My mother and I are in Shawano County, Wisconsin. I’ve been thoroughly corrected on its pronunciation. It’s “Shah-no”, without the “W”.
We flew here a couple days ago to begin serious gap filling in our family history research after learning of some new information about our family tree. Here in Shawano County, we’re digging into the Anderson side of the family, which is deeply intertwined with the Swendson/Swenson family. Luckily for us, most of our relatives spent most of their time, and generations, in Lessor, a small farming and dairy community south of Bonduel.
The genealogy researcher who has helped us answer long long family history questions here is Barbara Brady. She knows the ins-and-outs of Shawano history and genealogy and is brilliant. We highly recommend her services. What she has uncovered for us not only answers questions about our family, but it has also opened up new paths that we are falling down. I wish I could say “walking down”. They are coming so fast at us, we tripping over our own research.
She found some possible connections with some living relatives in Wisconsin, and also a well-known historian and author of Lessor and nearby communities history, Ray Brusky. We spent hours with him today going over old photographs and stories associated with our family – it was amazing.
He had more living family connections for us, and we’ve talked to the family and hopefully will meet with them in the next day or so, as well as another Lessor historian, whom we meet tomorrow. We’ve been to the family cemetery in Lessor, but we need to go back and photograph more tombstones as the morning spent in the Shawano County Courthouse, where they were very helpful, uncovered a ton of connections to those buried in the cemetery who are also family members.
Here is a partial list of family names we’ve uncovered so far:
Anderson, Svendson, Svenson, Svendsen, Timmons, Peterson, Kvalhemm, Roberts, Blichfeldt, Blackfeldt, Olson, Oile, McMahon, Simonson, Ostby, Berswensen, Tetting, Waterman, Ystabakken, Thorsen, Thorsteinsen, Nerva, Johanson, Sigeist, McGee, Jensen
I’m sure more names will be popping up soon.
We’re learning a lot about genealogy research on this trip. Expect to see a lot of exciting news and stories and photographs of family.
On another note, please everyone out there with family history to share, do not let it sit in photo albums, or even in printed books. Take advantage of your family’s younger and web-wiser members and get this stuff up on the web. I will be discussing how to create a genealogy blog on my Lorelle on WordPress site, dedicated to discussing WordPress and blogging, so hopefully we can all help our older, less computer-literate family members preserve their memories and stories.
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