1 May 2010

Across the sea . . .

I'm always looking for new reasons to write about someone and here's a first:- today is the 113th anniversary of Isaac Greenall's first step towards naturalisation as an American citizen. Yes, I know it's a bit of a tenuous link but . . . hey!

Isaac was my first cousin three times removed (and also my third cousin twice removed) and was born in 22 December 1878 in Landbeach, Cambs, the son of Walter & Henrietta (nee Webb). By 1891 he was a blacksmith's apprentice, still in Landbeach, but plainly the wider world called to him and he & his brother Henry departed for the US of A on 24th April 1897, arriving at Ellis Island one week later.

According to the Ellis Island website, they arrived on the "Lucania" and planned to go on to Upper Falls, NY (no, I don't know where it is either). It seems, though, that Massachusetts was to be Isaac's destination and he received his naturalisation certificate whilst living at 56 Lawn Street, Boston, on 7 December 1908.

During the Great War, US Draft Registration Cards found him living in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass and we finally get to see what he looked like, courtesy of the US Passport Applications online.

In 1921 and again in 1924 he applied for a passport to travel to the UK and, here's his application:

How good is that! And, having seen other members of his family, I think I'd recognise him as a Webb. I've managed to crop the photo itself and it's probably easier to see on my website.

The other anniversary is the christening today, at St James' Church, Stretham, Cambs, of perhaps my most distant relative so far . . . . Laura Langford, like Isaac above, was related to me twice; firstly she was my fourth cousin once removed - the common ancestor we share was born in 1737 - and, are you sitting down? She was my ninth cousin twice removed. Now that's quite impressive; the common ancestor there was born in 1556. 450 years ago! I think you can say we're not close!

More soon.

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