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15 October 2013

Did One Stay Home?

I've got several ancestors who immigrated with most of their siblings to the United States. In some cases all the siblings immigrated. In others, one stayed behind. Don't assume that "they all" came over just because most of them did. One might have stayed behind to care for aging parents, take over the family farm, or just because they didn't want to leave.

1 comment:

  1. I've got one German family that 5 brothers and a half-brother (different father but took the family name of the farm) who came to the same town (ca.1850-1860) but the eldest inherited the farm and his descendants still live on it (family from here have visited family there). Another German family had nothing but daughters, but one daughter inherited the farm, and the rest (5) of the daughters (either married or not) came to the same town as that first family. The mother of those daughters had two sisters who married in Germany, but all their descendants came to the very same town. Oh, and some children of the sister who remained also came to the same town late in the 19th century. Yeah, I'm related by blood to a number of people in my hometown.

    Then there is the Germany family on my mother's side of which 3 brothers settled in various parts of Indiana, and 3 others ended up in California. It's possible that another brother ended up in Philadelphia, but I have not as yet proven it. But that would still leave 7 siblings back in Baden (5 sisters & 2 brothers) which have yet to be accounted for.

    Then there was my mother's ancestors from Brabant. The immigrant wife in the family was one of one of 9 surviving children; she emigrated separately with her husband (who may have been fleeing a Belgian court decision) to Indiana in 1855 (yeah, near the same town). The entire rest of the children emigrated in 1857/58 (after the potato famine) to Wisconsin with their parents. We know all came except a son who died young, and we have found records of the liquidation of their property in Brabant. The family in Indiana rediscovered the family in Wisconsin when the mother recognized the name(s) of her siblings in the newspaper (when read to her) after the Peshtigo fire.

    Then there was my Mougin family and the Mouzin family. Descendants of both families always claimed they were cousins. Turned out when I traced both families to two nearby communes in Moselle that the closest relationship was one of marriage. The (Becheter) brother of the mother of the Mougin family had married the (Simon) sister of the mother of the Mouzin family. And although the Mougin family has a Mouzin in their pedigree and the families shared one other ancestral surname, I couldn't find a blood relationship. Though I imagine one probably exists back in the 1500s prior to church records.

    Descendants from all of those families have intermarried in Indiana. When siblings of various families emigrate en masse to the same area the resulting family trees are more tangled than the vines of a Virginia creeper on a tree trunk. It does make family history interesting.