My Father's Ancestors
Map and Photo Essay
One of the reasons I'm taking this trip is to research my family's history. This
map shows how my father's ancestors moved across America, including:
In RED LINES, his father's ancestors (Leus) who came to Ohio from Switzerland.
In BLUE LINES, his mother's ancestors (Planes) who came mainly to Massachusetts and New York from England and, possibly, Holland.
(Click to enlarge)
Above left: The marina at Ipswich, Massachusetts, where my ancestors, the Bradstreets and Chaplins, landed from
England in the 1630s and 1640s.
Above center: My great-great-grandfather Ransom Myers (1842-1897) who, I
believe, was of Dutch descent. He fought in the Civil War (see Ransom Myers) and
married Hannah Chaplin. Their youngest daughter was Minnie May Myers, my great-grandmother.
Above right: At Ransom and Hannah's graves near Mayville, Michigan. The
graves of Ransom's parents, Solomon and Charlotte Myers, are nearby.
Above left: Minnie May Myers (left) eloped at 16, much to her father Ransom's displeasure. However, Minnie's husband, Everette
Plane, died of tuberculosis when she was 28. Heart-broken, Minnie May and her daughter, Minnie May Plane (right), who was eight years old, left
Michigan and went to Seattle in 1900. This photo was taken around 1945.
Above center: Minnie May Plane married George Leu in Seattle in 1912 and they raised six kids.
This is their family around 1929. Those are my grandparents, Minnie May Jr. and George in the back, with Minnie's cousin on the right.
My dad is the one getting his head rubbed (front left).
Above right: The Leus around 1932 at the Seattle Airport. The
Morrell Company offered a ride on the company plane to George, a prominent grocer in
Seattle, and his family. This was the Leu's first plane ride and everyone went except for George,
who was afraid of flying. My dad, again, is front left wearing a spiffy suit, standing next to his brother Bill.
Above left: My grandparents, Minnie and George, standing on either side of their son, my Uncle Bill, who was
on the tanker U.S.S. Neosho at Pearl Harbor during the bombing. A few months later, the Neosho was attacked in the Coral Sea by a
Japanese dive-bomber and Bill floated on the listing ship for four days before being rescued by a U.S. destroyer (read the whole story on my
U.S.S. Neosho Home Page). After the war, he became an engineer for the Great Northern Railroad.
Above center: My grandparents at Leu's Market in Skykomish, Washington, around 1950. George moved his family here during
the Depression after his store in Seattle failed because of the credit he'd extended to his customers. The family was desperately poor
during the Depression but, because of George and Minnie's hard work, they scraped through it.
Above right: Three generations at Leu's Market. That's my dad and mom with their first child, Doti (my sister). This was taken
just before my dad, who was a Navy Seal, went to China during World War II.
Above left: This is the last photo taken of my grandfather, George Leu, sitting in a Rest Home near
Seattle in 1965, three months before he died at age 78. His wife, Minnie, had died eight years earlier.
This visit, when I was 5 years old, is the only memory that I have of him. Our family, living in Michigan, visited him each
summer and my dad told me that George often cried when we said goodbye.
Above right: My grandparent's grave in Monroe, Washington. Minnie May died in 1957, a few years
before I was born, so I don't remember her but people tell me she was a vivacious and wonderful person who loved to
travel. George was quieter, a hard worker, an avid reader, and he loved kids and baseball.
Here are two related pages: