A Bit of Genealogy Fun:

The past Saturday's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun on Genea-Musings:

1) Pick one of your ancestral lines - any one - patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc. Pick a long one if you can.

2) Tell us which position in the birth order that your ancestor was in each generation. For example "third child, first son." Also list how many children were born to these parents.

3) Share your Birth Order work with us on your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a comment on Facebook, etc.

Looked like fun, so I had to give it a try, even though Saturday is long past. I used one of the Danish branches that had the most generations back, and included children that far back. Many of my branches go back further but don't have all the kids documented, or have no children documented aside from my direct ancestor.

So here's what I have:
1) M K Hillinger (1969-) – first child, daughter of E Hillinger and R Bordewick of 2 daughters

2) E D Hillinger (1949-) – first child, son of Sam Hillinger and Margaret Hansen of 2 sons and 2 daughters

3) Margaret Hansen (1919-2010) – first child, daughter of Holger Skov Hansen and Julie Oline Hansen of 2 daughters and 1 son

4) Holger Skov Hansen (1891-1977) – third child, son of Jens Kristian Hansen and Else Katrine Larsen of 2 daughters and 6 sons

5) Jens Kristian Hansen (1858-1919) – first child, son of Christine Jensdatter and Hans Knudsen of 4 sons and 4 daughters

6) Christine Jensdatter (1834-1918) – fifth child, daughter of Jens Christian Pedersen and Mette Matisdatter of 4 daughters and 5 sons

7) Jens Christian Pedersen (1798-1876) – fourth child, son of Peder Christiansen and Catrine Pedersdatter of 4 sons and 2 daughters

8) Peder Christensen (abt 1759-1830) – sixth child, son of Chresten Jepsen Storgaard and Mette Pedersdatter of 3 daughters and 4 sons

9) Chresten Jepsen Sorgaard (1705-1767) – fifth child, son of Jep Michelsen and Anna Jensdatter of 3 daughters and 6 sons

10) Jep Michelsen (1667-1745) – second child, son of Michel Eskesen and Kristen Jepsdatter of 4 daughters and 1 son

11) Michel Eskesen (abt 1638-1716) – third child, son of Eske Christensen and Dorothe Mikkelsdatter Hontoft of 2 daughters and 4 sons

In 11 generations: 4 first children, 1 second child, 2 third children, 1 fourth child, 2 fifth children, 1 sixth child.
Kind of cool that I have the most of first children in this line over the other positions.

JONES (Wales) – Part II

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Joenz. Like Hansen, this name means “Son of John.”

Origin: Welsh

Variations: This is the only Welsh form I’m aware of, but it is a Patrynomic name like Hansen, which means once you get past a certain generation, the name changes every generation.

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

i: Jones, Catherine, 1825 – 1912, Northern Wales?; Hywel Gabriel, 6 sons, 2 daughters

ii: Lewis, Evan, 1788 – 1864, Northern Wales?; unknown, 1 known daughter, 1 known son, other children likely

iii: Edwart, Lewis, ? – about 1815, Northern Wales?; unknown, 8 children, only 1 known—a son

Looking for:
As you can see, the information on this side is far more scattered than the usual. At the moment, I seem to have misplaced the originals I got this information from, but this is everything those documents contained. No females but for my great-great-great-great grandmother, and little surety at the moment aside from the document I have about Gabriel Howell, Catherine's son, which mentions this line, which unfortunately has no documentation attached.

Unfortunately, I do not know my way around my Welsh ancestors so easily as I do my Scandinavian ones, though I someday hope to.

What I am looking for is any information about any of these people, though I'm most interested in starting with Catherine to firm up the connection between her and her father, given the difference in their names. I would certainly love to have any information about Evan and Lewis's wives at all.

Brick Wall Update

I've been thinking it's time to update my Brick Walls. The first time I posted, I posted about three brick walls, each of which have had a slight bit of progress, and I thought today I'd add a fourth.

Brick Wall 1 – The Hillinger/Senefts

This is the line I despair ever getting any further back, between name-changes, location changes, and a war that tried to wipe out anyone of this side of my family's background, it is difficult to find any records at all.

However…in going through the paperwork my grandparents left behind, I found a document proving my grandfather's date of birth—but it was not the only document attached—it also had my great-grandparents' wedding announcement, their declaration of marriage, and all of my grandfather's siblings birth records.

In the paperwork, both are listed as having been from a place that I had never heard of before, but now know a surprising amount about even though the country itself no longer exists: Galicia, or as spelled in the documents in the German, Galitzien. It wasn't a pleasant area to be from, so I can see why both families ended up in Frankfurt where my great-grandparents eventually met and married.

I've also learned that the name definitely is Seneft, and not Senft, as I had begun using at one point, though I still have found nothing else showing the name (spelled either way, really) outside family paperwork. At least, nothing that connects with a Germanic-Jewish family line. I've also learned that in Germany, the name is Hilinger with one L, not two. So that might make a difference in that search.

Still working on the names of the towns they came from, but hopefully I'll find them at some point. And once I do, I have hopes that I might be able to connect to someone with the same or similar surnames…

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
* Brickwall Updated—The Senft/Hillingers
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Hillinger
* Senft
* Kresch
* Reich
> Other Posts
* The Life of Sam Hillinger
* Visual Family Tree I – The Hillingers
* Searching for Galician Town Names

Brick Wall II – The Hansen family (from Seland, DK)

On my Grandmother Oline's side of the family, I've learned a bit more, enough to basically extend back another generation before her, but only barely. I found a census record with a Rasmus Hansen that seems to be the right age and in the right location, but I'll need more documentation to verify it. And I found a birth record for a Maren Sofie Olsen born in the right town at the right time, so I believe I have her parents as well.

And through a transcript of a chat my grandmother and her siblings had with Oline's younger brother, I have also learned that her grandfather, Maren's father, was in the US before my great-grandmother and her brother were. Along with a son. So I have more to go on there—in Minnesota, of course. But Ole Larsen isn't exactly an uncommon name—unfortunately.

I'm still looking for more information verifying Rasmus and Maren's parents, but I have started to extend my search to find more about their parents as well, now that I'm more certain about them.

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Hansen II
* Olsen
* Rasmussen
* Schrøder
> Other Posts
* The Story of Oline
* Visual Family Tree II
* New Discoveries
* Interview with Uncle Hans

Brick Wall III – The Park/Curran family

I've not gotten any further on this side since finding my great-great grandparents' death certificates listing their parents. Thomas Curran and Jane or Jeannie Blair elude me, despite their apparently many children, as do John Park and his wife, the former Dunlop.

I'm thinking that Robert's mother's full name is likely Mary Dunlop, as I found a death certificate for an infant that was likely my great-great grandparents' that was named Jean Blair Park (or it might have been Curran instead of Blair), so it makes sense to me that they would name another daughter after the other grandmother. But as of yet, I still don't have a birthplace for Robert beyond "Ireland," so I can't narrow down my search quite enough to be sure.

I'm also beginning to wonder if there might be a Scottish connection here, given that Dunlop is a very well-known Scottish name, but not as much in Ireland.

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
* Brickwall Update #2
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Park
* Curran
* Dunlop
* Blair
> Other Posts
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generation Photos
* New Discoveries

Brick Wall IV – The Welsh branches

This side is still a bit less organized than the rest. For one, I've apparently misplaced the original tree I got all my information from. I'm still hoping it will turn up sooner or later. For another, most information doesn't go back more than a generation or two before my great-grandparents. And when it does, the information is limited at best.

This is my mother's mother's side of the family. It consists of three branches:

First is my Grandpa Jones's side, from Southern Wales, whom I have little about aside from his parents and his siblings:
* Benjamin and Hanna (nee Griffiths) Jones,
+ Daniel (my great-grandfather)
+ David
+ Joseph
+ Jack
+ William
+ May
+ Sophia
If I had dates for his siblings, I have lost them—I suffered a hard-drive crash a few years back, and had to re-enter everything by scratch, and no longer had the originals that listed their names.

Daniel came to Canada for a trip with some friends, and met married Eliza Howells in Vancouver BC, and only returned to Wales once that I am aware of.

Then there is my Nain, Eliza Jones, nee Howells. Eliza was one of six children of Gabriel and Selina (nee Roberts) Howells, who were both apparently born in Northern Wales, according to the records I have.
* Gabriel and Selina Howells
+ Selina
+ Winnafred
+ Hugh
+ Eliza (my great-grandmother)
+ Catherine
+ Edward

Gabriel was descended from a line of farmers and craftsmen according to the paperwork I have. His parents names were Hywel Gabriel (the Welsh use a patronymic system to name their children) and Catherine Jones. They had eight children, of which Gabriel was the oldest. Hywel's parents were named Gabriel Howel, and if my recent search is right, Gwen Evan. He is the only child of theirs I am certain of, though I have found a record for a possible second son.

Catherine's line is even less certain. I have her father listed as Evan Lewis (which seems off for the Welsh naming system, so I'm not sure what's going on there), and that her grandfather's name was Lewis (or Lewys) Edwart, who was apparently part of the Quaker movement in Wales at the time, around the time most of the Quakers came to America.

And last, there is Eliza's mother Selina and her parents, the Roberts family. All I've ever had was a picture of them, and their surnames. Except either someone remembered wrong, or there is more to the story. Selina's father's name was Hugh Roberts, and according to my great-great grandmother's death record, her mother's name was Ellen Pugh, though I had always had her listed as Ellen Griffiths according to a note I had scribbled from talking to my grandmother. I'm thinking she just got her name mixed up with her maternal grandmother. And really, that is all I have of Selina's family.

I suppose that the Howells branch doesn't quite count as a brick wall, given how much I have on them—except for the fact that the information before Gabriel's parents is so sketchy. I'm hoping to find wives and firm up links before I consider that a true line, mostly. But anyone who has any knowledge about genealogical research in Wales who would like to help me get started, I'd love to hear from you.

More on this family:
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Jones
* Howells
* Griffiths
* Roberts
> Other Posts
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generation Photos

BLAIR (Antrim, Northern Ireland)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Blayr Meaning: from the pre 9th century Gaelic word "blar", meaning a field or plain but more specifically a battlefield

Origin: Gaelic, apparently. :)

Variations: Blair is the most common form, but I am sure there are more out there.

Relation to me: This is my mother's father's mother's mother's mother, if I am correct.

Ancestors: (in ascending order from most recent with name)
i: Blair, Jane, 1838? – ?, Ireland; Thomas Curran, 3 known daughters, 3 possible sons, 1 more possible daughter

ii: Blair, John, ? - ?, Ireland?; ?; only one known daughter at this time.

Looking for:
Jeannie or Jane Blair is another of my recent finds. I found her using the FamilySearch.org beta site, listed on my great-great grandmother Elizabeth's death record in Vancouver, BC's records.

In searching for her and Thomas, I have found 6 birth records with variations of Jane/Jeannie and Blair/Curran: Sarah, Rhoda, John, Thomas, Anna, and Joseph. I have not found my great-great grandmother's birth record, however. I know that she was born in 1861 in Northern Ireland, but moved to Philadelphia with her husband Robert James Park in the 1880s or thereabouts. I assume they were married in Ireland, though I am not certain of this, just that by the 1900 census, they were married with 6 living children.

I'm hoping to find a birth record for either Thomas or Jane, or a wedding record, but so far no luck. Any help here would be most appreciated.

ETA (12/18/10) : 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 hers here.

Searching for: Galician Town Names

Found myself playing detective today, so I thought I'd put this out there.

Transcribed directly from the marriage record of Alex and Dora Hillinger--top is his, bottom is hers, transcribed by mouse, and a bit wobbly because of that, so I hope you will excuse. Any help defining these towns would be immensely helpful. I've been trying to figure them out with the help of different maps, particularly this one, but having no luck.

His may be Sędziszów, which is now located in Poland (which would be the generally correct area according to Sam's passport, which lists him as Polish), but I'm not entirely sure if it's in the right are of Poland to be the town I'm looking for.

Hers I can't find anything for at all. I'm not even sure what letter that would be at the beginning of the name. C, possibly, or L, or even G or D, though it doesn't look like the G of Galizien.

Does anyone know where I can find a list of the Jewish towns/villages in Galicia?

DUNLOP (Ireland)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Dun-Lop Meaning: the fort (dun) at a muddy place (Lapach) from the olde pre 10th century gaelic

Origin: Irish (Gaelic)

Variations: I'm sure there must be, as most Gaelic names often have Irish, Scottish, and English variants, though I don't have anything more than Dunlop in my tree at the moment.

Relation to me: My mother's father's mother's father's mother's maiden name

i: Dunlop, ?, ? – ?, Ireland?; John Park, 1 son known

Looking for:
As you can see, all I have in this line is the surname, but I'm hoping to have some kind of breakthrough here soon.

Miss Dunlop married her husband sometime around or before 1852, as that is when their son Robert James was born. I know he was born in Ireland, though I am not entirely sure where, as I have heard he may have been born in or near Dublin, but the woman Robert married was born in Belfast.

I've always had a suspicion that Dunlop was a family surname on the Irish line, as my great-grandmother (Robert's daughter) was named Mary Dunlop, and Dunlop was obviously a surname. Knowing naming practices a bit, I figured it had to be one of her grandmother's maiden names, though until I found Robert's death certificate, I had no idea which. Unfortunately, the death record only lists his mother's maiden name, and nothing else, so I know nothing more than that. When she was born, when she died (though it could have been any time from 1852 on, I suppose), and who her parents are. Because of my great-grandmother's name, I suspect that her name may have been Mary or possibly May, as that was what my great-grandmother was listed as on the US Census in 1900.

I have no names for any of Robert's siblings, though I assume he must have had some.

Any help with this side of my family tree would be very welcome.


This is Elizabeth Walpole (ne Holly) and Alanson (Lance) Holly, the oldest two siblings of my husband's mothers mother. They were born less then a year and half apart, September 1906 and February 1908. Their mother, Mabel Holly (ne Barbour) had never taken care of kids when she became a mother and was a bit at a loss of how to juggle the two of them. Elizabeth was a quiet and sensitive kid who preferred to sit and play imaginative games and Lance was active and rambunctious. When their different play styles started causing problems, she would put Elizabeth on a big arm chair, sit in front of her and then let Lance climb all over her trying to get to his big sister.
Elizabeth had 5 children and was by all accounts a gentle loving mother. She also helped to raise her youngest two siblings.
Lance had three children. Sadly he lost contact with his son, name unknown but probably either Lance Jr or Angel, when he got divorced to his first wife, Catherine, and moved to California. We assume she got remarried and her husband raised the baby as his own.

Interview with Uncle Hans

This is transcribed from a typed manuscript of a visit my grandmother and her siblings had with their mother's brother Hans Christian Hansen in 1987 shortly before his death. As I've mentioned before, after their mother died when my grandmother was nine, they lost touch with the rest of their mother's family. This was the only chance they got to talk to him in person since discovering he was still alive and living in the US.

The notes were written up and then typed by my great-aunt Marilyn, my grandmother's sister. I tried to add some visual clues to who is speaking using bolding on the names when it's Q and A, and italics when it's my aunt's explanations. Any notes I have made are between square brackets [].


The following is a transcription of my shorthand notes of both information and direct quotes of our conversations with Uncle Hans the days of April 25, 26, and 27, 1987.

Uncle Hans' maternal grandfather homesteaded in Minnesota, and Uncle Hans and a friend (of his or his mother's) went to Minnesota in July 1912 from Denmark. He stayed until 1914, when he went to Canada. My notes are confusing on the following people and relationships and I plan to try to verify various points when I visit Denmark. My notes read

"In 1912 I went to Northwood, Iowa with a friend of Mother's and then to Minnesota with a cousin. Mother's dad had homesteaded in Minnesota (grandfather and uncle of Hans). Then I went to work for my cousin. He had 2 children born here. The grandfather and uncle were dead. The uncle had one boy and one girl. Oscar Olsen was the uncle; Tina was Oscar's sister. Tina never got married. She went half cuckoo when she and her boyfriend split up. Hans worked for Oscar in Minnesota on his farm. His father had 60 acres. Grandfather had 80 acres. They had cattle on the little farm. I did general farming."

Torben: You worked with horses, didn't you?

Hans: I had a stable in Cleveland for a while out toward Berea, near the airport, across the river. I could see all the air shows. I could stand at my stable and see everything going by. I watched one fall down in the Thompson Trophy races. He got killed.

Question: Were you in World War I?

Answer: No. I was in Canada. Never got in the Army. I was in the National Guard.

We then went through Uncle Hans' photo album, and the following are comments made in the order in which pictures were discussed.

That's my wife. We lived across the street from the church. Her name was Katie.

I delivered milk in Copenhagen. (A picture of Hans driving a wagon)

Armstrong picture of a ;young woman
: That's an old flame.

Alsted picture: The preacher's house.

Colored snapshot: Ingrid and Elene. Ingrid is Hans' neice in Denmark (Fjenneslev) and Elene is Hans' stepdaughter. Hans said, "Ingrid and Poul had one child who died."

Next: Sister Marie and her husband Larsen. They had 6 children. (I believe this was a picture of the entire family). The childrens' names were Swen, Fritzoff, Ingrid, and ? ? ? Hans could not remember.

Another group picture? Perhaps of Hans' brothers and sisters. This led to a discussion of how many there were. Their names in order of birth were:
Joan or Joanne, who drowned [ed: Johanne]
Ole, who drowned when he was 16 or 18

Herman's children were Frede and Ulla. Herman died of the flu and is buried in the same churchyard as my mother [ed: I believe that this is Hans's mother that is being referred to here]. Marie had Ingrid. When Rasmus [ed: Hans' father] died, Herman was 12 years old, Marie 10, Oline about 6, Hans was 4, Joan [Johanne] was 2 and Ole 6 months old. Rasmus was about 47 when he died.

Next picture
: Oline and a cousin.

Copenhagen picture: Anna (a cousin), Marie, Larsen and their kids (Catherine?), brother Herman and his wife.

Lady in white dress: "An old flame in Denmark."

Ohio friends – mother and daughter.

Herman and wife.

Framed colored picture: Stepson's son and family.

Under Herman and wife: Family group of children and grandchildren.

"I came in from Canada in 1923 and I sneaked in the back door to surprise her (meaning his sister Oline). I didn't know she had a baby. You [ed: my grandmother] were in the buggy out on the porch with a cheese cloth over you so the snow wouldn't get on you – 98th Street and Lorain on the second floor. One night they wanted to go to the show so I had to take care of you, and after a while you started yelling and I didn't know what to do. So the lady next door, she had no kids, so she came in and settled the whole thing. She knew what to do."

"I got my American citizenship papers her in Omaha. I married only once. At 53. I didn't want to be an old dried up bachelor."

"I worked for the National Guard, and they were affiliated with a riding school; that's where I got the job. My sister didn't live very far away and that is where I went over to have dinner once a day. (This must have been in Cleveland). It was a light field artillery unit and the rain made it slippery there and the horse fell down and the street car ran over my foot, I think, but it wasn't me. No, it was that the horse fell on my foot." (This was in response to Torben's questioning of him about a bandaged foot Hans had when Torben visited him once at the riding stable.)

"I came to Omaha in 1941. I met a fellow down south and he said 'Let's go to Omaha.' 'What's in Omaha?' I said. 'I know some people there.' So I went and have been here ever since."

Christjansen: "Oline and him they were neighbors in Copenhagen. He was a little short fellow. He had 2 or 3 daughters – Alice, Ellie and ?. They lived on Frederickspere (a suburb of Copenhagen) [ed: according to one of the Danes I talk with, this would actually be spelled Fredericksburg, though it is pronounced as spelled] in Denmark. They didn't know either one of us were here. But it just happened at a dance. She was sitting there and they were talking and they mentioned the town. And 'You know that?' 'Yes!' 'Maybe we are related.' After that we visited all the time. Yes, that's them, with the mustash. Alice, Ellie … They were both bigger than him. Then we visited back and forth a lot. He was a machinist."

Margaret's family: "They believe in lots of hair. That shows us off."

"I was in Georgia, close to Miami. Some woman she had some horses and had 2 or 3 stables and she sent me there. I ended up down there and in Tallahassee."

Question: "Do you get good meals here?"

Answer: "No, it's slop."


"I came from Canada to Cleveland in 1923."

"I had lots of hats. I always got my straw hats smashed up. I showed horses. The man I worked for had show horses."

"When I had a day off from the riding school where I was working I came and helped Holger build that brick house. I did whatever I could. I worked on the grounds. After it was built, I came along and fixed the lawns. In those days I came down from Canada. I got scolded because I went downtown without a coat on. Oline said, you have a necktie and coat on to go downtown to Public Square."

"Tante Magrethe [ed: Tante means Aunt in Danish. I believe this to be Holger's mother's sister, and not someone from Oline and Hans's family.] come from New York after Oline died [ed: in 1929]. She came and stayed a week. I talked a lot to her and the nurse during the burial at home. She told me she had a dog. I said I have one. I bet you don't have one like I have. They both were dobermans! He was there in my car. I visited every day and he ran home. I guess he got tired of waiting."

Uncle Hans remembered Oline's funeral and Torben saying "Where's my Mama?" He didn't understand. We told him "Your Mama is sleeping." He didn't understand.

The following notes are from conversation during perusal of a photo album Margaret brought along:

"I remember when we went on a picnic with Oline and Holger and he fell in the water. Oline could butcher a calf. She worked for some big people one time – she was the head cook – she said she butchered a calf one time. So she butchered the fish and built a bonfire and she cooked it. It was good. I remember that."

They talked about pulling Margaret up by her ears and clipping off her nose as a game Hans used to play with her.

Wrestling picture
: "I did a little wrestling. I couldn't fight but I could wrestle (pronounced rassle)."

"I only got one had [ed: hat?] now. No necktie."

"Oline was in a suburb of Chicago. I was out there once to see her. They had a name of a park, very well known (the name of the suburb). She was cooking for a family. I remember Michigan Avenue. It was winter and cold in Michigan along the coast. We walked out there together for a walk, her and I, it was really windy and cold, raw and murky. She was very close to the lake."

"I was in Cleveland when my mother died. The second time I come here. I hadn't been here very long when she dided. I must have been around 30, 33, maybe more. I was about 35. No, I haven't been back to Denmark since 1923. I don't have anything over there any more."

"Once a week I smoke a cigar. Whenever I feel like it. I do everything now."

"When I was in Northwood, Minnesota, before I knew it I had 3 or 4 horses and a coach and a mule. They sold it to me. I don't know what I was doing. I knew a well-to-do farmer who had mules. I gave him $50. His son looked at it and his son came and looked at it and gave me $100 for it. I auctioned them off before I left."

"Oscar was my uncle's son. Never got married. No relatives there any more."


Marilyn gave Hans a booklet on the Fjenneslev Kirke, and Hans remembered it very well and said the family used that church and also a second church in Alsted. "I was x confirmed here (meaning the Fjenneslev church) and went to school next door a few yards away from the church. My parents are buried in the other church in Alsted. I was 4 when my father died at 48. My mother died while I was over here. She had 6 kids before he died."

Hans was questioned about the family home: "We had a little farm, 3 buildings (in a U shape), all red brick with a little dormer in the roof. The other ones (buildings, maybe the barns) were clay brick. We had 2 or 3 bedrooms downstairs and one for my mother. The little ones slept with her when they were tiny. One side for the cows, one side for the horses (he must have meant the barns) and one little sleeping room for the hired man, and my brother and I sometimes slept there. I remember a hired girl. She slept up in the dormer. Oline was never much of a farmer. Marie and Herman did the most work. Oline took a job. We were pretty well acquainted with the Agriculture Minister and she worked for him doing housework. She cooked, washed, whatever was needed. He also had a home in Copenhagen, and she went there to work for him there. After she worked for them for a while, she went for more money."

About school: "We went to school at the same place that you see in those two pictures, there was a school next to them. We were about 14 or 15, then we were confirmed. Some of us got confirmed at Fjenneslev and some of us were confirmed at the other church. No more school after being confirmed. Then I had go to to work at somebody else's farm."

In Cleveland: "When I was in the National Guard in the riding school I went up the street, I gave him a quarter and he spun the wheel and I won a live turkey. I took it out to her house (Oline's) and put it down in the basement, it was tied up. So the next morning she butchered it and got it ready to eat, and me and another guy came up to eat it."

Torben: Do you remember the West 25th St. market?

Hans: I shopped there. I came to one guy and I knew the owner, we were good friends, this was a little side market so he didn't miss anything. He said 'Give him a good price.'"

Question: Why did you come to the United States?

Answer: Why did Columbus come? I came with some … . . My grandfather was over here (he was over 80 years old) and my uncle. So I went with this guy, landed in New York. Went through Ellis Island. From New York I went to Northwood, Iowa by train. There were 3 or 5 others of us. We stopped in Chicago. A fellow came with me. He was kind of aggressive. We got into a bar and got a beer and he went down to the other end, he said 'Come over here,' and we got a free sandwich with the beer."

"Oline came later to the United States. I wrote letters home. She asked me to help her come over. She landed in Minnesota, then went to Iowa and stayed a few days and went back to Minnesota but didn't stay there very long, then went back to Northwood and got a job and stayed there a long time. I was working on a farm. She worked in a home in town for a while till she got a better job. Then all of a sudden, one time I visited her in Mason City, Iowa. I was on my way one time, I had a one-cycle motorcycle. It stopped and stopped, so I turned around and came back. Another time I took a train. Northwood was 20 miles from the state border of Minnesota, between Albert Lee, Minn. And Mason City, Iowa. I visited Oline in Mason City and also in Chicago."

"I think it was my mother who told me 'Eat this and it will make you big and strong and plenty lazy.' I never got big and strong but I got plenty lazy."

The following is what I can glean from the tapes:

Marilyn read to Hans the letter she received from Frede in Vetterslev. Hans acknowledged that he was Herman's son, and Ulla is his sister. Hans never visited in Vetterslev. There was discussion about "the old family home," and Hans said Ingrid would know it, exactly,
"She lived there; that's the only place she lived since she was born, I guess. It's the same home as (unintelligible), just a little ways from where she was born. That her home. It was sold."

I gave him the message from Frede about he had driven Hans to the station in 1923. "Yeah, I remember that. He was just a little bit of a runt. You know, we learned to drive when we could walk. Yeah, he took me, I remember, I tipped him a quarter. It was a horse and wagon. It was in 1923, I remember. Wasn't that when you were born? (I (Marilyn) was born in 1923.) I get mixed up. I thought you were born on Lorain. (Margaret said she was born on Lorain, in 1919.) In 1919? Ohhh, I didn't think she had two kids when I came in from Canada. You were sitting out on the porch, and the baby buggy, it was snowing, and it had a cheese cloth over it because of the snow, and I sneaked in the back door, I wanted to surprise her, and that was you."

"I stayed in Cleveland over a year and then I went home and came back in 1923."

"And when I was in the National Guard, that was on the corner of Detroit Ave. and ?, they were affiliated with a riding school (and then he tells about going to his sister Oline's once a day for a meal.) Then the story about the accident to his foot. We talked about the week Torben spent with Hans at the riding academy one summer when he was about 7 or 8 years old. Hans did not remember, but he did correct Torben's memory about where they slept – in a bedroom in a house, not over the stable. Do you remember Rose, Holger's second wife? He was asked. "Rose? Yeah. How did they come out on that. They didn't get along so well." He was surprised to learn that they "stuck it out." He remembered they had a little bar once (the one on 106th St.).

Question: When did you come to Omaha?

Answer: 1941.

The rest of the tapes either seem to be redundant with my shorthand notes or else unintelligible. Perhaps one of you can add to these preliminary notes and one of us can write up the chronology. I am sending the tapes on to Margaret with these notes.

With Love,

And that's all of it.

A fun side-note about Uncle Hanses. I have four great-great Uncle Hanses total spread out two branches of my family tree. Hans Christian above was Oline's brother, but her husband Holger had two brothers named Hans—Hans Jorgen and Hans Knudsen. And on my mother's side of the family tree, her father's father had a brother named Hans Heinrick, a name that had been passed down their family line from the first Norwegian Bordewick, Hans Heinrich.

And that's just one "generation" of my family tree…I don't think I'd want to count up how many Hanses I have throughout my tree… Especially since both Holger and Oline were Hansens before their marriage.

RONESS (Norway)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Ro-Ness Meaning: Unable to find a meaning at this time.

Origin: For my family, this name comes from the Norwegian branch of the family.

Variations: None that I am aware of.

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

i: Roness, Henrikke, 1830 – 1892, Trondheim, Sor Trondelag, Norway; Johan Petter Bordevick, 3 daughters, 1 son

Looking for:
As you can see, I have only this ancestor on this branch.

In the original family tree I was given, she was named as Henrikke Roness, but on her daughter (my g-g-grandmother)'s baptism record, her mother is listed as Henrikke Ronts (I believe this is a miss-read of the original record, as it doesn’t sound Scandinavian to me. On that same record, her husband is listed as Johan Peter Bordeviksen, which is a bit too unique a name not to be my Johan Petter. Unfortunately, there are no parents at all listed on Leonharde's death record.

On their childrens' birth records at Familysearch, she is listed variously as Rones or Ronds, but always with the first name Henrikke.

From the Bordewich side of the family, I have birth and death dates and a location, and also the name of Pauline Henrikke Hendricsdatter Roness, which unfortunately gets me little further. Nor am I certain where they got this name from, as they got no further back that I can tell, and I no longer have contact with this side (though I am constantly looking for them again).

I have also begun running into another possible family with Johan as the head—I've found records for another Leonharde Marie Johansdatter born to Johan Peter Bordevick and a Magdelena Bruun Bordevick. So now I'm not sure if I have the right parents, or if these are the same woman, or something else entirely (though really, this is a very unusual name for Norway, so I have to believe that this is the same Johan Peter).

The date I have given for Johan and Henrikke's marriage is 1860, two years after the birth of their first daughter (Ida Amalie), while the Leonharde above was born in 1859. My Leonharde was born in 1861, so I'm relatively certain that the two are not the same, as his first wife's final child (she died from complications of childbirth, I believe, given the date of her own and her last child's death) was also named Leonharde Marine. The first Leonharde born and died in 1846, more than ten years before both of her sisters' births, if they are indeed both Johan's daughters.

Any help in sorting out Johan Peter Bordevick/Bordevickson/Hansen Bordevick and his families, would be more than welcome.

ETA: As of yesterday, I did find a record that listed her as Pauline Henrikke Ronæs, which one of my Scandinavian friends informs me sounds more realistic for that place and time than Roness. Still nothing else yet, though.

Find Me

Forrest Holly's account of his proposed marriage to Jean Treadway of Bristol, Connecticut:

As the years progressed, years in my early twenties in the early nineteen forties, we corresponded regularly and exchanged our own spiritual growth, ideas and ideals, exchanges of thoughts and policies and ways and means, and experiences.

One very special occasion occurred when she and her family came to Ramona for a summer visit. I had proposed marriage to Jean Treadway of Bristol, Connecticut whom I later married. The scene was in what I called the Hermit House, my little one room cabin in Ramona, with a red steer hide for a carpet and beaver board lined walls, a galvanized iron roof outside with wall outside shingled. I was showing Elizabeth a letter in Mr Treadway's handwriting, a letter which was sort of telling me that he doubted if I could qualify to wed his daughter who had been reared in an aristocratic, conservative New England. I was thought audacious to even seek her hand, I living in a remote little California inland valley and where should Jean be there with me as a wife, she would surely live a sedentary existence. I had to look that word up for I did not know its meaning. It meant solitary, isolated, sterile, sort of, as I recall.

So Elizabeth read the letter out loud and I had studied his words as though they were unkind and authoritative and not understanding. Elizabeth finished reading and looking up at me said, “Why this letter is not so bad. Do you know that your own father took a similar stand about my Wally before we were married?” Now id there was anyone I loved and venerated it was my own father, a man who had just recently passed beyond the veil. I loved him dearly and respected him. What he had said and done I would say was above reproach. And here he had said to Wally what Mr Treadway was saying to me.

Previous to this moment I had held Mr Treadway in aversion as though he were a stubborn willed man, a calloused beast, self righteousness, and in a stupid rest, to paraphrase Mrs Eddy's poem “Sheppard Show Me How To Go.” surely he was all of those and I was the one unjustifiably impeded by him.

Well in that moment, when Elizabeth said my own father had taken a similar position with Wally, all the misconceptions about Mr Treadway fell away like a mist, and I suddenly beheld Mr T as a loving father interested in the welfare of his daughter, trying to make sure that she married someone worthy and entitled to her, one who qualified for her hand. All this reconception happened in a moment, and off fell the false concept I had of him. In that moment, my own thought was disclosed to me, oh it was I who had the stubborn will,the calloused breast, the self righteousness and was in stupid rest. And contrition, the depth of which I can feel to this moment dissolved all the false views of that dear man. I had lost in that moment and forever the false view of Mr Treadway. He and I have loved each other since and he is approaching his 89th birthday.

And I must add that a few months later, after viewing myself and my needs to be worthy of Jean to wife, when I put myself into discipline and efforts to prove myself, Mr Treadway lay down his newspaper at the breakfast table and said to Jean and her mother, “When we have the wedding for Jean and Forrest, we will have an awning over the front sidewalk should it rain.” That was the first time Jean knew, or her mother, that the marriage was now acceptable to Mr Treadway.

A made for TV movie about Forrest and Jean called What Love Sees was released in 1996.

Laundry day!

This is Mary Higgins (Holly), my husband's great aunt. She was born in 1911 in Lafayette, Indiana. She was married to Carol Higgins and they had no children. She died in the early 90's but I don't have the date.
I was doing this this morning, although I didn't have to stand on a step stool to reach the laundry line. I love she is concentrating so hard on the task.

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.