Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vintage Immigration

 Nels Petersen, Maude Timblin
1909 - Wedding Photo

Eight years prior to their wedding, my grandpa had arrived in the U.S. as an immigrant from Denmark, with $6 in his pocket. By the time of this photo, he was working in Wyoming, where my grandma, whose family had moved there temporarily because of health reasons (at least that's my understanding) was living. My grandma was working as a waitress in a restaurant, where she met my grandpa who worked with the railroad.

Nels Petersen left Liverpool, England on January 12, 1901, arriving at New York January 19th, 1901 - on the Campania of the Cunard Line. Somehow he had made his way to England from Denmark. I don't suppose that leg of the journey would have been too difficult, since they're not that far apart.

Nels, 19 years old, was on his way to Hinckley, Illinois to stay with his sister and brother-in-law. I believe that immigrants had to have a sponsor, and they would have provided that sponsorship. Even in 1901, $6 wouldn't have taken my grandpa very far if he hadn't already had a job lined up.

Nels was my mother's father. My paternal grandfather was from Sweden, but that's another story.

So, what's the story of your ancestors? Have you ever searched for them on


Father's Day Giveaway

(Click on the link above to enter)
Ends Friday night at Midnight

Vegan, Natural, Handcrafted
...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at


This post may be linked to one or more of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and Get in My Tummy and  Cure for the Common Monday and  Clever Chicks Blog Hop and  Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and    Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and Knick of Time Interiors and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and Memories by the Mile and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday  and Love Bakes Good Cakes  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Wildcrafting Wednesday and   Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and Creative Things Thursday and Be Inspired and Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Friday Fences and  Thursday's Inspiration and  The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and Creative Things Thursday and   Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and Freedom Fridays and  Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday and  Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special


Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

if it is free i will have to check it out. i love finding out more about my family history. ( :

Trace4J said...

How cool.
What a wonderful photo.
True family treasure.
Thank you for sharing.
Woolie Hugs

Diane said...

How nice you know that info. I looked a couple years ago and came up empty; most of my relatives came from Germany. Love your grandma's dress and hair style!!

Paulette said...

Genealogy is like putting puzzle pieces together and getting to see the whole picture. My cousin Ruth from Dian's Timpanalley is our family genealogist and has found some amazing information and stories.
The photo of your grandparents is stunning, what a treasure.

Jenn said...

I love finding out about family history.. even if it's not mine :) Great photos to go along with this post... old photos speak a thousand words themselves.

Sandra said...

I love her dress, a beautiful photo from the past. my grand parents,great grand and great great grand on daddy's side were all born in GA and are all buried in the family cemetery in Manassas mothers parents, grand parents were born in FL with one great great coming from Scotland.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful photo - her hair, her dress...

Margaret Adamson said...

Isn't it wonderful that you have that photograph and the story to go with it. It was interesting reading about it. Margaret

Noelle the dreamer said...

Maude is absolutely stunning! I love to see old photos and thank you for sharing such a treasure!
Our genealogy tree goses back to 1647 and documents births, christenings, weddings and deaths so I am blessed!
God bless,

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Oh my goodness I love old photos and the stories behind them!! I have mapped out my ancestors very extensively its one of my passions!!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love love the photo! Her hair is something else.

All our ancestors, in true family style, DID NOT come through Ellis Island. We were so sad to not find them there. We have found some of their immigration records, so that was fun. A few came through Castle Garden. Which was the immigration center before Ellis Island was built in 1890. You can also search their records for free on

Meggie said...

I have also done extensive work on my ancestry. I just wrote a post, earlier this morning, about the Gibson Girl of the early 1900's. I love these old photos. Nice post!

Denise said...

Enjoyed this.

podso said...

I see we share a love of family history. Much of my family history--both sides, has already been researched and written and I've heard the stories growing up, I have a blog for our families for both my father and my mother's sides and I seem to have been by default the "keeper of the stuff"---I was the one my parents' lived near, they both kept it for their families, and now my attics are full. I love it though. My question is, when will the next generation start loving it? I feel like I was always interested, but it might have come from my parents' love of it and talking about it so much. Fun stuff!

Maple Lane said...

How fascinating. Such a treasured photo!

Chatty Crone said...

Your grandmother was so beautiful! I loved that picture. Sandie

Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

I love your story. I blog about food. I found a recipe that my grandmother used to make. When I asked my sister, she did not remember it so I went on line to research it. Turns out it is a cake that French grandmothers (grandm√©res) teach because it is so easy. It is based on a yogurt cup (1/2 cup) 1 yogurt, 2 sugar, 3 egg, plus eggs and leavening. Then a lady in France read it and wrote to me. She sent me the ship’s docket where my ancestors boarded a ship in La Havre France with 8 children. The youngest were 1-year-old twins. Imagine traveling all that way with such young children. They landed in New Orleans, then up the Mississippi to St. Louis. I love blogging and my readers. If you are interested you can read my post called Grandma Cooking.

Sorry for the long story.

Eileen said...

Lovely to have that information and such a lovely photo of your grandparents.

My sister researched our family tree after my parents died. Dad was always insistent that our name was spelt with an 'E' although the most common spelling is with an 'O'.
Sister discovered that our ancestors came over from Ireland and it was at that time our name was misspelled to the 'E", they were most probably illiterate which was quite common then too.
My Dad would have been so upset had he known the truth!!

Cynthia said...

I am really a big fan of old photos, what a treasure! Great that you found some information, Have a great weekend!


Candace said...

Great post, Judy! I love your photograph. Your grandmother was gorgeous!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Your grandmother is absoluely stunning! And your grandfathe is a dapper, handsome chap as well.

My last ancestor to come over came from Scotland prior to1819. My first one to come over came prior to 1616. Most of my ancestry is English and Scottish, but I have French Huegenots, too. I am a huge genealogy buff, and my father's lines are truly fascinating, particularly his paternal ones.

Something I found of interest, Judy, is the fact that my Scottish lines are heavily Nomran. Many of our Scottish suranmes were Norman in origin. But through one of my obscure English lines, I have some pretty interesting ancestory going back to Eleanor of Aquataine and beyond to Charlemagne on her husband's line. If you can find a "gateway" ancestor, it opens up a fascinating world. I've learned about European history by studying the lines of this gateway ancesstress who is connected directly to many noble and royal houses. Some great people, and some not so greeat as in all of life.

But that aside, I have just tons and tons of ministers in my ancestry... Presbyterians, Anglicans, Purtians, etc. They go back to the founding of America and beyond. Tthose are the ones who interest me the most because many of them risked life and limb to spread the Gospel, the Good News of The Lord.



Joni Rana said...

I am fully agree with your given article information.Thank you for sharing your blog information.
Immigration Consultants in Mohali

Debra @ Homespun said...

I love her beautiful hair and dress. what gorgeous picture! I have alot of info and pics for a post someday...enough for a series! I need to do that one of these days for sure, as your post reminded me! :)

Debra @ Homespun said...

I love her beautiful hair and dress. what gorgeous picture! I have alot of info and pics for a post someday...enough for a series! I need to do that one of these days for sure, as your post reminded me! :)

Claudia said...

That photo is beautiful. Her hair, the dress...simply lovely. I'm not sure exactly how my family members got here - several of them immigrated to Canada from England and then found their way to the States.

Thanks so much for joining in this week.


Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Isn't it amazing how they started with so little but came so far! Love your priceless family photo!!

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Judy, This topic was fascinating to read. The photograph is priceless and I love how Nels looks..... very smart, but there is a certain something in his eyes which says " he is like the cat that got the cream"..... Maude is beautiful.
I have never traced my ancestors, but I think maybe I should after reading your fascinating story.
Best wishes to you,

Empty Nester said...

Never thought about searching on that site but I have used I'm in love with Wyoming. I found a series on A&E---Longmire---and I am addicted! He's a sheriff in Wyoming. Now, I want to move to Wyoming. Until the first winter. LOL

Jamie said...

I love that old photograph! I have quite a few hanging up in my home. There's nothing like knowing where you come from! I'm a descendent of the first american poet, Anne Bradstreet and from Chippewa Indians on my Mom's side of the family. I don't know a lot about my Dad's side of that family. Just that my great grandparents were French Canadians. I loved it when they would talk to each other in French and it was always such a mystery about what they were talking about! I should really look into the parts of the family that I don't know anything about though. Thanks for sharing your story! Visiting from Knick of Time Tuedays. ~ Jamie

J_on_tour said...

Fascinating story & photos. It's nice that you managed to get the ticket information.
Best not go there with my ancestors as a younger distant relative once did a project at school and found out that they were less desirable Glaswegians & my Mothers ancestors moved to Scotland from Southern Ireland for work.


Related Posts with Thumbnails