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View Diary: My father's naturalization document (227 comments)

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  •  My grandmother went through Ellis Island... (1+ / 0-)
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    Neon Mama

    ...back around 1900 as a 13-year old girl accompanied by her older sister, fresh off a boat from Germany, in exchange for what amounted to indentured servitude for three or four years on a dairy farm in New England.  She didn't speak a word of English when she arrived or know anyone in her new country.  When I visited Ellis Island in 2000 while on a trip to New York, it was for me a very personal, profound experience to stand on the balcony above the large room in which all initial intake processing of new immigrants took place, and clearly visualize my young grandmother standing there in line at the very spot I was looking, almost exactly 90 years earlier, as a timid young girl starting an entirely new and unfamiliar life.

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