Before the start of World War I, Julia Holland journeyed from the Ukrainian part of the Austria-Hungary Empire on a holiday to New York City. Her father was a farmer, and he owned several farms. Her mother was originally from Vienna. She came into the country under a visitor’s visa. She was a well-to-do young woman with furs and jewelry. When war broke out, she was stuck and wasn’t able to return to her country. Her uncle who owned a restaurant in the city took her in. To earn her keep, she worked in his Manhattan bistro. She had auburn hair and sparkling blue eyes. She applied for citizenship and went to citizenship classes. She spoke German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukranian, and English.
James Menelaus Issideridy with his brother George arrived through Ellis Island to apply for legal entry to the United States and start a business here. They were furriers from Greece. They applied for a license to have their store in Manhattan. My grandfather also applied for citizenship and took English language and citizenship classes. He was tall with dark hair and eyes.
He was eating lunch at his favorite restaurant, when he saw Julia’s delicate face through the little window where trays of food was pushed out by the cook staff to the waiters. At that time, women could not wait on tables. Every day at lunchtime, James would make sure he sat at a table where he could easily see her. She saw him and would always smile shyly.
James inquired about Julia, but her uncle was firm that he had two other daughters to get married. James persevered and eventually won him over. But on the day they were to be married, her uncle said that if James wanted to marry her, he would take her with the clothes on her back. He was keeping the furs and jewelry to pay him back for housing and feeding her. She would have no dowry. Julia was furious, but James insisted it didn’t matter to him. They were married. She did love him and learned to speak Greek.
The years passed and James and George prospered in their business. The family lived in a townhouse in Manhattan with a grand piano in the parlor.
From the left, there is James, then Sultana, his eldest daughter, Helen the youngest, and his wife Julia. This picture was taken before 1929 and the Stock Market Crash when he lost his business.
They moved from Manhattan to Queens and made ends meet.
Below is a photo of Sultana with friends at the fashionable Stork Club. She became a clerk at Lord & Taylor store. Her sister became a secretary for the department store.
Sultana is on the lower left, Terry, then Terry’s friend. Upper left is Normand, Guy and to the right Rene. Terry liked to set up Sultana on blind dates. That’s how she meet a young sailor from Detroit named John Hanniford. They would get married and have two daughters. Sultana would also be remembered as an artist and a past President of the Lyme Art Association.
That’s the story of my mother’s side of the family.
-Susan (daughter of John and Sultana Hanniford)
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
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