Infant Loss in Genealogy and the Family Tree

As a family historian, I get to see a lot of infant loss.

Safrona Short, Infant Loss
Safrona Short, 24 Sep 1859


Infant loss is found in different ways.  First, there are the cemetery and sitings.  Walking, physically or digitally, through a cemetery will reveal marked graves, often without a given name.  When the marker say ‘baby boy’ or ‘baby girl’ with a surname, you know that the parents and siblings had a spoken or unspoken name for the small coffin at the graveside.  After these, you see the stones for children that died, sometimes within days, or up into their teens.  I will not comment on when infant loss becomes something else; the definition is up to others.

Relatives and friends

After I walk the physical world of cemeteries and the cyber world of databases, I’m faced with flesh and blood relatives.  Hushed conversations of couples losing a child, sometimes given to me by the mother, relating something that happened years ago.  Knowing my interest in all things family, people will relate third party stories.  Most of these losses are semi-private.  There is a physical marker on a patch of ground, but it isn’t always part of the annual cemetery visit habits of some families.

Hopefully, the child is near other, older family members, part of an extended family group in the earth.  Often, child loss occurs with young families, and the child is laid in a section of the cemetery reserved for those without deep roots and family plots in the area.  This is often the case in North Dakota, with it’s recent history of immigrant settlement.

Infant Loss and the Family Tree

Infant loss can become lost in genealogy and the family trees.  If the historian finds evidence, he then has to decide when to include it in the history.  For events two or more generations back, the information can be included without the possibility of causing problems with living relatives.  When the infant was a cousin, nephew, or neice, you have to rely on family to determine whether to publish the information.



JAK2 V617F somatic mutation

Hello, a family member has the JAK2 V617F somatic mutation.

Here is an article on how your DNA can give you an increased chance for a somatic mutation.  I have a PDF of the full article;

New Genetic Findings for Rare Blood Cancers



Notes from the article;

  1.  A five to seven fold increase of MPN development was identified in first-degree relatives of patients with MPN.
  2. A germline haplogroup, GGCC or 46/1, in a section of the JAK2 gene is associated with a three to four fold increase risk of developing a V617F MPN.


And a video;


Individual SNPs associated with the JAK2 V617F mutation, these may be called V617F carriers.

rs59384377 = JAK2 46/1 haplotype

rs7705526 = TERT gene

rs7310615 = SH2B3

rs1548483 = upstream of TET2



Swendseid Swensied family history

Swendseid Swensied family history

Page 219:

1330. SWENDSEID, CLARENCE. FAMILY HISTORY, ca. 1950. 61 typescript pages. P 376. “The Men from Telemark,” the story of Rolleiv Svendseid and his family, who migrated in 1867 from Telemark, Norway, settling first in Fillmore County, Minnesota, and then in 1883 at Nelson, North Dakota. Among the topics treated are politics, church, higher education, agriculture, and financial depressions.



Rolliev Swendseid decided to venture across the sea in 1867 and engaged passage for his family, as well as his widowed mother, Dordi Olvsdatter Kleppe Svendseid, as well as his brother Olav and his sister Anne. He did leave one son in Norway who was to inherit his uncle’s farm, but Tov did not tarry long, he came to join his parents a year later. The ocean passage was made abroad the Laurdal, a small sailing vessel that embarked from Porgrunn. Grandmother Swendseid often told of this journey across the broad Atlantic how the mothers would cook the meals for their families out on the open deck. How they had scant provisions for this long sea voyage, what a problem it was to fed this hungry family with salt pork flatbread, dried meat. This indeed a great undertaking and no one knew what the promised land would be. A baby was born on board the Laurdal in mid ocean. Father often told of this event. The first mate baptized the baby Laura Atlanta. The Laura from the ship’s name and since the baby was born in mid ocean her second name was Atlanta. It seems peculiar that we had tow Lauras in our family. No doubt father insisted on these names. My brother Theodore married a Laura. To carry on this matter along we have an Atlanta as well. Anthony called his oldest daughter Eleanor Atlanta. Father was nine years old when he crossed the ocean the first time. This baptism on board the sailing vessel must have made a great impression on him. I can visualize that scene. The ships company and passengers standing on deck, the heavy seas, the weather beating, first mate reading the baptismal vows, giving the infant the name Laura Atlanta. Many years later father met this girl at one of the Telemarkenlags, she had grown to womanhood in South Dakota.

In 1868 she departed from Porsgrunn on Apr. 19th, and arrived at Quebec on June 8th. She was carrying 336 passengers. Master was Capt. J. L. Petersen. (585 tons) The passenger list is kept by the National Archives of Canada [NAC]. In 1869 the Laurdal departed from Porsgrunn on Apr. 12th, and arrived at Quebec on May 18th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 335 steerage passengers and 15 cabin passengers. One child died of pneumonia, John age 2, son of Halvor Østensen and Kirsti. Also on this voyage the Laurdal was mastered by Capt. J. L. Petersen, and she had a crew of 19. (585 tons) The passenger list is kept by the National Archives of Canada [NAC].

In 1870 the Laurdal departed from Porsgrunn on Apr. 12th and arrived at Quebec on June 12th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 333 steerage passengers and 18 cabin passengers. There was an outbreak of measles, and when the ship arrived at the quarantine station on Grosse Île twelve were sick. They were landed. There were births on the voyage, on May 24th, Kittel, son of Ole Gulbjørnsen and Geni Tollefsdatter, on June 12th, Halvor, son of Even Aslaksen and Gunhild, and on May 26th, Hans Christ, son of Jacob Tollefsen and Anne. There were also two deaths after the arrival at Grosse Île, the first on June 14th, Nini age 2, the daughter of Torsten and Bergit and the second on June 8th, which was an elderly person. The Laurdal was mastered by Capt. J. L. Pedersen as usual, and had a crew of 16. (600 tons) The passenger list is kept by the National Archives of Canada [NAC]. In 1871 the Laurdal departed from Porsgrunn on Apr. 16th, and arrived at Quebec on June 5th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 7 cabin and 187 steerage passengers. There were 3 births on the voyage, and one child had died from bronchitis. It was 6 months old Østen, son of Ole Aasmundsen (32) and his wife Ingeborg (38). Master was Capt. J. L. Petersen, with a crew of 16. The passenger list is kept by the National Archives of Canada [NAC]. In 1872 she departed from Porsgrund on Apr. 13th, and arrived at Quebec on June 1st. She was mastered by Capt. J. L. Petersen and was carrying 241 passengers The passenger list is kept by the National Archives of Canada [NAC].

ship Laurdal

NKX2-1 gene mutation

I just found a cousin with the NKX2-1 gene mutation.  This can be linked with different cancers and developmental issues.


Using, there are eleven genes associated with this mutation;


Chromosome      position       RiskGeno
Rs137852692      36,517,781     Rs137852692(T;T)
Rs137852693      36,517,871     Rs137852693(C,T;C,T)
Rs137852694      36,517,739    Rs137852694(T;T)
Rs2076751          36,520,214
Rs28936671       36,517,757     Rs28936671(A;A)
Rs28936672       36,517,771     Rs28936672(T;T)
Rs387906404     36,517,576     Rs387906404(;)
Rs587776707      36,517,812     Rs587776707(CC;CC)
Rs587776708      36,518,022    Rs587776708(A,C;A,C)
Rs587776709     36,519,104     Rs587776709(C;C)
Rs863225300     36,517,960    Rs863225300(A;A)
The DNA tests check two of the sites:

Rs28936671 36,517,757
Rs28936672 36,517,771


Arthur Short (1937 – 2016)

Arthur Short
Arthur Short
Arthur Short

Born: July 22, 1937

Died: July 18, 2016

A Celebration of a Life Well Lived

Arthur Short, or Con (infamously known as Buz) Short was born in Killdeer, ND, on July 22nd, 1937, the son of Don and Edith (Whittemore) Short. He claimed to be the smartest of the four siblings – Anne, Connie and Suzi – but that was never proven. He was raised on a cattle ranch on the Little Missouri River north of Medora, ND.  The Short Ranch was his first love – Con took great pride in being a real cowboy.

He graduated with the class of 1955 from Beach High School before attending Iowa State University in Ames, IA. He cherished the lifelong friendships made at the Phi Kappa Psi house and thought the movie Animal House was written about his fraternity. At ISU, he met the true love of his life, Sandra Taylor, and they married on July 2nd, 1960.

Con and Sandy moved to the Short Ranch and made it their home, raising their three children – Don, Dave and Sarah. Their home in Beach, ND, and the Short Ranch were always open to other family and friends, many of them becoming part of the family, including Doug Northrop, Clint Cook and Mike Houle.  After 45 years of ranching, Con and Sandy moved to Marshalltown, IA, to run Taylor’s Maid-Rite.

Con served in the ND Air National Guard, was a member of the ND Stockmen’s Association, and served on the Medora Grazing Association and ND Brand Boards.  He was instrumental in starting the Beach ambulance service, and in later years, he faithfully supported the local Beach coffee shops and Taylor’s Maid-Rite.

Con and Sandy loved collecting North Dakota and Red Wing Pottery. Con was the second president of the North Dakota Pottery Collectors Society and was a 38-year member of the Red Wing Collectors Society. He and his son Dave gave many seminars about Red Wing stoneware – which Con considered to be the hottest ticket at the annual conventions – and their entertaining banter and enthusiasm for Saltglaze would fill the room.  He and Sandy always sat in the front row of the auctions, hands held high. They have acquired a second family of NDPCS and Red Wing members whose friendships are truly priceless.

Con’s love of life was infectious, and he took great pride in his family and their accomplishments. He considered his greatest achievement his children, grandchildren, and many friendships. He never met a stranger and would talk to anyone, whether they wanted to chat or not.  Con had a gift for making everyone around him feel special. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandy, and their three children – Don (Julie), Des Moines, IA; Dave (Tani), Mesa, AZ; Sarah (Steve) Sarbacker, Sioux Falls, SD; and Doug Northrup, Des Moines, IA. Grandchildren – Zac and Lexi Short, Isaac and Lydia Sarbacker, and Avery Short.

Sisters – Anne (Ken) Johnson, Larimore, ND; Connie (Paul) McDonald, Bedford, TX; Suzi (Dan Dinkle) Williams, Bismarck, ND; Sister-In-Law – Marlene Taylor, Marshalltown, IA. And numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

In death, he will join parents Don and Edith Short and in-laws Don and Polly Taylor, and brother-in-law Ken Johnson.

Family visitation will be held Friday, July 22, from 12:30-2:00 PM, with a memorial service to follow, both at Mitchell Family Funeral Home in Marshalltown.

Con always hoped to make the world a better place by simply being kind and generous to others.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Marshalltown Salvation Army or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Poppke DNA on Chromosome 1

Poppke Felchle DNA

I’m trying to find our Poppke grandfather’s family through DNA analysis.
We currently have four Poppke grandchildren tested and on
For Poppke elimination, we have a Felchle 2nd cousin and a 2nd cousin one removed.

These posts will look at the evidence one chromosome at a time.

For Chromosome 1, if you look just at the four Poppke grandchildren, there are several areas where one first cousin matches with one other first cousin. But nothing greater than that. On chromosome 1, the matches appear to be good with the Felchle family side.

In detail,

A Poppke grandchild matching with two Felchle 2nd cousins on

67,778,231 80,858,587

Two Poppke grandchildren matching with a Felchle 2nd cousin on

239,001,460 247,137,334