Norway & Germany 2017

Tony and I spent two weeks in Norway in August 2017. We were coming back after a 10 year absence and had plans to visit with Tony’s cousins in Rakkestad and Nesna.

We also visited four towns in Germany from which Tony’s maternal ancestors emigrated: Arnstein, Essleben, Wernshausen, and Niederschmalkalden.

We left Dallas on the heals of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s 2017 Summer Seminar. Lisa Louise Cooke had presented a session on video creation. I was struck by the statistics that in 2016 60% of Internet traffic was video and that this was expected to rise to 80% by 2018.

I figured I needed to get with program or risk being left behind!

On Lisa’s recommendation, I downloaded the Adobe Spark Video app, which I used to create the following short videos of our visit. Amateur productions for sure but a lot more fun to create than writing a travel journal!


Video 1: A Day in Oslo (0:48)

Video 2: Oslo to Rakkestad (1:40)

Video 3: Østfold County (2:24)

Video 4: Herset & Nordland County (1:59)

Video 5: Fishing (3:01)

Video 6: Nesna Cousins (1:33)


Video 1: Wernshausen & Niederschmalkden (2:59)

Video 2: Arnstein (Without the Churches) (2:16)

Video 3: St. Georg in Essleben (1:05)

Video 4: City of Arnstein: St. Nikolaus & Maria Sondheim (3:04)

Video 5: Near Arnstein: St. Margareta and St. Laurentius (2:59)

Beginning the Journey

After thinking about my own blog for the last few years, this evening I finally took the plunge into what appears to be the shallow end of blogspace. I was recently encouraged to do this by Tony’s willingness to collaborate in the effort. We both thought it might be fun to have a place to share discoveries, travels, and adventures regarding our family history research. So, today we’re up and off!

Fargo, North Dakota was a significant stop on the first family-history vacation we took. Tony had hooked up with the Red River Valley Genealogical Society in Fargo and we went there to see if they could help solve the question of where his great grandparents from Norway were buried. This was our first experience of sitting in a room with a bunch of records and books, splitting up the names we were interested in, and combing for facts.

We now fall easily into this divide-search-conquer method of research in any library or archive or repository we visit. But Fargo was our first significant effort.

Continue reading “Beginning the Journey”