Do you take pride in your genealogical accomplishments? I do.
Having 35+ years of research under my belt, I’ve seen many changed in the genealogical world. I have to admit that in the very, very early days, around 1980, it was quite thrilling to trace a line back a few generations and discover that someone had worked on the family and extended the ancestors back “X” number of generations.
I consider myself lucky, though, because my research at that point was strictly in New England and I very quickly learned about fraudulent pedigrees by people such as Gustave Anjou and sometimes false and/or incorrect family histories in volumes such as those by Frederick Virkus.
From that time forward, I have prided myself on using newly found information as clues to be investigated with sources to be checked to my own satisfaction.
With the age of the internet, I became even more cautious about information that I found online. I have a firm rule to which there are no exceptions. I never, ever import anyone’s family trees from anywhere. It is a lot easier to add new ancestors in by hand than it is to undo a mess of incorrect information.
Having researched my family through the decades, I have had more than a fair number of successes. While there are a few of what I would call spectacular successes, those which I would say bring me the most pride are the most recent successes. That’s because lines which are already taken back to early records leave fewer opportunities for new discoveries.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that bring on a proud moment. I could list five or ten huge genealogical successes I’ve experienced in the last several years. However, the one of which I am currently most proud is the simple discovery of parents of my Anders Molin.
If you follow my blog, then you are familiar with 5x great grandfather Anders Molin and his wife, Sara Brita Krook. In January of this year, I set two goals for myself regarding this family. I wanted to find the death date and place for Anders – I last have him 200 miles from home in Marstrand, Sweden in 1786 – and I wanted to find his baptismal record. I have no record identifying his age, but due to the fact that he became a master mason shortly after his 1776 marriage, it was likely that he was born in the late 1730’s or early 1740’s. Where? I had no idea, but the Marstrand records had a notation that he was a master mason from Ystad, Sweden, on the southern coast.
I am still plodding through over 200 probate court districts in Sweden looking for evidence of a time and place when Anders died.
However, success in finding his baptismal record came quickly in the second week of January. I am very proud of this find in spite of the fact that I had a clue with “Ystad.” It was equally possible that Anders had been born in and lived in a small town or village near Ystad, a city with trade guilds. I am also proud of this find because I was able to find it, on my own, and decipher his and his father’s names.
Take a look for yourself. Click to enlarge the image:
Not so easy, is it? I started reading baptismal records for Sankt Petri with year 1730 so it took a while. Have you found Anders’ (Andreas) name yet? There was a hint because the priest underlined the name of the baby, but it takes a little imagination to get “andreas” out of that scribble.
Now, have you found his father’s name? It is near the beginning of the entry:
How about the name of his mother? That is even tougher because her first name was an old phonetic spelling and her surname was abbreviated. Her name was Helena Andersdatter:
With age-related floaters in my eyes, my vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I think determination made up for some of my lack of acuity.
I was doing the happy dance as I shared this image with my Molin cousin in Sweden. Now, to find that probate record!