Category Archives: Ancestry

Friday 3. November 2017

Been busy…last night had an impromptu get together with my aunt and uncle and their daughter’s family and wound up bringing two little girls home wo spend the night.  Our Boy and one girl were still up at 2 a.m.  Old Man was gone for work, so it was The Boy, Two Girls and four dogs…mass pandemonium.  Haven’t had so much craziness here in ages and it was much fun.

Yesterday, my day two of Thankfulness has to do with the kindness of a complete stranger.  Guess I mentioned it shortly in my last post, but there has been a development.

The backstory is my Great Uncle Booty was killed during WWII in Europe.  I am an ancestry buff, have been working online for years on Old Man and my genealogies.

Two nights ago I received a message through my ancestry account from a fellow whom was going through his father’s box of letters and such from his time in WWII.  My uncle’s name was in two letters, one from one of his sisters and one from a soldier whom was with my great uncle when he was killed.  Funny thing, this guy lives maybe two hours from here.

Yesterday morning the man messaged and asked if I’d be interested in a copy of either letter, but warned the letter from the soldier whom was with my uncle was a tough read.  I said I would very much like a copy, I have a connection with my great uncle, cannot explain it, but I’ve felt it for some years now.

I was emailed photos of the letters.  The letter from the soldier was tough.  I thanked the man, sent him best wishes while going through his father’s papers which he’d said had given him a heavy heart and many tears and an understanding of why his father never spoke of his time at war.

I called my cousin Bobbie and asked if she was going to be around and if she could call her dad (historian of that generation) to see if he would be around, that I had a gem I knew he’d love to see.

We spent a few hours with family photos and Uncle Tim filling in blanks I hadn’t been able to and brought me new questions to try to find answers to.  Such a wonderful gathering!

Love my extended family and from those of whom I came.

Today I am so thankful of the time spent with my cousin’s 10 year old daughter.  Timmy and I ran to the city to pick up my new glasses.  She was such a hoot!  Been a long time since I’ve had a little girl to visit and shop with.  We hit Hobby Lobby and bought her a bunch of things to build a snowman and walked through the toy department at Target and looked at dolls and all those fun girl things and bought her a fun little treat.  It was just a lot of fun!  Made me realize all the more how much I really enjoyed Girl Time now that My Girl is grown up and doing her thing a state away.

Seems as though the older I get the more I realize just how important family is to me.

Peace to All!

Wednesday 1. November 2017

For years I’ve seen people do the Thankful thing for each day of November.  Decided to give it a go this year~what with the world falling apart as it is~I’m needing to remember the good.  Then again~don’t we all? 

Today I am choosing family~both blood and chosen family.  Each and every day I am so clessed for the amazing family I was born into~was married into and the chosen family in our lives. 

Nothing seems to stress a person’s love of family as much as when someone is severly ill.  Two weeks ago my in-laws moved home from Florida for the time being~Grampa’s cancer is unfortunately progressing.  We are so thankful they decided to come home to spend time with the family and work with a new doctor who will maybe be able to see something the other doctor didn’t. 

Have to say that I really lucked out in the family department, my childhood was pretty darn good and only a few family members annoy me.  My best friend is my cousin whom we grew up more like sisters than cousins.  My in-laws and their families are all great and treat me like one of their own~when Old Boy’s grandmother passed away it felt just like losing my own grandmother and watching Grampa Phil fight this cancer~feels like watching my own.

Of course, we have many family members who we do not share the blood connection with whome we love as our own family.  The place to land for The Girl and her friends when in junior and senior high school was our house and I so treasure all our extra kiddos!

I started writing this earlier today while sitting in the doctor’s office (ear infection) and a little while ago I was blessed with a note from a fellow on Ancestry.com.  This fellow was going through his father’s things from WWII and found my Great Uncle Booty’s name in a letter from a fellow soldier who had been standing behind Uncle Booty when he was shot and killed.  He gave me the name of the fellow who had written the letter and said he would not go into details but “you can tell his parents as much as you see fit”.  This fellow is researching, looking for the connection between the three men.  Thankful!

Uncle Boody's grave

Blessings and Peace!

Friday 20. October

Have a pretty pissed off boy in the house tonight.  Oh, the joy of the teen years!  Going through that phase of thinking everything he wants he should have.  Working towards the privilege of earning the things he wants just doesn’t seem to be getting through his hard head.  So frustrating, K wasn’t that way, so this is a new challenge.  Actually, not new…it’s been a struggle for years, thinking he can just get what he wants without doing basic work around the place…hard headed just like his Great Old Ma.  

It’s been a long week…still dealing with this funky hip issue, three visits to the chiropractor and one to the massage therapist, we are making progress!  

The in-laws made it home this week from Florida!  So good to have them home again!  At the time being there is no set time for them to head back south, so we are really happy! Hopefully they’ll decide to stay for the long haul…haven’t had them home for any holidays for two or three years.  Grampa is fighting cancer, so it would be great to see him stay, especially knowing he’d actually rather move home.  When they were home this summer they went to the cancer center in the city and set themselves up with a doctor so he can coordinate his treatments and whatnot with his doctors in Florida.  

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Hojfeldt Family in Varde, Denmark around 1915

Continuing my work on our family history.  Have been finding some amazing information. Most of my relatives came to the US from Germany and Denmark in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, Old Boy’s maternal side on all branches go way back and have found two distant grandfathers of his buried in Arlington National Cemetery and distant grandfathers who fought in The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812 and The Civil War as well as uncles who fought in the Great War and WWII.  So proud!  

My 2X Great Uncle Tage, the young man sitting in the suit and tie moved to America not long after this photo was taken, he came over to America and signed up to fight for us in The Great War.  Never married and very patriotic, he was buried in his army uniform.  

My Great Uncle Booty and Old Boy’s Great Uncle Ross were both killed during WWII, both by snipers, two days apart, Uncle Booty in Germany and Uncle Ross in Iwo Jima…both grew up in the same small town of a few hundred people.  Both under the age of 25.  So proud of them…have a fallen soldier tattoo on my back for my Uncle Booty.  

Seriously think I’m driving my family crazy, telling them of new facts that I’ve found interesting…they really don’t seem to be as fascinated as I would like them to pretend to be. Just one family member who shared some of my interests would really be great.  

I do find myself cussing at some of my ancestors when I run into road blocks to prevent me from going any further on a branch.  

Peace!

 

Great Grandma

 

I walk into the antique store and that glorious smell hits me.

I smile and happy tears dare to fall.

Remembrance of a time decades past

with a wish to go back in time for a moment or two.

“Come see Grandma”.

I run and hide behind my mom.

“Stop now and go”.

I’m afraid.

“Steven, get her and bring her to me”.

I hold onto my mom’s legs.

I’ve been here before.

I know her, remember her.

She says she’s my grandma, it doesn’t click.

The grandma is always sitting in her chair.

Her chair is in the kitchen.

I never see her out of that chair.

There is no tv.

There is an interesting set of kitchen table and chairs.

She has hair as white as snow.

Her hair appears short but I’m told in later years it was long, always put back.

There is always a blanket in progress on her lap.

She has long, skinny fingers.

They scare a little girl.

Many years later I see her again.

She isn’t in the house,

but in an old persons home.

She’s sitting in that chair.

A blanket in progress on her lap.

Her long, skinny fingers folded in her lap.

She says very little.

I now understand she’s my mom’s grandma too.

 

I’m in my bedroom.

Mom walks into the hallway and says,

“Grandma has passed away”.

I cry and cry and cry although I didn’t really know her.

We walk into a small church and there she is,

in the front of the church, 

in a box.

I’m afraid but my brother says,

“You have to go see her”.

I hide behind my brother and peak at the grandma with the snow white hair,

her long, skinny fingers are linked together.

I cry and cry and cry.

I walk into the antique stop and that most wondrous old smell hits me,

brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.

I think of the wooden and wicker little kid rocking chair

she handed down to me as a little girl.

I think of the beautiful kitchen table that was handed down to her,

from her mother,

that now stands in my own kitchen.

I think of the white haired lady with her long hair pulled back,

sitting in her kitchen.

She tells me she’s my grandma.

I wish I would have been able to know her more.

Peace!

 

Nebraska’s Swedish Crosses

Many moons ago when we lived out in Lexington, Nebraska Kirk and I discovered this gem, which we’ve been to many times over the years.  

This is little cemetery is found out in rural Gothenburg, a handful of miles outside of town, down a gravel road.  Such a bittersweet story that can’t be told any better than the sign reads…

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Peace ❤

Monday 12. December 2016

Watching my shows tonight I’m getting more and more irritated.  So sick and tired of the election BS, it just needs to stop…the election is over, we elected a new president, it is so time for the cry baby crap to just stop!  I wasn’t happy when Obama was elected, had nothing to do with the color of his skin, it had to do with my not agreeing with his thoughts and beliefs that are different than mine.  Plain and simple, he’s liberal and I’m conservative.  I didn’t throw a temper tantrum, didn’t post nasty comments on social media.  I came to terms with someone I didn’t agree with was now going to be in office and I was just going to have to learn to live with it.  

I’m also so tired of hearing the descriptions given to people that voted for Trump.  I am not racist.  I have five cousins who are black and you know what, I love them to pieces!  I’m not one of those people who’ll say that I don’t see color, I do, we all do…but just because I see that someone is a different color than I am doesn’t mean that I don’t see them as an equal human being.  We are all the same no matter what color we are, on the inside we are all the same.  Just my opinion.  

Really wish all this knit picking would stop.  There are always winners and losers, the winners need to learn to be good winners and the losers to be good losers.  I just want peace for everyone, everywhere.  

At Cousin Christmas the other night my aunt brought me this amazing picture.  My Great Grandma and Grandpa Kiertzner and their four children in the order of age, Otto, Greta Fern (my Oma), Dorothy and Alfred Jr. (Boody).  Always so tickled to get pictures like these!  

I never knew my great grandparents, they passed away in the 1958 and 1960.  Uncle Boody was killed in World War 2 less than 24 hours from the official end of the war.  Uncle Ottie passed away in 1966 and Dorothy moved away to California and severed contact with her sister.  Oma never knew why.  

My grandparents came to the United States in 1914 from Varde, Denmark, where they were married.  They left behind a baby girl who had died as an infant from cancer.  

Growing up I remember Oma telling the story about when she was a little girl.  It was right around Valentine’s Day and little Fern went to school and announced that the family was moving back to Denmark.  The teacher gave Fern her valentines that day.  When asked why she’d been given her valentines early she explained to her parents that she’d told the teacher that they were moving. Being a little girl she didn’t understand that when her mom was crying, homesick and saying that she wanted to move back home, that it was just that and that they weren’t actually moving.  She had to take her cards back the next day.

I do remember a couple times, just barely, when family came over to visit.  Not all of my great grandparents siblings came over, my Oma grew up in contact with her family overseas and at times they would come to visit and at times my grandparents would go there to visit.  I recall once a little old lady teaching us how to say “I know more than you” in Dane to say to our teachers.  My mother has said she didn’t know exactly who the lady was other than family, but she remembers vividly her smoking thin cigars.  

Both of my grandparents spoke Danish fluently and German as well, my mother has said the area of Germany my paternal grandparents came from was an area that went back and forth between being German and Danish and the language was very similar.  Wish my Old Ma was still alive, never thought to talk to her about those things.  

Talking to my folks recently after helping a cousin with her daughter’s ancestry project at school and finding their information from having gone through Ellis Island, mom told me a story I hadn’t heard.  Great Grandma was pregnant when they hit Ellis Island.  She told her husband that she was so tired of eating the same thing day after day that she wanted something different.  Alfred told her he had some of the meat left that they had packed and he had five cents, she took the meat. Imagine coming across the ocean and stepping onto a new land with five cents in your pocket.  

My great grandma was never happy here.  She always wanted to move back home.  She knew very little English, so I’m assuming that didn’t help at all.  Being a farmers wife, guessing she didn’t get off the farm all that often either.  From talking to my aunt, she attempted to kill herself and her two oldest children at least once.  That really woke me up…if she had succeeded, none of us would be here.  My Old Ma was one of those two children.  That fact has really given me a shake up, dad, me, my siblings, my children…none of us would be here.  Really makes a person think.  

Great Grandpa passed away suddenly in 1958 from a heart attack, Great Grandma passed two years later.  I recall either Old Ma or my mother saying that she died of a broken heart.  So sad.

Being a genealogy nut, I love hearing new stories, seeing new to me pictures, finding new information.  

Well, once again I’ve rambled on more than too long.

Peace!

Great G&G (Hojfeldt) Kjetzner

My cousin Bobbie Sue called the other night about one of her daughter’s homework assignments.  Her dad is the family historian among his generation and I’m the family historian of my generation.  I do have to thank my Uncle Peter Timothy next time I see him.  His daughter called to ask him family ancestry questions…he told her to call me, he was too old to remember everything…he’s maybe 65, thinking he wasn’t wanting to do it and just tagged me!  He’ll get his 🙂  Good thing he’s one of my favorites!

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So, the project was to go onto this Ellis Island website and look for relatives that came through there…this is my Great Grandfather Alfredand Great Grandmother Margrette (Hojfeldt) Kiertzner (Kjertzner).

These two crazy kids were married in Varde, Denmark and immigrated to the United States the end of 1914.  Bobbie Sue found the document that states they stepped foot on Ellis Island on 26. December 1914.  Our Kaet was born 26. December 1994…80 years to the date, isn’t that quite the coincidence?

12239575_10207854057130189_5898791520174202449_n.jpgWe always enjoy stumbling across little bits of information like that.  Gives a feeling of connection.

Peace!