Citizen Story Project: Lisa Herbold

Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold shares the story of her great-great grandfather’s immigration from Germany at the turn of the 20th century.

Who was the first (or one of the first) family members to become a U.S. citizen?
Rudolph Maly, my great-grandfather (my paternal grandmother’s father).

Where did he immigrate from?
He immigrated from Germany at the turn of the 20th century.

What did he do to earn a living once they arrived in the U.S.?
He was a factory worker at HJ Heinz in Pittsburgh, PA.

Did he have family members already in the U.S. or was he the first in his family to immigrate?
He was the first.

What were his struggles?
He spoke no English, had little education and no money.

What were his successes?
He raised a family on a meager income.

What is your favorite story about him?
He came over when he was 13. He ran away from home and snuck onto a boat after an argument with his older brother about a bicycle.

What family traditions did your ancestors pass down to you?
Good German food.

How does your family celebrate holidays like Flag Day, July 4th and Veterans Day?
Flag Day is my birthday!  When my grandmother was alive, my family used to go to the cemetery to pay respects to my grandfather on Veteran’s Day.

What is one way Seattleites can help new citizens feel welcome?
Share our stories and show interest in the stories of others!