Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Lydia!

Happy birthday to my sweet princess!

Happy 143rd Memorial Day (1868)!

Memorial Day was first celebrated in 1868, and it has become a time to remember not just veterans and soldiers who sacrificed for our country, but other deceased family members as well.  To aid those visits this weekend, I present the following list:

Cemeteries Where Our Ancestors Are Buried

headstone for Stephen Robert Wells

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May Party Game: Which nationality are you?

Our ancestors come mostly from the British Isles and Scandinavia.  About half are from England, and the rest are a mix of German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and (quite far back) Swiss, Dutch, and French extraction.  The Cramers, Kregers, and Heiners are from Germany; Hegsted, Sorensens, and Poulsens from Denmark; Anna Gustava Cottam from Sweden; Jensens from Norway.

Map of ancestral hometowns in the British Isles:

connecting with Jensen heritage in Oslo

our Norwegian emigration moment

Cramers in Peters' hometown in Wales
Here's my dream Ancestral Footsteps tour:

On this sweeping tour of Europe, come experience our heritage homelands. First we go to Germany, where the Heiners lived in scenic Waldorf.  Find the Cramer and Kreger hometowns. Up north to Denmark, fly to Aalborg and visit Hogsted, where the Hegsted name originated, and see the original home Vestegard still standing on the west of town, as well as the parish churches used by the family for baptisms, weddings, and burials. Next visit the Christensen farm on the island fondly remembered by Mary Sorensen. Visit Copenhagen, where Nicolai played in the orchestra at Tivoli Park, and see the ancestral Sorensen farm still standing in Soro. Next, travel to Stockholm and see the Tegneby church where Anna Cottam attended. Fly to Oslo and remember the Jensen family sailing up the fjord on their way to America.  Continuing on to the United Kingdom, we come first to London, where Stephen Wells lived in Paddington. See where the Thornes were in Chalford, and then head south to the Dorset area to see Ellen James’ seacoast. At the very western tip of England, see where the Hoopers lived in Blackwater.  Moving north into Wales, remember the Jones family in Cardiff, Miles Williams in Pyle, and then see the scenic river where the Peters family ran a mill in Ffestiniog.  Stop at Liverpool where the Saints departed for Zion, and see the street where Charlotte Perkes had her millinery shop.  Visit the canal in Audlem where Joseph Billington was a lockkeeper, and see his house still standing there.  Travel through Shrewsbury for the Shaws, Dudley for the Perkes, and Birmingham for Rebecca Rogers.  Stop in Chesterfield to see where Nicholas Welch worked as a potter and his father had an inn.  Head a little north into the Lake District and see the Cottams’ town of West Bradford, and the Scarborough hometown of Leeds.  Head further north into Scotland, where the Hunters lived in Edinburgh, the Muirs in Bannockburn, the Bathgates in Bathgate, and the Thompsons on the western Isle of Islay. If time permits, head over to Ireland and imagine you knew more about Nicholas Welch’s heritage there.  Revel in your ancestral heritage and return to Salt Lake for further research at the family history library.  

Which homeland and heritage nationality do you most identify with?  Where would you like to go visit?