Happy New Year!

So it's the New Year, and because of the election and its results, one of my resolutions for this year is to focus on the ancestors I think Trump would like the least. By this, I mean my Jewish Ancestors and my first-generation immigrant ancestors. On all sides of my family, that is quite recent.

Neither of my parents were born in this country. My mother was born in Canada, and immigrated down here with her parents when she was still young. Now granted, she's white (Norwegian/ German/ Irish/ Welsh), but it still counts, even if people like Trump are blind to it. My father was born on an American Army Base after the war, and his parents were both US citizens, so he is a US citizen though he wasn't born in the country.

My father's mother's parents were both Danish, and came here separately to make a better life for themselves. It is because they came here that they met at all. They met on a ship returning to Denmark to see their families. After they returned to the US, they ended up getting married and settled in Cleveland. There are still many houses in Cleveland today that my great-grandfather built. Even before my great-grandmother came here, her grandfather came with another wave of Danish immigrants who settled in Minnesota. We don't know exactly where, but I am hoping to learn more about him this year as well.

However, it is starting with his father where my true "dark" blood lies. My grandfather was Jewish. He was born in 1922 in Frankfurt, Germany. He lived there until 1933 when his father chose to take the family and leave the country before things got worse.

Then there is my mother's father's mother, who while white, was 100% Northern Irish. She was born in Philadelphia, but her parents were Irish immigrants. They came here to find a better life during a time when it was hard to make a living in Ireland. They lived here from about 1883 to sometime in the early 1900s. At that time the country began to lash out against immigrants, including the Irish. My great-great grandparents left with their children and returned home to Belfast, then moved on to Canada a few years later. My great grandmother lived there until the late seventies. Then my grandfather, her son, chose to move her to the US so she would be closer to where the family lived. Still, she always hated being here in the states because of how poorly her family had been treated.

We treat our immigrants as either invisible (usually because they're white Europeans), or as criminals and vagrants who are either here to steal our jobs (usually the jobs most Americans refuse to do because they don't pay enough or are otherwise menial and therefore beneath us), or to mooch off our social welfare programs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every group of people who come here give our country something more in the way of culture. Food, clothes, a new way to think of things. They enrich our lives and our country. And without them, the US would become stagnant. I would say "and decay," but by the looks of this current election, we are already doing that. We need to start taking care of our people, both those already here and those who want to be here and contribute. Each provides a vital need, and without either, we will be lost.

So I dedicate this year to my Immigrant Ancestors, and to everything they contributed to our country. I look forward to learning more about them, and what they contributed to our country, and why they came here in the first place. And I dedicate it to my grandfather's family; to my ancestors who have been chased from country to country throughout their lives, never finding a true home because they were unwanted. We have been here for three generations now. We are not going anywhere. Not one of us.


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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.