Mr. and Mrs. Edwin LeBright
Above is the wedding photograph of my grandparents, Ed and Evelyn LeBright, who recently celebrated their 70th year of marriage. They are the starting point on my journey into our family history. My grandfather is the last living sibling of six boys; my grandmother an only child. Other than that, their stories are similar; they were born and raised in Maspeth, Long Island, the children of poor, working class families.
I began my journey armed with nothing more than the incomplete family tree in my baby book, a copy of my grandfather's birth certificate, and a few snippets of family legend. I've managed to trace back several generations, even all the way to my great great great great grandparents on one branch of the family tree.
Visit my Genealogy page - a listing of families and areas that I'm researching, as well as some genealogy links, or read on for a glimpse of my family history.
|Evelyn's parents, Carrie Blausten and William Smith Waddell
Carrie is the granddaughter of Adolph Blaustern, a Jewish immigrant from Tachau, Bohemia, Austria and Karolina Erhlich of Grosseicholzheim, Baden, Germany. William is the grandson of Robert Smith Waddell and Jane McVey, Episcopalean immigrants from Glasglow, Scotland.
Their life was not an easy one. Carrie was disowned for marrying outside of the family faith. Later, she was paralyzed and spent the remainder of her life in a wheelchair.
Like most families at that time, Carrie and William struggled financially; my grandmother often told me "the sugar story" when I was growing up. As a child, my grandmother was told that leaving sugar on the windowsills would bring the stork and, thus, a baby. She longed for a sibling and left sugar on the windowsills so often that eventually her mother had to explain where babies really came from. They simply could not afford to buy the extra sugar.
William was a talented piano player who supplemented his family income by playing the piano in the days of silent movies.
|Louisa Murray and William Lebright
Louisa is my most recently immigrated ancestor. She was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England in 1873. Her father died when she was a young child. He was a shipbuilder and a mast fell on him, killing him. Louisa immigrated to NYC some time around 1890 along with her widowed mother, Mary, and her sister, Georgina. She wasn't exactly known for being the warm and fuzzy type, but perhaps raising six boys required a certain toughness! William was the son of German immigrant Henry Lebrecht and his Bavarian wife, Issabella. Originally from Manhattan, William and Louisa moved out to the suburbs of Maspeth to raise their family.