Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Day Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Best Genealogy Day Ever

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What was you very "Best Genealogy Day Ever?"  It might be the day you solved a thorny research problem, or spent the day at a repository and came away with more records than you could imagine, or the day you met a cousin or visited an ancestral home.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.  Be sure to drop a comment to this post if you write your own blog post and link to it.

Here's mine:

I pondered this question, and it's hard to pick one day.  After 28 years, I've forgotten many of the "best days" in repositories.

The one that sticks in my mind was 14 August 1999 - in Voss, Norway.  We were on our Scandinavian vacation (Sweden, Finland, Norway), and visited Voss, the ancestral town of Linda's Leland ancestors.  Some background:

Linda's brother had done quite a bit of Leland family history and had visited the Liland farm near Voss in Norway back in 1980. To prepare for our vacation, I tried to find Linda's Norwegian ancestral families and had some luck - I used the Voss bygdebok (farm book) and Voss Parish Registers at the FHC to trace her families back into the 1600's before we went. 

The Voss scenery is breathtaking. There is a long lake, mountains all around, many rivers and streams, very green in the summer, and very white in the winter (it is a ski resort then).  We arrived on 13 August after a six hour train trip through the mountains from Oslo.

One of my message board friends had been to Voss the year before, and recommended that I contact Bjorg Liland, who was related by marriage to the Liland farm families. We called the first night, and Bjorg graciously offered to drive us around the lake the next day. Voss is at the east end of the lake, and Liland farm is at the west end of the lake.  We visited Gjelle farm, Midtun farm, Molster farm and Liland farm, all ancestral farms. At Liland farm, Bjorg had arranged to talk to the family, compare genealogy notes and have a snack there - it was quite enjoyable, although the Liland ladies didn't speak English, but Bjorg translated. 

Linda (second from left) with the Liland farm ladies and Bjorg (far right)

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Molster farm, which was where Linda's ancestors lived just before they left for Wisconsin in 1855. It is now a "living history museum" vintage 1855, with docents in each room, and a small artifacts museum. I enjoyed it tremendously, especially the food cooked in the kitchen.

Needless to say, we really appreciated Bjorg's efforts on our behalf and we treated her to a nice dinner at the Park Liland Hotel in downtown Voss (she used to work there). 

This was a memorable day of experiencing family history.  The best benefit of all was that Linda really enjoyed this part of our vacation - and we have been taking genealogy vacations ever since.


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Vicki Thauvin said...

I'm going with my first great day: when I found my dad on the 1910 census. I started researching after my parents died. Neither spoke of their families and I didn't ask. That was a great find. :)

Seeds to Tree said...

I'm sure there's been several, but this is the currently the most memorable for me:


Shirley Ann Rankin said...

I had a difficult problem about 4 years ago. My maternal great-grandmother died in 1950. Her death certificate said her parents were Fred Kemp and Elizabeth Rowe. I couldn't find a Fred Kemp of the right age anywhere. I made up mind that I would crack this case, so I reviewed all the info I had to see if there were any clues. There was no Fred Kemp of the right age and place anywhere. I had no other option than to assume that his name was not "Fred." I worked on finding another a Kemp male that could possibly be my great-grandmother's father. It took me about 3 months, before I had the proof that my great-grandmother's father was a man named James Kemp, not Fred. The key was in getting James Kemp's military records from the National Archives. In the record was a baptism certificate for my great-grandmother, naming both of her parents. It is the only document that names all three persons. There was actually a Fred Kemp that was my great-grandmother's uncle. He worked for the railroad in Pennsylvania, and later worked in the mid-west.

Janice M. Sellers said...

I still remember the day we found my great-grandmother's tombstone:

Lynn David said...

Mr Seaver.... you asked this same question over a year ago (3 October 2015). I wrote about it then on my blog and it still hasn't change for me since, nor do I suspect that it ever will!

Anonymous said...

I have a photo of my 3x great grandfather as an old man. I live in the same village that he did and while shopping I noticed this little old man walking next to me, I looked at him and noticed he had a striking resemblance to my 3x great grandfather. So I asked him his name and sure enough he is the grandson of my 3x great grandfather.

The runner up would be when a few weeks after I started researching I got in contact with a distant cousin and he sent me photos of my great grandfather, 2x great grandfather and 3x great grandfather all at once. I hadn't seen pictures of any of them before.