Monday, June 6

The Italians hit Ellis Island

Grandma Rossow's ship to the US

My Italian grandparents came to this country with very little in the 1910's. Grandma arrived a couple years after her husband, traveling with two little girls having buried her oldest daughter two months before making the 3 week trek, by foot, to get on a ship in Rome that would land in NYC about 20 days later. 

Arriving in Ellis Island, she waited in the barracks for another month. Her husband needed to travel 6 hours to meet her but more importantly, he needed to take time off from his job and bring the balance of fare owed. She was a tough broad. 

Despite the hardships, they raised their many children, not speaking the language and with very little money in a house they bought with cash, that's right... cash. Grandma along with most mothers in her generation, didn't work outside the home but kept a big garden, preserving everything and wasting nothing, mending clothes, keeping house. Both of my grandmothers lived a very hard life but I don't know if they knew that. Every generation moves ahead a bit and my great grandmothers likely saw their daughters as living in luxury in the United States. These were some of the strongest women I never knew. Not only did they survive, they flourished. 

They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time. By keeping our ancestors alive thru their food, they will live on for generations..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carol Ann,

    Thank you for commenting about the Irish of St. Columban, interesting, eh?
    Your blog is beautiful and how wonderful to have a photo of the ship your ancestor immigrated to the U.S., I'm jealous. :-)
    Linda @ The Past Whispers