Saturday, May 5, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 5

May 5, 1968 – Norway’s King Olav visited Duluth and Superior, Wis., in his tour of the United States. His visit to the U.S. is the first by a King of Norway.
Duluth Sunday News-Tribune; “Norway’s King Olav Regarded as Model, Popular Monarch’; Duluth, Minn.; May 5, 1968; p. 1.

Friday, May 4, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 4

May 4, 1898 – In response to America’s declaration of war on Spain, dozens of Washington County men [volunteered] to join the Minnesota Thirteenth Regiment, Company K for the Spanish–American War. They [were] encamped at the St. Paul fairgrounds, quartered four to a stall in stock barns. During their encampment, thousands of visitors stop by to see them off.” 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 3

May 3, 1905 – As Hesper, a wooden-hulled steamer, “forged through a northeaster en route to Duluth, the crew lost its bearings and the ship was thrown against a reef near present-day Silver Bay. She was repeatedly bludgeoned against the rocks until an enormous wave pitched her over the reef. Fortunately, the ship's crew escaped before she sank.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 2

May 2, 1986“The Steger International Polar Expedition using dog- sleds, led by Will Steger and Paul Schurke of Ely, reached the North Pole.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Those Oh So Secret Birthdates, Part I

In an earlier blog, I asked if you knew your parents’ birthdates. Notice I didn’t say birthdays.  Birthdate includes the birth year as well as the month and date of birth.

For most of her life, my mother BL, who was an only child, believed her father Bill was a cradle robber and that her mother Ida had been a child bride.  When my grandma died, BL got a copy of Ida’s birth certificate and discovered that her mother was actually only three years younger than her father, not the 10 year-difference she’d always been led to believe.

Knowing an ancestor’s real birthdate can be very important, or it can be just somewhat important to your search. If you’re only trying to make sure you are tracking the right Peter Olson, it’s helpful to have a general idea of his birthdate, but you can also validate that he is your ancestor by following him and the names of his parents, spouse and children in the censuses; who is listed as his spouse and his parents on his death certificate; who he is buried with and where; who his survivors are and parents or siblings were from his obituary, etc.

If the real birthdate is critical to your family history research, your best bet is to try and get a copy of your ancestor’s birth certificate or the church records for his or her baptism, which usually includes the birthdate. For male ancestors, WWI and WWII draft registrations also provide birthdates, with the information coming directly from your ancestor.

Do you really know your mother and father’s birthdates?

Discover your roots and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.

For more information on my Family History Research services, visit and click on “Family History Research.”

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 1

May 1, 1962 – The original and first Target store opened in Roseville, Minn.

Monday, April 30, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 30

April 30, 1803 - “By a treaty signed on [this date], the United States purchased from France the Louisiana Territory, more than 2 million sq km (800,000 sq mi) of land extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. The price was 60 million francs, about $15 million; $11,250,000 was to be paid directly, with the balance to be covered by the assumption by the United States of French debts to American citizens.”

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 29

April 29, 1964 – Professional hockey player and coach Corey Millen was born in Cloquet, Minn.