Our Varied Heritages

Ancestry.com is after me again. This below is from an email I received this morning:

Screen capture of Ancestry email.
Screen capture of Ancestry email.

A few years ago through Ancestry, I found one of the ship manifests that included my maternal great-grandmother as a young adult sailing to America. She had traveled with about a dozen other people of varying ages, all from the same village in Sicily. My great-grandfather was in America already, awaiting her arrival.

She was born near Syracuse (as was he). She departed Messina, stopped in Naples, stopped next in Marseille, and from there journeyed to New York’s Ellis Island. It was typical for the time and their nationality.

One child traveling in the “village group” with them I recall had a different surname. He was apparently traveling alone. He was nine.

A decade ago, visiting Syracuse, Sicily, for the first time, was, for me, a bit unsettling. What a difficult journey they had all undertaken.

My other ancestors arrived in America from various European countries beginning in the mid-1850s until the early 1900s as well. I used much of my own background as “James’s” in the Atlantic Lives novels. The main difference between the two of us is I am not fully half-Irish (although I am partly of Irish ancestry):

Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

“Immigration” is so much in the news lately; and it has nearly always been a contentious issue. What has changed dramatically in recent decades is air travel now makes immigration so much easier than it once was, so more people are willing to risk moving around on the planet. As a result, how “varied” so many of us are now, or are becoming….

Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Distances," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Distances," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Distances," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from "Passports," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

When we think about it, so many of us the world over have some sort of immigrant experiences involving ancestors we know of, recent relations, or perhaps even ourselves.

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “Our Varied Heritages

  1. christineplouvier July 12, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    LOL. I’m 2 1/2 generations American (both of my grandfathers were born in the Old Country). When I was a kid, while visiting my father’s parents, I sometimes overheard my grandfather wax indignant during conversation with other family members. On one such occasion, I don’t know what else was said, but I heard him state emphatically, “We’re FRENCH! Not BELGIAN!” Many years later, when doing genealogical research, guess where I found out some of my grandmother’s ancestors were born?

    Liked by 1 person

    • R. J. Nello July 12, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Ha! Yes, ancestry queries do tend to bring out the disagreements and differing recollections, and even tall tales. My family’s had tons of ’em!

      Liked by 1 person

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