700 years of ancestry mapped

Author: fraise

Friday 28 November 2008, in Biographical

Inspired by a great modern Swedish/Finnish folk music group (Hedningarna) while fiddling with online maps, I had the idea to map the Norwegian side of my ancestry. The result is great! I gave each point its town/city name, and in some cases listed people from certain locations. The two points in Latvia are odd ones out, corresponding to just two people. All the others form a very clear line into Norway, namely the Lofoten Islands and Lenvik, in Troms. All towns/cities without a stated country are in Norway, while the others have a country name tagged on. Holding your mouse over a point in the left-hand list will also highlight it on the map.

The family tree is here, and records go back to 1308, with the deaths of Eindrid Hvit and his wife Birgit Bårdsdatter. It was fascinating to map these: their history came to life in a way. One of the main lines descended from a Swedish knight named Karl Pedersson Schanke, born in 1360, whose family largely remained in Häckås, part of Jämtland County, which was then part of Norway (now in Sweden). Then there are several people from the Rist family, who seem to have moved around Germany a lot. They and others who weren’t already in Lenvik or Flakstad eventually congregated in Trondheim, for the most part. The family from Flakstad seem to have been rather active in Flakstad church, and ancestors on my great-grandfather’s side included a few priests, in Denmark (St. Petri, a German church in Copenhagen) and Norway (Astafjord). In addition to working the land (which many owned) and sailing the seas, others included two sheriffs, a watchmaker, a legal scribe, and a diocese scribe. I suppose that makes me an internet scribe, these 700 years and 23 generations after Eindrid and Birgit passed away.

I made the map using VirtualEarth — I had to create an MSN account, but then I could create a “Collection” and save points to it along with notes for them.

One response to “700 years of ancestry mapped”

  1. Heather W. Says:

    Hi Fraise – That’s wonderful. Makes me want to get all the family history info from my mom and start mapping. I took a genealogy class in college (nearly 20 years ago) so the data has gone through several iterations as computers have evolved.

    Since I know you gave this some thought, can I ask why you selected VirtualEarth over Google Maps? I tend to go straight to Google, but if MSN has superior features, I should take a look.

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