Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eight is Enough Plus One or Two

I have been fleshing out the genealogical history on my grandmother's side, in Vestre Baerum, Akershus, Norway. My grandmother's father, Kristian Olausen Jordbaerhaugen, was one of 10 siblings. He in turn had 9 children, my grandmother (Gyda) being one of them. Thinking of the sizes of the homes in Norway, especially in those days, these are quite astounding numbers. But my father told me, even the dresser drawers could turn into beds for the night.

As I researched my great-great grandfather Olaus Kristensen Jordbaerhaugen and his brood of ten, I happened to find a tree on "ancestry dot com" belonging to a descendant of his brother Gulbrand Kristensen. This was very exciting, and I was able to fill in this line of my tree easily. It is so nice when someone else does the work for you. I sent an e-mail to the owner of the tree, who lives in Oslo, but I have not heard back from her yet.

After filling in at least the birth dates for all the Olausen/Jordbaerhaugen children, including my great-grandfather Kristian, I decided to do the same with his nine children. Finding and recording the Kristiansen birth records is a bit different. All the people I have found, no matter how far back, are very much real to me. It is a bit like reading a good book -- the characters become true people you feel you have come to know and understand. It is much more so when it is your ancestor who is the character in the story you are researching. There is no moment where you escape the picture in your mind only to stare at words on the page, realizing none of it is true. It is all true, and to me they come back to life when I discover them because from that moment on they live in my mind. Because I knew my grandmother and some of her siblings, seeing their birth records is even more meaningful. I loved my grandmother, and I miss her. It is hard to believe she was once the baby born in Baerums Verk now buried there. Seeing her brothers and sisters line up with her, birth dates filled in, makes me wish I had congregated them all in a room a long time ago. I could have asked so many questions. Now it is all more difficult, but it would still be exciting to track down all the Kristiansen descendants. Now that would sure be a huge group filled with as many as 4 generations -- maybe 5. The problem is planning such an event from across the ocean... and finding everyone. But I would love to meet them all and share pictures and treasures. Maybe they'd be interested in all I have learned about their ancestors.

Here are the Kristiansen children and the dates I have found so far: John (1904); Raghnild (1905); Olav (1906); Oivind (1909); Gyda (1913 - 2002); Astrid (1915 -2003); Gunnar (1917); Trygve (1919 - 1987); and Kjell (1922). They are all gone, but their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren continue the journey.

Here are some pictures I have of 6 of the siblings. I hope to find and/or receive many more.

Four siblings get together: Kjell, Astrid, Gyda, and Olav. May they rest in peace.

Trygve Kristiansen

Oivind Kristiansen

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