Up top is a copy of the ship registry my great great paternal grandfather sailed on with his family. All I really know is that he left Germany about 150 years ago. They would said for Canada, but would eventually settle in Cleveland, Ohio.
This is a copy of my maternal grandfather's birth certificate. The penmanship is beautiful, but it's not my great grandfather's. He was illiterate. If you look closely, there is an 'x'. Nearby, there is a note indicating that was his mark.
Today is the Fourth of July. I am a descendent of immigrants who took great chances to leave their own countries and settle here in order to make a better life for their children. I'm sure that they all would look at how I am able to live today and would think that I won the lottery. I don't know any of the hardship remotely close to what they knew.
This is where I come from and what I pull from when I write.