Saturday, October 5, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: One of Your Immigrant Ancestors

All of us have immigrant ancestors of some sort, although some can be researched more easily than others.  This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver asks us to choose one of those ancestors to discuss:

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

Tell us about one of your immigrant ancestors.  Where and when did he come from, how did he migrate, where did he land, where did he settle?

(2) Share your immigrant ancestor information in your own blog post or on Facebook, and leave a link to it in the comments.

Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting this topic.

Unlike Randy, my family is made up of much more recent immigrants.  On my mother's side of the family, the least recent arriving family member came in 1904.  On my father's side, however, the most recent came in 1890.  I think I'll write about her today.

Jane, about 1881
My great-grandmother Jane Dunstan was born April 28, 1871 in Manchester, Lancashire, England to parents Frederick Dunstan and Martha Winn.  Her father died when she was 3 years old, and I'm sure the family went through difficult times.  In the 1881 census the family was enumerated at 48 Owen Street, Hulme, Lancashire.  Jane's mother died about 1884, when she was about 13.  I don't know with whom she lived after that point, but she immigrated to the United States on October 21, 1890, arriving in Philadelphia on the Lord Clive, and thereby missing the 1891 English census.  (Jane's older brother, Frederick Cleworth Dunstan, also came to the United States, but I have not found him on a passenger list, so I don't know which sibling came first, although I suspect it was Fred.)

Soon after Jane's arrival into Philadelphia, she apparently moved to New Jersey, because there she married Thomas Kirkland Gauntt on September 2, 1891 in Greensand, Middlesex County.  Upon her marriage Jane instantly became a U.S. citizen, because she was a female foreign national marrying a male citizen.

Between January 7, 1892 and December 30, 1914, Thomas and Jane had ten children that I know of, seven of whom lived to adulthood.  My grandmother Anna Gauntt was the second child and oldest daughter.  It is interesting to note that the first child was born only four months after the marriage.  Perhaps that is why Thomas and Jane married in Middlesex County instead of Thomas' home of Burlington County?

In every census (both federal and state) in which I have found Thomas and Jane, they are living in Burlington County, except for 1895, when they were living in Camden County.  Thomas was almost always listed as a farmer or farm laborer, but in 1910 he was working as an insurance agent.

Thomas (left) and Jane (middle)
with granddaughter Esther
My father knew his grandparents and remembered that his grandmother maintained an English accent all of her life.  Not only that, her accent might have worn off on her husband, whom my father also remembered as speaking with a slight English accent.

Thomas died January 21, 1951, leaving Jane a widow.  She lived only a few more years after that, dying on August 1, 1954.  They are both buried in Brotherhood Cemetery, Hainesport, Burlington County, New Jersey.


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