Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Bit of Norway

Norway Family Heirlooms by midgefrazel
Norway Family Heirlooms, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

The Ladies
Oh, what delicious cookies they made!

When the Graybills moved back to Pennsylvania, a trio of sisters moved into the house next door at 54 Hill Top Drive. We called them "the Ladies" and I enjoyed their company tremendously. Having no sisters (or brothers), I was interested in how well they got along. Sadly, I have no photos of them at all! From the plat card, I learned they sold the house in 1966, probably when Helga went into a nursing home. I do know that the ladies lived there by 1954 because we cooked on the charcoal grill outside when there was no electricity after Hurricane Carol in early fall of 1954. The 1956 City Directory lists Helga's name as homeowner. Their surname was Elstad.

Their first names were Mary/Marie Louise (they called her "Tulie"), Helga and Astrid. They had a brother who was married and lived in the nearby town of Warwick. I know that they once lived with their parents. I have always wondered where in Norway they came from. So, what did I do? I made them a tree at Guided by some excellent article in Family Tree Magazine ( latest one Sept 2013) and using Cyndi's List, I have been able to learn a little bit about Scandinavian genealogy. 

I love working on their ancestry although I have not been able to get very far (as yet). Their grandparents came from Norway to Wisconsin then Minnesota and the name at that time was probably Helstad. I located the family in the US 1880 census. Much to my surprise, there was another person's tree for the earlier generations of this family. I learned that there was another brother too that I didn't know about who lived in Providence. I may have thought the brothers were one person. The 1931 City Directory lists both brothers.

At the time they lived in "The Plat", Astrid was still working. We called her Artie. I own her "ladies hammer". Helga and Tulie stayed home and kept house. In the afternoon, they watched "The Edge of Night" and made cookies. My mother kept telling me to come home. I laugh today at the thought that I was bothering them. They were cool. I miss them.

They gave me several items like the ones shown here and a lovely opal charm that I have on a necklace. When they gave me gifts, I wrote thank you notes to them addressed to H.A.T. I didn't know acronyms would be popular in the future.

HATs off to The Ladies and their legacy in "The Plat".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Such sweet memories of your neighbor friends. They were a kind trio of ladies! Nice that you paid a wonderful tribute to their memory.