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…

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…

Photo Discovery: 2GGs John K. & Alice Vermilyea

In plodding through my Mother's personal effects, I recently came across a 1921 family reunion photo involving several Vermilyea brothers and their relations.  It's 99 years old!  One of the brothers in the photograph is John Knickerbocker…
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Charcoal Drawings of Bernt & Bertha Bonn

In a previous post (here), I unveiled new photographs of Bernt Olsen Bonn (1856-1937) and Bertha Pettersdatter Aaberge (1865-1936) which were obtained last year from our Norwegian cousins in the Sogndal area. This summer, we brought…