Linda McCauley of the blog Documenting the Details awarded me with the Ancestor Approved Award, and I am really happy about it. Thanks Linda!
As a recipient of this award, I am to list 10 things I have learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or thrilled me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers I feel are doing their ancestors proud. So here goes...
1) I thought my father was the first one in my direct line to come to America, but I discovered a ggg-grandmother who became a Mormon and moved to Utah in 1875. She is buried in Salt Lake City.
2) I thought my family was strictly Lutheran on my father's side or Catholic on my mother's side. However, on my father's side, my ggg-grandmother (above) and three of her children converted to Mormonism. Another ggg-grandmother became a Methodist along with her husband, my ggg-grandfather. Their son was baptized in the Methodist church, which explained why I was banging my head against the wall trying to find his birth/christening record.
3) One of my sets of ggg-grandparents was actually from Sweden! I had always thought I was Norwegian and Italian, but I am also Swedish -- an exciting find.
4) My Italian grandfather had a sad childhood, living in a religious boarding school after his mother died. It is obvious as I have read his diary that he missed his family terribly.
5) My Italian g-grandmother was unable to divorce her abusive husband because of the Catholic church and their rules. She had to "live in sin" with my g-grandfather for the rest of her life, and each of their 5 children had to have the surname that belonged to her legal husband. My g-grandfather would pay her husband a bribe so he could put his name on the birth certificate rather than see his own name -- so sad.
6) My ancestors worked hard. My Norwegian ancestors took to the seas on long journeys, were loggers on the Glomma river, and farmers, too. The women bore many children, and life could be harsh, cold, and unforgiving at times.
7) I found American descendants of my great-grandfather's brother Christen who went to North Dakota in 1905. One of Christen's daughters was still alive, and I was able to get some pictures and information.
8) I found descendants of my great-grandfather's other brother, Nils, who ended up in Canada. From them I also received pictures and information.
9) I have made several connections with relatives in Norway I had not been aware of before. From them I attained information and fantastic pictures of ancestors vital to my search and journey of discovery into the past.
10) My parents went to Salt Lake City and met descendants of my Mormon branch. They received valuable information, stories, pictures etc... from them. They also went to the Family History Library and found some documents. My mother may have even found my Italian great-great grandparents' wedding record, which also mentions their parents!
I could go on with so many other thrilling moments of discovery, but this is where I must stop and name 10 blogs that I feel deserve this award, too. Now, this is really hard because I love all the blogs I follow.
1) Herstoryan http://herstoryan.blogspot.com/
2) Slekt og Slikt http://lailanc.blogspot.com/
3) A Multitude of Sens http://multitudeofsens.blogspot.com/
4) Nordic Blue http://nordicblue.blogspot.com/
5) Ginisology http://ginisology.blogspot.com/
6) Are You My Cousin? http://areyoumycousin-lisa.blogspot.com/
7) Swedish Thoughts http://swedenroots.blogspot.com/
8) A Tale of Two Ancestors http://ataleoftwoancestors.blogspot.com/
9) Lessons from my Ancestors http://www.lessonsfrommyancestors.com/
10) Kinfolk News http://kinfolknews.blogspot.com/
Happy reading and blogging!