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?