Torhild Shirley was a valuable resource to me when I was researching my family history to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As part of the application process, you must submit birth records, marriage records, and death records for every generation of ancestors dating back to your Patriot (your ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War), including their spouses. I hit a roadblock with my Norwegian great-grandfather, as I had no knowledge of how to research Norwegian records, no understanding of the naming conventions, and no understanding of the language. I turned to Torhild for help, and she was able to obtain a birth record and confirmation record for me and also provide the translation of the documents so that it could become an official part of my membership packet! I am very excited to say that I am now a member of the DAR, which has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I could not have done it without Torhild’s help!
Torhild Shirley has given me much kind, knowledgeable support as I have researched my Norwegian roots. She has suggested resources unknown to me and then helped me translate and interpret the clues available in these records. At one point I found the correct names in northern Norway, but could not determine if they were in my line. She went to census records and to records of the previous generation to determine that this couple could not be on my line in spite of the similarities. She is an organized thinker able to understand my dilemmas and to recognize a way to proceed to solve. I appreciate her professionalism.
Several years ago I came across a Norwegian Bible belonging to my Great-Grand Mother Mathea Elligingsen Rudd. In the bible, there was a handwritten document in Norwegian that I believed to be a Patriarchal Blessing. I knew that Torhild Shirley was a native Norwegian and so I took the document to her to see if she could translate it for me. In short order, she returned the original document with a typed English translation. It was indeed a Patriarchal blessing given to Mathea Ellingsen Rudd given by O. N. Linjenquist on the 9th of November 1885. The blessing is a treasure for our family, remarkable in its content and the blessings pronounced. I am grateful for Torhild’s willingness to do the translation and for her quick response.
Dean W. Quayle
I was referred to Torhild Shirley about 10 years ago when no one at the Family History Library could help me with my Norwegian ancestral tree. Even though she was busy with younger children at the time, she made time for me and helped me straighten out some confusing things in my tree. Even though I had been to several classes on the naming patterns in Norway, it was still so confusing as names were Americanized, and a cousin had the same people in his tree, but with “Farm Names.” I needed to make sure they were indeed the same people. Shirley looked up the farm and looked up some documents to confirm. Also, I wanted to check my cousin’s tree if it was sound. So she checked a number of people in the tree to see if indeed there were sources for these people.
Just recently, she has helped me with another potential problem as another cousin has made a second record of my Norwegian great grandmother in Family Search. Some of the new information conflicted with my sources. She went online, found the parish baptismal record, and translated it to me while I typed it up over the phone. She found the farm record and even sent me a Google Maps link to the farm in Norway where my people were located. I have been very pleased with her competent help in untangling problems in my Norwegian tree. Her knowledge of how genealogy works in Norway is impressive. She understands the history and culture, which gives her an extra edge. I would whole heartily recommend her.