The Little Princess had a blast showing her grandmother around. Broadway shows. Some famous restaurants. One World Trade Center. Many of the typical tourist things.
Once place they went this past weekend was Ellis Island. While they were there, my daughter sent me a text:
Do you know the name of any ancestor who came to Ellis Island? We are here and can look up namesI knew the answer off the top of my head, but thought it best to actually verify. I called up some ancestry records I had easy access to, and gave her the first part of the answer:
Ellis Island opened in 1892. All 8 of my great grandparents were born in the US prior to that date. ...And, a few minutes later, I confirmed it:
I'll check your mother's side.
All of your ancestors were in the US prior to the opening of Ellis Island facility.The Little Princess wasn't fully aware of how long her people have been here. Yes, her ancestors came to the U.S. from other countries. Only, many of them didn't come to the U.S. It didn't become the United States until well after they were settled. Many of them, anyway. There may be some that arrived in the 1790s. Records are skimpy, but I have run across one that appears to have arrived then. And that's the most recent.
That's not to take away from any families that came here during the time Ellis Island was open. But that has been played up so much that she assumed some of her ancestors came to the U.S. then.
They didn't. They were already here, welcoming those immigrants.
Or, knowing my family, giving them a rough time. Probably that.