Screw-on backings (shows they are old)
Screw-on backings (shows they are old)

Have you ever received a piece of jewelry from someone and said, “WOW thanks!” but didn’t really like it? Well I have, but little did I know, the jewelry had an interesting and meaningful story it was waiting to tell.   My mother showed me a pair of earrings recently and explained that they belonged to my great grandmother and would be mine one day. My great grandmother, Mary Ryan, was born in Ireland and sent to the United States during the potato famine at sixteen years of age.Not only was my great grandmother only my age when she migrated, but also came all alone. The only possession she took with her was a pair of earrings that her parents had given her as she left. Although my great grandmother’s story is upsetting, it is also very inspirational.  I cannot imagine what it would be like if I had to face the circumstances that she did. However, she worked for thirty years at a hospital as a cook and housekeeper to provide a better life for herself and her family. Her hard work and perseverance paved the way for our family’s future.  My great grandmother passed on her earrings to her daughter who subsequently gave them to my mother. The earrings will soon be mine and I hope to give them to my daughter one day to pass along this amazing story of a true role model in my family’s history. Therefore, I realize that I owe many of the circumstances and opportunities I have had to the sacrifices and hard work of my ancestors. In conclusion, The earrings inspire me to do my best for the future generations of my family. 

Place(s): Ireland

– Sydney Stanzione

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more