Friday, July 13, 2012

My Last Immigrant

2012 marks an important centennial for my family as 1912 is the year that my paternal grandmother emigrated from Slovakia to the U.S. She is the most recent of all my ancestors to arrive in the States.

My grandmother, Margaret (left), with her sisters, Mary (center) and Sophie (right) on the day Sophie made her first communion. In those days you had to be 12 to take communion. This photo was likely taken during Sophie and Grandma's first year in America. 

Grandma and Aunt Sophie arrived in New York, New York on March 6, 1912 on a ship called Kronprinz Wilhelm which sailed from Cherbourg, France. They had a brother, John, and a sister, Mary (seen in the photo above), who had emigrated and lived in Cleveland with their spouses. John's wife was Mary and sister Mary's husband was John (seriously). Brother John and his wife, Mary, had a daughter, Anna, in Slovakia. (Brother) "John was sending his wife to Europe to bring their daughter home to Cleveland. John and his sister (Mary) put money together to bring their sisters Sophie and Margaret back also. At this point, they were orphans living with their brother Joseph." Mary took her two young sons (John and Steven, ages 4 and 2) with her to get the three girls. "Story is that John's wife used the money for better accommodations for her sons and Anna and put Margaret and Sophie in steerage." Grandma was 9 and Sophie 12 when they arrived. 

After arriving, Grandma and Sophie lived with their sister, Mary, and her husband, John. 

Tragically, both brother, John, and brother-in-law, John, died young. Their brother, John, died in October 1924 after being hit by a car. Brother-in-law John Vall died in December 1930 of tuberculosis. 

All quotes courtesy of my eldest Aunt. Thank you, Lill!

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