"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Family Ties

I opened my email the other day and found this treat sent to me by a JWalstad. I read it with great interest since Walstad is a name in my family history:

"I've been reconstructing some of the family history as homesteaders in the Nebraska prairie.  During the course of my research, I encountered a novel by Willa Cather titled, My Antonia.  It turns out that it's a classic of American literature.  So I ordered it from Amazon.com. and promptly read it from cover to cover.  It was a great read!  Soon after it arrived, Amazon flagged several other books around that pioneering theme that they thought I might be interested in, and Farm Girl was listed among them.  I skimmed the description and discovered that you had a chapter in it on the Walstads.  So I promptly ordered it, and it's one of the best books I've ever purchased because of its relevance to my heritage.  I've since passed it along to my wife and my father to read.  They've been equally captivated.  Now I've got to order your second book, Uncut Diamonds

This afternoon I had another pleasant surprise:  a phone call from your 93 year-old mother, Lucille!  You had sent her my earlier email, and she decided to contact me directly.  Turns out that she knew my grandfather (Julius Oscar Walstad) as well as my uncles Joe, Paul, and aunt Ruth.  What a small world!  She's a wealth of information, and I'm so glad you captured much of her fascinating history.  Although she's still accumulating it, so you may have to write a sequel!  In any event, we had a wonderful conversation.  She's an amazing person!"

So here's a guy who came across Farm Girl on Amazon, found out he was related to the Norwegians mentioned in the first chapter-- Hans Walstad homesteading in Nebraska, and his parents Jakob and Karen Walstad across the river. Turns out that Jakob and Karen were his great-great grandparents as well as mine!


  1. How wonderful! Small world indeed.

  2. Just testing my new avatar lol!

  3. Amazing! that is fantastic..
    I'm way off into my family tree also. It's fun, but not always easy!

  4. Oh wow. That is brilliant!! I hope you find many more lost relations through Farm Girl!!
    Take care

  5. That is so cool! And what a wonderful name!


I don't post very often, but if you leave a comment I'll know someone is out there reading. And then I will post more! Bwa ha ha!