Two Brothers and Two Sisters

Lawrence (1899) and  John (1906) were born in Iowa and North Dakota, respectively by immigrants from Denmark. Their father and mother, two small sisters, came to the States to seek new possibilities for a better life in 1893. This immigrant Peder Jorgensen, who went to the States in 1893, is my husband’s great-grandfather’s brother.  Henry, my husband and  Leah are third cousins, and luckily, they found each other through their searching for ancestors.

As a boy, my husband dreamed of having a relative in the States who could swing a lasso. Henry’s family had never told him of the emigrated ancestors so when he met Leah here in Denmark for the first time last year, she could say to him that Lawrence, her grandfather had been both a cowboy and a sheriff.

I have always been attracted to old photos. The photos shown in this post are from Leah with the brothers Lawrence and Johnny, their two Norwegian wives, who were sisters and their five children.


Jørgensen og lille Kermit

The Jorgensen families in 1937 in Montana

You can tell that they are used to being together, and they are all enjoying it. The sisters look at the camera and talk to each other at the same time. The two mothers are in another world together at that moment.  There is a gap between Lawrence on the left and his wife. The children sitting close to each other. Kermit is a six months’ old baby looking eagerly to his father, Lawrence. They have been “talking” seconds ago, and Kermit wants his father to look back.

Lawrence is looking at the camera, his legs in a relaxed posture on the stone fence and his arms crossed slightly smiling and seem at ease like the rest of the company. He is a slim, hard-working man with visible cheekbones. Two of the children are leaning towards each other and are whispering secrets. The small one at the right side can’t follow their conversation and looks up to his mother’s face. John is the photographer, the space on the stone fence shows where he sat a moment ago.


Jorgensen med små børn

The Jorgensen families in Montana 1937


Family Jorgensen

Family Jorgensen in Montana in 1938

The same two families on a summer Sunday. This time Maysel, the wife of Johnny, is the photographer. Kermit (Leah’s father)  is now on his uncle’s arm. Lawrence is standing behind the children Irene and Kenneth. Thelma is carrying her bible. They have been to church. The little boy on her right side is wearing a fantastic hat. Lawrence is still more hardworking with still cheeks more hollow than last year. The brothers wear smart hats. The two youngest children in the front row are smiling happily. They are soon going to eat something sweet and then to play the rest of the day.


Imagine that we could walk up to them and ask questions about their lives and just be there together with them. For love of her father’s family, Leah moved from the East coast to live in Lawrence’s footsteps. She is a wine producer in Oregon.


Jørgensen og reparation af bilen

The Jorgensen brothers and a man repairing the wheel and Kermit seven years old in Oregon


I would be pleased to know a bit about your ancestors. Where did they come from?


  1. Such delight in those pictures … that’s what it is really – simple lives lived and then they end and we wonder what it was like to walk in those shoes. I love these pieces of your jigsaw that you share with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    I love old family photos – I have more than a few, all over my walls in frames, but I don’t really have a “from.” My family was military, all the way back to the Civil War, so the closest I can say is AMERICA – we’ve all moved often and lived all over the country.

    I do know that way back when there is English, Welsh, Dutch & Irish in my mix – and my mother told me before she died that our relatives came over on the Mayflower – but my late sister was the genealogist in the family and her young sons didn’t keep her records after her death.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”


    • We share the same love of keeping the photos. You should see my walls! What a shame that the files and photos were thrown out after your sister died. Sometimes people clean out too effectively as a way of mourning though and later regret.
      To locate existing photos can be done by finding out the age of the persons on the photo and compare with where the families were at certain times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have most of the photos, only the files were tossed (and you can barely see my own walls – lol). Thanks for your suggestion. However, it’s difficult for me to recall where I was at certain times throughout my life, as frequently as we moved, so it’s a good thing I had the originals of most of the photos, safely framed for many years.
        xx, mgh


      • Yes the photos are the visible proof of how things and family members looked at a certain time. What helps me is to write about different small issues at a time. When I start more memories come to mind and that way I don’t have to do it chronological but more as an urge and interest. All those small stories becomes like puzzle bits into a larger image

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      • I write a Danish blog too where I can express myself in more detail. The link is to the right on my blog page. Can be translated via a Google widget if anybody would have an interest in that

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  3. My ancestors are all from Ireland – 7/8 from Donegal and 1/8 from County Tyrone. Most of my maternal grandfather’s
    family travelled to the US – some returned and some stayed. There were 16 in his family and I have not seen some of those cousins. There is a great programme on television called “who do you think you are? which traces the lives of ancestors. It is so interesting to see the similarities of career paths of people in the same family.


    • Thank you so much for sharing this. Yes to see family traits and characteristics is so exiting and touching. Leah’s father Kermit or Kurt has so many of the same characteristics as my my husband. And they have never met

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maria, I love the old photos and stories you share. It’s such a gift to others and of course, for your family. One of the assignments for the students in the college class I’m co-teaching is to explore their ancestry. It’s been fascinating to watch how this has brought families together, sometimes sharing stories for the first time or making connections with relatives they never knew.

    One of my ancestors came from Denmark, Wilhelm Dinesen. He lived with my great great grandmother, Kawehasnoquay (Kate), in an Ojibwe community. Their daughter, Emma, my grandmother, was born in about 1880. Dinesen returned to Denmark. Somewhere in my files, I have copies of their story in both Danish and English. Author Isak Dinesen (Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke) was also his daughter.


    • Wow very interesting both what you tell of your students and of your family from Denmark. Karen Blixen is very famous and her father was as well. We have a very good biographer Tom Swienty-Buk who wrote his biography lately and he writes like it was a novel. He wrote about Jacob Riis too who fascinates me so much. I will have to read more about the Blixen family. We have a lovely museum in her house where she lived returning from Africa

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So much delight and happiness in those pictures. My grandfather was from Texas. He became a merchant marine and his ship went bankrupt in Port Glasgow, Scotland. He went to the train station to purchase a ticket to London. My grandmother, the Scottish lass was the ticket seller. A month later they set sail for Philadelphia, PA, USA. How is that for a love story?


    • I hardly know to cry or to laugh Bernadette. What a wonderful reaction to fall in love in the middle of a crisis. So good they found each other. It’s worth a blog post to tell their story decorated with photos !

      Liked by 1 person

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