HANSEN (Denmark>US) – Part I

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Hans-son/Hans-sen. Meaning: Patrynomic name meaning “Son of Hans,” or Johannes, which is the Danish form of John.

Origin: Danish.

Variations: In this family, none, but there are enough forms of this name that everyone knows a large number—Hanson, Hansson, Jones, Johnson, etc… I’ve actually got this name in several spots on my tree—both the Bordewick spouses and the Hansen spouses have variations on the name, and will be covered on their own.

Relation to me: My father’s mother’s maiden name.

i: Hansen, Margaret; born 1919, Chicago, Illinois, US; Sam Hillinger, 2 sons, 2 daughters

ii: Hansen, Holger; born 1891, died 1977, born in Vejle, Denmark; Oline Hansen, 2 daughters, 1 son

iii: Hansen, Jens; born 1858, died 1919, born Vejle, Denmark; Else Larsen, 2 daughters, 6 sons

iv: Hans Knudsen; born 1824, died 1902, born Vejle, Denmark; Christine Jensdatter, 4 sons, 4 daughters

v: Knud Knudsen; born 1794, died 1866, born in Denmark (?), Ane Marie Hansdatter, 1 son known

vi: Knud Madsen; born about 1730, unknown death date, born in Denmark (?), unknown spouse, 1 son known

Looking for:
As you can see, after the third generation, the name changes every generation, which makes tracing things a bit difficult. Anything from Knud Knudsen back would be very welcome, if anyone has information on he or his wife. I would like verification that he and his father were actually Danish born, or his mother’s name, or any children or siblings he may have had.

Four Generations

Something a little different today. I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for a while.

As I’ve said before, I was lucky enough to be the first grandkid in my family, which meant I not only had all of my grandparents around for a good percentage of my life, but also three of my great-grandparents. And my niece has also been lucky enough to meet both of my sister and my grandmothers.

So I thought I’d present a montage of photos with all four generations together.

L-R: Mary Bordewick (nee Park), aka Granny; R Hillinger (nee Bordewick); M Hillinger (on Ruth’s lap), George Bordewick

L-R: M Hillinger (on E’s lap), E Hillinger, Holger Hansen, Maggie Hansen Hillinger, aka Nana

L-R: R Hillinger (nee Bordewick); S Hillinger (on R's lap), Merle Bordewick (nee Jones) (behind); Eliza Jones (nee Howells), aka Nain; M Hillinger

L-R: M Hillinger (in S’s arms), S Hillinger, E Hillinger, Maggie Hansen Hillinger (front), aka Nana

L-R: R Hillinger (nee Bordewick) aka Nain, Merle Bordewick (nee Jones), S Hillinger, M Hillinger (on S’s lap)

BORDEWICK (Norway>Belgium>Canada>US)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Bord-wick. Meaning: Have been unable at this time to find a specific meaning, though we believe it is a place name surname.

Origin: We have always assumed the name was Germanic or Scandinavian in origin (though I have been told by a friend recently it definitely sounds odd for a Scandinavian name). We have no absolute proof of either, though. And in my search for more, I stumbled on a possible connection to Scotland, the Borthwick family, which may or may not be related, and if so, may be the origin of the name.
ETA: My grandfather believed the name came from Bardowick, Germany. He did type up a paper on the city, which I will type up at a later date.

Variations: Bordewich (others here Borthwick Variants which may or may not have any relationship to Bordewick). We’re not sure precisely when the name change occurred, though we believe it was somewhere around the Boar Wars to WWI that the change was likely to occur, though it may have occurred well before.

Relation to me: My mother’s maiden name.

i: Bordewick, R; (private), Canada; E Hillinger, 2 daughters

ii: Bordewick, George; 1918-1991; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Merle Jones; 2 sons, 2 daughters

iii: Bordewick, Bjarne; 1888-1950, Lofoten Islands, Norway; Mary Park; 2 sons

iv: Bordewick, Henrick; 1862-1930; Vagan, Norway; Leonharde Bordewich, 3 sons

v: Bordewick, Hans; 1834-1893; Norway?; Karen Angell, 5 sons, 3 daughters

vi: Bordewich, Johan; 1802-1879; Norway?; Leonharde Linkhausen, 7 sons, 4 daughters; Henrikke Roness, 1 son, 3 daughters

vii: Bordewich, Hans; 1769-1813; Norway?, Anna Tiller, 3 sons

Looking for:
Any further information on Hans Heinrich Bordewick and his wife Anna Magdalena Johnsdatter Tiller and their family, particularly his parents.

Brickwall Update - the Senft/Hillingers

I’ve managed to find out a few bits and pieces on the Hillinger side of my family since my first Brickwall post. I haven’t actually managed to find any more previous generations, but I have found a few more details about what I do have, thanks to my father and pieces written by both of my grandparents.

One thing I’ve learned is that my grandfather’s father’s name changed several times over the course of his life. I’m still not 100% sure of his birth name, but I’ve seen his first as Elias, Alec, and Alex. And his last name before 1919 was Seneft or Senft (not sure which spelling is correct, as I have seen both versions on documents), and after was Hillinger.

I have also learned a good deal more about his earlier life, though we are still not absolutely certain where he was born. It seems that his family moved from somewhere in Russia or the Prussian states when he was fairly young, possibly around the age of 7, and settled in London.

Another fascinating bit I learned was the names of three of four of his siblings (we’re not sure if there were more): Annie, Jennie and Jack. We also know there was another brother. The names all sound a bit Anglicized to me. I have a feeling that Elias is closer to his true name than Alex, and that the others are probably forms of more Yiddish or Biblical names, though I have no proof for certain. I have no ages for any of them aside from Elias, but I do have a bit more information on their spouses and children. Annie married a Moshe (?) Wolf, and lived and died in Tennessee after the First World War. She had no children that we are aware of. Jennie married a Moshe (?) Hirsch and lived in the states for many years, but moved back to England before she died. She also had no children we’re aware of. Jack lived in New York after the war, but never married or had any children we’re aware of. The final child did marry, and had at least five children: four sons, and a daughter named Kitty. She married and had at least two children, a son named Ivan, and a daughter.

And there was something else that I’d never heard of before. A place called Camp Douglas.

Obviously, as someone who is the descendant of German Jews, the thought of any detention camp is a bit sickening. And as someone who took a class on the Japanese internment camps here in the states, I know how bad these things can be even without purposefully setting out to kill the prisoners as was done in the Nazi camps. The fact that this family, my family, was sent to one while in England feels somehow that much more sickening.

For those who, like me, have not heard of Camp Douglas before, it was an internment camp set up during World War I for Prussian nationals and other enemy aliens to be sent to so as to keep them away from the rest of the nation. It was a campground on the Isle of Man, and was one of two camps set aside for prisoners during this time. Douglas handled the civilian population (ie, women and children and families) while the other handled POWs. Douglas was later re-opened for similar use during World War II. The thing that disgusted me most at learning of this place, though, was the fact that they felt that the Jewish population of the camp needed to be separated out from the rest—then sent many of them back off to the Prussian states after the War, where many were later killed by the Nazi purges.

My family was one of the lucky ones. My great-grandfather decided in 1933, after his business ventures failed, to move his family from Frankfurt to France, and from there to the US, so they were well out of range when the worst of the Nazi programs began in Europe. Still, it gives me pause just how close we came to not being here at all.

For more information on this side of my family, see these posts:
Brickwall Ancestors
The Life of Sam Hillinger as told by Maggie Hillinger
Surname Saturday: Hillinger

Surname Saturday: HILLINGER (Austria?>Germany>US)

So, I'm going to be trying something new for a while... I found something called Surname Saturday at another Genealogy Blog that I found quite intriguing, so I thought I'd try it as well. I'm not sure how many generations I'll go back--several lines use patrynomics only about three generations back, meaning that the names change every generation, so that makes it difficult to keep up with something like this...but we'll see.

For more information, the master post about Surname Saturday is here.

For my purposes, I'm going to start with my maiden Surname and work my way back from there.

HILLINGER (Austria?>Germany>US)

Meaning/Pronunciation: English pronunciation: Hill-in-jer. Germanic pronunciation: Hil-ling-er. I’ve been unable to find a meaning for the name, but if anyone out there has an idea, do let me know.

Origin: Though I have not be able to confirm this, I have been told the name is Austrian in origin. For my family, the earliest we have the name is my great-great grandmother, but we don’t know where she was born, unfortunately, though we believe her son was born in Germany, or was otherwise a German citizen.

Variations: None known at this time.

Relation to me: This is my maiden name.

i: Hillinger, E; (private), Germany; married R Bordewick; 2 daughters.

ii: Hillinger, Sam; born 1922, died 2000; born in Frankfurt, Germany; married Margaret Hansen, 2 sons, 2 daughters.

iii: Hilinger (Senft), Elias (Alex); born about 1883, died 1948; German; married Dora Kresch, 2 sons, 4 daughters.

iv: Hilinger, Mindel, born before 1873, died unknown; unknown birth location; married Leon Seneft, 1 son known.

Looking for:
More about Mindel Hilinger and her family, and her husband’s family. Particularly their birth locations and dates, any other children they may have had, and their parents’ names.

The Bordewick Family

The Bordewicks

Written by George R Bordewick
Bellevue, Washington

Transcribed by Mika Bartroff 4/8/10

My father was born in a small fishing village (fiskevaer) in the Lofoten Islands, north of the Arctic Circle in northern Norway. My mother was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of Belfast Irish parents. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. How did we all get together? Briefly stated, northern Norway is temperate all year round which may be surprising to some. The Gulf Stream flows up the coast and in the north the cod fishery was the largest in the world. From 1896 to about 1900 the Gulf Stream departed from its usual course along the coast and diverted itself a couple of hundred miles westward.

This unfortunate turn of events resulted in the cod following the stream. In those days the fishermen used open boats, propelled by a square sail and oars when necessary, and the fish were out of their reach. My Grandfather, Bergithon Bordewick was in partnership with his brother Eivind in a fish buying and exporting business. Industry practice is that the buyer stakes the fisherman at the beginning of the season, and settles with him at the end, paying him for his catch and deducting for provisions, nets and other gear supplied during the season.

By 1900 Bergithon and Eivind were in desperate straits. Bergithon elected to go to Antwerp in Belgium where he had business connections. His family consisted of his wife, Leonharda, and three sons, Bjarne, Hans, and Harald. They remained in Antwerp for about six months, but they were not comfortable. They were mistaken for Englishmen, and the Flemish, who were sympathetic to the Dutch in the South African Boer War. Feelings ran high against he British, and on one occasion they were spat upon by indignant patriots.

Leonharda had a brother who had left Lofoten previously and was well established as a Ship Broker in Hull. Bergithon made a connection in Grimsby, which is across the river from Hull and he engaged himself to a firm of ship brokers. The three boys had a tutor in Henningsvaer, and must have had a good start in the English language. They attended school in Grimsby, and Clee Grammar School (“Fan Mentis Honestae Gloria”), where they did well in their studies and became ardent soccer players. Bjarne (my father) was a good student and successfully passed the entrance examinations for Cambridge.

My grandfather was not entirely happy with his situation and the family looked around for better prospects. My grandmother had a sister who had emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, which was then a boom town, and in 1910 they decided to try their luck in Canada. Grandfather found employment with the Atlantic-Pacific Steamship Company, and remained with them until the opening of the Panama Canal, which put the A-P out of business. It had employed ships on the Eastern seaboard which transshipped their cargo across Central America by rail, and thence by other vessels northward to the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. Apparently, other established lines were able to perform intercoastal freighting more efficiently than the A-P which went out of business. Bergithon then found employment as Dock Cashier with the Evans Colman and Evans Co which had a dock and stevedoring business, and were coal merchants.

My mother, Mary Dunlop Park, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents, Robert and Elizabeth Park, had emigrated to Philadelphia in the early 1880’s. He was a cabinet maker. They had seven children, all born in Philadelphia, one of whom died when a young man. The economy of the United States was in a precarious state, and my grandmother said that when the Democrats were in power, the Republicans did everything possible to make it impossible for them to succeed. As they controlled the business of the country, this was probably easy to arrange. President Teddy Roosevelt had much to do with disciplining the “trusts” and other business combinations.

About 1900 the family went back to Belfast, Northern Ireland where they remained until 1911. My grandmother had a sister who was married to a canny Scot from the Hebrides. He had gone to the Yukon and struck it rich during the Gold Rush. He was in the real estate business in Vancouver, BC, which was then a boom town and expanding rapidly. The family decided to come West and one of the sisters, Rhoda came out first, and followed by the others soon after. They did well, and lived in Grandview, a suburb of Vancouver for many years.

The influence of sisters and a brother who prospered elsewhere had a great influence in the movements of the two branches of the family. However the element of chance entered into the presence of my wife’s family in Vancouver. Her father, Daniel Thomas Jones, was born in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. “Merthyr” is Welsh for “martyr” and commemorates the death of an heroic Welsh damsel who was murdered by the heathen.

A group of young lads from Merthyr and vicinity resolved to go to the Canadian prairies to harvest wheat, which they did, accompanied by Daniel. At the end of the job some were for going back to Wales, but Daniel and others tossed a coin to see if they would go West to Vancouver, or East to home. The toss was in favor of Vancouver. During his stay in the Prairies, Daniel had met a beautiful young Welsh girl (who later did not remember the occasion), and they met again in Vancouver while pursuing the common interest of choral music. They subsequently married and had four children: Marjorie, Edwina, Merle and Ivor.

I attended Zion United Church in Grandview, Vancouver, BC during my youth, and while attending a youth meeting in downtown Vancouver, made the acquaintance of Merle Jones. She was the only girlfriend I ever had. I had access to a bicycle built for two, and we enjoyed many rides together. Her home was near undeveloped land owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and we picked berries, cut Christmas Trees and did other things in those leisurely times.

The Great Depression lasted from about 1930 to 1937, but our fathers were fortunate, and I was able to pick up a job, assisted by a gentleman who was a leader in one of our youth groups. Thousands had a very difficult time, but we were lucky. These easy times were ended by World War II.

My wife, Merle, and I have been blessed with four children...all of whom are doing well. We have two grandchildren...who show great promise.

That’s how we all got together.

My Nain - Eliza Anne Jones

So, I debated quite a while about what I was going to post today, and decided I'd organize some old computer files so that I had all my family tree information in one folder, and stumbled across something about my great-grandmother that I felt I had to post. Before this, I was thinking of writing up something about the female lines of my family tree, but that can wait. Though this does fall into that category.

I wrote the prose and poem for this piece for different classes. One was for a Folklore class where we were asked to talk about a family heirloom, and one for a creative writing class that was just something that flowed out of a generic assignment that ended up focusing on her, which I believe was about old photos (I could be wrong). Each of the stanzas of the poem are based on moments or photos that spring to mind when I think of her.


A rose on her grave --
The frail, white-haired old woman,
Who smiled when she saw me.
“I think I’m shrinking as fast as you are growing.”

An elderly woman,
Saying good-bye to the man she loved.
Clattering around in an empty house
After fifty-three years, alone.

A doting grandmother,
Holding three fidgeting children on her lap
Helping turn the pages
As she read.

A proud mother,
Sending her son off to war,
Protecting her remaining family
From harm.

The mother of four,
A child in her arms,
And three at her feet,
Building castles in the sand.

A young mother,
Holding her baby daughter
A toddler
Clinging to her skirts.

The bashful bride
Of a man who traveled
Halfway round the world
To find her.

A gold sunburst necklace
Engraved “EH”--
All that I have
Of a woman I called “Nain”

- MKB, 12/98

One of my most treasured belongings, possibly the most treasured, is a starburst necklace that I got for my twenty-first birthday from my grandmother. My parents were both young when I was born, and I was the first grandchild on either side of my family, so I happily had two full sets of grandparents, and even three great-grandparents for about the first ten years of my life. Of these great-grandparents, the one that I recall especially fondly is my grandmother’s mother, a woman I called Nain (pronounced nine). Nain died in the early eighties when I was about ten, and her belongings were split among her children and grandchildren. I believe that this is when my grandmother came into possession of the necklace. When I reached my twenty-first birthday, my grandmother thought of giving me the necklace, since it had originally been given to her mother for her twenty-first birthday, and I was the only grandchild who recalled her, she thought that I should have something to remember her by.

My great-grandmother was born Eliza Anne Howells in 1885 in Southern Wales, the fourth child of a coal miner. Shortly after her birth, her father decided it would be better for his family if he found a healthier job, so he moved the family to his brother’s farm in Alberta, Canada. They lived there for a few years until the pressure of having two large families in a small house became too much, and the family moved again. This time they moved to the west coast—Vancouver, British Columbia. There he set up his own farm and became moderately prosperous. On Eliza’s twenty-first birthday, the family had a necklace made, and engraved with her initials, EH.

When I received the necklace on my twenty-first birthday, I was thrilled. I had nothing that reminded me of her except a picture or two, and those only showed her in the last years of her life. I have since become one of my family’s historians, and I know far more about her than I ever did before. This simple necklace, not expensively made, meant as a gift to a daughter who had just become an adult has since become much more as well. To my great-grandmother, it became a reminder of the family she loved. To my grandmother, her daughter, it was a way to recall the mother she had lost. For me, the necklace is my link to a woman who I adored, and a link to her past; a past that I am learning more about every day. The necklace has a place of honor next to my bedroom mirror, where I can see it each morning, and recall the woman it was made for.

- MKB, 2/2000

The necklace is the old-fashioned sort, that was made to give the owner other options in wearing it aside from as a necklace, so the pendant is also a broach. To have my great-grandmother close to me during my wedding, I pinned it to the inside of my sash on my wedding dress. It no longer hangs near my mirror, but has a special place of honour in my jewelry box along with my few other treasured pieces of jewelry. It’s still one of my most valued possessions.

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.