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View Diary: My father's naturalization document (227 comments)

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  •  In my family history, (5+ / 0-)

    My great grandfather came from Norway and settled in Saskatchewan (Canada) around 1900. When the farm there didn't do so well, he moved the family about 30 or 40 miles south to another farm in North Dakota.

    So my grandmother (we called her Mimi) was born in Canada, but grew up in the U.S. She never visited Canada again (as an adult) because she was worried that she couldn't prove she was a U.S. citizen. When she grew up, she married an American and she had a driver's license and paid taxes and voted and raised four girls (including my mother), but I think a little part of her thought she could get into trouble for not being a citizen.

    She's the one who was a welder in the Portland, OR, shipyards during WWII. Like Rosie the Riveter, but she was Stella the Welder. I have a picture of her with her welder's mask and apron.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:10:24 PM PST

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    •  Ooooh, that's cool... (2+ / 0-)
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      bjedward, Dbug

      Pictures like that are a treasure.

      BTW, she was a US citizen by virtue of her father's naturalization..., and her marriage to a person born here.  That's how that works.  Depending on the era, she maybe should have been filing resident alien paperwork.  The mother of a friend of mine did that all the way through her death even though she also never went back to Canada, altho I never figured out why she had to file those forms since she was married to a man born and raised in the US and they lived their entire married lives in the US.

      If you decide to do genealogy research on your gram, Norwegian documents are free online.  You do need a thorough knowledge of the patronymic naming system to make sense of it, and some background info on the language, but there is an email list to join where you can get (free) help from people around the world who have Norwegian ancestors and know how to navigate the Digitalarkivet records with ease until you figure it out for yourself, but I consider it to be the easiest web site to navigate compared to Denmark (also free records) and Sweden (fee-based web sites).  The expensive part is getting all the documents in the US first.  US Census images can be had for free if you know where to look (with only five years there, probably not a lot).  Depending on the year, some Canadian census images are online.

      Genealogy gets very interesting and becomes an all-consuming passion, but as "addictions" go it's pretty good to increase one's knowledge and keeps one's brain agile because you have to learn so many things along the way.  I've been doing this for 50 years, and daily/weekly since I got my first computer in '01.  :-)

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:39:02 AM PST

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      •  Yes, the Norwegian internet archives are great (1+ / 0-)
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        I've gotten some branches of the tree traced back to the 1600s or 1700s. Churches kept pretty good records (collected in the Norwegian archives) and there were occasional censuses. If you're interested, here's something I wrote on DKos several years ago: My Norwegian Ancestors.

        “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

        by Dbug on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:36:03 AM PST

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        •  Oh, that's wonderful...!!! :-) (1+ / 0-)
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          I also have Nord-Trøndelag & Bergen ancestors, and one of the ones in Bergen was actually a matros born in Copenhagen, Denmark.  His eldest son also became a matros and was in Trondheim when he married, and one of their daughters moved a little ways up the Trondheimsfjord and married my gr-gr-grandfather.  She must have been fostered out at a young age because she was living in the same area when she was confirmed at age 15, and I still haven't found out what happened to her parents and other siblings born in Trondheim.  Some of my male ancestors were jektskippers, so they sailed around the Trondheimsfjord, and probably Beitstadfjord, with cargo.  Some were lumbermen.  Almost all had a plot of land they rented or owned.  (I also have a separate line of Danish ancestors from the island of Taasinge.)

          Digitalarivet web site is the best thing that ever happened to me.  Besides my own Norwegian ancestors I've tracked back to 1620, most of the siblings of my parents, grandparents, and gr-grandparents, plus a few cousins, married Norwegian immigrants or offspring of Norwegian immigrants, so I have no fewer than about two dozen lines I've researched all over Norway (I lost count, actually), and I help others on a genealogy list to find their ancestors.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:35:52 PM PST

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          •  I suspect if we traced our ancestors (1+ / 0-)
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            back far enough, we'd discover we were distant cousins. Especially if our ancestors came from the same part of Norway.

            I just looked at another DKos diary I wrote (Desperately Seeking Hans Olsen (in 1865 Norway)). You made several comments, which were very helpful, so thanks.

            Tracing ancestors is a never-ending job. And sometimes you just don't know what the story is. I have one ancestor who had a single mother, so he was a bastard (uagte). When he was baptized, his mother said the father was a guy who moved to America. Later (when the son was about to be confirmed), she married a guy with a name similar to the guy who went to America and she listed him as the father. So I'm not sure who the father was -- the guy who went to America or the guy with almost the same name who stayed behind. I just don't know. So that part of the family tree has part A and part B. One of them was probably the father, but I don't know which one. But that's OK.

            “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

            by Dbug on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:01:31 PM PST

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            •  :-) I'm glad I could be of some help! (0+ / 0-)

              Don't forget there's no such thing as standardized spelling in Norway for the time period you're looking at.  A similar spelling might be the same person.  I've seen a writer use three different spellings for one person in one document, and all referred to the same person!

              If this was a record for the son - like a confirmation record - the parental names would be that of his mother and the biological father as listed in the baptism record..., not a step-father.

              It is also possible the parents married really late when the son was older.  Difficult to tell without seeing the family tree.

              No other avocation has kept my attention for 50 years and counting....  Genealogy really is an engrossing subject!  :-)

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:13:14 AM PST

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              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                The baptism record is different from the confirmation record.
                The baptism says Arne Pedersen was born out of wedlock and his father was Peder Andersen -- and I found a record of Peder Andersen emigrating. Maybe he went to America promising that he'd send for his girlfriend and kid. Maybe he died. Or maybe the pregnant girl lied about who got her pregnant and listed the father as a guy who left the country. Then, when Arne gets confirmed, his father is listed as Peder Arnesen (probably his real father, since Arne would probably be named after his paternal grandfather). And 11 days later, his parents get married. But here's an excerpt from my family tree, with lots of speciulation:

                    1766 Baptism: Gunnild was baptized on 24 Aug 1766, so she was probably born sometime earlier in August.  Her parents were Ole Johannessen and Malene Torbiørnsd. from Oldøren.
                    Son’s Baptism: Her uægte (illegitimate/bastard) son, Arne (#14), was baptized in June 1793.
                    1801 Norway census:  Gunild Olsd. is 35 years old, unmarried, and living at Hellesetter farm in Loen sub-parish in 1447 Indvig in Sogn og Fjordane.  Also listed are her parents (ages 67 and 65) and Arne Pedersen, foster barn (foster child), 8 years old.  The farm is home to 15 others (apparently unrelated to Gunild).  Arne’s father is not at the farm.  I think ‘foster’ is a euphemism for ‘illegitimate.’
                    1807 Marriage: Records show that Gunilde Olsdatter Hellesetter married Peder Arnesen Bødal in 1807.  I believe that this Peder is the father of her illegitimate son, Arne, who was, by then, 14 years old.  Less than a year later Peder died.
                    1809 Marriage: Another record says that the widow Gunilda Olsd. from Raudi farm married the widower Halsten Christophersen Murri in 1809.  The records show they had one child together.  I think this is our Gunild because Gunild’s mother Malena died 13 years later, in 1822, at Murrie farm.  Also, Gunild died at Muri farm.
                    1845 Burial: Church records say that Gunnhild Olsd., from Muri farm, died in 1845 at age 80.
                    What is the real story about the illegitimate kid?  There’s got to be a reason that Gunild had a child out of wedlock and then, 14 years later, married her child’s father, but I don’t know what it is. There are several dates to keep in mind, however:  1) Gunild and Peder got married 11 days after their son’s church confirmation.  2) Peder (the apparent father of the bastard Arne) died less than a year after marrying Gunild, the apparent mother of his illegitimate child.  And, 3) Gunild’s father died about two years after that wedding (and, then, less than a month after her father’s death, Gunild married her second husband).
                    I have several theories:
                1)    Did the local preacher tell the teenager Arne (age 14) that he couldn’t be confirmed in the church unless his parents got married?  So, 11 days later, Arne’s parents got married, to make the preacher happy.  Or…
                2)    Did Peder Arnesen impregnate Gunild, but he refused to marry her, and then, 14 years later, when he got sick and knew he was going to die, he said, “OK, I know I’m dying and I’ll make our son legitimate.”  Or…
                3)    Maybe after Gunild got pregnant, she didn’t want to marry Peder, for some reason (maybe she got pregnant because he raped her).  Then (after 14 years) her child’s father, Peder, got sick and was going to die.  So she married him out of pity (or to give her son a name or an inheritance).  Or…
                4)    Maybe both Gunild and Peder wanted to marry, but for some reason, Gunild’s father objected to the marriage.  When her dad got sick, and knew that he was going to die, maybe he broke down and allowed his daughter Gunild to marry the love of her life.  So Gunild married Peder.  Then Gunild’s husband, Peder, died.  Then Gunild’s father, Ole, died.  Then Gunild married Halsten.  Or…
                5)    Maybe something else happened.  We know that Gunild got pregnant and gave birth to a son named Arne.  She called him Arne Pedersen and in the baptism records, she claimed the father was Peder Andersen (not Peder Arnesen) – was she lying or telling the truth?  A few months before the birth of Arne, there was a guy named Peder Andersen from the area who moved to America.  Maybe he was the real father.  What if he’s the one who got her pregnant and then he moved far away, to another country?  Maybe the move-to-America Peder said he would send her money to come to America, but he forgot about her and she waited and waited for fourteen years.  Then, later, a different Peder (Peder Arnesen) thought, what the hell, I’m dying and I’ll say I’m the father and everyone will be happy.

                We don’t know the real truth.  All we can do is speculate.  But don’t you think the stories are interesting?

                “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

                by Dbug on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:14:13 PM PST

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