Melboe, Griffith, Ostgaard, Gooden, Folsom, Aarwick, Knox, Moselle…

There have been a few additions to the family tree this week.

As of this writing there are 3,284 individuals in the Our Family tree. This is not a huge growth since the last time I wrote about the size of the GED in February, but it is steady.

Sigrid, cropped from portrait with husband Knudt Ranum, originally sourced from “Four & Seven Equals Eleven“. Image is outside copyright.

Probably the more interesting element is the surnames. Over the past several months there has been a focus on following up the so-called Maiden names. For every family we have tried to list all of the siblings, which has meant we have many full sibling sets for the Father’s in the next generation. But as is rather endemic in genealogy, unfortunately, we rarely have complete information on the Mother’s side.

The western european tradition of not tracking the Mother’s family name, and often never recording it or her parents’ names post-marriage, complicates doing genealogy. Which is why it is rather nice that WebTrees tracks people by their birthname, but also every other spelling used for that person when they entered into the software (and also can use several ‘sounds-like’ algorithms for searching.) See Knud Nilsen Ranum for how that looks.

Of course there are also other cultural issues. Sigrid, pictured, was born in Norway. Her surname might variously be Dicken – the farm region her father was born in, Søndre – the farm region she was born in, Oleson – her father’s ‘surname’, being the son of Ole, Knutsdatter – her father being Knut, or Beritsdatter – her mother being Berit. Which has made things occasionally challenging when searching for some records.