My husband is Norwegian, if you haven't figured that out yet... In fact, he is the son of a man who immigrated from Norway in his twenties and married a lovely Norwegian lady he met in Chicago. Jake remembers them having conversations in Norwegian so that the kids couldn't understand them.
Actually, Jake lived in Norway for about a year when he was 4 or 5, and he spoke Norwegian fluently. He doesn't remember anything but basics and silly phrases now, like "you smell like an outhouse", the sort of thing a kid would remember.
Anyway, Jake's dad was one of thirteen, and many of those thirteen had other children. So even though he's never met most of them, Jake's got many, many cousins. And most of them live in Norway. Here's something fun. Jake told me there's a town in Southern Norway called Sirevaag (actually it's Sirevog with two little dots over the o), that one of his great-great-greats used to own, and probably gambled away.
I've done a google search on my name, Rebecca Sirevaag, and discovered that there are probably only a couple of us in the world. Just guessing, but Jake is probably related to them... One is a scientist or doctor. I can't tell for sure, because all of the articles and web pages she's listed on are in Norwegian. I've also found a very young Rebecca Sirevaag on FB, and I'm pretty sure she's not the scientist/doctor, although I could be wrong. Again, her page description was all in Norwegian.
My family is just as large, and probably just as confusing as Jake's since my grandmother was one of 12 children, nine of which survived, married and had around 5 children each. My mom has about 48 cousins, and I have well over 100 cousins. My grammy was a Durett- a French Huguenot family who fled France during the Catholic Reign of Terror. (The Huguenots believed that the Bible should be translated into the French language so that everyone could read it. They also believed God gives salvation as a gift, not a reward based on rituals or behavior.) The Duretts ended up in the U.S., and my grammy actually remembered coming across the U.S. in a covered wagon.
2 weeks ago