It’s only three letters, but if I had a quarter for every time I’ve had to spell my last name, spell it again, and still ask to have the “w” removed, I could fund a dozen instant research trips to Europe, just like I was starring in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are. (Seriously, what fills me with envy every single episode is the celebrity finding out what town they’re from in some far-off country and the next day they jet over to check it out.)
In the fall of 2007, I started a serious search for my father’s father’s father’s line. Family lore provided only this:
My great-grandfather, Hans Loe, came to Chicago from a town called Drammen in Norway at some unknown date.
His last name used to be Christianson, but it got somehow changed along the way.
He was a tailor in Chicago, but used to be a lumberjack in Norway. (Seriously?)
His wife’s name was Annie.
He and his wife had all boys, including my grandfather, Edward