Genealogical Year in Review 2012

Another year past, and a few things to show for it. I haven't been writing here as much because I've been a bit scattered this year. Too many things, not nearly enough done. But I have found some fun tidbits here and there, and switched to a new software program for my genealogy.

Changes in the family
Not as many this year (that I'm aware of) as last, but two big changes. One in the immediate family, and one in the extended family.

My grandmother died this year. The last of her generation on that side. All of that generation left are only on the other side of my family now. We had a nice service for her, and many of the extended family came down, including my grandfather's cousin, whom I had not seen in some years. He enjoyed seeing the book on the Bordewicks my sister and I put together, and complemented us on it. I did up a pair of slideshows for the memorial. One for the service itself, which was only a couple minutes, and one much longer which played throughout the reception after. I enjoyed doing it so much that I ended up doing one for each of my grandparents and gave them to both sides of the family as presents. I miss them all, so it was a bit of a tearful process. You've heard it before, but I'll say it again. No matter how difficult it might feel to talk to someone and ask them questions, it's far harder when they've gone. There are some things you'll never get if you don't ask.

The other big change in the family this year was my cousin's second child was born. She's a sweet little thing, and it was quite the celebration Christmas evening with four kids in the house. My cousins and my sister and I are all so widely spaced, we generally haven't had more than three kids in the family at any family Christmas. There are six years between me and my sister, and five between her and our next cousin, so by the time his brother was born, I was in my teen years. And by the time my twin cousins were born, they'd moved up to Alaska, and just didn't come to many family Christmases. We've had the occasional Christmas where extended family have had their kids over, but they were more rare than not, so it was definitely an experience having four young kids at Christmas this year. I quite enjoyed it.

Brick Wall Progress
I considered doing this in a different post, but I'm not as well-organized this year as I was last. I've made a few discoveries.

My favorite this year, I think has to be my great-grandmother's brother, Mendel Kresch, who escaped through Belgium to Brazil when the war started in Europe. He and (I believe) his wife, their daughter (not sure if there were others, or if they escaped), her husband, and their child, managed to escape to Brazil, and therefore managed to survive the war. I only discovered that one because one of my father's cousins mentioned a cousin from South America, so when I saw the Brazillian Immigrant card collection at Family Search, I had to check it out. It's especially great because the cards have a photo attached, so I can see just what he looked like.

Other than that, I haven't made any big discoveries in my ancestral lines, though I have made a few other discoveries. I discovered that Grumpy's family was still officially in Arkansas during the 1940 census, when I'd assumed they were already in Chicago. I do know that they'd moved to Chicago no more than two years later, as that is where they are living when Alex had to go in for his draft card, which was another bit of fascinating information to find. I still haven't found Jack Seneft in the 1940 census, though I keep trying. Unfortunately, I don't believe he ever married, so all I have to go by is his name and draft card information from that same batch. 

I also found a bunch of names and addresses in the BC area during the Ancestry free period. They had the Canadian voting records posted, and so I have a lot of information on who was living where and when because of them.

I'm working on a book about Nana's mother, and sorting through letters, which makes me think it might be interesting to scan them all and create a book of them. It would be a lot of up-down, though, given where my scanner is currently placed. But because of the book, I have been trying to firm up the information I do have on the Sealand branches. I still have no better leads on where Lars Olsen ended up when he came here, but I have a bit more information on his wife. I keep trying on Oline's father's side, too, but so far all I really have there before him is Census information. As of now, I know that the family farm, Stubbegaard, passed through at least four generations: Rasmus's father, Rasmus, Rasmus's eldest son, and that son's son. I think after that it was sold, though I'm not sure why. I hope to find some information on it in the letters, because I remember my Aunt talking about it in at least one of them.

Software Upgrade
After many years of being a Family Tree Maker user, I have finally switched over almost completely to Roots Magic. I miss some of the interactive features FTM had, but RM has others that make up for quite a bit. I got the full version of the software for Christmas, so I'm still playing with some features, and haven't even gotten to others, but so far so good.

Much of my year has been spent hand-entering the family tree from the old documents I have, and actually adding in the source information, which I never did in FTM (part of why I wanted to do it this way). It's been a learning process, but I've found all sorts of fascinating stories in doing so, and reorganized things a little to help.

Still posting at the Examiner, including a series on local and online sources for international genealogical research.

I also restarted my Surname Saturday posts, though those will be slowing down now, as I'm reaching the edges of my family tree, and know less and less stories about them as I go further back.

I didn't do so hot on my resolutions this past year, but I think my main two focuses this year will be on finishing adding all my sources to my Roots Magic tree, and otherwise focusing on my great-grandmother's story. I'd love to at least get her life story written out, if nothing else. Maybe get all those letters scanned, too.

To everyone reading this, have a happy and productive new year.

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Robertses

The Roberts Family

I have a bit more information on the Roberts family than on the Griffiths side. Two whole generations, in fact. This is my grandmother's mother's mother's side. I know very little about the Robertses. Only that they were likely from Northern Wales, as that was where my great-great grandmother Selina was born. I have almost no information on her parents aside from their names: Hugh and Ellen (nee Pugh) Roberts. Selina is the only child I currently have listed for them. I do have one photo of them holding a child who we presume is my great-grandmother Nain, but beyond that, the only other proof is their daughter's death record in Canada.

Selina met and married her husband in northern Wales, and there they had at five children before moving south. They stayed in southern Wales several more years before immigrating to Canada with all their remaining children. I don't believe she ever saw her parents again after they left the country.

Selina's family lived for a time in Manatoba, but as their children grew up and left home, most of them ended up settling on the west coast in and around Vancouver BC, so she and her husband followed, and settled there as well. They lived long enough to celebrate their 50th anniversary there with most of their family in attendance.

As you can see, I have very little information on this side, even though I have one more generation back. For a time, I believed that Ellen's maiden name was Griffiths, but I believe that was due to my grandmother's mistake, as the only "proof" I have of this name is a handwritten note by her, while Selina's death record lists her as Pugh, so I'm pretty sure that's the correct surname for her line.

My Roberts line, for those interested:

* Hugh Roberts married Ellen Pugh sometime before 1846 when their daughter Selina was born.

* Selina Roberts was born in Duffryn, Northern Wales in 1846, and married Gabriel Howells 1874. The couple had a total of 8 children, two who died in early childhood. She died in Vancouver BC, Canada in 1933.

* Their children:
+ Ellen Catherine was born 1875, and Howell Gabriel was born 1877. Both died during a whooping cough outbreak in 1877.
+ Selina Jane was born 1878. She married Thomas Cockrill in 1899, and the two had 6 children. My information on this branch of the family gets sparse after that, but I do know that several of the girls married, and that at least one of the boys served in World War II. I am not sure if there are descendants of this line out there at this time.
+ Gwen Mary, known as Winnie, was born 1880. She married James "Jim" Kaye in 1911, and they had three children: Gwen, Marguerite, and Hugh. Gwen and Marguerite both married, though I have no further information on Hugh. I know that Marguerite had children, but am uncertain about the other two.
+ Hugh Cadvan was born 1883. He married Mary Tate in 1906, and the couple had one daughter, Ethel Gertrude. I am uncertain if she married or not, but I believe their line ended with her.
+ Eliza Anne, known to everyone as Bessie, was the Howells's first child born in southern Wales, born in 1885. She married Daniel Jones in 1911, and they had four children: Marjorie Grace, Edwina Hannah, Merle Tydfil, and Ivor Howell. All of their children had children, and they have many descendants spread throughout Canada and the US today.
+ Catherine was born 1887. She married Robert Williams in 1918, and they had four children together before her death in 1937. I have no information on their children aside from names.
+ Edward Gabriel, known as Ted, was born 1891. He married Esther Henderson in 1919, and the couple had three children. Again, I have almost no information on his children aside from names. Ted was the family historian of his generation, and it is because of him that I have the amount of information on this branch that I do. He died in 1981.

What I don't know:

* I have absolutely no information about Hugh Roberts or his wife. I would love to know when and where they were born, and when they married.

* I would also love to know how many, if any siblings Selina had. I can't imagine she was their only child, though that is always possible, but still, I would love to know more.

* I would also love to know more specifics of her childrens' families, and more specific dates and family information.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
Brick Wall Update
Brick Walls: a Different Listing
Brick Wall Update
Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
Other -
Women's History Month -- Week 5

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Griffiths

The Griffiths Family

Like my Jewish ancestry, this is one of my dead-end lines, and like the great-great grandmothers on those lines, I only have one person with this surname, my great-great grandmother Hannah. Unlike them, though, I have a more direct connection to Hannah. When my grandmother was small, her parents took her to Wales, where she got to meet much of her Welsh family still living there. She told me many times about how much she enjoyed visiting her grandmother, whom she knew as "Gu" (pronounced gee), and that she was allowed to sleep in her grandmother's bed with her while they stayed.

Hannah was born in 1849 in a small southwestern Welsh town called Newcastle Emlyn. I know nothing about her parents, or whether she had any siblings, despite many years of attempting to find out more about her.

What I do know is that sometime before 1882, she met and married a man named Benjamin Jones, and the two settled in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The couple had seven children together, though I know little about most of them. Apparently they ran the area post office, and Hannah was still doing so when my grandmother's family came to visit.

Hannah's son, Daniel, was my grandmother's father. He left Wales in the early 1900s with a group of friends on a trip, and upon meeting my great-grandmother, ended up settling in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Another son, David, known as Davey, fell ill and died after wading into a lake to retrieve his mother's hat one day. He had been recovering from a flu or cold, and took a turn for the worse, and never recovered. Hannah blamed herself for his death.

Hannah and Benjamin had two daughters, May and Sophia. Both married, and my grandmother had many photos of each of their families. At least one of the sisters was still alive when my grandfather served in World War II, as he visited her and her husband while he was on leave.

Of the other three sons, Joseph, Jack, and William, I know absolutely nothing. I have no dates for any of the children aside from my great-grandfather, birth or death. I also don't know when Hanna and Benjamin married. Any help with any of this would be greatly appreciated.

The Griffith line as I currently know it is as follows, for those interested:

* Hannah Griffith married Benjamin Jones sometime before 1882 in Wales. She was born 1849 and died in 1933. They had seven children: Daniel, David, Joseph, Jack, William, May, Sophia.

* Daniel was born in 1882, and left Wales sometime in the early 1900s, traveling to Canada. There he met Eliza Jones, and married her in 1911. They had three daughters and a son. Daniel died in 1964.

* May married Brinley Jones. I do not have any dates for her, and am uncertain if they had any children.

* Sophia married Cyril Samuel. I do not have any dates for her, but I have three children listed: Basil, Beryl and Lyn.
+ Basil was born about 1920. He married Elizabeth (uncertain of last name), and the two had two children, a daughter and a son. If they or their families are reading this, I would love to get in contact with you. Particularly if you remember my great-grandmother, Bessie.
+ Beryl married Gerald Fox. I have nothing else about her, dates or if there were any children.
+ I have no further information on Lyn, either.

* The other children, I have no further information on, aside from the story of Davy's death above.

* Daniel and Eliza's children all had children of their own, and most of us still live in the Pacific Northwest today.
+ Marjorie Grace was born 1912 in Vancouver, BC. She married Herbert "Bert" Robinson in 1936, and they had three daughters, and their children and grandchildren are scattered throughout America. She died in 2011.
+ Edwina Hannah (named for her grandmother) was born in 1913. She married Kenneth Merilees in 1951, and helped raise his two older sons, and had a son with him as well. She died in 2010.
+ Merle Tydfil (named for her father's hometown) was born in 1915. She married George Bordewick in 1939, and the two had two sons and two daughters together. She died this year (2012) shortly after meeting her second great-grandchild.
+ Ivor Howell was born 1920. He married twice: Marjorie Carnahan in 1946, with whom he had two daughters, and Mary Nixon in 1952. He has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He died in 2005.

What I don't know:

* I would like to know Hannah's parents' names.

* I would also love to know if she had siblings.

* I would love more information on her early life, and how she met Benjamin.

* I also want to know about her children, particularly the three sons I have absolutely no information on but names.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Walls: a Different Listing
Brick Wall Update

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Currans

The Curran Family

Though the Park family was the name I should think of when thinking of my "Irish branch" of the family, for some reason, it's the Curran name I always think of first, even though it was my great-great grandmother's side. Because of that, I often forget that it's not the main branch of the Irish branch of my family tree.

Like the Parks, I know very little about this line of my tree, but I know more than the Parks. My great-great-grandmother was born Elizabeth Curran to a couple in Northern Ireland, and for many years, I did not know much more than her birthdate and two of her sister's names: Sarah and Rhoda. I'd only managed that much through one of the cousins on that side who used to visit when we had family gatherings in Vancouver.

I was lucky enough to find death certificates for both Elizabeth and her husband, Robert, and in doing so learned her parents' names: Thomas Curran and Jennie Blair. Still quite common names, but through those names, I have managed to find a list of children I think may have been her siblings. I'm still not entirely sure how many children her parents had, nor have I been able to find a birth or christening record for her, but through those names, I have even managed to find their wedding date, and the names of their fathers. Quite a bit more than I had when I started my search. Only took twenty years to find it.

What I do know is that the family was in and around the Belfast area, and most or all the children are listed as born in Antrum, Ireland, which is the county Belfast is in.

The story I know picks up after Elizabeth and her husband left Ireland and settled in America. They lived in Philadelphia and had nine children there, two of whom died in early childhood, then moved back to Ireland when things became too difficult in the early 1900s, but eventually settled in Vancouver BC, where my great-grandmother met and married her husband, and they raised two sons there.

The Curran line as I currently know it is as follows, for those interested:

* Francis Curran and his as-of-yet unnamed wife had at least one son, Thomas Curran. Francis was born about 1814 according to records I have found, and died in 1877 in Antrim, Ireland.

* Thomas Curran was born 1840, and married Jennie/Jane Blair in 1840. They had 8 children I am aware of: Elizabeth, Anna, Sarah, John, Thomas, Sarah Jane, Joseph, and Rhoda.
+ Elizabeth Curran's line is detailed below.
+ Sarah Curran was born 1867 and married John Stevenson, but I know little more about her.
+ Rhoda Curran was born 1878 and married John Carruth, and I believe this is the mother or grandmother of the cousin that I met in Vancouver, but I have no specific information on this branch.
+ I know nothing else about the rest of the children, aside from birth dates.

* Elizabeth Curran was born 1862. She married Robert James Park in 1883, I believe, and the two emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they lived for almost thirty years and raised their children. They returned to Ireland for a few short years before emigrating to Canada and settling in Vancouver BC, where both died. She died in 1954.
+ Two children died at a very young age. I believe one was named Jennie Curran Park. As of yet, I am uncertain of the name of the other.
+ Robert Curran Park was born 1887, and died 1912.
+ Elizabeth Park was born 1889. She married Louis Phillips, and died in 1966.
+ Mary Dunlop's line is detailed below.
+ Rhoda Park was born 1891. She married Wesley Standlick, and died in 1982.
+ Margaret Park was born 1895, and she died in 2001.
+ George Dunlop Park was born 1897. He married Florence Williams, and died in 1993.
+ Florence Park was born 1903. She married Ross Sexsmith, and they had four sons, and those sons had 13 children between them. She died in 2001.

* Mary Park was born 1891. She married Bjarne Bordewick in 1917, and they had two sons: George Robert and Henry Norman. Henry died in World War II. George had two sons and two daughters, and two grandchildren, and has two great-grandchildren. Mary Died in 1982. George died in 1991. All of their descendants currently live in the greater Seattle area.

What I don't know:

* I would love to know the name of Francis's wife, or how many children they had.

* I would love to verify the children I have listed for Thomas and Jennie/Jane Curran, and to find a birth record for Elizabeth. I'd also love to know what became of the other children, and even more about the two daughters I do know aside from Elizabeth.

* I still want to find a record for Elizabeth and Robert's marriage beyond a possibility that only included his name and a range of three months.

* I also would love to know the names of the ships they took to the US, back to Ireland, and then to Canada.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
* Brickwall Ancestors
* Brick Wall Update #2
* Brick Wall Update
* Brick Walls: a Different Listing
* Brick Wall Update
* Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
* Curran
Where We're From Posts
* Where We're From – United States
* Where We're From – Canada
* Where We're From – Ireland
* Where We're From – The Unknown
Other -
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generations
* New Discoveries
* Women's History Month – Week 2
* Heirloom Quilt

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Bordewichs Part 2

The Bordewich Family

This Bordewich branch is actually an offshoot of the first.

My ancestor Johan Petter Bordewich had three families. The first with his first wife, Leonharde Marine Linkhausen, who died giving birth to their eleventh child. The second was a daughter with a family servant, who according to family records, he wanted to marry, but his children convinced him not to. This child and woman were both sent off, and the child was fostered with more distant family members. She only had peripheral contact with her father during her life according to records. The final was my great-great grandmother’s family.

Johan had been a widower for twelve years when his next child was born. Like with his previous affair, his children managed to convince him he should not marry the girl’s mother. But this time was different. Unlike the other child and woman, who were sent away, Johan put his foot down, and the two stayed in the household. And, eventually against his children’s wishes, he married the woman. The two had three more children together, the first of which was my great-great grandmother, Leonharde Marie, who was named for her father’s first wife. (A tradition on this branch that makes determining records somewhat difficult, as there are something like 5 different Leonhardes in this family.)

She grew up in a very large family of brothers and sisters, many of whom she likely never met, and several of whom probably resented having siblings so much younger who were not their mother’s children around.

I believe Johan’s choice to finally remarry resulted in a break with the son who had been set up to take his place in the family business, which was the care and running of the sea port of the town, if I understand correctly. With another family in place at the family home, Hans Henrick (my great-great-great grandfather on the other branch of this family) chose to set up his own business rather than wait until his father decided to retire.

Hans Henrick’s son, Henrick Bergthon, was a year older than Leonharde, and it is likely the two spent time together at extended family functions as children, though I have no specific proof of this. What I do know is that eventually the two married and had three sons of their own before leaving their families in Norway behind in hopes of finding better employment for Henrick.

The two moved to Antwerp, Belgium, where the Bordewich name was mistaken for British, and caused them to be shunned by the Dutch. They moved again, this time to Grimsby, England, a town across from the large ship-building city of Hull. My great-grandfather and his brothers and a few older female relations (I assume they were relations, though I cannot be entirely sure of this as of yet, but I know that one definitely was Leonharde’s sister’s daughter) grew up. My great-grandfather, Bjarne, had just taken the entrance exams for Cambridge when the family chose to move again, this time to Vancouver, BC in Canada, where they settled near Leonharde’s brother.

Bjarne soon met his wife to be here, and the two had two sons and lived there together for over thirty years before his death in 1950. My family (parents, sister, her kids, and my aunt and uncles) are the only remaining descendants of this line.

The Bordewick line is as follows, for those interested:

* Hans Henrich is the first generation we're certain of. We believe he was born in 1769. He married Anna Tiller 1796 in Trondheim, Norway, and the two had three sons before his death in 1815. She was born 1769 and died in 1846.

* Their three sons were Ole Hansen, Johan Petter, and Hans Oliver.
+ Ole Hansen was born 1801, and died about a year and a half later.
+ Johan Petter was born 1802, and died 1879. His line follows below.
+ Hans Oliver was born 1806 and died 1844. He married Edvardine Tiller, an adopted child of one of the Tiller family (his mother's family), and they had one son, Hans Henrick, who was born 1837 and died 1867.

* Johan Petter married twice, but had children by three different women, all three lines having descendants.
+ Leonhard Marine Linkhausen married Johan in 1827. They had 11 children children together before her death in 1846 due to complications of childbirth with their last child.
+ Jacobine Benjaminsdatter had one daughter by Johan, Petra Johanne Bordewich, born in 1852.
+ Henrikke Roness had one daughter with Johan before their marriage in 1860, after which they had three more children together before his death in 1879.

* Johan and Henrikke's children were:
+ Ida Amalie, born 1858, died 1930, married Peder Olsen in 1881. They had 6 children.
+ Leonharde Marie, born 1861, died 1944. Married Henrick Bergthon 1887. They had 3 children.
+ Anna Magdalena, born 1862, died 1949, married Aksel Kjelsberg in 1890. They had 5 children.
+ Peter Magnus, born 1867, died 1956, married Margaret Priebke in 1891. They had 7 children.

* Third generation – Henrick Bergthon and Leonharde Marie's children:
+ Bjarne Borrdewick, born 1888, died 1950, married Mary Park 1917. They had two children.
+ Harald, born 1890, died 1950.
+ Hans Henrik, born 1892, died 1957, married Winnifred Atwaters in 1919. They had no children.

* Bjarne and Mary had two sons, George and Henry. George was my grandfather. He and his wife had four children, and they have two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He died in 1991. His younger brother, Henry, died in 1942. He never married or had any children.

What I don't know:

* The information I'm most craving is to learn exactly who Hans Henrich's parents were back in Germany. There is some speculation he may have changed his name to Hans Henrich, possibly after someone else in his family.

The descendants of Hans Henrich and Anna Magdalena have been well-traced, but I'm always open to hearing more about them, or finding new branches I was unaware of, so if any of these names seem familiar, feel free to contact me.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Old Surname Posts
* Bordevick
* Bordewick
Where We're From Posts
* Where We're From – United States
* Where We're From – Canada
* Where We're From – Germany
* Where We're From – England
* Where We're From – Norway
* Where We're From – Waystations
Other -
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generations
* Johan Petter Bordewick – Most Prolific Male Ancestor
* Bardoweick
* Women's History Month – Week 1
* Women's History Month – Week 5
* For Vetran's Day: Henry Norman Bordewick

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Olsens

The Olsen Family

The Olsen family is one I knew almost nothing about for the first ten years of my research into my family tree. It has now become the first line in my search for information.

In 2001, I took a class in women's studies, and our final project was to research three generations of one of our family lines, and write a paper about it. Being a genealogist, this was exciting for me, as I already had the names at my fingertips. I ended up choosing my grandmother, Nana, and her mother Oline, as well as Nana's younger daughter. I chose her because I knew her mother had died when she was very young. She was one of the few great grandparents I knew little about. So I interviewed her, and in doing so, I set out on a path that I am still on today.

Maren Sofie Olsen was Oline's mother, and so in researching Oline, I have come to know quite a bit about her life, and with each piece of information I learn, I find myself more and more fascinated.

Maren was born to Ole and Birthe Marie Larsen, who were married in the Soro district of Denmark, which is near the centre of Sealand, the larger island that makes up Denmark. When she was still young, or possibly even before she was born, her father left Denmark to come to America. This was common enough for the times, as was the fact that he never sent for his family after he settled in Minnesota. I believe his wife had little contact with him after he left.

She already had two older sisters when she was born, though I am uncertain of living arrangements while she was growing up. It is my suspicion that she was probably seen as just an extra mouth to feed in a household that already had three and no husband to make money. That, of course, is only my assumption, but I do know that like many young girls in Denmark at the time, she was sent out to work from a young age.

At some point in her early to mid twenties, Maren met Rasmus Hansen, who was either married or recently widowed. His first wife had died childless, so the two eventually married, and together had 6 children. They had a small farm in Fjenneslev, which is almost exactly the centre of Sealand, and things were going well until three years after their youngest child was born. At that time, Rasmus fell sick with a respiratory illness, and soon died, leaving her with four children under the age of ten. Their eldest was not yet thirteen.

It's been a fascinating story to learn. I often find myself wondering what Maren was like. The third child of an abandoned woman in a time when children were still more commodity than treasure, especially when it came to those who were barely surviving on their own. Which isn't to say people didn't treasure their children, but childhood just wasn't as protected as it is now. And then to marry a man who had just lost his wife, not to mention that she had had the same name as the poor woman, and then to be left with a young family to raise, and a farm to keep up…she did not have an easy life.

I've still got a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to it. Every time I look into this side of the family, I find more, though I have yet to get past Maren's father on this side. Her mother, on the other hand…well, that can wait until I cover her side of the tree.

The Olsen line is as follows, for those interested:

* Ole Larsen and Birthe Marie Schroder married 1851. They had one daughter together, Maren Sofie Olsen.

* Maren Sofie Olsen married Rasmus Hansen in 1881. The couple had 6 children:
+ Herman Hansen, born 1882, married Marie Jorgensen in 1908, and the two had two children and 6 grandchildren, and at least 7 great-grandchildren. Herman died in 1969.
+ Maren Hansine Marie Hansen, born 1884, married Hans Peter Larsen in 1906, and the two had 5 children, 4 grandchildren, and at least 3 great-grandchildren that I am aware of. Maren died in 1968
+ Julie Oline Hansen, born 1886, married Holger Hansen in 1918. See below for descendants. She died in 1929.
+ Hans Kristian Hansen, born in 1890, married Mary Katherine Shawler Deats in the US. He was the only other family member to come to the US aside from Oline and their grandfather. He died in the late 1980s.
+ Johanne Kirsten Hansen, born 1891, and apparently committed suicide in 1916.
+ Ole Hansen, born 1892, died 1910.

* Oline and Holger had three children:
+ Margaret Hansen, born 1919, married Sam Hillinger in 1948, and they have 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and their fourth great-grandchild was just born this month. She died in 2010.
+ Marilyn Hansen, born 1923, married Luther Weare in 1954, and they have 2 daughters, 6 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
+ Torben Skow Hansen, born 1925, married Eileen Hoban, and they have 2 sons. He died in 1996.

* All of Oline and Holger's descendants live in the US today.

What I don't know:

* I would love to know the names of Ole's parents. I can assume his father's name was Lars, but beyond that I have no other info. I would also like to find out when he left Denmark and came to America, and whether he lived anywhere other than Minnesota. I also need to track down where exactly in Minnesota he lived. We have a general location, but haven't been able to narrow it down. I also need to find out when he died.

* I would love to know more about Maren Sofie's life. I'd like to know when she began working outside the home, and where, though I know that might be difficult to find at best. I would also love to know when and how she met Rasmus. And one last thing about her—I'd love to know if she went by Maren or Sofie or something else entirely.

* This point actually should have gone on the Hansen line, but since it occurred to me now, and she's her mother's daughter, I will put it here. I would love to know what happened with Johanne Kirsten, and why she might have committed suicide.

* But most of all, I want to know more about Ole's ancestors.

Other information about this branch of the family:

Brick Wall Posts -
Brick Wall Update
Brick Wall Update
Old Surname Posts
Where We're From Posts
Where We're From – United States
Where We're From – Denmark
Other -
Olsen family history
Interview with Uncle Hans
Womens History Month -- Week 3

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Larsens

The Larsen Family

My Danish family roots are some of the best-researched lines in my family tree. Despite the fact that my great grandfather came here from Denmark as a young man, he kept in contact with many of his siblings all of his life, and because of that, his children knew them quite well. A few years after their father's death, my great aunt decided to start up a yearly family gathering for this clan, and so the extended family remained close, despite distances.

The Larsens were my great-grandfather's mother's family, and while we know about her immediate family, more distant ancestors are less well-known. What we do know mostly comes from his mothers's sister's family. Margrethe Isaksen nee Larsen and her husband came to the US in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and settled in New York, and raised three children there. When my great-grandfather came to America, he stayed with them until he got on his feet, and remained in touch with them until his aunt's death.

The Larson family was from the Jutland area of Denmark. She and her family lived right in the center area of Jutland, and all of the children in the family were born in a town called Nyvindbjerg, in the district of Ringive. Their father Jorgen Larsen was a farmer, and aside from Margrethe, most married and settled in and around the district of Ringive with their spouses, most of whom were also farmers, or on farms of their own.

Until recently, that was about as far as I could go for this side of the family, but some help from a couple of friends in Denmark changed everything. From the time I began my search, I had Jorgen's parents listed as Lars Christiansen and Oertha, not even sure if that was a first or last name. Unfortunately, Jorgen Larsen is an incredibly common name, so I had given up hope of finding more until I asked one of them one day. He came up with a record of Jorgen's birth for that parish, and also listed were his parents: Lars Andersen and Birthe Marie Sorensen. Apparently, Oertha was a transcription error, which I discovered when I looked through all the older copies of the family tree, which made the top of the B cut off so that it looked more like an O.

I've since found a great deal more thanks to family search, though I have yet to actually get in touch with this branch for help in determining where they got their information. Still, it gets me a great deal further.

The Larsen line is as follows, for those interested:

* Lars Andersen was born about 1794 in Vejle, Denmark. He married Birthe Marie Sorensen 1820 in the same area, and they had eight children together.
+ Anders, born 1820.
+ Mette born 1823.
+ Else Marie born 1827.
+ Johannes born 1829.
+ Peder born 1833.
+ Soren Christian born 1835.
+ Jorgen born 1837, married Ivare Kirstine 1863, died 1923. See below for more detail.
+ Elias born 1840.

* Jorgen Larsen and Ivare Kirstine had 9 children together:
+ Else Katrine was born 1865. She married Jens Christian Hansen in 1885, and they had 8 children together, the third of which was my great grandfather Holger. She died in 1934.

+ Kristine was born in 1870. She married Peter Andreasen, and died in 1957. I have no children listed for them.
+ Birte Marie was born in 1870 as well, though nine months after Kristine. She married Jens Ibsen Laurberg. I have no other information on her life, so I am uncertain when she died or if she had children.
+ Mette Margrethe (known as Margrethe) was born 1873. She married Isak Isaksen. The two had three children: Peter, Jorgen, and Tula, all of whom had families of their own, and their descendants still live in the New York area today. Margrethe died in 1970.
+ Lars Kristian was born 1876. He married Marie Damgaard, and died in 1955. I do not have any children listed for them.
+ Maren Kirstine was born 1878. She married Christian Christensen, and died in 1957.
+ Soren was born 1880. He married Marie Eskildsen. I have no further information on this family, or if the couple had any children.
+ Dagmar Augusta was born 1883. She married Reiar Aasberg, and died 1973. I do not know if this couple had any children.
+ Ane Marie was born 1886. She married Niels Peter Skov Jensen (whom I believe was a cousin of Else's husband) in 1906. She died in 1960. I am uncertain if this couple had any children.

What I don't know:

* While I managed to get past the block of Jorgen's parents, and have managed to get several generation back further on his mother's side, on his father's side I have not been so lucky. Lars Andersen is unfortunately as common as Jorgan Larsen. I keep attempting to find more, but as of yet, I know little about him.

* I would love to find out who his parents were, and also how many siblings he had.

* In a similar vein, I would love to know more about the rest of his children aside from Jorgen. How many children did they have? When did they die? Where did they live with their spouses?

* I would also love to know when Lars and Berthe died, as I do not have death dates for either of them.

Other information about this branch of the family:
> Larsen Surname Saturday Post
> Where We're From – United States
> Where We're From – Denmark
> Women's History Month Week 1

Wow…apparently I don't write about this line much. It's too far back to be a proper brick wall, and it's buried deep in a family line that's fairly well researched, so that's probably why. I'll have to remedy that, though. It's an interesting line. And one that's actually better on the female lines than the male. Both for my g-g grandmother and for her father's mother, too.

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Reichs

The Reich Family

As of writing this, I have only one person in my family tree with this surname, my great-great grandmother Feige Golda Kresch (nee Reich). I have always had her in my tree, but I know almost nothing about her. So this entry is going to be a little different.

Feige (which is what I believe she went by given the records I have of two of her children) was likely born in Galicia to Jewish parents about 1870. Going by her name, she was probably a German Jew, but I have seen the name in many eastern Galician records as well, so it's also possible her family came from the eastern area, where the Ukrane now is.

The first record I have of her is in my great-grandparents' family book. It lists her as being from Czudek, which is where my great-grandmother was born, though I am uncertain if she was born there herself, or just lived there most recently according to that paperwork. I know nothing of her parents at all, or if she had siblings, or how many.

Of her husband, I know little. She married Benzion Kresch sometime before 1890, and the two had at least three, likely more, children. I am certain of the names of three at this time, but little else. I am uncertain when her husband died, but I do know that after, she moved to Frankfurt to be closer to her daughters. She died there sometime in the late 1920s, possibly 1929.

That's all I have. No exact dates, no family outside her husband, daughters and son, no addresses or specific birthplace. I do hope to find more, but given where she lived, I don't expect to find it easily, if I can at all.

The Reich line, as I know it:

>Feige Golda Reich was born about 1870, likely in Galicia. She married Benzion Kresch sometime before 1890. The two had at least three children, and possibly as many as five or more, according to some stories I have heard. The children I know are:
o Naftali Mendel Kresch, who I believe, according to the information I found, went by the name of Mendel, born 1890, married Rosa Lowenbraun, and they had at least one child, a Sabina Kresch, who was married herself by the time the family escaped to Brazil, sometime in the early days of World War II.
o Dora Kresch, born 1892, married Alex Hillinger 1919 in Frankfurt, Germany, where they raised 6 children before leaving for the US in the early 1930s.
o Minna Kresch, who I have little information about, but who came to Frankfurt with her sister after World War I, and who also managed to escape the war, as I have a photo of her at one of my great-aunts' weddings in the late 1940s.
o Of the others, I have no information, though I can guess their possible fates, given the time period. I have yet to have it confirmed, but it seems unlikely, given the area and the time, that my family would have completely escaped that fate.

> Dora and Alex Hillinger had six children, who have been covered in both the Hillinger and Seneft entries.

> Mendel and Rosa had at least one daughter survive the war, and she had a daughter as well. The last records I have of that branch of the family is a few photos of a "South American" cousin who came to visit in the 40s, and Mendel and his daughter's immigration cards to Brazil. I would absolutely love to get in contact with this branch of the family to see if they have any further information on our family.

What I don't know has been detailed above, but I will list it here fore easier reading, too:

> I would love to know anything about Feige's family—her parents, her siblings, where they lived when she was born.

> I would love to know when Feige and Benzion married, how many children they had, and when he died.

> I want to know more about the family of Mendel Kresch, and how they have done down in South America, and specifically if there are any family members still alive there today.

> I would also love to know more about my great-great aunt Minna, and how she survived the years. Did she marry? Did she have children? When did she come to the US? Or did she settle elsewhere?

> Last of all, I would love to know the fate of the other Kresch children, and what happened to them.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
> Brick Walls –a different listing
> Brick Wall Update
> Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
> Reich
Where We're From Posts
> Where We're From – Galicia
Other -
> On Jewish Names and Naming Traditions

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Senefts

The Seneft Family

I have covered most of the Seneft family story already in the Hillinger family entry, but to be complete, I want to do a separate entry on the Senefts.

I only have about one and a half generations of Senefts in my family line. I'm not even sure if there are any existing Seneft descendants who still use that name.

If things had gone a differently, my maiden name would have been Seneft, but due to German legalities, my great-grandfather was forced to use his mothers surname instead. As I said in the Hillinger post, this line was Jewish, and so his parents were married in a religious ceremony. Likely, if that religion had been a Christian one, there would be no issue, but because they were Jewish, a religion which has always faced persecution in Europe and elsewhere, that made him an easy target.

The the earliest I can trace the Seneft family is in the mid to late 1880s, with my great-grandfather's birth. He was one of five or possibly six children born to his parents, all of whom were born in Galicia. At some point, his father decided to move the family to London, likely in search of a better life, as life in Galicia was very difficult.

His father was a Rabbi, though I do not know exactly when he began to practice that calling. What I do know is that my great-grandfather finished growing up in the city of London, and lived there until the start of World War I, when he was sent to Camp Douglas on the Isle of Man for being an enemy alien on English soil.

After the war, the English government expelled him for still being German, and so my great-grandfather left and never looked back. Unfortunately, upon arrival in Germany, he was told that he was required to take his mother's maiden name, and so he became Alex Hillinger and never used the name Seneft again.

It's not an uncommon story for German Jews, unfortunately. But it does make finding more about our family difficult, even without the usual overlay of the Holocaust.

Despite his return to Germany after the first World War, my great grandfather and his family survived the Holocaust, as he chose to leave Germany before things got their worst. And none of his siblings were in Germany, so the Seneft branch managed to avoid the worst during the war, though many of the next generation served, some of them died in their service.

The Seneft line is identical to the Hillinger line, but it follows for those interested:

Ø      Leon Seneft married Mindel Hilinger sometime in the mid 1800s, likely in Galicia. He was a Rabbi, in London at the very least.
o       They had at least five children, three boys and two girls: Alex, Jennie, Annie, Jack, and a third son whose name I currently do not know. I believe all the children were born in Galicia.

Ø      Of their five children, only two had children of their own.
o       Alex and his wife, Dora, had six children: Ben, Mina, Sam, Helena, Hilda (aka Peppi), and Selma, all born in Frankfurt, Germany. Five of the six of Alex and Dora's children had children, and that line flourished in the US, and still thrives there today, mostly in Seattle and Chicago.
o       The unnamed son had about five kids. Three or four sons, most or all of whom died in World War II, and a daughter named Kitty. Sam's notes tell me that his unnamed uncle stayed in England, and that at least one of his children (his daughter) had children, at least one of whom is now residing in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What I don't know:

Ø      I know Seneft is a German name, so I believe that his branch of the family were Germanic Jews, though I am not sure where all they may have lived, as I know of none aside from Leon and his children.

Ø      I do not know when Leon became a rabbi, and would love to learn more about his time as a rabbi.

Ø      I am uncertain when he died, though I believe he outlived his wife, as I found a gravestone that appears to be hers with her daughter's name on it. I do know that he was apparently dead by the time my grandfather was born, or so he told me.

Ø      I am still hoping to find out more about his other children.
o       I know that Jack lived in New York after the war, though I am not certain when he left England for the US.
o       I know that one of their sisters (Annie, I believe) married and settled in Memphis with her husband.
o       I also know that their other sister also married, though I am uncertain where she met and married her husband.
o       The final son stayed in England, as stated above, but I know almost nothing about him aside from the loss of several sons during World War II, and that he had a daughter who has descendants today. I would love to know more.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
Ø Brickwall Ancestors
Ø Brickwall Update – the Seneft/Hillingers
Ø Brick Wall Update
Ø Brick Walls –a different listing
Ø Brick Wall Update
Ø Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
Ø Seneft
Where We're From Posts
Ø Where We're From – England
Ø Where We're From – Galicia
Ø Where We're From – The Unknown
Other -
Ø The Life of Sam Hillinger as told by Maggie Hillinger
Ø Searching for: Galician Town Names
Ø Hillinger Family History
Ø Women's History Month – Week 1
Ø Women's History Month – Week 3
Ø On Jewish Names and Naming Traditions
Ø World War II Draft Cards

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Howells/Gabriel/Howels

The Howells Family

Of my Welsh family lineage, the Howells are the best tracked. My mother's maternal grandmother came to Canada when she was still young, but she and her family never lost touch with those branches who remained behind in Wales.

My knowledge of this line starts in Northern Wales with a man called Gabriel Howel. He was born in the late 1700s, and by family lore did some business as a weaver as well as farming. Apparently this was a common talent in this branch of the family. His son married the granddaughter of one of the major Welsh Quakers of their day, and their eldest son was my great-great grandfather, Gabriel Howells.

Though I can only speculate at this stage, I believe that this line may have descended from Huguenots who had escaped France's purge of their religion. I had not known anything about this part of the family line until my aunt mentioned it to me one day on a drive to visit my grandmother. After returning home, I looked up the possible lines, and searched for "Welsh Huguenots" and discovered a mention of a group of Huguenots who settled in northern Wales and became quite well-known in those parts for their weaving abilities. Between the connection of weaving in the Howells line, and Gabriel's name, which is decidedly French and was passed down through several generations, I believe this may well be that line.

Welsh genealogy is an odd beast. I'm used to family surnames that generally remain intact over countless generations, as well as the Scandinavian Patronymic system. But not all Patronymic systems are the same. In Wales, the practice has changed a few times due to laws created by the English to try and "get those damned Welsh in line." At least, that's my belief. But for some families, at least, there is one consistency: instead of the children all taking on a version of their father's name as their surname, only the firstborn son does. Or, at least, that's the way it works in this branch of my family tree.

Unfortunately, aside from the Howells, I have little else to go on. This is the only one I have full information on more than three generations. But those generations are very telling. My progenitor, Gabriel Howel (sometimes Howell) had at least two sons. The elder, my ancestor, was named at birth Howel (or Hywel) Gabriel. His firstborn, my great-great grandfather, was in turn named Gabriel Howells (with the S at the end to denote "son of"). I'm not sure if his son would have eventually gone by Howell Gabriels or something else, because he died as an infant, and they never named any of their other children that way.

So as you can see, it makes looking up records quite confusing. In some records, the children are listed with their parents' surname. In others with the one they would use as an adult. So it makes it very difficult to find the appropriate records.

Still, I'm muddling my way through it. After all, I managed to find the original Gabriel Howel's wife and a second son who was apparently named for her side of the family—Evan. I'd love to find more, though. And I do keep trying.

The Howells line is as follows, for those interested:

* My earliest known ancestor in this line was Gabriel Howel, farmer and weaver in northern Wales, born between 1794 and 1796. He married Gwen Evan sometime before 1822, and the couple had at least two sons (and likely several more children) in Merionethshire in northern Wales.

* The two children I have are Howell Gabriel, born 1822 in Dogelly, and Evan Howel, born 1827 in Towyn.

* Howell married Catherine "Catti" Jones sometime before 1849, and the two had at least 8 children.
> Gabriel Howells, born 1849, married Selina Roberts. Their descendants will follow in the next point.
> Howel Gabriel, born after 1852, married Margaret Owen, and they had at least one daughter, Gwen, born 1892. It is possible his wife's name may also have been Lillian, or that Lillian may have been her first or middle name, though I am uncertain of this at this time.
> Catherine Gabriel, born sometime after 1854, who died in her teens.
> Evan Gabriel, born about 1855.
> Edward Gabriel, born about 1857, married Catherine Thomas.
> Lewis Gabriel, born 1859, who moved to Canada, settling there on a farm in Manitoba or possibly Seskachewan. He married (not sure if they married in Canada or Wales) Sarah (I have no last name), and they had three children: Winnie, Howell, and Ap Cell.
> Hugh Gabriel, born about 1864, married Catherine Norris, and I believe they had four children: Mary Catherine, Hugh, Drynwen, and Celt. I know Celt married a woman named Joan, but have no other information on this line.
> Gwen Gabriel, born about 1870, married Griffith Roberts, and they had at least two children, a girl named Cattie (possibly Catherine?), and a boy whose name I do not know.

* Gabriel and Selina had 8 children. Ellen Catherine and Howell Gabriel Howells both died in a whooping cough epidemic within days of each other in 1877. The others all lived to adulthood.
> Selina Jane, born 1878, married Thomas Cockrill, and the two had six children together: Selina, Mary Ellen, Catherine Elizabeth, Violet, Tom, and Edward. I know that there are descendants of this line, or at least that there were marriages for three of the four girls, but I know nothing more than their husbands' surnames. Selina died in 1965.
> Gwen Mary, known in adulthood as Winnie, born 1880, married James Kay, and they had three children: Gwen, Marguerite, and Hugh Ross. Gwen and Marguerite married, and I know that Marguerite had grandchildren, though I am uncertain if there have been more descendants in this line. In 1944, Winnie married again, this time to a Rich Curtiss. Winnie died in 1956.
> Hugh Cadvan, born 1883, married May Tait, and the couple had one daughter, Ethel. I believe she was the last in this line. I do know that uncle Hugh served in the RAF during World War I, but know nothing of his record. Hugh died in 1942.
> Eliza Anne, known to everyone as Bess, was born 1885, married my great-grandfather, Daniel Thomas Jones in 1911. They had three daughters and one son, who will follow below. She died in 1980.
> Catherine, born 1887, married Robert Thomas Williams, and they had four children. I am uncertain at this time if they have further descendants. Catherine died in 1937.
> Edward Gabriel, known as Ted, was born 1891. He married Esther Vanadestine Henderson, and they had three children: Earl, Margery, and Bill. I do not know if there are other descendants in this line. Ted died in 1981.

* Eliza and Daniel had four children:
> Marjorie Grace Jones, born 1912, married Herbert "Bert" Robinson, and the two had three daughters and have a flock of descendants today spread around the Northwest and throughout the US and Canada. Their first great-great grandchild was born this year.
> Edwina Hanna Jones, born 1913, married Kenneth Merilees, helping to raise his two sons and had a third with him. Their boys have four children between them, and three grandchildren.
> Merle Tydfil Jones, born 1915, married George Bordewick. My grandparents had four children, two grandchildren, and their second great-grandchild was born last year, who my grandmother got to see several times before her death this year.
> Ivor Howell Jones, born 1920, married Marjorie Carnahan, and they had two children, who have four children and seven grandchildren between them. After his first wife's death, he married Mary Nixon. He died in 2005.

What I don't know:

* How many generations the Gabriel/Howells clan was in Wales before my ancestor Gabriel Howel.

* How many children Gabriel and Gwen had . I would love to learn more about their family in general.

* What boat the Howells emigrated to Canada on. I know they lived with Lewis's family on their farm for a time before moving to Winnapeg, but beyond my grandmother's stories and assorted Census forms, I know little more about this part of my ancestor's lives.

* When the various Howells children moved to Vancouver, and when Gabriel and Selina moved there. I do know they lived there for some amount of time before their 50th anniversary, which was celebrated by the entire clan in Vancouver BC.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
Brick Wall Update
Brick Wall Update
Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
Where We're From Posts
Where We're From – Canada
Where We're From – Wales
Where We're From – The Unknown
Other -
Four Generations
Gabriel Howells
Testimonial to the Howells
Women's History Month – Week 2
My Nain – Eliza Anne Howells
Saturday Night Genealogical Fun

Why I Don't Index

As someone who has done at least 75% of her research online, I am grateful to all those who spend their days indexing when they have those moments to spare. I think it's a vital job, and great for the whole Genealogical community.

Because of this, I have considered doing the same myself. But I have one problem with it.

I have stated before in this blog that I am not religious. I was raised in a non-religious household by a father who was also raised non-religious and a mother who was raised Christian (mostly Methodist, I believe). Despite that, I have feelings about spirituality being a very personal thing that should not be imposed on someone else by anyone unasked.

Which is my problem. The main way I know of indexing at the moment (I am sure there are others, but it is the most easily accessible and wide-reaching group) is the Family Search site. But because they are funded and run by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, I know that some, if not all of those records will be used to baptize more people after their deaths.

While I may not personally be religious, I have many ancestors who were. Extremely so, in fact. One whole branch of my tree is Jewish, and above all, I don't want them re-baptized, regardless of what it might actually mean in the hereafter. None of us really know that, so how can anyone know what might cause someone problems there, or if it would make any difference to anyone here for doing so. I suppose I could see it as another myth that helps people get through their own lives, but to me it seems rude, presumptuous, and downright uncaring of those people who felt very strongly about the religion they were in at the time of their deaths. Which is probably a good percentage of my ancestors.

And if I don't want it to happen to my ancestors, I'm quite sure others don't want it to happen to theirs.

Again, it's a great resource, and I use it myself. Which is why I continue to struggle with the idea of indexing. I just don't know how to get past the idea of what it will be used for. Because otherwise, it seems like it would be a great way to contribute to the community at large.

But as it is now, I can't morally help. Not if it means it will be used in a way I consider hurtful and cruel.

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Parks

The Park Family

For me, the Park family was the initial reason I got into my genealogy. After my grandfather died, I realized there were few people left in his generation or before for his family, so while I had the Bordewicks traced out on paper, I had nothing for his mother's side. I had to start by hand, asking my mom and her siblings and my grandmother who the Park children were, and who they married, but even then, I only got two generations of information, and it was a bit shaky at best, but it was a start. At a family gathering, I managed to hook up with a cousin from my great-grandmother's mother's side of the family, and she sketched out a few more links for me, but for a long time, I had little to nothing about this side. Only in the last few years have I finally learned my great-great grandparents' parents names and where they were born.

The Park line is Irish. I've known that for a long time. I can't even remember when I first learned it, so I must have been small. It was only after I started to research this line that I began to hear that they weren't Irish, but Northern Irish, with pretty much everything that entails for someone who lives in the US.

My great-great grandfather, Robert Park, was born to John Park and his wife, a woman who to this day, I still only have the surname of, Dunlop. I know he was born in 1852, but beyond that and their names, I have little else on his family before he met his wife Elizabeth Curran and came to the US in the 1880s. I suspect his mother's name may be Mary, as they named my great-grandmother Mary Dunlop Park, but I have no proof of that, so that is only a speculation at this time.

Robert and Elizabeth came to the United States about 1883 and settled in Philadelphia, where Robert worked as a cabinet maker and woodworker. The couple had nine children there between arriving and when they left in the early 1900s, two of which died in infancy.

In the early 1900s, things became difficult in the US for immigrants, and so Robert decided to move his family back to Northern Ireland. By 1911, they were settled in Belfast, and are listed in the Irish Census of the time. The children were growing older, and several of them began to find their own ways at the time. One of the older daughters married, and she and her husband moved to Canada, settling there. When she wrote back glowing reports of the country, the family moved again, this time settling in Vancouver BC, where my great-great grandparents lived until their deaths.

My great-grandmother met her husband after the family settled in Vancouver. His family were immigrants from Norway (see the Bordewick family story), and had also recently arrived. The two married in 1917, and had two boys, my grandfather, George Robert, and his younger brother, Henry Norman. Henry died in the war, and my great-grandfather died in 1950, leaving my grandmother on her own. Her younger sister Margie moved in with her, and the two lived together until the late 70s or very early 80s when my grandfather had her moved down to a Masonic nursing home in Washington so he could be closer to her so they could visit more frequently once it was difficult for her to get around.

The Park line is as follows, for those interested:

* John Park and his wife (Miss Dunlop) married sometime around/before 1852, when their son was born. As of yet, I have only one child for them, my great-great grandfather.

* Robert Park was born in 1852, and married Elizabeth Curran sometime in 1883. The two then (or so I believe) emigrated from Northern Ireland (at the time, just Ireland, as Northern Ireland didn't come into existence until after the Great War) about that time, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA. There they had 9 children, then moved back with them to Ireland in the early 1900s after the youngest was born. They moved to Canada in the mid 19-teens, and both died there.

* Their children:
o The two eldest, who died in early childhood or infancy, whose names I can only guess at this time, though I have found a record for a Jennie Curran Park with the right parents whom I suspect may have been named for Elizabeth's mother. The other child may have been a boy, but at this time, I cannot be certain.
o Robert Curran Park, who died in 1912.
o Elizabeth "Bessie" Park, who married and settled in Vancouver, living there until her death in 1966.
o Mary "May" Dunlop Park, my great-grandmother, who lived to the grand old age of 91, and who I still remember fondly to this day. She married Bjarne Bordewick, and they had two sons; my grandfather had four children, and his daughter had two, and she even has one great-great granddaughter and one great-great grandson today.
o Rhoda Park, who also lived a good long life. Married and lived to 1982 as well. I have vague memories of meeting her as a child, though she was not as constant a visitor as their sister Marge.
o Margaret "Marge" Park, who lived with her sister for many years after Bjarne's death, and lived to the amazing age of 106.
o George Dunlop Park, who managed to outlive my grandfather who was named for him, married in Vancouver, and lived until 1993.
o And the baby of the family, Florence "Florrie" Park, who was the only one of the siblings to leave the British Columbia area, and settled in Ontario after her marriage. She and her husband had four sons, and they are the only cousins my grandfather had, though they were closer in age to his son than himself. She has descendants in both Ontario and BC still today. She died in 2001.

What I don't know:

* I believe that this line is what we in the US call Scots-Irish. Park and Dunlop (especially Dunlop) are very Scottish names, and many of those expelled from their land in Scotland moved to Northern Ireland after. I would love to have this confirmed.

* I would love to know more about John Park, and where he was born, lived, and died. I would love to know how many children he had as well, as an Irish family with only one child seems a tad unbelievable.

* I want to know where Robert and Elizabeth married. I assume that was in Ireland, but I could be wrong. I also want to confirm the lost child I found, and learn the name of the other child they lost as well.

* I would love to know about any of the boats they traveled on. I don't know when or where they may have departed from (though I assume the one back to the UK was from Philadelphia…), but it would be great to find out.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
Brickwall Ancestors
Brick Wall Update #2
Brick Wall Update
Brick Walls: a Different Listing
Brick Wall Update
Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
Where We're From Posts
Where We're From – United States
Where We're From – Canada
Where We're From – Ireland
Where We're From – The Unknown
Other -
The Bordewick Family
Four Generations
New Discoveries
Women's History Month – Week 2
Heirloom Quilt

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.