Immigration to the United States

The life of Harry Burton (1880-1936)


Harry Smith Burton born November 29th, 1880 in London England. London, the capital of England, is located right in the south western part of the country. Queen Victoria was ruling at the time along with Prime Minister William Gladstone.

Growing up

He grew up in Manningham, Yorkshire, England with parents John Burton and Mary Jane Langcraft. It was a generally industrial area and it was also a Jewish area. He lived in that area until 1905 when he married his long time girlfriend Elizabeth Cardiff.

Tough Times

So, off they went to the United States in 1907. They sold everything they owned in England and boarded a large ship. In those times it took days to cross the ocean but sooner or later they arrived in New York City and were send straight to Ellis Island. They were checked for disease and sent on their way. They decided to stay with Harry's sister in Yonkers until they became established themselves. But things were harder for them then they thought it would be. They were poor, they had no furniture, no hot water, and very little food. Harry's job didn't pay much so they were surviving rather than thriving in Yonkers.


The Burton's were living in Yonkers during the Great Depression. And boy were things depressed. Being new immigrants, they couldn't provide food for the family, the didn't have a meal or a tree on Christmas, Harry had to become a door to door sales man, they were dirty and smelly and had an overcrowded apartment. Luckily they didn't have to experience nativism and lived in a pretty culturally diverse area or a Melting Pot. But according to these hardships, i guess you could say they didn't assimilate so well.

In Conclusion

From this project, i learned an immense amount of information not just about my grandfather but about immigrants in general. They had it really hard, leaving England and starting all over again in a place they were unfamiliar with. I take it for granted and reading up on my grandpa has showed just how much he and his family have been through. I have realized in listening to Donald Trump bash immigrants that i need to keep more of an open mind because we too are all immigrants in one way or another. I appreciate all I've learned from this project.