"I never imagined how much fun this would be" Niels Bjerre Hansen, Viborg
As a young man, Niels Bjerre Hansen met a Danish-American family in Utah, an event that would eventually spark his interest in family history. At the time he was training as an F-16 pilot with the US Air Force. The possibility that the two families could be related never crossed his mind. They lost touch, and it was only 25 years later, when his friend died, that the production technician rekindled the friendship.
Niels’ friends in Utah emailed him photographs from his friend’s funeral. Having difficulty putting names to faces, Niels decided to build a family tree of his friend’s family. The very next morning, Niels had already discovered several ancestors, and, bitten by the genealogy bug, decided to start his own family tree.
Little did he know this would mark the beginning of a remarkable journey, and he would learn that he was actually related to his Danish friend in Utah. After 35 years apart, Niels visited Utah and was reunited with his friends, where they celebrated their newly discovered family ties.
“Niels’ research is mind boggling and very exciting to our family. It has been wonderful for us all to reconnect and to learn that connection has gone deeper than any of the rest of us had a clue.”
Niels has invested much care, work and time in his family tree, which now has some 40,000 individuals in it. He has researched his wife’s family history and also researched other family members, delighting them with what he has learned.
Family history is the ultimate pastime for Niels. He enjoys finding relatives living in his hometown, as well as reconnecting with the thousands of relatives he’s discovered in Norway, Canada, the USA and Germany.