Mich Lundgren

Gardners Gathering

Unraveling the Root

I haven’t talked much about genealogy lately, it’s been shuffled to the backburner a bit as I tackled other projects. I think I got shy after I had a piece published with the National Archives at the beginning of winter, talking about the research I did to find out what happened to my great, great grandfather after he gave my great grandmother (and her siblings) up for adoption in 1916. It was a big undertaking, and there’s a mystery remaining in that branch that I revisit every few weeks.

Over the weekend we wandered down through Olmstead and Dodge counties, where some of the family roots lie. We didn’t do anything specific, it was just an initial spring voyage, but with the release of the 1950 census, I am definitely itching for more deep research, in the field this year, something we weren’t able to do last summer. Just a few weeks ago we spent time at the Pioneer Room in Hastings, and it made me excited to visit places where my family comes from, since there’s no real history of us here. Maybe we’ll change that, leave some kind of legacy behind. Who knows. We were led there by Rylan’s love of architecture and history, and after a late night digging into local historic houses, we headed in for answers and the seeds of another summer project, studying the beautiful buildings we are surrounded by.

As I ran out of my own family mysteries to solve (there’s still Hattie – but my grandma has been chasing Hattie for longer than I’ve been alive), I’ve been excited to pursue other local history, and I’m so glad that my kids share that passion with me and are willing to indulge my roadtrips through history – but I am also really looking forward to building friendships and discovering connections with other adults.

I’m offering a beginners genealogy workshop later this month – if you’re curious about how to begin, or overwhelmed with how to get anywhere, I would love to help guide you in the right direction.

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