Coming over on the Mayflower

I wonder a lot about when my grandmother came to America. From what I was told, she was born in Ireland and then later in life moved to Scotland. She had a cousin who was married and had moved to the States years earlier. She was invited by her cousin to come to Illinois and stay with them. They apparently had a motel or bed and breakfast type of place. Excited about her new adventure she sailed to America. I do know she did not come over on the Mayflower. The Mayflower was disassembled in 1624. But it was before the Titanic. The Titanic set sail in 1912. But it may have been not long before that. I picture her travels to be similar to those in the movie Titanic.

When she arrived at her cousins place, she was in for a rude awakening. She was treated kind of like Cinderella. She had to clean and cook and was treated pretty badly. I’m not sure how long she had to live with them but obviously she later got married and had two children; my dad in 1918 and his older sister. I never got to meet her or my grandfather. They were dead before any of me and my siblings were born. I have seen maybe two pictures of her total. I have a million questions that I wish I could ask her. What was it like growing up in Ireland? Why did your family move to Scotland? We’re you sad, nervous or excited to be coming to the States? Did you have someone travel with you? Was it like the movie Titanic? How did you meet your husband? See. The list of questions goes on and on.

I have met my dad’s sister several times and now wish I would have drilled her for information when she was alive. But when we did see her, we always had to be on our best behavior. I always assumed my grandmother looked similar to her and probably carried herself the same way too. Which was old but classy and with the utmost manners. I know I got my looks from my dad’s side of the family and must have gotten my personality from my mom’s.

I always wanted to write a book on her but with no source material it would be very difficult. My dad is dead, his sister is too and everyone above them. My dad wasn’t a big talker and spilled out very little information on his childhood. I don’t think I met any other relative of my dad’s besides his sister. I wonder where all his family from his father’s side were? Maybe my older siblings can put a light on this.

I wish I was patient enough to do those on-line genealogy things. Who knows if I could find something out. I try to imagine what she was like. I think she was kind, gentle, quiet and soft. In fact, I have never met any of my grandparents. All four were deceased before my life. Thankfully, I had a grandma figure in my life though, Mrs Schoemehl. She was my mom’s best friend and my godmother and lived across the street. I would go visit her a lot and talk and talk.  She was exactly what I always imagined my grandmother was like.

So the moral of the story is……
Make sure you tell your life story to your kids and grandkids if you have the chance. They may get to the age one day where they want to know their heritage.



  1. Jim Casey

    This was very interesting, I like you would like to know more about my heritage.


    • I know you meant my heritage and not yours. Lol. And yes, I always have but lack the drive to follow through. I always want to know the “whole” picture. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Susie

    Try You can go backwards–from what you do know and discover what you do not. I found grave markers, wedding and baptism records. Amazing!
    It is always free on holidays–Memorial is coming up. Give it a try–nothing to lose her, Jim and Nanette!
    To honest, Nanette, I alway thought your dad was adopted. Where the heck did I get that?
    The suggestion about asking the relatives now, is spot on. There is already so much that i wish i would have asked and written down from my dearly departed! Too late now. 😦


    • I will try it on Memorial Day. And heavens no, he wasn’t adopted. Lol.


    • I will


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