My mom sent me a link to a family history website while visiting Pennsylvania, where part of her family lived while she was growing up. This inspired me to find and search a Danish family history website to discover more about my great great grandparents who immigrated from Denmark.
To my great surprise, I made progress! The research was slow going because:
- Denmark doesn’t have that many unique names, making thing confusing
- Danish people didn’t keep the same last name before 1900, making it hard to find the parents.
- Names were misspelled / changed over time
But I think I’ve finally correctly identified my GGG grandparents… but I found that there were a good number of single moms in that branch. I also found that my GG grandparents worked as housekeeper / laborer before traveling to the US. Once in the US, the dude became a coal miner, and his wife was busy raising their… 8 kids. They were pretty broke. Later on, decades after the GG grandparents died, when their kids were dying, there was drama. My mom wasn’t able to get a lot of family history information from the house when her grandmother died, and the house was eventually sold with a bunch of stuff still in the attic… so a lot of it was probably thrown away.
Anyway… it’s clear this was all due to a lack of planning. The home was in Pennsylvania, and the coal industry died over time. Today, the home built in 1900 (allegedly by my great great grandfather) is worth around $50k.
It’s inevitable when learning about this stuff that I ask how it reflects on me. I think what is says… is that you have to make moves and prepare if you want to grow / stay wealthy. When my ancestors made changes, they did well. When they stayed the same, they didn’t.