Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Skywalker Family

December 20: UPDATED: SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen The Force Awakens yet.

One tricky thing doing family history is when you look into the church books and it says: F.ather: unknown. And that is not only in our universe... So, I am a Star Wars fan. Well, I don't have tickets for the premiere today of The force awakens but I've seen the movies plenty of times and I like them. I enjoy going to sci-fi events and I've met Dave Prowse which of course was a really, really cool moment.

With the help of Wookieepedia I tried to create the Skywalker family tree. As with the tricky Father: Unknown, it is the same with the father of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, who was he? That is really a huge brick wall.

Anyway, before known as Darth Vader his name was Anakin Skywalker, the son of Shmi Skywalker but no-one seems to know who his father was. Now, the Y-DNA of Anakin would be a really cool thing to have, right?

Anakin married Padmé Naberrie aka Padme Amidala. She died when giving birth to Anakins' and her twins, Luke and Leia. It was about the same time as Anakin, very badly wounded by Obi-Wan Kenobi, was saved by Sheev Palpatine and turned into the Darth Vader we know. Palatine also lied to Darth Vader saying that it was Darth that was the one who killed Padmé.

To hide the children from Darth Vader and the dark side, Leia was adopted by Bail Organa and his wife Breha. Leia grew up on the planet Alderaan.

Luke was taken care of by Owen Lars and his wife Beru (Whitsun) on the planet Tatooine.

Owen Lars, was the son of Cliegg Lars who later was married to the mother of Anakin, Shmi Skywalker making Owen Lars and Anakin Skywalker stepbrothers.

In the Expanded Universe of Star Wars you will find the children of Han Solo and Leia: the twins Jania and Jacen Solo and their younger brother Anakin Solo. You will also find Ben Skywalker, son of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. I have added them to the tree as well.

UPDATED December 20 2016.

So, today I saw The force Awakens and after that I have updated the tree with what is in the Star Wars Saga and not the Extended Universe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday Tip - My favorite productive tool

This spring we got ourself a new gadget which have turned into my favorite productivity tool. It helps me getting my family history research done.

Well, I guess you all know sometimes it is hard to get genealogy time. So much other stuff that needs to get done. Sure, I can do the cleaning and dishes later but then I don't enjoy the research as much, knowing what I *should* be doing. Sure, I could start with the cleaning and then I will be tired when it is time for research and the motivation I felt to start with is gone...

At our home vacuum cleaning is a struggle. First of all, the dog gets way to excited when the vacuumcleaner comes out. He hunts it, barks at it making dust and dog hair whirl around even more. Second it doesn't get done as often as it should with a dog in the house. And third, even if it looks so nice when it is done, it is totally boring doing it.

So, I did some research and bought a vacuum clearer robot. I picked one that is specially for pet owners and that can handle the dog hair. I also picked one that doesn't randomly go over the room but that does it in a structured way, almost as I would have done it myself. We named him Brutus. If we let Brutus clean every day we only need to do some vacuum cleaning ourselves about once a month (and then it almost feels like a funny thing to do). Perhaps he misses a spot one day, but the next day he takes care of it.

It also made us do our home "Brutussafe". No messy cables laying around behind the TV, all nice and tidy now. Every morning when I get up and have made the bed, I put Brutus in the bedroom and close the door. I sit down and have my breakfast while he cleans the room, under the bed where I can't reach unless crawling on the floor. 10-15 minutes later he is done.

For me, this vacuum cleaner robot has really helped me being more productive and getting genealogy stuff done.

And on top of it, a robot vacuum cleaner is the "Christmasgift of the year" in Sweden.

Cleaning with a smile on the display

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - Blomberg in Brandenburg, Germany

Most of my more or less distant ancestors that emigrated went to the US. I have spent quite some time digging into on-line American genealogy resources so I find when its says America in the Moving to-column in the Swedish church books rather exciting.

Also, some of them went to Denmark. Not too bad but I haven't really had the time to dig that much in the Danish archives. But when it says Germany I feel it might just as well said "the moon" and I quickly turn around and away from that brick wall.

That is way I rolled my eyes when my 26-year old Carolina Blomgren with her six-month baby-girl born out of wedlock Anna Mathilda went to Brandenburg, Germany in 1880. That was the last thing I would see about them I thought.

But then suddenly, weeks later, the leaves began to shake at, record hint about Anna Mathilda. And it was a match.

Anna Mathilda Blomgren, born in Karlskrona, Sweden, November 16 in 1879 on October 22 in 1904 married Ferdinand Friedrich Christian Krüger in Prenzlau, Brandenburg, Germany. The record also states she is the daughter of Karolina Hangohr, born Blomgren.

Suddenly I find some more matching records. Ferdinand dies in December 1916 and Anna Mathilda married Johan August Max Lasser on May 2 in 1919.

I notice that in some records Blomgren is spelled Blumgrenn and that generates even more records. Carolina had a son, Wilhelm Ernst Hangohr in 1884. And he got married in Berlin 1909 to Johanna Ernestine.

Thanks to that first marriage record, my German immigrants doesn't feel like such a big brick wall anymore.

The databases on where I found the information:
Prenzlau, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1923
Prenzlau, Germany, Births, 1874-1901
Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sympathy Saturday - Dead on the ground

Dead on the ground is noted as cause of death of 73-year old Stina Svensdotter in Djursdala, Sweden. It seems like she disappeared on October 10 and on Christmas Eve her body was found. The body is mutilated and torn by predators writes the priest in the death-and funeral book.

The priest in Djurdala has written pretty detailed, much more than I am used to find in those areas I usually research.

She was born in the parish of Horn and the house Erstorp. Father was Sven Persson and mother Annika Svensdotter. Married 1770 to farmhand Johan Danielsson.

The funeral is on New Years Eve in 1809.

Her husband dies in 1813 of "vattusot", an old Swedish word meaning oedema.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sorting Saturday - Organizing my DNA-relatives

You know, you got your huge list with DNA-relatives and trying to figure out how they are connected to you. I tested with FamilyTreeDNA September 2013 and I have been struggling on how to organize my matches in a clever way to find out our common ancestor.

If you are lucky, there is a tree attached to your match, but that is not always the case. And I understand why. A lot of people have relatives tested but are only interested in their common matches  to verify a certain relationship and don't add tree to every tested person. Understandable.

I use Reunion for mac as my main genealogy database. For DNA, I figured that the function Flags was a useful tool. I have added a flag "DNA known", that I use to flag people that have been tested and where we have found out out common ancestor.

I have added some people to my database where we are working on finding out how we are connected. They got the DNA flag. I have also created  haplogroupflags, for example, I myself have a flag called: HG D5a3a (mt), my mother has the same flag, my father have one flag for his Y and one for his mt and so on.

I have also chosen to show the flags in the familyview to when clicking around in my program I get a fast visual indicator on the DNA-status.

I am also able to search for everyone that has a certain flag, like everyone with the DNA flag checked or people with a certain haplogroupflag and I get the result fast in a nice list.

It is really easy to add flags in Reunion and flags can also be used to indicate people who emigrated, who were in the military or as "research done" (never used that one).

So, look into flags if you are using Reunion for mac or simular function in the program you are using to get those DNA-cousins a bit more organized.

Any other ideas on how to organize your DNA-relatives in your ordinary genealogy database?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past - DIY Bracelet

I made a bracelet for my mother for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. I printed out photos of my second great grandmothers, Marie Tedder and Karna Nilsdotter Rickard, my great grandmothers Julia Verno and Hanna Persson and my grandmother Ludmila Seck. I glued them onto small photo framependants I found at my local craft store and then attached them to a leather bracelet.

It took some hours to make it, first to get the right proportion of the pictures, I did have to print them out a couple of times before I got them right. Then deciding the design of the bracelet and getting the pendants to stay in place. But I think it turned out quite nice in the end. And now I want a bracelet like that of my own.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Surname Saturday - Верно (Verno).

Greatgrandmother, Julia, was born on April 30 1887 in.. well, that part of the family is a bit tricky. The city is called Pskov (Псков) in Russian, in older Russian, Plskov, Pihkva in Estoian and Pleskau in German.

The most tricky part in the spelling of the surname. I have seen so many variations in different documents. My relatives seems to have preferred the spelling Verno but even if that happens to be the right one, it doesn't help much when searching since one have to search for all variations being sure not to miss anything. And lets not forget doing searches in Russian either.

The name doesn't seem to be all that common, but common enough for making me confused how all the Vernos I find with different spellings are related (if they are at all). It doesn't seem to be a name of Estonian origin and neither Russian.

When my greatgrandmother applied for Swedish citizenship this is how the form was filled out:

This document is an extract from the houseexaminerolls and the name is spelled Vörmö, but under the name there is a question mark.

At there are indexed documents of Births and Baptism in Russia. In this document regarding Paul, brother of Julia, his name is spelled Worno.

Valdemar Verno, another brother of Julia, called Valodja by the family, was into theatre in Tallinn. Here is a photo he has signed with beautiful, Russian handwriting, using the spelling Верно - Verno. 

His headstone in Tallin has the same spelling. - Verno.

Greatgrandmothers sister Sofie is on this document called Werno.

Same sister at funeral records of San Franscisco, her fathers name is spelled Verno.

So, anyone out there with more information about the Verno surname, please let me know.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - Old photo album

I love old photos and every now and then I buy photos or albums when the show up in my way. My ambition is always to scan them and upload them to photo databases like Porträttfynd and such, hoping someone will know who it is on the picture. Anyhow, there isn't always enough time so meanwhile I publish some of them on my blog.

This is an album I bought a couple of years ago. Most of the photos are from the north-west area of Skåne, like Helsingborg, Råå, Åstorp and Landskrona and a couple of them are from the US (Chicago and Massachusetts).

Unknown couple - Photographer J H Hagman Helsingborg / Cimbrishamn (Simrishamn)

The album

The photo below is one of the few hints to who the owner of this album was. The man in the picture is cousin Olson and it is from Chicago.

One of the photos are from Chicago and it is one of the few that has a name on
the back: cousin Olson

Nilson - Memory from Olson

I just love this photo, that could have been on any Facebookstatus and it has been published before on this blog (

Photo by H P Hafström - Skromberga

Sunday, April 12, 2015

First man in space

Today, 54 years ago, Yuri Gagarin went into space with Vostok. That was of course news that spread all over the world and I have added a page from Great Bend Daily from April 12 in 1961.

The familytree of Yuri Gagarin can be found at here at

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Moving and starting over

Today I am starting my Swedish blog I have been working on it for quite some time, learning WordPress, trying to find a theme I like and so on. I will continue to update this blog so I am not leaving, I will continue to blog here in English as well.

I started to blog sometime in 2001/2002 and I have had a couple of different blogs since then. Before I started to blog I had a couple of homepages, digging into htmlcoding. I first got in touch with The Net in the early 1990s when I was studying computer technology at a university college. After I finished my studies I moved back to my old hometown in the south of Sweden. A company started to provide internet connections and I got connected again. Pretty early I guess. I loved the world of internet. Now it is only as far away as the smartphone for most people.

In 2007 I started looking into genealogy and I was soooo hooked after only a couple of hours. Using modern technology to find information and then tell the story of someone that might be forgotten many, many years using creative visualisation is a combination that I really feel passionate about.

I will continue sharing stories from my research and hopefully inspire someone to find out information about your own family history.