Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Down the Rabbit Hole: Finding Maggie's Grandparents

I've had some genealogy fun today working on Denmark records for my dear friend, Maggie, who is 103 years old.  She and her son asked me if I could find the names of her paternal grandparents.

Maggie's father was Carl Emanuel Thompson (1888-1975).  He was born in Denmark (Copenhagen?) on 25 November 1888 according to the California Death Index and his World War II Draft Registration Card in 1942.  That was a good starting point.  What other records could I find?  Could I find his parents names?

Fortunately, FamilySearch has wonderful indexed records for Denmark.  There are church records (1484-1941), census records from 1840 to 1930), and more.

I started out in the 1901 Denmark census, because Carl would be a youth and perhaps his parents would be listed.  So I searched for Carl Thompson born between 1886-1890.  I quickly found:

There they are, the 4th family on the page (I can't decipher the legends at the top, or the written words in most of the lines) in Kobenhavn, Denmark:

*  Lars Thomsen - male, born 17/4/1847, married, etc.
*  Gunhilda Thomsen - female, born 31/12/1850, married, etc.
*  Fritz Thomsen - male, born 2/9/1886, single
*  Carl Thomsen - male, born 25/11/1888, single

Carl Thomsen's birth date is the same as on the death index and the draft registration!

Can I find a birth or baptism record in the church records?  In the Church records, I input "Carl Thomsen" and 1888 as a birth year, and found:

Carl is the 4th entry down the page above.  He was named Carl Emanuel Thomsen, born 25 November 1888, christened 13 January 1889, and his parents were Lars Thomsen and Gunhilda Larsen.

This seems like a certain match for Maggie's father's birth to me.  The records are consistent.  I found the 1890 census record for the family also.

I will have to study the other writing on the page to get the birth place of the parents, and then search for their marriage record (1876?), birth/baptism records, parents names, and death/burial records.  The search has only started!

The genealogy fun has just begun on this, I think.  There's more to come, Maggie's mother's family comes from England, and her husband's family was from Sweden.

I started a family tree for Maggie several years ago for her 100th birthday, but I didn't provide it to her or her family.  Now, since FamilySearch has added the Denmark records over the past year, I can find much more information without getting into the FamilySearch digital microfilm.  Naturally, I have added this limited information into the family tree, and TreeShared it into a new Ancestry Member Tree.


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Charles said...

Wow Roskilde is a long way from Thisted which looks like the birthplace of the parents. Roskilde is just west if Copenhagen, while Thisted is in Viborg county on the west side of the Jutland peninsula.

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Charles,

Which record did you glean Thisted and Roskilde from?

On the 1901 record I see something like Lundum Kjlland for Lars Thomsen and Silvasborg, Sverig for Gunhilda Thomsen.

Thanks -- Randy

Charles said...

On the birth record of Carl's birth. The right hand column lists the parents and their birth parish, which is why I always loved Danish records

Linda Stufflebean said...

I love, love, love Danish and Swedish records. Sweden doesn't have censuses, but they have many varied parish records, including moving in and moving out records. Let me know if you have a question - I'm not an expert, but I've done quite a bit of digging in both countries.