Where We're From – United States

So now that my Surname Saturday posts are wrapping up (the last will be posted tomorrow), I've been trying to decide where to go next. I've been working up lists of things to do like the Visual Family Tree and the Surname posts that can be series, as those sorts of things seem to keep me going.

So one new idea I had was to highlight the places my family was born/lived around the world. I'm going to start with the most recent locations and work my way back. We'll see how this goes.

Map for the locations (and a couple others not really on this list):

View My US Roots in a larger map

1. Seattle, Washington
Most recently, all our direct line has lived in or around Seattle, Washington.

Dad's parents, Sam and Maggie, moved here in the early 50s (1952, I believe) after Sam graduated from Ohio State with a degree in accounting. Their second son was already on the way, but neither liked the cities their families lived in. Chicago and Cleveland were too industrial and grungy, and they just didn't feel at home there. After narrowing down their choices, they chose Seattle because they'd heard good things about the growing city, and because of its close proximity to Ski Slopes—the two had met on a trip to Switzerland while still in the service, and had learned to ski together.

Mom's family didn't move down from Canada until the early 60's. George was looking for a new and better-paying job, and found one in the Brewer Company, where he did the books and eventually became a vice president in the company. It didn't hurt that Bellevue (a neighboring city to Seattle) was so close to the Canadian border, where all the rest of their family still lived.

2. Chicago, Illinois
Sam's family moved to Chicago after several locations throughout the US, finally settling here shortly before Sam was drafted into the Army. Most of his family still lives here today, and both of his parents died there, Alex in 1948, and Dora in 1969.

However, before the Hillingers lived there, my family had another connection to Chicago. Oline Hansen, my grandmother Maggie's mother, lived there for a time, working for families as a housekeeper, cook, and occasionally a seamstress, until she moved to Cleveland and married in 1918.

3. Hot Springs, Arkansas
Before Chicago, Sam's family settled in Arkansas. Dora worked for a hospital to make money because Alex was no longer able to work. It was here that Sam graduated from school. (he's the second picture on the first row) It was the same school that President Clinton would later graduate from.

Also, one of the locations my grandmother was stationed during the war was here.
Other places she and my grandfather were stationed in the US: Him--Camp Crowder, Missouri. Her--Des Moines, Iowa; Daytona, Florida; and Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Both were then sent to Europe (he much sooner than her).

4. Memphis, Tennessee
After arriving in the US in 1933, the Hillingers lived with a relation in Memphis (Alex's sister and her husband, I believe) for a time. Unfortunately, after their arrival, Alex got sick, and had a stroke, and Dora had to go to work to support their family.

5. Cleveland, Ohio
My great-grandparents, Holger and Oline married and settled in Cleveland, and raised their three children there. My grandmother Maggie, their eldest daughter, remembers growing up in a fairly tight-knit community of Danes, several of which were men who worked with her father building houses in the area.

6. New York, New York
The Hillingers passed through here, and I believe one of Alex's brothers lived in the city until his death, but my true connection to New York was Holger Hansen. After leaving Vejle, Denmark, he settled her with his mother's sister and her family, and began to take work as a brick layer, making quite a bit of money. It was enough to let him visit Denmark in 1916, and it was on that trip he met the woman he was to marry, Oline.

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Irish branch of our family came over in the mid to late 1800s and settled in Philadelphia. Robert and Elizabeth Park were from Northern Ireland, and seeking a better place to live. They had 9 children there together before things got bad in the early 1900s, and returned to Ireland around 1910.

8. Kassen County, Minnesota
My earliest known American ancestor was Ole Larsen (uncertain of the spelling at this time, but this is my presumption based on his daughter's given surname, and how Danish naming practices work). He was Oline's maternal grandfather, and came to the US in the early to mid 1800s, and set up a farm in Minnesota. We know very little about him because he had almost no contact with his wife (at least I assume she was his wife) and daughter after leaving Denmark.

And that's where my ancestral line has lived in the United States.

I may be missing a few locations – where Oline first lived when she arrived in the US, and ditto if Holger lived elsewhere between New York and Cleveland, and I didn't include my grandparents' military postings in the states, or Sam's first job out of school, because I'm not sure where he was living at the time. There's also the period while he was at Ohio State—I'm not sure where he, my grandmother and my dad lived then, though I assume it was near campus.

Family—feel free to offer info if you've got it. :)

Next: Canada.

ETA: Sam and Maggie's posts in the US during the war.


Post a Comment

About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.