New Discoveries

I find it surprising each time I learn something new, what it is that I got wrong, what I took for granted, and what I got right.

Case in point, my mother's paternal grandmother's name. Her full name was Mary Dunlop Park. I knew her siblings' names, and her parents' names, and that she and her siblings were born in Philadelphia, and that the family was originally from Ireland. But that was about it. Still, I had suspected for some time that one of the family names further back in that part of my tree was likely Dunlop, given her middle name. One rarely uses a surname as a middle name without that name having some significance to the family. Then, while researching this side of the family on Family's new Beta site, I found the death records for both of Mary's parents, which list their parents' names. And discovered that her paternal grandmother's maiden name was Dunlop. Exciting for me, because not only did it prove my assumption right, but it was also the branch of the family I have been researching the longest.

I had another of those moments last night.

In college, I wrote a paper about my grandmother and her mother and daughter. I got to interview her, and learned a great deal about my great-grandmother that I'd just never heard before. Oline, her mother, died when my grandmother was nine, so she and her younger siblings fell out of touch with her mother's side of the family because most of them were still back in Denmark. It was only when I was growing up that they finally began to look into her family, and made contact with an uncle from that side of the family who was actually living here in the states.

I knew all this from interviewing her, and from the little I'd gathered when I was younger, but even after my interview, there were many things I assumed. I assumed that Oline was the first of that side of the family to come over. That she came over with her younger brother and an uncle's family, and stayed. I also assumed that Oline and her husband, Holger, met when she was coming back from a visit with family in Denmark when he was making his first trip to the US.

In both instances, I was wrong.

After my grandmother's death this year, I received a large batch of genealogical papers--which included a transcript of the visit my grandmother and her siblings made to their uncle before his death. in it, he specifically made the trip first. He also mentions that his grandfather was here in the states with one of their uncles. This definitely bears looking into, if I'm understanding the transcript right. It means I had another direct ancestor here in the states on that side before Oline.

I also discovered a biography of my great-grandfather, written immediately after his death by my grandmother's sister. In it, she writes how Holger met Oline. Not as a first-time immigrant meeting her on her return voyage to the state, but as two immigrants returning to Denmark to visit their families. Apparently they were detained in Denmark because of the war, so Holger took the opportunity to court her there while the Great War raged--and when they returned to the states, she moved to Cleveland, where the two married and raised their family.

There's so much I never knew. And each little detail only makes me want to dig deeper. I can't wait to find out what I'll learn next.


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.