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View Diary: Science Friday: Sixty Men from Ur (217 comments)

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  •  Barbarians Week on History Channel (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven, Bionic, marylrgn, barbwires, DanC

    Which means MY family!

    (First of all, thanks for the provoking essay -- one of your best IMHO)

    Here's one of my own -- I'm your classic All-American, meaning that my ancestors were all immigrants from Europe. Other Americans have ancestors from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands -- they are All-American too. Many Americans descend from people who were living here before Columbus, or even Leif Ericksen, but Columbus called them "Indians." They have their own names for themselves, and are not really involved in this essay.
    America itself was named after Amerigo Vuiccepi, another Italian navigator whose charts proved that the lands discovered by Columbus were part of a vast continent, previously unimagined by the civilizations of Africa and Eurasia. Columbus secured Queen Isabella's patronage by promising a route to the Spice Islands -- he was pretty sure there was land where he eventually found it, but selling it as the East Indies was a con job. The militant Royal House of Spain wasn't particularly interested in exploration until their distant cousins in Portugal made an end-run around the Islamic Empire to India and the Spice Islands via Africa.
    Spain's rivals rushed to claim land in America. English and French adventurers inadvertently crossed paths with the long-gone forgotten Vikings in the North. Most of my ancestors came from countries north of the Mediterranian. The earliest was a man named Walter Rhodes, born in England in 1577, the son of James Rhodes, born in 1560. The family's pedigree starts to firm-up after James Rhodes -- born 1606 in Lancashire, England, and ending his days in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts around 1675. He married Elizabeth Paul/White (1618-1700) in 1658. This branch of the Rhodes family stayed in Massachusetts until their Great Grandson John Rhodes (1747-1819) passed away in Fowler, Trumbell County, Ohio. His wife Hannah Graves (1752-1834) was born in Plattsburg, Clinton County, New York. John and Hannah's son Jonathan Rhodes (1771-1861) died in Toulon, Stark County, Illinois, along with his wife Hannah Davis (1776-1849). There are no records specifying when Hannah's ancestors immigrated to America -- either Hannah.  
    Jonathan's son Eric (1798-1841) changed the spelling of his surname to RHOADES. He was born near his Paternal Grandmother's home in Harber County, New York and died in Nauvoo, Illinois during an era of warfare between Joseph Smith's followers and various local militias. He predeceased his parents by almost a decade, so it is possible that he was a victim of the violence. He married Eunice Wright of Toulon, Illinois (1809-1880?) in 1819. Their son Alonzo Donnell Rhodes/Rhoades (1822-1893) was born in Fowler, Ohio, his Paternal Great-Grandfather's hometown. Although Alonzo followed the LDS (Mormon) trail to Utah in 1851, Eunice stayed in Missouri.
    Alonzo Donnell Rhoades married Sarah Ann Bushman (1833-1916) in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 25, 1852. They moved near her parents in Lehi, Utah.
    Sarah Ann's Great-Grandfather was John Henry Bushman born Hans Heinrich Bussmann (1734-1822) who immigrated from Hannover, Germany and married Maria Barbara Trout (1744-1824) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His grandson Martin Bushman (1802-1807) married Elizabeth Degen (1802-1878) on March 20, 1827 in Pennsylvania as well. Elizabeth was born in Hollstein, Basiland, Switzerland. Her Maternal Grandmother was Barbara Mangold (1744-1786), our family's Jewish connection, a lineage which includes some Silversteins, and a few Italians too.
    Martin and Elizabeth Bushman eventually re-established their family in Utah. Their grandson Marcellus Albert RHODES (1869-1916) changed the spelling of his surname once more, and married Amanda Hodge (1874-1916), daughter of fellow pioneers Franklin Rhodes Hodge (1832-1871) and Olive Morgan (1840-1922). Olive was born in Staffordshire, England. Franklin's American ancestory was primarily Pennsylvania German stock -- with records of immigrants from Wuertumberg, Germany in the early 1700's.
    Marcellus and Amanda's eldest daughter was Iris Olive Rhodes (1896-1989) -- our family's founding matriarch. This sturdy pioneer lady was my Paternal Grandmother. Her lineage comprises our deepest American roots, reaching back to the days of King James I, when England finally colonized America. A genealogical work entitled "The Rhodes Family In America" descibes our distant relationship to George Washington and the imperialist financier Cecil Rhodes.
    Tracing my Paternal Grandfather's ancestors "back to the boat" was fairly easy -- Iris married Thaddeus Monroe Evans (1895-1963) on June 18, 1921. His own Paternal Grandfather and Grandmother were born in Llanelly, Wales. Joseph Howell Evans (1826-1909) and his second wife Ruth Evan (1828-1901) had three children on the way to Utah. Their son Jonathan Walter Evans (1862-1915) was the first of their many children to be born in Salt Lake City. He married Janet Buchanan (1862-1957) on November 5, 1880. Janet was born in Rothsey, Scotland to future immigrants Archibald Buchanan (1824-1909) and Sarah McMurrin (1826-1879). This branch of our lineage includes residents of both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    My own branch of the Evans family springs from the union of Richard Vernon Evans (1927-1986) and Carolyn Emily Waring (1931-1988). Both of Carolyn's parents took "the boat" from Norway during a temporary cessation of submarine warfare following the sinking of the Lusitania 1915-1917, on their way to Salt Lake City with hundreds of other Norwegian LDS (Mormon) converts.
    Mom and Dad were married in 1949. My siblings and I are definitely Baby Boomers.
    I never knew my Maternal Grandfather Ryder Waring (1892-1949), because he died about a week after I was born. Asta (Karen) Larsen (1889-1974) was a kind and loving Grandmother. I have taken a quick look at my Norwegian geneaology -- Ryder's father was named Carl Wilhelm Kristofferson, and Carl's father was Niels Kristofferson Ostmark. Ryder's Paternal Grandmother was named Sophie Albertine Warring, and family legend says that her grandson got her maiden name because all her male relatives had died. If that's what researching Scandanavian family history is like -- UFF DA!

    Maybe I could claim a distant relationship to Leif Ericksen, or some of the other verified short-time explorers of Newfoundland, except that they all vanished before 1500 -- at least the Greenlanders disappeared. I know there were some Icelanders who tried to make a go of it in Vinland after the Ericksens, but they are unlikely to be related to me either. To tell the truth, it's a miracle we know about the Viking colonists at all!

    Why do people insist on following that damn chicken across that bloody road?

    by MT Spaces on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:29:22 AM PST

    •  Very interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces

      My mother has been researching our family tree.

      Our roots on this continent go back only 50 years when my parents came over as part of the great post war emigration frmom England.

      The Next Agenda "For Progressive Canadian Politics"

      by Bionic on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:48:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eunice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bionic, MT Spaces

      married at 10 and was pregnant at 12?

      (I'm a genealogist, too, so little things like that jump out at me...)

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:09:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Notice the ? mark... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bionic, DSPS owl

        ...Eunice's record is goofy for sure.
        (Maybe the Mormon (LDS) persecutions/retaliations are to blame -- very bad times for all involved.)
        The early Rhodes records are wacky in detail too.

        Why do people insist on following that damn chicken across that bloody road?

        by MT Spaces on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:33:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Genealogical Obsession (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bionic, MT Spaces, DSPS owl

      I always find myself musing on the interconnectedness we all share as 'humanity', as well as imagining myself in the shoes of each and every ancestor, when I spin back the clock of time by opening my genealogy program.

    •  In the 1865 census (0+ / 0-)

      Nils and Sophie Christoffersen and their sons Carl Wilhelm and Nicholai Albert lived at Rødfyldgaden, Vor Frelsers Menighed, Christiania.  The father, 44, a baker's apprentice, was born in Nedre Romerike.  The mother, 46, was born in Trondheim (which is indeed where the name Warring/Waring would be from).  Carl, 19, was born in Christiania and works for a merchant.  Nicholai, 17, was born in Laurvig and has a job. Five unrelated young women ages 23-28 also live in the household and, unless the word 'Skjøge' meant something else in 1865 than it does today, they are all prostitutes.

      Ten years later, Nils, a baker b. 1821 in Øvre Romerike, and Sofie b. 1819 in Trondheim live at St. Halvardsgade 32, Kristiania.  (He can't have been born in both Øvre and Nedre Romerike - should make up his mind.)

      In the 1900 census there is no one in Norway with the first name 'Ryder'.  Reidar is a possibility.

      Yes, here he is in a rather complicated household in Oslo in 1900.  Address:  Holbergs Gade 27, third floor.  There are several Simonsens and one Olsen and:
      Carl Christophersen, b. 1847, presently in Bergen
      Emilie Christophersen, born 1854 in Elsborgslen, Sweden, his wife
      Reidar Waring Christophersen, b. 1892.
      Emilie is probably (?) a relative of Mrs. Elise Simonsen, b. 1859 in Elsborgslen.  Elise's husband, a Norwegian, is at present in "Amerika".

      This might also be your grandfather:  Reidar Kristian Waring sails 21 Nov. 1914 from Oslo to New York on the ship Kristianiafjord, via Bergen, Henriksen line.  Ticket price 251 kr.  He's says he's an office worker and his Oslo address is Sofiesgate 10 III.  He has 200 kr with him.

      I'm getting carried away here.  Do you have all this stuff from before?  In 1900 Karen Asta Larsen b. 1889 in Oslo and her 2 sisters and 3 brothers live with their parents Ludvig (Bærum, 1867) and Karoline (Fredriksværn, 1864) Larsen at Vestbygaden 1, Kristiania.  This is a very special family: they are not members of the state church.  Her father works at a brewery.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 02:41:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am impressed! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        Ryder IS Reider, but his boat sailed in 1916, and he and Karen (Asta) disembarked in Canada.
        You are dead-on correct about almost everything else.
        Reider was studying to me a Lutheran minister.
        Asta's family were already Mormon.
        Ludvig's job in a brewery is interesting -- Mormons have a hangup about alcohol. (As do the modern Scandanavians!)
        Ludvig probably didn't drink -- plenty of brewers don't. It's a perfectly honorable craft. If not for Prohibition, Dr. Seuss might have followed his father's footsteps in the business.
        Reider converted and became choirmaster of Asta's branch. I think his brother converted too.
        Although hundreds of Mormon families immigrated to Utah in the early 20th Century, plenty remained in Norway.
        I have a gaggle of cousins in Bergen, for instance.
        Scandanavian family names give me a headache, but I bet they are part of the challenge and charm of genealogy.
        From my little bit of research, I've noticed that rooming houses were common in the 19th Century on both sides of the oceans -- many unrelated people would live at the same address.
        I've also concluded that the economy of Norway was LOUSY in the generations before WWI, and people were barely scraping by -- high child mortality, and out-migration are symptoms. Your anecdote about the five Skjøgen living in Sophie & Neils' boardinghouse is further evidence.
        Thanks for the insights!

        Why do people insist on following that damn chicken across that bloody road?

        by MT Spaces on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:13:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  RAOGK (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces

          Dead thread, but I'm glad you saw my comment.  I'll put in a plug here for RAOGK.org, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.  We're well over 4000 volunteers worldwide (but mostly in North America) who help strangers with their genealogy research.  I just treated your Norwegian info as another RAOGK request.  I'm hooked on the joys of the chase.

          The problems people have understanding "surnames" is the assumption that the idea of a "surname" common to the immediate family is some godgiven or natural phenomenon.  It ain't.  No one was required to have one until the naming law of 1923 but of course the many emigrants had to get used to the idea.

          Yes, Norway was decidedly an underdeveloped country.  As late as the 1960s lots of people didn't have indoor plumbing or refrigerators.  Most people had electricity by then, but it was still "the post-war years" with some rationing.  It's impressive that they managed to create a welfare society well before the oil age started: labor laws, social security and universal health care.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:36:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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