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Robert Williams

How many here know their American roots?

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How many of you know where your family roots came from outside this country - or inside, if Native American. Do you know why your ancestors or parents came here and what their goal was? I know that the higher the generation level count here, the more difficult it is to follow the family history all the way back to their roots outside the USA, but for some of us, it's not so distant as to be unclear or unknown.

 

My mother's side of the family is the most difficult to trace back with Irish and Native American ancestors and a rather tangled web of relationships as family trees merged and split.

 

I do know that all members of the family on my mother's side came from rural/agrarian roots and have very modest lifestyles, residing in states like West Virginia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

 

My father's side, however, is much clearer. My father came to this country from Cuba in 1957 with a work visa and pursued his career as a jockey. He was the only member of his family that made it out of Cuba. The rest of the Sanchez family still resides in Cuba and occasional correspondence from them tells us that their lot in life has not improved since the 60's when my mother last visited.

 

My natural father, Sergio Sanchez has been long passed away but my mother still resides in a very economically depressed section of Ohio that was, at one time, the pottery center of the world and was supported by other industries such as steel, mining and brickmaking.

 

My brother is a resident of New York and has pursued his lifelong love of arts and theatre. For a number of years now, he has been breaking new ground with studies and revival of an ancient form of dance with which he is now considered the foremost expert and has been a guest speaker at highly respected institutions such as Julliard.

 

I think it's good to know how we came to be where we are and so I thought it would be interesting to hear from others about their own personal American history as an interesting discussion about the unique blend of diversity and homogenity that earmarks our society.

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All I know is someone with my last name was caught pretty recently and was a serial killer in Italy HappyWave.gif

I would be interested in having someone do the homework on this for a reasonable price but who's to say it wouldn't all be made up confused.gif

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A relative of mine on my moms side has done some geneology research, I need to check it out in detail. She was able to locate Ellis Island records to show who came thru there & when & had also traced a few ancestors back into Germany & turned up some counts & countesses in the bloodline there (I'm royalty you know). On my dads side the trail is cold as he was adopted as a newborn, not sure anyone has probed into his bloodline or if that would even be possible. If anyone out there knows of free geneology resources, let us know about it.

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The thinkers are thinking.....this can be deep stuff.

 

Dads side is from Clare County Ireland. His parents moved here when they were young. His father had 12 pro fights, drank too much, beat his wife/Dads mother constantly. They were on their own at his age of six. He has an older brother, my uncle, who is now reported to be doing burglaries with his son, my cousin. Dad passed away in October of 2003 after fighting cancer over 20 years.

 

Moms side is from Poland. Gram and Gramps moved here during WW11. It was told to us that some of my family that we (kids) never knew were involved with the Holocaust. When my Grandfather arrived here he joined the Army and fought against Nazi Germany. My Grandfather died when my mother was preg with me, I never knew him. My Grandmother spoke Polish but as a kid it was just something to laugh about. She died when I was young, would have been nice to know her as I grew more interested in family history. Mom died from complications of Idiopathic Pulmonary (something), basically scaring of the lungs etc, in August of 2003.

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Me mum's a ole genealogy nut, (a bonfide victim of the "Roots" craze) and has traced the ancestors back hundreds of years. Almost entirely English, with a bit of 1900ish German from the Triberg area.

 

Oldest US immigrant was George Soule, on the first Mayflower voyage, and a signatory of the Mayflower compact. In his case, as with most of those that originally chartered the old wine boat, he and his employer were English seperatists looking for religious freedom.

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My great-grandparents on my maternal grandfather's side is pretty clear, as both my mother and her cousin (my grandfather's brother's son) have spent some time building the family tree. Both my great-grandfather (Beyersdorfer) and my great-grandmother (Bischoff) came from Germany in the early 20th century. I have the details of the when and the why, but would have to review them. And in fact, I have in my possesion the wooden trunk, with the immigration stickers from Ellis Island still on it, that my great-grandfather used to bring all his worldly possesions from Germany with him.

 

My maternal grandmother's side is less clear, but both her mother and father (Hartmann) are also of German decent, with the mother (Klein) also having some Welsh. She died when my grandmother was very young. Am not sure if they were American born or immigrants.

 

My father's side is very vague, as my Mom and Dad were divorced when I was about 6 years old, and the contact with my father was/is quite limited.

 

I know that my father's mother was 100% Polish (had some very Polish maiden name that escapes me), but am not sure if she was American born or immigrated. My father's father was 1/2 polish and 1/2 Greek (his father was Greek).....again, don't know if my grandfather on that side is American born or if he immigrated. I do know that the Greek great-grandfather (Panus, my surname, shortened from something like Panonopolius) immigrated, as I have a very vague memory of meeting him once when I was about 3 years old. Whether that immigration was after or before my grandfather was born, I do not know.

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Both mom and dad fell off the spagetti boat along with their families before WW1. Both families are Abbruzzieze.

 

My father's people are from Atri, squeezed between the Gran Sasso mountain and the Adriatic. My grandfather was a shoemaker and did the same job in Philadelphia when they settled here. He opened a shop in North Philadelphia and had "Merigan" clientele. Very comfortable.

 

My mother's people are from Torre di Passerae, about 30 miles south of Atri and up in the hills. Real gavones (Italian for hillbillys. smile.gif )

 

My grandfather was illiterate but started a huckster business in South Philly and prospered by dint of hard work. He started with him and a push cart but wound up with two horses and wagons and three employees between the wars. icon14.gif

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anyone out there recall a butcher shop in Elizabeth NJ area, that may have been called "Fischers"? (my granfathers shop, started when he got out of the marines in the late 40s). let me know if you recall the place...

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Yes and no...

 

Both sides of the family were so far back in the hills that it took WWII shipbuilding to get them out. Grandpa and Greatgrandpa cut rr ties and made moonshine. Greatgrandma supported the entire extended family during the depression by working in the hospital laundry days and taking in private laundry at home. The first time I met her she was still living in a small cabin with outdoor plumbing, water from the "crick" and a wood cookstove.

 

How long has the family been "backwoods"? Only God knows...

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Dad was from "standard" potato famine Irish stock via Kentucky. Mom's folks are interesting-her dad is a direct descendant of Ensign Charles Ewart-pubs all over Scotland.

Her mom's great grandfather was a whaling ship Captain out of New Bedford and lived in Keene NH. Amos Eald. The rumor was that he had an entire "other" family in Australia, where he would go to unload every other trip. Never looked beyond that.

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Father's side of the family is Cherokee and Irish.... also a whole bunch of bootleggers.

 

Mother's side is German/Irish... came to MD from Germany and Ireland for the American Dream.

 

what it all means for me... I should probably avoid alcohol..

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an uncle traced us back 6 generations to Greece. My grandmother lived until she was about 15 in the same small village with Stavros Nicarcos -one of the richest ship owners in the world. I think a great grandchild went out with paris hilton. Damm, what could have been smile.gif

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A lot of family members have done research. My uncle has done the most. He has traced all sides of the family back to Germany and what had been Germany. He has researched public records over there and contacted a lot of people with the same last name. They invited us to a family re-union last year at Rudolstadt Germany. My wife and I went to the re-union with some other relatives from here. We had a great time. They sure knew how to party.

 

My mothers side is from Germany, Denmark, and Norway.

 

Both sides of the family orginally settled in Wisconsin from about the 1830s to 1850s.

 

Someone was asking about doing research. The local and State Historical Societies can be real good resources. In the Wisconsin Counties I was looking up there is a lot of information.

 

Robert where in Wisconsin are your relatives from?

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