tirsdag den 11. januar 2011

A is for Ancestors

[Thanks to Kerrie for hosting the Alphabet meme – I may not play along every week, but this one suited me very well as my next review is not ready]

I have realized years ago that all my hobbies include some element of the puzzle – or some kind of detective work. This weekend my mother visited us in our cottage, and – not quite unexpectedly – we turned to our shared hobby genealogy. I have spent several years tracking ancestors and enjoy the hunt very much. Recently my mother acquired this wonderful old photo we wanted identified.

Based on the context we found it in plus the woman´s age and her dress my theory was she must be my grandfather´s mother. I knew her full name was Ane Petrea Elsia Kristine Nielsen, born in 1872. She married in 1890 and died of TB in 1913 (which explains why none of my father´s siblings recognized her). I put the photo in a facebook folder Sunday afternoon, and less than six hours later I received a comment from my father´s cousin:

“Thank you for the pictures; Petrea is my father´s mother…” – and I had my identification!

She looks like my grandfather Martinus, don´t you think? 

7 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

Dorte - Oh, how fascinating! Thank you for sharing those 'photos. I actually find genealogy very interesting, so I understand why you wanted to find out who that woman in the 'photo was. What a great way to start the alphabet :-).

C. N. Nevets sagde ...

So awesome.

A few months ago while I was off on an ambulance run, my wife was sitting at home and there was a knock on the door.

She opened the door and there was a woman standing there she didn't recognize.

"Are you Rose Nevets?" the woman asked.

"Yes," my wife answered.

"Are you related to Carl Miller?"

"He was my grandfather."

"Then I think I have something that belongs to you." The woman then pulled out this large picture in an oval frame of a couple from the 19th century.

The woman and her family, it turns out, had moved into the house that Rose's grandfather had built and lived and in until his death a couple years ago. (Coincidentally, just down the street from where we now live.) She had found this picture tucked behind the furnace. Knowing the house had only had one family before hers, she knew the picture would be theirs and so she wanted to get it to them.

Rose showed the picture to her mom, who was able to tell us that it was Carl's step-father's mother and father.

It's an amazing piece of family history.

Mason Canyon sagde ...

What a wonderful story. So glad you were able to identify the photo. And yes, the two favor each other.

Thoughts in Progress

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: well, it was either ´Petrea´ or nothing today :D

Nevets: the funny thing is that we got our picture in a similar way. My mother moved from my childhood home fifteen years ago when my father died. A few months ago she was contacted by the people who live there now because they had found three photos tucked away under the roof beams. First, my mother didn´t recognize any of the people, but when she showed me them, we found out one of them was my grandfather (from his Navy days) so I assumed the woman was his mother.

Unknown sagde ...

Cool! You found the answer to your puzzle on Facebook. It's amazing how useful that online tool can be.

Beth F sagde ...

Wow -- I love stories like this. I'm so glad you solved this mystery. And I'm amazed at the idea that the photos were found left in the house.

Dorte H sagde ...

Mason: I really didn´t think I could get a positive identification. 1913 is a long time ago.

Clarissa: first I though Facebook was just for teenagers, but it has its uses.

Beth: they must have been there when I was a child, but who cared about pictures of old people then? I love these discoveries.