Family History Fact of the Day
It’s October 31st, which means today is Halloween and the end of Family History Month. It is only fitting that we close the celebration with a postcard from the collection of Rosanna Cuppello Swales.
Rosanna was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England in 1872, the daughter of an Italian immigrant father and a mother whose parents were Irish immigrants. She became an immigrant herself when in 1907, she and her husband, George T. Swales, and sons John and Bernard left their home in Burnley, England for a new life in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Rosanna kept in touch with family and friends back in England via postcards, a very popular and inexpensive form of communication back at the turn of the 20th century. Rosanna cherished the notes from home and saved them, along with many family photos, letters, notes and other items. This collection, coupled with records found online and family stories told by her grandson, my father, help to bring Rosanna’s story alive.
Of course, you won’t find Rosanna’s life documented in any history book. She was born into a poor family and died with only $5.00 to her name, but she lived a full, rich life. Sure, there were times of tremendous loss and sorrow, but also times of immense joy and happiness. She was a woman of deep faith and unconditional love. To me, my great-grandmother Rosanna was pretty amazing!
So, take lots of pictures, save a few cards and letters. Share your stories with your family, maybe even record your tales in written or audio format. Someday, one of your great grandchildren or great grand niece or nephew is going to want to know what your life was like and I’m betting they’ll find you to be just as amazing as I find Rosanna.