True Immigrant Tales: “We All Stood There Naked”

[A Czech immigrant woman tells of her journey from Prague to Rotterdam and then in steerage to America in 1920.] “Three days and three nights were spent riding in local trains from Prague to Rotterdam. At Oldenzaal, four stations distant from Rotterdam, all our baggage was taken from without an explanation why this was done. … More True Immigrant Tales: “We All Stood There Naked”

True Immigrant Tales: “I Knew It Was a Good Country”

[This is another firsthand immigrant account from my oral history collection.] “I was born in Queens County, Ireland, in 1911.  I was one of thirteen children, with six brothers and six sisters.  I attended school until 10th grade, which was the maximum education offered at that time.  On the farm where we lived, I helped … More True Immigrant Tales: “I Knew It Was a Good Country”

True Immigrant Tales: Trip from Tipperary in 1920

[This is another in a series of firsthand accounts from my immigrant oral histories collection] “Like many more immigrants like myself, I came to this country to seek a living, because living over there [in Tipperary, Ireland] was very, very poor.  Work was scarce and hard.  I worked on a farm.  I would get up … More True Immigrant Tales: Trip from Tipperary in 1920

True Immigrant Tales: Jordan’s Adventures Continue

[This is a continuation of last week’s blog, which you may want to read first.  Jordan’s story comes from my oral history collection.] “When we were taken to Ellis Island, naturally, there were hundreds of us and we were led, almost like sheep, here and there, and we didn’t know where we were going.  Each … More True Immigrant Tales: Jordan’s Adventures Continue

Scottish Teen Tells of Her 1921 Journey in Steerage

[From my immigrant oral histories collection: This is the story of Helen, who sailed from Glascow, Scotland, in 1921.  She was 14 and traveled with her mother and three brothers to rejoin her father who had left for America a year earlier.]  “It may sound terrible, but I have no love, no feelings at all … More Scottish Teen Tells of Her 1921 Journey in Steerage

True Immigrant Stories: Young Teenager at Ellis Island

[This is another true immigrant story from my oral history collection, gathered as part of my research for the historical novel, Guardians of the Gate.  In 1925 at age 13, Heinz sailed alone from Bremen to live with his aunt and uncle in the United States. “We arrived on Election Day and our ship was … More True Immigrant Stories: Young Teenager at Ellis Island