Character and Contributions

A biography has long been one of my favorite types of reading for fun. I’m interested in the stories of people. There is much to be learned from the experiences and choices that others have made. It is encouraging to see how God moved in the lives of people and to understand their character and contributions.

Berger Agaton Winquist was my Grandfather

My father’s mother: Margaret Emily Kranz Lauer Winquist with her husband Berger Agaton Winquist. Married in 1929. Grandma died in 1958. Grandpa lived 99 years.

Grandpa Winquist is the only grandfather I really remember, but he wasn’t my biological grandfather. He was born in Sweden in 1884 and had eleven sisters and one brother. He married my grandmother, Margaret Emily Kranz Lauer Winquist in 1929. This was grandma’s second marriage. Berger and Margaret were married until grandma died in June 1958 when I was seven years old.  She was 53 years old and I believe she died of brain cancer.

Grandpa Winquist then lived with my Aunt Vera from 1958 until he died at 99 years old in August of 1983. My Aunt Vera was born in 1930 and my grandparents had a second son who was less than a year old when the 1940 census was taken. His name was Berger Winquist, Jr. My Aunt Vera cared for her brother as well.

Why is My Last Name Winquist?

My father was born in 1927, before Grandma Margaret married Berger. If you look at my last name you could easily conclude my family has roots in Sweden. Apparently Winquist means either “wind twig” or “wing twig.” But my biological grandfather’s name was not Winquist. It was Claude Lauer. Grandma’s first marriage was to Claude Lauer. However, my father was listed as a Winquist in the 1940 census when he was 13 years old and his father was listed as Berger A. Winquist. Dad used Winquist when he enlisted in the US Navy near the end of World War II.

What is a QUIST or a Qvist or a kvist?

The Quist portion of the name is combined with other words to create  a surnames inspired by nature. This is common in Sweden. Qvist is an archaic spelling of the Swedish word meaning “twig” (as in thin, slender tree branch). The modern spelling is “kvist”.

This is just one of many nouns taken from nature and combined with other words describing aspects of the natural world in order to create surnames. Examples are: Blomkvist (flower-twig); Lundkvist (grove-twig); Hultqvist (forest-twig); Dahlqvist (Valley-twig); Almqvist (Elm-twig); Björkqvist (Birch-twig) or words such as “ny” (new) as in Nyberg; Nyqvist.” Swedish names source: LINK

Margaret Emily Winquist and John 14

What I know of my grandmother Margaret is from stories I remember my mom told me. Before my mother came to faith in Jesus Christ, she remembers how her mother-in-law would talk about her faith and love for the Lord. It drove my mom nuts. She felt, if my memory serves me well, that Grandma Margaret was always preaching at her. Later, however, my mom realized that Grandma Margaret was really just showing her love by telling her the truth about Jesus.

Although I never heard my grandmother proclaim her faith in the risen Christ, my expectation is that I will see her some day when the Lord keeps his promise in John 14:1-3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” I will be there, mom will be there and I expect to see grandma too.

Converting Some Old Slides and 8mm Movies

My interest in my past has been awakened by watching some old family 8mm movies that I sent to Legacy Box to have converted to a digital format. They also converted some old pictures to JPEG files. I got to thinking about converting my old slides and my father’s ancient slides from the 1950’s. When I asked Legacy Box if they could convert 127 super slides, they said no. These slides are 2” x 2” and the carrier makes them 2.75” x 2.75”. I was disappointed until I discovered an iPhone app called SlideScan. The image on today’s post was created from a 127 slide of my Grandmother Margaret holding me sometime in 1951. I hope to share more in the future.

Margaret Emily Winquist holding grandson Wayne Lynn Winquist in 1951. Slide scanned using iPhone app SlideScan.

Acknowledgements and Special Thanks to…

Aunt Vera Winquist Meyer for giving me some of her notes so that I would know some details about my grandparents and Aunt Vera’s role in the life of my grandfather.

Dr. Theresa M. Peet, M.D., P.A., for her help in getting me the image of the 1940 census page that shows the Winquist family in 1940. Dr. Peet is one of Cindie’s relatives. Cindie’s mother was a Peet.