Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 27 ~ Bella At the Border

Immigration in my family, at least on my well-documented maternal side, meant “coming to the States” from Canada.

Even though I have recently reached far enough back to discover American colonials who went on to settle in the frontier Maritimes, it is the migration from the Stewiacke Valley of Nova Scotia to Portland, Maine, that I wish to focus on here.

As outlined in prior posts, and described under the Tab above, three Hamilton women accompanied their soon-to-be Bustin husbands to the States in the early 1910’s. Their husbands went to work on the Maine Central Railroad, and they started their families
It wasn’t until twenty years later, however, about a year before the birth of my mother, that my recently widowed great great grandmother, Isabella Fulton MacKay, decided it was finally time to “come to the States.”

The following manifest card1documents Bella’s crossing the border at Vanceboro, Maine, on October 30, 1930. She is a 65-year old woman, born in East Jordan, Nova Scotia. She was coming from Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, and she was bound for Portland, Maine.

The name of her nearest relative at her destination was her son, Daniel G. Hamilton, my great great uncle, who was living at 67 College St. in Portland at the time. Her departure contact was George B. Hamilton, in Upper Stewiacke, N.S., my great great uncle Brad.

I haven’t pinned down just how long Bella stayed in Portland. At the time of her death in 1945, she was back in the Stewiacke Valley.

Left to right: Melvina, Ross, Marilyn (in arms), Bella
circa 1932 Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1954 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog is presenting her Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month series in honor of National Women’s History Month.

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