Category Archives: Ancestry

Thursday 1. March 2018

We’ve made it through another winter month.  One step closer to spring!  We’ve actually been having some really nice spring like weather the past few days, most of our snow has melted and we have swamp…trying to not complain about the mess our gravel road has become, the 4 wheel drive has come in handy the past two days just to get in and out of our driveway and the first couple hundred feet down our gravel.  We have a good breeze going today and supposed to get down to 20 tonight, so a big help in starting to dry up a bit.  Actually have a few windows cracked in the house today to get some air moving, a big relief!


Finn was sunning himself in the kitchen window yesterday afternoon…such a ham! 

Life on the homestead here has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride recently. 

Last week Uncle R came up from Florida to help get Gramma and Grampa back down south, we weren’t wanting to see them leave after having been here since before Thanksgiving and Grampa’s cancer doing no better, but it was time.  Grampa had been chomping at the bit to get back south so he could get going on his taxes and Gramma wasn’t loving being here, living with her brother and his wife and not having her things.

The brother they’d been staying with went to the doctor not too long ago, came back from Mayo on Monday with results from having been up on Friday for tests.  He’d learned a few weeks ago it was cancer and has been pretty tight lipped, giving very little detail and still hasn’t let go of too many facts since getting the results.  Seems to us it’s the same type of cancer his little brother passed away from just short of two years ago. 

The family could really use a break on the cancer front.  Was talking with one of Old Boy’s cousins a week or two ago and we agreed we just need to find a big house with one floor, move everyone is that needs taking care of and just take care of everyone.  Wouldn’t that be ideal?  The family is pretty close and would do anything to take care of and do for one another.  Frustrating to have to sit back and not be able to do anything.

On the fun front, my folks had their 52nd wedding anniversary on the 27th.  The parentals must have been thrilled to have all three kids and all but three grandchildren pop in (uninvited) with pizza and cake for supper on Tuesday evening!  We always invade and seem to leave a mess!  Isn’t that what kids are for?  Even when they are 45, 50 and 51?  My dad’s mom would have told us to go home and take our mess with us!  Oma had a way with saying, don’t you think you need to get home and get your kids to bed?  Damn, miss that Ol’ Girl!  She didn’t mince words!  Our Bubba takes after her so much.

Now getting ready to make plans for Easter.  The Girl and Dingbat will be coming home from Nebraska for a quick visit!  Hoping to actually have all the grandchildren home and in one place for the first time in at least more than a year.  Sent out a group text to my siblings today that I’ll make Oma’s fuchens (no one knows how to spell, came from our German side)…usually make them on Christmas Eve but we weren’t able to do it this year, so they are being done at Easter and that’s all there is to that…everyone is going to like it and if they don’t, they will pretend to like it!  The Holiday Nazi has spoken…yes, not a PC word to use but that’s how the big kids always referred to me when it comes to one of those ‘you are going to do it and like it’ things of mine. If the family would just do what I say life would be so much more simple for everyone!  Does that come from being the baby of the family?  Possibly! 

On the genealogy front…many of my family have decided to humor as of late and have found a treasure trove of information on a couple segments of the family whom I’ve been asking for quite some time to just throw me a bone.  Found my 2X Great Grandparents marriage license in Germany, had all the information I already had except for the 2X Great Grandfather’s full name…he went by his second middle name, not his first name.  Ferdinand Ludwig Julius…he went by Julius. Such a sneaky bugger, must have decided to humor me since I’ve been decorating their stones the past several years.  I’m really not that hard to make happy, just a little something something can make my entire week! 

Until Again! 


Thursday 25. January 2018

Day two of sun and everyone out and about for the day, Old Boy working and Bubba at school!  Life is good at the moment!


Doesn’t look like it, but a perfect day to throw the snow boots on and hang laundry out to dry.  We have quite a bit of melting going on today.  Last I asked Google was told it was 34 degrees F.

The in-laws gave us a Google gadget for Christmas.  They have one they use a lot, they ask it to play modern country when they are going out and about and leaving the dog home.  We use it mainly for weather.  We have to laugh from time to time being it doesn’t know how to pronounce our three lettered town and spells it out each time we ask for the temperature.  Sometimes when I’m washing dishes or folding laundry I’ll ask it to tell me a story.  It’s interesting.


Having been working on a temperature afghan for Old Boy and my 25th wedding anniversary come the end of May.  This is all January 1 through March 1, 1993.  If you’ve never heard of temperature blankets, it’s a fun thing.  I set mine up in 15 degree segments although I usually do 10.  Take the high temperature for each day and make one row in the color that the temperature falls into.  15 and below is Ivory, 16 to 30 is Brown, and so on.

Have made one for my folks’ and Old Boy’s folks’ 50th and our closest friends’ 25th.  Something a little different and fun. I make out a chart with what each color stands for and a write out of the high temp for each day to go with each blanket.  They are time consuming, but fun!


Had Bubba drag out my Gramma’s box of albums the other day, was blessed to get several of them.  Gramma kept EVERYTHING, obviously where I get it!  Didn’t find the picture that I was looking for but found some amazing pictures I’d obviously never paid close enough attention to recall ever seeing although I’ve gone through these albums dozens and dozens of times since a little kid staying with her.

So glad she kept everything!  Letters I wrote her when we lived out in Lex when The Girl was a baby, cards I made her when I was in elementary school, some of my mom and her siblings report cards, pictures they drew and so on.  Obituaries, funeral papers, church letters, even her own graduation invitation from 1936.  I can lose myself for hours.

I remember my mom telling me about this fellow above.  My Grampa and Dom worked together in California at the Mare Island Naval Yard during World War II together.  After moving back to Iowa in the mid-1940’s the two continued to call one another every Christmas.  Wonderful memories!

Have been making great progress lately on Old Boy’s side of the family ancestry!  Wish my family lines would be more agreeable!  Most of his lines go back way further than mine here in the states, most starting out in the east and staying for many years before heading to Iowa.  I get so tickled by some of the things I find and no one here is interested in the least.  The past two weeks or so I’ve discovered two and three times grandparents on his side that are buried a county over in two different directions…so excited for the spring to come and go visit them.  Always bring flowers for them, figuring so far removed that they haven’t had flowers in ages and that they’d like it.

Yes, I’m one of those.  A year or so ago while talking with one of Old Boy’s aunts and uncles, we were talking about needing to decide where we were wanting to be buried and getting our plots.  Our close by cemetery where several of both our families are buried is where the four of us all decided was where we wanted to be.  Uncle said he wanted to be as close to his folks as he could, in the newer part of the cemetery…I said I wanted to be in the older section, it’s so beautiful over there.  Uncle asked why being we didn’t know anyone over there to talk to!  He gets me!  That’s the way I talk…Aunt and Old Boy just kinda shook their heads.  Our kids hate it when we get onto the cemetery topic and will tell us they’d like it if we changed the subject.  Part of life.

Suppose it’s about that time…perfect day to take out what needs to be burned and maybe take the big dog for a walk!


Thursday 28. December 2017

Have been doing a lot of thinking about my ancestors this year.  Have been working most of the year on Old Boy and my family lines`~trying to build a history down the line~as far as possible~until a brick wall ends each line.  Still have some open lines yet to find a wall, and still work on trying to break through walls on other lines.  It has become a passion that can make hours disappear like a blink of an eye most nights.

Have taken a break since around Thanksgiving, too much other stuff going on and a few puzzles had my mind floating, so a break was needed.

It is amazing to find and see records from generations back, seeing the handwriting, finding stones that tell the ends of one person’s story.  The frustration of finding a great grandparents baptism record in Denmark and not being able to find their marriage record when both were in the same church.  Knowing where a great-great grandfather was from in Germany and not being able to ding anything before he came to America.  The same great-great grandfather whom I’ve visited with at the cemetery, asking for him to throw me a bone, however small.  He’s been uncooperative thus far.  The same with another two times great grandfather from Scotland.  They are just so unwilling to work with me!

The military information I’ve found has really touched me.  I grew up very patriotic, knowing my father served in Vietnam and that my Oma had a younger brother who was killed in Europe during World War 2.  Over the years I’ve learned of additional relatives who served in Korea and World War 2 and The Great War.  I found a nephew of my great grandfather who passed in Europe in The Great War.

Old Boy’s family line proved even more, two down the line great grandfathers who fought and died in The Revolutionary War and The War of 1812 are buring at Arlington National Cemetery.  Found a paper on one of them that lists where he was killed and the name of the farmer who’s field he was killed.  Fascinating information.

Irritated at myself for not asking questions of my grandparents before they passed.  My dad’s folks both spoke German and Dane and visited both countries often to see relatives.  Have a photo of my grandfather standing in front of the house his grandfather was born and raised in in Hattstedt, Germany.  We have none of that information.  My folks remember family coming from Europe coming to visit, but none that would still be living, never got to know the younger family whom would still be living.  

My dad’s baby brother recently gave me a photo of my grandmother’s grandparents, the grandfather having working for royalty in Denmark, unknown as to what he did.  Wonderfully, he is into ancestry and has had a few tidbits for me.

Time to get back to digging!  Hopefully find something new that will break down a brick wall or two.


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  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.  


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.  



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.