52ancestors, Holtberg Family history

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week #11

Written by Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 

Week 11: Large Family Any large families in the family tree? Any stories of the challenges or benefits of being in a large family? Or perhaps “Large” is an ancestral surname? 

This photo is one of my favorites. When I started working on Ancestry back in the 1990’s this was one of the first pictures I came across. I was simply amazed at all the faces looking back at me, just as I am looking at them. I can only identify a handful. I imagine no one ever thought they be forgotten, therefore no names were ever wrote down on this photo.

Andrew and Christine are my second Great – Grandparents of Belgrade Minnesota. Growing up I knew I had one aunt and four uncles. I knew that my grandfather, Kenny Holtberg, had one brother, Jim. Jim had four children. Our families grew up in the same small town. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing too big. I was use to families 3 to 4 children big. This was before I started in Ancestry.

Andrew in my Grandpa, Kenny’s grandfather. I was shocked to find Andrew and Christine had 10 children. TEN!! I don’t know about you but the first thing my mind always asks is, “Where did they go and how come this is the first I am hearing of them?”

I researched each child and then continued researching each of their branches. Some stayed near Belgrade while others moved states away. I was simply amazed by all of family we had. I decided to go back to Andrew’s father, Peter Holtberg, to see if that family was just as big. It was. Nine children. I researched each one and their branches.

At the time Facebook was just starting. With Facebook’s help, I was able to connect with most of the Holtberg Cousins.

Back in August 2010, we held a Holtberg/Hultberg reunion. It was so great to meet everyone and hear all of the families stories. I grandpa Kenny got to see relatives he hadn’t seen for years before he passed in October 2010. I’m still thanking everyone who came. Such a great moment . Now we have a picture of all of our faces looking at you.


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