't really relate to nationality. I just am interested in how people gave up their lives in one place in order to start a new life in an unfamiliar and sometimes unwelcoming place.
      March 7, 2023 8:52 PM MST

  • 1365
    I understand. It's a pretty long story, but this one involves people escaping civil war (without travel documents), and somewhere along the way my mother bathes me in laundry softener because she doesn't realize what it is and thinks it smells nice.
      March 8, 2023 5:59 PM MST

  • 44228
    My maternal grandmother came here from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She met my maternal grandfather in  Portland, Maine under circumstances I'm not sure of. He came from Russia, because he was Jewish and avoided the revolution and the persecution that was everywhere there.
      March 9, 2023 8:59 AM MST

  • 845
    I just stumbled across this video (it's about 10 years old) that I had sent to a relative in relation to our German heritage. The young ladies are not related to us but the beer hall and accordions were the key points of the video. I still get a kick out of it!
      March 16, 2023 6:49 PM MDT

  • 537
    One of my maternal grandmother's uncles emigrated to Australia. He had applied to join the police force. Many weeks went by and they hadn't told him whether he made the grade or not, so he assumed he had not been successful. Australia was his "Plan B". Eventually the police sent out a letter to confirm that he had been accepted . . . but by that time he'd already embarked. I still have third-cousins out there whom I've never met.

    One of my paternal grandfather's cousins emigrated to America, settling in the West Virginia Panhandle. He came from a coal-mining family so it seems a fair assumption that he went out there to mine coal, in pursuit of higher wages for the same job. His daughter moved to Wheeler County, Ohio. I have not kept track of all his descendants but I know that one (my father's second-cousin) later settled in Phoenix, Arizona.
      March 17, 2023 1:24 PM MDT