The Random Genealogist is a web site about family , history and connections. By looking to the past we often find answers to questions we hold in the present, we come to appreciate the struggles and triumphs of those who have gone before us and catch a glimpse of how average people shaped history and were shaped by it. There has been so much talk lately about immigration, refugees, illegals, so much fear, so much misunderstanding. This morning I posted on my personal Facebook... page, a quote form Pope Francis, this was not politically motivated, just a thought for the day. The quote was, "How often in the Bible the Lord asks us to welcome migrants and foreigners, reminding us that we too are foreigners!" A woman replied to this post, a woman I have known for several years and know to be an extremely kind and compassionate woman, the kind of person who would take the food from her own mouth to feed a stranger. Her reply was that she was not against all immigrants, just illegal immigrants. I confess, I was confounded to hear this come from her and can only believe it is borne of fear of the unknown. I suspect too many people in America share such a fear. They may know illegal immigrants, but would never realize it because this is a secret that, as we have seen in recent days, must be closely guarded.
I believe that fear can only be over come by knowledge, so I would like to start a project at The Random Genealogist, to give voice to the stories of the many people hiding in the shadows. Perhaps if we can share some stories of why they came to this country and how they found them selves illegal immigrants, we can spread tolerance. But I will need your help with this project. Please spread this post , and tell your friends, family and anyone you know, that The Random Genealogist is looking to hear form Illegal immigrants, to hear their stories and will publish their stories, anonymously, on the web site. They can reach us through this Facebook group, or the web site- therandomgenealogist.com
or by mail - send letters to The Random Genealogist PO box 250 Odessa NY 14869 , or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your information anonymously, use a public computer- such as a library or send letters without return address. Use fake names- but please, send us your stories, let us help you to let your voice be heard
Please share where you came from, what was it like there when you left?, who you came with ( family , friends, parents, etc) your age when you left your country, the reason you and /or your family came to America- was it to work, to escape hardship, to go to school,? and how you came to be here, what was your journey- did you come by plane on a visa and not return, did you come secretly across the boarder? Please also share how these choices have changed your life or the lives of your loved ones and how you are feeling now.
I look forward to hearing from you, to sharing your stories and , hopefully, helping to dispel the fears and concerns of the many people like my friend to breed tolerance and understanding.
Family History is about family and connections, past, present and future. Let's help this young lady build her future. Support this cause, share this link, let's send this girl to college.
It looks like Spring may finally arrive in the Finger Lakes. Although winter never really started until January 2015 it seems like it has lasted forever. It has been an extremely cold winter this year, breaking records around the country but there are flowers poking up in my yard and that makes me smile. Spring is a time of rebirth, renewed hope and new beginnings. It is ushered in by a variety of celebrations; Passover, Easter, Ostara, all of which herald the message of rebirth, new beginnings. For many of our ancestors Spring was the time when the ships would again set out for the new world, a new life. Many of them said goodbye forever to friends and family and set off on an adventure that brought them to our great country.
Life on board emigrant ships was not pleasant. The voyage was long and hard, food and fresh water scarce and disease and illness a constant threat. Originally built to haul cargo, many of the ships used to transport our ancestors across the ocean were retrofit by dividing the cargo hold , situated between the main deck and the bottom ballast area of the ship, with partitions to create space for steerage passengers and their meager belongings. Partitions were often built to be removable so that cargo could replace steerage passengers on the ships return to its home port.
Bunks were built along the sides of the cargo bay to provide sleeping accommodations. These were made of rough planks and were meant to hold up to 5 people in one bunk. The area was small and cramped and provided little, if any, ventilation. When the waves were rough or there were storms at sea the steerage, immigrant passengers were roughly tossed about. The journey typically last two or more months. If, at the end of their journey, they arrived and were determined to be sick with a possible contagion, they were refused admission to the country and were sent back , many never reached their home ports. Some died on board, others died shortly after arrival. Yet they came by the thousands eager to embrace a new life, new possibilities, a rebirth.
To celebrate the great sacrifice of our ancestors and honor the Easter/Passover/Ostara season I welcome you to answer this one question, in 1500 words of less; Has your family realized the dream of a better life that your ancestors dreamed for you?
I will post as many of your responses as I can throughout the month of April.
May your holidays be blessed, your days warm and your flowers plentiful.
Christmas is a time of nostalgia; A time for friends and family, for hopes and dreams, wishes and miracles. Some of my favorite Christmas memories revolve around the buying and decorating of the Christmas tree, and of the house. When I as very small Christmas was a warm, special time of year, filled with the sounds of Mitch Miller singing on the record player, deliveries from Nuwer florist, my mother dancing in the kitchen while my father fought to fit the Christmas tree into the stand. Once the tree was up my father would test the lights, replace the broken bulbs and put them on the tree. We were allowed to watch from a safe, non-pestering distance. Then he would hang the garland,silver went around the tree, gold looped top to bottom. Once that was done mom would join us in the living room and we would all put on the ornaments. Mom and Dad put on the special glass ornaments, we kids put on the unbreakable. It seemed that each ornament held a different memory.
With that done there was just one thing left to do,tinsel. My Father was very particular about tinsel. It went on one piece at a time, no more than or two or three strands to a branch so there would be enough to cover the tree, but that did not stop me from the occasional toss of a handful onto a top branch here and there.
Once all the decorations were up the whole family would sit together in the living room with the tree lit and all of the other lights off. Christmas then was filled to over flowing with love and laughter. I wish all of you the same for this Holiday season.
On this page we are celebrating families, events, memories in articles and pictures. If you have some family memories or interesting family stories you would like to share send me a message along with your contribution. If selected, this is the page it will appear on.