JENSEN (Denmark)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Jen-Sen Meaning: Son of Jens

Origin: Danish

Variations: In this case, this is actually a patronymic, and has the usual variations. Though it shows as Jensen in some parts of my tree, in this case, the actual listing I have is for Jensdatter, the feminine form.

Relation to me: This is my father's mother's father's father's mother's maiden name.

i: Jensdatter, Christine, 1834 – 1918, Kokborg, Thyregod, Vejle County, Denmark; Hans Knudsen, 4 sons, 4 daughters

ii: Pedersen, Jes Christian, 1798 – 1876, Hastrup, Thyregod, Vejle County, Denmark; Mette Matisdatter, 4 daugthers, 5 sons

iii: Christensen, Peder, 1759 – 1830, Selde, Viborg County, Denmark, Catrine Pedersdatter, 4 sons, 2 daughters

iv: Jepsen Storgaard, Chresten, 1705 – 1767, Selde, Viborg County, Denmark; Mette Pedersdatter, 3 daughters, 4 sons

v: Michelsen, Jep, 1667 – 1745, Selde, Viborg County, Denmark, Anna Jensdatter, 3 daughters, 6 sons

vi: Eskesen, Michel, 1638 – 1716, Selde, Viborg County, Denmark, Kirsten Jepsdatter, 4 daughters, 1 son

vii: Christensen, Eske, 1602 – 1680, Selde, Viborg County, Denmark, Dorothe Mikkelsdatter Hontoft, 2 daughters, 4 sons

viii: Eskildsen, Christen, born late 1500s, Denmark?, no name known, 1 son known

Looking for:
Well…not a whole lot. I think I'm happy with staying with 13 generations for the moment until I've gotten a bit further elsewhere. :D Though if anyone does recognize Eske Christensen or his father, I certainly wouldn't mind learning more.

This name marks the start of the 5th generation before me, and it is also the longest-traced surname to date, with 8 generations from Christine to Christen.

Visual Family Tree Part II

Been a while since I posted the first part of this, but today I thought I'd do the visual family tree for the Hansens.

Maggie (back) with her baby brother Torben (on her lap) and her younger sister (front).

Holger and Oline Hansen's wedding portrait.

Oline with her brothers and sisters.
Back L-R: Julie Oline, Herman, Maren Hansine Marie
Front L-R: Ole, Johanne Kirsten, Hans Kristian

Holger with his brothers and sisters.
Back L-R: Aage, Hans Jorgen, Holger Skov
Front L-R: Hansine Kristine, Alfred, Adolf, Ida Kristine
Missing from the shot is one of Holger's youngest brothers, Hans Knudsen.

Oline's parents Rasmus and Maren Sophie Hansen with their youngest, Hans

Holger's mother Else Katrine and her mother Ivare Kirsten, and his brother Hans and his wife and daughter.
L-R: Else, Florence, E Hansen, Hans, Ivare

(Ivare) Kirstine (nee Christensen) and Jorgen Larsen

More Visual Family Tree:
The Hillingers
More on this family:
Four Generations
Brick Wall Ancestors
The Story of Oline
Surname Saturday Posts:
* Hansen I
* Hansen II
* Larsen
* Olsen

Dream Genealogy Trip

Randy Seaver's blog Genea-Musings had a post I just couldn't resist today: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - your dream research trip.

"Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Think hard about the genealogy research trip that you would take if money were no object. Where would you go, how long would you stay, what research would you do? What is your "dream research trip?"

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook."

So here's mine.

My big three places to visit would probably be Ireland, Wales and Denmark. Those three seem to be my consistent favorites these past few years. I have names of cities and towns in most cases for those areas, so I'd love to visit all three. And I might even jog over to Germany, then up to Norway. On a boat, perhaps.

But really, I'd love to go to all the places I know of on my family tree.

So here's my real dream trip:

I'd Start in Vancouver BC, most likely, as that is where my most recent link outside Seattle is. Once I'd exhausted the leads (and visits) in Vancouver, I'd probably travel across Canada, just because I've never done it before, then stop in Cleveland, where my grandmother was born and then Chicago where my grandfather's parents lived, and see what I can find there. Particularly, I'd want to see if any of the houses my grandmother's father built are still standing.

From there I'd travel on to New York. Maybe stop at Ellis Island (and also Ground Zero, just to see the buildings going up), then hop a plane for Europe.

My first stop would definitely be Denmark, as I have several friends there that I talk to regularly who I'd want to visit. And hopefully one or more would be able to help in getting in touch with some of the Danish family I have there. Maybe even manage a trip to the places both of my great-grandparents were born.

Once I'd hit the continent (my great-grandmother was born on the island Copenhagen is located on, but my great-grandfather was born on the peninsula that juts off the continent), I'd head down to Germany, stopping in Frankfurt, where both my father and grandfather were born, then heading up to see what's left of Bardoweick, then making my way to the coast to find a boat to take me up to Norway. Not entirely certain of the places I might visit there, but at the moment, I'd definitely want to visit the Lofoten Islands, as most of the Bordewicks after Germany were born and raised there until they moved to Canada.

From there, I'd take the boat (or another) down to Scotland, just because I've always wanted to see it, then stop over in Northern Ireland, where apparently my Irish blood comes from. Maybe another stop in Dublin, then down to the Northern coast of Wales, and a slow drive down the country, through a few towns I have located there, until I get to Merthur Tydful, where my great-grandfather was born.

After that, I'd have covered about 90% of my genealogy, so I'd probably stop in Cardiff, just because, then head over to London for a day or two, then back home.

And that would be my dream genealogy trip.


Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Rob-ertz Meaning: Son of Robert.

Origin: Roberts is a Welsh patronymic name used for the children of men named Robert. One of the more common Welsh surnames of this type.

Variations: None that I'm immediately aware of, and definitely not in this family.

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

i: Roberts, Selina, 1845 – 1933, Dyffryn, Monmothshire, Wales; Gabriel Howells, 4 daughters, 2 sons

ii: Roberts, Hugh, ? - ?, Wales?; Ellen Pugh, 1 known daughter

Looking for:
In looking up Selina last week, I discovered that her mother, whose maiden name I had always listed as Griffiths on my family tree, is listed on her death record as Ellen Pugh. So I'm going with that until I find other information. Of Ellen and Hugh, I know absolutely nothing but their names, nor do I have any clue about how many children they might have had.

As this is my matrilineal line, it holds a great deal of interest for me, and I'd love to get further back with these three.


Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Gryf-iths Meaning: Descendant of Griffith

Origin: Welsh

Variations: None in this family (yet), but I'm sure there are at least a few versions out there.

Relation to me: My mother's mother's father's mother.

i: Griffiths, Hannah, 1863 – 1933, Newcastle Emlyn, Wales; Benjamin Jones, 5 sons, 2 daughters

Looking for:
As you can see, my great-great grandmother is all I have of this surname. I'd love to know who her parents were, and whether she had any siblings. Any information on her family would be great.

Where I Come From

I always set aside Thursday to write up something for this blog, and to go through other people's blog-posts in anticipation of working on my tree each Friday. There's one thing that always upsets me, as I start working through everything. So much of what I find online about Genealogy focuses so heavily on the US ancestors, and stops at those borders, that there seems to be almost nothing for those few of us whose ancestors have not been here long.

Now, I know…this is changing. Slowly and for the better. And that family trees are almost as individual as thumb-prints, unless you're siblings. BUT…it still bugs me. So, in order to get myself past this without ranting, I thought I'd post about where my roots do come from.

Both of my parents were born outside the US. My father on a US Army base in Germany to a US Air Force Lieutenant and her retired Army husband. My mother was born in Canada, the daughter of two first-generation Canadians. She moved to the US with her parents in the sixties when her father went looking to find himself a better job, and my father came back to the states when his parents returned here not too long after his birth.

Both parents did have one other root in the US. My father's mother was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the first-born child of Danish immigrants who met on a boat when her father first came to the US, and her mother was returning from a visit with her family. My mother's paternal grandmother was also born in the US. She and all her siblings were born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before their parents chose to return to Ireland, where they had immigrated from.

So as you can see, my roots just aren't very deep here in the states. Most of my ancestors weren't here before the turn of the century, and I'm fairly sure that none of them were in the Civil War, or any other historic US wars. I know that three of my four grandparents were in the Armed forces in World War II, along with several of their siblings, one of which died on the border between Canada and the US when he was heading out overseas for the very first time. About World War I, I have only one connection, that of the Senft family, who were interred in England for being Prussian nationals. There may be other connections to World War I, I just haven't found them yet. I'd be more surprised if I found none.

So where do I feel I am from? Well, I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and most of my mother's family is still in Canada, centered mostly around Vancouver, BC. So I spent a good deal of time there as a child, visiting family, including all my great-aunts and -uncles, and even my great-grandmothers on that side. I've always felt a bit of Canadian pride because of that fact.

Then there is my Germanic roots. I say Germanic here to account for the fact that most of this part of my ancestry gets a bit murky before World War I. This is a bit further afield for me, as we only ever managed to visit the country once—though I am glad we made it there at all. The reason I list this after my Canadian roots is that that was where my grandfather and father were both born. My father as an American citizen because he was born on a US military base to two American citizens, my grandfather as the son of two German Jews, who managed to get their family away from the madness of Nazi Germany just in time (see above link). There is also a slight connection on my other grandfather's side of the tree, though much farther away and longer ago. Feeling German comes surprisingly easy to me, and most, if they were to look at me, would probably be able to tell that I am of German descent.

After that come my grandmothers' families.

My paternal grandmother's parents were both born in Denmark. He on Jutland, the part of Denmark attached to the continent, she on the main island, some miles west of the Danish capital of Copenhagen. At the moment, this is the side of the family I am having the most luck with. I have a pair of friends in Denmark with whom I speak on a daily basis, and both have been incredible helps in translation and understanding the ins and outs of the country, including the locations both of my great-grandparents were born. With their help, and no small bit of luck, I've managed to extend my family well back into the Middle Ages.

My maternal grandmother's parents both came from Wales. My great-grandmother first with her parents when she was still a girl, and my great-grandfather as a young man with a group of friends. Upon meeting my great-grandmother, he never looked back, and only returned to Wales once to visit his mother before she died. Though I actually only have names and general dates, I do feel somewhat close to this side of the family. I have a fascination with the Celts, which of course includes Wales or as they prefer to be called, Cymru. I suppose to some, my Welsh ancestry is obvious—I look like my mother, who looks like her mother, who looks like her mother…etc. So I know it's there. This is, unfortunately, one of my dead-ends in my family tree. Though we have names back through four (and in a few cases more) generations, I have little to no idea where to start in researching these roots. But I keep trying.

My final roots reach a little further back: my maternal grandfather's mother, as I said, was born in the US, but her parents were Irish immigrants—from Belfast, North Ireland, I believe. I've recently made a bit of headway on this side of the family when I found her parents' death records, which included their parents' names. I still don't have anything beyond that, though, though this is the family that I have had the fascination with the longest.

His father's side were Norwegian, from a long line of fishers, though at some point, they found their roots in Germany in a town called Bardoweick. Until recently, this was my most-researched family line, and one branch, if proven, may go back before William the Conqueror. Between this line, the Germanic roots, and the Danish ancestry, it seems that a little over half of my roots come from this part of Europe, with most of the rest coming from Great Britain, or even just the Celtic nations of Great Britain.

So really…I'm Scandinavian/Germanic/Celtic. I just happened to have been born in America.

And that's who I am and where I come from.

My Lines: Surname Saturday
My Brick Walls

CURRAN (Ireland {Belfast/Antrim?})

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Curr-an Meaning: From Gaelic Ó Corraidhín meaning "descendent of Corraidhín", a given name meaning "little spear".

Origin: Irish

Variations: As of now, I only have this spelling in my family tree, but the use of the name varies wildly— O'Corraidhin, O'Corrain or O'Currain, Currane, Corran, Curreen, Currin and Curren.

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

i: Curran, Elizabeth, 1861 – 1954, Belfast, Ireland; Robert Park, 2 sons, 5 daughters

ii: Curran, Thomas, 1940? - ? – Ireland?; Jennie (Jean) Blair, 3 known daughters

iii: Curran, Francis, ? - ? - Ireland?; ?; only one known son.

Looking for:
Currently, I have the 1900 census for the Parks in Philadelphia, where all their children were born. I know of two other children who were likely lost within a few years of birth, as it lists the total number of children as 8, and one of the known children is not listed on the census. What I do not know about Robert and Elizabeth is when they returned to Ireland, or when they subsequently moved to Canada. I also need their wedding date, and the location where it took place (though at the moment, I assume Ireland).

For Thomas and Jennie, I only know a few facts for certain. Through a descendant I have the names of three daughters, including my great-great grandmother Elizabeth. I also found record of Elizabeth’s death in Vancouver BC, and her parent’s names were listed on that as Thomas Curran and Jennie Blair. In looking up more information, I found birth certificates for a total of 6 kids (I’ve yet to find my g-g grandmother’s) born to a Jean Blair and Thomas Curran, among a few other name variations. I believe the family to be from Antrim/Belfast, and I am certain of their three daughters, and of their own names. The daughters I have are Elizabeth, Sarah, and Rhoda. I’ve also found certificates for John, Thomas, Anna and Joseph. Any information on this family would be very much appreciated.

Found a wedding record listing Jane and Thomas's marriage and birth dates (just years, unfortunately, but it's still a start), and also listing possible fathers, so I've added his here.


So I started to type this up when I was working on the Bordewick family story a few months back, but it made no sense to me at the time. It was too disconnected from everything, and though I knew it was where the name was assumed to be from, it felt like too much guesswork. Now that I’ve gotten a bit more information, it feels different to me, so I thought it was about time I typed it up and posted it.

This was written by my grandfather many years ago (I’m not sure how long ago, to be honest), and is based on his research about the town, though I’m not certain of his sources. I hope everyone will find it illuminating.

I’ve corrected a few minor spelling issues, but left it otherwise intact, though I have included hyperlinks to as much info in Wikipedia as I could find, though as most of this history is ancient Medieval, I'm not entirely certain on many of the links.
A map and a bit more information can be found here.


Bardowieck is a very old village down in Saxony, and belonged, as the name indicates, to the Bard and Lombard tribes, who although they were few in number, were bold in the arts of warfare. They lived on the right bank of the river Elbe, in a town which lies between Magdeburg and Stade, sixteen leagues from Luneburg towards the north. The town was built on the river Lunow, also known as the Ilmenau, in the year 2971 after the creation of the world, in the first year of the reign of Rehaboam, son of Solomon; in the year 1062 after the founding of Trier, which is recorded in plain verse carved in the woodwork of the Cathedral, and reads as follows:
”During the Lifetime of Abraham, Trier was established in the year 1906 after the creation of the world. One thousand years later Bardowieck was founded.”

In the 189th year after the destruction of Troy, 235 years before Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, which is also inscribed in the same place.

Rome was established 235 years after Bardowieck in the year 2306 after the creation of the world. Both its (Bardowieck’s) ruins and history demonstrate that it was a grand, well fortified and very famous town.

After they had obtained the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s son, the inhabitants were taught the gospel by Egistus, one of 70 disciples, together with Marianus. Egistus suffered martyrdom. His bones were removed to the town of Roschilde (ed – Roskilde) in Denmark after the destruction of the town. In honor of Marianus a temple was founded in the vicinity of the bridge which spans both banks of the Ilmenau, where it was thought that he had been martyred by the heathen.

Karl den Store (Charlemagne), the first German Roman Emperor of French decent, before the outcome of the war with the Saxons was known, was paid homage there in May, 785. He was the victor. He came to Bardowieck with his court from Paderborn, and when he was installed in his royal dignity gave safe conduct to the Chieftans of the Saxons, Widerkind and Albion, rulers in Holstein and Airbo from Ballenstedt and his son Beringer. Henrick, Due of Henneberg interceded for them. He wished to give his sister, Hadmutis to Beringer in marriage on the condition that he would be baptized in the Christian faith. Charlemagne permitted them to come to him and treated them very kindly, and advised them to forswear their pagan religion and receive Baptism, in which some of them were consecrated immediately.

Charlemagne also donated the Bishop’s throne with a Cathedral in the town. This throne was later removed to Verden, where it can still be seen. Thereafter, Karl, son of Charlemagne, on his father’s behalf received homage in the town of Bardowieck from the farmers of Nordal and began negotiations with the Knights of the Abbot and Wælsa in the year 799. The town was besieged by Eberhart of Pfalz and Danckner, the German, a brother of Emperor Otto I, and his enemy because of his younger half-brother Henrick who was a quarrelsome individual, who had fled thither during the civil war of 938.

The town was overwhelmed and devastated by the soldiers, and Henrick, Chief of the Saxons was taken to Larun by Eberhardt, but Henrick the Lion, Due of Bayern and Sachen, Elector and Lord over the town was banished by Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa, when the burghers of Bardowieck not only refused to receive him, but also offended him with outrageous words in 1182, and because of this he fled to England.

When he returned in 1188, he besieged the town with the help of the Danes, the English, Bernhardt of Ratzenburg and Severin Helmholdt together with Wilferen Bernhardt and the Archbishop of Bremen, and when the burghers, proud of their fortifications and a garrison which had been sent to them by Bernhardt, the Elector and Due of Saxony, disclaimed their rightful Lord Henrick, whereupon he, in a fury, and with the zeal of his namesake, the lion, conquered the entire town. He destroyed the walls, towers and gates and murdered the citizens and the soldiers. Those who were spared retreated to Luneburg with the goods they had salvaged from the ruins and rebuilt Hamburg in 1189. Regard—this event there are some simple verses carved in the door of the Cathedral:
”In the year 1189 A.D., when Henry the Lion was nominated Due of Braunshweig, he destroyed Bordoweick on Simons Day (28th October). From the booty Elector Henry enriched the Cathedral and the Churches of Lubeck and the ruins of this celebrated city (Bardoweick) and its fortifications and buildings scarcely nothing could be seen.
Therefore, learn the Commandments of righteousness and do not deny the Commandments of God.”

Now there is nothing more to relate about this except that Henry, in the first year in office of his father, the son of the Emperor presided over the Parliament meeting at this pace in 1226. Burghers and inhabitants in modern times by a great deal of farming of vegetables, and by selling turnips, apples and fragrant herbs and flowers.

Verse dedicated to the town of Bardoweick

Whether Bardoweick was named after the Bards or Bardo (Lombards), it is certain that it is a very old town. Romulus led his city, then center of the world before Bardowieck existed.

In earlier times the town had an impressive appearance which now is laid waste. It was a splendid town, full of buildings and with numerous inhabitants, but Henry the Lion destroyed all this when he had taken the city by aid of his kin and his troops. He left nothing undamaged except the Churches, and took the spoils to his Cathedral.

From these ruins Bardovicem (Bardowieck) arose again beside fertile Luneburg and the mighty Lubeck. A treaty granted Bardowieck to rise again for the service of Charlemagne and his leading supporters.

Now the town is one which struggles to balance its economy in market gardening and produce. How the mighty are fallen. Fate destroys fortified towns which one would consider the strongest of all. Such is the fate awaiting Kings, for Henrick himself discovered that fate had different twists and turns. He lost his place when he was banished by the Emperor’s wrath and nearly all his followers and power.

Therefore Albingen, the mid-German mountains, and the Rhine and Bavaria were named after tribes. Mananimously they underestimated the one time Henrik the Lion’s overship, and one did not see in the whole Teutonic area a similar kingdom.

He lost his kingdom he became foolhardy, therefore everyone has to fear when one encounters the unexpected shifts of fate.

BORDEVICK (Norway>Belgium, Canada)

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

Origin: According to the family lore, it comes from a town in Germany, Bardowiek, though I am uncertain how far back we have to go to find the ancestor who originated from the town.

Variations: Bordewick and Bordewich, but also Bordevig, Bordevick, Bordeviksen, and I’ve seen Johan Petter Bordewich’s daughters listed as Johansdatter, Johansen, and Johan Petersen.

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

i: Bordevick, Leonharde, 1861 – 1944, Nordland, Norway; Henrick Bordewick, 3 sons

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

iii: Bordevick, 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.
Also interested in any further information about Johan Bordewich’s two wives.

I was actually going to post this as Bordewich, but after some consultation with one of my Danish friends, and the records I’ve found when I do go back this far, I’m going to go with the more Scandinavian spelling over the Germanic version.
I’m also wondering (if there’s anyone out there actually reading this) when people tend to change the names in their family tree program? The moment they see an alternate spelling? Or do they just keep all alternate versions, and not change what’s in their original record?

ETA: I should add the reason I had her listed in my tree as Bordewich.

The Bordewick tree came to me whole through Leonharde's grandparents when I first received it. And when I did, all the Bordewicks had that spelling for their last name. Then, a few years back, we had contact with family who spelled their name with a ch instead of ck. After some discussion with my mother and her siblings (my grandfather has been dead since shortly before I started my genealogy search), I determined that it must have changed shortly after the beginning of the century, with my great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother. So I changed all the surnames in the Bordwick clan (his brothers and sisters and father and further-back ancestors and corollary family) to Bordewich.

But in my recent explorations and finds in my family tree has found a number of name-variants. None of which seem to be the -ch variant. The Bordevick variant seems the most likely variant when they didn't use the -sen patrynomic root surname.

So what do you think? Bordewick? Bordevick? Bordewich?

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.