Thursday, April 5, 2018

Relatives Discovered

I had my DNA analyzed recently, and goodness, I have a lot of "not-so-terribly-distant" relatives!  Tonight I talked with Barbara, who is related on my Grandma Melby's side.    Grandma Melby's side of the family has always been somewhat of a mystery - Possibly because so many of them had passed a long time before I was even born.   And (of course) I never thought to ask questions about them when I was young, either.

At right is my great grandmother Berthe Marie Olsdatter Hamborg Gaarder.   Berthe and her husband Anders Gaarder had 8 children:  Ole Lauritz, Marte Marie, Peder Anton, Ditlef Arthur, Mina, Berte Marie, Auline, and Ottilie.
Barbara's Great Grandma was Berte and my grandma was Mina (daughters of Berthe & Anders).  What fun to talk to her and compare notes.  She had a lot of dates and names that I didn't have, and I had plenty of tidbits that she didn't have.   We will be keeping in touch, I'm sure.

Genealogy sure is a lot of fun.    And. . .yes, Dodie, she has (she says had) light red hair!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Grandma's Spinning Wheel

This is my grandma Elsie Dahlager's (1872-1959)  spinning wheel.
She had said that this had come from her mother-in-law,
so it was not only grandma's spinning wheel,
but it first belonged to my great-grandma Sigrid Leikvold Dahlager  (1853-1942).

Great-grandma's father was Ole Leikvold (1830-1916).
Ole was a wood lathe operator and carpenter.
He made lefse rolling pins, cupboards, benches, chairs and. . .
spinning wheels.

Ole made this spinning wheel for
his daughter, my great-grandma.

So how old is it, then?   One can't be absolutely sure, but if it was made for her when 
she married Christopher Dahlager in 1874, it would be 143 years old!

The spinning wheel is obviously hand-made.
All the parts appear to be included.
The foot pedal is discolored from grandma's (and great grandma's) 
foot pumping the pedal which caused the wheel to turn.

One can imagine these women sitting at the spinning wheel, 
making the sheep's wool into yarn in order to make
mittens, sweaters, or scarves.

I am honored to have this family heirloom, which will
hopefully stay in the family for years to come.

Great-great grandpa

Great Grandma

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mini Vacation

In June, I took a trip with Pam, Drew & Dylan to Kentucky.   What is in Kentucky, you ask?    We went to see the Ark Adventure.   It is a HUMONGOUS structure, built to the specifications of Noah's Ark as told in the Bible.    It is definitely worth going to see - they have depicted what it might have been like on the ark - the animal cages, the living quarters, food storage (for animals and Noah's family), and much, much more.  

We even spent an evening at Churchill Downs!   What fun to see the horse races.  I didn't bet on any horses, BTW.

We went to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  Very interesting and fun to see.  I even got a (free) miniature Louisville Slugger bat.   

We also walked along the river in Louisville, and visited a garden of a mansion that was gorgeous.



This year, my flowers are especially beautiful - the blooms are colorful, the greens are healthy.  It's not that I do anything special - I don't have a "green thumb."    I basically just plant and hope for the best.   This year, I didn't  spend much money buying new plants.   If I had know this was the "year for flowers" I would have gone crazy at the nurseries.
I love Dahlias!

Cosmos are a no-fail for me - just scatter the seeds and watch them grow.

These are the flowers of my Elephant Hostas.

More Dahlias.

Pansy.   My Mom always liked these.

In front of the house.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Update on Velgjerd Leikvold

Some time ago, I posted information about my great grandmother's sister
Velgjerd Leikvold (Velgerd, Veljerd)

She was born in Norway on April 19, 1856.

I told of the sad story of Veljerd and her death at a very
young age following childbirth.

 Velgjerd married Andre Ellingboe when she was only 19.

 In 1876 Velgjerd gave birth to a baby girl, also named Velgjerd.     
There were problems, and the baby was baptized at birth.  
 The new mother and her baby daughter died on May 22, 1876

The Leikvold family had quite a few pictures of their family, but I never could find one
of Veljerd.  There were pictures of the whole family, pictures of the girls, pictures of
just one of the girls at graduation or confirmation, but nothing found of Veljerd.
Well, don't you suppose, there was one I found on the internet that was labeled as
"Andre and his first wife Veljerd"
How exciting is that!  While there is a possibility that it is not my ancestor,
it seems as though it is a very strong possibility that it is.  (And who would
ever know if it wasn't?    😀

Here it is:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jules & Lucille Dahlager

I just love it when I find a story about my ancestors that, as far as I know, none of my relatives have heard!  

My Dahlager ancestry includes Jules Dahlager, who has been called "Alaska's most beloved artist."   Jules was the son of my great-grandfather's brother, so I guess he is a cousin a few times removed, but he is related, nonetheless.  For any family members reading this, Jules was the son of Trond Dahlager, brother of Christopher Dahlager.   Trond lived in Iowa, but ended up in Brookings, South Dakota.  I don't think my mother ever met Trond, but she knew of him.  

Jules met his wife, Lucille in Washington state, where she was a teacher.  Jules worked for a newspaper for a time, but made his living mostly as an artist.    He especially loved painting the Alaska landscape and the people there.  I have found his paintings on the internet, but if they are for sale, they are not in my budget.

In 1944, Lucille's sister passed away due to pneumonia.  She left behind nine small children.  Since her husband was in the army, the care of the children fell to the grandmother (Lucille's mother).    Jules and Lucille very generously purchased a larger home for the family and they spent Christmas of 1944 in the new home.    [There was no mention of grandfather, so he may have passed away by this time.]   Lucille's younger sister, aged 15, also was a part of the household, so grandma now  had 10 children in her care!    

This family is not in "my family tree" but Jules is.   I found it very touching that Jules & Lucille were willing to share their success by helping out these children!  

 The article is below, but you may need to zoom in to read it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Mom's Poems

I came across a small notebook that was my Mom's - in this notebook she had pasted poems that touched her heart - most were inspirational, and were indicative of her faith in God.   A few poems were written by me, and a couple by my brother, Jim.   Then there were some written by Mom, in her familiar handwriting, signed and dated.    Her faith is evident in her own poems as well.    Mom didn't put her faith in the government, the neighbors, or worldly things; she shared that even as a small child, her faith was strong, and she credited her parents for the Christian home she was raised in.       Here are two of the poems written by my mom, Mabel Melby:

I was desolate and lost in sin
Then God in mercy took me in
By giving His Son to die for me
By shedding His blood on Calvary's tree.
He redeemed me and now I  see
The blessed thought that now I'm free
He took all my sins away
and now I live for Him each day.  (Nov. 1992)

"Winter Morning"
This morning through my window
I can see the new white snow.
Everything around so peaceful
In the dawning's rosy glow.

The trees were all so frosty white
The sky was clear and blue,
God gave to us this beauty bright
For our enjoyment too!

My cares and worries seems far away
as I gazed at the peaceful sight
It seemed that God had cleansed the world
and made it pure and white.

Mom lived to the age of 102 and even wrote a few poems around the time of her 100th birthday.