Womens History Month -- Week 5

March 27 — Do you know the immigration story of one or more female ancestors? Do you have any passenger lists, passports, or other documentation? Interesting family stories?

I know most of the immigration stories from each of my lines, and I've found one record at Ellis Island.

Elizabeth Park (nee Curran) was my first female ancestor in the US, and came over from Ireland with her new husband in the late 1800s. They settled in Philadelphia and had nine children here before things got too difficult and she and her husband decided to move the family back to Ireland, where the children finished their childhood, and ended up eventually moving to Canada, where my great-grandmother Mary Park met her husband.

Oline Hansen is the ancestor for whom I have an Ellis Island record, though it wasn't for her original immigration to America, but a trip she made coming back from visiting her family. She came here in the early 1900s from Denmark, though I'm not sure precisely when, but she returned to visit her family about the same time WWI started in Europe. Because of that, she was stuck in Denmark for a time, and another Dane who had been traveling home to visit his family decided to court her while they were there. The two were married about a year later.

The third major immigration story that comes to mind is that of my great-grandma Dora. My grandfather's family came here to the US in the mid-thirties because of the Nazi rise to power. The family was Jewish, and his father's businesses had failed do to their programs. When they arrived in Ellis Island, the uncle that was supposed to meet them (I'm not clear if this was her relation or her husband's, or one of their sisters' husbands) never showed, so they ended up getting help from a former neighbor from Frankfurt. After they caught up with the errant uncle, the family settled in Memphis (a location which leads me to believe it was her husband's sister's husband), where her husband suffered a stroke. Dora did all the work after that while her children finished their schooling, working as a cook in hospitals and other institutions.

I'm sure there are other immigration stories, but those are the ones that immediately stand out to me. Most of the rest moved to Canada.

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

A number of answers came to me on this one, but none really seemed to fit the bill until I remembered Nana's friend Teeny. She and her husband were very long-time friends of my grandparents, and I remember thinking of her very much like an extra grandmother because we saw her so often throughout my childhood. I'm not entirely sure where they met, though my guess is that Teeny was at one point helping with the R Shoppe ladies, though I could be wrong. (I have a feeling my father will let me know if he does)

March 29 — Create a free Footnote Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your female ancestor. Tell us about who you've selected and why and then post a link to what you've created.

I've been focusing so much on Dad's family, that I wanted to make sure more of the women in mom's family got in here, so I decided to do her earliest female Canadian Ancestor, Selina Howells, my great-great grandmother.

March 30 — Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?

I think the one thing I really got from both sides of the family, male and female, but most especially from Nana and my mom, was that learning was important. It's something I've carried close to my heart all my life, and been a guiding principle for me. If I could wrangle it, I would love being a "professional student," but it's not something that tends to make a lot of money… ;)

March 31 — Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).

Had to think about this one and go back through all the previous posts before I could decide, but I think for this one, I'm going to go with Leonharde Bordewick, my grandfather's grandmother.

Leonharde Bordewich was born in Nordland in 1861. She was the second child of her father, Johan Petter Bordewich's second marriage. She grew up in the small town of Lyngvaer in the Lofoten Islands, where her father ran a small business. In 1887, she married a cousin, Henrick Bergthon Bordewick, and the two had three sons together: Bjarne, Harald, and Hans Henrik.

When fishing grew scarce in Norway during the late 1800s, her husband and his brother decided to try to set up a trading venture between Antwerp and the Lofoten Islands. Henrick and Leonharde moved their family from Lofoten to Antwerp to set up one end of the business. Unfortunately, their family name sounded too English to the Belgians, who had supported the Dutch in the Boer war, and the family was shunned. So they moved again, this time to Grimsby in England, where their sons finished their schooling. Before any of the boys could move on to university, though, the family moved again, this time to Vancouver, B.C, Canada, where Leonharde's younger brother was living and working at the time.

The couple settled there and lived there quite happily until their deaths; his in 1930, and hers in 1944. Leonharde lived long enough to see her grandson married, and a few years later, in 1942, met that grandson's eldest child.


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.