Saturday, January 29, 2011

Historic Reunion 2011

If you were reading my blog, when I started it, you know that my Grandpa Kaj came to America on one of his maritime voyages from Denmark. It was 1913 and he had a wife ( very pretty wife) in Denmark and 2 very young children, Kaja and Edvard. His wife Emma was the daughter of a seaman also. Both families lived in historic Nybrøder within a block of each other in Copenhagen. He wrote to Emma to join him with the children. In those days Emma's family probably would never see her or the grandchildren again. She wrote to Kaj and said she was not coming, divorced him and married his youngest brother Carlo. Kaj met and married my Swedish Grandmother, 5 years later, who had come to America in 1902.

In America Kaj only had contact with his older brother Edmund.  Growing up in San Francisco I had no idea that Grandpa was the second eldest of 9 children. I only knew of "Uncle Edmund" who sent us letters regularly and some of his paintings.

We had a visit from Cousin Lis in 1969, who is my age, and I thought she was Uncle Edmund's granddaughter.  About 10 years ago I found out her mother was Kaj's youngest sister and she was actually my father's first cousin!

The big event in 1997 was my first cousin Alice finding me in America on email.
The second big event took place just this year, when Alice (and I by email) were reunited with the family of Uncle Aage.  That physically happened just this past Sunday at Bente's home. And she is to be sincerely thanked for arranging the afternoon together. Bente sent this great photo after the event.

L to R: Winne is Mogens' friend. They met on a cruise sometime after Mogens wife Grethe passed on. Winnie grew up with Mogens and Bill's sister Kathe. (Kathe was the only living child of Uncle Aage not present, as she lives on Jutland now.) Next is Mogens, Uncle Aage's son. Then comes Bente, Bill's daughter, And then Bill, Uncle Aage's son. On the far right is Cousin Alice. 

Alice's mother Kaya and my father Russell (sister and brother) were first cousins to Bill, Mogens, (Jorn, who has passed on) and Kathe. That makes Alice and I first cousins " once removed" to Mogens and Bill and Kathe. If you are not familiar with family history terms, "once removed" means one generation up or down. 

Everyone looks so wonderful. Thank you Bente and everyone else for making this happen and sending me a photo. It is my hope that a picture this summer, just like this one,  will include me. We will just have to stand a little closer together. ;-)

1 comment:

Kelli Nørgaard said...

What a cool post! It helps me to know a little bit more about your "story" and how you have this American-Danish connection!
Thanks for sharing!