While Jeff was thrilled to have found his biological mother, two siblings and a multitude of cousins in NL, he was still curious about his biological father. Even with computers and Google search options, this appeared to be a dead end since we had no name. Ancestry to the rescue! For a mere $3,000 they offered to do research we were unable to do ourselves since they have access to a wider database.
Nearly one year later, in February, 2019, we received a lead on a possible relative – a first cousin, named Ellen Sjøstrand Wingerei, IN NORWAY!
We searched for her on Facebook, and wonder of wonders, there she was! We called her to see if she spoke English and would be willing to speak with us about her family. She was most gracious! We found out that her father had four sisters, but only one brother, Frantz Johann Sjøstrand.
We were fairly sure this was Jeff’s father, but needed confirmation, so we reached out to his two daughters, Sølvi and Karin, who live in Bergen, Norway. Both girls speak English and were more than open to speaking with us. Their father passed away in 2015 but had left a stack of letters that Ellen’s father (his brother) had written to him in 1952. Since Frantz was a sailor and traveled all over the world, we found it exciting that the letters were forwarded to him in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where Jeff was born!!!
We were thrilled with this image that Sølvi sent to us, but still wanted final confirmation, so she also did an Ancestry DNA test in March. The results arrived this week – she and Karin ARE Jeff’s half-sisters! We just booked flights to Norway to visit them in July!