My Identity Story

This is my identity story on how my ancestors came over to the United States. I'm showing how I ended up where I live today and showing how we all can come from different places and still end up at the same high school.

By Nolan J. from Okemos High School in Michigan

My identity story all starts with my great great great grandfather Frank Fast. He was born in Jönköping, Sweden in 1872. His parents were John Fast and Maria Anderson who were both from Sweden as well. Frank lived in Sweden for about like 12 years before he departed for the United States in 1884. When he made it over to the US and went through Ellis Island, he moved to Illinois. Frank moved around parts of Illinois and the last place he was in Button Township, Ford County, Illinois. Frank was in Illinois for most of his life and when in Illinois he met Hannah Swanson. He ended up marrying Hannah in Paxton, Illinois in 1903. They had 5 kids all in Paxton, 4 boys and 1 daughter. Their names were Earl, Kenneth, Irene, Albin, and Wilbur. Kenneth Fast died when he was really young at only 9 years old. They lived in Paxton for like 15 years before moving up to Eaton County, Michigan. He lived there for the rest of his life and settled in a home in Charlotte, Michigan. Frank Fast ended up dying in Charlotte, Michigan in 1956 at the age of 84. Frank Fast was the reason that my family ended living in the United States and in Michigan itself.

There were a lot of Swedish immigrants coming over to the United States during the late 1800’s and I think some of these reasons might have caused my great great great grandfather to move. One reason is that many Swedish farmers were coming to the United States because there was a lot of land available to start over and grow a family on. I’m not really sure if Frank was a farmer or is family was but there is probably a high probability that they might have been. When all of the immigrants came to the United States and go through Ellis Island they moved towards the states in the midwest because that is where most of the land was available. This must have been why my Grandfather moved to Illinois and then Michigan because that's where everyone else was going and more land to start a new life.

Another reason that caused immigrants to come over is that there was a really bad famine in Sweden around the late 1870’s which was right around when Frank came over. I think that his family might have been affected by this famine and his parents thought that it would have been best for them to go and start a new life in the US because they probably wouldn’t have had a good life there. My grandfather was one of the 150,000 Swedish immigrants that came to the United States between 1861-1885. This is my identity story on how my family was able to come over to the United States and live in the great place that we do today.

Okemos High School

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