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Report 582: An Independent Driving Tour of Europe - 2001

By JaniceB from Ontario, Canada, Spring 2001

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Page 8 of 15: Kristiansand, Norway

May 20, 2001 17:04

Words fail me.

Well, not exactly, but I do feel rather overwhelmed. So much has happened since yesterday.

1. Last night I had an email response from one of the Beulink family that is still living in Holland. Our connection to such Beulink's has to be at least 200 years old. Our connection to the Norwegian Beurlings is only 100 years old. This young woman wrote to me in response to a message I left on a genealogy forum many months ago. In fact, I'd forgotten all about it. Unbelievable timing! She still lives in a village near the town our family originally came from! I emailed her immediately to say that we'd be in that area on Monday, but I haven't heard back from her yet.

2. Tonight we had an email message from George, one of Mom & Dad's friends in Grenada. George wrote to say that he knows some Dutch people in Grenada named Beulink and will try to get more information for us. Go, George!

3. We spent the entire day with the Beurling clan of Norway. Wow! We met too many people and learned too many things today to do more than summarize coherently. One of the major highlights was when one of the older women who had married a Beurling showed us a very old photograph album. She didn't know who the people were, but hoped others would. Dad was looking over Hans' shoulder at the pictures. The first few pictures were of the earliest Beurlings in Norway (Grandpa's uncle & first cousins). Then Hans turned a page and Dad saw a photograph he recognized -- his grandfather, Gustaf Ferdinand Beurlingk, the one who brought his family to Canada. Needless to say, there was great excitement on the part of each branch of the family. I really enjoyed the woman who brought the photo album. She talked to us quite personably for a long time and not a word was in English. I have no idea what she was saying, but she said it charmingly!

We had a lot of fun seeing family resemblances. I'm sure the following details will be of greatest interest to other family members, so I won't try to identify or explain everything in detail . . .

We saw a lot of big Beurling ears. There were so many, it became quite comical. We saw a little girl who could be Alyssa's sister. We saw a young boy who could be Ricky at that age (about 12). I saw a young man who made me think of Cricket (his Mom, Bjorg, told me in very broken English that he has just returned from a three-year mission trip to Mali.) We saw the broad faces many of us in Canada have. When they sang Norwegian folksongs, I could hear Auntie Gladys and Auntie Elsie. We met a cousin of Hans' who looks very much like Auntie Frieda. We met Hans' nephew, Fred Ivar, who bears a STRIKING resemblance to Uncle George. He was also the tallest Beurling I met, a good 6'2" I think.

I'd better stop for now. I have seen and heard too much and am too tired to make good sense of it. And we need to get up in less than six hours to catch the plane back to Amsterdam.

We had the most wonderful day. Hans just keeps sighing and saying, "It was a GOOD day." Dad just keeps sighing.

I'll write again when I can. We'll do our best to locate the Beulinks in Holland.

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