52 Ancestors – Week 5 – So Far Away

The prompt for Week 5 of 52 Ancestors is So Far Away. This was a difficult prompt for me because I thought of the journey’s traveled by my family to come to America, whether it was my recent immigrant ancestors on my Dad’s side who came from Italy or the members of my maternal side who came over to America before it was a country.

One thing that sticks in my mind is they all came for the same reason a better life than the one they left in Europe.

I want to talk about my great-aunt Olive Witherwax Rogers though. Aunt Olive is the daughter of my Great Grandparents, Benjamin and Minerva Beardsley Witherwax. She was born in Peru, New York on 19 February 1895.

Aunt Olive  married Henry Rogers 9 August 1916 in Schenectady, New York. She was 21 years old.

Olive Witherwax Marriage


Aunt Olive lived in Plattsburgh and in 1919 she applied for a passport to travel to France and then on to Germany where her husband Henry was living.

Aunt Olive did take her trip to see Henry but sadly she died while in Germany on 20 October 1920 at the age of 25. She and Henry had no children and had such a short time together. To be sick in a foreign country so far away from home must of been so hard on Aunt Olive. She must of felt so alone.


It is over 3600 miles from Peru, New York to Coblenz, Germany. I am always a bit sad when I think of Henry and Aunt Olive. I always hope they had a great love story.

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