Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DNA Data and

Today I received an email from  I am not sure if I had been notified of this before but according to, is getting out of the DNA database business.  They are no longer doing DNA testing AND  the DNA data will no longer be available to me after Sept 2014. Yecks...Wow... Really...I never guessed that would happen several years back when I did the DNA test. was such a big site.  Oh shoot...that means I had better do something about preserving my data.

I never really got the results I was hoping for through  I got a few emails from people  with inquires but no real Smith matches... All my matches were for people with other surnames! I think what happened was that most people used different sites for their testing or did no testing at all.  As far as was concerned, the DNA database was an under-utilized option so they decided to get out of it all together.

SO...I had mine done in 2010.  NOW what?   Back in 2010 and early 2011, I was able to add my results to several other DNA databases but not to without having to have the test rerun.  Well I was not going to ask my brother to that so I just dropped it.  I learned today that is letting you transfer you data...of course for a fee! A few years ago I was able to enter my data in another site called  And through this site I did get a match.  Joseph Smith...which was very helpful. I think I also added it to the National Geographic DNA site too.  I need to verify that ASAP.

So after getting the email today, I went ahead transferred my data...for a fee.. Not wanting to loose access to it and to have it available in a database somewhere so it can help me and other family members in our search. I realized that I really needed to sort this out tonight so I went in search of the other databases that I had entered my data in.  Going back through old emails which I had saved....I found the login information for and several correspondences with a Deb Harper. After logging on there it appears that they may be an affiliated to or somehow connected to site ...Oh I hope I did not spend money I did not need to spend...

OK, one thing is for sure...I will have more work to do here.  I need to do some genealogy house cleaning and sorting.  This mess is my own fault.  I should have been more organized from the beginning but I never thought this would become such a large life long project!  I have to write these databases down somewhere after I get this all sorted out. I also realized that I had saved much of this kind of info in old emails in folders in an my local email account.

I have had the same email now for nearly 20 years now.....quite a number of years ago I added an account  and tied the two account together because of my genealogy work...I don't want to lose this information.. I have been advertising my @yahoo account when needed ever since but the original account will be the one that will go away when I move one day and it is that account that I have saved all this data to...Since my house is currently on the market and we have had a few potential buyers come to look at it....the move could be sooner rather than later.  I will be moving to an area that ATT does not provide service for... So I am not sure what to will happen with my email ID... I had tried to prepare for this event because I knew would happen some day, but now I am wondering if I did the right thing.  I guess I need to call ATT to find out what will happen..... sooner rather than tomorrow.

What a headache this could turn into! Stay tuned and I let you know how it all works out!

Happy Hunting

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - June 9, 2014 - Melba Jackson Goshorn

Melba Jackson was the oldest daughter of Oscar and Vesta (Bowersock) Jackson.  She was born on November 23, 1917.   Her birth record was recorded in the Allen County Vital records Volume 2 D-J, Book CH-7 , Page 212.  In the 1920 and 1930 censuses, she is listed with her parents in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She married Glenn E. Goshorn but so far I do not know an exactly date. She appears in the 1940 Federal Census with her husband and they are listed together in a Fort Wayne Directory in 1939.  SO I can assume that it was likely in 1939.  I need to call her sister, Marjorie and visit with her. She probably can tell me when.  I do not have an obit for her but I do know that she died June 12, 1981.  She is buried in Covington Memorial Garden in Fort Wayne, Indiana along side her husband Glenn E Goshorn.

Melba and her family repeated visited Smith family members in Flint.  I have several photos of them during these visits.

This photo was taken at Frank Smith's home in Flint.  It is of the Jackson family and Frank Smith family.   From left to right standing in the back row is : Dora Smith Jackson, Frank (Francis) Smith, Pearl Dehner Smith, Vesta Bowersock Jackson, Oscar Jackson.  Seated on the ground are the daughters of Vesta and Oscar Jackson:  Dora Jane Jackson, Marjorie Jackson, Melba Jackson.

I had meant to get this done earlier today but my day got away from me,

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - June 3, 2014 - Jay Morgan Densmore

Jay Morgan Densmore was born on October 9, 1903.  He was the 6th child born to Mary Morgan Hainer and Charles Densmore.  He was born in East China Township Michigan.

This is a photo of the Charles Densmore Family around 1914 or 1915.  Jay Morgan is on the left in the back row. From left to right in the second row are : Jay Morgan, Elizabeth, Charles Ray, Addie, Dorothy (she died in 1919) From left to right in the front row are: Mary Kathryn, Mary Morgan (Hayner), Harry Hayner, Charles S. Densmore holding Alan Glen,  John Reynolds.

Jay Morgan married Edna M Horton and they had two ; Marian Elizabeth and Jay Morgan Jr.  Edna M. Densmore died on may 25, 1956.  Margaret is Jay Morgan's second wife.

Jay Morgan Densmore died on June 5, 1981 in Marine City, Michigan. He is buried in the Rosehill Cemetery in East China Township near Marine City, Michigan.

Happy Hunting,

Sorry for the absence...

I am back to work at Home Depot and the month between Mother's day and Father's Day is the busiest month for the whole year in the garden center!  So  I have been a bit tied up.  I had hoped to get a few blogs in anyway but it just has not happened.  I will try to get some blogs written. I have a couple in progress that I will finish and hope to write some new.  In the meantime, I am also planning to get back at Tombstone Tuesday....Beginning today..

Happy Hunting!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - May 6, 2014 - Frederick Overley

Frederick Overley was born on March 2, 1765 in Bethel (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania. His parents came from Wurtemberg, Germany. His father Martin (Oberlin) Overly was born in 1732 and his mother Eva Marie Nagle Overly was born in 1729. His parent brought the family to Ross Co. Ohio in 1797. They migrated to Kentucky, before they moved back to Ohio and settled near Hopetown. At age 12, Frederick was a scout in the Revolutionary War.

He married Mary Ann Hines. They had two children John (1795), George(1798), Polly (1801), Elizabeth(1802) Rebecca (1806), Susannah (1812), Mary Ann (1813), and Margaret(1815). They lived in Hopetown, Ohio. Frederick Overley is buried in Overly Chapel Cemetery, Springfield township, Ross County, Ohio. He died on May 3, 1848.

This is extracted from an Ross County Ohio book documenting Revolutionary War Veterans.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - April 15, 2014 - Sarah Louise Reynolds Densmore

Sarah Louise Reynolds was born on May 20 , 1836 in Ontario Canada. She was the first daughter born to George and Margaret Rebecka (Luke) Reynolds. By 1850, Sarah is found in Van Buren County, Michigan with her family.  When she was 20 years old, she married John C Densmore in Darlington, Ontario on June 16, 1856. George Reynolds, Sarah's father,  was a bit of a wanderer.. He was found to travel often between Michigan, Canada  and other location in the United States. He reportedly had brothers and their families scattered throughout the both countries. John C Densmore was from Darlington Ontario. He and Sarah Louise live there until after the 1861 Census.

They had their two oldest children in Canada before they moved to Marine City, Michigan.  John would serve in the Civil War in the Michigan 11th Infantry, Company K.  By the 1870 census, John and Sarah had seven children; Elizabeth(1857), William(1859), George Elmer(1861), Alice(1863), Charles(1864), Effie Matilda (1867)and Norman(1869) and they live near Marine City, Michigan.  By the 1880 census, they have two additional sons, Delbert(1871) and Worthy(1875). By the 1900 Census, Harvey born in 1882 is the only remaining child left at home with John and Sarah.  In the 1910 census, Sarah who is a widow, lives with Harvey and his wife Edith Densmore.

Sarah died on April 20, 1918 at the age of 81.  It is my great grandfather, Charles Densmore, who reports to that state that his mother, Sarah Louise has died.  Charles is the sexton for the Marine City Cemetery.  She is buried in the Marine City Woodlawn Cemetery and the story goes that her husband was buried else where (Smith's Creek) and was later moved to Marine City to be buried next to her. 

 Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - April 8, 2014- Helen Ruth Densmore

Helen Ruth Stranahan was born on July 11, 1901 in Detroit, Michigan the daughter of John D. and Addie Jane(Hayner) Stranahan.  She married her cousin, Charles Ray Densmore. Charles was the son of Charles and Mary Morgan (Hayner) Densmore.  They raised an adopted daughter Donna Densmore.

Helen Ruth Stranahan

This photo is of Helen Ruth as a young woman.  In the 1910 Census, Helen is an 8 year old living with her parents and two sisters in Detroit, Michigan.  In 1920 Census, Helen is found living with her brother in Detroit  along with her parents.  She is an accountant working in the automotive industry. In 1930 Census, Helen is living with her brother,Charles, his daughter, Gwenne, and her mother Addie in Los Angeles, California.  Addie is a widow. Helen Ruth is working as a clerk for the LA City Hall. She is listed as 28 years old and not married. Helen Ruth married Charles Ray Densmore between 1930 and 1940 census. By 1954, Charles Ray and Helen Ruth are listed in a directory in Roseville, Michigan. Charles Ray died of a heart attach at the home of his sister on  January 12, 1977 and she died on April 6, 1994.  They are buried in the East China Cemetery with other Densmore and Hayner Family members.

 I found Helen Ruth's Obit which my mother had saved so I have decided to add it today. (Friday, 4/11/14) It adds interesting information about Helen Ruth.  It shows that Helen and Charles Ray were married on July 2, 1938 in Toledo, Ohio.  Helen worked for the US Government.  It also added an interesting note that Helen completed her high school education through Plymouth-Canton Adult Ed program in 1988. She was the oldest member to ever graduate and it was her life long ambition!  It  also told me that she too was a Daughter of the American Revolution member of the Port Huron and Lansing Chapters.

Happy Hunting,


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Wild Fires in 1871 in Lower Michigan

October 8, 1871 was a horrific day for the mid-western states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. After an extremely dry summer in 1871, a wildfire driven by high winds erupted in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, killing 1300 people in one evening and burning over 1,100,000 acres in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before it burned itself out. The same night the famous Great Chicago Fire erupted which burned the City of Chicago. And in the evening in the lower peninsula of Michigan, another wildfire raced across the state from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

The lower peninsula fire was not a single fire but a combination of hundreds of fires, small and large, that were burning some unattended across the center of the state. During the early settling of Michigan, the lower peninsula was heavily wooded which made the land rich for logging operations. The companies would first harvest the white pines followed by cutting the hardwoods. The logging operations left a lot of waste and debris behind in the form of brush, waste timber, and stumps all of which created rich fuel to feed this towering inferno of flames. After the loggers cleared an area, farmers would settle the area and finish clearing the land for farming. 

Holland and Manistee were lumber towns where the logs, were brought down from the interior of the state, were cut for the market. Both cities had harbors which enable the lumber to be ship to locations around the country to use to build homes, businesses and factories. The numerous mills were surrounded by great quantities of highly inflammable material. Edgings and bark had accumulated in bulk; large piles of sawed lumber were stored in the yards, the streets were paved with sawdust and slabs.

The city of Holland in Ottawa County was entirely destroyed, and the city of Manistee in the county of Manistee, was nearly wiped out. From the latter city a zone of flame extended almost due eastward through the counties of Lake, Osceola, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron, where its further progress was stayed by the waters of the lake.

As the fires raged across the state, they swept everything in their path.The gathered crops of the season had been stored in the farm barns; the fall wheat had been sown, and the corn was ripening in the shock. All were destroyed, together with dwellings and their contents farm buildings, in many instances, domestic animals, leaving nothing but ashes, blackened stumps and putrid carcasses. Orchards which had been the work of years to rear were wiped out in an hour.

School houses, churches, bridges, disappeared, as if by magic. While this zone of flame stretched across the state, it seemed to work its greatest havoc as it approached Lake Huron. Huron and Sanilac counties, though largely devoted to lumbering, were nevertheless, quite well settled by an agricultural population and abounded in prosperous and well cultivated farms and orchards. Blinded by smoke and stifled by the on-rushing flames, the inhabitants hid in wells and cisterns and ditches, or fled in terror to the lake shore, where they saved themselves by wading into the water up to their necks. There were along the Huron shore or near it the following villages of two hundred to six hundred inhabitants: Glen Haven, White Rock, Forestville, Sand Beach, Port Hope, Elm Creek, Huron City, Forest Bay, Center Harbor, Rock Falls, Verona Mills. These villages were almost wholly obliterated and the people who lived in them were left entirely destitute, without food and with only the clothing which they wore. Many of them were obliged to leave the country to find homes and sustenance for the coming winter in other localities.

Three genrations of Hayner woman
After writing about my about Robert Wesley and Dorothy Hayner, my GGGrandparents in my Tombstone Tuesday blog yesterday, I could not help but write about a Michigan event which must have figured prominently in their own personal history. Robert Wesley, Dorothy and Addie Jane were recorded in the 1870 Federal Census as living in Port Hope, Huron County, Michigan. The town that one short year later would burn to the ground. My Great Grandmother, Mary Morgan Hayner was born in what was left of Port Hope on October 21, 1871. The fires which decimate the area burn until October 19, 1871. It is hard for me to imagine what a pregnant Dorothy, toddler Addie Jane and Robert Wesley must have gone thru in the days before Mary Morgan was born. I can't help but wonder what they did to survive this horrific event. Where did they go after it was all done. Surely they could not stay in Port Hope. Robert Wesley had brothers in Port Huron and in Romeo so I can only assume that they must have fled to live with family in areas not effected by this tragic fire.

The Hayner woman photo shown above is of Mary Morgan (Hayner) Densmore (left), Dorothy Ann (Morgan) Hayner (center) and Addie (Densmore) Anderson(right).  Mary Morgan was the child that Dorothy was pregnant with at the time of the 1871 wildfire.  Addie is the daughter of Mary Morgan and Charles Densmore who is named after Mary Morgan's sister, Addie Jane..  Addie is my Grandmother, Mary Morgan is my Great Grandmother and Dorothy Ann is my Great, Great Grandmother.

Addie Jane (Hayner) Stranahan

Once again, I have another family story that I wish had been recorded and communicated. I wish I could have an hour to talk to Robert Wesley to ask him how he protected his family. Or to have a cup of tea with Dorothy to talk to her about how she felt and what she did to protect Addie and her unborn child, Mary. It is amazing to look back 100 years or more and see the dangers that each of these families faced. Different dangers then we face today and 100 years from now life will be different and our ancestors will face other dangers that today we can not fathom.

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - March 25, 2014 - Robert Wesley Hainer

Robert Wesley was born on December 26, 1839 in Louth, Grantham, Ontario. He was the son of Henry Hainer and Nancy (Schram) Hainer. He lived his childhood in Louth, Ontario. He married Dorothy Ann Morgan, daughter of David Morgan and Charlotte Fox Morgan, in Grimsby, Ontario on December 30 1862 in Grimsby, Ontario. They had two daughters. Addie Jane was born in Ontario in 1863 and Mary Morgan was born in Port Hope in 1871. Wesley Hayner , Doreatha and Ada Jane Hayner can be found in Rubicon Township, Huron County, Port Hope Michigan in the 1870 US Federal Census. Robert Wesley surname changed in this same time period. In Canada, Robert Wesley's name is recorded as Hainer but once he came to America it was recorded as Hayner. Could have been an error or a deliberate change on his part. We shall never know. He died March 30th 1896 in a farming accident. The story that is passed down in the family is that he was working with a horse on his daughter's farm and he was kicked in the head. He was found dead in the stall. He is buried in the Rosehill Cemetery in East China Township, Michigan.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - March 18, 2014 - John Densmore

John Densmore - born November 8, 1839 in Darlington, Ontario, Canada.  Veteran of the Civil War. Died on February 16, 1906 of Addison Disease. 

Some Irish Roots

Meant to get this posted on St Patrick's day but it just did not happen. So a day late

John C Densmore, Jr

John C Densmore, Jr - 1839 - 1906

John Densmore was the son of John and Clarissa(Blake) Densmore born in Canada the second of six children. He was born on November 8, 1839 in Darlington, Ontario, Canada. In the 1851 Ontario census, John is found with his parents he is listed as 13 years old. In the 1861 census, John is still in Ontario with his wife Sarah Louise (Reynolds) Densmore whom he married on June 16, 1856 in Canada. Two of the oldest children, Elizabeth (1857) and William(1859) are listed in the census with them. By September 12th 1861, John and Sarah had left Ontario and were now in Marine City Michigan where Sarah would give birth to George Elmer Densmore, the first of their children who were born in Michigan. John Densmore enlisted as a private in Company K , Michigan 11th Infantry Regiment in Jackson Michigan on February 25, 1865. He served until September 16th when he was mustered out in Nashville Tennessee.

John and Sarah would have 10 children in all. Elizabeth(1857), William(1859), George(1861), Alice (1863), Charles(1864), Effie(1867), Norman(1869), Delbert (1871), Worthy(1873) and Harvey (1882).

There appears to be some confusions as to when John came to the US. In the 1900 Federal Michigan census, it states that John came to Michigan in 1855 and became a naturalized citizen. His marriage is recorded in Canada in 1856 to Sarah Louise Reynolds. Sarah is listed as born in Canada and in Michigan in different Census records. It is known that her father spent a lot of time traveling between, Michigan, Ontario, New York and Ohio. He had brothers and their families who lived in each of these states. George Reynolds settled in the Paw Paw, Michigan. Which is in the south west corner of the lower peninsula. So I am still wondering how John Densmore met and married Sarah Louise Reynolds in Canada. John and Sarah settled in Marine City, Michigan which is just across the border in Michigan. They had a clear view of Canada across the river from Marine City.

John's occupations change from census to census. His occupations were listed as a carpenter in the early 1861 Canadian census. In 1870 Federal Michigan Census he is listed as a Laborer. By the 1880 Michigan Federal Census, he is listed as a farmer. By the 1900 Census, he is listed as a ship carpenter.

John Densmore died on February 16, 1906 of Addison Disease. He was first buried in small cemetery in Smith's Creek, Michigan, a small farming settlement near Marine City and later moved to the Marine City Cemetery. This is an unverified family story. But his sons reportedly reburied him there after his wife died and was buried in Marine City. It is said that they moved his tombstone also and set it up backwards. His grave is marked with a Civil War Military stone provided to veterans by the US Government.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - February 25, 2014 - Charles Losee

Charles Losee was the first born son of Edwin and Julie Ann (Payne) Losee born on December 1, 1835.  He enlisted in the Civil War and served in the Michigan 24th Infantry.  And it appears that he died during service on February 20, 1863. At this time it is not known if he died in action or from illness.  I will investigate and see what I can learn. He is buried in the Thetford Cemetery, Genesee County, Michigan.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - February 18, 2014 - Gabriel Miller

Gabriel Miller was the son of John and Hannah (Smith) Miller, born in Darke County Ohio on June 7, 1829.  John Miller and his family immigrated west toward Fort Wayne Indiana with several other families from Darke County, Ohio.  These families included the James Smith Family, Benjamin Davis Family and the Thomas Overly Family.  Eventually these four families and their adult children settled near Nine Mile Indiana where they were instrumental in founding a church which still exist today. It is the Nine Mile United Methodist Church. Gabriel and his wife Anna (Hannah) were among the founding members of this church in 1853. In the same year they had their first daughter named Belle but according to the 1860 Federal Census their second daughter Catherine is born in Iowa in 1857. So they obviously continued their journey west to Iowa. They settled in the township of Hamilton, the county of Webster in Homer, Iowa according to the 1860 Federal Census. By 1870 they had moved to Knoxville, Iowa where they remained the rest of their lives. Gabriel was a carpenter. Gabriel died on February 21, 1918 and was buried in Gracelawn Cemetery in Knoxville, Iowa.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday February 11, 2014 - Virgil J Sparks

Virgil J Sparks was born to William and Della (Smith) Sparks on November 3, 1903.  He is the third child born to William and Della (Smith) Sparks.  He married Iona Pace on October 19, 1939.  In the 1940 Federal Census, Virgil and Iona are renting a home in Fort Wayne Indiana where he works for a Motel as a Laundry Supervisor. In a 1942 directory Virgil is listed as working for Sunshine Laundry in New Haven, Indiana. Virgil died on February 8, 1975 in Blackford, Indiana.

I have not been able to find a family contact for the Sparks family so far.  It is unfortunate.  I would like to know more about this family.  I will keep searching and trying.

Happy Hunting,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

John Densmore or John Dinsmore of Ireland

Last fall I revisited the website Olive Tree Genealogy; The woman who created and maintains this website is a distant cousin of mine, Lorine McGinnis Schulze. I have written about her and her site before when we discovered our family relationship a year or so ago. If any of your family has Canadian roots, this site is a great place to start. Thanks Lorriane for all they you have done!!!! The website is a wealth of genealogy information and best of all it is free.  I am revisiting my Irish research on John Densmore. He is my GGGGrandfather on my mother's side of the family. He was born in Ireland.  I have conflicting birth dates of 1814 1nd 1804 from Census records and arrived in St John's New Brunswick is 1838.

John Densmore left Ireland on May 22, 1838 and arrived to St John's New Bruswick on June 22/23 1838 at the age of 24. His occupation was listed as a clerk. He was passenger #28 on a schooner named the “Susan Jane” which sailed from the Port of Sligo in Ballyshannon and he sailed on.... The ship was registered in the County Donegal. The Ship Captain or Mate was Hugh Hughes.
I have yet to find a marriage record for John Densmore and Clarissa Blake. The first evidence of them as a family come in the 1851 Census for Canada West, Ontario County, Whitby. They are listed in this Census with the following children; Nancy(1836), John(1838), William(1842), Mary(1843), James (1850). A daughter , Caroline was born in 1852

I found a site in Ireland that has helped me with Irish records. It is located here ; I was able to find some records which may be the parents of John. They live in the County of Donegal, the Parish is Drumhome and the town of Ballintra. The surname is Dinsmore rather than Densmore but it would be that John's name was misspelled when he arrive in Canada. This family consisted of John Dinsmore born 1780 and his wife Margaret Ferall born in 1786. They had appeared to have three children; John (1802 or 1804), Elizabeth(1812) and Andrew (1813).

There is also a William Dinsmore living in the area who has a son named Henry Dinsmore. Henry also married a Ferral daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth's father is William Ferral. Henry and Elizabeth Dinsmore had a son name William Dinsmore born in 1803. There is a death record for William Dinsmore who died Feb 21, 1812. So which William died? The child or the adult? I can not help but wonder if William Dinsmore is John and Henry's father. Further investigation will be needed to sort this out. I can only confirm our connection to the Densmore's in Canada for now but we are hot on the trail to see if we can get back to Ireland.

Tombstone Tuesday - Leah Mae Anderson Smith

Leah Mae Anderson Smith born on February 3, 1928, the daughter of Andrew and Addie (Densmore) Anderson.  She married her high school sweetheart Harold A Smith on May 27, 1950 in Marine City, Michigan. She  live an active life raising 6 children whom she adored. She worked along side her husband after al her children were grown.  She was 80 years old when she died on January 4, 2009.

Just remembering my Mom today the day after her birthday!

Leah as a toddler about 1930.

Leah 1949
Leah Smith 1950

Harold, Leah, Sharon, Pam, Jan, Sue in front - 1960
Leah, Mark and Matt - 1964
Leah 1974

Matt, George Mark, Harold and Leah

Love, Jan

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday January 28, 2014 Elizabeth (Betty) Kaake Tietz

Elizabeth Jean Kaake Tietz was born on January 27, 1934.  She is the first born twin daughter of a set of identical twins born to Rose (Omalley) and Charles Kaake.  Her sister is Patricia Louise Kaake Matthews who celebrated her 80th birthday yesterday.   Elizabeth or Betty as we knew her married Howard Frank Tietz in December 5, 1952.  Howard was the son of Howard Edward and Ethel (Reid) Tietz. They had five children; three sons, Gary, David and Mark and two daughters, Patti and Amy.

Leah Smith, Betty Tietz and Shawn Tietz - 1973
Betty worked for the local bank when her children were in school and later for Dr Harrington who was a local Doctor of Obstetrics.  She died of cancer on September 27, 1994.  The photo above is a favorite of mine. Betty was my mother-in-law and this photo is from my High School graduation. She is holding her Grandson, my son, Shawn.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Man and his Mission

Forty four years after he died, I would like to share with you the story of  Haakon Ingwardo Andersen. He was my Grandfather's youngest brother and my great Uncle  He was born  on September 9, 1891 on the island of Tjome, in Norway and he died on January 14, 1970.  Haakon was a missionary with the Norwegian China Mission. His mission had an enormous impact on his family and the missions where he served.  This story is told by his daughter Randi Ingwardo.  She shared it with the Tjome Historical Society to be published in the Vol 9  Tjome History - 2013 and has been translated using google translate.

A life in the tension between mission call and parental responsibility
"O, victims Mig there life and all your Tears .." The appeal is strong - It does not allow for reservations - it requires a total commitment. The young businessman, Haakon Ingwardo sensed that something radical for his life was in store when the calling came to him: "Drag ud! thi I will send thee unto the Gentiles far away. "In 1915, 24 years old, traveled Haakon Ingwardo to China, where he had his work until the summer of 1947, interrupted only by two brief stays at home.

The Norwegian China Mission field was located in the northwestern part of Shansi province , a mountainous area consisting of a series of plateaus cutaway by numerous valleys . The air is thin and dry . About summer the weather in from the south, and the temperature can go up to 40 degrees celsius , winter makes the harsh winds from the mongolslettene biting cold. All mission stations were 1200 m. Roads did not exist in this area until the end 30's . Conveyance was mule who took up everywhere . These animals did not depart back to embark on narrow paths along steep mountainsides the abyss deep . The trails also went through rivers , some came for animals and humans to ford where the stream was at least contend . Perilous, arduous travels commanded the terrain , and the many bands of robbers in the mountains did not so rare travelers with a sense of horror and insecurity.  In this area came the young missionary.

He had many rich working years there, characterized by hardships and privations ,but even more joy and happiness over to live with the Chinese, preach gospel and teach the Christian faith . It was with great sorrow he had to leave Tsinglo in 1943 when the Japanese captured the city. His beloved organ and typewriter would he have liked to themselves ! But no, it was denied him. A suitcase with some clothes , Bible and some books plus a bundle with bedding was all he arrived Tientsien with . After
war ended in 1945 , he made many attempts to return to the field to see the churches and drives the missionaries had had to leave, but in vain . Melancholy was for him to return to Norway in summer -47 ,without knowing anything about how the Christians had in Shansi .

New challenges
In 1951 Ingwardo went to Japan , 60 years old ,together with two young missionaries , hoping to find a new field after China was closed in -49 . Now he would not go into the barren , would mountain areas , do not take them by foot on narrow paths,or sit on muldyrsryggen through narrow mountain pass . He was going to a country with developed road and let the transport of trains at a speed of many miles per hour . And - he was going to land that had brought much sorrow and pain , death and destruction over the Chinese people - the people he had lived in for 30 years, become so fond of , but had to leave. The conflicts must not have been in the 60 -year-old's mind, as well as the voltage across the new set before him ? « Roading switch goes ahead ... "words of Micah 2:13 , he had to promise before departure. The three arrived at Yokohama 22 April,1951, they experienced really that " roading switch had gone before . " Already 25 May was the first Mission is a fact. After finishing period Japan , arrived Ingwardo home for good in 1959. He had lived nearly 40 years of his life in the East.

One aspect of missionary work should be mentioned here , namely the effort to empower churches. Today we often hear about the " Three – Self Church " in China. Most people know that the three "Self" is for autonomy , self- subsistence and self- propagation . But many are not aware that the missionaries from the beginning of the 20s and up 1949 , downloaded a purposeful work in independent process. The words' autonomy , self- maintenance,even evangelism / self- distribution " is like red threads through the annual reports of overseer , as well as from the various mission stations in these years. The word of God was sown, yes, but also the seed of practical management and working methods were laid down in the Christian churches, before missionaries had to leave the country.

Empowerment principle was central in Ingwardos misjonssyn . He measurable this principle both as a member / chairman of the China Council for the field and as overseer , 1933 in China and later , until 1959 , in Japan. Overseer How did his missionary colleagues overseer many years ? "It always felt safe with Ingwardo. His ratings we listened to. We knew that they were made ​​under prayer and silence over an open Bible , " says Borghild Horgen, for many years a missionary in both China and Japan, and she continues: "He was always concerned case , personal prestige , he was not looking . " " Ingwardo was very disciplined throughout their journey . He conveyed a real sense of security. We could always expect that he would listen with interest , when we went to him to discuss something. If we confidence in him as the elder with a long missionary life experience behind him , so we also experienced that. He showed confidence in us young . " This says a Japan Missionary and adds : " He was highly respected also from national workers. " Ingwardo appreciated missionary community. He rejoiced in the slightly freer intercourse. When he was amused and laughed , he did it with all his much to the amusement of those present. Even
he probably was often characterized as a man of few words , he often talked eagerly about everything concerned work. A warm humor flash forward on a pre-emptive manner when the young missionaries was a bit of " aspiring " in his zeal. About the although he never spoke , they say. "Let him down all their personal concerns , loss and pain in the regular personal prayer times with their God? " wonder one of his colleagues. " Ingwardo was always so smooth ! " He thrived in the role of overseer and missionaries For its part , enjoyed having him in that role. Yes, they still had selected him as overseer before returning home in 1959. It could become a fifth period?

Tjøme – Shansi

Haakon Ingwardo was from Grimestadstranda , east of the idyllic island Tjøme , the Oslo Fjord. On Glenne , west on the same island , grew Anna Charlotte Skafjeld up . They were both baptized in Tjøme church, was confirmed there were all happy years in her childhood church and appreciated the Norwegian morning service . His spiritual home, they had in the Evangelical Assembly, as they always referred to as "friends" . Anna Skafjeld already had a year of language study behind him, when Haakon arrived Ingwardo China in 1915. They married in 1918. ( Acc CIM 's rules could not marriages until after at least two years in the mission field . ) Though hardly Shansi can be characterized as an idyllic natural setting, had the young missionary couple rich and happy years in Tsinglo . Both emphasized frequently that year until 1936/37 was the best in their lives. Why ? - Both got unfold in the service they were traveled to China to perform. Anna wrote Ingwardo home missionary friends in vivid terms about his meeting with people in the marketplace around the villages. They thought she was a man , "How high? So big feet! Not ringing in your ears! But - they listen ! " Yes , they did enough! The tall woman reached forward with their spontaneous behavior both in the Marketplace and in homes as well as in Bible classes

This photo was sent to Andrew from his brother Haakon. It is from 1915 and was taken at the mission in China.
Women on Mission

Anna and Haakon Ingwardo complemented each other; they gave each other space in the service, as they both was called out to. In Tsinglo had also home together. They rejoiced over the children who came to. Family life and missionary service was an integral full in the year. Dog - they had to miss the oldest of the daughters for several years. She attended English boarding school 1926 , four days' journey from Tsinglo . In Annual Report for 1932 can read , " Haarde was it to be separated from our dear Else, more than it can be said in words . " Then the 13 -year-old on the cover of ' Raj Putana Greenock "and waved. After two months board she would be promoting in Norway – far away from the father , mother and siblings. "Go out! " In his speech at the farewell meeting in 1938 , before the third exit, took Ingwardo basis of his mission call "Go out! I will send you out to the nations far away , "and said in part:" At the first exit in 1915 and by another exit in 1926 , together with my wife , I went out with unmixed pleasure . Had circumstances allowed to go out with friends ,all would be well, but now it is with a sense of deep pain that one looks forward to the break-up . " his wife would be left with five children. As a young she went out in 1914 with Rome. 15, 16 that his mission call :" I shall be servant of Jesus Christ Priest the Gentiles. " In 1938, felt the call heavy, victim was painful. In Ingwardos last period (1951 -1959 ) in Japan , he had his beloved Anna by his side in the past three years . There was significant for both they did end service time its together in the mission field .

Prayer as lifeblood
In the years when Ingwardo was in the East without family, was at 14 (14:00 or 2 PM) a particularly important point in the day Him. Then at seven (7:00 AM) in Norway . At this time - In the middle of the day for him - he had a prayer for the spouse and each of your children . Now they should start their day. In all the years he otherwise into their daily schedule of prayer and Bible reading morning , noon and night. This regular rhythm in his personal devotional life giving sustenance to his contemplative orientation. He was praying , so David says about himself : "I'm just praying . "
After returning in 1959 , and he died in 1970 , His life was marked by prayer closet service. Those who were close to him know that he spent countless hours in his room in prayer. China employees that he had been forced to leave ,was borne to God in prayer , one by one, the name's mention of . The schoolboys who he was so dearly loved , was living near his shrine . Congregations and individuals in the closed China could he just follows through faithful intercession. He thanked God and rejoiced over new churches in Japan , young missionaries and Japanese employees. He lived in Rome. 12.12 : " Rejoice in hope , patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer . "

Photo of the Haakon Ingwardo family taken in 1950 and sent to Andrew.
Father and mother

One of the pictures that we have kids in the retina the father , the man at the workbench with a number of Bibles in front of them - in many languages​​. His many Bibles, yes mother to constitute an entire small library , a well-used library that provides : "God's word is our heritage , our children it will be, "or - set in a mission context : God word has been, is and must always impart the basics tool in all missionary work. 

Father and mother, missionaries Haakon and Anna Ingwardo, lived their lives in the tension between custody and mission call between love the children and the love of oriental people, between service offerings and service joy. Father died in 1970 , aged 78 . Mother died in 1983 at age 93. In his youth scouted they probably lack even excess water from the beach width Tjøme . In which direction should their livsbåt go ? - It came to date longer than UTI archipelago. Now both threw his life anchored in eternity bright country.

The Ring is Closed

In 2013, says Randi Ingwardo : When his father in 1938 went to China alone , it would be many years before he and family saw each other again , and all contact ceased at the outbreak of war . Contact was first resumed when Japan surrendered in August 1945. Haakon Ingwardo never come back to China. It did, however, his daughter Randi. In 2001 she traveled back to their native China. Course, the knowledge was weathered , but she traveled together with a Chinese -speaking friend. were the traces left by the missionaries and family Ingwardo ? she wondered off. And the answer was yes !

She describes a wonderful meeting with Chinese who remembered her as a playmate ,even one that had been a cook for missionaries. House churches still existed . Randi Ingwardo says that in Japan exist small independent Christian churches, a legacy for his work. Missionaries are also present , and it engages in extensive humanitarian work. It was in Fukushima mission was established , rather still a disaster area after tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011. Even in North Korea is Ingwardos mission organization contributor and works with a humanitarian organization to deploy greenhouse to a value of kr . 20.000 , - and water pumps to kr. 200 - the civilian population .

Randi Ingwardo wonder: What would his father have intended for work today? She has come that he would support it fully, for the body needs are juxtaposed with the spiritual needs. He 'd been hurt pleased to see that his mission strategy for independence for churches has led congregations yet exist both in China and in Japan.

Three brothers with wanderlust
In Tjúma No. 8, which came out in 2011, we had a long article entitled " A Norwegian American Story ." It was about Anders Andersen (b. 1883 ) , from Grimestadstranda ,eldest son of Hans Henrik and Ingeborg Helene Andersen . He went to sea and landed in America in 1904. There he married and had eight children and many grandchildren before he died in 1970 , without having been back in his native country. His younger brother , James Hagbart (b. 1888 ) , also went to sea . On the way to
Australia by sailing ship , he became ill and died on board in 1909. The youngest was Haakon Ingward (b. 1891 ) . It is he who later took the name Ingwardo and that his daughter has told about here. His mother died when Haakon was three years and Hans Andersen was left with three young boys. He was , as two of his sons, also a sailor, so it probably was not easy to take care of sons. But in 1898 he married Mathilde Zeiner and she became the mother of the three , especially for younger boy Haakon .


Note that everything does not translate perfectly but it is as Randi wrote it.  She spoke proudly of her Father, her Mother and her family.  Sadly she did not see her chapter in the book.  She died in September of 2013.  The book was published in early December of 2013.  At the time I received the book, I did not know that Randi had died.  The book was sent to me by Inger Zeiner, the great, great neice of Mathilde Zeiner. Mathilde  Zeiner Andersen, who became the second wife of Hans, and my Great Grandmother thru her marriage to Hans.  Inger is one of three editors of this book.

Happy Hunting,