My paternal grandmother was born in London, her mother, my great grandmother on my father's mother's side (following that?) was born in Swansea on the south coast of Whales. Her name at birth was Mary Louise Broadhurst. Her father was a brick-maker. Her mother was simply listed as housewife. She was born about 1890, died in 1977 in Michigan.
She married a former coal miner, turned tunnel digger and moved to London where my grandmother and her older brother were born. On the eve of World War I, her father took a job digging tunnels in New York and the family moved to New York. After World War i, he worked in Mexico City for a couple of years sending his wife and kids back to London. After Mexico (a job that paid a fortune of about $20,000 a year) he returned to New York, and eventually worked in Chicago, Memphis, Minneapolis, Toledo and Detroit.
Nearly 15 years ago Jay and I visited Swansea. I had a photocopy of her birth and marriage records. We went into the visitors bureau in Swansea, and they were able to give us directions to the neighborhood she was born and raised in. The house was gone, lost to bombing in World War II. The church she was christened in was there. It was a nice adventure to connect with old family history.
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