Holiday Surprise For Nebraska Town’s Only Two Residents
This season, Ancestry is sharing a timely story about coming home for the holidays – featuring a devoted and tenacious married couple who have, against all odds, kept a tiny Nebraska town on the map.
You see, Mary and Mike Finnegan are the only two residents of Gross, Nebraska – and it’s been that way for 33 years! They’ve faced every challenge head-on as a team, weathering multiple economic downturns and disappointments that caused the rest of the town’s residents – once 600 strong – to flee.
The Finnegans have single-handedly kept the spirit of Gross alive for more than three decades: they operate a small restaurant, the Nebrask Inn, where they welcome travelers of all kinds—providing comfort, hospitality, and the best burger around. Through their warmth and steadfast traditions (coffee still costs a nickel, and anyone who dares to curse has to glue a dollar to the wall!), Mary and Mike have ensured that Gross is home, even if it’s only physically home to two.
While they are not short on visitors and passers-by, Mary and Mike remember the days when the town was more full of life. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ancestry searched its extensive historical records and gathered those with connection to Gross – bringing them “home” to reconnect with and discover a piece of their family history (some, for the very first time!). For one special day, Ancestry enabled the past and present to come together, reuniting the Finnegans not only with their family, but also with descendants from the founding Gross family.
A small taste of the old times went a long way in Gross, Nebraska – and anyone who longs for home will find something familiar in the Finnegans’ story.
For one special day, Ancestry reunited more than 30 people with a connection to one of America’s tiniest towns
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ancestry brought two descendants of Gross, NE “home” for the holidays to discover a piece of their family history.
Ancestry searched its extensive collection of 10 billion historical records, including census, voter, military, immigration, travel, marriage, death and birth records, to uncover the story of one of America’s tiniest towns
A champion of the fundamental importance of family and belonging, Ancestry set out this holiday season to celebrate those people who are steadfast in making sure that there is always a home for the holidays to return to.