Friday, October 31, 2014
I'm a bit tired of the Danes, if I'm honest. I've seen thousands of names, dates, streets and locations over the past few weeks and I really needed a break.
Of course, just because I am tired of my husband's father's side of the family, does not mean that I am tired of my own family tree, so back to the search to fill in some gaps for them, I went.
I ordinarily have a bunch of windows open when I'm doing online research (we all do, I'm sure). At any given time, I can be on Ancestry.com, Family Search.org, and archives specific to different countries. Not to mention, I might be looking at available censuses on various websites, or even personal web-pages. (I also have both Facebook and Twitter open at all times to keep up with my friends' posts.)
Yesterday, I decided to focus on my father's side of the family. I was poking around on Family Search.org and not coming up with much that I didn't already have, so I went back to Ancestry.com and started clicking on those tantalizing green leaves that pop up all the time. I usually end up "ignoring hint", but I began to check out some of the ones that were glaring at me. At this point, I drifted back and forth between my dad's family and my mom's (I have a real problem with focus when so much information is so easily available). Eventually, I decided to see if there was anything new for my actual father. I started searching from his profile and had to do quite a bit of tweaking the search form - my father had four names and a confirmation name as well. I cut off all the names but his first one and then something I had not seen before came to light.
Under UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960. I found the ship's manifest for my father's passage to Canada from England on May 16, 1953. I wrote about this journey in a post on my other blog, "Acadianeire's Heritage" back in 2010. At that time, I only had a photo and a date to go by, but I had pieced together a few things. This paled in comparison to actually seeing my then 26 year-old father's name and details on a document saying he was coming to Canada to be a permanent resident. Had he not done so, I would not be here to tell this tale.
I shared this information with my mother, who is still alive and who lives with me and my husband. She was as thrilled as I to see it.
Having discovered this, it occurred to me that I might be able to track my husband's father's journey from Denmark to Canada in the 1950s too. So back to Ancestry.com I went, and it didn't take long to find the document under New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. The date was May 7, 1955. What was surprising was that the document also listed his younger brother. This had never been mentioned before. We know that his brother returned to Denmark and stayed there, but later on, his younger sister did come to Canada and made a life here. In fact, she lives very close to her older brother.
When I went to bed last night, I had lots to think about. Not least, was that I should be able now to find the passage back to Denmark for my husband's uncle, and the passage over for his aunt.
Sometimes it's fun to be "all at sea".
Friday, October 10, 2014
|Photo snipped by Kat Mortensen 10/10/14|
While searching through the indexed online archives of Denmark, I happened upon this more recent contribution to the effort. I'd love to know who belongs to this hand and when the photocopy was taken.
Funny the things you come across in genealogical research. I can't imagine anyone thinking that this pursuit is dull, can you?
Friday, October 3, 2014
|The Mortensens: circa 1940 (my husband's father is the boy in front on the left)|
Gerda is the pretty young woman on the far right.
I got interested in genealogy, shortly after my father passed away six years ago. He came from a family of twelve, out of Northern Ireland. My mother's side is Canadian from Nova Scotia, with roots in Scotland, the United States and France.
I was equally fascinated with my husband's side of the family since his father is Danish and we had willingly embraced the Danish culture and much of the Scandinavian way of life.
A wealth of information was available for my side of the family, and a good deal on my mother-in-law's side, but the Danish branch was, shall we say, quite bare.
Initially, I was given two fragmented and not terribly useful pieces of information about the Danish family from Copenhagen. Only through dogged determination (along with an obsessive focus that allows me to spend hours looking at online Danish books from old world Censuses and Churches) have I managed to piece together the bulk of the relationships on the Mortensen side.
With one exception: my Father-in-law's Aunt, Gerda
Here are the two pieces of information I was initially handed regarding my husband's father's family.
From my mother-in-law, in an e-mail dated, April 29, 2010
Farfar (Hans Svend-Aage Mortensen)
Parents unknown - Grew up in an orphanage with his sister Gerda Mortensen
From my husband's aunt Lis, in Denmark, an e-mail dated, March 25, 2012
I am sorry, but I can not help you about Gerda. I do not know when she has bithsday.
She was that type who never told you how old she was.
Farfar was older than Gerda.
They were both brought op on a fosterhome
Farfarwas born the 29, of marts and dyed in december 1970
I've come a long way, but as yet, Gerda is still undiscovered in any record books online. I have much work to do!