The ship's manifest. The document that tells you when your ancestor arrived in the 'new world'. I have part of a manifest from 1923 which I chose because it is typed and you can mostly read it. Earlier ones are hand-written and can be quite a challenge to decipher.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
You've decided to create a family tree. Do you have any idea how much time it will take?
I started my tree way back around 2000. I found a few documents online and added my grandfather's names to the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island. But, I was working full-time. I had other things to do besides sit at my computer. My labor of love would have to wait.
And that is truly what it is - a Labor of Love. My curiosity about how my family came to be in America. Not all of my relatives are here. Many still remain in Italy and present-day Poland. Others are spread all over the world - Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, England, France and who knows where else. Some Italian relatives moved to Germany in the late 1800's and I have no idea if they ever left.
But like volunteering - for which I received a local award years ago - it is the pleasure we derive from our efforts with no remuneration.
I started this in earnest about seven years ago. Even after retirement in 2008 I was still active with Legislative issues in our state and then I was volunteering at the local hospital in the pastry kitchen. Then one day I was sitting home babysitting Charlie, who turned seven yesterday, I found I had plenty of time while he was napping. And I got to do some serious work.
And I have loved every minute of it. The wonderful folks I have met online, even those I am not related to who just have questions. The discoveries I have made and the sleuthing I get to do to try to fit all the pieces together. I've started keeping track of addresses and if folks are the same age living in the same house, I've starting assuming they are siblings. And if I am wrong, who cares.
It is a hobby. A labor of love. And I hope the family I leave behind appreciates the time I put into this. Because someday they may have questions about their ancestors, and I will have provided some answers. Way more answers than I had when I started this.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Koochiching - Ojibway word meaning "neighbor lake and river".
My mother was born in International Falls, Minnesota. The family had originally settled in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, where I still have lots of cousins. There is a border crossing there that leads to International Falls, 1 mile away.
International Falls is the county seat of Koochiching, Minnesota. Okay, I am stretching it here but the only other K I had was my Kozimor family from Galicia.
At least it appears they have a decent border crossing station here. I have made two trips around Lake Superior and on one of the entrances to America when traveling to St. Louis county which is just to the east of Koochiching, there was a mailbox where you filled out a form and left it. I doubt that situation still exists.
And while I have made the two exhausting, but beautiful trips around the lake and have visited both areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I never got to International Falls.
There is nothing like living in a sparsely populated (13,300) area. The county's website even has the prisoners online.
For those of you who may have been fans of Rocky and Bullwinkle (I have now gotten Charlie interested as new episodes are on Amazon), Frostbite Falls is based on International Falls.