My Grandfather

popThis is a photograph of my grandfather, who was born in Ontario, Canada in the late 1800’s.  I won’t share much biographical information about him, in part because some clown would probably try to steal his identity. Too late for that, I think.

We all called him Pop.

Pop Alexander came to the United States by train in 1924 and declared his intention to become a citizen the day he arrived.

Just today I found the document in which he which renounced his citizenship. At the time, the clerks used a stamp containing a phrase renouncing allegiance to  “George V. by the Grace of God of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas being Defender of the Faith Emperor of India. There ought to be a comma in there, but I’m reproducing what I see.

The photograph above is from his Certificate of Citizenship, dated 1938.

I also found a document certified by a college, that he completed an examination of literacy. Dated just before he was issued citizenship. I know that immigration isn’t the same as citizenship. And not every family story is a political example.

But the United States actually did well in 1924. He was a legal immigrant, able to speak the language and pay his way. He was willing to leave his brothers, sisters and even his loyalty to a king in search of a better life.  We are who we are as a nation because of the many immigrants who did the same.

Is it too much to ask that the greatest country on Earth should look for the best of the best as new Americans?

This entry was posted in Canada, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to My Grandfather

  1. Grace says:

    What a fantastic story and legacy, Dave.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mrs. Whatsit says:

    Nice story. My grandfather is from Canada, too. My family had a difficult crossing when we came to this country……..traffic on the bridge was heavy. (Rimshot)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The 13th Duke of Wymbourne says:

    And the mother country was poorer for his move.

    Somehow immigration has morphed from a privilege to a right in some peoples’ minds, and that the immigrant’s obligation to their new home ends as soon as they step in the door.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. w says:


    Yes it is too much to ask. Especially since you’re being far too vague, Dave. Immigration, even by the capable, is not a unalloyed benefit.

    In a country of almost 400 million we have almost 100 million working age Americans not working. We don’t need any more people. We don’t need people who have no concept of Western Civilization and/or who are illiterate. That rules out Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan (Afghan-land; frack. That should tell you something) and South America. And if you propose English-speaking folks with SKILLS you’re exactly aligned with what Trump just proposed (which I barely agree with).

    USA is running horrifying deficits. So. No more H1Bs, no more Lottery, no more illegals. USA needs to stop and assimilate what it has now. Immigration has waxed and wained over any number of decades past. Now is a time for waining. I don’t mind that your grandfather came through. But that was then and this is now. Times have changed.

    Love all you Lickspittles, Zombies and Dave (both of ’em-) too- But there’s a defensible intellectual argument for knocking off 99% of all immigration.

    Build the wall.

    Around the airports too.

    That’s right. I said it.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. JorgXMcKie says:

    My great-grandfather on my mother’s side fled on of the smaller German states [I don’t recall which one] in order to escape being drafted into one of the religious wars at the time and arrived here just in time to be drafted [or he took the money to let some other draftee off, as was common] into fighting in the Civil War.
    He ended up doing a bit more than three years service. I’d say he earned his citizenship.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s