Ancestry Research . . .So having gone to Teri's family reunion last weekend, I've had my roots on my mind lately. So I started digging around on the internet and came across some interesting things. I've been able to trace my mom's side of the family, at least on her father's side back to Norway. I think I even found the ship's manifest that shows my great grand father coming over in 1894. Other items of note, I found my great grand father and great grand mother's (paternal) ship manifest for a trip they took to Italy in 1954. I also found my Grand father's (materna) draft registration card for WWI and my Great Grand Father's (paternal) draft registration card for WWI (Yeah, my maternal grandfather was quite a bit older than the rest of my grand parents). I've also found some census records from 1900 and 1910 for my great grandfather (maternal). I guess I'm on a quest for a sense of belonging to something. Getting to know where I came from. I guess it's important to know so I can figure out where I'm going.
Amerika -Thingvalla Line
The image above is from the S/S Amerika on the Thingvalla line. If I did indeed find the passenger manifest that contains my Great Grandfather's crossing from Norway, this is the ship he was on. Can you imagine being an 18 year old Norwegian boy, hopping on this ship, leaving your family behind to start life anew in a different country? The free spirit in me says "Man! Let's go!" Maybe I get that from my great grandfather? Arriving in 1894 New York with plans to head to Minnesota or Wisconsin to be with most of the other Norwegians? It just baffles the mind.
I found a free download of Family Tree Maker 2005 trial version. It's pretty cool and I'll likely upgrade to the latest and greatest. I also signed up for a 14 day free trial of Ancestry.com, which is where I've found most of my information. I'll probably pay the $155 bucks for the 12 month membership after my free trial to continue my research.
I do regret not having asked more questions of my grand parents while they were still alive though. Most of this research would have been a LOT easier. Like finding out from my grand father (maternal) where in Norway his dad was from. That (I think) would make tracing him to the US a bit easier. I've also found my grand mother's (paternal) parents and traced them back to Wachendorf, Germany. Google maps has several entries for "Wachendorf" so I'm not too sure which would be the correct one.
As I get further along in my research and nail down some dates and places, I'll likely post my findings to the web with hopes of finding other members of my family. There is a guy in Seattle that contacted my grandmother (maternal) 25 years or so ago and had a ton of information on her dad and that side of the family. I've got an old address and phone number for him that I'm going to try tomorrow (today?) and hopefully I can get any information he has to complete that side of the tree.
I'm really trying to trace the "Hurlbut" name back to England or Wales. According to information I can find on-line, that's where it comes from, but along that lineage, I can only get back to late 1800's Nebraska.
I've been working on this for about 4 hours tonight and my head hurts. So I'm heading off to bed. Stay tuned for more as I learn . . .