Bretta de Belfort

The lady in the photo below led a remarkable life which spanned nearly 80 years. No small accomplishment for a woman born in 1848, let alone for someone who emigrated from two countries, settling in America, with nothing but her family and a lot of hope.

Born in Belfort, France, Bretta’s family made their way to Sweden, where she met and married Johan. Why the Brandt’s left France, I don’t know. That’s one of the mysteries in this story that I hope to uncover some day.

After just a few years of marriage (and a few children), Bretta and Johan decided to go to America. They made the long sea voyage with the kids, landing first in Quebec. On July 5, 1881, they arrived in America. Minnesota, to be exact.

Bretta is my great, great, great grandmother. I’m sorry that her face is somewhat hidden in this photo, but I know from the records kept in the family Bible that she had brown hair and brown eyes and stood 5 foot 4 inches tall. A curious note. I guess she was tall for a woman at that time.

Whatever the case, she’s beautiful to me. She braved much. Endured much. And she wrote (my) history with her dreams.