This past week, I posted some thoughts after visiting the cemetery in St. Cloud, Minn., where my grandfather, William Vogel, and seven other members of my mother Minnie Vogel Vorland’s family are buried.
I had been struck by the fact I know nothing about what became of the descendants of mom’s nine siblings.
It’s different on the Vorland side of the family.
In this photo, Norwegian immigrants Hans and Anna pose for the camera with their American-born children in Wells County, N.D., circa 1920.
From viewer’s left, my father Kermit, Herbert, Hans, Anna holding Ruby, Stella, Ellen and Arlie. All are deceased.
In 1901, Hans homesteaded next to his brother, Peter, and sister, Johanna. Later, he purchased her land when she returned to Norway. Until 1956, my parents and their three kids lived on the farm, which remained in the family until 1963.
Thanks in part to Facebook, I’ve been aware of most of Hans and Anna’s descendants. Many of the youngest I’ve yet to meet in person, but hearing about them makes me happy.
For years, the unofficial godfather of the Vorland clan has been my cousin, Gaylen Tuttle (his mom was Arlie Vorland).
He helps keep us in touch with the newest generation, as do other relatives from North Dakota to Illinois to California to Hawaii and elsewhere.
I hope to find some expert genealogical help to do more tracking down of living relatives on both sides of my family. It would be a great way to pass the time during Minnesota’s upcoming winter.