Til forsvar for ualmindelige navne

Som jeg nævnte i mit sidste blogindlæg, hygger jeg mig lidt med genealogi for tiden.

Ud over de frit tilgængelige kirkebøger har jeg fået nogle stamtræer af svingende kvalitet af mine forældre og min svigerfar, men jeg opdagede forleden, at internettet nogle gange er klart den hurtigste måde at komme videre på.

En del navne i min slægt er alt for almindelige til at kunne googles effektivt – Jens Nielsen er altså et meget almindeligt navn, også selvom man kan tilføje sognet.

Men så puttede jeg min oldemor, Mette Ottilie/Othilie/Ottilia Sørensen Smidt/Schmidt ind, og straks fandt jeg hele to omfattende stamtræer, der indeholder hende: Vang-Larsen og Udengaard Rasmussen.

Billedet til højre er af hendes mor (min tipoldemor, eller mere præcist min morfars mormor), Maren Sørensen Smidt (født Laursen). Jeg havde aldrig før set et billede af hende, så det var lidt sjovt at finde det på internettet. 🙂

På samme måde får Amaias eventuelle efterkommere nok rimeligt let ved at finde deres fjerne slægtninge.

Fra et genealogisk synspunkt burde meget almindelige navne forbydes!

Danske kirkebøger

Jeg opdagede i går, at alle de danske kirkebøger fra før ca. 1910 (og nogle af de lidt nyere) er scannet ind og er frit tilgængelige.

Det gør det jo en del nemmere at lave sit stamtræ, når man bare kan bladre i kirkebøgerne på sin computer i Skotland uden at skulle en tur til Landsarkivet i Viborg.

Som et eksempel er her fødselsregistreringen for min morfars farfar, Jens Nielsen Skipper fra Mols (klik på det for en større udgave):

Man lærer en del af det. Jeg troede for eksempel, at Skipper var et øgenavn, men manden hed det jo officielt (men gav det ikke videre til sin søn, Jens Marius Nielsen).

Recent history?

The Berlin Wall was opened twenty years ago today.

Phyllis and I started talking about how it to us is something we remember clearly, but to Marcel (born 1997) it is just an event from the history books, just like WWII.

That reminded me of a discussion I had with my mum once, during which she claimed that WWII was important and recent history, unlike WWI that happened many years ago. I then pointed out that I was born 27 years after the end of WWII, while she born just 25 years after the end of WWI. That shut her up! 🙂

To formalise this a bit, I guess you can split the past into the following periods: (1) Your own memories, typically starting from around age 10 (my first political memory is Poul Schlüter becoming prime minister of Denmark in 1982). (2) Recent history, the stuff that your siblings and friends might remember, so starting perhaps five years before you were born. (3) Your parent generation’s memories, that is, the stuff your parents and teachers remember. (4) Your grandparents’ generation’s memories, basically the stuff older people remember. Anything that happened before then is only known to you from books, or from somebody saying that they remember their grandparents telling them something, i.e., hearsay rather than own experiences.

To make this concrete, I’ve calculated this for various birth years. To keep this simple and general, I’ve put the generational gap at 30 years. This is obviously not always true, given that it can be anything between 16 and 44, but it’s much easier than trying to figure out when your grandmother’s first political memory was.

  • Born in 2009 (e.g., the baby girl inside Phyllis): Recent history 2004-2009, parent generation’s memories 1989-2003, grandparent generation’s memories 1959-88, ancient history until 1958. That makes the creation of the EEC ancient history.
  • Born in 1997 (e.g., Marcel): Own memories 2007-2009, recent history 1992-2006, parent generation’s memories 1977-91, grandparent generation’s memories 1947-76, ancient history until 1946. That makes WWII ancient history.
  • Born in 1972 (e.g., me): Own memories 1982-2009, recent history 1967-81, parent generation’s memories 1952-66, grandparent generation’s memories 1922-51, ancient history until 1921. That makes WWI ancient history.
  • Born in 1940 (e.g., my dad): Own memories 1950-2009, recent history 1935-49, parent generation’s memories 1920-34, grandparent generation’s memories 1890-1919, ancient history until 1889. That means the creation of Esperanto and the French-Prussian War were ancient history.
  • Born in 1899 (e.g., my paternal grandmother): Own memories from 1909, recent history 1894-1908, parent generation’s memories 1879-93, grandparent generation’s memories 1849-78, ancient history until 1848. That makes the Revolutions of 1848 ancient history.

Clock design



09-08-04 (23)
Originally uploaded by PhylB

They have this wonderful clock in the Duomo of Florence.

It’s clearly from before clock design was standardised.

These days we take it for granted that analogue clocks are divided into 12 hours, counting from midnight and noon, starting from the top and moving clockwise round the circle.

But this clock demonstrates that none of these design decisions are natural or obvious.

The duomo clock is divided into 24 hours, counting from sunset, starting from the bottom, and moving anti-clockwise round the circle.

Just as easy and natural, but these days it looks very, very alien.