Observing whatever tickles my fancy

Archive for January, 2017

Genealogy Lost and Found

These old trolls aren’t laughing anymore.  They first appeared in my post about my elusive Norwegian a few years back.   They had hidden her in the hills of Wisconsin and I was unable to find any new information about her.  After years of attacking their troll brick walls I beat them down.  They lost the battle.

Trolls

Norske Trolls. Drawn by Laura Seielstad. 2013

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my site. I came on to see what was up. While reading some of my old posts I noticed the ones about the Norske ancestors.

First – Lost in Østen – I originally wrote that I thought my great-great grandfather may have been in one of the Oklahoma land grabs but wasn’t sure. He was not a part of that history.  He was, however, an employee for the railroad that was laying track in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.  It was there he died, while trying to claim his Civil War pension.  He never got it.  They denied it twice.  He was supposed to meet with them for a third time but he died a few days before that meeting.

Second – The Wayward Norwegian – that was about my great-grandmother who the trolls had hidden.  There wasn’t a scrap of new information to help find her but I fought on.  In the end the troll battlement gave way.  It took two years of hard-core research and tackling the challenge from a different angle.  In the end, she didn’t come to America at a young age with her parents as her obituary stated.  She came without them at the age of 19.  Before, I didn’t know if she had siblings, let alone what their names were.  But now I know their names, some of their spouses and children.  And thanks to a “what the heck, I’m going to take that ancestry.com dna test” moment (which was to disprove a myth on a different branch of the family) there was a confirmation.

Before this contact I was 60-80% certain that the family I found in Rogaland was my great-grandmother’s. I had 10 pieces of circumstantial evidence but even with that I wouldn’t have said that I was positive that it was her and her family. Two months ago, more than a year after spitting into the plastic tube and sending it to ancestry.com, I had a message from someone who wanted to make contact.  We shared names.  Our dna is so close that ancestry has us as “extremely confident” of the relationship.  The person who contacted me is the great-granddaughter of one of the sisters of my great-grandmother’s name match. That was the confirmation. And let me rephrase part of that sentence “…sisters of my great-grandmother”.  It’s no longer a “name match”.  It is my great-grandmother and I have never been so pleased.

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