Can you trace your Roots?

Ancestry Question

Those in the family who have studied our ancestry have told me that we descend from a 15th century girl who survived the black plague in Norway. I guess mankind has been fighting diseases from the beginning of time.

My grandfather, Lauritz Gram, immigrated to the US through the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada and made his way to West Allis, Wisconsin when he was 7 years old. In Norway, his family worked in the antique business and it is said that Edvard Grief, the great composter, had a candlestick holder on his piano from one of our relatives.  The Grams were pastors and teachers in Norway. Education was important to them; all three of Lauritz Gram’s kids received a college education. He married Emma Carter, and loved baseball and Model T’s—- he was a proud owner of a 1920 Ford Motel T.   He had two boys and one girl; my father was their second child.  Lauritz made his living working for Allis Chalmers Company.  He walked daily and said his alphabet backwards to improve his mind. He was a thin, wiry man with a good sense of humor.

The name Gram is a Danish name. There was an ornate Gram building in Denmark.  But when I had an Ancestry test, Danish ancestry did not show up. It’s possible that the Norwegians lived in Denmark at one time.  

The Berge clan is from Norway near Bergen. They immigrated to Wisconsin to be farmers. It was a difficult task to cut down trees and clear the land. They settled in a little town called Valders outside of Manitowoc WI. I remember my grandfather and my Uncle Oley and Aunt Dagny. They were wonderful people who welcomed us to stay at their large farm home in the summer. My sister, Ginger, loved the farm and was happy to settle on one when she married, Jim Fay. There was always an occasion to visit the farm for family gathering, but my focus was to play with the current crop of kittens and occasionally take one home. Twinkle Toes and Cookie were a couple from the farm.

The Berge’s are related to members who served in the Civil War. There is a very interesting diary one wrote about the family losing children to the flu and almost dying after their serve in the Civil War. Deborah and I have copies of the story. We come from some very hardy and healthy people who also had a strong faith in God. Grandpa and Grandma Berge read their bible, which was on a table near their bed, daily.

My DNA Ancestry test said I was 66% Norwegian and 9 % Swedish which makes me 75 % Scandinavian. I have a grandmother from the British Isles that makes up for the 25%. Her name was Emma Carter. My husband’s ancestors are from Southern Germany and Poland. Larry’s grandfather cooked dishes from Southern Germany. We learn a lot about our relatives by the dishes they cooked. What dishes do you eat on the holidays?