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Ancestor's and Relative's Stories

Please write the story in your own words of how your relative(s) came to the U.S. Since some of these stories may be from many generations back, it may only be a sentence or two that has been passed down. That is fine! It does not have to be thorough or documented. Whatever you have heard about how your ancestors came to the US and what happened after they arrived, I would like to hear about it.

Feel free to write it in whatever way you wish. The topics below are only there to help you organize your thoughts, if you wish to use them. Feel free to answer all of them, some of them, or none of them. If you do choose to use them, your responses in the boxes provided will be forwarded to me when you click on the "submit" button at the bottom. If you wish to change or add something at a later date, feel free to email me, letting me know the name you used in the previous story. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY SHOW UP ANYWHERE. If you want me to contact you about the story, please enter your email address in the first section on question #4. You must also sign the release of information before I am allowed to put your story on the web. Please click on the “release” button below the “submit” button at the bottom of the page.


General Information

  1. "Your name" and name of relative. (If not known, you may choose a name or a description, "grandfather." If you choose a description, please add some other identifying name or word such as, "grandfather Morgan.")
  2. Dates of immigration and country of origin? Relationship to you?
  3. Person still living and if so, do you have contact?
  4. If I have further questions about your story, may I contact you? If so, please enter your email address, mail address or phone number, whichever one is the best way to get in touch with you:

Leaving Their Former Home

  1. Age and circumstances of leaving?
  2. Any family left behind?
  3. Obstacles or dangers to leaving?
  4. What stories have you heard about leaving the old country?
    a. Hopes and expectations?
    b. Feelings of leaving or about who was left behind?

The Journey Here

  1. How did they come? Port of entry?
  2. Other countries they stayed in first?
  3. If they were refugees, do you know anything about that part of their journey, including how they felt about it?
  4. Any stories about the trip itself? About the actual entering of the country?


What did they find here?

  1. Any adjustments to life here initially?
  2. Language or custom difficulties?
  3. Where did they end up?
  4. Did they live with others from the old country?
  5. Become citizens?
  6. Any stories about work or school?
  7. Any stories of discrimination because of being an immigrant?
  8. Any talk of difference between old country and US?
  9. Did they assimilate quickly or hold onto old cultural identities?
  10. Any stories about their life here?


Telling of the Story

  1. Age when you first heard this story?
  2. Impact story has had on you? On your family? (pride? shame? interest?)
  3. Does knowing your heritage impact your feelings about the country of your relatives?
  4. Do you identify with that country? ("IÍm Irish" or "IÍm African")

"Old Country" Customs

  1. Language (fully or just phrases) of former country still spoken in the home?
  2. Food, holidays, customs, music, clothes, stories, games from the former country still practiced?
  3. Does your family still live in the sub-culture of people from that country?
  4. Any keepsakes or "treasures" from the old country?
  5. Any belief systems still strongly held?
  6. Any trips back or communication with people/family from the former country?


  1. Any photographs of these relatives that I may use on the website? I would be interested in a portrait from anytime of their life, plus any pictures from their life in the old country or when they first arrived. If so, please let me know how I can get in touch with you to facilitate this.


Thank you!

I deeply appreciate you taking the time to do this. I do believe ALL stories are important. If you want to add anything further to your story at a later date, please feel free to do so. Be sure and let me know the name you used in your story when sending any additional information. -- Gretchen Morgan, stories at immigrantjourneys Dot com, P.O. Box 661467, Sacramento, CA 95866-1467

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