Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blogging for Cousins

On July 17, 2013 I was on the way to Colorado with my daughter and two granddaughters when I idly checked my e-mail.  Just because I could.  (Love my smart phone!)  In awe I saw an e-mail from Anders in Norway.  While I am not sure, I believe that Anders is the grandson of Edit Hansen de Lange the daughter of my Great-grandfather Adolf Hansen and his second wife Nathalie Bull-Egeberg.  Eventually I hope to get it all figured out but for now it is enough to say that my Great-grandfather married twice and had two sets of children.  Four of the children from his first marriage (including my grandfather Adolph) immigrated to the United States in the 1890s/1900s.  His other children remained in Norway.  It has long been my wish to make contact with those still in Norway.  Now through the internet and blogging it is beginning to happen.

When Anders contacted me, he included some notices that Adolf had placed in a Norwegian newspaper in 1887 regarding the deaths of his wife Dorette and infant Aagot Dorette in June and July of that year.  I never knew about Aagot!  I knew that Dorette died in 1887 but did not know about the birth of the daughter Aagot.  While I have not found an exact translation for Aagot I am guessing it may be the equivalent of Agatha.  It doesn't really matter though, what is important is that I have a new Great-Aunt and I know where she and her mother are buried.
The goodies that Anders included with his e-mail included the history of Christ Cemetery in Oslo where Dorette and Aagot are buried.  I have found the burial records for Dorette and Aagot at the Norwegian Digital Archives and will attempt to determine Dorette's cause of death from there.  It is interesting that it appears that Aagot was not christened but there is a burial record for her.  Maybe she was so ill from birth that she was not predicted to survive.

Anders found my blog while searching for information on his Great-grandfather and has provided me with some important information about Adolf Hansen the Norwegian Composer.  The neat thing about blogging is that it is available where you are.  Without the internet I would not have been able to go as far as I have in my research.  Long live technology!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ancestor Roulette - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!  Here are Randy’s instructions:
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Spin the Ancestor Roulette Wheel!

1) What year was one of your great-grandmothers born?  Divide this number by 125 (use a calculator!) and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel" - your software will create this - use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three to five facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

I chose to use the birth year of my Norwegian great-grandmother Dorette Christiansdatter.  Dorette was born in 1857.  1857 divided by 125 is 14.856 so I rounded up to 15.  Using Family Tree Maker 2012 I created an ahnentafel report.  Person number 15 in that report happened to be a Great-aunt from Ireland.
Mary Ann Fleming was born 28 Sept 1846 in Ballylanders, Co Limerick, Ireland.  She was the oldest of 12 children born to Thomas Fleming and Mary Hennessy.
Five facts about Mary Ann Fleming are:
·         She married Thomas James Walsh in Ireland and they immigrated to Michigan in 1865.
·         In 1880 Mary’s brother Michael and sister Hannah were living with her family in Port Huron.
·         In 1893 Mary’s house was the scene of the marriage of my mother’s parents M J Connery and Alice Fleming.
·         By 1900 Mary was a 51 year old widow who had born 12 children of whom 9 were still living.  She lived in a rented home.
·         Mary Ann Fleming Walsh died on 1 June 1930 in Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan at the age of 84.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Geneabloggers Church Record Sunday - Another Way to Look

Church records can be used for more than verifying the details for births, marriages and deaths.  They can alert you to the religious customs of the times.  The age at which a ceremony was performed may vary, the type of ceremony and whether it was done as an individual or a class could change.  For instance in the Archdiocese of Chicago during the early 1900s the Sacrament of Confirmation was received as part of a class with one sponsor for all of the girls and one sponsor for all of the boys.   Records kept would depend on the specific religion.

While searching for an individual in the Norwegian records and trying to determine which of several Martin Hansens born at about the same time was the correct Martin Hansen someone (I wish I remembered who so I could give them credit!) suggested that I check the confirmation records to see which of the candidates had survived childhood.  Confirmation was required of all Norwegians between the ages of 14 and 18.  Checking the Confirmation records did reveal the correct Martin Hansen along with his parents.  Working back from there I was able to find the Christening record and also the records of his siblings.  This method could be used with other religions that have other requirements for older children (communions usually at age 7 or 8, and confirmations usually at 13 to 15)

Swedish church records include a "Husförhör" which is a household examination listing everyone, including children, in a residence.  Included in this listing are names, birth dates, relationships and details about when people left a residence and where they went.  This can be extremely useful in tracking immigration.

On occasion, those same helpful church records can prompt more questions than the solve.  My dad's parents (he a Luthuran and she a Catholic) were married in a Nuptial Mass at a Catholic church in Milwaukee at a time when "mixed" marriages were not allowed to have a Mass.  A year later they were godparents to her nephew at a time when both godparents were required to be Catholic.  He was buried in a Catholic cemetery when again the Catholic Church rules did not allow such a burial.  I've given up trying to find an explaination and just accept the facts.  No he never did convert.