Saturday, April 2, 2011

The clan

I'm doing genealogy stuff. And I'm finding it's addictive. I've been through Nana's birthday book (my maternal grandmother) and I'm quite proud of myself. I've identified my grandmother's parents, both of them, and my maternal grandfather's mother (Norwegian). And in the family "archives" - totally disorganized in one trunk and a big, cardboard box - my father's mother's name. His great-grandfather's second wife's name I have, and I may have the first wife's name but it's not in the family history where she goes by the name "Mrs. ....." , however, someone in Germany is doing the same research and I think I can trust the name he came up with. I just need to contact him and ask how and from where he came by the name.

I've loved mysteries all my life. I was reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in elementary school, and graduated quickly to Agatha Christie. Currently I'm reading one of the Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell - The Man Who Smiled". Doing genealogy work is just another mystery, only no one has written the book. I'm doing the research myself. Luckily, I also love doing research!

The mystery I'm trying to solve is who were Johann/Jochim/Joachim Heinrich's children, by which wives, who was Henry John's (Heinrich Johann) mother, my father's grandfather? Who were his father's siblings, if any, children of Heinrich Johann? And I wonder how I can find the name of the adult woman my father's family adopted, who eventually left and went to live in Utah.

And then there are my maternal grandmother's siblings. I found one because of a newspaper clipping. I always thought Ilda was from the Norwegian side! In her birthday book there are a ton of Goodriches, but no idea who's who - sister? brother? cousin? And then there are my maternal grandfather's family - all from Norway. I remember Tante Anna. I always thought she was grandpa's sister. But her surname and the maiden name of her daughter are the same as my grandfather's, so, sister-in-law? And while I have his mother's name (and a photo!), I can't find his father's. The family lore is that he was Lars, and the last generation in Norway to go by the father's first name with "sen" (son of) added to the end. But I don't know for sure. I guess I'm going to have to upgrade my account to do international searches.

It's addictive. I had to make myself stop today. But it was hard. It's still hard. There's something way cool about knowing where you came from. I wonder where that photo is of my maternal grandmother's kin, all in their Union army uniforms, lined up along the barn wall, ready to go to war. I think their names are on the back of that photo. Do I go into those trunks again and try to find it tonight?!

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