Oh, My Mama!

Thinking of Mama for some reason. She spent a winter in Saskatchewan as a baby in a house like this with no glassed-in windows, blankets for curtains and rattlesnakes in her bed. Creepy, if you ask me. But such was often an immigrant child’s life in the Depression years.

My biological grandparents emigrated from Glasgow to North America around 1924. That’s an estimation. I know it was on the Metagama, but finding records that identify them is difficult, maybe impossible entirely.

There’s plausible reason for that. As poor Scottish emigrants in that era, their passage would likely have been far below decks, what little money they had would have barely paid their passage, and there wouldn’t have been a record of them in the ship’s manifest.

Mama had two brothers. From what we could tell they came over on the ship as well. Mama was the youngest child, though, born later.

In many ways my biological grandfather, Teddy, was an ambitious and enterprising man. This is how he convinced my grandmother to marry him during WWI while fighting for the Scots 7th Brigade in Belgium. He was good looking and used to getting his own way. Mama told me that my grandmother, who had turned down several such propsals, was completely smitten by this “dashing young man”, and gave in almost immediately.

In the following set of adventures, it appears they chose to leave Belgium and war-stricken France behind and go back to Glasgow. When Teddy wasn’t happy in his search for work, they decided, after the birth of both boys, to go across the pond. So they set out for the Americas with no real idea as to how they would survive, but Teddy was confident that they would.

Mama was born Inez Helene Stewart on March 9th, 1927 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The Depression hit shortly after.

Her mother died of blood poisoning when she was 3. Her father couldn’t cope with having a girl, so subsequently sold her for $10,000 to a well founded and wealthy family in America, July 22nd, 1936. Her name was only slightly changed at that time to Helen Inez, and she took her adoptive last name, Hoskinson.

The Hoskinsons

There’s more to this story yet to come.