black and white older man in a rural residence setting

Clausen-Zwart Family History

Inspired towards a new genealogy project by a maternal cousin during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, I organized intensive timelines for both halves of my paternal background, fashioned socio-economic context, and finally wrote focused narratives. I never met them, but my grandparents and great-grandparents came alive.“Genealogists: they’re just grad students without the Pell Grant funding or a degree waiting for them at the end.”
- Buzzy Jackson, Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist

My Ancestory Narratives & Social Context

The findings presented in these narratives are based on amateur genealogical and journalistic guidance and family history research. The discovery of additional sources or interpretations may affect the conclusions.

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About This Project

“An overnight success is usually twenty years in the making!”
- T.I. Wade, Banking, Beer & Robert the Bruce
In late 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown, a maternal first cousin invited me to help with AncestoriesXR - a 3D digital art project which would combine real family history stories with the larger European-American immigrant experience. Her passion contagious, I revisited my tree and my notes for my dad’s Dutch and Danish relatives. I did a fresh deep dive across the internet for New York records and struck pay dirt. I was able to trace individuals another generation back in both the Netherlands and Denmark via translated church birth and marriage records. I found new immigration ship manifests, a naturalization intent document, transcriptions of New York state death indices, property transfer notices.The most incredible document came from a newly discovered second cousin in Florida (thank you, WhitePages and Facebook!). She had an actual copy of our great-grandfather’s military registration, all in Danish, but had never translated it; so I did that! And it confirmed his parents’ names and three cities he’d lived in before moving to New York.For both halves of my paternal background, I organized intensive timelines, fashioned socio-economic context, and finally wrote focused narratives for my cousin’s project. I never met them, but my grandparents and great-grandparents came alive.


Are we related? Do you have additional records, images, or documents that add to or change my current interpretations? I'd love to hear from you! Find me on Facebook, Ancestry, FamilySearch, or LinkedIn.