Americans, what's your/your ancestors' immigration story?

When did they arrive? How many people? Where did they come from? Did they struggle financially. How did they live when they first came here?

If they were slaves, do you know what plantations or houses they worked in? How did they escape?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • My old man got into geneology, so I actually know this.

    Father's side: Distant ancestor who first arrived in America was "WASP" or "Scots-Irish". He was actually *hijacked* and thrown onto a ship in 1630 or so. Indentured for a few years to pay for the privilege to boot! But once here, he decided to stay in New England rather than try to fight his way back to Ulster and claim land that another heir had already taken anyway. Wasn't an original "pilgrim", but married into them. Over time, descendents migrated (mid) westward and settled as small town shopkeepers in Nebraska, where Dad met Mom.

    Mother's Side: Great Grandfather who arrived in America was from Germany and the Homestead Act, combined with conscription into the Kaiser's army, motivated him to leave Germany and settle with the German immigrants in Nebraska. Ironically, Great Grandfather's children and then grandchildren wound up fighting Germans in two World Wars. Granddaughter (my mom) was a farm girl who met Dad, and I was spawned.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • My white ancestors came over on the mayflower and one winter while they were starving and dying of disease the native americans fed them which we remember this now as Thanksgiving so to never forget how weak the indians were and how we repaid them by exterminating them and stealing their land. My black ancestors didn't land on Plymouth rock, Plymouth rock landed on them.

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    • I'm fairly sure the Pilgrims on the MayFlower didn't do much exterminating, ahaha

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    • Actually, other than Squanto (Tisquantum), whose own tribe had died in a plague and had himself been hijacked (his story is truly fascinating), the first year the first Plymouth colonists didn't interact with neighboring tribes. For the next 50 years or so after that, interactions were truly peaceful. The King Phillip's War came 50 years later.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squanto
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Philip%27s_War

      What did the Indians in:
      --Farming and Livestock. Throughout history, farming and livestock people displace hunter-gathering people. They outbreed them, and they also settle permanently rather than just nomadically wandering. And this is by no means unique to America.
      --Concept of property ownership. Coming from farming and livestock above. The communal "happy hunting grounds" loses out to Mr. and Mrs. Smith's (soon to be fenced off) farm or ranch.
      --Disease. Farming and Livestock people develop resistance to diseases that hunting/gathering people do not, and many more Native Americans died from disease than actual warring.
      --Interbreeding.

    • --(to continue). Mr. Smith loses Mrs. Smith in childbirth or an epidemic? Why not take one of those squaws as the next Mrs. Smith? Interbreeding was once stigmatized, but it happened a lot anyway.

      Or to put it in terms of the f-word, while some Native Americans were "fucked over", many more were "fucked up" (by disease), and still more were "fucked" (interbreeding).

What Guys Said 5

  • My aunt from my mothers side was here in San Francisco first and my aunt from my fathers side was in Brooklyn. My mother got approved to immigrate to the US a year before my father. During that time it was very hard to go to the US from China. My father had to illegal swim across some body of water from the mainland into Hong Kong. He got caught once and lost everything he had with him and later tried again.
    Once he made it to Hong Kong he had to wait it out before getting approved to immigrate.

    When they arrived they were broke, but luckily by father was quite the handyman so he found work quick. My mother did menial jobs.

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  • i dont even know my great grand parents names so yeah...

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  • Wish my ancestor would have also migrated to america, then today i would also have been a proud American citizen

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    • You can still be an American citizen, just find a job or something and immigrate

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    • I prefer asking most questions anonymous

    • Ok got it, you prefer to be anonymous

  • On my mother's side they came here in the late 1600s from England. On my father's side in the mid to late 1800s from Czechoslovakia.

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  • Nah I don't my ancestry past my great grandma. In assuming they were slaves.

    Kinda of sad. Oh well

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What Girls Said 5

  • They were slaves. I think some of them came from a Scottish plantation because my last name is Scottish.

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  • I'm Canadian but which set? They're all sob stories honestly. Too complicated to get into.

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    • Let's say... your mother's mother?

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    • You were serious...

    • I never joke about my heritage.

  • i m not American..

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  • I know that some of my ancestors were actually Native Americans, so they were just always here. My last name is of English origin, though, but I don't know anything about that side of my family.

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    • I know most Native Americans have their Native names as last names. Redthunder, Kickingbull, Runninghorse etc.

    • My Native American ancestors were from my mother's side. I have my father's English surname.

  • They were slaves. Never escaped. When liberated we kept the plantation owners last name. That's it.

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    • When were they liberated?

    • Dont know. I guess technically hen the immancipation proclimation came, but some slave owners didn't let their slaves know and kept them for much longer.

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