Archive for the ‘Genealogy’ Category

Minna Emma Bebensee   2 comments

On May 14, 1914 the SS Vaterland sailed from Hamburg on her maiden voyage to the United States. Traveling in third class was 16 year old Mina Emma Bebensee. How exciting it must have been for her to be on such a beautiful ship and going to see her brothers who she had not seen for so many years. I’m sure it was a bag of mix emotions also, knowing she likely would never see her Mother or Sister again.

Brother Hans had emigrated with his father in 1898 so at that time Emma was barely a year old so I would guess she had no memory of him. Brother Gustav emigrated when she was 9 and he had been sent to live with an Aunt so they barely knew each other. I can guess as the days grew closer to her arrival there would have been a great deal of excitement in Elk Creek, Nebraska for her brothers. Finally after 15 years Hans would get to see his baby sister who he called his “Little Syropstrummel” (no translation found) – now all grown up.

I wish I had known my Great Aunt Emma but, I never got to meet her. Over the last few months I have been so fortunate to make contact with her Granddaughters and feel so blessed to be able to get to know them – even though it’s from a distance.

Minna Emma Bebensee Going to America by Terri J. Kallio

Minna Emma Bebensee
Going to America
Terri J. Kallio


Posted May 28, 2015 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator in Genealogy

A surprise encounter of the best kind!   8 comments

Sunday, April 22nd started out like most Sundays for me. I make a pot of coffee, snuggle back on the couch with my blanket and watch the news for about a half hour and then check my emails. The 22nd was the day my husband was born and since he died it has become a day of reflection for me. I know some people are going to think I’m an absolutely  nut case and others who will get it – but since he died there are times I feel Darrell is hanging around. No, he doesn’t appear like a ghost or move things about in the room, but there is a sense of him about, almost as if he knows I need him to be with me for a while, and then it’s gone. You can judge it as you see it, maybe wishful thinking or….. ? This year on his birthday I received a surprise email that would make me wonder if somehow Darrell manipulated it or was it mere coincidence?

Over the last year Find A Grave has become like a second source of information for me. It is amazing the work that has been done over the last year by volunteers. I have spent a great deal of my own hours adding photo’s and biographies or obituaries. I also leave virtual flowers on family memorials with a note stating my relation to that person. I highly recommend checking Find A Grave for your own ancestors, leave some virtual flowers and make a note of your relationship.

Sunday morning as I reviewed my emails I found one that has been routed through the Find A Grave website. The sender is, Kurt Bevensee and he is from a town near Hamburg, Germany where my grandfather was born. He is requesting that I contact him regarding my Bebensee family. Although I was intrigued I was a little hesitant at first, but, with a little prodding and my own curiosity I did contact him and shortly after I received an email back. After a few emails back and forth we decided to get on the Skype line and save some email time. What a joy it was to chat with Kurt and discuss the possibility of our relationship. Kurt Bevensee has done a great deal of research into the Bevensee/Bebensee family lines. At this point he is trying to connect my Bebensee family to his Bevensee family. He believes that as he researches possibly back into the 1600’s that he will find our common ancestor. Of course I’m hoping so as well.

Kurt has done some research into my ancestors to make that connection and has sent me information from the 1835, 1840, 1845 and 1867 census from Lensahn, Germany which is the area my great great grandfather Jochim Bebensee was born. My heart took a leap to learn the names of my 3rd great grandfather and his children of which it appears Jochim was the youngest child born in 1828. We spent several hours Sunday, exchanging pictures and information. One of the things I told him about was the document that I had where my great grandfather had registered the birth of my Grandfather, Gustav Bebensee, which also showed the address of where they lived. Number 10 Georgstrasses is the home address of his birth.  

The very next day I receive another email from Kurt. As the email opens there are photographs taken that day, by Kurt, of Georgstrasse #10. My hands start to shake and I can barely open each picture so that I can see it better. If you are one that is passionate about the history of your family I know you can certainly imagine the excitement I felt. It still needs to be verified if these are the original buildings or if they are homes that were re-built after the war. But for me just knowing that this is the street they walked every day and played in is more than I ever dreamed of seeing. These photo’s were a special gift from one passionate genealogist, Kurt Bevensee, to another and I will be forever grateful to him for showing me where my Grandpa was born.

Photographs of #10 Georgstrasse courtesy of Kurt Bevensee

So what do you think – did Darrell whisper in Kurt’s ear to check Find A Grave for some Bebensee connection or was it just coincidence that it happened to be his birthday when I received that first email?

Posted April 25, 2012 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator in Genealogy

A new year, a new adventure!   6 comments

“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow a vision.  But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  Look well, therefore, to this day.”  (Sanskrit Proverb)


I’ve never been one for making new year resolutions. I think it just ends up being a premeditated guilt trip for the things that are not followed through. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a vision or plan for the future, after all we all have things we want to accomplish in the future, but rather to set your sights on the things you can actually do each day.

I’ve been blogging for a few years. My previous blogs have centered around genealogy. Although I love sharing the stories of my family and will continue to here, I wanted a fresh start with a new format and for this blog to include a wider range of topics. So if you are a blog reader you will find a variety of articles, videos, and my own personal thoughts on life. 

The title of my blog – “I’ll be seeing you,” comes from my aversion to saying goodbye to people I love.

 So I’ll be seeing you …..