By Rachel Hobbs

This time next year, I hope to be living in another country.

Of course, I will miss Nebraska—it’s been my home all my life—but I’m ready to try something new. Despite planning this move for the past three years, I am a little nervous about it. Moving to a new country is difficult. Even in this day and age, when transportation is quick and support is readily available. I’m sure my ancestors felt the same way when they immigrated here.

My father’s side was predominantly Irish: Edward Coffey was born in Ireland in 1670. He moved to the United States and married Ann Powell in 1699 in Essex County, Virginia. Their daughter married the son of an English immigrant. Over a century later, the family later moved to the Midwest.

In the early 1920s, my great-grandparents on my mother’s side moved from Friesland, a northwestern province in the Netherlands, and they settled in the Midwest. All four of my grandparents grew up in Chicago. They went to school and married there, then moved out of the city to raise their families.

The Osenga family—my mother’s side—moved to Anchorage, Alaska. My father’s side moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida. My parents met when my father moved to Alaska for two years while my grandparents worked.

When doing research for this project, I was surprised to see that I have family from all over the United States and ancestors from many different places. Although I am still a little uncertain about my upcoming move, I can see that I come from a long line of world-travelers.

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