We spent Monday in the darling port town of Stavanger (on the west coast), touring the historic district and a church that dates back to the 1100s (I'll post pictures later as I don't have that memory stick with me at the moment). We visited the hall of records - which we imagined would be this gigantic library-esque place - to see if we could track down any of the Neilson family relatives. As it turns out, it's a tiny room on the third floor of a poorly marked old building with computers that are at least 5 years old. Plus, everything is written in Norwegian, which, unless it's numbers 1-10 or the days of the week, means nothing to me. Luckily, we were able to hire a researcher to look for records on our known ancestors. We came back an hour later to learn that she had found nothing. This, of course, piqued our interest. My first reaction was one of dismay...maybe our trip was going to turn out like that credit card commercial and we were going to learn that we're really Swedish. But then as Stina showed us her search process we realized that a number of variables were at play. Did we know the exact year the family traveled to the US? Which port did they leave out of? Did we have the correct spellings of their names? All questions we were not 100% sure of. Luckily, we were able to hire Stina to continue the search and contact us once she finds something. We've resolved to go back to the US and research some of the holes in our information.
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