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Archive for September, 2011

Roots Bound

As in spellbound–hopefully it will make sense if you read on.

Last week my sister e-mailed me that the immigration and travel records would be free on ancestry.com for the week.  I plan to do a lot of family research when I retire and have more time, because a subscription isn’t cheap.

So I started my search.  Actually, I wasn’t able to find much in those records, so I went to my other sources of family history to get more information, mainly https://www.familysearch.org/.  The more I found, the more I was intrigued.  As a friend said, it’s like a puzzle, and it’s exhilerating when you find something (and can become addictive, I’m sure).

I was trying to find immigration records for my great-great-great-grandfather, who immigrated from Norway.  The spellings depend on the interpretation of the transcribers, and a lot of ship passenger lists were very splotched, undoubtably by the sea air.  Part of the difficulty was the naming conventions in Norway, which were unlike those in this country (the surname became the father’s first name and -son or -datter), and they changed again when they immigrated here.  But along the way I came across a person who had done a lot of research on my great-great-great-grandfather.  I tried e-mailing her but got an error.

This obsession took up half of my Labor Day weekend.  I gave up.  But today I did a search on the history of the town where he lived, and while I didn’t get any information on that, it did bring up more information from the mysterious researcher, as well as a new e-mail address for her.

So I sent her an e-mail, and I received an enthusiastic response of 14 pages of information, including every encounter in his Civil War unit’s journey to the sea with Sherman.  I had not learned about his marching with Sherman until many years later than I lived in Augusta and Fort Benning, Georgia, which is fortunate since we never got past the Civil War in school (I know nothing about World War I and II).

I just wish I had found all of this out many years earlier and could have shared it with my dad.  He loved history so much.

(The picture is of my great-great-grandmother Christine (right), a librarian, pianist, wife, mother, and painter, who  tragically died because of the great flu of 1918, and her sister Anna (on my father’s side of the family)).

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