Finding Oline Correspondance 5

And here is the summary of Marilyn's trip to Denmark with her cousins. I have to admit, I have not done more than scan this before now, so I'm curious to see what she has to say. With as long as I've been researching this side of the family, it's fascinating to me how much I know, and just how little I still know, in spite of everything, both at the same time.

I recall what first started me on this road—an assignment for a women's studies class on my family. We had to write a paper on three generations of women in my family. Being the family genealogist, I decided to go home and look at my family tree. The story of my great-grandmother dying so young stuck out to me, and my grandmother was still alive at the time, which meant I could interview her for the paper, so I felt it would be a fascinating story to do.

I really had no idea how detailed this search would become, nor how involved I would find myself in my great-grandmother's history. I'm fascinated by everything I've learned, and really, I can't wait to learn more. I'm just glad I got the chance to talk with her about Oline. It's definitely one of my treasured memories.

Just one letter today, though it's in several parts, as it was written on at least two occasions, and also includes the transcript of the trip. I hope you will find this as fascinating as I do.

As always, I've taken out any personal addresses and first names of family still living aside from Aunt Marilyn have been changed to initials. Also, any misspellings have been left as they were written to preserve the feel of the original document.

July 6, 1987

Dear Maggie,

When I began to write a synopsis of my recent trip to Denmark in response to a special request from Luther's sister Bee, I found that it was becoming something that would be the beginning or rough draft of the complete story I want to write.

This enclosure is indeed rough, as you can see by the errors in typing and sentence structure. It needs and will get a lot of editing, but as I go through it, I am reminded of other events that will go into the final draft. However rough it is, I feel that you might be interested in the outline of my story now, and I am therefore sending you this copy.

If we are able to clear up the mystery of grandmother Sophie's father homesteading in Minnesota, that story will be included in the final. Therefore, the final will include whatever we find out about him and Oscar and Tina. It appears possible that there may be more cousins in the U.S. if Grandfather or Oscar or Tina left any behind. Uncle Hans says there are none, but he has not kept in touch for many years. We'll see.


I'm sending this to Torben also. I hope you received my letter in Chicago. It included 2 photos – one of Sophie and one of her 6 children.

I hope & expect that you had an enjoyable trip, liked Elderhostel, found the Chicago relatives in good form and Uncle Hans in good health.


P.S. My notes of our visit w/Uncle Has do not show that he had a picture of Sophie and Rasmus in his album. I hope you found one.


[Address redacted]
Idyllwild, CA 92349
July 1, 1987

Dear Bee,

I think I have been like a cow chewing her cud. I have had to pause for a while to digest my experiences in Denmark before putting much on paper. The pictures I took have slowly been coming back from the processor, and seeing them has helped in my "digesting" process.

Elsa and I flew together from LAX to Copenhagen, over the pole, and Karen met us there. She had gone from Chicago to Copenhagen a few days ahead of us to visit friends. We had just the weekend in Copenhagen to get over jet lag and visit two relatives and Tivoli and the Stroget. Can you imagine a world famous shopping street like the Stroget in Copenhagen closing at noon on Saturday? That's what they do – all over Denmark the merchants close at noon on Saturday. This is by law, and some Danes I talked to about it find it very inconvenient and don't like it. We visited in the suburbs of Copenhagen twice – the first to a cousin of Elsa's from her mother's side of the family, the second a cousin of the three of us from our fathers' side of the family. They all served beautifully prepared meals, delicious and fresh, on gorgeous china and crystal and sterling silver. That's one generality about Denmark I will make – no matter how simple the home or family I visited, they all had beautiful tableware to use of porcelain, crystal and sterling silver. I am sure you can understand how I appreciated that!

Early Monday morning we got our rented car, an Opel Kadette 2-door, and headed west for Jutland. There we vsited another of Elsa's two cousins. She and her husband and son live on an old farm of 18 or 20 acres that they have refurbished and updated. They have a small private forest, a few head of cattle, they plant a bit of grain and raise kitchen crops and honey. Some of this they sell, but they don't make a living at such a small farm. Ingelise is a nurse and works in nearby Arhus; Helge, her husband, is a professor of biology at Arhus University, and their son Hans-Jakob was just that week taking his exams to graduate from high school. Ingeliese served us the most succulent meal of the loin of a buck shot that year in their private forest. Only one buck a year is taken, and we were honored to share the most choice cut. We did some sight-seeing around Arhus, toured their farm, heard their stories, and generally had a lovely 3 days with them.

Then we took the back roads, through some tiny towns and countryside that was heartbreakingly green under a bright sun and blue sky to our Uncle Adolph and Aunt Agnes. They are very elderly now, but received us graciously by immediately pouring us a glass of liquere in lovely cut crystal glasses. Then we all drove to the home of one of their daughters nearby who set a spread of coffee and cakes and cookies and puddings to please a queen. Others in the family came to join the party, and I met a cousin I have long wanted to meet, charming Henny. One of her sons was there, equally as bright and charming as his mother. Another young man came by in his furniture van -- he works for a furniture company making deliveries, so he swung by on one of his trips in his van to meet us. We looked at lots of pictures and heard many stories, mostly in Danish. Thank goodness Karen knows the language!

From there we went to our cousin Anders in Randers, who was just back from the hospital, having had a hernia operation. But he was on his feet and was the gracious host. We stayed two nights with him and his wife and son and visited his sister Birte for one evening of cake and coffee at which all the rest of the family were in attendance – young and old. At Anders' suggestion, we spent one day visiting the ancient and preserved town of Ebeltoft on the sea shore of the Kattegat.

Where did we go next? We learned that I had yet another cousin in Denmark in my mother's family. Svend and his wife Kathrine lived near Arhus (south of the city) in Lindved, so we planned our trip to include a visit there. It was raining torrents when we arrived at his home, but we stayed for coffee and cake and the taking of some pictures. Svend is about 83, frail, but with such a fine-boned patrician face that I snapped several pictures in order to be sure to capture what I saw. They got out their photo albums to show us some of their lives and events and children and grand children. As soon as we left, I learned later, Svend telephoned his sister Ingrid to tell her all about our visit. We began to sense the excitement I was causing in my mother's family members.

We wound our wet way through the countryside, always taking back roads. We had a marvelously detailed road map of Denmark, and all the roads are so well signed, that it was easy and a great pleasure to wind around the countryside at will. I was doing all the driving because the car's insurance was in my name, but it was not a strain – except when I would try to back up. That funny Opel had a reverse stick shift nearly impossible to find, and when I did find reverse, I could not see out the rear of the car. There was a dangerous blind spot behind me and I needed the help of Elsa and Karen to keep me from hitting things.

We visited some distant cousins that Karen knew well, the Rolskovs and Nanna Christensen, a maiden lady with a huge loom in her basement and a beautiful set of porcelain cups and saucers and plates for coffee. We had dinner with Nanna on service of the old, classic blue and white Danish ware. The Rolskovs had two of their four children at home for a visit (they are in their 20's), and they could do well in English. They also have been living interesting lives of their own – much travel and taking work that was meaningful to them. The young man in the family, Anders, had just spent several months in the western United States living and working with native Indian families.. He had pictures and stories to tell that would be the envy of any other adventurous young person.

Elsa wanted badly to see Legoland for the benefit of her grandson John, so we drove there for a brief visit (it was nearby, and we left Karen behind to visit more fully with the Roskovs) in a driving rain storm. I think my photos for John did not turn out at all, but Grandma can tell John that she was there.

We saw the cities of Silkeborg and Viborg on our way and stayed the night in a "kro" in Stor Binderup. The kro and a gas station was about all there was of the town, but the kro (inn) was especially nice. It was an old thatched roof inn with modern motel units added to it. It was locally owned and operated but a member of what is called "Romantik Inns." This one had been visited by Frederick V (king of Denmark in the 1700's), and that gave the place a special dispensation for something or other. Even though the motel units were new, they still had bathrooms that doubled as shower stalls with hand-held showers. You're lucky that your towels are still dry when you finish showering.

We were heading north the next day, our destination Løkken on the North Sea. Several towns we went through Karen knew well from her childhood. Her mother and father were in the hotel and restaurant business, and Karen grew up in several of them – in Ars, Løkken and Aalborg. At each of them we would wander around looking for the house or hotel she had lived in, and Karen would find the current owner and have long reminiscences with him/her. In the hotel in Ars, for instance, when she was shown the linen room, she exclaimed, "I had the measles in this room!" In Løkken we found the little home they lived in and ate lunch in a restaurant where her mother was cook during the German occupation. Karen left us briefly the next day to pay a personal and quiet visit to her father's grave. He died when she was still a teenager.

Elsa and Karen loved stopping at antique stores, so we did a lot of that. And as you can guess, I found the perfect remembrance of this trip to Denmark – a 3-piece set of coffe cup and saucer and cake dish in an old pattern – Royal Copenhagen "Henrietta." It is a very elegant pattern with lots of gold and small hand-painted flowers. It was an extravagance (I was sincerely trying not to spend much money for this trip), but Karen convinced me that it was a good buy. Inasmuch as Karen for 10 or 15 years was the buyer and manager of Scandinavian Design, an elegant store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I felt she knew what she was talking about. There was of course the worry about getting it home intact, and it became the 4th passenger in our car – "Don't sit on Henrietta!" or "Is Henrietta safe?" or "Be careful of Henrietta!"

In Løkken, a summer resort along the North Sea, the rain became quite heavy, but it let up enough after dinner for us to walk down to the sea under a bright moon. We were staying in another old "kro" and had a dinner of local fish (plaise, coated in crumbs and fried in butter, big enough to cover the entire plate) with kartoffler (small boiled potatoes) and a vegetable.. In the main dining room someone was celebrating a birthday with about 100 friends – a sit-down dinner with full service, speeches and songs and much merriment.

Our arrangements were that I would do the driving, Karen would negotiate our hotel and dining arrangements, and Elsa would watch the map. At this particular dining room, we were led to understand that if we would eat what they were serving the birthday party people, it would be much appreciated by the kitchen staff. Of course we were happy to oblige. And another thing about staying at these little inns: they never asked us to register in advance or make any payment in advance. Often the room rent included conventional breakfast, so we would settle up the next morning. But we could easily have skipped out early in the morning without paying for our rooms. I wonder how they protect themselves from that?

That weekend was a holiday weekend – Whitsuntide. Many places were closed from Friday through Monday, and although we did not see evidence of many people on the roads, hotels and dining rooms seemed to be very busy. We had a hard time finding a place to stay after we left Løkken Sunday night, but Lady Luck and Karen were with us. Karen came out of a country kro that had no room that she would accept (she was particular!) when she spotted a taxi that just drove up and discharged a passenger. She engaged him in lively conversation, jumped into our car and said, "Follow that taxi!" So for 26 kilometers we followed him on a narrow country road, through forests and over moors of heather, and left him when he waved us off to the left, and proceeded to a charming, fine, old, complete country inn with swimming pool, walking and bridal paths, recreation house with sauna and pool tables, and a large dining room and bar. The lady manager came out with Karen, both of them chattering away, and Karen translated that there was a room for us if we would promise not to ask for breakfast before 9:00 AM! Also, they had just had a big party that evening to which they served wild boar and they were tired out. Karen inquired, "Is there any wild boar left?" So sure, enough we had a lovely leisurely meal of wild boar that evening, served by a charming middle-aged gentleman who, it turned out, was a guest (and friend) of the establishment and offered to help out by serving tables! The wild boar, incidentally, was good.

Another memorable adventure was our trip to the island of Samsøe where our Deerfoot Lane neighbor Ingelise Weber grew up and where her father and stepmother still live. Samsøe lies east of Jutland and is accessible only by ferry. We had a 9:30 AM reservation for the ferry so tried to find a room for the night before near the port of Hov. After much driving and a couple of disappointments in finding rooms, we got closer and closer to Hov and pulled up at the only kro in town. Karen went in to negotiate for a room and came out looking doubtful, but she said, "They have a room for us but the bath is down the hall and the sink in the room does not work. Do you want to look at it?" Well, we had to consider it. Our backs were to the sea, something Elsa said a good Viking would never allow to happen to him. However her mother (Aunt Helga) had always told her that whenever she might be in Denmark she should never worry about staying in a kro. A kro may be simple but will always be clean. So we said of course we would look at it. What alternative did we have? Upstairs we trudged, narrow, winding stairs they were, and looked at the room. Very simple with three cots and two windows.. Down the hall was the bath – toilet, shower and sink. Not obviously dirty, but not inviting, any of it. But what was our alternative? Nobody wanted to commit the three of us to such a deal. Suddenly Karen spied a dirty ashtray sitting on the toilet and dumped the butts into the toilet bowl with a comment. That made the chambermaid furious and she and Karen had a few words. I started to giggle and had to hide myself because I couldn't control my giggles. We said we would take the room, lugged our bags upstairs by ourselves (through the dining room with crumbs on the table), all while trying to help Marilyn control herself. I was having hysterics; I couldn't stop laughing at our situation. A GOOD VIKING NEVER LETS HIMSELF BE BACKED TO THE SEA!! We were a stone's throw from the harbor for the ferry to Samsøe and the beds were clean, so we slept well. Next door to the kro was a bakery where we bought some delicious pastries for breakfast and felt much better in the light of day. Karen went into the bar and paid the bill and came out saying it wasn't so bad after all.

A cup of coffee on the ferry and the antics of a group of school children going to Samsøe for a week's camp-out revived our spirits. The day dawned sunny and clear, and the island of Samsøe was out of this world with charm and a sense of living in a story book, and Lise's parents, Axel and Kisse, were as gracious as one could hope for. We enjoyed their charming old cottage and their erudite company, delicious meals (two of them), a walk around their acreage and a drive around their beautiful island. Axel is a retired doctor of veterinarian medicine and Kisse was a nurse from Copenhagen. They are both sophisticated, well traveled, educated to include the arts and literature, and gernerous to a fault. It was a memorable day for us. We left on the 7:30 PM ferry for our next stop.

Since it remains light until 10:30 or 11:00 PM, we drove across the bridge to the island of Fyn to visit Bogense where Aunt Helga grew up and where Karen knew several places to buy products of folk artistry. We spent a lot of time on Bogense for Elsa, and it was very, very old and charming. We stopped in two places where Karen knew the artists and bought a few little things as mementoes. Spent a lot of time at the Bogense kirke (church) because Elsa had to check out the new arrangements they make for burials. All these years Helga and her sister Anna have been paying to maintain their parents' graves, but this past year they would not allow them to do so. It seems that many churches in Denmark are now planting over old graves with grass, especially near the front entrances, and not allowing old gravesites to be renewed. Many of the new places are being redesigned to accommodate the ashes of cremated people, since 85% of Danes are now choosing cremation. It takes less room in the churchyard, is the reasoning. Anna is understandably upset that she cannot continue to renew her parents' grave, but now Elsa can convince her that she is not the only one to suffer this disappointment.

I'm out of order in this story, I see. I am reminded that before we left Jutland we also drove to Give to visit the grave of Karen's mother, but after more than an hour of searching, we could not find it! Karen was naturally very upset, but she will return to Give after her trip to Stockholm and Helsinki and Leningrad and visit during the day when she can have the help of the official people at the Give church. We were there after 5:00 PM. Then we drove to Thyregod where my father, Elsa's father and Karen's mother were brought up, but it was late then, too, and the church was locked. I have many pictures of Thyregod from our trip in 1978, so I did not mind missing the inside of the little old church.

After visiting Bogense, we drove for the night to Nyborg, the ferry port that goes to Sjaelland. We were getting near the end of our trip and my visit to my mother's people in Fjenneslev and Alsted. We stayed in a grand, new Best Western hotel, one of those set up for conferences, and situated facing the water. It was very modern, still uncompleted in some areas. But as new as it was, the shower was a corner of a tiled room screened off with a shower curtain.. That evening I hosted a dinner for the two cousins to celebrate Elsa's 59th birthday and to thank them both for the many nice things they had done to make the trip possible and such a pleasure.

We were due at my cousin Ingrid's home in Fjenneslev/Alsted by 2:00 the next day, so in the morning we drove north from Nyborg along the seashore to a lovely little old town named Kereminde. We passed, and stopped to photograph, two grand private estates, working farms, really, and one of them being owned by a baron whom Karen knew – of course! She found out all about him and his family from the gardener on duty whom she engaged in a lively conversation. In Kereminde there was a very old cottage turned into a museum that we visited and enjoyed very much. It had a special showing of authentic utensils, furniture, clothing, etc. of the Danish housewife during the 1930's. Naturally we all recognized many of the implements that were in the kitchens when we grew up.

Lunch was had on the ferry during the hour's ride to Sjaelland. Drove to Alsted and pulled in on time to meet cousin Ingrid and her husband Poul. After warm greetings and being shown to our rooms, we of course sat down to have coffee and something. I don't really remember what we ate, but it may have been that they waited lunch for us. They were sitting by the front window when we drove into the yard, I know. Poul took us for a drive around the area while Ingrid finished preparations for the family dinner at 6 PM. He took us to the Alsted church where Luther and M and I visited in 1978 and where I thought my mother had been confirmed and baptized. But she did attend the schoolhouse which was next door to the Fjenneslev church. If all this confuses you, I'll try to explain.

Fjenneslev, Alsted and Flinterup are three tiny towns of a few farms all within eyesight of each other and separated by rolling lands of pasture and crops. The school and a very historic church are in Fjenneslev; my mother was born in Alsted/Flinterup on the family farm still referred to as Stubbegaard. Alsted is where cousin Ingrid and cousin Ulla live and Fjenneslev is (I think), where cousin Kathrine lives. The lines blur, but I was told that the official of division between county seats goes right through that area. The records from the church at Fjenneslev belong at the "county seat" in Sorø and the records from the church at Alsted belong in the "county seat" at Ringsted. Because the church at Fjenneslev has so much ancient history to it, it is classified now as a national treasure of sorts and is supported by the state, while the Alsted church is still a little country church serving the people nearby. The records show that my mother was baptized and confirmed in the Alsted church.

My father, however had told me that he visited Mother at her home in Fjenneslev, so naturally when Luther and M and I were in Denmark in 1978, we went to Fjenneslev and assumed that the Fjenneslev church was Mother's. At that time, the lady who was tending the church for tourists told us that the records were sent to the "county seat" in Ringsted. When I wanted to trace her, therefore, I wrote to the Historian at the Ringstead office. That puzzled my relatives very much because it was wrong. But it was really good luck in the end, because when my letter of inquiry was received by the local historian in Ringsted, he was about to forward it to Sorø. But knowing that Sorø did not have as good a local historian as was in his own office in Ringsted, and since the lines blur in that area anyhow, he gave my letter to one of his people to work on. Mr. Kjaer-Hansen was able to work across both lines of official demarcation and come up with the answers I needed.

I don't think my family members in Alsted/Fjenneslev/Flinterup had anything but a casual interest in family history until my letter came along and until I came along to visit them. Ingrid and Poul put on a beautiful dinner party for us all that first evening – 11 of us, counting Elsa and Karen. None of them could speak any English and I was glad to have Karen along, but the conversation was so excited (at a Danish dinner table everyone talks – nay, shouts – at once!) that not too much got through to Elsa and me. I did understand, however, that they had a great deal of difficulty accepting the fact that I was in Fjenneslev in 1978 and did not come to see them!

Karen left the next morning for Copenhagen and then on to Stockholm, Helsinki and Leningrad and return to Copenhagen before returning to Chicago. Elsa left for her flight to Los Angeles on Saturday morning, and I was left along with Ingrid and Poul and all these relatives until the following Thursday! Oh, but they were hospitable. We tried our best with sign language, a Danish-English phrase book and a smattering of German that Poul and I knew. They had had a German army officer billeted in their home during the occupation of World War II. The cousins each took turns having me over for a visit, a dinner and something special. Two of them had daughters-in-law who knew English, so that helped us a lot. Sunday, cousin Frede (a man) and his wife, Gudrun, son Leo and daughter-in-law Lisse (who knew English) and their two children, 11 and 15 years old, devoted the entire day to me. I was picked up at 9:30 AM and taken to the old family home, Stubbegaard, in Alsted-Flinterup. This is where my mother and her 5 brothers and sisters grew up. A young couple now owns the farm and it is there livelihood. One barn is for pigs and one for cattle. We were shown around and invited in for a drink of wine with the owner's mother and the farm hand, Torben. Jorgen's wife was in the hospital, just having given birth to their first baby. It was raining torrents that morning, but we proceeded with our visit as if it did not matter. And it didn't. Those people are used to weather like that and continuing doing whatever needs doing. Then we visited the family farm of Frede's son Leo, took pictures and looked at family photos and old inherited items, like a large trunk that belonged to my mother's brother Herman (Frede's father). Off to Frede and Gudrun's home next for a big dinner. Then off in two cars to tour the countryside, two huge and beautiful estates with handsome manor houses, one with absolutely gorgeous grounds that the public allowed to enjoy. After that, we found ourselves deep into the countryside at a very, very old cottage that has been turned into a place that serves coffee and aebleskiver and is very popular with those in the "know." It was a wonderful day, and Lisse was a charming young woman, easy to talk with about affairs of the day for Denmark.

One night was set aside for dinner with cousin Kathrine (pronounced "Katrina") and her husband Jorgen. They had a house that is an antique dealer's dream – the furniture and artifacts would bring a small fortune in the right hands. Again, we ate a delicious meal off lovely porcelain, intricately cut crystal and handsome sterling. But no vegetable or salad. Roast beef, boiled potatoes, rich brown gravy, pickles, and for dessert a fruit pudding with rich cream. Their son and family came over after dinner, and so the table had to be set again for coffee and pastry before we went home. One of the most interesting items of that evening was seeing a copper coffee urn that Kathrine has, supposedly handed down through the family from my great-grandfather before he went to America to homestead on a farm in Minnesota. This is a mystery because they have the coffee urn but never heard of the fact that their grandmother's father had gone to America. Uncle Hans in Omaha had been very specific about the fact that when he came to America in 1912 he went to work on his grandfather's farm in Minnesota. I have the local historian, and others, working on clearing up this mystery.

The evening we went to cousin Ulla's for dinner was something else. Her husband Poul ("farmer Poul") was a large and exuberant host, pouring snapps and wine and drinking "skaal!" as often as possible. That meal was a formal "kolde table" smørrebrød meal, with lots of fish, meat, bread, more meat and more bread, and on and on. Then the table was cleared, we went into the living room to discuss the family tree with the local historian Mr. Kjaer-Hansen who was their guest, and then the table was set again for coffee and dessert. A daughter and her son came to pay their respects, and Poul grandly commanded his grandson to sit next to me and speak English. The poor kid was embarrassed, but I tried to be easy on him and soon we were comfortably talking together. The rest of them carried on their talking in their typical Danish way. I think I remember this from my childhood. The adults sit around talking excitedly and loudly, two or three at a time, shouting across the table to make a point, always with jovial good humor. They interrupt each other, embroider each other's stories in tandem, disagree and correct each other, but I never saw a frown. It seems like a game, and even though I couldn't understand them, I watched in amusement and amazement and pretended that the conversation was a ball that I could watch bounce from court to court. But as it always turned out, there were usually three balls going at once!

One day Ingrid and Poul took me with them when they went to the Alsted church to put fresh flowers on the family graves. This was very charming and quite moving to me. They did their gardening and watering on each grave and explained who each was who lay beneath us. A caretaker came by and chatted a bit, then went up into the belfry and began pealing the bell. Poul told me I could go up and watch, so I did – in the little door with the huge key, up the worn stone steps, winding in a tight curve, then up a ladder, the wood worn smooth as silk, into the belfry. The two bells were hung on massive beams; the light came in through small windows in the steeple, the attendant was pulling on the clapper with a fat rope, and the sound went through me in waves. After ringing one bell for about 5 minutes, he moved to the second bell with a different tone and began to strike the hour of 5 o'clock. But he struk it 9 times for 5 o'clock. It was an emotional experience for me; I felt as though I were in another world, and indeed I was. The waves of sound brought me to tears, and I wept for – I suppose – the lost memory of my mother. That experience was fairly early in the week I spent with Ingrid and Poul, and after passing through that emotion with the bells, I enjoyed the many other sights and sounds with a better balance of joy and learning.

And so the day came to leave for Los Angeles. Ingrid and Poul rode into Copenhagen with me to be sure I didn't lose my way or need their help. They are in their early 80's, and I certainly did not want Poul carrying my heavy suitcase, but they wanted to be there and I worked it out so he did not get to carry my suitcase. If it had been a lovely day weather-wise, they would have stayed in Copenhagen and visited Tivoli before taking the train back home, but it was raining again. I'm sure they needed their daily nap when they returned home as it was. I said goodbye to them reluctantly, but I shall always remember them with deep affection.

Luther met me at Immigration and had a welcome-home gift of Flora Danica perfume spray! It took me a week to settle down from the excitement, and I don't know that I ever will. This trip was such a highlight that I am a changed person. I have a lot of great pictures and it will take some time to get them all in order and to write up the story of it. Now I have a lot more people to correspond with, also. And who knows, perhaps some of those grandchildren of the cousins will pay us a visit some day. That would be nice.

If you can sit through this long letter at one sitting, I congratulate you, Bee. I'll close here without further ado.


As for me, I'll leave most of my thoughts for another time because this is so long, but I have to say I envy her the chance to have gone. It sounds like it was a truly incredible experience.

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.