Invite to Dinner–52 Ancestors, Week 4

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. The topic this week is “Invite to Dinner.” (I’m a day late getting this finished, but I’ve been sick. It seems everyone is sick this month.)

I would invite Fred Valley to dinner. He is my great-grandfather and I don’t know very much about him. I know he’s Norwegian and that VALLEY was not his surname in Norway. His son Peter Coleman VALLEY thought the surname in Norway was Nesledalen which we think might mean Nettle Valley. Maybe this was the farm name where the family lived? I haven’t seen any records in Norway with the Nesledalen family name. (However, I haven’t done much research in Norway.)

To make things more confusing I have found a Passenger List¹ showing the arrival in New York of Godfred Vallesvar and his wife Katrine (Katrine is the closest name it looks like) Vallesvar in 1883 from Norway. The list shows their destination as Stoughton, Wisconsin. Did Godfred Vallesvar change his name to Fred Valley?

Another record I’ve found shows the baptism² of Ole Sevill (later changed to William), the son of Fred and Katinka Valley and younger brother of my grandfather in the First Lutheran Church of Stoughton, Wisconsin. The sponsors are Sophie Kleve, Olive Wallesverdh, Hans Kleve and Konrad Wallesverdh. Peter Coleman VALLEY thought his mother’s name was Katinka Pauline WALLISVERD. (I have seen many versions of her name–Pauline Katinka; Paulina; Tinka; Wallesverdh; Wallisverg.)

I have so many questions I would like to ask Fred VALLEY so I could find out if Godfred Vallesvar is my Fred Valley. And if Godfred and Fred aren’t the same person then who was Fred?

………………………

¹”New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-5P92-ZB?cc=1849782&wc=MX62-66J%3A165885001 : 21 May 2014), 462 – 13 Feb 1883-27 Mar 1883 > image 846 of 1090; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

²Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Archives; Elk Grove Village, Illinois; from Ancestry.com. U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1826-1945 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ELCA, Birth, Marriage, Deaths. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Chicago, Illinois.

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Ready for the family reunion

I’ve been getting ready for a family reunion for the past week or so. My husband’s BARR family gets together twice a year–in August and at Thanksgiving. We are leaving this afternoon for our eight-hour car trip!

My three kids are coming so I’m excited about that. I don’t get to see my son too often since he lives in New York City. Lots of my husband’s family lives in the Midwest–mostly Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa so lots of people come each year.

Photos from past years:

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The August family reunion is in northern Wisconsin where a cousin and her family have a house on a lake. It’s a fun weekend and 50 to 100 relatives show up. There are lots of activities, boat rides, swimming, food, conversations and laughter with family members we don’t see too often.

We usually have a new tee-shirt designed for that year and annual events such as “Swim the Lake.” This is the 25th year for the lake swim. Several boats go with the swimmers and everyone wears life preservers. It’s an event kids and adults look forward to each year! Some years we have themes–last year was a 90th birthday party for our oldest family member and we had dance lessons for the Charleston and other dances–and some years there are games like a watermelon seed spitting contest or relay races.

Families sign up to make a meal, bring supplies or do clean up. Our family is making Sunday morning breakfast–waffles and overnight oatmeal with fresh fruit, syrup and whipped cream among the toppings. I’ve spent time figuring out a waffle recipe for 75 people! I’ve put together double batches of the dry ingredients in ziplock bags so we can make a smaller batch of waffle batter as we need it. My two daughters, son and husband are all helping with the breakfast and bringing supplies, waffle irons and crockpots.

I will post some photos from this year’s reunion next week.

Baptism record: Ole Sevill VALLEY

I’ve found a baptism record from the First Lutheran Church in Stoughton, Dane County, Wisconsin. The baby’s name is Ole Sevill and his parent’s are Fred and Katinka VALLEY. His birth date is 17 October 1886. The baptism date is 7 November 1886. I believe the baby was later called William and that he was my grandfather Peter VALLEY’s younger brother.

Even more exciting is to see the sponsors’ names–Sophie Kleve, Olive Wallesverdh, Hans Kleve and Konrad Wallesverdh. Katinka’s maiden name is Wallisverg so I think at least two of these sponsors are her relatives.

Having the sponsors’ names gives me new names to search for. I found the record on Ancestry. However, if I had just viewed what Ancestry had recorded–the parents’ names, baby’s name, date of birth, date of baptism–and not looked at the original document carefully I wouldn’t have seen the sponsors’ names.

Source info:

Baptism Record, Ole Sevill Valley, born 17 Oct 1886, First Lutheran Church, Stoughton, Wisconsin, U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940.