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JLeslie's avatar

Will you share with us the story of your family's immigration to the country you live in now?

Asked by JLeslie (55810points) July 26th, 2010

Who was it? Your grandparents? Parents? You?

Where did they come from, and where did they go to?

Were they poor? Rich? Educated?

Did they leave under duress?

Were they young or old?

How did they get there? By land, sea, air?

Do you identify with the “old country.”

Tell me anything else about the journey that you find meaningful.

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23 Answers

max_gutierrez's avatar

I would have LOVE to tell it, but it is old and i do not know it, i only know that half of my parents are spanish and other half french .

faye's avatar

Apparently my greatgrandfather (my father’s side) had to get out of Ireland in a hurry! My mother’s family came because there was no land to own in Ireland. Both families became farmers in Canada but my father’s father was a Fenian fighter and my dad was in WW1. I’m a little hot-blooded but war would scare me to death before I killed anyone.

Luffle's avatar

My grandma immigrated from China to Vietnam during WWII. She went to Vietnam for vacation but the war occurred and she ended staying there instead of returning to her home.

My mom’s family immigrated here from the Vietnam near the end of the Vietnam War. From what I know, it was an extremely difficult and life changing experience. My mom and my aunt escaped by boat from Vietnam to Hong Kong with gold that my grandma had stashed away when the communists came to take their house.

Many people died trying to escape and living conditions on the boat were poor. When they arrived in Hong Kong, they were not welcomed there so they didn’t have many choices for employment. Prior to escaping, many of them tried to learn trade skills that they might be able to use in other countries that didn’t require them to speak the language well like working as a tailor in a sweat shop.

Because members of my mom’s family had escaped by boat, they were especially hard on my grandparents who were left behind. My aunt’s husband was very wealthy from selling war supplies to the US Army so the communists kept a close watch on her family, first putting them under house arrest and then placing them in jail for helping family members escape communism.

My mom grew up in a rich family where everyone lived in a huge house. The household was composed of three stories, my grandpa, his two wives, his married and unmarried children, his grandchildren and servants. My mom was not well-educated because they didn’t believe that girls needed as much education as guys did but she did learn Vietnamese, Chinese, English, and French. My aunt was received additional attention for being the oldest daughter from my grandma and she was educated in subjects like tailoring and cosmetology. They were lucky because they were the youngest. My older aunts received limited education (up to elementary school level) although my uncle was able to study abroad in Taiwan.

From Hong Kong, my mom and aunt were sponsored to the US and lived in Texas. My mom eventually sponsored my grandparents to come to the US and they arrived by plane.

ETpro's avatar

ET cannot talk about that. Must phone home.

TexasDude's avatar

My great great grandparents on my dad’s side came over through Ellis Island from Italy at the turn of the century. My great great grandaddy was a trumpet player in the Italian army and he lived on the Gold Coast with his wife and kids before moving to the states.

My family on the other side goes way back- some to before the Revolution. Some Cajuns, English, and Scots-Irish mountain people who lived in the South for as long as records show.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I don’t know whether this is true or not,but my grandma(from mother side) said that her grand-grand-grand family came from China massively with others other immigrants by large ships. She said it was because at that time Chinese governments were so aggressive toward their new political rule and structure where many citizen would be made slave some purposes,so many Chinese people run to other neighbor country for another better place,and our family choose Indonesia as their place along with some other immigrants. What is so interesting that the grandXXX family from my father side came from Taiwan for the same reason. This give me the benefit to speak three different Chinese languages.

BoBo1946's avatar

My grandfather’s story was our people came from Ireland after the “potato blight!” The details are not known. I be a weebit Irish!

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Well for me it wasn’t my grandparents or anything like that, also it’s nothing old, just happened like 4 or 5 years ago or something.
My mom and my step-dad met in Zambia, he was in a helping group called Friends of Africa
mom was also in that group and helping schools in Lusaka. They met through that and became in love. I call my step-father dad because my dad abandoned me when my mother was pregnant with me and I think I’ve never even seen him:/ So dad came back to Iceland and a few months later I heard that mom was moving to Iceland:O I used to live with my grand parents in the village because when I was in Lusaka, I hated school, I would lie and say that I went to school but I was at my friends house the whole day Mom came to Iceland and 1 year later they both came back to visit in Zambia, that’s when they prepared my ticket and stuff, and I flied some months later after them.alone!
Well now my mother is married and I am the only child.
In Zambia we were rich, my mom had 2 houses and was in business. Now I wouldn’t say that we are rich, but we have all we need.

Cruiser's avatar

My great grandfather was sent over by the Chancellor of Germany to be the lead carpenter on the German Building for the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair and he like Chicago so much he went back and got his family and one of the reasons why I live here I suppose.

MissAusten's avatar

My maternal grandmother’s grandparents came here from England. The story goes that my great great grandfather came from a wealthy family that disowned him when he fell in love with, and married, a serving girl. He first immigrated to (I believe) Chicago, but settled in Indiana and sent for his wife after a year or so. They had some kids already, and then had more here in the US. My great-grandmother was one of the children born after they immigrated. I don’t know a lot about the trip itself, other than that they came by boat (of course). I have a lovely antique demitasse set that my grandmother said her grandmother brought with her from England.

I have other relatives that came from England and Ireland, but so many generations ago that the stories have been lost. In fact, they all immigrated here so long ago that I’ve never been able to find any record of how they got here.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My maternal grandparents came through Ellis Island.My grandma from France my grandpa from Italy.
My paternal grandpa came from Germany and my grandma came from Quebec.I think she walked to Detroit ;)

Seek's avatar

I wish I knew.

All I know is that my father was born in Ireland and moved to New York some time before his mother died five years later, and he was adopted by my grandparents.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Parts of my family came over in the 1700’s and then a few more were added in the 1800’s. I’m kind of a Heinz 57 mutt. I’ve come across one family member in England that traced the lineage back to there around 1600.

Jude's avatar

My Grandma’s family on my Mom’s side:

They came from Alsace, France (border of Switzerland and Germany). They came over to Canada and settled in New Germany (known as Maryhill). Their last name: Bitschy (they changed it to Beachey). My Great-grandpa was an accountant and he and my great-grandma (last name Hummel) had 14 children (4 are living). My Grandma went into the nunnery out of high school. That didn’t last all that long (my Grandma had a mind of her own and got out of it against her Mother’s wishes). She went on to be a school teacher, met my Grandfather (a Scottish rogue), married and had 8 children.

My Mom’s Dad’s family came from Scotland (his father’s side) and France (his Mother’s side). On his father’s side they all spoke Gaelic. So, whenever he would go to family functions and whatnot, he couldn’t understand his aunts atall. They whole lot had curly auburn hair and freckles. Now, his Mom’s side, they were (and spoke) French. Both of my grandpa’s parents met and settled and Maryhill, Ontario. That is where my Grandpa and Grandma met (in church).

Dad’ side: His father’s family came over from France to Canada and settled in Digby, Nova Scotia. They were French-Acadians. My great-grandfather (was French) and apparently, my great-grandmother was Irish. I am not entirely sure how they met. The whole lot of them had black hair with dark brown eyes, or blue eyes. My last name is French, and there is an English and French way to spell it.

My Dad’s Mom’s side are all French, as well. I’m not entirely sure how my great-grandparents met.

I have my Mom’s side’s fair complexion. Dark, dark, brown hair (with tinge of auburn) from my Dad’s side, and my blue eyes.

Aster's avatar

My paternal gggrandfather was born in Wales 1818 and married there. They came to America in 1844 and lived in Kansas until his death in 1869. They had 10 children I know of , 2 born in Kansas. He and 2 of his sons served in the Civil War. One son, my ggrandfather was born in Kansas in 1859, moved to California (I assume during the Gold Rush), farmed and died in northern California in 1941.

JLeslie's avatar

If you are interested you can look up family members who came though Ellis Island online http://www.ellisisland.org/ and get their date of travel, departure port, ship name, and more.

downtide's avatar

As far as I know my ancestors have all lived in England since the year dot. Those on my paternal grandfather’s side were from Norfolk (on the east coast) and were mainly fishermen. My username here is stolen from the nickname of one of them. There were some ancestors who went to Canada but none that we know of went to the US.

JLeslie's avatar

GA’s to everyone, thanks for sharing. I hope we get some more answers.

tranquilsea's avatar

Most of my mother’s side of the family immigrated here from England. Her mother’s side in around 1890 and her father’s side 1840s. They left for a better life.

On my father’s side not a lot is known. His grandfather immigrated here from England. It is said that he came over with his brother. One settled in the U.S. and the other in Canada. My paternal grandmother immigrated from Germany with her family in the 1880s. They were quite wealthy and, at one point, owned the only hotel at the Peace Arch border crossing in British Columbia. Their wealth evaporated with the stock market crash of 1929.

Sadly, I never got to know any of my grandparents. My mom’s parents died at 17 (her father) and 38 (her mother). My father’s parents had divorced after my grandmother found out that he was sleeping with her brother’s wife. She became an alcoholic and died when I was 7. I would have loved to know all of them but the one I’ve come to understand more is my paternal grandmother. She had a moral code that I deeply admire. It is too bad life tossed her so many curve balls that she couldn’t cope.

max_gutierrez's avatar

Now i know that both of my grandfathers came from french families when france tried to invade mexico, my both grandma’s are just mestizo (spanish with natives ) sowell i am mestizo like almost all here

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Fathers side of the family traces to a Welsh/English immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1670; a mercenary from the disbanded Cromwell army who came to America as an officer of militia in King Phillips War in exchange for a land grant. My branch of the family relocated to New Hampshire; my farm is part of a land grant given to an ancestor in 1783 as payment for services in the Revolutionary War.

Mothers family came from Germany in the 1920s. Her father was a younger son of minor landed gentry in East Prussia; most of the land was lost to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles and his elder brother got what was left. Her mother was from Alsace, of a merchant family that became refugees when the French “ethnically cleansed” the German population after the war. They met and married in Montreal, moving to NYC when my grandfather was offered a better position by a large investment bank. My grandfathers elder brother joined the Nazis, became an SS officer and disappeared after the fall of Stalingrad. My grandmothers family are scattered over Europe and the Americas. Some of those who remained in Germany died in the Holocaust.

mattbrowne's avatar

My father was born and raised in Poland. Before WWII many Germans had immigrated to other countries like the United States but also many countries in Eastern Europe long before the Nazis came to power.

When my father was 14, the Red Army was approaching the town were they lived. My grandfather was employed by a German company which had offices both in Poland and Germany. The company manufactured radio equipment. His boss transferred him to a new office in Southern Germany. But space on the few trains leaving Poland was scarce. My father had to leave a lot of his stuff behind. Still, he was extremely fortunate, because several months later all the other Germans had to flee. It didn’t matter whether they supported the Nazis or not. There were no more trains or cars available. Some had horses others simply had to walk. When my father’s family resettled in Southern Germany the allied bombings began. They had to leave again and stay in the countryside and when they returned part of the buildings in their neighborhood were in ruins. My father missed being drafted by the Volkssturm by just a few months. He was just a bit too young. Well, I might not even exist if this had been just a little different.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I was born in Baku, Azerbaijan with both Russian and Armenian blood running through me…my first last name was Armenian and for that I was targeted when the Nagorno-Karabakh war began – we had to flee the country and I don’t remember much because I was 5 but things were urgent and I’d never see my home again. We ran to a little village in southern Russia and I lived there until I was 11 years old. My parents and later my grandparents won a green card in a lottery and we moved to Pennsylvania. My father tore his Achilles heel and we had to move to NYC (thankfully!). I have lived here since then. My entire family eventually moved from Russia to the U.S. and after many deaths, it is now only my mother, grandmother and aunt that have survived.

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