Preparing for the Journey
1. The family at home.
2. Packing the trunk.
3. Leaving home.
4. Getting ready to board.
 

The Next Part of the Journey

The Trip Across the Ocean

Arriving in the New World
 

The Trip To a New Home

 

The Family At Home

There were many reasons for families to leave their relatives, friends and homes to move thousands of miles to a new home across the ocean.

One reason was starvation. Many people went without food because of droughts - times of no rains - or blight - diseases in the soil so no plants could grow.

1. A Starving Family

Because of these harsh conditions, many families chose to move to the new United States. They heard about the many acres of land that they could farm. Some parents left their children in the old country with grandparents or aunts and uncles while they made a home in the new country. Sometimes it was years before the children saw their parents again.

Packing The Trunk

2. A typical trunk

Everything could not go with the family when they moved to the new country. Every family member had to choose carefully because there wasn't much space in each trunk to carry the family's things. Each child could choose only one toy to bring on their long journey across the ocean.

Activity: If you were a child in a family moving across the ocean to a new home and could take only one toy, which one would you take? Think carefully about what you would take with you. You would need to carry it all by yourself. Remember that in those days, there was no electricity! Write at least a five sentence paragraph about what toy you would take with you on your journey.

Leaving Home

It was very hard leaving home. Family and friends were being left behind in the old country. Some would never be seen again. It was a very sad time for everyone whenever anyone would leave for the new country.

Many times the whole town would come out to say good-bye to the family who was leaving town.

3. Saying "Good-bye"

Getting Ready to Board

Everyone was checked to make sure they weren't sick before they left for the new country. It was very sad when one member of the family had to be left behind due to an illness or disease. Many families were split up at the port cities - the places where the boats left for the new land. Sometimes it was years before families were reunited.

 
Preparing for the Journey
The Next Part of the Journey

The Trip Across the Ocean

 

Arriving in the New World

 

 The Trip To a New Home

 

Back to Home Page

Photo Credits:

1. A Starving Family
© Liz Szabo. The Irish Famine, 1845-50
http://avery.med.virginia.edu/~eas5e/Irish/Famine.html
 
2. A typical trunk
© American West. European Emigration
(used with permission)
http://www.americanwest.com/swedemigr/pages/emigra.htm
 
3. Saying "Good-bye"
© Liz Szabo. The Irish Famine, 1845-50
http://avery.med.virginia.edu/~eas5e/Irish/Famine.html