Sunday, October 5, 2014

So My Nephew Asked Me...

... about the family tree.

Specifically, he's covering immigration in school (4th grade) and his teacher wanted the kids to sort out who the first immigrant in the family was, and when.

That's sort of an interesting challenge for this family tree!

So - where do we even start?   Or end for that matter?

(For the purposes of privacy, we'll call the nephew "B".)

In the simplest case, we're looking at the migration to (roughly) Lawrence MA from Ireland (on his grandfather's side) or Québec (on his grandmother's side), and back between 3 and 5 generations (for him).

OK - here are my nephew's great-great grandparents on his maternal father's line:

1, 2) Jeffrey Donahue (1875-1967) who arrived from Limerick, Ireland somewhere between 1896-1898.   Ellen Fitzgerald (1879-1974) who arrived from Limerick, Ireland in 1899.  They married in Lawrence in 1902.

3, 4) Herbert L. Hall (1877-1929) was born in Lawrence, so the immigrant is his 3rd great-grandparents, Edwin Hall born in England, and Bridget McLaughlin, but I don't have any other information about them (dates, or when they arrived).    Herbert's wife, Rebecca Lewington also was born in Lawrence, so the immigrants are her parents (B's 3rd great-grandparents) Thomas Lewington (1838-?) born in England, and arriving here in 1870.   His wife, Anne Scanlon (1838-?) was born in Ireland, and (presumably) came here with her husband in 1870 because by then they have at least two children.

Things get VERY interesting on B's mother's maternal line!

5, 6) B's great-great grandfather John Patrick Bradish (1868-1942) arrived in the US in 1878.   But he was actually born in India!  His father - Joseph Bradish (1836-) was a serviceman from England stationed there with his family when he was born.   They settled near Buffalo, NY.   His wife, Florence Murphy (1860-1941) grew up on a farm in NY, but wanted to live in the city.  Her parents, (B's 3rd great-grandparents)  James Elias Murphy (1822-1896) and Bridget Burke (1822-1898) both grew up in Ireland, and moved to the US in 1849.

7, 8) Finally, the last set of great-great grandparents came from Québec.   Elusippe Guimond (1871-1926) moved to Lawrence from Lotbinière, Québec around 1905 (there's other information to suggest that he might have actually first come down here on his own in 1884 at the age of 13, but I'm not sure about that) with his wife, Ernestine Vandreuil (1875-1916) and family.

What did these people do?    Jeffrey Donahue owned a tavern in South Lawrence.   Elusippe Guimond worked in the textile mills.   John Patrick Bradish was (for some time) a stage actor.   James Elias Murphy was a farmer.

But what about earlier immigration?   In the case of the Québec ancestry it's not a simple question because there were definitely border crossings into the "US" sometimes before it was part of the US.  There are several branches of the Guimond family that lived in the Détroit encampment which was originally part of New France until the Louisiana Purchase.   Likewise, our ancestors also lived in the "French" towns of Saint Louis (now Missouri) and New Orleans.   Peter Guimond dit Demo lived in Vermont just over the border (after spending almost 30 years with the Native Americans) in the 1820s.

Of course in terms of "stories about immigration" one need only look 4-5 generations FURTHER back, not in the US but in Québec.    B's ancestors include ALL of the major families that first settled Québec:  the Desportes, Martin, Langlois, Hébert, Morin and other families coming from France in the first years of the 1600s (before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth).

No comments:

Post a Comment