March 19 — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?
[Note: Portions of this post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]
One of the more interesting facts I uncovered was my grandmother’s hospital stay upon arrival at Ellis Island in August 1922. I first learned about this from the story my mother told me over 20 years ago,when I first began researching my family’s history–that my grandmother was suspected to have tuberculosis (she did not–she suffered from asthma most of her life). I then saw a notation “hospital discharged” on the passenger list. Then, I found her listed on a “Record of Detained Aliens.”
Of course it’s a relief to know that my grandmother was eventually released. I can’t imagine how she handled that situation, or how she did not catch TB from being in the hospital ward!
Isn't wonderful to find those little details. I'm glad so was okay. Little details like that make our ancestors human. It's things like that that give more character to their life story, not just a series of dates and places.