Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Ah, Slangerup! How many times have I wandered your streets in my imagination? I have traversed the byways and entered the church doors, looking for Gerda's mother, her brothers and her grandparents. I have found some of them.
I often return to the kirkeboger to peruse the pages where I have searched before, in the vain hope that I have missed something, or someone. I may have been tired before and my eyes might have been blurry, or I had a headache and the elusive Danes of days gone by have slipped from my grasp. I am not reluctant to revisit those well-traveled rows of dates and names and life-events.
On these returns, I am increasingly surprised by the odd and anachronistic things that sometimes pop up in the most unusual of places. The other day, I was hopping and scrolling through the 1880s at Slangerup (waiting for those little red boxes to turn green, for "go"), when suddenly, my eyes were met with the image above.
Obviously, this is a church bulletin for the parish in Slangerup, but you will notice that is dated 1971!
It is strange that the bulletin is a little over 100 years beyond the dates in the kirkebog, but how and why did it come to be there? Does this mean that the person who scanned the original register, slipped a current bulletin into the book? To what purpose? Could someone doing research in 1971, have left it in by accident? How could the scanner have not noticed this? Why was it scanned at all?
Perhaps someone Danish out there, can translate the church bulletin and let me know if there is anything that pertains to the Slangerup archive.
It's these little mysteries, along with the family mysteries that just keep things interesting.
Of course, the person whose relative(s) happen to be on this page are definitely out of luck! Fortunately for me, I was just en route to another date, so it wasn't one of the pages I needed.
I wonder what I'll discover next?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
As I mentioned earlier, I had a huge breakthrough last week with the case of the missing Gerda. After much intensive searching through the Statens Arkiver's Family Law documents. I found a reference in a child support register to Gerda's mother, with payment being made for a child born in 1919. Eureka! At last I had a specific year of birth and a name for Gerda's elusive and rumoured-to-be-foreign father. The fellow's name was quite a mouthful! How about, Oscar Johannes Vilhelm Petersen for a moniker?
I was able to trace Oscar through a baptismal reference on Family Search.org and this gave me his parents' names. Back to Ancestry.com, where I plugged the three of them in and discovered the origins were actually German, in the region of Schleswig Holstein and a town called Rendsburg.
Here's a funny coincidence: A few weeks ago, a tile trivet at my local thrift store caught my eye and I picked it up for a buck because it was a map with Denmark at the top and SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN at the bottom. At the time, I had a niggling feeling that Kevin's grandmother's family hailed from the region. It turned out that I had mistakenly remembered that information; they actually came from Mecklenburg.
So this tile had been sitting on my desk for no particular reason other than the fact that it is pretty. Imagine my surprise to learn that Gerda's father has a connection to this exact spot!
Unfortunately, the information given in the legal register has proved to be a dead end, so far. I have not been able to link the date of birth on the page to an entry in any of the available church books online.
Oh, Gerda! Why do you haunt me so?
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Three days of scanning through Family Law cases on the Statens Arkiver and I've finally found something!
I looked at adoption registers, and gave up. I looked at more census documents (than I can possibly say) and gave up. Then I started looking at the name registers for Child Support payments and at 5:00 p.m. last night, I hit paydirt!
This is a child support document with Kevin's Great-grandmother's name on it. The time is right, the dates are good and even the location of the Stiftelse workhouse and the Almendelig hospital matches that of his grandfather's birth information from 8 years earlier.
I now have a father for Gerda. Woo hoo!
If there are any Danish folks out there who wish to translate and give me more information, I'd be glad to accept it. My Danish friend, Lisbeth, on Facebook has been of great assistance, but as she says, you really need an older Dane to work it out.
It looks like the father was compelled to pay up!
I'm so excited that I'm shaking! (It could be the coffee.)
I'll be back when I find more details. Wish me luck!