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  1. I decided to start this thread as a way to get links to where your ancestors were honored fighting in wars! My ancestor on my dad's mom's side fought on the Union side of the American Civil War! The problem is, he was either Irish/Northern Irish. I already know that he registered on a different name and know what the name was. Are their any websites dedicated to foreigners who fought in American wars/vice versa? You can add your questions/stories here! I want to find out if my great-great-great-grandfather has a memorial dedicated to him and the other foreigners who fought, because I would like to bring his grave flowers on Memorial day and honor him. My grandfather on my dad's side fought on the American side during WWII, and every other year we bring flowers to his grave/try to. * sorry for showing off * Thoughts, feels on your stories?
  2. samurai_sarah

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    What are your favourite resources? How did you get interested? Let's start chatting.
  3. So this is a very specific scenario but it's brought up more questions than answers. I'll try to be succinct. Family history per our parents/grandpa: Our paternal grandfather was one of 9-13 kids, all or mostly boys born in Weitmar/Bochum, Germany. His parents were killed in an accident when he was a teenager and all the kids got split up and sent with various family members. Before his parents died he had quit school at an early age to work in the mines. He was the only one who was sent to America. Per my older siblings (who knew him) he never mentioned his parents nor siblings. My dad didn't even know the names of his father's siblings. So he said - he also claimed not to know how many there were but my dad never liked talking about family stuff. Several years ago I found his Ellis Island ship manifest and confirmed his age of immigration, birth date, original first name (he hated it so changed it once he got here), and occupation. He was 16 and listed as a bergmann (miner.) Confirmed that he'd come to live with an uncle/aunt and the uncle paid his passage. Address of uncle matches neighborhood where he said he lived when he got here - so far everything matches the family story. But stupid me never realized there were multiple pages to the manifest until recently and it for next of kin in country of origin it lists a name and relation is "mother." I'd always wondered what kind of accident would kill both of them at the same time, before cars, and was never able to find a train crash or anything cataclysmic for that time frame in the region (which means only that I couldn't find it.) So either the family story was false, or he lied on the manifest about next of kin back home. Now I'm fascinated. Everyone who knew him loved him - he was by all accounts a very kind and gentle man and exceptionally smart. He quit school quite young to work in the mines, but spoke 7 languages (4 fluently - English, German, Polish, and French) and knew advanced mathematics and engineering to a high degree without formal training. He was held as one of the Aliens for Special Inquiry at Ellis Island which means he was pulled aside and had to go before the board where they'd determine whether they'd let these immigrants in or deport them back. There is additional information on the special inquiry pages - and every single other person has something written in the cause for detaining column but him. Everyone! as is typical most are LPC (likely public charge - if you have to prove you can support yourself or someone else will take responsibility) or a health reason indication. There is literally nothing next to his name. He arrived on 12/31/09 and was released 01/02/10 to get on a train to Chicago. They note how many meals he ate there (they'd charge the ships for those) but no reason why he was held? I can't even find info on "what does it mean when they don't write down a reason?" I have a theory - which is based on nothing...in the description it shows his height as 5' even. He ended up as 5'7" as an adult, but my brother and one of my nephews got their height later and were very short in their early-mid teens. Men in my family tend to be late bloomers puberty wise and even as adults my dad/brother couldn't grow full beards. I'm wondering if he looked so young that they had to verify his age since he was travelling alone? I would be interested in knowing why he was held, but I'm mostly dying to know about his mother. I finally have a name but if it's his mom why did he say they were both dead before he left Germany? Or did he give another female relatives name and lie about the relationship on the document? Or did he just lie and say she was alive when she wasn't? There is one other instance of finding dodgy info regarding his family relationships. He enlisted in WWI and while stationed in Germany (as a German born but US Army solider - there were a lot of them it turns out) he met my Grandma. They married and had my dad while still in Germany. On my dad's US Consulate Birth registration (different than his German issued birth certificate) there is a notation on the back, "X says his naturalization papers are in the possession of his aunt, Jeanette (anglicized version of his aunt/uncles surname) at (listed address.) That was the address of his family (per census) but Jeanette was his cousin - not his aunt. She was a few months younger than he. And the family never anglicized the surname (think Smithski but the notation said Smith) as their death records all still have the polish suffix. So either the person writing it jotted it down wrong or he gave inaccurate information. I'd assume the US Consulate would be pretty good about getting names, right? And he loved his wife, kids, and grandkids so not like he was anti-family. Had to be a reason he never mentioned his parents or siblings...I just always assumed it was too sad but maybe there were more complex reasons. And his cousin? She outlived him by 13 years and both lived in the Chicago area until their deaths and none of my siblings remember him mentioning her or meeting her. My kids don't know extended family on my side, but there is a reason. He would have had to have had a reason, I'd think? I can't even find records so not like I'm going to be able to get into his head - but I'm dying of curiosity now and wish I'd paid more attention to the little information we were told as kids. TLDR I'm distracted and rambling while trying to psychoanalyze people who are long dead...not worth reading!
  4. I have trouble finding out my ancestry on my mom's side (she's pure American-Italian, born in America but ancestors were all Italian) on ancestry.com. Does anybody have any good, reliable sites for Italian geneaology in English? My mom's ancestors surnames appear to be very rare/uncommon. This can also be a place to link to non-American genealogy sites in English for ancestors who were in countries that didn't speak English.
  5. My mother got me into genealogy when we met her living relatives, and since then I've been tracing our family through ancestry.com until I realized that it was way too much money. I traced her maternal line through Charlemagne (although, when I gave her access to my account, she went a bit nuts and traced us back to Adam and Eve...yeah, right). Her paternal line was a lot harder, and I came to a standstill when it came to her great-grandfather. The problem I have is on my father's side. My dad was born in 1951, and he was adopted at six months, but the papers weren't official until he was about three. He refuses to look into his family. All I really have on him are his birthdate, birthplace, and birth name. What I wanted to know is if anyone knows of a resource I can find that has information on adopted people.
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