Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A birthday greeting from Grandma in 1908….

One hundred and two years and a few months ago, a 25 year old man received a postcard from his Grandmother in Norway. The fact that his grandmother loved him enough to send a birthday greeting to him in America is not so surprising. I have two Grandsons and a Granddaughter who live in different states so I know how that love feels. I know how I miss them and they are not an ocean away from me.

The twenty five year old man obviously loved his Grandmother or why would he have kept this post card all his life. The postcard is from Grimestad. It is just a simple picture of some houses along the coast of the Oslo Fjord. The postcard was found by my mother when she was going through her father’s belongings after he died. It was carefully stored in a drawer with other family documents. There were other picture postcard, letters from family members, his wife burial card and some photos, prized possessions which documented a man and his life. She had remembered seeing the postcard before when she was a child but she did not know that he had kept it. She decided that it was an important family document worth keeping. It is the postcard that I showed you in the previous blog but I think I will include it again.

A few weeks ago, this postcard and several others that we have saved all these years went on a journey back across the ocean to Norway. They were sent back to the area Of the world which they originated from, back to Grimestad,Tjome. This time they did not get post marked nor did they get physically sent like they did in 1908. This time they were digitally sent. The magic of the internet, a simple message and the selection of the SEND button and seconds later it is sent in an email to a generic email address to the Tjome Historical Society. I thought that they would love to receive this post card and several others that we had kept all these years. I thought I would be able to help them preserve the story of my Grandfather’s homeland. Little did I know what this small act would do for me!
This email would create a ripple of events which would enable me to meet a distant cousin. My cousin, Inger, would then begin to unravel the story which is my Andersen family in Norway. It was a photo of a similar post card of the home that was Olava Jorgansen which Inger posted in a Norwegian archive was the clue I need to realize that Olava was indeed my GGGrandmother and that this post card was sent to Anders by this Grandmother. In a future blog, I will talk about the mountain of information that I have received about Olava and her (our) family!

In the days which followed, I sent more photos and post cards to Inger and she has translated them for me. Today I will share a few of these Photos with you.
This is a photo on my Great Grandfather Hans fishing presumable along the Oslo Fjord near Tjome.
This is a Christmas Card sent to Anders (Andrew)  from his father.  The photo is of Hans and his second wife, Mathilde Zainer.  Inger is related to me through Mathilde’s brother.  It was December 09, 1909 when Andrew married Addie Densmore in Marine City, Michigan and would decide to make America his permanent home.

Wedding Photo of Andrew (Anders Andersen) Anderson and Addie Denmore. They were married in Windsor, Ontario,Canada. 

I hope that you will stay tuned as this story unfolds!

Love, Jan

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