My 1961 Norwegian Penpal

My Mother's memorabilia boxes are revealing all kinds of cool stuff.  I knew my Mother was a nostalgic person, but it's just amazing that she apparently kept every letter and card ever received!  She truly treasured each and every relationship. Amidst…
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Genealogy Conferences Adjust to Pandemic Restrictions

Like everyone else, the genealogy education industry has been dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  However, my impression is that it also adjusted to the new circumstances somewhat better than most organizations because remote…

Oil Painting of Virginia Smith (1827-1906)

I recently had a family heirloom appraised.  It's an oil portrait of 2GG Virginia Smith (1827-1906) as a girl, painted by her older brother Hamilton Lanphere Smith (1819-1903).  We had it hanging in our dining room, but moved it recently to…
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The Thoughts of Our Ancestors

There are many reasons why I like genealogy.  I should do a blog post on the subject someday. But, certainly, one reason is to get to know you're progenitors more personally.  What did they look like?  What kind of personalities did they…

Suggested Boy's Names from our Family Tree

Following on the previous post, here are seven suggested boy's names from our family tree: Henry Nelson Peter Lars David Thomas Stephen HENRY - This is a great example of how genealogy can illustrate an ancient…

Suggested Girl's Names from our Family Tree

I sometimes think about which baby names would be meaningful from our family history.  So this post is primarily addressed to younger family members as well as any future family who are thinking about names for their babies.  This was prompted…

Solved! The Fate of Maren Olsdatter Bønsmoen

In my last blog post (here), I told the story of an 1880s autograph album owned by my great-grandfather Bernt O. Bonn (1856-1937).  In Norway, he was known as Bernt Olsen Bønsmoen.  The album revealed that Bernt went back to Norway over a…

Autograph Album Reveals Bernt Bonn Trip to Norway

It’s another discovery from my Mother’s cache of memorabilia.  I found a small autograph book from the 1880s belonging to my great-grandfather, Bernt Olsen Bønsmoen (1856-1937).  He was born and raised at the Bønsmoen cotter farm…

Road Trip to Quincy Township

Lucia and I paid a visit in July to my Aunt Susie in Rochester, Minnesota.  On a beautiful, but hot summer day, we drove over together to Quincy Township, about 20 miles east.  We were hoping to find the farm where our ancestors, Avery Vermilya…
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2020 Ethnicity Estimate Update

Well, here we go again.  AncestryDNA recently released a new ethnicity update, apparently an annual exercise at this point.  The company keeps adding new samples to their reference populations and updating the logarithms that define ethnic…