Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Karoline: A Newly-Found Great-Aunt?

For months now, has been showing me a particular woman named Karoline Pederson as a potential half-sister of Pauline Braaten (later Brotten), my maternal grandmother. However, she is not on the family tree that my aunt Mildred created, so I've been dismissing the idea.

But this woman came up again this evening, along with the thumbnail of a photo of a group of people. I decided to look at it more closely. And lo and behold, there is my grandmother, Pauline Braaten!

My grandmother is the beautiful young woman on the left in the big hat. Well, honestly, they've all got big hats! I just adore this picture...the hats, the clothes, the smiles. Just looking at them, these are people I'd want to know.

The two women, center and right-of-center, are my grandmother's half-sisters - the newly identified Karoline (who seems to have gone by Caroline and Carolina) and Lydia. In addition to three brothers, they had two other sisters, the twins, Inga and Lena.

So now things get even more interesting. So far, the records show that Karoline and the twins share the same birth date. That can't be right. All three, apparently, were all born on September 4, 1867 in Slattum, Norway. However, Karoline wasn't baptized until April 5, 1868. It's very suspect that they'd wait seven months to have her baptized. So at first I speculated that September 1867 was when the twins were born, and that Karoline was actually born just shortly before her baptism in 1868. On the other hand, that means only seven months between births. Something's amiss here.

After posting this on Facebook, a friend offered this solution - Karoline and Lena are one and the same. Well, of course that must be it! It seems so obvious now.

Because why would Karoline be absent from the family tree? My grandmother consulted in the creation of that tree, so her entire family should be there. Could there possibly have been a family rift so severe that Grandma didn't even want her on the tree? Highly unlikely. The similarity between "Karoline" and "Lena," and the fluidity of names as my family came from Norway to America, makes it pretty clear that Karoline and Lydia are the twins.

Their father died in Norway in 1876, and in either 1882 or 1883, they immigrated aboard the Restoration. 

In 1885, Karoline married the smiling man above on the right, Henry Joseph Dickey (1863-1935), who is listed as a foreman, doing road work. By 1893, they were living in Duluth, Minnesota, where she remained for the rest of her life. The 1910 Census shows them living in Duluth with eleven of their... wait for it... thirteen children. As my people say, "Uffda!"


  1. David,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I also identified a person 'missing' from the oral family history/tree by looking though photos. It turns out there was indeed a huge rift between her and the rest of the family.
    Welcome to the Geneablogger family.