A Little Ancestry Work

You all know I’ve been working on my big cross stitch piece Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs.  The piece is designed to record family that is important to you.  Well, that has prompted me to do a little more research and looking up to find the information that I need.

I had a good idea of what mine is.  My husband Kramer, I know little about.  His family didn’t really talk a lot about ancestry stuff and now that he’s gone, my best resource to know more is gone too.

Olivia from Pumpkin Hollow Quilts is a Flosstuber and she was the one that I first saw stitch Anniversaries of the Heart.  She didn’t record birthdays as some people do.  She recorded marriages and relationships instead.  I liked that idea.

Here is my January block.  That one is dedicated to our son Karl.

I’ve now finished my February block.  This one is dedicated to my Johnson grandparents.  My Grandpa was Iver.  My Grandma Elsa.  They have five kids- Harold, Esther, Agnes, my day Carl and Bert.  If you look at my stitching you’ll see that I put their initials in the block.  My Dad often went by “C.I.” so I put C.I. in red for my Dad.


I really have been loving this.

I’m working on the next bonus block now…See?


When I was stitching I didn’t know the year my grandparents got married so I called my sister and talked with her about that along with getting a little more information about my Mom’s family.

About then I remembered that Olivia at Pumpkin Hollow quilts mentioned that she used a website called Family Search to get more information about her and her husband’s family.  She said the site was a free site so I decided to look into it and give it a try.

In the past, I’ve been told that my Johnson Grandparents both came from Sweden in the early 1900s to the United States.  It’s kind of a fun story.  My Grandpa Iver came with his brother Axel.  My Grandma Elsa, who was not married to my Grandpa at the time, came separately with her sister Anna and their brother Nels.  After they did their required naturalization, my Grandpa Iver married my Grandma Elsa.  The fun part is that Grandma’s sister Anna married Grandpa’s brother Axel.

Anyway, all my life I’ve been told I was half Swedish as both of my grandparents came from Sweden.  As I was going through Family Search I noticed that some of the documents came from Finland and some of the families were from Finland.  Hmm.  The documents were there and I believed that but it was something I really hadn’t heard before.

A week or so later, I got an email.  With my cancer, I had to do a DNA thing to help differentiate my cancer.  Part of the results came back.  The “health” category that my doctors need hasn’t come back yet but this part did…From the looks of it, I am 100% European.  I figured that..but you never know.


I looked it up and Sweden fits into the Northwestern European category.  But look…Apparently, Finnish is much more prevalent than I thought.

In the study, I also found that:

I don’t process caffeine the best-  TRUE
I likely want to eat more sugar than most- YEP
I don’t get flush cheeks from drinking alcohol- TRUE

It says I likely have a Cilantro Aversion.  Not really.  I like some.  Not a ton.


There is more…
I have wet ear wax.  For real, how can they know that??

One thing they got completely wrong.  NO CURLY HAIR ON THIS HEAD!!

I found it all interesting.

As interesting as it was…I really do want to see the health side of the test.  I was told that there is a delay because of Covid and labs are testing for Covid vs doing the DNA testing that needs to be done.  I understand but I hope that my results are back by the time my doctor needs them.  I started the testing back in November.

The stitching and ancestry stuff has left me wanting more than ever to stitch things that are meaningful to me.  I found this chart.  It’s called “We Live in Hope” by Blackbird Designs.

I would LOVE to stitch for my Johnson Grandparents the came to the US in the early 1900s.  I am going to put this chart on my wish list.  I think it will be my new start for next year once I’m done stitching my Anniversaries of the Heart.

BLACKBIRD DESIGNS We Live In Hope Counted Cross image 0

I like the idea of the ship and a house.  I’ll change where it says Chesapeake Bay and put in where my grandparents landed.  I’ll put the dates and their names in the sampler somewhere along with the years they came.

Hmm.  That has me thinking.  Maybe I could put Kramer’s grandparents who immigrated too.  Well, it looks like I have more research and planning to do.

18 thoughts on “A Little Ancestry Work

  1. Linda in NE

    Learning about your family history can be fun, not to mention addictive. My ancestors came from Schleswig-Holstein and Insel Fehmarn in Germany and I’ve been lucky in making contact with distant relatives there. Borders there were a bit fluid over the years, sometimes Prussian (Germany) and sometimes Danish so I suppose at some times my ancestors would be considered Danish. It’s the thrill of the hunt that gets me. I love the search but am very bad at entering what I find in my genealogy program.

    Reply
  2. Samantha M

    How interesting Jo! I too, love looking into family history and ancestry – I once did my mum-in-law’s ancestry and made it into a book for her birthday. I managed to get back as far as 1748 but would have loved to have taken it further. Looking forward to seeing what else you find! Good luck!

    Reply
  3. Carla

    I expect we’ll be hearing more about your ancestry lol. As one of those people (because of my mom) who has access to extensive research, I can tell you it is like reading a really good mystery. We bought my parents and ourselves DNA kits for Xmas. No real shockers for any of us. I always knew I’m as Anglo as it gets and now my husband is calling me his squaw cuz he’s about half indigenous lol. The tests are fun. But, the real fun is looking at your own offspring. So far only one son has done the test and is so interesting to see what we made haha.

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  4. Donna

    I have been thinking about doing some ancestry research as my grandmother had it done for the DAR but her records were lost. She always told me we had a relative come over on the Mayflower but I never knew her name (I bought the Mayflower women awhile back).
    Love and prayers

    Reply
    1. Susanne G

      Do it!!!! Sometimes you’ll come a cross a brick wall but them all of a sudden a few weeks later no brick wall!! The information is there you just have to be a little patient and you’ll find it…. I just did my future SIL’s and he knew nothing at all…… he’s a direct descendant to King Henry !st…. and his 6x Great grandfather married a woman whose family came over on the Mayflower….Its there waiting for you to find it!!!! If you need alittle help with this I’ll more than happy to help.

      Reply
    2. Gayle Shumaker

      Donna if your grandma applied to DAR those records are in their data banks. Some are free others are available for a small fee. Contact them for more info.

      Reply
    3. brendalynne1

      most definitely follow through with this. You can contact the DAR and there is a search by name available. You would need to do it as a guest but just think how thrilled you will be when you find your grandmother and can use it to help with your own enrollment and all the terrific info to pass onto your siblings and children. If this sounds too intimidating to you, contact your local DAR group and enlist their assistance. I have never knowna DAR member who is not thrilled to help you detect information.

      Reply
  5. Judith Fairchild

    Jo, ancestry hunting is addictive. I know more about my northern family than my father’s i know he has Welsh and English but that’s it. Mom is Scottish, English and ansGerman with A little Jewish and French tossed in. I ‘very been thinking a DNA test would be interesting. Thanks for lighting the fire.

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  6. Judy

    Love it Jo. I’ve been told all my life that I’m 100% Finnish, maybe I’d find out I’m really Swedish if I did my own dna testing. Welcome to the Finn side!

    Reply
  7. Carla

    Jo, I went back to see if you ever mention from whom you bought your Anniversaries patterns but I’m not finding it. It’s it available as a kit? Is that how you got the bonus patterns? Please direct me to the correct post cuz I’m sure you talked about that all lol

    Reply
  8. Susanne

    Love your needlework! Ancestry is addictive!!! Be careful As you open the doors to the past It reveals something magical that you NEED to unravel. It kinda feels like a quest or search you need to finish. I’Ve done that and still not finished. I have found that my need for quilting, embroidery, needlework and of course fabric shopping( can’t leave this one out) lol…… is so intwinded in my family going back to dressmakers and tailors and the 1500’s. This ancestor was a tradesman for King Henry Vl and purchased fabric from around the world. This was his occupation….. You just never know …… It’s a wonderful thing knowing your family on a different level….from a different time!!

    Reply
  9. Kim J LeMere

    Discovering ones roots can be addicting. I really like how you are adding in your family names to these stitcheries. Very nice family pieces for you and your children. My husband knows a lot about his family history since its well documented. His family was the first white man in an area of Wisconsin and he married a native American. My mother has lots of info on her family but my dad, not so much. He has a family crest from Scotland but he is mostly a heinz 57 mutt mixture, lol
    Keep on stitchin Jo, its all so lovely.

    Reply
  10. Susan V

    This was a silly thought, but since you resemble some of my cousins, and because my dad’s family is from Kossuth County area, I’d wondered if we might be related. I was able to get my dad to do the DNA check in Ancestry before he died at age 93 and a zillion distant cousins have appeared. But, he was only 10% Swedish, and primarily German, so no match. Interestingly, my dad’s effort answered a lifelong quest of a distant cousin. She had reason to suspect she was my uncle’s granddaughter and my dad’s link in Ancestry helped bring her the answer. It was a sad story, but she’s a beautiful addition to our family.

    Reply
  11. Cindy F

    Ancestry stuff can be so fun. My sisters and I did the DNA test and it was fun to see how different we were. I’m more closely related to my younger sister than my older sister. We all tested as half Japanese but we differed with the other make up. My older sister got more of the German genes from our grandmother and my younger sister and I got more of the Irish/English genes from our grandfather. From a distant cousin we found a picture of our great grandmother and my older sister has her mouth! Just so much fun. I’m kind of stuck for the moment and also wish we could get more info from my mother’s side but have been looking into my husband’s family tree too.

    Reply
  12. Shirley

    A lot of libraries have Ancestry.com Library Edition that you can access for free at the library. Currently my library is offering it to patrons to use at home because of Covid. Ancestry is much easier to use than Family Search but does require a subscription if you don’t use it at the library. You can also find some information by just googling the surname and a location plus a time period. Good luck!

    Reply
  13. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Now that is quite the coincidence!! My grandfather came over from Sweden between 1900 and 1910 and my grandmother came over from Finland during that same time frame. They got married and had 4 children between 1916 and 1925. Ancestry information is so much fun to dig up!! My parents went to Scotland to look up the ancestry of my dad’s family.

    Reply

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