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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - June/July 2004
Wee Snippets (3)

Cornish genealogy seminar planned for September
The Southwest Wisconsin Cornish Society and the Greater Milwaukee Cornish Society will again cosponsor a genealogy seminar in conjunction with the 12th Cornish Festival in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

The date for the seminar will be Friday, September 24, 2004, and the location will be the conference room of the comfort Inn in Mineral Point. While plans are not yet complete, the emphasis will be on the Cornish who went west to California.  Among the speakers will be Gage McKinney of California and Mike Morrish from Cornwall, as well as others.

For more information, contact The Cornish Immigrant, newsletter of The Cornish Society of Greater Milwaukee, Editor Robert J. James, 100 Corrina Boulevard, Apartment #418, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186, phone 262-548-0527.

Celebrate Georgia Archives Week!
What is Georgia Archives Week?  The purpose of  Archives Week, October 3-9, 2004, Mapping Past to Future, is to celebrate the value of Georgia’s historic records, publicize the many ways historical records enrich our lives, and recognize those who maintain our communities’ historical records.  This is the ideal time to call attention to your organization or local government and its work in preserving Georgia’s documentary heritage.

The celebration will be publicized across the state.  Governor Sonny Perdue will be asked to proclaim the week of October 3-9, 2004 as Archives Week.  Current plans also call for a poster, newspaper and newsletter articles, and events at various repositories.

To help you, an Event Planning Guide has been created and is available at <>.  If you do not have access to the Internet, a copy may be printed out for you.  Please contact Susan Prouse, Superior Court Clerk, Chatham County Superior Court, PO Box 10227, Savannah, Georgia 31412, phone 912-652-7200, or email <>.

For additional information or to provide information on your planned activity, please contact Laura Botts, Georgia State University, 100 Decatur Street, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202, phone 404-651-3902, fax 404-651-4314, or email <>.

Georgia Archives Week is sponsored by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board, the Georgia Archives, the Office of Secretary of State Cathy Cox, the Society of Georgia Archivists, the Georgia Library Association, the Georgia Records Association, the Walter Hopkins Company, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and The Coca-Cola Company.

Lloyd Hustvedt, age 81, longtime St. Olaf professor of Norwegian language and literature and Executive Secretary of the Norwegian American Historical Association, Northfield, Minnesota, from 1959-1999, died on February 2, 2004. 

Hustvedt had published scholarly books and brought organization to Norwegian immigrant history, and in 1980 he was honored by King Olav V for his contributions to Norwegian-American community.

Hustvedt was born April 18, 1922, and was raised in the Sogn Valley of Goodhue County.  His parents, Lars and Matilda Hustvedt, were children of Norwegian immigrants.  He attended a one-room country school where classes were in English, but Hustvedt was confirmed in Norwegian at Urland Lutheran Church, a short walk from his farm. 

Hustvedt enrolled at St. Olaf in September 1942, but went into the military the following March, serving in New Guinea and the Philippines and the postwar occupation of Japan.  He returned to St. Olaf in 1946, earning a degree in Norwegian.  He attended the University of Oslo for a full year after he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.  He married Ester Vegan in 1954, after he completed his master’s degree in Scandinavian studies at the University of Minnesota and began teaching.  Hustvedt later earned a doctorate in Scandinavian studies from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1967 he received the McKnight Prize in Literature for his biography of Rasmus Bjorn Anderson, a Wisconsin-born scholar influential in Norwegian-American intellectual life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

In 1968, Hustvedt received a second Fulbright Scholarship and traveled to Iceland to study the hero concept in the sagas.  The following year he became chairman of the Norwegian department at St. Olaf, where later he was the first instructor to hold the King Olav V chair in Norwegian studies.  He is survived by his wife; a sister, Erna McGuire; a brother, Iver Hustvedt; and daughters Liv or Northfield and Siri, Astrid and Ingrid, all of New York.

Norrie MacPhee of Amherst, New Hampshire, USA, died on December 16, 2003.  Norrie was one of the early members of the Macfie Clan Society of America, joining in 1985, and served as Chairman of that Clan Society’s membership committee from 1998.  He was a strong supporter of his Clan and the Clan Society, participating in many associated activities.  He was responsible for the Clan tent at the annual New Hampshire (Loon Mountain) Scottish Festival and had been to Scotland for Clan Macfie Gatherings.  Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1922, to parents from Nova Scotia, Norrie was also a member of the Macfie Clan Society in Canada.

Shirley McPhee of Palmerston North, New Zealand, died on December 27, 2003.  Shirley and her late husband, Bruce were among the first to respond to Bell Brew’s call in 1984 to form a McPhee Clan Society in New Zealand.  From then on they were extremely dedicated and enthusiastic members of the Society.  In the early days Shirley was responsible for the Clan Society finances and was later instrumental in establishing a genealogical research and recording programme for Society members - an undertaking continued today by three of her daughters.  Born at Petrone on November 4, 1932, Shirley married in 1949.  Bruce predeceased her in May 2003.

Mary Cathey Hanaford of Salisbury, South Carolina, USA, died on January 14, 2004, at age 102.  Always a supporter of the Cathey Reunion Association and its genealogical work, Mary Hanaford, a most gracious lady, was the mother of Elizabeth (Liddy) Dole, the first female United States senator elected in South Carolina and who earlier had been the President of the American Red Cross.

Wayne Maurice Cathey, father of Ann Parker, a prominent Cathey cousin of Shelton, Washington, USA, died in Blackfoot, Idaho on March 17, 2004, at age 94. 

30th anniversary of the Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library 
If you’re Norwegian in family, this is for you!
The 1975 sesquicentennial of Norwegian migration to America sparked an interest in genealogy, especially among the Norwegian Americans.  On July 4th of that year, Norwegian dignitaries, including His Majesty, King Olav V, were present for the reenactment of the departure of the ship Restauration 150 years earlier.  Similar observances took place in New York on October 9, 1975, the anniversary date of the arrival of this ship in New York harbor.  Both countries considered this a very important event.

Vesterheim recognized that this important anniversary sparked a genealogical interest among their membership by the increased number of genealogical inquiries received at the museum.  At the October 1974 annual meeting of Vesterheim, the board of directors voted to establish a Vesterheim Genealogical Center and they named Gerhard B. Naeseth its first director.  Already the Associate Director of the University of Wisconsin Libraries, he accepted the volunteer position as long as the center was located in Madison, Wisconsin.  Since the early 1950’s, he had personally amassed a great many resources relating to Norwegian and Norwegian-American genealogy.  His ultimate goal was to publish this immigrant material in a five-volume set.

The museum’s board of directors set objectives for the genealogical center and a modest periodical, entitled Norwegian Tracks, was also published and distributed to the museum membership and others with interests in Norwegian-American genealogy.  As editor of the periodical, Naeseth encouraged members of the genealogical center to share with him information on projects that related to Norwegian-American genealogy, published new acquisitions of books at the center and articles from center members, and provided lists of new family histories and local histories in Norway.

Following Naeseth’s official retirement from the University of Wisconsin in June 1978, the genealogy advisory committee encouraged him to present more lectures and workshops on Norwegian-American genealogy.  During his summer vacations he traveled throughout the Midwest copying tombstones in Norwegian-American cemeteries.  In all, he transcribed the tombstones from over 800 cemeteries.  By the summer of 1980, Naeseth was inundated with genealogical requests and asked the membership for ideas to help assist him in answering the thousands of inquiries.  Vesterheim’s executive board committee raised the hourly rate for service from the Center to $8/hour for members and $10/hour for nonmember and the board voted to raise the annual genealogical center membership in 1982 to $6/years.  In 1981, others volunteered long distance and carried on genealogical center related projects, including indexing the Norwegians in the 1900 Iowa census records.

In 1982 Blaine Hedberg met with Gerhard Naeseth and a joint effort was proposed of working together to answer the many inquiries being received by the genealogy center.  After a successful year of mentoring, Hedberg began officially working for the Vesterheim Genealogical Center.  By 1984, the genealogical center membership was just over 800 members.  As the research requests poured in, more volunteers worked at the center.  In 1993, Carol Culbertson joined the staff as a researcher.  Naeseth and Hedberg also led several genealogical research tours in 1986, 1989, 1992 and 1997.

In January 1989, the genealogy advisory committee met to decide how best to plan for new and permanent quarters for the genealogical center.  A campaign was embarked upon to raise $350,000.  However, in just three years, over $459,000 was raised and a suitable building was located eight blocks from the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society.  Occupation of the new quarters took place on July 13, 1992 with Vesterheim becoming owner of the property in January 1993.

Blaine Hedberg took over as editor of the Norwegian Tracks in 1993, in part, so that Naeseth could continue with the publication of his opus, Norwegian Immigrants to the United States, 1925-1850.  Naeseth announced his retirement as Director of the genealogical center in May 1993 and published Volume One of his book in August 1993.  At the same time he made arrangements to transfer the bulk of his personal genealogical collections to Vesterheim and the board voted to officially rename the operation as the Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library.  In 1994, Blaine Hedberg became director of the center.  On June 10, 1994, Gerhard Naeseth passed away.

Since that time the Center and Library have received many monetary donations, grants and equipment gifts.  In 2001, the board of trustees reaffirmed its commitment to completing Naeseth’s scholarly work and established the Gerhard B. Naeseth Chair for Genealogical Research and Publication, and named Blaine Hedberg the first Fellow to hold this position.  Hedberg turned the day-to-day activities at the center over to Carol Culbertson and embarked on the project of completing Naeseth’s immigrant histories.  Recently the fourth volume in this series has been completed.

Thirty years later, the center continues to grow and Naeseth’s dream is still alive!

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