Like many others in today's world I have come to the appreciation of family heritage fairly late in life. Although I had at least a passing interest in my family history when I was younger, I had lacked the time, motivation, and focus to ever begin any serious attempts at researching it. But I have always had a passion for the study of history and as life starts to pass by and the question of where do I fit in the grand scheme of things still going unanswered, I began to think about these things more seriously. Then with retirement came the chance to do something about it, and for the past several years I have had the opportunity to make researching family history into my day job. The results can be found in these web pages. This is still a work in progress and there will be additions and/or corrections added from time to time.
Just a word about the layout of the web site. The history book is a full length book and covers both the history of my family as well as the history of the places where they lived. The surname origins section attempts to explain where and when each surname originated. There is a military page which contains short sketches of the military careers of those who served in the military. It is included as a special tribute to those who served, without regard to which military force they belonged. The links page includes primarily the sites that were useful to me both in building this site and in writing the book.
The photo section is a continuous work in progress, and I add new albums when I have the time to sort, scan and post the large number of family photos I have.
The gedcom button in the left column will bring you to a page that explains how the surnames in the family are organized in the family tree software that I have used. The entrance to the actual family tree, can be reached by clicking on the Surnames tab on the left. This family tree contains more than 4,000 individuals. It includes living persons, but dates and place names have been deleted on those individuals.
Clicking on the Nelson Co. button will bring you to another web site that will show the history and present day life in Nelson County, North Dakota. The mid decade 1885 census for the county can be found there. Both the Wise and Elvick families were among the founding families there and can be found on that census.
Bygdeboks were added in 2011. These are records, (written in Norwegian) unique to Norway, which trace land ownership, farm production and family records and which go back to the early 1600's. I have attempted to translate the parts related to my family from the original Norwegian dialect that was used in those particular regions.
The button labeled "Passengers" brings you to an alphabetized list of ship's passengers coming from Germany to Philadelphia from 1727 to 1776. The names of our Bickel, Braun, Schmidt, Huth and Weiss ancestors can be found here.