roots paper - Grill 1 Mikayla Grill Professor Purcell CULF 1319 29 February 2016 How I Became the Grill I am Today Ive always been interested in how my

roots paper - Grill 1 Mikayla Grill Professor Purcell CULF...

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Mikayla GrillProfessor PurcellCULF 131929 February 2016How I Became the Grill I am TodayI’ve always been interested in how my family became the way we are today. Luckily for me, my aunt Sandra Reedy is a self proclaimed expert on our family. She traveled to Europe for many months in order to trace the origins of the father’s side of my family, and most of what I have learned has come from her extensive research. My family’s journey to America and how they settled is similar to many other stories of early settlers. Many of my ancestors came from Germany, and some came from Poland. Since all of my family members have been Caucasian, they did not experience terrible difficulties while making their lives in America. My family’s history in America is similar among all of our ancestors which could explain how they all met and started new families. There is nothing extremely turbulent in our family’s history as Americans, but their reasons for immigrating help us to see how the foundations of our current day family were made. Unfortunately, there is very little information known about my mother’s side of the family. Her mother Sandra was adopted and Sandra’s birth mother is still unknown, so much of our history is lost in that aspect. However, on my father’s side of the family there is a large amount of available information about our history, so my focus will be mainly on that side of thefamily. From the little that is known about my mother’s side of the family, I know that my Grill 1
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grandfather, William Szymsczack, is of Polish descent. They settled in New York and my mother’sside of the family still lives there to this day.As far as my father’s side of the family, every single one of my ancestors came from Germany. Some of them came from a northern part of Germany called Schleswig-Holstein. That part of Germany was at times ruled by the Danish, so even though they were all born in Germany, some could be considered Danish. Most came to the U.S. in the mid to late 1800’s. All of them ended up eventually settling in Iowa, which is where my father grew up. We speculated that the reason they all decided to settle in Iowa was due to a booklet called “Iowa: The Home For Immigrants” that was distributed in Germany in 1869. Germany and Iowa had similar farmlands which could be why Iowa targeted Germany for immigrants. Apparently, around the same time my ancestors immigrated to the U.S. was the time when Germany reached their peakemigration; in 1854, 215,000 Germans left their country, and many were from the Schlewsig-Holstein area. According to my aunt who spoke with a German researcher, Schlewsig-Holstein was experiencing a dip in their economy. Living and working conditions were not ideal, and climbing the social ladder was close to impossible. Land was not available or affordable in Germany, and no amount of effort seemed to be changing that for laborers. This pushed them
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