Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Language barriers!

I came across this card with pictures in it the other day at my grandmother's house.  I do not speak Norwegian so I have no idea what it says.  One of my projects for the week will be to try and decipher the words on the back of this photo.  The time frame is around the time my grandparents made the trip to Norway to visit with relatives.  I so wish that I had had the opportunity to go with them on that trip!  I had a love for travel even then and I would have loved to meet the cousins that I have in Norway.  My grandfather has passed as has the cousin that he corresponded with for so many years.  You would think that it would be easy to find relatives in this day and age of the Internet but it really isn't.  My goal is to someday make the same trip that my grandparents made to the homestead and to meet the cousins that I long to know.  I have been told that even though we have different language, different cultures and live on different sides of the world, our family has similar mannerisms, personalities and look similar!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I truly lived in the wrong day and age!  My mom's family grew up together, they had Sunday dinner together more than twice a month.  They knew things about each other, they shared life with each other.  When they all grew up they continued to stay in contact with each other.  My mom has 23 cousins on one side of her family and for the most part can tell you where they are and what they are doing now.  I have 6 first cousins.  I love them all.  I have a computer generated relationship with most of them and that is about the extent of it!  It is so sad to me.  I am not a phone person.  I much prefer the internet with Facebook, email and all of the search engines where I can Google all of the friends and family that I don't get to see on a daily, weekly or even yearly basis.
How did we become a society that is in such a hurry?  Why is it so hard to plan a Sunday dinner with family?
I wonder what family will look like when my kids grow up.  Will they be able to say that they have a personal relationship with their 13 cousins?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

official records and not so official records!

"The translation of the German Baptismal Certificate certified that Caroline Bertha, the daughter by marriage of the shepherd Heinrich Moldenhauer and wife Johanna.  (the former Johanna Siewert)"
"September 1, 1875 be born at the town of Klein Schumeck Valdi near the city of Osterode Province, East Prussia.  Caroline Bertha Moldenhauer has been baptized at the local church of Schumeck Valde near the city of Osterode, East Prussia Germany.  At the date of 26th of September 1875."
Schumeck Valde 15th of August 1887
City of Osterode, East Prussia Germany
Rev. Dalkowski
Pastor at the church of Schumeck Valde."
We print the above information for the official record only.  Actually, Bertha Moldenhauer never used the name (Caroline) so from hereafter she will be referred to only as "Bertha". Also, Bertha used the date of September 18th as date of birth so this will be also considered officially correct.
Bertha (Moldenhauer) Barney was born September 18, 1875 in Klein Schumack Valde, Province of Pommer, Germany.  This town is located between the District of Stolp and the city of Lauenburg, Germany.
In October 1881, her parents, Henry and Johanna Moldenhauer, came to America bringing with them their children; Julius 8; Bertha 6; and Leo 1 1/2 years of age.  Their destination was Chaska, Minnesota.  There were nine more children born in this family.

I am very fortunate that I have a record that states my great, great Grandmother was baptized with one name and went by another name.  When you are searching for family members do you use more than one name option?  Did you know that you can abbreviate names, shorten names and even use one or two letters when you are searching for your family?  Don't discount the information that you find just because the name on the record you find may be different than what you have in the family bible!
You have to keep in mind that digital records are all transcribed by a human that may or may not be able to read the original writing.  I did a little transcription a few years ago from the war of 1812.  There were many entries that I had to literally guess the letters or even just put a question mark in place of a letter.
Searching for family can be very difficult.  If you enjoy puzzles, it can be a whole lot of fun when you come across a golden nugget that gives you the full picture of the family!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do you have a picture in your collection like this?  I have many.  It says on the back:  too many Coon Rapids kids, can't see the school bus!  Really?  How does this help me identify any of the kids in the photo?  Am I related to any of them?  Should I pass the picture around to the elders of my family and see who might recognize the people in it?
I have some clues:  Coon Rapids and School district 2. 
I will try to identify some of these kids by searching the internet for school district 2 in Coon Rapids and see what I can find out. I should be able to figure out a close date because I know that Coon Rapids District 2 turned into the L. O. Jacob Elementary School.  I know that this picture took place before that change happened.  One of my ancestors graduated from High School in 1927 also went to Coon Rapids District 2 so I have some starting blocks with which to figure out this photo.
I have to be honest.  I was never one to enjoy history.  I hated it in school.  I always thought:  Why do I need to know about these people, they are all dead and I have no interest in these things.  Somewhere along the way I have become interested in the time frames of the past.  Mostly, I want to know about what was happening when my family was alive.  How did they survive the depression?  Did it have any effect on them.  Who had to be drafted?  Who actually fought in any of the wars of their time.  There are so many questions that I probably won't find the answers to.  My quest will continue.