Thursday, January 30, 2014


When I was organizing the basement the past few weeks, I found a treasure that changed my life. It was an old metal box with a lock and no key. A hammer and screwdriver had it open after several tries. In the front of the box were several years of my parent's tax folders, but behind those were several manila envelopes.  Grabbing them, I went upstairs to the dining room table and opened each envelope hurriedly spreading the contents all over the table. There were birth certificates, and death certificates... baptism papers and marriage certificates. I could barely breathe. To understand my reaction, you'd need to know a bit about my family:

  • I was an only child, so no siblings.
  • My parents were only children, so therefore no cousins, aunts, or uncles.
  • They were both from Brooklyn NY.
  • My grandparents died before I was born, so I didn't know very much about them.
  • My Mother's mother died when she was 5 years old.
  • The courts took her away from her father because he was working on boats that went back and forth to Norway... no place for a child.
  • My Mom was put in New York's foster care system.
The unknown continued through my life. My mother told me lots of stories about what she knew about my father's childhood and hers. But there were so many missing pieces. I was so surprised that she didn't share these important documents with me.

Several years ago I decided to dive into Genealogy and play Nancy Drew. I didn't realize that I wasn't going to get very far since my entire family was from Norway with the exception of my Grandfather who came from Ireland. So... I joined and gave it a try along with the help of the following book from Amazon.

Something I forgot to share with you... my mother didn't know her real name, but went by a name that was somewhat similar (We discovered many years ago when she went to get a passport). That is the most interesting story, and I'll share it with you in my next post. Until then...

Make this a great day!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That does sound like an exciting new adventure!

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh, I can't wait to hear more Joni! What an interesting story you have. I LOVE genealogy. My story is quite the opposite of yours -- outside of our immediate family, the families were very large (so lots of cousins etc) and there were several genealogists, so I'm lucky to have good records of our family history. Tell us more!

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SapphireGal said...

Joni… I'm just beginning to browse your blog. Fun! Love your blog name and love your page design! What a delight to get to know you in new ways spending time here! In just the short time we've known each other, I feel like family. Hugs sis! (Toni)

Pam (Isabelle) said...

Hello again! I was amazed to get your comment on my blog. Glad to hear your lovely news.

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