Welcome to Keld’s genealogy website

The above photo of my family and myself was taken about 1963, so I am ca. 10 years old on the photo.

My ethnicity is correct. According to familysearch.org, there are close to 10.000 people by this last name in Germany, some 5.600 in the United States, and some 700 in Austria. But there are many more, these are just the genealogists!

I was born 5 minutes before midnight on Oct. 24th 1952 at a birth clinic on Martinsvej No. 8, Frederiksberg in Copenhagen. My mother Alice Herbst was an office clerk, and my father Henrik Anders Emmerth Pedersen was a locksmith with weights as his special merit. They married in 1947, had my sister the year after, and me another 4 years later. My parents provided a secure and loving environment for us kids to grow up in, and I remember my childhood as very free and happy. Judging from my sister’s facial expression she probably didn’t agree at the time. In the summer of 1956, when I was almost 4 years of age, we moved out of a cramped, dark and cold apartment in Ryesgade, a poor neighborhood in the city where almost every building was ready for condemnation already back then. It was a most welcome change to live in the above depicted 3 room apartment in a suburb on the island Amager south of Copenhagen, with sunshine through the windows, a balcony, flowering shrubberies in front of the balcony, grass lawns surrounding all the buildings, and a wonderful view over a neighboring peasant’s hayfield.

Every summer night we enjoyed the setting sun in the horizon, accompanied by singing blackbirds from the tops of the lamp posts. The neighborhood road was small and U-shaped with very little traffic, so we could play safely in the environment until long after sundown. We played hide and seek, rounders, football, cowboys and indians, bicycle race, rollerskating and much more. The girls played hopscotch, skipped rope and played tennis balls up against the walls. Close by was an old-style grocery, a dairy shop with butter in half barrels, and a kiosk with a tiny telephone booth, which cost 10 øre to use per call. It was about as healthy an environment as can be imagined in which to raise your kids, and I often think of the many happy days and nights there. Later in life, I was married and divorced, after which I moved back to the environment. I now live across the road from my childhood home in a cozy apartment. The entire community was renovated in 2016.

My grandfather, Svend August Herbst was at some point trying to track down our German ancestors, but I don’t think he succeeded at all. I never saw his work, but judging from what he told us, it was all wrong. At that time there was no internet, so every small progress he might have made, depended on him manually sifting through bunches of dusty old papers at the State Archives, and – as far as I understand – even making trips to the German archives. He eventually came up with the story, that we were descendants of the son of a German Count, who had been exiled by his father for some dishonest deed or other. This was pure fantasy. I later located some of my direct German ancestors in Ohra (now Orunia in Poland), Kreis Danziger Höhe, West Prussia, and by that time I was hooked on genealogy research. I have later discovered more German ancestors, and Swedish too, along with a large number of Danes. Sadly my grandfather did not live to see it.

From early 2012 I started doing serious genealogy research. It has been quite a journey so far, but very worthwhile. Being a genealogist is definitely a full-time job. Thankfully, many people have worked hard to publish much needed information throughout the years. And so, one can sit comfortably at home while researching, which is much more pleasant than spending hours on end at the reading room
of the State Archives, working through piles of dusty old papers. However, there’s a “flip side” to working from your computer at home: When searching through endless church records or the like, it’s all too easy to lose track of time, and before you know it, it’s 4am in the morning, and you have had nothing to eat since last night. Thank God for coffee and sandwiches!

Although this website started out as a site strictly devoted to genealogy, my ever growing interest in everything historical has to some degree altered its contents. Many non-genealogical and other facts have thus been added. It is my conviction that these additions are equally interesting for many of the genealogists who visit these pages, but if this is not the case, it is still I who have done the labor, and for those who have little or no interest in these additions, it’s easy to escape with just one click of the mouse. Luckily, I have had help from many skilled genealogists at DIS-Danmark (now known as Danske Slægtsforskere) and different Facebook groups, while trying to figure out exactly what the clerk wrote in the church records back in the 1600’s-1700’s, why people’s names were sometimes completely different on different occasions (many couldn’t read and write, and it was common practice to write names as you heard them), and why on Earth they had to name their children exactly the same as the father, the grandfather, the great grandfather, etc., generation after generation. When a child died, it was common to name the next child after the dead one.
Other genealogists both in Sweden, Denmark and the United States have been very helpful as well. A while ago, a bunch of Facebook groups have emerged, and for many different countries, where much needed help can be had. I hereby express my sincere thanks to all of them. Without help, we are all lost.

I also need to emphasize the fact, that some of the information I publish here may be incorrect. A fact that goes for many genealogy websites. Yet another flip side of the easy access to information; many genealogists have – to some degree – built their family trees based partly on non-verified information, sometimes done with a simple copy-paste procedure from other people’s websites. But as long as it is clearly stated, I don’t see it as a major problem, but of course sources are very important in every case. Some information however cannot be verified at all, and a family tree is a very dynamic thing, as it changes all the time. Hopefully towards a still more correct one, which should always be the end goal for every serious genealogist. Therefore I am continuously working on updating and adding sources. Maintaining a genealogy website with over 12.000 names is a major task, which can not, even under the best of circumstances, be completed in a single lifetime. For these reasons, I ask your forgiveness for any mistakes I may have made.

My direct line of ancestors currently lists 15 generations. My oldest known direct ancestor, Jørgen Ravn was born around 1588, but I don’t know much about him as there are no church records at all. It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall in those times; I can hardly imagine the living conditions, so cruel and hard for many people. For the poorest, it must have been extremely hard, and their lives were too often cut short by diseases, wars or accidents. Still, I often try to picture those times in my mind.

In August of 2020 I decided to change from the free Google Sites to a purchased domain of my own. The reason for this is the fact that Google abandoned the “Classic Google Sites” and replaced it with a new and completely useless design, which is too simple and not at all suited to a genealogy website. I hope this will eventually turn out to be a better choice, but for now, I feel a little lost trying to learn to use WordPress for building this website. But there is good progress.

A great number of individuals are only mentioned briefly in the list of surnames, and have no individual family charts. The reason is, that I am of course most interested in my closest relatives, but in due time, more individual family charts will show up. Also, it makes little sense to create charts for individuals with hardly any known information, or with only few relations.

If the suffix after a name contains a (?), it means there’s more work to be done with this person, or there may be doubt about some of the data involved. A set of square brackets [] following a name without a RIN number inside them, means I have not yet copied the RINs from Legacy, and as such, those data are not yet complete.

The main reason why part of this website is in English, is that most people around the world speaks and understands it, which is not the case with Danish. Also, I do have English speaking relatives, and it gives more people the chance to navigate and read my information. However, some pages are in Danish or Danish/English. Sadly, Google translate is not accurate enough for my purposes, but if you do in fact need a translation, you need to suffice with that option, or alternatively you may contact me for a translation, which I will happily provide.

My main purposes with this website are to learn about my ancestors, to help other genealogists, and hopefully to create contact with living relatives*. You are free to use any and all data published here, as I claim no copyrights to my published material. If any living person wishes to be removed or anonymized, this will of course be respected. Also, once again, I cannot guarantee that all information is 100% correct, however, I have done my best, but as mentioned earlier, there may be incorrect data here and there.  

Lately I have stumbled upon some rather large family names (Barfod, Emmertsen/Emmertson, Kaas, Kaasbøll, Humble, Kure, Yawman, Uldall and many others), which I am in the painstakingly tiresome process of entering into my genealogy database. It has become increasingly evident that the more records you have, the easier it becomes to find new ones, so there’s still a long way to go. I estimate that I could easily have before me, an addition of some thousand individuals into my database. While entering these data, I may likely stumble over new names to be added. My work is definitely cut out for me, but I like this challenge.

I have simplified the name lists; it was too much work to maintain tables, so from now on I simply copy a text file made from Legacy’s name list. This also displays more than the tables did.

Some genealogists choose to leave out of their family tree anyone who is not blood related. In my opinion, they too belong in the tree, as long as they have a legal connection to someone to whom I myself am blood related, or as long as they have a legal connection to someone who is legally connected to any of my blood relations. This means that I include persons who:

  1. are my own family, or are legally connected to it
  2. are, or have been married to anyone in my own family, or to anyone connected to it
  3. are parents, children or siblings to any of these persons
  4. have been adopted or taken into foster care by any of these persons

If you wish to mail me, please use my email “saintkelo-at-gmail.com”.

Your message will of course be kept private, and I will reply as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest.

My family tree at familysearch.org: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/LD9T-GQ1

UPDATE 13th March 2022:
* 11 new cousins in the United States! Wow, this is amazing. Welcome in the family to all of you:
Bethany Ann Gonzales, my 3rd cousin twice removed.
Charles Gould, my 3rd cousin twice removed.
Brighton Gould, my 3rd cousin three times removed.
Matthew King Dalton, my 3rd cousin three times removed.
Wesley Scott Dalton, my 3rd cousin three times removed.
Adam Parrish, my 3rd cousin three times removed.
Alya Dariana Peterson, my 3rd cousin three times removed.
Teddy Drinkwater Jr., my 4th cousin twice removed.
Karen Marie Ekison Bee?, my 6th cousin once removed.
Sarah Stadler, my 7th cousin.
I have previously found Catherine Dalton, my 3rd cousin twice removed, and Gert Gunther Nielsen, my 2nd cousin. I can’t wait to add them to my tree.

Latest news, August 6th:
I have discovered a pedigree with several hundred names, which I am currently adding to my Legacy database. My great grandfather had a brother who married a woman, who was a descendant of the Dutch/Flemish/West Frisian immigrants on the island Amager in the 1520’es. For many years, these people only married their own, as they wished to keep the farms and the land on their own hands, completely understandable as they had been given the farms and land for free shortly after their arrival. So from the 1520’es up until some 300 years later, if you are related to one of them, you are related to a great many of them because of their marrying habits. As such, I can safely add every single one of the individuals in the pedigree, as I already have a few of them in my tree. This pedigree contains a certain “Jan Backer” from Store Magleby, plus all his descendants. He was born around 1570-90 as far as I can figure out, but sadly there are no church records available from that time. They start in the first half of the 1600’s. Still, this pedigree is full of valuable info. The original list of immigrants has also been lost in the wars with the Swedes 1657-60. Only drafts are available, which are not 100% trustworthy, but we know that the first bunch of immigrants consisted of just 24 families, although we believe more arrived later.

My family tree software, Legacy was last updated on August 5th 2022: 12228 records
(This entire site is continuously undergoing development)
My ftDNA FamilyFinder DNA test was taken in November of 2018
Most recent GEDCOM upload to familytreedna.com/my/family-tree was Feb. 18th 2019
No usable matches yet

No copyright, but please remember to quote the source herbst-pedersen-family.dk