Ever since 2010 when I became really interested in my family’s genealogy, I have been collecting items: an old photo album of København circa 1900, postcard of a White Star liner, a reproduction of a 1902 map of Daneville, SD, a photograph of my Danish grandfather, a copy of the ship’s log listing my grandfather’s name as an 11-year-old boy coming to America.
Most people think may think genealogy is about ‘old stuff’ and in a way they’re right. But one can take such ‘stuff’ and create a connection with the past while documenting a piece of your family’s history.
You don’t have to get frustrated either in trying to find information. While at times it may be tedious, discovery of little bits and pieces of your family history is rewarding. A jig saw puzzle that never really ends.
Part of what keeps researching about a family member or relatives from Denmark fresh and interesting is not to let yourself be boxed in. Don’t rely on one source, say ancestry.com, in family research. Supplement your findings with maps online or like I did order from collectors. Do a photo search of your relative’s Danish birthplace or area where they lived. Can’t find information about the ship they took from København? No problem. Find an old photo around the time he or she left Denmark (see photo in my collage of the old København harbor with sailing ships).
When I was in Denmark, I saw countless signs with the name ‘Larsen.’ Now I could include these photos of the name Larsen in different sizes, shapes and type, and include them in my collage. You don’t use photos of a family name. Use various photos, brochures, maps or pamphlets from your trip.
Photographs from other family members may also be used. Like the small photograph of my grandfather, Anders Christian Larsen. It was his 65th birthday on July 28, 1954 and he is standing in his rose and flower garden in Pasco, Washington, USA. This makes a great ‘end piece’ of this collage. I have another photo I will include: an old black and white photo of Anders, age 20 or 21, as railroad fireman posing with the engineer in the cab of a steam locomotive engine.
Some years ago, I put together a collage of my father and made six other duplicates for my mother and five brothers. A collage about a family member from Denmark or even one of your trips to the Land of Hamlet, is also an idea.
Let your imagination work with what ever you find or collect in creating a collage about a Danish relation or a recent trip you took. It will increase in value years to come because of the visual memories in conjures up in your own mind.