Kristiansand, where the Monsens came from

KarensLunchOn Thursday my 2nd cousin Karen, who moved back to Norway some time ago, had us to her house for a lovely late lunch.

She lives in a fairly unique house with seven gables that her grandfather Oscar Bie bought and enlarged, staying with the original style, creating a lovely sun porch among other enhancements. The ceiling is low in the old part as you can see; Karen is touching it.


KarenCeiling

She looked through her photo albums and I found two that included my grandmother and many other wonderful ones. I took photos of a number of her photos so we will see how well they turn out

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Visiting WOLD family places near Drammen

My Norwegian friends and relatives have been amazingly helpful and welcoming. Last night and tonight we stayed in the guest apartment of my 4th cousin (Wold side) Rønnaug and her husband Bjørn Erik in Svelvik. I can tell she is a relative not just because she has our family pointed canine teeth but also because she has such lovely flowers. I do so love purple petunias!

Ronnaug by her retirement home in Svelvik

Ronnaug by her retirement home in Svelvik

Our first night was the night they celebrate the longest day with wonderful bonfires. I finally met cousin Anders, the son of Rønnaug whose DNA test brought us together.

RonnaugAndSons

Rønnaug with sons Hans Christopher and Anders

 

Then today, accompanied by my 3rd cousin twice removed Torgeir (also met via DNA testing) and his lovely six-year-old daughter Anea, we went touring ancestral places.

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Visiting the Hordaland farms of our ancestors

My worry is nothing on this trip will match the incredible day we had yesterday in Etne, Hordaland, Norway. The ancestral farms around the lake were so very green with snow-capped mountains behind them and sheep everywhere. The weather was perfect. We had a traditional lamb and cabbage stew lunch with the Skjold third cousins on their deck overlooking the valley and lake. Followed by fruit-filled waffles.

Jarle at the Lake

Jarle at the Lake

Our cousin Jarle was a wonderful guide. He showed me the house, still there, where my great grandfather H. H. Lee was born on farm Skjold. He mentioned that they had shown cousin John the wrong farm, the newer Skjold farm built by Jarle’s grandfather.

Kitty touching the house her great-grandad H H Lee was born in

The house my great-grandad H H Lee was born in

Jarle also told us that the children called the white plastic wrapped hay bales “tractor eggs” because they came wrapped that way out of the backs of the tractors. Also we learned that most of Norway’s electricity is hydo-electric and that there are green chemicals available for fracking but regulations in the USA are such that companies do not have to use them. He works in the chemicals for oil companies business by the way.

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I am in Norway!

I wanted to remind everyone that the streaming videos from the Southern California Jamboree are available online for free until July 5 (see my previous post). For the next 2 weeks I will mainly be blogging about my travels in Norway.

Corinne and Sigmund at the Bergen airport with Rhododendruns

Corinne and Sigmund at the Bergen airport with Rhododendruns

I had forgotten how much I love rhododendrons since they do not grow anywhere I have lived in the past 15 years. This picture is of my travel companion, 4th cousin Corinne, who I met via DNA testing, with Sigmund, my DNA friend and distant cousin, at the Bergen airport with the rhododendruns. Sigmund is the fellow who found the Y line cousin for me to test to solve our Monsen brick wall.

There were no less than three streamed presentations at the jamboree which included google tips. My favorite tips were to use dates separated by two periods when searching for an ancestor and to use a * to wildcard whether or not there is a middle name even when in quotes. So for example,

“lawrence * munson” 1900..1950

which finds my own family history site of course!

More pictures from Norway ….

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More on the SCGS Jamboree: Free Live Streaming

I am very grateful that Ancestry.com has sponsored live streaming of the Jamboree since my foot problems are keeping me home now. There is one selected presentation available in each time slot.

TriangulationSlidesSee the schedule here: http://genealogyjamboree.com/2015/schedule-streaming.html and how to get set up for it here http://genealogyjamboree.com/2015/streaming-overview.html

I really enjoyed my day and a half at the Jamboree. I discovered that most of the San Diego folk had come by train! There is a stop next door at the Burbank Airport and the hotel has a van that will fetch you. Next year …

As always I loved listening to Cece Moore. I learned a few things from her presentation about some of her adoptee success stories. Many more genetic genealogy stars were there: Blaine Bettinger, Tim Janzen, Angie Bush, Judy Russell, and Kathy Johnston. Sadly I had to miss most of their presentations since I gave two of my own.

I was pleasantly surprised by the full house at my triangulation lecture. It was exciting to be live streamed. A number of folk told me afterwards that they felt like they finally understood this concept. What I did was present a number of real life cases from my own research where I used DNA triangulation to figure out relationships. That seemed to work well.

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