Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sepia Saturday 129–Dining Alfresco

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

Sepia Saturday June 9, 2012

Webster Family in or on way to Illinois
Click to Enlarge
This isn’t a group of people having tea, but they are having a meal together.  And while this is a rustic setting in contrast with the refined and elegant style in the photo prompt for this week’s Sepia Saturday challenge, it is nonetheless a compelling photo when you discover the story behind this scene.

This is a photo of my mom (the young girl standing on the left) with her brothers, step-mom, and grandma.  I’m assuming my grandpa, Debs Webster, was taking the picture, since he’s not in the photo.

Now imagine that you have just left the country where you were born, boarded a ship, and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.  You have left most of your family behind in Brazil.  Thankfully someone in your family speaks English, but the rest of you do not, or are not fluent in the language.  The year is 1952.  You buy a car after you arrive and some sleeping bags and camping equipment to help you on your journey.  This is what my mom and her family did.  They emigrated from Brazil to the United States of America and subsequently became citizens of this great nation.  This is a photo of one of their stops while they were traveling across the United States by car from New York City, where they arrived in the U.S., to their final destination of Southern California. 

In previous posts I have explained how my grandfather Debs, while still living in Brazil, was able to make contact with his uncle Rollin Webster, who lived in Chicago, Illinois.  And if you’ve read about Debs’ father, Watson Emory (Frederick) Webster, a.k.a. The Traveling Dentist, then you understand how this branch of the Webster tree ended up in Brazil.

I will be continuing the story of my Webster family coming full circle from the U.S.A. to Brazil and back again in future posts.  I’m looking forward to sharing with you some early ‘50s postcards that were purchased along the way as my mom and her family traveled across the United States.

What about your family?  Do you have any emigration/immigration stories you would like to share?

For more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Jana Last 2012

24 comments:

  1. What a wonderful photo and story of your family!

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!

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  2. The closest immigration story I have is my great-grandmother coming over from Ireland, but there's no language barrier to report. As a matter of fact, there's no story to report as I don't have any information about her journey. She came before Ellis Island. So why did your family come by way of New York? Wouldn't it have been quicker to go directly to California? Did ships not travel in that direction?

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    1. Hello Wendy! There must be a story hiding somewhere regarding your great-grandmother's immigration. Perhaps it just hasn't been discovered yet? Maybe some distant relative has a journal or something.

      My mom and her family were from Sao Paulo, Brazil, so they were on the Atlantic Ocean side of South America, which would make it much easier to go to New York than California. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments! I really do appreciate it!

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  3. I never would have guessed the story behind what looks like any other picnic. It will be interesting to read more of your family's travels.

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    1. Yes, it does indeed look like any other picnic doesn't it? I am looking forward to sharing the early '50s postcards too. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

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  4. What a wonderful story and photo. Thank you for sharing. It is so hard to imagine the courage it took for people to leave their loved ones and move to a new country. Many of those who left to come to Australia, knew that they would never see their families again.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sharon! Yes, I'm amazed at the courage it took for my mom and her family to pick up and move to another country.

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  5. I can see why that pictures pinpoints thea remarkable event in your family history. So this is the ‘Diamond Jubilee Year’ of their emigration then? I told the story on my blog a few weeks ago of my Great Uncle Abert who emigrated to Australia in the twenties. His family never saw him in the flesh again as people didn’t make that huge journey back to England once they’d settled.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! I really appreciate it!

      I love your "Diamond Jubilee Year" analogy! Wow! Until you said that, I hadn't really realized it has actually been 60 years this summer since they immigrated to the U.S. Thanks for the reminder! We'll have to do something special to celebrate.

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  6. Great story and photo. I have just 'inherited' a series of envelopes containing the draft of the life story of the father of my son-in-law. He was born in Poland and emigrated to the USA via Australia after being in a concentration camp at the end of WWII. I 'm hoping that I will be able to tell his story on my blog and/or SS in the future.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commnenting on my blog Bob! I really do appreciate it!

      Wow, the life story you inherited sounds fascinating! I do hope you are able to share it.

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  7. This was a wonderful post and story. You are so fortunate. I do have some stories about their migration and moving about in the USA but very few photos. I did not start my genealogy trek until my grandparents were gone and any relative too old now to remember. I will be following. Glad you explained why NY because I was wondering the same thing.
    QMM

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    1. Hello Peggy! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. I wish I had started doing my family history research BEFORE my grandfather passed away (sigh). I could have asked him so many questions that I now have. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them!

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  8. Thank you for posting this photo and this story! I love your style of writing these very precious family stories. I cannot thank you enough for the hard work you putting in to preserve our family's history.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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    1. Thank you Cindy! I appreciate your compliment and your comments so very much! Coming from you it means a great deal!

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  9. That must have been a very exciting trip across country. It's exciting even when you haven't just come from Brazil so I can only imagine the extras - new language, different weather, new flora and fauna.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Kristin! I agree with you that the trip must have been quite exciting. My mom told me that it was so hot when they arrived in July of 1952. They had just come from Winter in Brazil.

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  10. The photograph is a wonderful one : the faces almost reflect the point you make in the text about the enormity of leaving behind your family and your culture and travelling to a new world. This seems to be the story of the USA : whether in the seventeenth century or the twentieth.

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    1. Thank you so very much Alan for stopping by my blog and for your comments! I really do appreciate it. I hope you are having a wonderful time on your holiday.

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  11. I have a similar picture of my family at a roadside picnic table but it was just a simple vacation. What an adventure that must have been for your family. It would have taken a lot of courage.
    Barbara

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    1. Hello Barbara! I agree with you that this adventure must have taken a lot of courage. I wonder if I would have been brave enough to do what they did.

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  12. Wow, what a journey for your family. So much going on behind that photo. I look forward to catching up with the background on your blog ...

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    1. Hello! I'm so glad you stopped by to read my blog. I really appreciate it. I've been reading your blog too and it's great!

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