OLSEN (Denmark)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Ole-Sen. Meaning: Son of Ole

Origin: Danish

Variations: As with all Scandinavian Patronymics, there are other variations for the other countries—Olson, Olsson, etc.

Relation to me: My dad’s mother’s mother’s mother.

i: Olsen, Maren, 1855 – 1923, Slots-Bjergby, Denmark; Rasmus Hansen, 3 sons, 3 daughters

ii: Larsen, Ole, ? - ?, Denmark ?; Birthe Schrøder, 1 daughter known

Looking for:
As you can see, there is not a whole lot known here. I recently found Ole and Birthe (Birthe Marie) looking up Maren in a database, so I am pretty confident these were her parents. The record listed her full name, birthdate, and birth place, so it seems less likely to be a different child with exactly those three things matching. However, this is all I know of her family, so any information on her, her siblings, or her parents would be more than welcomed.

Johan Petter Bordewick - most prolific male ancestor

From Genea-Musings: I found this link after Father’s day, but I still want to play with it, because the answer came to me even though I wasn’t positive I was right.

Your mission for Father's Day, if you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

2) Tell us about him in your own blog post, in comments to this blog post, or in comments on Facebook.

As I said, for me, the answer came right away. Mostly because either my ancestors didn’t tend to have that many kids very often—rarely over ten—but also because in many generations, right now, all I have is my direct ancestor, and I don’t know how many siblings they had.

For my family, the answer is Johan Petter Bordewich. The reason is because he married twice. First to my great-great grandfather’s grandmother, Leonharde Marine Linkhausen, with whom he had eleven children, and after her death, to my great-great grandmother’s mother, Henrikke Roness, with whom he had four more children.

He is one of my baseline progenitors. Both because of the dual ancestry placement and because before him I have very little information. I do know the names of his parents and their birth and death years, and that he had two brothers, but that’s pretty much it.

He’s always been there in my tree, and it’s always been easy to remember his name because he’s in most family trees I print out for this side of the family.

Other bits about Johan and his family aside from the above:

* He was Norwegian. This is an assumed fact, because I know my great-grandfather was Norwegian, and so most of this line, at least to this point, I assume is also Norwegian.

* His four daughters from his second marriage may have gone by the surname “Johansdatter,” though I currently have all four listed as “Bordewich” in my family tree program. Johansdatter is actually more likely from this time-period, though I’d never thought to look for any of them that way. I will have to look for his daughters from his first marriage that way as well.

* I know that his grandson was a fisherman, so I tend to assume that Johan was as well, though this doesn’t necessarily follow. My great-grandfather’s father wasn’t firstborn, so it’s possible there was a farm, and he just didn’t inherit. Though in Norway this is less likely.

Johan’s Children:
With Leonharde Marine Linkhausen
* Johan Petter Bordewich 1827 – 1913
* Antonette Henrikke Bordewich 1829 – 1920
* Hans Henrik Bordewich (my g-g-g grandfather) 1834 – 1893
* Elsie Sofie Bordewich 1837 – 1861
* Hans Jorgen Bordewich 1837 – 1937
* Anna Magdelena Bordewich 1839 – 1854
* Johan Henrik Bordewich 1839 – 1924
* Wilhelm Bordewich 1841 – 1853
* Jorgen Christian Bordewich 1842 – 1899
* Lars Nikolai Bordewich 1844 – 1912
* Leonharde Marine Bordewich 1846 – 1846 (Which is also when her mother died—I have to assume birth complications caused both deaths)
With Hinrikke Roness
* Ida Amalie Bordewich 1853 - ?
* Leonharde Marie Bordewich (my g-g grandmother) 1861 – 1944
* Anna Magdalena Bordewich 1862 – 1933
* Petter Roness Bordewich 1867 - ?

Of course, this is only the listing of children I know. It’s quite likely there were at least a few more that didn’t make it past their first day…

LARSEN (Denmark)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Lar-sen Meaning: Son of Lars.

Origin: Danish

Variations: Like all the –sen names, it comes in various versions depending on the origin country of the name—son, sson, etc.

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

i: Larsen, Else, 1865 – 1934, Ringive, Denmark; Jens Hansen, 2 daughters, 6 sons

ii: Larsen, Jorgen, 1837 – 1923, Vejle, Denmark; Ivare Christensen, 7 daughters, 2 sons

iii: Andersen, Lars, 1794 - ?, Vejle, Denmark; Birthe Marie Sorensen, 6 sons, 2 daughters

Looking for:
Another one of the patronymic names in my family, though only one generation of change. I assume Lars’s father’s first name would be Christen, or something along those lines. I have little to no information about him or his wife, nor her maiden name, and I have only my direct ancestor for their children. Any and all information on them would be quite welcome.

Edited 10/21/10: After looking at the originals, it seems Lars's wife's name was Bertha, the letter only looked like an O, but on a different copy, the B was more obvious.

Edited 11/18/10: And after looking at the list of births for the area, the only Jorgen Larsen who I can find with the birth date I have has the parents Lars Andersen (Not Christiansen, which is also Jorgen's wife's surname, so maybe that's where that came from?) and Birthe Marie Sorensen. Birthe sounds very much like Bertha, so for now, I'm going to believe that's right, given that the information cannot be confirmed with the original source. (My grandmother's great-aunt's daughter.)

Visual Family Tree I - The Hillingers

Thought it would be fun to do a visual representation of each of the four main branches of my family tree as far as we have photos back, one for each generation.

So today I present the Hillingers:

Me and my sister as wedding attendants ca 1984

My Parents on their wedding day in 1969

Dad and his siblings as kids with Grumpy and Nana

Grumpy (Sam) and Nana (Maggie) in the late 40s

Dora and Alex with their first grandchild, my dad’s cousin, sometime in the late 40s

Sam with his whole family before they came to the US in the mid-thirties:
L-R: Back - Sam, Dora, Ben, Alex, Minna; Front: Helena, Selma (on Dora's lap), Hilda aka Peppi

Dora with her sister Minna in the late 19-teens

Fiege Golde Kresch (nee Riech), mother of Dora, around 1927

If I am correct, this would be Benzion Kresch, whom Grumpy's elder brother was named for

More on this family:
Brickwall Ancestors
The Life of Sam Hillinger
Brickwall update: The Senft/Hillingers
Surname Saturday Posts:
* Hillinger
* Senft
* Kresch
* Reich

ETA: Added a shot of dad and his family when he was a kid, and will be adding one of Grumpy with his family once we've got it scanned and posted.

REICH (Germanic)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Ry-k (at least, this is how I’ve always pronounced it in my head) Meaning: descendant of Rico, a pet form of Riculf (powerful; wolf); a nickname for a wealthy man.

Origin: All I know for certain is that this is from the Jewish/Germanic side of my family.

Variations: None that I am immediately aware of.

Relation to me: My father’s father’s mother’s surname.

i: Reich, Feige, Born before 1882, Prussian states somewhere, Benzion Kresch, at least 2 daughters, possibly 1 son

Looking for:
All I know about this family is this woman. I’m not even sure if she went by Feige or Golda or something else entirely, but her full name given on the tree I received from my grandfather was Feige Golda Reich. I have no birth or death dates for her, no marriage date to her husband, or any information at all about her parents. I do know that she had two daughters, and possibly one son (if I’m not misunderstanding family lore about coming to the US). So any information about her at all would be wonderful.

A bit of fun with Surnames and Wordle

Wordle: Me

Found this idea at Bart Brenner's Blog, Stardust 'n' Roots. I went a bit different with my version, which is just all my (confirmed) surnames listed by amount of ancestors (including myself). Click the picture to see the full piece.

Matriarchal Lines in Genalogy

Ever since I began working on my family tree, I have a fascination with my matriarchal lines. By that, I don’t just mean my mother’s side of my family tree, though those are included. I mean any female lines of either side of my tree, whether that be my grandmothers, great-grandmothers, or generations even further back in my ancestral line.

Most trees are usually traced back through the husbands’ lines, only going as far back as the wives’ parents in most cases, if that. So in most cases, what you end up with for an ancestral tree is one that looks less like a y or v shape, and more like a diagonal line with a few nicks in it pointing the other direction. Part of this arises from the fact that people are more interested in tracing back their own surname, but part of it comes from the fact that in many cases, it can be quite difficult to find even the surnames of the wives involved in the family line.

Often this is because their names are misspelled, or have changed over the years they were alive for various reasons, or because the family name is different depending on who writes it down—I have one ancestor I always assumed had the last name of Bordewick or Bordewich, but recently I found her sister with the last name Johannesdatter—which is correct for the time and for their parentage, so I know it’s the right person…it just gets very frustrating when you add in the Scandinavian tendency towards patrilinial surnames…

Once I started working on my family tree, I found that, like most family trees, the majority of my family lines were more researched on the male lines over the female ones. The Hansen and Bordewick sides in particular. Either I had very little information more than a few generations back, or I had mostly or all patrilinic bloodlines traced, and little else.

When I began to look into genealogy online, at first I found very little to add to my tree, but now that more is available for search, I’ve had a bit more luck—almost all arising from looking into those mostly-ignored female lines of my family tree. I think that tends to be because of the tendency for women to marry and move away with their husbands, especially in the old days. So they fell out of touch with their side of the family, and hence only their birth date is shown on that side of the family tree for her family, or in some cases, a husband’s name and little else.

Because of this, I’ve discovered that the maternal lines turn out to be the easiest to look into. Especially when the names are slightly unusual. My best find on my tree came through a matrilineal link that, if I can confirm it, traces all the way back to the 10th century. It’s that kind of find that makes me even more inclined to continue looking into my matrilineal ancestors, and not just because I’m so fascinated by these lines.

I can’t wait to see what I find next.

HOWELLS (Northern Wales>Canada)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: How-wells. Meaning: Son of Howel.

Origin: Welsh

Variations: Hywel, Hywell, Howel, Howell, Howells—the Welsh were a bit indiscriminate in their spelling.

Relation to me: This is my Mother’s mother’s mother’s maiden name.

i: Howells, Eliza, 1885 – 1980, Penrhiwceber, Wales; Daniel Jones, 3 daughters, 1 son

ii: Howells, Gabriel, 1849 – 1934, Towyn, Wales; Selina Roberts, 4 daughters, 2 sons

iii: Gabriel, Hywel, 1822 – 1871, Wales?; Catherine Jones, 6 sons, 2 daughters

iv: Howel, Gabriel, 1796 – 1852, Wales?; Gwen Evan, at least 1 son

Looking for:
As you can see, once the line goes back before 1850, the name changes every generation. I believe that the Gabriel/Howells were farmers, as the story goes that my great-great grandfather Gabriel was supposed to be the one to inherit the farm, but decided to become a stonemason instead. I don’t know a lot about the generations before him, so any information there would be most welcome.

ETA 10/21/10: Gwen Evan is a relatively new find, but she will be posed soon, so I thought I'd add her to this tree. She's as of yet unconfirmed, but the son and husband do match, and we have several Evans and Gwens in that line, so think it may be correct.

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.