Friday, March 15, 2013

Seeking Ancestors

American West


Some people love to travel and see the world. I don’t seem to be one of those. Oh, I like to travel alright. It is just not real high on my priorities list. When I do travel I prefer to travel to the places where my ancestors once lived and try to imagine what life might have been like for them in their time. I am somewhat of a family historian.

One place I like to visit is Denmark. My maternal grandfather was born in Denmark. I have accomplished quite a little genealogy work over the years and I know right where my grandfather’s parents lived back in the mid 1800s. I’d like to see it in person. I am not sure if I will ever get there though.

Last year my wife and I went to Montana to visit a relative. It was a driving trip, meaning that we drove from Minnesota to Montana. On the way we stopped in Medora, North Dakota. It is a tiny town on the western edge of North Dakota. That is where my Grandfather’s brother, James Christen Rasmussen, homesteaded some land in late 1800s. At a book store in Medora, I paged through a book about the history of Medora. There in the book and to my surprise were old photos of young Uncle Chris. He was one of the original pioneers of Medora. I bought the book.

The Teddy Roosevelt State Park now sits on the land that was once my uncle’s homestead. If you ever visit that State Park and you step into the lobby of visitor’s center, you will be standing approximately where my uncle’s log cabin used to sit.

Speaking of books, I’d like to call your attention to a couple of old historical magazines that I have in my store, Sirocco’s Curios. They tell about the American West. You might appreciate these magazines whether you fancy travel or not.



  1. Wonderful blog. I enjoyed reading about your ancestors. It must have been awesome to find the picture of your Uncle in the book.

  2. Wow, how cool to find your ancestor in a book like that. Loved your whole post!

  3. Thank you Elaine and Linda for the comments. I always knew that my Uncle Chris was one of the original settlers of Medora. On occasion in the 1950s old Uncle Chris would visit us in Minnesota and tell us kids about life on the homestead and about the Indians that hung around his homestead. Wonderful stories!

  4. I loved your post. It is so cool finding out about your ancestors and you have so much history to choose from. When we drove to Montana, we really enjoyed the scenery. It is such beautiful country. I have always wanted to go back that way when I had time to stop and take in all of the beauty, but so far it has not happened. Great post and thanks for sharing your family history.

  5. What a mesmerizing post! What a rich history you have with your ancestors. I really enjoyed reading all this!