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View Diary: GFHC: If Walls Could Talk (67 comments)

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  •  I have one half-written (11+ / 0-)

    but only in my head so far, which is the way I store drafts.  The title will be "Myths, Lies, and Whoppers" since my family lore doesn't begin to check out.  I fear it will be fall before I can finish it.  NonnyO is helping research some more Norwegian records via volunteers so I'm at a standstill.  You think you've got problem:  Norwegian surnames changed EVERY generation and by gender.  Ack.

    Anyway, what a treat for you to have the provenance for that lovely piece of furniture.

    Nothing pithy here

    by sow hat on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:17:07 AM PDT

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    •  In some ways, the names make for better records (9+ / 0-)

      When I first started out trying to do a little more in-depth research, I assumed that tracing some of the most common names would be next to impossible. Mary Smith, for example.

      In many cases, I was wrong about that. The reason was simple. Families were compelled to record their Mary Smiths accurately and these records tended to be faithfully passed down through the generations. Some records got misplaced or lost over the years, but I think that the Smith families didn't have this problem as much as some other less common family names.

      I ran across a cousin on Ancestry who had Norwegian ancestry. The cousin was adopted by my step mother's brother. Even my step mother had his ancestry wrong. I commented to her one day that he clearly inherited his mother's good looks. She laughed. Said it was impossible because he was adopted.

      She was totally wrong about that, of course, but this is just another example of how wrong some of the family stories and connections get get screwed up. For some reason, some of these nonsense stories are defended for generations.

      Anyway, this step-step-cousin of mine (yeah, that's about as accurate as I can get) has paternal Norwegian ancestry.

      The surname adopted in the US was Olson. So good luck finding the Olson or Oleson ancestry..... So he thought.

      But this cousin had joined the US Navy and ultimately retired as a Captain. During his service, he was stationed in Oslo for a while.

      He traced his Olson ancestry back through many generations with the help of the Oslo Police records. The registries in Norway are maintained by various Norway Police facilities.

      The record-keepers are intimately familiar with these records and the naming conventions that we see as unusual don't slow them down one bit. Iirc, the records are being digitized and more is becoming available on-line. But not so much in English - yet.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:56:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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