Fearless Females 19 March 2016: Surprising Fact

The prompt for 19 March 2016 is to write about a surprising fact you uncovered about a female ancestor.

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.”

Record of Detained Aliens, Verona Straka, Year: 1922; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3155; Line: 1; Page Number: 83; Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, US, accesses March 2010. 

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!

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
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