Thursday, March 15, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 342

Admiralty building, St. Petersburg, Russia

This week has the second of several postcards sent to Bob many years ago by a cousin living in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Admiralty building shown on the card is one of the most noticeable landmarks in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board and the Imperial Russian Navy and remains today the headquarters of the Russian Navy.  Andreyan Zakharov designed and constructed it between 1806 and 1823 it reflects the Tsar’s maritime ambitions.  It is located where the three streets, Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Avenue meet.  The gilded spire is topped by a golden weather vane in the shape of a small sail warship. 

The original design included a fortified shipyard surrounded by five bastions and a moat.  Though they are difficult to make out on the postcard there are a number of sculptures and reliefs and a clock on the building.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Didrik "Dick" Thompson, Update

 The last stone to have the plaques with names of Scandinavian immigrants attached

 Example of a plaque attached to the stone

Seattle has a Leif Erikson monument at the Shilshole marina near Golden Gardens Park.  The names of Scandinavian immigrants appear on the standing stones that surround the statue and on the base of the statue of Erikson.  The last stone will now have the final plaques added and there was one final notice sent out in January for any additional names.  In the past I had submitted Axel and Anna Hornnes Schroder and their names, dates of immigration, and where they came from can be found on a plaque on the base of the statue. 

 Leif Erikson monument, Shilshole, Seattle.  The last set of names will be attached to the large stone at the left side.

When this recent notice arrived saying that there was still limited space on the final stone I thought of all the people I could add and almost didn't send anything in since there are still so many in the extended family who would qualify.  Then it occurred to me that if I had to choose just one perhaps Dick Thompson was the best choice since he was a well known local policeman and appeared many times in the Seattle newspapers.  

Dick directing traffic in downtown Seattle, ca late 1920s

The unveiling ceremony for the last stone and plaques will be the 29th of April 2018.  I have a feeling Grandpa Dick would like to have his name displayed on a stone.  

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 341

Narva Triumphal Arch, St. Petersburg, Russia

This is one of several unused postcards that were sent to Bob many years ago by a cousin living in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Today’s card has a picture of the Narva Triumphal Arch erected in 1814 in Stachek Square, once called Narva Square.  Built of wood and constructed on the Narva highway it served to welcome soldiers returning from their victory over Napoleon.  Weather resistant plaster was used on the exterior but was never designed to be permanent.  The original architect was Giacomo Quarenghi.  Vasily Stasov redesigned and rebuilt the gate in stone between 1827 and 1834.  The sculptures found on the arch were combined efforts of Vasily Demut-Malinovsky who did the lower figures and designs and Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg who sculpted Nike, Goddess of Victory, in a cart drawn by six horses found on the top of the arch.

The arch was not protected from artillery bombardments during World War II and the Siege of Leningrad [St. Petersburg] 1941-1944; therefore, it suffered damage.  Restored in 1951 there is a small military museum located in the upper part of the arch that opened in 1989.  Another restoration project was finished by 2009 and the arch is now in fine condition.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

John Hornnes & Lydia Marstad, Update- 2

John Mikalsen Hornnes and his wife, Lydia Gabrielsdatter Marstad, ca 1901

As extended family members will recall, Lydia Gabrielsdatter Marstad was the wife of John Hornnes, the son of Mikal Alfsen Hornnes and Anne Gundersdatter Uleberg and the older brother of my grandmother, Lil Anna Hornnes Schroder.  Anna lived with John and Lydia for a period of time before moving to Seattle.  The last time Anna saw Lydia was just before leaving Boston to come to Seattle for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in 1909.  At that time Lydia was very ill with tuberculosis.  Using that date plus the 1910 US Federal Census records that showed John widowed we were able to place Lydia’s death between 1909 and sometime in 1910.  After several fruitless months of searching I finally found Lydia’s death.  She died 2 February 1910 in Melrose, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.  The Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose could possibly be where she is buried. 

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend who is from Boston and returns there to visit his parents at least once a year.  He said he is very familiar with the Wyoming cemetery and the next time he goes back he will see if he can find the grave and perhaps get a photograph.  With his help and knowledge of the area we found the street address where John and Lydia lived while in Melrose, 282 East Foster Street.  The pictures below from Google Maps show the street.  They lived in the house situated off the street in back of the large white house with the flag.  In the aerial view the house is on the left side, dark brown with a red-tan roof.  There is a park across the street.  It appears to still be a very nice neighborhood.

 Above & below, Google Maps images, 282 E Foster Street, Melrose, MA

I have been trying with little success to find out when and where Lydia and John’s little boy, Mikal Alfred Hornnes, died.  I found his birth and christening record in the Helleland, Rogaland, Norway parish register:  #18, page 32, born 2 June 1900, christened 8 July 1900.  Sometimes when a child dies very young there will be a notation in the margin that will give a death date or at least a cross marking a death but there is nothing in the margin of this record.  The family moved often due to John’s employment with the Norwegian railway beginning with a short stay in Flekkefjord, moving next to Helleland where Mikal Alfred was born, and ending up in Voss north of Bergen before they returned to Kristiansand then leaving Norway for America.  All the moves makes it more difficult to discern where Mikal died or if he lived long enough to accompany them to the United States in 1901.  In 1905 when John applies for US citizenship he says he has no children so we know that Mikal died sometime between 1900 and October 1905. 

In the process of looking for this little boy I noticed that someone I did not know or recognize as an extended family member had posted pictures of Lydia and John from this blog on  I suspected that whoever had posted them might be related to Lydia’s family, the Marstad line, and that proved to be the case.  Lydia was one of 10 children born to Gabriel Johan Sivertsen Marstad and his wife Olene Elisabeth Olsdatter who is sometimes found as Alene or Line on the records.  Several of Lydia’s siblings also left Norway for America around the turn of the century.  Many thanks to Kelby Sodeman who very kindly sent me a genealogical fan chart of the Marstad family that was originally compiled by Gladys McKee and Sidney Marstad in the 1960s and later amended in 1993 by Ruth Hanssen and Edna Marstad.  Although this chart does not have places and dates it does have all the names of descendants of Sven and Ingeborg Marstad from 1775 forward in time up to the 1990s when the chart was revised. 

The Marstad family name comes from a place or farm located not far from Flekkefjord and Kristiansand.  On the map below the place is marked with a large dot to indicate the location; however, it is not as large a community as Flekkefjord even though it appears so on the picture.  Evje og Hornnes where John was born and lived is at the upper right, the port city of Kristiansand is at the lower right and Flekkefjord is just above Marstad.

Map as found on, digital collection

A previous update to Lydia’s information, found in the blog on 2 February 2013 can be viewed by putting Marstad in the search field.  Lydia’s siblings are listed in that update.  Kelby asked what I knew of George Olai Johan Bernhard [now it is confirmed the Bernhard should be Elexanhard].  What follows is what I told her in an email reply. 

George’s complete name on the Hidra parish register is really difficult to make out.  When magnified the image is still hard to read and it is not clear whether the name is George Olai Johan Bernhard or Alexanhard/Elexanhard or something else beginning with a C.  The old handwriting style also complicates things a bit.  The original blog entry, as noted above, gave the 4th name as Bernhard with a birth date of 13 December 1873 but the correct date should be 3 December 1873.  The corrected middle name should be Elexanhard as found on his Railroad pension papers.  His name is often found in a variety of spellings in different records and he does not always use all of his names.

What I learned about George is that he came to the USA in 1892 and might be the first of the Marstad children to emigrate.  He and his family appear to have settled in and lived in New York from the beginning.  George became a naturalized citizen with one petition dated 1918 and another 1920.  He married Johanne Kristine, known as Christina, Tønnesen Sunde on 4 November 1905 in Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, New York.  She was 11 years his junior and came from Nes, Flekkefjord, Vest-Agder, Norway. 

Kristine/Christina left Norway for the USA in 1902.  The children of George and Christina as found on the 1930 US Federal Census:  Edward age 24; Mabel age 22; Clifford age 16; and Helen age 14.   Not found on the 1930 census is another child: George Clifford born 1910 died 1912.  His death is listed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church records, 1826-1945 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.  He is buried next to his parents in the Green Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

The 1940 census has children, Clifford and Helen single and living at home with their parents, George and Christina and Jacob Sunde, brother-in-law (Christina’s younger brother) and William Sunde, nephew, living with the family. 

On the 1885 Norway census Kristine’s parents are given as Mikal Tønnesen Sunde and Amalie (Malie) Tønnesen Sunde.  Kristine’s birth year is given as 1884.  The Nes, Flekkefjord parish register lists her birth as 23 October 1884, christening 16 November 1884.  Since I had access to the bygdebok for Nes it seemed worth it to look and see if there was anything more about Christina's ancestry that might be interesting.  It was a common tradition to name children after grandparents and Christina was no exception.  She was named for her paternal grandmother, Johanne Kristine Olsdatter Sunde (1827-1862).  The fascinating thing about her ancestry is that her great-grandmother, Christiane Rosenvind Steen, was born in Greenland in 1796 the daughter of a Greenland colonist, Johan Christian Steen who left Greenland and settled in Flekkefjord where he is listed as a merchant.

George was a boat captain and worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  He died 9 February 1956, Queens, New York, New York, USA and was buried at the Green Wood cemetery 14 February 1956.  He was 82 years old.  Johanne Kristine (Christina) died in 1969 and was buried next to her husband and son, George Clifford (1910-1912) on 17 June 1969. 

I am still searching for little Mikal but if in the process I find more about some of the other Marstads, I will do another update at a later date.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 340

 “Stone dyke on the road leading to the Vy Da poetic hamlet,” Hue, Vietnam, 2003

Traditional wooden boats of Indochina are moored along side the stone dyke near the city of Hue, Vietnam on this picture postcard.  Huu Cay is credited with the photograph.  A friend who was taking a 94-day around the world trip on the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner sent the card in March 2003. 

There is a lot to look at in this picture from the people walking, biking and riding in Pedi cabs on the dyke to the boats with carved and decorated dragon heads on the bows, to the smaller one man boats and the shops on the shore.  A tour bus is parked on the dockside near the large wooden boats in the water. 

Boats like these can be found in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.  Today diesel and gasoline engines power the boats but older original versions were sailing vessels with some of the smaller boats using poles.   They are still built using traditional designs that have been adapted for power motors.  With a central flat plank and additional planks shaped and bent to fit help make the long, slender boats move easily through the water and able to use smaller, cheaper engines than other designs.  Some of the boats carry short sailing rigs in case the engine should fail. 

The city of Hue is located in central Vietnam and was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945.  In 1945 the capital was moved north to Hanoi.  Due to its location near the border between the North and South, Hue was vulnerable to attack and damage during the Vietnam War.  Many historic buildings were damaged.  In recent years many of the historical areas of the city have been or are being restored.  

The stamp on the card is one in a botanical collection of 7 different flowers distributed in 2002 and used for about 1 year before being retired.  Shown on the stamp is bauhinia ornata a fragrant flowering plant found in mountain forests and open thickets in India, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and North Vietnam. 

Thank you V, it was fun to get and fun to look at again.

For more information, see:ế

Thursday, February 22, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 339

Orléans Cathedral, Orléans, France

A front view of the Orléans Cathedral, Sainte-Croix, is pictured above on this unused postcard from M.G. Editions.  The card has the number 45 234 058 at the lower left corner on the reverse. 

Joan of Arc is said to have attended Mass in this cathedral on 2 May 1429 during the siege of the city.  The story of Joan of Arc, called the Maid of Orléans and also called the defender of Orléans, is told in the stained glass windows of the cathedral.  She said she had visions telling her to support the French King Charles VII in the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.  The as yet uncrowned king sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission.  She became a prominent figure when the siege ended 9 days later followed by several additional victories and the eventual coronation of Charles VII in Reims.  Joan was captured in May 1430 by the Burgundian faction, allied with the English, and put on trial where she was found guilty and then burned at the stake on 30 May 1831.  She was 19 years old at the time of her death.  The trial was re-examined in 1456 and she was pronounced innocent.  She was declared a martyr.  She became a symbol and popular figure in literature and art.  After a long process, Joan was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 1920.

Like many very old churches Sainte-Croix was built, added to, restored and rebuilt over a period of several centuries.  The first construction of Sainte Croix began in 1278 until 1329.  That building was partially destroyed in 1568 and rebuilt from 1601 to 1829.  It is in the Gothic and Gothic Revival architectural styles.

Orleans is located on a bend of the Loire River in north-central France about 60 miles or 111 kilometers southwest of Paris.  

As always, thanks to my friend who sent the card.

For additional information, see:éans_Cathedraléans

Thursday, February 15, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 338

 Limoges, France

This new, unused, postcard is numbered 87006, and has J. Forestier photographs of Limoges, France including the Cathedral and the St.Étienne bridge over the Vienne River.   Editions RENE published the card. 

Limoges is a city of about 300,000 located in west-central France.  In medieval times it was known for the making of enamel work on copper.  Later in the 19th century fine quality porcelain became one of its most famous products.  Porcelain production was made possible by the discovery of white clay found in kaolin rock in 1768.  Several porcelain factories in and around the city of Limoges make items.  Today more than 50 percent of porcelain made in France comes from Limoges.  Also manufactured are oak barrels used for Cognac and Bordeaux production.  The outer rural area has a long history of breeding sheep and cows.  That plus the associated leather industry allowed the production of luxury shoes, gloves and bags that are still made today.

The Romans founded a city here in 10 BC and called it Augustoritum after the emperor Augustus and as a place to ford the river, “rito” being a Gaulish word for ford.  This early city had baths, sanctuaries, an amphitheater, and a temple.  The temple was located near where the cathedral stands today.  It also had its own currency and a Senate.

Christianity arrived around 250 AD with Saint Martial and his two companions, Alpininaus and Austriclinienus, but was more or less abandoned toward the end of the 3rd century due to unsafe living conditions brought about by invasions of Germanic tribes.  In the 9th century the Abbey of St. Martial was established and a settlement began to re-grow around the tomb of the saint.  The Abbey had a large library that helped Limoges become a flourishing artistic center with a school of medieval music composition. 

By the 13th century Limoges was at the peak of its splendor and had two fortified settlements, a walled town and a castle.  Edward, the Black Prince, occupied the city in 1370 massacring some 300 residents or about 1/6 of the population.  The area struggled following that event but in 1792 the castle and the city united to become one single city called Limoges.  In the 19th century much of the city was rebuilt to correct unsafe living conditions. 


Thanks once again to my kind friend who continues to send such beautiful postcards!

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