Family History

Genealogy is a fascinating and time- consuming hobby of mine. The pay-off for your time is the potential to not only discover who you are, and where you came from, a history of your identity, but also new friendships, lessons in geography, social history, culture and customs, as well as a sense of shared kinship.

I have found and tracked my Danish ancestors back to 1620. Many were school teachers or Degns (Parish clergy) or significant people in their community. Some for good reasons, others not so good!

I  see more and more physical traits, preferences and mannerisms that are passed down through the generations of my family. So much of who we are, is who we were.

103_0351-1

Serendipity

I discovered I was related to my best friend, who was born in an overseas country and adopted soon after birth. Who would have thought? – Serendipity

Soender Felding, Denmark

Sønder Felding, Denmark

In 2004, I visited a village in rural Denmark – Sønder Felding. In the past, my family had lived there for many hundreds of years, yet no member of the family had visited or resided  there for over a hundred years. Despite this, the week before I arrive, there is a story, in the Village newspaper, about the oldest house in the village and its history, and my very old ancestor, who built and owned it. Because of this article, and the timing of my visit, after one hundred and more years, I was able to find and see the house for myself and track my family for many generations backwards and forwards through history  – Serendipity.

In the neighbouring village, where my great grandfather was born, I visited the church when some family were married and baptized. When I enter this church, on this day, what do I see in a small Danish countryside church? An Australian flag hanging inside! I am Australian – Serendipity.

I have accumulated many Norwegian friends/penfriends over the last 20 years or so, and my home is decorated in Norwegian ‘hygge’ style, yet I am descended from Danes and Australians, and when searching for the father of my adopted great great Aunt, I found the Norwegian branch of my Danish family – Serendipity.

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim, Norway

Family history means more and more to me with each passing year and the documented  legacy is one that I hope I might pass on to future generations.

Family history – Something to Ponder About

33 Responses to Family History

  1. Thanks for the follow Amanda. Your painting and embroidery skills are really impressive. Beautiful work. My husband is of Danish ancestry too, and we visited Denmark several years ago. It is a lovely country. I am quite interested in all branches of our families genealogy.. You also have an impressive list of Nordic writers! I was going to suggest Henning Mankell, but I see you already have him as well as several others I recognize.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Katyi! Thanks for stopping by. Denmark is very special to me, and so lovely. And it has fabulous family history resources. Where was your husband’s family from?
      I have read a few of Mankell’s book and love the TV series ( swedish version is best, I think)

      Like

    • My husband’s grandfather was from Langeland, and grandmother from Schleswig-Holstein.
      I don’t recall the author of Wallander, but we have liked the TV series very much. I like the Swedish writers a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Henning Mankell wrote Wallander but it was made into a TV series in Sweden in Sweden but also in Sweden with English actors in English. The latter did not work as well as the former. I also have ancestors from Schleswig -H. The borders of Germany and Denmark moved around quite a bit over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy says:

    You’ve made some truly serendipitous finds. I’ve had some luck tracing my own family, but hubby’s is proving very difficult. Two generations are okay, but going back more is almost impossible. Hubby is 68. HIs grandfather was 70 when his father was born, and his great grandfather was born in 1796.

    Like

    • That does make it a bit difficult when there was so many years between generations. I have had a lot of luck, for sure, but on another side of my family, there is nothing and no possibilities of finding anything. I think that is the way they wanted it, so I guess it is best to let those sleeping dogs lie? What region is your hubby’s family from?

      Like

    • leggypeggy says:

      That family is from southern England. My family is from all over.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As are many Australians – a multicultural background!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yinglan says:

    Genealogy, what a fascinating subject. I’ve always wanted to know my family lineage but never knew of a way to find out. Maybe that’s why I enjoy the subject so much. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Recipe Exchange List – Lin's Recipes

  6. This link does not work, unfortunately.

    Like

  7. Pingback: The Recipe Exchange Event #1 – Lin's Recipes

  8. Stopped by to thank you for the follow and I have been meaning to get back and read more. My daughter is researching her genealogy. She and her brother are the last of their line. No children for either one to pass it onto but she is interested anyway. We had the DNA tested and she was quite surprised. At one time I had a program on my computer to keep track of the family lines but it was quite confusing or not well designed. Some of my German family emigrated to Australia. That is another melting pot with people from all over the world going there. I do enjoy your artwork and will be looking into your writing shortly. Hope you are having a wonderfilled weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for that lovely comment. So kind and DNA IS a fascinating area. Australia is a melting pot yes and now very Multicultural. Which is logical given the geographic place Australia has in the world. I have used a couple of Family history programs with good sucess. Found descendant relatives in Denmark. We brought 5 lines of th email family together after 200 years apart

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! My mother tried to find her extended family in Germany and they were not very nice about the fact she waited so long. Wouldn’t have anything to do with her. I’m so glad you had better luck.

      Like

    • That is so sad! Was there communication problems? I guess it doesn’t always work out. The expectation is that we are all going to be one happy family, but it isn’t always so. Thanks for your comment. It is food for thought in my ongoing quest to find that side of my family.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It all works out for the best. She met another person with the same last name as her mother that was not related and they wrote back an forth for a number of years and we actually went to visit twice. Lovely people and good, new friends.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is good to hear. Sometimes family isn’t always a ‘blood’ relationship. I am glad it worked out.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Homepage

  10. I find genealogy intriguing as well. My father became engaged with it in the early 1990s. He traced both sides of his family to medieval Spain where he learned – among other things – that Queen Isabella was an ancestor on his mother’s side. He and I were working on a book about our family history. He died last summer, but I intend to pursue this project, even if I die trying. It’s too important to me.

    On my maternal side, my grandmother was from México (with ancestry extending back to Spain), and my grandfather was of German extraction from the U.S. state of Michigan. I also want to research these family lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. You have some really interesting lines to research. It might be easier to find info about high profile figures than common peasant folk. I had an Uncle way wst back that ran foul of the law (we are talking 18th century) and ran around Denmark as a fugitive eluding authorities for 3 years before capture. He escaped from custody 3 times. There is so much info about him because of this. If he was an ordinary person there would be almost nothing recorded. So genealogy is a wonderfully engaging topic. I hope you find it fun. Have you found much about the German side of your ancestry. Such as immigration dates and location in Germany?

      Like

  11. No, I haven’t done much research on either side of my mother’s family. She and her 3 siblings were born México and immigrated to the U.S. in 1943, when their father brought them and his mother-in-law to Dallas, Texas. He’d wanted to move them back to Michigan, but he found a job at an auto plant in Dallas. He had joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17 and returned to Michigan after leaving. He joined an uncle who wanted to travel to México to sell farm equipment. That’s where he met my grandmother. I don’t know which uncle and what happened to him afterwards.
    I have some old photos from both lines, but very little in terms of actual data or documentation. My German-American grandfather was rather vague about his upbringing, even though my mother had met his mother once in the late 1940s. (She supposedly had urged my grandfather to leave his children in the care of their other grandmother because they were all “just Mexicans.”) And I guess my mother lost contact with her maternal relatives after moving to the U.S. Her younger brother, however, says he traveled to México City around 1975 and met up with some of those long-lost relatives.
    Still, I want to seek out more info about my mother’s side and try to locate where in Germany (maybe also Austria) they originate. My father obtained the bulk of his research from the Mormon Library, which contains extensive records of family histories. He used to drive to a local facility in a neighboring community, but the library starting digitalizing their records around 2000. That definitely helped him, as his health started weakening. He printed up literally thousands of documents that had been transferred onto microfiche. I’m now starting to scan all of that, which is an arduous process. I want to get the clearest image possible, so I’m a real stickler for detail and accuracy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like quite a job sifting through the documents. Even though the attitudes of some of our forebears might not always be politically correct or even kind, it is nevertheless often interesting examining their heritage. Germany is a fascinating country to do research, as the records go back so far, if they haven’t been destroyed during the war. Finding the name of a little village in Germany where they might have originated from, can be fun to research. And it is important because these forebears are part of us, in our DNA!! Good luck in your project. It sounds like you inherited an eye for detail and accuracy from your forebears. ( this is reputed to be a very German trait).

      Like

  12. Most Europeans spent a great deal of time recording their histories. The same goes for most of Asia and parts of Africa. Even here in the Americas, the indigenous peoples recorded some events on various items, such as stone, wood and parchments. Central México is only 1 of 2 places on Earth where a writing system evolved completely and independently of any outside influence. (The other is Mesopotamia. Writing systems also evolved in Egypt and China, but linguists aren’t 100% certain if they arose independently.) Native Americans in present-day New England, for example, recorded various events on what they called “cadence canes,” which were tubes of wood. Many of those items were either lost or deliberately destroyed.
    I often jokingly tell people my mixed ethnic heritage protects me. The German blood prevents me from eating hot peppers, while the Spanish and Indian blood prevents me from eating sauerkraut and drinking warm beer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And it is a wonderful heritage that you have.l

      Like

    • And it is a wonderful heritage that you have. I think that a lot of earlier civilisation were in some ways more advanced than Western contemporary ones. But I have to disagree with you on the sauerkraut!! Lol! I recently had all sorts of pickled foods and various sauerkraut type of foods in Poland and they were excellent eating. I loved them!! But it is harder to find good versions here. The bacteria in those fermented foods are really beneficial for our intestinal health!! Especially as we age. Warm beer on the other hand isn’t so desirable!!! Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  13. Caterina B says:

    I just found your blog after spending the last three days “going down a rathole,” as my hubby called it when he observed that I was filling in a family tree. All that was prompted by an email I got out of the blue from an ancestry website, (not Ancestry.com) It is hard to stop once one starts researching and trying to understand all the connections. My family on both sides are from Norway. My great grandparents immigrated around the turn of the last century. What are your Norwegian connections? Your “serendipity” stories are fascinating. It’s obvious that unknown forces were at work helping to reveal those “serendipities” to you. I love that kind of thing and love it when something similar happens to me. One of my favorite stories is the “coincidence” between the principal at the school where I worked and a friend of mine with relatives in Sweden. Actually,
    the story is about a high rise apartment building in Bangkok. Yes, Bangkok. My principal’s Chinese/Thai parents live in a certain highrise building on Sukumvit street. My good American friend’s cousin from Sweden lives in the same building. I don’t even remember how I made that connection. It’s a small world. I found your blog when doing my research and googled the small village in Norway where one side of my family came from. I found a Norwegian blog and from that, I found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Catarina, for your comment on my blog and my family history! I love delving into my family history. But you are so right, it is so time consuming, but enjoyably so. I do have some tenuous connections to Norway. Suspected and intuitive rather than confirmed. DNA has revealed one connection via an unknown side of my family. I fell in love with Norway when I first visited there in 2004. I began to stydy Rosemaling and fell in love with it after meeting a Norwegian artist and viewinng his exhibition. The world is full of amazing coincidences but they are rather nice when they come close to home! What is the small village your family is from? and in which Norwegian blog did you find my blog. It would be nice to find that connection and thank them for introducing us!

      Like

Everyone is important. What do you have to say?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s