25-48 The Second Twenty-Four
49-72 The Third Twenty-Four
73-96 The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120 The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-on The Sixth Set
73 Wunderkammer II
74 Wunderkammer III
75 Wunderkammer IV
76 Wunderkammer V
77 Wunderkammer VI
78 What Is Teaching?
79 A Gathering
80 Wunderkammer VII
81 Wunderkammer VIII
82 My Gluten-Free Test
83 Grandpa and FDR
84 Atomic Energy by a 12yo
85 Genealogy Quilts
86 Per Nilsson Västgöte
87 Hawaiiana 7
88 Wunderkammer IX
89 Maui First Class
90 Genealogy Kicks
91 Glass Art
92 Hawaiiana 8
93 Outlines of Paradise
94 Wunderkammer X
95 Aunt Rubie
96 A Family Visit, part 1
I know that some of you who read the things I write about genealogy think I’m nuts and I admit that before I started I might have thought the same thing, but there are some parts of it that are real kicks. Granted, the data input and organizational activities are pretty boring. That’s why my website, database, charts and files are never quite up to date. It is more fun researching!
Long before I started seriously researching my ancestry, my ex-wife and I tried to contact contemporaries on both sides and gather as much data as they had and were willing to share. We filled two large notebooks with data about aunts, uncles, cousins and their spouses. After retirement, I got into the ancestry of my mother and father, whose parents migrated from Sweden to the USA. Since all four of my grandparents were from Sweden, in pursuing my own ancestry I became very familiar with Swedish records and found that they were accurate, quite extensive and readily available.
That initial effort resulted in the discovery of some 567 direct ancestors and many more siblings, spouses and in-laws. Every one of these discoveries was a kick and I suppose that might have been enough, but apparently I am obsessive, compulsive, or otherwise committed to filling in blanks, such that I looked for other trees to climb.
Once in a while a discovery gives me a big kick. I’d like to share a few of these with you to see if you get a feeling for what I’m seeking.
WHAT BECAME OF GREAT-UNCLE ERIK?
My father’s father was born out of wedlock. His mother married two years later and grandpa took the Sandin surname from her husband. Three years later grandpa’s half-brother Erik Sandin was born. Grandpa migrated to “Amerika” when he was 18 and never saw Erik again. Grandpa told family that Erik also migrated, but I had no luck finding him in the USA.
As the years have passed, more and more Swedish data has been released, and more and more has been made available online. Some time ago, I found church records indicating that Erik made arrangements to migrate when he was 20 years old. But still no indication in the US records or the Swedish records of such a journey.
Another batch of church records became available and I found Erik after the scheduled date of departure. With help I found that he became a chauffeur, married a girl from Norway, lived some in Sweden and some in Norway and died in 1902 when he was only 24 years old. The mystery of uncle Erik was solved.
But wait, I followed his bride, only to find that he had left her pregnant, and a son was born in 1903. This preceding and the balance of this story all took a lot of time and effort, but let me condense it. Erik’s orphan son Victor migrated to the US, settled in Washington State, had two sons, and eventually, I am now in touch with one of his sons, a half first cousin!
A REVOLUTIONARY TREASURE
During the research of my paternal grandfather’s half-brother, I had my first exposure to the Sons of the American Revolution. A person I was searching for appeared on an application for membership in that Society. To qualify one must submit the relationship line from himself to the person who participated in that war. As you can see, this application included information about the applicant and seven generations of ancestors. Of course you can’t plan these things, but what a treasure if you should happen to have a relative who made such an application. I was able to use and/or verify six generations of information in one line of Erik’s tree from this single source document!
WE ARE ALL RELATED (APPARENTLY)
Two of my mother’s sisters married two young men who happened to be Lindberg brothers. This concentration of relationships provided an opportunity that was difficult to ignore. To add to the temptation, the brothers had Swedish ancestry, the research of which was by now familiar to me.
The older sister and her husband had two daughters while the younger had one son. These three are my first cousins. These cousins were (and the two remaining are) quick to inform me of family events to keep the contemporary trees current.
A few years ago I dug out several generations of Lindberg ancestry and shared a nearly 200 page report and some charts with these first cousins. Included in that report was a bit of data I found about the wife of the male cousin.
The two female cousins (sisters) married two men who happened to be Wiersbe brothers. Once again I was faced with the opportunity and temptation of digging into a concentration of genes and once again I succumbed to the temptation.
I didn’t get very far with the Wiersbe line because the paternal grandfather of the brothers came from Germany and I really don’t know my way around German records. However, the maternal grandparents were born in Sweden and migrated to the USA, so I was off and running.
As usual, some of the lines petered out after about four generations, but one eventually went out to nine generations with earliest births in the mid-1600s. A birth in 1806 on that line occurred in the parish of Hällefors, where some of my ancestors came from. This encouraged me to go on, and the next generation produced a man with the surname Zander, which rang a bell. I checked my database and, sure enough, I had that very person listed. He was not a direct ancestor, but I had significant information about him.
To make a long story short, the maternal grandfather of the Zander I ran into married twice. His first wife had a daughter that led to the Wiersbe line and his second wife had a daughter that led to my line. The Wiersbe brothers who married my two first cousins turn out to be half fourth cousins once removed! The “half” is due to our lines coming from two different wives of our common ancestor, Sven Larsson.
Now that alone was a big thrill, but on closer examination, Sven's bouppteckning was one that I had translated and have online. The Swedish bouppteckning is kind of like probate papers, but includes an inventory of the deceased’s estate with values, information about heirs and sometimes an indication of the estate’s distribution. It is a wealth of insight into the life of the deceased.
Not done yet - another bouppteckning I have online was for Sven's son-in-law, the husband of Sven's daughter who is in the Wiersbe line, and the father of the Zander I first ran into. Even though this person was not in my direct ancestry, I chose to translate it to see if any items listed could be identified as the same ones that were passed down from Sven.
Still more – I wrote and put online two Ponograms that describe the life of Sven from the eyes of Sven's widow, using his bouppteckning as a source for details.
And then the frosting on the cake of discovery. When I made the announcement of my discovery of the common ancestor, I heard from a 5th cousin in Sweden who now lives just two miles from the Sven Larson farm Hyttbacken and ON the same property of the Zander farm Södra Torpen! The kicks just keep coming.
To summarize, the Lindberg sisters are my first cousins through my mother’s side, and they married Wiersbe brothers who are my half fourth cousins once removed through my father’s side!
FOUR BROTHERS MARRY FOUR SISTERS
Sound familiar? If you have been following Ponograms for a while, you may remember this kick. You can see the details in Ponogram #86. The part that tickled me the most was that while the parents of the four sisters were my direct relatives, it was their SON who perpetuated my line, not one of the four sisters.
DID GRANDMA TRAVEL ALONE AT 19yo?
Early in my research, I was able to find in church records that my maternal grandmother came to the USA when she was 19 years old. I was shocked that a girl of that age would have the courage to make a journey like that alone. But then, her mother and her sister had died, her older brother had migrated, and all that was left of the family was a younger brother. Her father had been away to the USA for several years and she was cared for by her father’s mother. When he returned he remarried and grandma didn’t get along with the new wife, so she was probably incentivized to get away from home for a new life.
New records shed new light on the story. It turns out that grandma’s older brother apparently returned to Sweden from the USA for the sole purpose of picking up and traveling with grandma in her grand journey! I breathed a sigh of relief.
I hope these summaries give you a bit of the flavor of genealogy and why I spend so much time on it. The kicks are unexpected and really rewarding, but I'm told that the real benefit of the genealogy research is keeping my mind sharp. Is it working? You tell me.