Saturday Night Genealogical Fun

So I haven't done this in a while, but I really like this idea. Randy Seaver's SNGF post today is a good one:

1) What is on your Genealogy Bucket List?  What research locations do you want to visit?  Are there genea-people that you want to meet and share with?  What do you want to accomplish with your genealogy research?  List a minimum of three items - more if you want!

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own (please give me a link in Comments), a comment to this post in Comments, a status line or comment on Facebook., or a Google+ Stream post.

So my big three, in no particular order:

1) For travel, there are two main places I'd like to visit: Denmark (especially Copenhagen) and Wales (particularly Merthyr Tydfil where my great grandfather was born). I'd love to see where my ancestors lived, and get help finding birth and death records for the most immediate generations there, at least. For a more complete (if not perfectly accurate any longer) list of where I'd love to go, see here.

2) I also want to write a book about my great-grandmother Oline. It's in the early writing stages now, but I really want to see it published. I think it will be wonderful, and I think it could help others find their own roots.

3) I would love to make a living as a genealogist. I keep putting it off, though. I need to call the ones currently working in the area, see if I can help them, and try to get into a genealogy class and actually get a certificate.

So those are mine. What are yours?

Wordless Wednesday

I never do wordless Wednesday, but I've been working on a slideshow for my grandmother's funeral service, and saw this, and yeah... (I know it's not wordless, but it's close)

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Hansens, part 2

The Hansen Family; Sealand, Denmark

While my great-grandparents both had the surname Hansen, and were both born to farming families in Denmark, there is where the similarities in their lines end. While Holger was born in Jutland, Oline, my great-grandmother, was born in Sealand, to a couple with a farm that had been in the family for at least two generations. And while Holger's parents were both alive and well when he left for America, Oline had lost her father when she was still quite young—about the age of nine.

Another thing that makes this line different is how very little I have on it. Only three generations—my great grandmother, her father, and his father. Before that, I have yet to manage to go. Despite that, this is one of my more-beloved lines, not the least of which is the fact that I've actually managed to find information on it beyond what my family already had recorded. And I hope to find more.

Rasmus Hansen, my great-great grandfather, was born to a farming couple by the names of Hans Nielsen and Maren Rasmusdatter in the middle of Sealand in 1845. He was the one to take it over after his parents, and it was there he married two women, and raised his family before his death in 1895.

My great-grandmother and her siblings were greatly affected by his death. While they had likely been expected to help out around the farm before that, after, it became their main chore. Her eldest brother was only 13 at the time. She did not take well to farming, and so to provide income for her family, she began to work for people in the nearby towns, eventually securing a post at the Minister of Agriculture's home, and moving with his family to a location near Copenhagen, doing housework, cooking and sewing to earn her keep.

Eventually, she made enough to follow her younger brother to the US, and settled in Chicago doing similar work there. She returned once to visit her family, and while on the boat to Denmark, she met her husband to be, who took the chance to court her while they were stuck in Denmark due to a blockade during World War I. The two married not long after returning to the US, and settled in Cleveland, where they had three children together before she died of pneumonia in 1929 at the age of 42.

This Hansen line is as follows, for those interested:

* Hans Nielsen was born about 1817 in Alsted, Soro, Denmark. He married Maren Rasmusdatter sometime around 1841, and the two had at least six children. He died sometime after 1880, as he was listed in the 1880 census.

* Their children:
+ Ole, born about 1841
+ Neils, born about 1843
+ Rasmus, born 1845
+ Jorgen, born about 1847
+ Jens, born about 1849
+ Ane Lisbeth, born about 1853
+ There may be more, but those are the children I found listed in the various cenuses with them. I have no other record of these children aside from Rasmus.

* Rasmus Hansen married twice. Sometime before 1870, he married Maren Nielsen, who died in 1879. They had no children. He then married Maren Sofie Olsen in 1881, and the couple had 6 children.

* Their children:
+ Herman, born 1882, married Marie Jorgensen in 1908, they had one son and one daughter, and have many descendants still alive today. He was the one who inherited the farm. He died in 1969.
+ Maren Hansine, born 1884, married Hans Larsen in 1906, and they had three sons and two daughters, both daughters having children of their own. She died in 1986. + Julie Oline, born 1886 (see below for more)
+ Hans Kristian, born 1890, married Mary Deats. He was the other Hanson sibling to move to the US, and stayed there until his death in Omaha in the late 1980s.
+ Johanne Kirsten, born 1891, died 1916.
+ Ole, born 1892, died 1910.

* Oline Hansen married Holger Hansen in Cleveland, Ohio in 1918. The two had two daughters and a son before her death in 1929.

* All three of their children had children of their own, and two branches now have two generations beyond those grandchildren. All of Oline's descendants live in the US, scattered around the country.

What I don't know:

* As of now, I am certain I have Rasmus's parents. I have found a census that includes both his parents and his first wife, which proves to me that I've got the right family. However, I still need to know more about these people. I believe his parents owned the farm, but I don't know if his father inherited it as well.

* I also don't know enough about his siblings, and whether there were others, or what happened to the ones I have found on the censuses.

* I also want to know who Hans Nielsen's parents were. I assume his father's name was Niels, but I have yet to find a birth record or census record that would clarify who his parents might be.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Brick Wall Posts -
* Brickwall Ancestors
* Brick Wall Update
* Brick Wall Update
* Brick Wall Update 2012
Old Surname Posts
* Hansen part 2
Where We're From Posts
* Where We're From – United States
* Where We're From – Denmark
Finding Oline Correspondence Series
* Finding Oline Correspondance – Part 1
* Finding Oline Correspondance Part 2
* Finding Oline Correspondance .5
* Finding Oline Correspondance 3
* Finding Oline Correspondance 4
* Finding Oline Correspondance 5
Other -
* The Gift of Oline: a story of lost and found
* New Discoveries
* Interview with Uncle Hans
* Womens History Month -- Week 1
* Womens History Month -- Week 2
* Womens History Month -- Week 3
* Womens History Month -- Week 4
* Womens History Month -- Week 5

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Hansens, part 1

The Hansen Family; Jutland, Denmark

I have several branches of my family tree that are patronymic in origin. Hansen is the most prominent, if not most prevalent (Jensen and Christiansen and variants take that honor) of my family.

My grandmother's parents were both born with the surname Hansen because of the old Danish naming traditions. This week, I'm going to cover his family, which has only been Hansen since his father's generation.

The furthest back in this line I've managed to get was a man named Knud Madsen, though I presume his father's name was Mads, I have no other information about him, and little about his son. Knud was my great-grandfather's great-great grandfather, who was born in the Jutland area of Denmark sometime in the mid 1700s. The line continued there as farmers until the early 1900s, when my great-grandfather made enough money to travel to America.

This line is as Danish as my family gets. It's possible they have origins elsewhere, but for at least 5, probably 6 or more generations, all of the family was born in Jutland, and probably never traveled much further than the nearest town until my great-grandfather.

He made a fairly good living as a bricklayer in New York, and might have settled there permanently but for a return trip to Denmark in about 1916 that changed things again. It was on that trip that he met my great-grandmother, who was living in Chicago at the time. When all ships back to the US were cancelled due to a blockade because of World War I shortly after their arrival in Denmark, he took the chance and traveled to her home on the island of Sealand to court her. After returning to America, the two moved to Cleveland, neutral ground and a fresh start for both, with a small Danish community already in place. They married there and had three kids together before her death in 1929.

The Hansen line is as follows, for those interested:

* Knud Madsen, son of Mads ? was born in about 1730. We know nothing about his wife, or how many children he might have had, but we do know of one son.
* Knud Knudsen was born in Denmark in 1794, and married Ane Marie Hansdatter in 1822. the two had five sons and two daughters.
* His second son, Hans Knudsen, was born in the same place in Denmark in 1824. He married Christine Jensdatter in 1854, and the couple had 4 sons and 4 daughters.
* Their eldest son, Jens Christian Hansen, was also born in the family's long-time community in 1858. He married Else Katrine Larsen in 1885, and the two had 6 sons and 2 daughters. He made much of his living as a bricklayer, and when his second son (my great-grandfather) was old enough, he taught him the skill as well.
* My great grandfather, Holger Skov Hansen, was their second son and third child. He was born in the same small town in 1891, and lived there until about 1910 or so.
+ In 1909, he helped his father build Thyregod station (site is in Danish, though easily translated with Google translate), which still stands today, and made enough money to travel to the US.
+ He married my great-grandmother Oline Hansen in 1918, and the two had two daughters and one son before her death in 1929.
+ Their children had 8 children between them, and those children had 12 children between them. Of us great-grandchildren, there are even 5 great-great grandchildren born, with one more on the way. All of us still reside in the US.

What I don't know:

* Though I know of Knud Knudsen, I know almost nothing about him. I'd love to know his mother's name, as well as any siblings he might have had, and exactly where and when he was born.
* I'd also love to know the same of Knud Madsen, his father, as I have even less about him. I assume his father's first name is Mads, but that is all that I can guess at this time, aside from his likely being born in Denmark.

Other information about this branch of the family:
Old Surname Posts
* Hansen part 1
Where We're From Posts
* Where We're From – United States
* Where We're From – Denmark
Other -
* Four Generations
* New Discoveries
* Holger Hansen
* Finding Oline Correspondance .5
* World War II Draft Cards

Surname Saturday 2.0: The Bordewicks

Apologies. Forgot to post this yesterday, but I want to get this up this week.

The Bordewick Family

Unlike the Hillingers, the Bordewick clan has been around for many generations. In my direct line, my mother and her siblings were the last, though there are many branches out there still active and thriving.

The first generation that we are certain used the surname was my fifth-great grandfather, Hans Heinrich Bordevich. There have been a number of spellings and alternate versions of the name over the years, but the three most common are Bordevich, Bordewich, and Bordewick. Occasionally, the children in the early generations of this line also had their father's name in addition to or instead of the Bordewick surname on official documents. It does make it difficult to trace the line, but thanks to Hans Henrich's son, who took great records about his family, we were left with a great deal of information on our line.

The Bordewick name is also one of the only ones where we know the origin of the name that is not from a patronymic naming system. Hans Henrich came from a small area called Bardoweick near Luneburg in Lower Saxony in what is now Germany. The city was created sometime in the 8th century, and held great prominence for a cathedral that had been built there in its heyday. The city was decimated during the Hundred-years War by Henry the Lion, and never returned to the glory it once had. The ruins of the church can still be seen there today.

We know nothing about Hans Henrich's family in Germany, or why or even when he chose to leave, and have no true record of him until he appears in Norway in 1796, engaged to the woman he would eventually marry and have three sons with. He became a shipmaster there, and sailed several ships from Norway to countries in Europe, eventually dying in a shipwreck in 1813 along with his men.

After his death, the line passed down to his two surviving sons, Johan Petter and Hans Oliver. Johan finished his schooling and went into business working for one of the ship brokers in the Lofoten Islands, eventually buying himself a brokerage there in Lyngvaer. There he settled with his wife, Leonharde, and there they had eleven children together before she died in childbirth with their final daughter. Five more children followed, along with a second wife, Heinrikke Roness. Johan's children spread out through the islands, a few even further. Three of his youngest sons came to the US, two of whom settled here and raised families, the descendants of whom still live in the US today. Johan's younger brother died in his thirties, his only son dying childless. Most of the Bordewick/Bordewich clan today descends from Johan's line, though we have on occasion run into others who use the surname; we have not yet found direct connections to any of the ones we have met.

My direct line descends from two of Johan's children—his son, Hans Henrick, his second son by Leonharde, and his daughter, Leonharde (named for his first wife), second daughter of his second wife. Hans Henrick married Kaja Angell, and the two had nine children together, the eldest surviving of whom was my great-great grandfather, Heinrick Bergthon. He was born the year after his half-aunt, Leonharde Marine, and when the two were old enough, they married. The two had three sons together, and they are the ones who finally left Norway in my direct line.

Heinrick (Henry) and Leonharde (Harde, pronounced Har-dah) left Norway in the late 1800s because the fishing was growing scarce in the Lofoten Islands during that time, so Henry and his brother Eivind decided to try to set up a business together transporting things from the continent to Norway. The family settled first in Antwerp, but their reception there was quite poor. Most Belgians thought them English, and since Belgium had sided with the Boer War, they looked poorly on my great-great grandparents, and Henry decided they might do better in England. They family moved there, settling in Hull for a time, long enough for my great-grandfather, Bjarne, to pass exams and be accepted to Cambridge before deciding to move again, this time to Vancouver, BC, Canada. Bjarne moved with them, and because he did, it was there he met his wife-to-be, Mary Park.

The family all lived in Vancouver until my grandfather, Bjarne and Mary's son, moved to Washington state with his own family in 1960, where our family has lived ever since.

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 18001, 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 Petter and Leonhard's children were:
+ Johan Petter Jr, born 1827, died 1913, who married Magdalena Krogh in 1854. They had 5 children together.
+ Antonette Henrikke, born 1829, died 1908, who married Emil Gronning in 1853. They had 4 children together.
+ Anna Magdelena, born 1832, died 1854, married Hans Lang in 1853. They had no children.
+ Hans Henrik, born 1834, died 1893, married Karen Dorothea (Kaja) Angell in 1859. They had 8 children.
+ Elsie Sofie, born 1837, died 1861, married Johan Irgens.
+ Hans Jorgen, born & died 1837 (four days old)
+ Johan Henrik, born 1839, died 1924, married Elen Nilsen in 1867. They had 4 children.
+ Wilhelm Julius, born 1841, died 1853
+ Jorgen Christian, born 1842, died 1899, married Ellen Koch Wolf in 1879. They had 4 children.
+ Lars Nikolai aka Henry, born 1844, died 1912, married Birgitte Andersen in 1869. They had 5 children together. He served as the US consul to Norway until his death.
+ Leonharde Marine, born & died 1846. She lived less than a month, and was buried in her mother's arms.

* 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. See third generation info for further info.
+ 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 – Hans Henrik and Kaja Angell's children:
+ Henrick Bergthon, born 1862, died 1930, married Leonhard Marie Bordewich 1887. They had 3 children.
+ Eivind Sofus, born 1864, died 1948, married Valeria Unger in 1898. They had 2 children.
+ Richard Angell, born 1866, died 1898, married Jensine Mikalsen. They had 1 son.
+ Johanna Petrine, born 1867, died 1944, married Hans Lind. They had 2 chilren.
+ Harald Carlos, born 1870, died 1940, married three times. Married Jenny Olsen. They had 1 daughter. Married Dorothea Tesdal. They had 1 son. Married Anna Tesdal. They had 4 children.
+ Alfred, born 1872, died 1883.
+ Karen Robertine, born 1873, died 1952, married Paul Jensen in 1899. They had 5 children. She also married Otto Krogstad in 1932.
+ Helga Hagerup, born 1876, died 1946, married Sandrup Bang in 1895. They had one daughter.

* Fourth 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 Hillingers

So I've decided to restart my Surname Saturday Posts. Several of our family stories are well worth telling, especially the stories of the names, or at least where the names came from (or where we think they came from).

Again, I'm going to work backward in time with these, starting with my maiden name, Hillinger. These will be less list-form, and more story-form, and hopefully someone out there will recognize the people mentioned in these stories. Most of them have been recounted by me in the past, but hopefully there will be some new information here to help others connect to these stories.

The Hillinger Family

The Hillinger surname has been passed down through three (now four with my sister's two children) generations of our family line, but that spelling started when my grandfather, Sam Hillinger, came to the US with his family in about 1934.

His line were Ashkanazi Jews, and both of his parents were born in a former Germanic state called Galicia in Eastern Europe, which was the southern tip of Poland and part of western Ukraine. Sam and all of his siblings were born in Frankfurt, Germany. When things became difficult for the Jews in Germany, his father decided to move the family to the US. It's why my family survived when so many did not. We were very lucky.

In Germany, the Hillinger name was spelled with only one L, and pronounced quite differently—Hil-een-ger, as opposed to Hil-lin-jer, the way we pronounce it now. When the family arrived in the US, they changed the spelling slightly to make it easier for Americans to pronounce it, I believe the story goes.

Sam's father, Alex, however, was not born a Hilinger. That was his mother's surname. His father's surname was Seneft. The Seneft family moved from Galicia to England sometime in his childhood, and Alex finished growing up in London.

The outbreak of World War I made his family enemy aliens. Though they had lived in England for at least ten years at the beginning of the war, none of them were citizens, and as such, we know that Alex at the very least was sent to a camp for enemy aliens—a place called Camp Douglas—during the war. After the war, still not a citizen, Alex was expelled from England, and chose to return to Germany, settling in Frankfurt.

This was where his name changed. Once back in Germany, he was informed that, for civil purposes, his name could not legally be Seneft, as his parents had married in a religious ceremony, but not a civil one. In other words, being a Jew meant that his parents' wedding was not recognized by the state. And so Alex Seneft became Alex Hillinger.

The Hillinger line is as follows, for those interested:

* Mindel Hilinger married Leon Seneft sometime in the mid 1800s, likely in Galicia.
* 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.
* Of their five children, only two had children of their own.
* 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.
* 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:

* I'm still not sure where the Hilinger line came from. Mindel is the only one of her family I have. She may have been from Austria, where the name seems to be very popular.
* I'm also not sure about when the Senefts moved from Galicia to England, or where they lived in Galicia, though I do currently have two town names, neither of which I can pinpoint on a map. The record for Alex's birth in the Hilinger family book he and Dora made gives his birthplace as Sedziszow, Galicia. A World War II draft card I found for his brother Jack lists his birthplace as Shendeskov, Poland (I assume Galicia as well, as it was no longer a state by the time he would have filled out the draft card). I'm still uncertain of the birthplaces and dates of the other three Seneft children.
* I also still don't know about Kitty's father, the unnamed Seneft brother, or any of her family line except for the cousin who currently lives in Canada, and whom I believe is her son.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows any information I don't have on here.

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

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.