So I'm starting on a book about my grandmother and her sister's search to find information about their mother. I've written about Oline before. She died when my grandmother was nine, and their father lost touch with the only sibling she had in the US, so they lost touch with that side of the family.
In the mid-eighties, my great-aunt took it upon herself to track down what little information they could find about their mother, tracking down her death and marriage certificates, and used the information she found to write a letter to her home town in hopes of finding more family.
The letters below are the letter she wrote, and what followed.
(I've taken out all the personal addresses below, even though most are likely no longer where my family lives, just for my own personal comfort)
24 February 1987
Midtsjaellands Lokalhistoriske Arkiv
4100 Ringstead, DENMARK
I plan to visit Denmark in June 1987 to visit my father's family. I also wish to find any members of my mother's family, and ask for your help in locating them from your records.
My mother, Oline Hansen, was born in Fjenneslev, Denmark, December 25, 1888. Her father was Rasmus (or Asmus) Hansen; her mother's name was Sophie Olsen. She had one younger brother, Hans Hansen, so far as I know.
Oline emigrated to the United States about 1914/15 and worked a while in Chicago. After a visit home to Fjenneslev about 1916, she returned to the United States and lived in Cleveland, Ohio, where she married Holger Skow Hansen (of Thyregod, Denmark) September 14, 1918. I was the second of their 3 children (born 1919, 1923 and 1925). Mother died in Cleveland, Ohio, March 26, 1929.
We have lost all trace of Oline's brother Hans. He lived in Cleveland and visited us when Mother was alive. He was not married at the time, but he vanished a few years after Mother died. We have never known of Mother's family in Fjenneslev.
The above information was obtained from public records in Cleveland, Ohio. I did not find Oline's name listed in the 1911 census for Fjenneslev.
Enclosed is a check for US $10.00 towards any fee you charge for this service. I will be glad to pay whatever charge is required.
It would be a wonderful experience to visit any cousins, aunts or uncles from my mother's family (if there are any), or to see the records, when I visit Denmark in June. I am very grateful for your help and hope to have an early reply.
Very truly yours,
Marilyn Hansen Weare
(Mrs. Luther S. Weare)
The response from Ringsted:
Skolegad 9 * 4100 Ringsted * Giro 9061533
Mrs Marilyn Hansen Weare
Concern your letter February 24, 1987,
I wish to give you preliminary answer about your Mothers family here in Denmark, later I can send more information.
You have 4 cousins namely:
Frede Hansen, [address redacted]
Ulla Hansen, [address redacted], married with farmer Poul Jensen
Ingrid Hansen, [address redacted], married with painter Poul Hansen
Katrine Hansen , [address redacted], married with farmer Jørgen Jensen.
I send a Xero with the addres of Hans Hansen he had send a Christmas-card 1986, to Ingrid Hansen.
Your cousins are looking forward to see you.
We have informations-name and dates-about your family, perhaps these can have interest.
Ringsted March 11.1987
(signature illegible L Something Hansen)
Midtsællands Lokalhistoriske Arkiv
I have more, but I figure I'll spread this out a little since I don't have much to post about these days, and there are a lot of letters I can add. :)
And a note: I didn't even realize until I started typing this up just how appropriate it was to do this this week. It was Holger and Oline's Anniversary Wednesday.