One of the things I’ve been doing over the last few months is assembling my genealogy. Unfortunately, I was spurred to do this because my grandparents died. I *should* have done this last year when I could have asked them some questions. I’ve got the big book of Hathaways. My grandmother had some cobbled together information on the Swedes. My aunts on my father’s side assembled some information on the Weisses, Solle’s and Sorenson’s but not a lot. (There’s also a decent amount of information put together about my step-father’s family.)
I’ve been piecing all this together. I’ve also been digging through census records and other stuff available online. In addition, I’ve been able to match up people in my family tree with family trees other people have put online. Whenever I’ve been able to add to the tree through my own digging, I get a little thrill.
I’ve two great grandparents who emigrated from Sweden early last century. I’ve got pretty extensive records for the Swedish family. Also on the maternal side of the family are the Hathaways, who came to the U.S. way back. There are lots of other families that married into the Hathaways along the way, so that branch of the family is essentially mutt. The original Hathaway immigrants were English, but we’re talking three or four centuries ago. The records for the Hathaways are extensive too.
On my father’s side of the family, there are the Weisses from Wisconsin. My great grandfather Joseph Weiss’ parents emigrated from Germany. His wife was a Ryan, born in Wisconsin to an American and a Canadian. My other great grandfather on my father’s side was William Solle Jr., son of German immigrants, though they married in the U.S. and I presume they met here too. His wife was Flora Sorenson, daughter of Danish immigrants. Until a couple of years ago, I thought this whole side of my family was German.
By my addition, that makes me one quarter Swedish, one quarter German, one eighth Danish, one sixteenth Canadian, and five sixteenths a mixture that includes some English. Of course, the Canadian blood probably isn’t First Nations, but I don’t know who comprises that part of the family yet.
Anyhow, except for the Hathaways and possibly the Ryans, all my family are pretty recent immigrants.
I entered in the known information for my step-father too, even though they aren’t blood relatives for me. I knew his family was German. But what I didn’t know was that they didn’t immigrate from Germany. Both sides of that family were Germans who emigrated from Russia in the early 1800s and colonized Russia, in a part that’s now in the Ukraine. They left Germany due to Napoleon. A generation or two later, some of them left there and emigrated to the U.S. settling in North Dakota. Had no idea the Germans had colonized Russia. From what I gather, it was at the invitation of the czar.