My Aunt Ruth Maxine Wallin Cowden once told me a story about my great-great grandfather that was very romantic. My great-great grandparents supposedly met on the boat coming over from Sweden and Ireland, fell in love, and settled in Stanton in southwest Iowa. His name was supposedly Thomas, but it was spelled funny. The Civil War was just beginning and he was a tailor who did not want to fight. He was conscripted and forced to fight in the Union Army. He deserted and returned to Stanton, where his wife Minnie and four daughters hid him in the attic, but he was caught and taken back to the battle front, where he was killed.
Love that story, but my initial forays into genealogy have taken me to libraries all over Iowa and Illinois, and I have found a few problems with this story. First of all, James Foy was born in New York, not Ireland, so he could not have met my great-great-grandmother Minnie on the boat. They did settle in Stanton, so she probably met him in New York when she came over. They married and lived together in Stanton and raised four daughters. But they couldn't have conceived all four of them after the war if James was killed in the war.
Minnie named one of her daughters Minnie as well, and this was my great-grandmother. Minnie the younger met a man whose parents had entered the country at Ellis Island. The father of Andrew Roll, my great-grandfather, saw the name Roll on the wall and changed it from the Swedish, according to a relative in Stanton. This also was not true. He was from Rolldorp in Sweden. During childbirth, my great-grandmother died and Minnie Mae Pansy Roll was raised by her grandmother and aunts. When James finally did die, the home became a boarding house. The women had a quilt set up all the time and that is where Mae learned to quilt.