Monday, June 14, 2010

Greetings From Nordstrand!

Not really, but this morning's World Cup match between Denmark and the Netherlands, besides proving once again that I will watch anything competitive, even when accompanied by an incessant buzzing that probably hints at what it's like to have kazoo-blowing wood nymphs infest your inner ear, reminded me to take another look at my family history.

See, I had a source that possibly put my paternal lineage in Nordstrand, a peninsula in northern Germany near both Holland and Denmark. I just hadn't bothered to connect me to it. Through the magic of the internet and thanks entirely to someone far more driven than I who happens to share my last name, I now know who my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was and where he came from: Nordstrand, when it was a part of Denmark. I'm a Dane (or at least part Dane,) which means I'm retroactively pissed that my guys went down 1-0 to the Netherlands. Damned orange-clad tulip-sniffers. Legos rule, windmills drool.

Arguably more interesting, I also learned some cool stuff about all 10x great-grandpas. Some high(and low)lights:

-9x shipped to America in 1638 with a Swedish fellow named Bronck, whom he also leased farmland from. Bronck's name was attached to a river that ran beside the farm and was eventually misspelled as Bronx.
-9x also was convicted of selling his wife (my 9x great-grandmother,) resulting in his banishment from New Netherland, which I believe is how most people end up settling in New Jersey.
-4x was murdered by his wife and a minister, the two of whom were alleged to be intimately related.
-3x met a similarly violent end to his father's, bringing a pistol to a shotgun fight. He took one barrel's worth in the stomach, expiring several hours later. He apparently had it coming and was known to have previously killed two men himself.

And those are just my direct ancestors. Along the line there were also soldiers (Revolutionary War, Civil War- both sides,- and one guy who fought in the "Mormon War" in Nauvoo, Illinois,) scalpings by indians and a stolen keg of gin. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Obviously, the genes for violence and adultery have skipped me entirely, although I did recently attend a seminar on the marketing and selling of wives. Couple that hobby with my blue eyes and Lego skillz to rival any Zack (He's a Lego maniac!), and my connection to the motherland is clear. Now all that's left is for me to spearhead a revolt that wrests the state of Schleswig-Holstein from Germany and returns it rightfully to Danish rule, inspiring statues in my Scandinavian image and songs celebrating my name. That way when I visit I'll never have to pay for a beer. But the gin's on me.


Jacob said...

Dude, I wasn't aware that you had any descendants. Are you sure you didn't mean ancestors?

Your Danish ancestors arrived around the same time my Scottish Borderland ancestors arrived in Virginia. We do have some Dutch on my dad's side, but they were a highly eccentric Appalachian family that not a lot is known about.

Mickey said...

Oops. The error has been fixed.

Courtney said...

Mickey's editing the "descendants" thing as I type. He'd better not have any descendants.

Killed by his wife and a pastor! 4x must have been quite a guy. That's like a soap opera plot waiting to happen. Does Days of Our Lives know about you?

Julie said...

I know my mom's side to be of Dutch, Irish & English descent but don't have any specifics. My dad's side is probably hopeless. I always thought it'd be cool to know but with a name so common, I think it'd be darn near impossible.

Jacob said...

Hey, remember when that dude in Rome was murdered by his wife and a preacher who were having an affair. I'm pretty sure they were too young for your ancestors. I think the dead guy was a potato chip delivery man.

Lynn said...

Your next post needs to fill us in on that seminar you attended. And that would be a really cute statue.

A Free Man said...

Based on the number of draws in the World Cup, I think 'competitive' is a bit of an optimistic word to be using.

The Modern Gal said...

You're obviously a chip off the ole' block.

I mean really, that kind of bloodshed and wife pimping was just par for the course back then, right?

Anonymous said...

HaHa. You are related to the Hoff!!


Sid said...

Dude. You're writing again. Will take me a while to catch up on all the posts.

I've been watching most of the soccer matches. Kinda upset that South Africa isn't doing better. =(