Greener Grasses

This post inspired by Blogging U: Writing 101 – A story in a single image


On a cool August morning in Liverpool in 1904, a young apprentice painter boarded the S.S. Cedric for America. It is left to the imagination to figure how he got from his birthplace in Bergen, Norway to that emigration queue in Liverpool and even more so to understand why a 21-year-old would leave behind his father, three brothers, and all that he knew to set sail to America with only 3£ and a Brooklyn address.

On a cool October morning in New Rochelle, NY 110 years later, I wandered through Beechwoods Cemetery hoping to pay respects to the man who made such a bold choice but died too soon to pass the story to his sons. What were his hopes? His dreams? Did he find them? Was the grass greener? Did he have regrets?

Genealogy is more than the researching and recording of facts and dates. It’s the study of a family, their history, their story. With luck, you get snippets of stories and lore passed down from one generation to the next, but sometimes, as with Gottlieb, you just have to wonder…and dig deeper.

I am grateful for the chance to know Gottlieb through his great-grandson and grandson, both of whom have invited me and welcomed me into their history. I still hope to find his headstone one day but in the meantime, I’m planning a trip to Norway!

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