Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Charlemagne is Boring

A while back I discovered that on my wife's side of the family, she descends from Audrey Barlow, the wife of William Almy of Rhode Island. Audrey sailed from England to New England in 1635 on the ship Abigail. So that's pretty interesting. Her and her husband were the immigrant ancestors for that line. Then I discovered that Audrey Barlow descends from Henry II, King of England! So I was like - sweet!

Once you tap into a royal line like that, you can go way back cause it's been researched very well. So I was poking around on one site, The Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, which has some great charts that show the line from Audrey Barlow back to Henry II (born 1132), William the Conquerer (born 1027) and then back to Charlemagne (who was born in 742). And once you get back to Charlemagne then you can pretty much follow that line back to Merovech, founder of the Merovingian Dynasty and king of the Salian Franks, who died in 457! Which probably means he was born around the year 400. We're talking Roman Empire here. Rome moved it's capital to Constantinople in 330 and the western empire fell in 476, that's according to a quick search on Wikipedia (I don't have all those dates memorized anymore).

So that's really cool right! I think so. I just jumped from 1635 to 457 without hardly lifting a finger. Then I started to try and enter in all those names in my database, and document with some kind of references, the line back. I quickly became bored. It's not research anymore. It's data entry. I'm not actively trying to put the pieces of my family together by scouring all over to find the next generation of ancestors.

Don't get me wrong, I think the history is cool, but I don't feel like Charlemagne is a part of my family. There is nothing left to research or piece together. It has already been done. Now, I know that while doing family research you are always running into stuff that other people have researched or documented, and then taking those pieces and adding it to your own tree. But this is different. And yes to a certain extent, the regular research I do on my family is part data entry, but this noble stuff is different. It's this massive amount of data that goes back for a millennia, and I didn't have to do anything to get the information. It's out there in history. And since it's a part of history and well known, how well do I need to source my info? I'm not making any new discoveries here.

I think that's probably the key - I'm not making any new discoveries. Not that the discoveries I was making in my tree hadn't been discovered before, but I was the one connecting the dots, putting the pieces together and growing my family tree. In the heraldry stuff the dots have pretty much already been connected, and I'm just typing it in to my database...and it's pretty boring.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Four Generation Friday - Nicholas Broersma

10 years ago today my first child was born - Nicholas Broersma. It has been fun (for the most part) to watch him grow. In the picture you can see that he was still in his drooling phase. We went through multiple shirts daily back then, but he eventually grew out of that phase (for the most part).

4 Gen Broersma
Lloyd Broersma (b. 1927)
Ron Broersma (b. 1954)
Luke Broersma (b. 1979)
Nicholas Broersma (b. 2003)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jetze Broersma in Makkum

While on our trip to the Netherlands we were able to learn a little bit more about my great great grandfather Jetze Broersma. Me and my dad visited with Theo Wip, who is our closest Broersma relative that we know of still living in the Netherlands, and also his wife Hinke. He is my grandpa's cousin, which would make him my 1st cousin once removed. Theo's mother was Dieuwke Broersma, daughter of Jetze.

Theo & Hinke Wip 2

After talking with them for a while and hearing a lot of great family stories we started showing him some pictures and asked him about Jetze Broersma. Theo is probably one of only 3 people alive who have actually met my great great grandfather, and not only that but he also spent some time with him and had some great memories to share.

We knew that Jetze used to peddle petrol around on a cart and sell it because we have a picture of him doing it from the 1940s, or maybe the 1950s.

Jetze Broersma Pedalling Petro in the Netherlands

We showed this picture to Theo and he said that this was during the time that Jetze was living in the town of Makkum, and that this was probably taken on the main street. So a few days later we drove through Makkum and tried to find the spot where the photo was taken. All of the buildings look very similar, so after looking for a while I didn't think we were going to find it.

My dad had a copy of the photo on his phone and started comparing the roof line on the main street and saw some similarities. He then narrowed in on the exact spot where the picture was taken. The buildings look pretty similar, some of the window coverings have changed, but if you look at the roof line you can see that it's a match.

Jetze Broersma in Makkum

It was tough to get the same perspective, but I think we got pretty close. Also with cars diving through it made it a little more difficult to stand in the middle of the road and try to take a picture. We were getting a few funny looks, but we looked like tourists so I think we were ok.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Allene Wisner Slideshow

Today was the funeral for my wife's Grandma, Jennie Allene (Orrell) Wisner. During the service they had some technical difficulties with the DVD player during a slideshow I put together. So I uploaded it to YouTube for anyone who wanted to see.