The Oman Family Reunion
Oman family reunion photo from 1979
The last Oman Family Reunion, Graham, NC, 1979

Progress Report: 18 November 1996

First, it seems our branch is part of a much larger family tree. Kerm Halden (by my untutored calculations a third cousin to all those in my generation of our Oman clan) recently contacted Mom to let her know we are all now accounted for in a far-reaching genealogical study that reaches back to the 1500s in Sweden. I received this email from Kerm on March 13, which was Mom's 83rd birthday:

David Searls...introducing myself...I am the person who contacted your mother a few weeks ago about the genealogical research I have been doing on my family which led me to her family. Our connection is via our great grandmothers, hers Britta and mine Krisrina Larsdottor who were sisters. We also share great great grandparents Lars Andersson and Maja Lisa Andersdottor. They came from the parish of Bralanda in Dalsland Sweden. Britta emigrated in 1874 and Kristina never did. She married a soldier in Bralanda and never did emigrate, but her children did, one being my grandfather Lars Johan [Louis] holm. He had 2 brothers and 2 sisters who came over also. We have found all of the descendabts of these 5 children....420 people counting marriage partners. Only through the vaguest of information was i able to find the Oman branch I had the name Margaret Carman but could not find anyone in NC by that name. Since I found your mother, she put me in touch with the Texas Ohmans and I have received a great deal of information from LaVee and August Ohman. Your mother sent me a lot of stuff also, which I am thankful for. I have since found another 2 sisters of Britta Anna Aand Kajsa and their families. It is interesting that they all went to a place near St. Peter, Minn, so there was quite a group of this family there in the 1870`s. Kajsa's and her husband Lars took the name Rhode when they came to America so the name changing makes this research difficult... Well, I wanted to get in touch with you , and seeing we are on the net it shoild be easy. If you are interested I will be happy to share any documents with

Then even more connections were made. Janet wrote this back to Kerm:

Kerm, this is in response to the e-mail you sent to my brother David yesterday. I am Jan Searls, Eleanor's daughter and am down here in Graham for a birthday visit to Mom; I live in Arlington, Va.

Mom shared your information on our families yesterday (it is facinating and what a lot of work you have done!) and Dave sent us your e-mail. When I read it to Mom, she jumped at the mention of the name Rhodes, it seems you have just solved a family mystery. She told me the following:

We always knew that my cousin Doris Mandeen Peterson, a Sponberg on my mother's side, married into a family (Peterson) whom we always knew had some connection to my father's family (Oman). However, neither my father nor Doris' mother in law (Betsy Rhodes Peterson) ever shared with any of us what they thought the connection was. Now we know that there is a good chance that Betsy was a daughter of Kajsa and Lars Rhodes. The Peterson's were from Minneapolis.

Doris' daughter, Eleanor Peterson Oren, and I have been good friends for years and always wintered over together in Florida. Eleanor has told me that there is a Rhodes geneology in existance in her family; I may have seen it but I don't recall. Anyway, if you would like to get in touch with Eleanor, she is now at...

Interesting stuff.

Now, as for our reunion plans, John Oman has taken command of this thing, and the event is now planned for Thurs-Sun, July 17-20, 1997, at his place in Newington, CT. He has also secured a group rate with the Hartford Marriott Rocky Hill. Their number is 203-257-6000.

The link in the last paragraph is to John's new site, which is quite a nice one.

And speaking of new sites, check out the newest leaf on the Oman family tree: Jeffrey David Searls, who arrived on October 10.


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