Helen "Elsie" Swarbrick, the daughter of George Leo Swarbrick and Ellen Blackburn, was born on the 8th of August 1911 in Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.

Her parents, George "Leo" Swarbrick and Ellen Blackburn, were both originally from Preston, Lancashire, England and were married in Preston on 4 November 1905.

On the 19th of March 1908, Leo Swarbrick set sail from Liverpool aboard the SS Corsican bound for Tacoma, Washington. His friend, Fred Gifford, had already emigrated to Tacoma and wrote to Leo that jobs were plentiful and that he should move his family there.

Leo went ahead to find work and set up home before sending for his wife and young son Cyril. However, when he got there he found that the streets were not paved in gold and jobs for skilled iron and brass molders were few and far between. He instead found a job as an elevator operator and started saving the money he would need to send for his young family.

This took much longer than expected and when he did send for them he could only afford to have them travel in steerage. Ellen's parents were not happy about that and gave Ellen the additional funds so that she and young Cyril could travel 2nd class.


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