I Became the First Family Member to Visit a WWII Hero’s Grave Thanks to MyHeritage’s Search Connect™

One of many many glorious causes to hitch our FB Dwell classes is the door prizes: originally of each session, we ask a query, and one of many contributors who solutions that query within the feedback wins a prize. The successful remark in our recent session with Cathy Wallace of BillionGraves was this one:

“I came upon that my grandpa’s cousin was buried at an American battle cemetery in Belgium and died when his headquarters was bombed by the Nazis through the Battle of the Bulge,” wrote MyHeritage consumer Erick Löfdahl from Sweden. “I used to be capable of finding him because of a operate at MyHeritage which lets you see what different individuals are trying to find. The man who had adopted my American relative’s grave was on the lookout for his relations and they didn’t know something about them. So then we may join after which I went to Belgium to honor my relative — additionally named Erick.”

We needed to know extra particulars about this intriguing story and requested Erick to elaborate.

Erick has been researching his household historical past for some time now. In truth, he attended the 2018 MyHeritage Dwell convention in Oslo and obtained this nice image with our founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet:

MyHeritage user Erick Löfdahl posing with MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet at MyHeritage Live in Oslo

MyHeritage consumer Erick Löfdahl posing with MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet at MyHeritage Dwell in Oslo

The invention he talked about within the remark got here to him by means of Search Join™: a function on MyHeritage that connects customers who’re looking for a similar folks. Search Join™ seems as a historic document assortment on MyHeritage, beneath the Household Bushes class. If you seek for an individual utilizing the MyHeritage search engine (if this function is enabled in your privateness settings), the system saves a document of your search, and when one other individual conducts a search utilizing the identical key phrases, that document will present up of their search outcomes. They are going to be capable to see the search phrases you entered, view your public profile, and call you through the MyHeritage message system.

On this case, somebody was trying to find Erick’s relative, Erick Isberg, and located a Search Join™ document that led him to Erick Löfdahl.

It turned out {that a} man from Belgium had determined to “undertake” the grave of a WWII soldier close to his house, and he had chosen the grave of Erick Isberg as a result of his personal title was Eric Dierickx. Eric D.’s pal, Herman Donker, was serving to him hint Erick I.’s relations, and he looked for Erick I. on MyHeritage. In the future, when Erick L. performed a search on Erick I., he noticed a Search Join™ document of Herman’s search for a similar individual. Erick L. reached out to Herman and so they started to correspond. Herman had a wealth of knowledge on Erick I.’s service that he shared with Erick L.: he was enlisted in Boston, had served within the seventy fifth Infantry Division, and died within the Battle of the Bulge on January 14, 1945 — simply 11 days earlier than the Allies’ victory.

Erick Isberg

Erick Isberg

“It was unhealthy luck, as a result of it was simply on the finish of the battle and proper after that day, the Allies took management and the Nazis directed their consideration to different targets,” says Erick.

However Herman had gotten caught looking for relations of Erick I.’s, as a result of he didn’t have any descendants after the demise of his son, Robert Isberg, in 1973. Sadly, Robert — who additionally served within the army — handed away at age 34. Erick has been unable to find out the reason for demise or find out about his service as a result of a giant fireplace destroyed private recordsdata from the U.S. Military in 1973.

Erick was floored that he had a relative who fought in opposition to Hitler in one of the vital battles in historical past and died for that trigger on the battlefield — a relative who shared his first title.

So he traveled to Belgium and visited Erick Isberg’s grave within the American Struggle Cemetery Henri-Chapelle. Right here’s a video he made throughout his go to:

The Belgium and American War Cemetery Henri-Chapelle

The Belgium and American Struggle Cemetery Henri-Chapelle


“I’m the primary relative to go to Erick Isberg’s grave,” says Erick. The closest residing relative of Erick I. are his two nephews and two nieces: Charles, who lives in Illinois, and Roy, Dorothy, and Ruth, who dwell in Massachusetts. Erick is in contact with Charles’ granddaughter Taylor, and he or she is hoping to go to her great-great-uncle’s grave in Belgium sometime sooner or later. Because it seems, Erick and Taylor have so much in widespread: they each play the clarinet (Erick as a interest, and Taylor professionally) and revel in classical music. When Erick despatched her the household analysis he’d gathered, he included some clarinet sheet music he thought she’d wish to attempt.

Erick has additionally uncovered some particulars about Erick Isberg’s spouse, Hilda. She was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and her story is tragic as nicely: she died shortly after her son in 1973, apparently heartbroken over the loss. “She by no means obtained a gravestone,” Erick explains, “so the lot the place Hilda Isberg was buried exterior Boston is only one a part of the cemetery that doesn’t have any inscriptions. I’m studying how you can discover the Canadian data for current durations. To this point, I’ve been researching Hilda’s forebears, who have been Scotch. She is famous as being Canadian-Scotch in American data.”

“One cause I took an interest is because of my analysis in Canada on Swedish settlers in Alberta,” says Erick. “On the museum in Wetaskiwin, there was an extremely particular occasion throughout Remembrance Day honoring veterans. Swedes shouldn’t have that custom since we by no means participated in any of the wars. Youngsters of Swedish immigrants within the U.S. or Canada who fought within the battle subsequently have a vastly completely different story, which might be unknown in Sweden.” Erick has shared the story with folks in his household, and the American aspect confirmed curiosity. It even turned out that Erick Isberg’s sister has a grandchild who stored the Purple Coronary heart Erick I. had been awarded.

Erick believes visiting the cemetery in Belgium could be a really emotional expertise for this department of the household. “It’s the most particular cemetery I’ve seen,” he says, “very nicely stored, and there’s actually a novel air of respect and a particular feeling which is difficult to clarify. But to People or Canadians, I believe that feeling could be even stronger.”

“If I can get my American relations and the Canadian relations of the spouse — Hilda Chisholm, born on Cape Breton Island — to go to Belgium, that will be really particular,” says Erick. “I imagine each the Bostoners and the Cape Bretoners would take into account it an unforgettable second.”

You’ll be able to learn extra about Search Join™ in this Knowledge Base article.

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