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Friday, January 2, 2015

Missed the boat, literally not figuratively

I recently received a letter from my Sierant relative in Poland.  I asked her how my grandmother managed to pay for her trip to Canada.  Surprisingly, she told me that my grandmother actually attempted to come to Canada twice.  She wasn't sure of the year but the first time she tried, the train she took arrived three days late and she missed the boat.  She then worked for a rich family for a year and her brother also worked to help her save up for another ticket. She successfully sailed the following year.
  This explains a little mystery.  A few years ago I tried to find my grandmother in the passenger lists.  I couldn't find a trace of her in Canadian records. I did find her in a passenger list in Liverpool.  According to the entry,  she left Liverpool on July 12, 1929 aboard the SS Montcalm, bound for Quebec.   I even spent several hours on a line by line search for her in the passenger list to no avail.  This new piece of information may explain why she mysteriously disappears.  Maybe she never made it to Liverpool and was stricken from the Montcalm passenger list.  I've tried to find her second attempt in both types of passenger lists but she is eluding me.  I would love to find her.
  I can't imagine the despair she must have felt when she missed the boat.  Not only would it be a huge disappointment but $200 was a small fortune for her and her family.  I give her a lot of credit for her determination, she never gave up and fufilled her dream of a better life.  
  My grandmother never told me this story.  She did tell me that she left a boyfriend behind who asked her to marry him.  If he asked her before her first attempt, it must have been very awkward to return home and face this man.  I wonder if he tried to convince her that it wasn't meant to be or if he was bitter and made her year an uncomfortable one.