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Ms. Marjorie Ragosta in the reading room at the MHA doing research

Record No: mha00000148
Title: Marjorie Ragosta fonds
Dates: ca. 1200 -
Location: Bank 71, Shelf 5
Provenance: Ragosta, Marjorie, 1929-
Extent: 90 cm. of textual material; 2 CDs; 10 diskettes; 1 photograph
Source of Supplied Title: Title based on the creator of the fonds.
Restrictions: No restrictions.
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: Marjorie Elizabeth (Nystrom) Ragosta was born 26 December 1929, the first child of Alec Nystrom and Ella May (Freeman) Nystrom. The family lived in Boston Massachusetts, where they owned a bakery. Marjorie was educated there and later went on to do a PhD in Foundations of Education from the University of Florida. She worked at Princeton’s Educational Testing Service and with the Educational Testing Service, U.S. Department of Health and Welfare for many years.

Marjorie married Louis W. Ragosta and they had a daughter, Christine, and a son, Stephen. They divorced in 1959 while they were living in Florida.

Marjorie’s interest in Newfoundland came from her mother, Ella May Freeman. She was born in Champney’s West in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland on May 19, 1904, the fourth child of a family of seven children born to Olivia (Noseworthy) and James Freeman. Ella left home in July of 1923 when she was only nineteen to travel to Boston where her brother Billy was living at the time. There she got a job in a bakery where her cousin worked and on 8 September 1928 she married the owner’s son, Alec Nystrom. The couple first lived in Waverly, Massachusetts but soon moved to Dorchester. There they had two children - Marjorie was born on 26 December 1929 and Robert was born on May 17, 1931. Ella made several trips to her home in Newfoundland when the children were small but after her mother died of a stroke on 21 September 1939 she did not return for many years.

When she was in her eighties Ella came back to Newfoundland with Marjorie and it was on those visits that Marjorie’s interest in the family’s history began. She interviewed some of her relatives about what it was like to live in a small outport. Then she began tracing the family connections and compiled information on close to 80 surnames tying in to her own family tree.

Marjorie lives in Florida and still travels to Europe where she continues her extensive research.
Scope and Content: The fonds contains the results of Marjorie Ragosta’s research on her mother’s family which now makes up the family tree of Ella May Freeman, daughter of James Freeman and Olivia Noseworthy of Salmon Cove (now Champneys West), Newfoundland.

The material is divided into 2 series. Series one contains files on 85 different surnames connected to her mother’s family. Each file is arranged chronologically.
Terms Governing Use: Copyright is held by the creator. The archive provides copies only for the purposes of research and private study. The recipient of the copies is responsible for contacting the copyright holder if the material is to be published.
Custodial History: Donated to the Maritime History Archive by Dr. Ragosta in July, 2009.
Finding Aids: MHA finding aid 129
Subject: Ragosta, Marjorie, 1929-
Subject: Genealogy--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay
Subject: Freeman family
Subject: Champney’s West (N.L.)

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