Heart Choices: Wednesday's Walk ~ Grandpa Sumstad -->

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Wednesday's Walk ~ Grandpa Sumstad

Last week was my first to participate in the meme Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane. But I want to let you know that it was very memorable for me and I couldn't wait to participate again this week.

Last week, I wrote about my Grandpa Sumstad. He was such a hero to me and a spiritual mentor. If you missed it, you can read it here.

My dad called me from Florida later that day to tell me he'd received a phone call from a man named Bill Sumstad. Bill lives in the Seattle area and had somehow come across my blog post about my Grandpa Sumstad on Heart Choices. He thought we might be related!
Since that phone call, we've pieced together that yes ...we are indeed related. And Bill has a brother who lives in Tucson, Arizona! I also got connected to another new found relative named Ogee who lives in Oslo, Norway. We've become Facebook friends.
How's that for the Internet connecting people?

I thought I'd continue with my walk down Memory Lane by posting a few photos of my Grandpa Sumstad.

Here is my Grandpa as a child. He was named Henrik. As I mentioned last week, he was born on the family farm in Sumstad.

As a young man, my grandfather traveled to America with his younger brother, Tomas Konrad. My grandpa changed his first name to Henry and they took the name of their home town as their last name, Sumstad.

My grandfather met my nana, Aslaug Thoresen in church and they married. His brother Tomas Konrad married and had a daughter named Marian. Unfortunately, he died at a young age in an auto accident.

My dad was their first born and they named him Harry. A number of years later they had a daughter named Ruth. During these early years, the young family returned to live in Sumstad, Norway. My dad went to elementary school there but they returned to Brooklyn, New York once again.

Here is the family while they were living in an apartment in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York. It was like Little Norway. My dad and his best friend Bob Sandbo used to hang out together and their moms would yell out the window to each other to see where the boys were.

My dad and mom met in church, Salem Gospel Tabernacle. They were in high school when they met and married in 1950. The next year they had my brother Steve and a new generation of Sumstad's began.

I wanted to post this memory for this week so my new relatives could learn more about my family. So, Bill, Ogee, and Reidar - I hope this provides a little bit of background for you too.

So Lynette, I have to say a big thank you for hosting Wednesday's Walk down Memory Lane. If I didn't participate I may never have found my new relatives. Don't forget to link to Lynette's blog to read more participating posts.

Debbie Petras
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  1. Very, very awesome my friend.

  2. Goosebumps all around over here! How very cool is that? What are the chances of them "stumbling" across your blog and I am loving reading your memories!
    BIG hugs my friend.

  3. That is wonderful Debbie, you have created a family tree. I love how you Grandfather changed his last name, my Grandfather one day painted a picture and could not fit the (e) on the edge of the picture so he just dropped it.
    Everyone likes to put an (e) at the end of my maiden name but my Grandpa dropped it...lol

  4. I loved reading this. You are fortunate to have such great pictures and know so much of your families heritage.

  5. That is so awesome Debbie!

    I so enjoy reading the history and legacy of families. Thanks for sharing with us. I love the "oldies" photos. I enjoy viewing my grandparents and their siblings etc in my photo album.

    Love ya.

  6. Neat story about your ancestors. But the connections made through your blog are amazing, too! I recently connected with a man by family knew on Long Island back in 1969 (40 years ago). We send our church bulletin out by email. Someone in Arizona or New Mexico forwarded it on to Washington State then Oklahoma, where a man recognized my name and called me. Technology has shrunk our world.

    I like the attention you give to your family history. Too many of us have lost connection with our past, and that is an important part of our roots. Good post.

  7. Wow that is awesome. That is neat you have all these photos to share. Our family has photos, but I don't have them, hopefully one day I will. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  8. Debbie,
    I am so glad that you have joined in the Wednesday's Walk! I enjoy your stories and your comments on my blog.

    This is so neat that your relatives found you! That is amazing.

    It truly is a small world when the internet is used.

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  9. What wonderful photos!! I loved hearing your family story

  10. Love the photos.

    Glad you could and did join in Wednesday's walk down memory lane.
    I find it very interesting and fun.

  11. A great post about your family, Debbie ~ That is so neat about meeting relatives on the internet. And I enjoyed the pictures of your family.

  12. oh my, oh my! what a sweet surprise, Debbie!:)) that's really awesome! I'm so happy and excited for you...

  13. Cool pics! How crazy that you met relatives through blogging!

  14. Very cool. I found an old classmate online when searching for a former professor. That introduced me to blogging!

    I've recently been scanning in old pics from the family. It is fun to see the old history like yours here. Many of those pics i didn't even know existed.

    Thank you for sharing. :)

  15. Great memories and lovely photo. Your grandpa was a handsome young man. I admire my grandparents and all the many others who left their country of birth and left for a new land.

  16. I have goosebumps too. I have always wondered if I would ever find out more about my ancestry on my grandmother's side, because she was disowned by her family when she left Japan. Maybe if I post something with the names that I know, someone will find it. It's a long shot, but that is the power of the internet.

    ~ Kristi

  17. Debbie,

    This is just amazing. I love the photos too. I have missed you too and thank you for stopping by when I have been unable to get back by to your place to return the visits. I really do hope to get back on track here soon. We have company tonight and by next week I should be ready to start posting away again.

    Blessings and hugs to you, my friend.

  18. Debbie, that's so cool! I'm excited to hear that Wednesday's walk was related to you meeting some family. FUN! Your Grandpa Henry sounds like a neat man and the family story is interesting.

    Thanks for sharing today.

  19. How fun to find a relative via the Internet. Great memories of your grandpa too...that has to be special for you.

  20. This gave me goosebumps! (Directly underneath a hot flash. It's a strange sensation. LOL)

    What an incredible story Debbie. I love the way God works to guide us in ways that look so ordinary but are nothing short of supernatural.

    I thought of you today after reading an email a friend of mine sent me. I think I have your email so I'm going to forward it to you. Just something I think you might like regarding God and food. :)

    Have fun getting to know your newly found relatives!

  21. What joy bubbling over from your words. I love seeing how God uses everything, including the internet!

    Blessing from Costa Rica,
    Sarah Dawn

    Hope you don't mind if I come back and splash more often.

  22. How amazing you were able to find family through your blog and through Wed walk! Awesome!!

  23. Your heritage is so rich. What a blessing. And how exciting that you are connecting with other family members.
    Actually, I just got back from vacation - one of the "visiting relatives" trips, and I met some family that I had never met. It is sweet. They have actually already emailed me and sent pics.
    I'm already hoping to have an impact on this young woman's life - small though it may be..

  24. Debbie, I love these photos and the family stories! I remember Uncle Henry when I was a little boy and always asked about him and if we would ever see him again.... now I know I will someday! Thank you so much for sharing, it fills a void I have had for a very long time! It was great to find about all of you and to actually meet you in person, Uncle Henry lives on!


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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