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29 September 2013

Did They Really Meet on the Boat?

Stories of ancestors meeting on the boat or immediately on their arrival are usually nostalgic and romantic, but is that story necessarily true?

One of my ancestral couples born in different villages twenty miles apart married in Illinois in the 1870s. The husband could be located in records from his village of birth. The wife's birth village could not be read on records in the United States. It turned out she was born twenty miles away from her future husband, but her parents moved when she was a small child and she and her husband had known each other "back across the pond."

There she appeared in the church confirmation records in her husband's village with a reference that included her place of birth elsewhere. Even though they born quite a distance apart, they had known each other "in the old village" after all.

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