I’ve been systematically working my way back through my family tree and I recently made an exciting discovery: my first immigrant ancestor! He’s James Brown, who was born in Ireland around 1810. He’s listed in the 1870 census as having been born in Ireland. At the time of that census, he was living in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, Martha. She was also was born in Ireland around 1820.
What’s interesting to me is that my family has always seemed quite devoid of ethnicity (most of the ancestors, I believe, came to the US much earlier than the 19th century) and when, as a child, I asked my parents where we were from, England was always the answer. In fact, I surprised my mother when I told her about her great, great grandfather having been born in Ireland. That was news to her.
I feel like this is opening up a new chapter in my family history research!