The following are success stories from those of you who have made a connection through the Aitkin County pages.
If you have a success story, please contact the Aitkin County Coordinator.
Include photos if you have them. Thanks!


By Mary Beth Rausch
RootsWeb Review

I have a success story, because of RootsWeb. I began researching for my father-in-law a couple of years ago. I checked every website and board I could find, but I wasn't successful in finding information on his father who disappeared in 1925.

My father-in-law's parents divorced and Jim and his brother never found out what happened to their dad. Their mom didn't want to talk about him. Jim felt sad about never seeing his dad again and would think about him time after time throughout his life. I really wanted to find out some-thing for him.

I kept checking. I e-mailed back and forth with some really nice people, but still didn't find anything. One day, I posted on a RootsWeb message board about his dad, and told what Jim remembered. (Jim was only five years old when his dad left.) I didn't hear anything for a while, then one day, I received an e-mail from someone who was researching the same name as I was. He suggested I get in touch with another woman, so I e-mailed her, and found out that my father-in-law's dad had remarried and moved to another state. He and his wife had 11 children together.

Jim had 11 siblings he didn't know about! My contact got in touch with one of the siblings, and at first, there was disbelief, because, most of them had never heard of another family. The older ones had heard rumors, but didn't believe them. I sent copies of his Aitkin County, Minnesota birth certificate and his sisterís death certificate and a couple of pictures of Jim for her to share with them. That clinched it -- Jim is definitely his fatherís son. They were overcome how much he looked like their father.

Well, now they wanted to meet Jim, so I called Jim and told him that I had I found out where his father went and about his family. Jim was very touched and both happy and sad. Sad, that his father had passed away before he could see him again, but so happy to have all those siblings. Five of his siblings had passed away, but, six are still living.

Soon a trip was planned for him to go to Washington state to meet with his new family. Oct. 14, 2002 was the date for the reunion -- at a diner with plenty of room for everyone. Jim and his wife arrived by train, and were met with flowers, hugs and love! Jim was so overcome with happiness as he met about 50 new relatives.

Along with this new family, Jim also was given his DAYTON ancestry as well -- back to Isaac DE DEIGHTON born before 1275 in Deighton, England. What a treasure both of the past and a future of getting acquainted with family.


Rick Gustafson writes:

I wanted to let you know that I've met my second cousin thanks to your web site. Our grandmothers were sisters. We've been having a great time e-mailing back and forth with what we each know about the family. It's been a great experience!!

Many thanks again for your efforts!


Great-Grandfather Ole O. Broen/Brown, his wife Annie Anderson
and five of their children
girls Bessie and Alma ~ sons Ole JR, Gilbert and Theodore
Picure taken at their 50th wedding party

In 1995 I spent my honeymoon in Minnesota looking for my mother's family, even going so far as to copy names from the phone books in different towns we stopped in. All for nothing! On the way home we stopped at a local history center, just for kicks. (We really needed some time out of that darned car!) A gentleman there pointed us to another library and local historian, but she couldn't help. Our name was too common. If only we had more information.... She did come up with census information on my grandfather's family, so we knew we were on the right track.

Back home in Michigan, I decided to put it on the Web and see what I could find. I posted to every site I could find, and waited and searched and waited some more. I even sent a photo of my grandma in the hopes that someone might remember her or see a resemblance to one of their own.

Finally I got a response! I started searching again, as part of the family was going by a different surname. I am happy to report that we now number 7 (yes seven!) ~ all researching the Broen/Brown/Sogard family tree.

Thank You for the Aitkin site. Without it Jeff would not have found me and I would not have found my cousins :-)

(Unfortunately, Arlene's email address is not current!)


I have been looking for the Lozway surname for 2-3 years and never found anyone else with that name. After I posted my query on the Aitkin Co pages I recieved a response only after a week! It was a cousin ~ a close cousin. Wow! Was I surprised! We have since shared our information with each other via snail mail and email. It is so nice to have someone to help me figure things out and bounce ideas off of.

So THANKS to you and all the volunteers at Aitkin Co web pages. You are the best. Cathy Larkins