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The past few days we’ve been trying to locate and track our ancestors.

I never knew this would be such an addicting hobby. We feel like detectives trying to resolve mysteries from the past.

The fun part is that it’s an online and offline hobby. We trace addresses, graveyard locations and birthplaces and visit them in real life! We also uncover family secrets and mysteries.

This is how I found out my great-grandfather’s mother died when he was just 4 years old. His brother was 8. They probably lived with her at that time because his father had a different home address and remarried 4 years later in a different part of the Netherlands. Both boys from his first marriage probably never knew this, because on his marital document my great-grandfather mentioned both his parents as deceased.

He married young (at 22) and had 10 kids! He probably never knew about his father though. His father died in a completely different part of our country 10 years after his last grand-child was born.

He also never knew what happened to his 4 year older brother. My great-grandfather was adopted and never knew more about his real parents. He didn’t get a chance on a real education, but seemed to have lead a happy, though hardworking, life with his wife and 10 children.

He’s buried not far from my current home and although I never knew him, it feels kind of full circle for me to know about his real mother and father.