I’ve written before, somewhere on this blog (or its previous incarnation) about doing some genealogical detective work. I found a grave for a distant relative in Norway who was curious to find out what had happened to his great-grandfather. I took some pride in hunting the grave down, because I’m not a man designed by nature for sleuth work. Curiosity is not my strong suit, and I’d rather go to the dentist than ask a stranger a question.

There was another family mystery I thought I’d solved too. One of my great-grandfathers was mysterious in his origins. I didn’t know where he was born, and I wanted to know.

But my mother had told me some things about him, and I’d taken notes. One thing she said was that he came from an island known as the “middle island,” which was the largest island in Norway.

I did some web searching, and at last discovered that the island of Hinnøy, almost in the Lofotens, is in fact the largest in Norway, and somewhere I found it referred to as the “middle island.” So obviously, my ancestor must have come from there.

“Wrong, Watson,” said Holmes, smacking him with the Persian slipper.

A family member recently made contact with some relatives who had the straight dope, documents and all. Our great-grandfather came from the island of Ytterøy, near Trondheim.

I plead in my defense that Mom’s clues were misleading. Or someone misinformed her.

This is what comes from unreliable genes. No wonder I grew up to be a novelist.

2 thoughts on “Foiled”

  1. It’s good to ask some of these questions while those who can answer them, or give leads, are still around.

    I’m having a bit of fun just lately trying to track down details about a friend of my dad’s from over 60 years ago. Dad didn’t have details but said this friend, with whom he lost touch many years ago, had helped to try to start a revolution in Central America. I was able to track down some information online (old newspapers), and have filed Freedom of Information Act queries with the CIA and FBI. The CIA was noncommittal in response, and I’m waiting to see if the Bureau admits to having had files on the guy — which, given the info in the news, would seem appropriate, & even more appropriate for the CIA, probably. Fun!

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