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Material Added From Ancestry.com, as entered by "Carolswartz on 29Dec2009"

Started by Private User on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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  • Private User
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Private User
1/20/2010 at 4:06 PM

Emigration
nikbrickadded this on 23 Jun 2009

Nona's father was worried about Nona's going to America with a man whom he didn't know very well. His main concern was that Papoo might leave her in the new country, and she would be a woman alone with a baby. For her safety, he sent Nona's brother Eli with them. Although Eli was a few years younger than Nona, he was a man, and could protect her in the event that Papoo deserted her.

Thus, four of them emigrated together: Nona, Papoo, their infant daughter Rachel, and Nona's brother Eli.

According to the ship manifest, the ship sailed from Cherbourg, France, on November 25, 1903, and arrived in New York on December 5, 1903. However, Nona always talked about how she was in Marseille. So we surmise that they went from Greece to Marseille by boat, and from there over land to Cherbourg. At Cherbourg, they boarded the SS Moltke for New York.

When the four of them got to Ellis Island, they were given medical examinations. Nona had something wrong with her eyes. They put a chalk X (which Papoo calls a "sign") on the back of her coat, and sent her to one line. They sent Papoo, Eli, and infant Rachel to another line. They didn't explain to Papoo that Nona's line was going to be sent back. Papoo inquired of an immigration worker who spoke Albanian. The worker told Papoo to erase the chalk mark ("clean the place") from Nona's coat and bring her to his line. Papoo walked over to her, put his arm around her, and guided her to his line. As they walked, he moved his arm up and down her back, wiping off the chalk mark.

When they first came to this country, Nona and Papoo got jobs sewing in factories. Nona sewed faster, and she made $6 per week, while Papoo only made $4. He didn't like this, so he quit and got another job for $10 a week. After a week or two on his new job, his boss died, so he was out of work. That was when he went into business for himself -- selling aprons.

Papoo became a citizen in 1930. (Nona never became a citizen, because she never learned how to read. Girls in Greece were not sent to school.) Even when he was very old and hardly ever left the house, he managed to get to the polling place every election day to vote.


Additional information about this story
Description Taken from "A Family Celebration" written and produced by Vivian.
Date 1994
Location
Attached to

* Hanoula Anna "Nona" Colchamiro (1882 - 1976)
* Isaac Jacob "Papoo" Cohen (1879 - 1972)

Other trees this object is saved to
o Schwartz/Lambert-Behar/Tastassa
o by caroleswartz on 29 Dec 2009

Private User
1/20/2010 at 4:09 PM

History of Nona and Papoo
nikbrickadded this on 23 Jun 2009

Nona and Papoo were born in the late 1800's. Papoo was born in Kastoria, which at the time was Turkey, but which is now Greece. Nona was born in Ioannina, Greece.

Nona's native language was Greek. Papoo's native language was Spanish (Ladino). When they met, Nona learned Spanish and Papoo learned Greek. When they came to the United States, they both learned English. The language that they spoke amongst themselves was Greek, except when Papoo's relatives visited, at which time they spoke Spanish. When Nona got older, she often used more than one language in a sentence. (Papoo never did.)

The names Nona and Papoo were used by all their grandchildren. The names Mama and Papa were used by their children. When Nona was in a playful mood, she often said/sang "Yes, we have no bananas today." Nona often sang -- while she sewed, cooked, and cleaned. Most of the songs she sang were Greek folk songs. One of her favorites was Samyotisa.

In the 1970's Jack interviewed Nona and Papoo about how they met, how they came to America and what their early life in America was like. Nona tells how she heard that some boys from Kastoria (Papoo among them) came to Ioannina to seek brides and how she pitited anyone who was going to marry them.

Legend had it that Kastoria boys came to Ioannina to get married, and then took their wives back to Kastoria to live. The wives became virtual slaves in their in-laws homes. Nona didn't want any part of that. Nona's mother said that they weren't all like that, but Nona said that she didn't want to take a chance. However Papoo was good looking, and she always liked good looking men even when she was in her 90's. After she met Papoo, she decided that she liked him, and that she would marry him. Her father didn't know him, and didn't want his daughter to marry a stranger, so he invited Papoo to stay with them for a few months so he could see what kind of person he was. In the meantime, word got back to Papoo's family in Kastoria that their son was going to marry a Ioannina girl. Papoo's mother was very upset, and rode on horseback to Ioannina to check Nona out, expecting not to like her. (She rode so fast that as soon as she got there, the horse died.) But she, too, visited for awhile, and came to like Nona very much.

Nona wanted to have a bridal procession in the street so that all the town could see her (as was the local custom). Her father arranged it, but the day of the wedding, it rained, and Nona had to run home in her bridal dress. She never got to have her procession.

One day while Papoo was on his extended pre-nuptial visit, Nona's mother cooked fish for breakfast and told Nona to watch it. While the fish was under Nona's care, the cat ate it. Nona was petrified, and didn't know what to do. Papoo came to the rescue. He bought more fish, took it to the town bakery to have it cooked, and brought it home ready to eat. Nona's mother thought that the pieces looked different, but she never found out what happened.

After they got married, Nona and Papoo stayed in Nona's parents house for a short while. Papoo was a tailor, and with the money he earned, they were soon able to move into their own place in Ioannina. Even when they were in their 90's, Nona and Papoo would sit together and hold each other's hands.
Additional information about this story
Description This was taken from "A Family Celebration" written and produced by Vivian.
Date 1994
Location
Attached to

* Hanoula Anna "Nona" Colchamiro (1882 - 1976)

Other trees this object is saved to

*
o Schwartz/Lambert-Behar/Tastassa
o by caroleswartz on 29 Dec 2009

Private User
1/20/2010 at 4:10 PM

Family Traditions
nikbrickadded this on 23 Jun 2009

The sewing machine was the family's means of earning a livelihood. There were always several factory machines in the basement. Nona sewed all day, and Papoo sewed and sold. Nona's machine was like a hearth, where family members gathered to discuss anything, from the serious to the mundane. The noise of the machines always filled the house, and all family members found it a very secure sound.

Panda Mazee means always together in Greek. Nona and Papoo's children had a Panda Mazee club with their cousins from Papoo's side of the family. Before she died, Diana gave a party. She gathered her family around her, and suggested that the next generation (her nieces and nephews) continue the Panda Mazee tradition.

The family seders in the basement of 2063 were a tradition. Sophia captured the 1953 seder on 8mm film.

Nona loved to recite poetry. One of the more playful poems that she often told children was about an animal who stole spinach from a farmer's field. The farmer tried to shoot him, but the animal got away. (You could hear a loud BAM in Nona's recitation when the farmer shoots.) One of the more pensive poems she recited is about death. (I'm not afraid of the darkness of death; I'm only sorry I'm leaving my loved ones.) On the night she died, she recited this poem before falling asleep.
Additional information about this story
Description
Date
Location
Attached to

* Hanoula Anna "Nona" Colchamiro (1882 - 1976)

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