Immigrants to the U.S.

I’m copy-editing some stuff on early 20th century immigration to the U.S., so thinking of my maternal grandparents, who came over from Lithuania about a century ago. On my dad’s side, most of them came over in mid to late 18th century.

How recent is the most recent immigration in your family?

My father’s parents came over from East Galway around the turn of the last century. I don’t even know if they knew each other before they emigrated. They married here.

My father’s parents came from Palermo, Sicily.

I was born in a different country. My adoptive parents actually were already here when I was born, so I didn’t emigrate until I was four, and they tell me I was scared of all the “ghosts” (white people).

Well, although I did find my Dad on a list coming through Ellis Island at the age of 12, I also know that it was as a result of my grandparents taking him around the world on a vacation, along with his 2 younger brothers :smiley:

Other than that, my mom comes from amish stock that came over in the early 1700s and moved west, and my dad’s side of the family has been here since 1630 something [second Mayflower] on the english side and a bit later for the dutch side [back when it was Niew Amsterdam. We used to have a family portrait that looked like the lid of a box od Dutch Master Cigars, except it had an adult man, his wife 4 kids and a little fluffy dog. Everybody seemed to be dressed festively in black and looked very constipated sigh]

My grandfather’s dad was brought here from Mexico during their revolution.

On my father’s side it’s the grandparents. Both were born in Canada of recent immigrants from Alsace.(late 1800s).

Mom’s side of the family has been mucking about on these shores since Jamestown.

Why is this a public poll?

I didn’t vote, because I’m not really sure whether I should count my mother or my great-grandparents.


  1. parent, 1960s. Half of mom’s family was never in the US, but she did have an American-born grandmother (herself the daughter of immigrants) and another grandparent who had passed through the US. So on that side:

g-g-grandparents, 1880s, but it didn’t take;
g-grandparent, 1900s, but it didn’t take either;
parent, 1960s, but then I left myself!


  1. g-grandparents, 1900s (from Italy). Prior to that it was g-g-g-g-grandparents, 1830s (from Switzerland). Prior to THAT, no immigration since well before the Revolution.

So far back I have no idea when it comes to my family. I was told our ancestors were Irish. That’s all I know.

But my beloved Mig came to the US from Mexico to work in tobacco at age 12. He’s been here 20 years now but thankfully moved away from tobacco work, which is dreadful.
Especially for children.

On my father’s side all of my great-grandparents were Serbs who entered the country in the early 1900’s from then Austro-Hungarian Croatia. On my mother’s side one g-g-grandmother entered the country from somewhere in Germany in the second half of the 19th century. The others reach back farther than that in the U.S., how much I do not know.

I had two grandparents come over in the early 1900’s, and all four of my wife’s grandparents came over about the same time.

Houston’s PBS station has been showing Children of the Revolucion. It was produced by San Antonio’s PBS station, since so many of those “children” ended up there.

Hey, you can watch it online!

1/4 of my ancestry comes straight through Ellis Island (one had served in the British Army before deciding to move to NJ), but I am also descended from a Mayflower passenger, so mine is stretched out quite a bit.

I think the most recent is my father’s mother’s father. They came over from Ireland in the 1880’s, I think, but spent time in Canada first. Arrived in Sacramento in the 1890’s.

I only know my dad’s side, and then only the males. My Great-grandfather was born in Saxony, but he come over when he was very young with his mother in the 1840s. No mention of a father so I’m not sure if she was widowed or divorced. Can’t find a record of a great-great grandfather. Mom’s side was Irish - not sure when they emigrated.

It’s a bit more complicated than the poll indicates, I would think.

On my father’s male side:
My great grandparents: Immigration from Germany in 1842

On his mother’s side: I can trace my 4th great grandfather to 1768.

On my mother’s male side: A direct line to a 6th great grandfather in prior to 1643.

On her female side: Mayflower travelers William Brewster (10th great grandfather) in 1620, and William Bradford (same data).

Because I thought it would be interesting to see who answered what.

It’s absolutely more complicated than that – but I was specifically interested in how recently people or their forbears had come to the U.S., which is why I phrased the OP the way I did.

If you wanted to, you could set up a companion poll of “how far back is the earliest immigrant that you know of in your family?” For me, that would be “earlier than that” for the Penna. Dutch and English on my dad’s side who came over before the Revolution. Not all of his side goes back that far – there’s a little Irish from the mid 19th century as well.

But that wasn’t what I was specifically curious about.

My ancestors arrived here pre-revolution, 1750’s.

One (maybe two) great-grandparents born in Germany, and possibly one great-grandparent born in Ireland.

(My son’s mother was born abroad, but by “family” the OP means “direct ancestors of ‘EGO’”)