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!