Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Week in Genealogy...

Last weekend, we began to search through boxes of old pictures, documents, and mementos that both of our parents inherited from their respective parents.  Here's one set of our great-grandparents in some of the oldest pictures from our collections:

A and H with grandmother E, 1923
A and H with our grandmother E, second half of 1923.

Both A and H immigrated from Finland in the 1910s.  We've discovered that they arrived separately and eventually met in Maine, where they married.  Their marriage certificate, which we found on, lists all of their parents' names, which no one in our family ever knew before.  Neither of their parents immigrated with them, so we're wondering why both A and H elected to come to America alone as young people.  Did they each come with a church group, with cousins, with friends, or by themselves?  Where did they go when they arrived, and what did they do to support themselves in the years before they were married?  We're currently trying to trace each of their immigration records, but it is proving considerably more difficult than we anticipated.

H with grandmother E, 1924
H with our grandmother E in 1924.

Their daughter, our grandmother E, was born in 1923. She was an only child, and even after she was married, her parents lived close by and remained an active part of their grandchildren's lives. Our father was very close to his grandmother H, and when I was born on her 89th birthday, I was given her name as my middle name. Ashley was later given H's middle name as her own, so we both feel a special connection to H and all that we're now learning about her, even though neither of us had the privilege to know her.

H in the 1920s
H in the 1920s.  We haven't yet been able to place where
or exactly when this picture was taken.

As a minor fashion-related observation, note that H wears the same watch in each of the pictures.  In our grandparents' wedding picture, the same watch appears on her daughter E's wrist, evidently our grandmother's very special "something old."  Now if only we could find that watch...


Rachel said...

What exciting findings you are finding! I love genealogy and I am passionate about my ancestors' stories, so I will celebrate every new discovery for you!

lahbluebonnet said...

I've always wondered about your middle name, Rebecca! How fun to find all these answers, Rebecca and Ashley!

Rebecca said...

Aww, thanks Rachel! We're really enjoying this journey and we get so excited when we find even the tiniest of clues. The only frustrating part is wondering about of the things we'll probably never know - those little everyday things that make people who they are. But we keep searching and hoping...:-)

Haahaa, Laurie! Yes, no one can ever pronounce my middle name, but I like it - even more now that I can put an actual face to where it comes from!