For this week’s challenge the topic is “There’s a Way”. I thought that I would look at how my ancestors arrived in the Midwest by examining my maternal and paternal grandparent’s heritages.
On my mother’s side, her maternal grandparents (Charles Seeber and Ingrid Olauson) both came to the United States from Sweden. Grandpa arrived in 1892 and went to Hobart, Indiana upon arrival. Grandma left Sweden in 1894, went to Chicago, then Peoria, Illinois. Both had relatives that they stayed with when they arrived in the United States. They met at a Swedish dance hall in Rantoul, Illinois, and settled in Peoria.
My mother’s paternal grandparents (Edward R. Murphy and Katherine Hanauer) were both born in the United States. Grandpa’s family had come from Ireland (County Kilkenny in 1849 and County Down in 1830). Grandma’s family had come from Alsace Loraine (in 1847) and from Bavaria (in 1858). The Murphy family had settled in Peoria Illinois in 1850. The Hanauer family came to Peoria in 1893 from Indiana.
My father’s grandparents were all born in the United States. His paternal grandparents (Moses Thompson Adamson and Lydia Bullard) were from families who had come from England around the 1750’s.
My father's maternal grandparents (Samuel Erskine Gray and Cora Ferrel) came from families who had come from Ireland and Scotland. The most recent of my father’s family to come to the United States was in about 1830 when the Gray family came from Scotland to New York, to Chicago for a short while, then settled in Vigo County, Indiana. It is not known at this time when the Ferrel family arrived in the United States from Ireland, but it has been speculated to be as early as 1637.
It’s interesting to me that all of my family arrived in the United States and settled in the Midwest before 1900. And here I am in 2015, born and raised in Peoria, Illinois! I guess my ancestors chose wisely when they decided where to settle all those years ago!