Anders Guleikson Sundvesflyne and Guri Olsdatter Draugsvoll

My Great-Great Grandparents Anders and Guri

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My great-great grandfather Anders Guleikson Sundvesflyne was born 7 Oct 1843 at Sundve, Vossestrand, Hordaland, Norway and was baptized at the Vinje Church on 5 Nov 1843. He was the fifth and final child, and third son of Guleik Kristofferson Selje (1797 – 1854) and Gjøri Persdatter Sundvesflyne (1799 – 26 Oct 1859) who were married in 24 Apr 1831 at the Vinje Church in Vossestrand. Guliek was 33 and Gjøri was 28. I have trace them both back another 7 generations.


The field where Ander’s house used to stand at Sundvesflyne. You can still see the foundation stones.


This is a wedding photo from 1921 which has nothing to do with our family, but the house in the background by the tree, is the house that Ander’s grew up in. You can still see the tree in the above photo.

Ander’s eldest sibling was Per who was born at Sundvesflyne in 1832 and baptized 18 Aug 1872. He was married to Eli Davidsdatter Istad (1836 – 21 May 1908) in 1861. They had 9 children; 6 girls and 3 boys. When his brothers Anders and Kristoffer went to America, they sent money to Per to help him buy his house at Skjelvik. When I know how desperately poor my great-great grandfather was I came to realize how much he must have loved his brother to send him money when he himself had none. It moved me to tears. In 2010 when I visited Voss, Gunnar and Ole Gjerme gave me a bio on Per written by Knut Bjørgaas and I share it below.


Per Guleikson Sundvesflyne Skjelvik

One of those who is often noticed in the Christian meeting and rallies at Vossastrand and the nearest villages, around year 1900, was Peder Gulleikson Herheim, or Per Skjelvikjinne which he was mentioned. At all the meetings he was able to join, he met, even if he had a long way to go. He very often shared his testimony with the assembled. He had much insight in the word of God. And he related the experiences he had done to this. And he talked in natural and warm way. And he made great impression on the people, although he not always performed in a well-speaking way. There followed something fresh to him. He was born in 1831 in a space under undve, called Flynæ.

At the time he grew up, the school was organized by moving from district to district some weeks on each place. As a School-book in Christianity, they were reading Pontoppidans “Truth to the fear of God.” (1737) which he knew by heart. (Memorized).

“I had not the perfect perspective in my childhood, I would only do well at school and when reading to the confirmation,” he told later.

It lasted too long before he made use of what he learned in his childhood. He married and settled at Skjelviki under Herheim. He had not much land there, and they got a rather big family, and had therefore often difficult times.

He needed grass for his animals, and had to go to rather inaccessible places up in the hills to cut and collect it. He stored it there in a cabin, and transported it home in the winter on snow-sledges.


The house at Skjelvika under Herheim which my great-great grandfather and his brother Kristoffer helped Per to buy. The front part has been added on since Per’s time. The roofline was originally the same as the back.

In autumn and spring he was much away digging wells for people. He took out vein of water (underground), using wish branches. He was very clever in finding the water, and It was very rare that it failed.

Thus he was busy struggling for the daily food for himself and his family, and cared not much for his own soul.

But then, a Sunday evening at the foresummer in 1885. – He was already 54 years. He came dragging his hand cart along the road, containing some wood. Then he met two men from Voss. They were Herlaug Vinjo and Johannes Dukstad. They were building a barn at Bygd, and used the Sunday to visit a sick girl at Sundve. Herlaug Vinjo addressed Per about his working on a Sunday, and he had quoted something he had written from Moody This struck Per.

He could not get these words away. They were to spiritual wake-up for him. As the time passed, he was more and more uncomfortable. He read and prayed and went to church on a meeting. But his feelings were still bad. So came Easter Thursday the next year. John Nesse had a meeting in the school at Myrkdalen, and Per Skjelvikjinne struggled the long way on bad roads to the meeting. But this tour was not in vain. He could ease his burden and return home freed and glad. And he wrote Herlaug Vinjo and thanked him for his words of remaining. They were very good friends since then.

From that time he was a new man. He worked and struggled for his daily life, now as before, but he did not neglect The Word and the prayer, and when Sunday came, he was in church or on a Christian meeting. Often he would go several miles to be with God’s people. He could often be a blessing to many with his simple testimonies. Yes, just to see him coming along the road in bad or good weather an early Sunday morning, was as a reminder.

He was not any organization man. He participated with all whom he thought he could find living faith available from, wherever they belonged. But he was deeply grounded in the Bible and Pontoppidan – “The Double Book”, as he called it. That expressed his theology.

For the missionary work, he had great interest. When the bazaar was held, he came by his gift – usually a wooden bowl. He was a turner, and worked a lot of bowls and dishes in wood in the wintertime.

He arranged Sunday school for the children in his local area. He loved the children. I can remember he came to our home, digging a well when I was about 5 years old. I was often standing aside him when he was digging.

I could hardly leave him. And my mother appreciated our relation. She knew it was good what he told me. Per told me about Jesus and the angels, and about heaven and pearly gates, and streets of gold. And I found that I would go there. I still can imagine his nice smile in his wrinkled face.

On the Sunday school and it was nice. It was not so much Jesus and Bible history he

presented for us. But about Jesus as a living and acting person, and who now is sitting as a King in Heaven by the right hand of The Father. Some of the stories we did not catch very well, and not all of us were sitting observant as we ought to do, but he was patient and kind to us. And I believe, and many of us believed that he influenced us in a way which later has been to a great blessing. We got something we will never forget.

The last years he lived, there were some young friends who were at home again from

America, which helped him, so he could buy the place he lived. His health was good, and he easily moved around until the end. When it got about in the area that he had passed away, it was, the 27 June 1913, it was unexpected to the people. It was his heart that had got an attack. He was buried at the Vinje Church 5 July. There is no gravestone, but he had himself risen a memory in the hearts of those he lived among. He was like an Israelite in whom there was no fraud. The posthumous reputation he got by all who knew him.

  1. Gjøri (8 April 1862 – 1864)
  1. Gjøri (24 Jan 1867 – ) m. in 1899 to Botolv Gusskalkson Gjerme. They had a son Per, born in 1917. Per’s sons Olav and Gunnar took me to all my ancestor farms when I was in Voss in 2010. They are lovely gentlemen and I met their wives and had a lunch on the deck overlooking the beautiful mountains surrounding the Voss area.


Gjøri Persatter Herheim GjermePhoto
courtesy of Gunnar and Ole Gjerme

3. Kari (1869 – )

  1. David (23 Jul 1872 – ) m. Gjertrud Eiriksdatter Herheim. They had 10 children. When I was in Voss in 2010 I met their grandson Dagfinn Pederson Bjørkelid who is my 3rd cousin once removed. He is a jeweller. I was wearing a necklace that I had purchased in Oslo and he asked me where I had got it and I told him. He then told me that he had designed it and had the license to produce it. I had no idea beforehand that I had a cousin who made jewellery, and the odds of me picking out his particular piece was quite miraculous.
  2. Brita (1875 – ) m. in Oslo to N. Rikardsen
  3. Gjøri (29 Mar 1878 – )
  4. Anna (1881 – ) m. 1902 to Rognald Larson Grove. They had two children. In 1910 they went to America and their destination was Wakonda, South Dakota where he planned on staying with family.
  5. Severt Person Shelvik (14 Nov 1885 – ) m. in America on 25 Jun 1919 to Berta M. Stokland who was born about 1892 in Wisconsin. She died about 1923 and Severt married again to a girl from Vossestrand, Marta Olsdatter Lilleteig (1890 – 1981). He had 2 children in his first marriage and 2 in his second. His daughter Elaine (Jun 1927) was married to a pastor, Rev. Henry E. Paustian. They had 5 children, of which 2 are pastors, one is a professor, and a daughter married a pastor. Severt left for America on 9 Feb 1911 and sailed across the sea on the Corinthian via Liverpool, Quebec, and Montreal. He made his way to Wakonda, South Dakota and worked as a farm labourer before moving the Madison in 1912. There he worked as a farm labourer and blacksmith while studying to become a mechanical engineer via correspondence. He then worked as an engineer in the Gisholt Mechanical Workshop in Madison for 10 – 12 years. He had 3 patents on his inventions, a mower, an auto-sled powered by steam, and a wind apparatus for a gasoline engine. He also drew the incredibly detailed map of Voss which was in the 1930 book by Knut Rene. He also wrote poetry of which I have some but have not worked on translating it yet. He was also very involved with Vosselag.
  6. Gullick (Apr 1864 – ) m. Johanna in 1886. Johanna was born in Norway in Feb 1864. Gulleik was known as Gulleik Peterson in America but for a number of years went by William before changing back to Gullick. He lived in Madison, Wisconsin and was a house carpenter. In 1930 he and his brother Sivert were neighbors. His children and their husbands lived with their parents for a long time and were later neighbors to him. He had 3 children: Ella, Hobart, and Gertrude.

Ander’s second sibling Kristoffer Guleikson was born at Sundvesflyne on 9 May 1834 and was baptized at the Vinje Church 8 Jun 1834. He was married in Vossestrand in 1863 to Ingebjørg Davidsdatter Herheim (Apr 1838 – Jun 1914). They went to America about 1872 and likely went with Anders and Guri. For the first three years Kristoffer farmed in Fertile, Worth County, Iowa. He later bought land in Logan Twp. and moved to Vinje, Winnebago County, Iowa where his brother Anders and many other Vossing people were living. His brother Anders’ wife died after the delivery of her sixth child and Kristoffer and Ingebjørg took in a few of Anders children. When Kristoffer died in 1894 it was likely too difficult for Ingebjørg to raise her 9 children plus the additional difficulties of her brother-in-laws children. She already had her married son David and his 3 children living with her while he attended medical school, so she had her hands full. A few of Anders children went and lived with Kristoffer’s son Dr. Gilbert Herm and the rest went into foster care. The children used both Herm and Gullickson as their surnames.

Their nine children are:

    1. Martha (13 Jul 1862 – 7 July 1862) m. 6 Nov 1880 in Winnebago, Iowa to Andrew Jonson Draugsvoll (18 Feb 1855 – 1 Jul 1939). Andrew was a distant cousin to Anders’ wife Guri. Martha and Andrew lived most of their lives in the Scarville, Iowa area. In 2009 I went to their old farmstead to see the wonderful house they had built to raise their family. For the day and times it was quite fancy. People spoke kindly of the family who were always welcoming. It is funny in reading some of Alice Christian’s memoirs (she was married to a grandson of Andrew and Martha) that the children dreaded Sunday’s. It seems the entire church would be invited to lunch and the children did the dishes! They were the parents of 13 children, some of whom became teachers and lawyers.


Anders Jonson Draugsvoll and Martha (Gullickson) family

  1. Gjøri (1864 – )
  2. David (27 Jul 1867 – 29 Sep 1900). David was born at Herheim in Vossestrand and was just 5 years old when he came to America with his parents. He later owned 160 acres of land in Logan Township in Winnebago, Iowa. When he reached adult years he worked for a while as a labourer and then in 1890 was a teacher, teaching in rural schools. Sometime between then and 1900, his brother Gilbert paid for him to go through medical school. Gilbert had gone through medical school already. David and his wife Betsy Josephina Henderson (Jul 1869 – ) and their 4 children lived with David’s mom while he attended school. Betsy’s parents were also emigrants who had come from Voss, Norway. With only one term left before he would graduate, David contracted typhoid fever and died at the age of 32 years and 6 months. His wife was left in dire circumstances and the community helped to raise money to help her. Betsy remarried and had another child. David and Betsy’s children were Leslie Charles, Alma, Dr. Irving Herm, and Lulu. At times David was known as Gullickson and other times as Herm.


David Gullickson and his wife Betsy Josephina Henderson

  1. Gilbert (18 Nov 1869 – 20 Oct 1920) was born at Herheim in Vossestrand and was just 2 years old when his parents came to America. He attended the Breckenridge School in Decorah, Iowa and taught school for 8 years. He was married in Jan 1905 to Anna Samulsdatter Langeland (16 Oct 1881 – 20 Jun 1914) who was born in Eide, Hamre, Hordaland, Norway. They had two children who left no descendants. Joan Ingebor died in her 20’s and had TB of the spine. Rueben was an artist and never married. Gilbert put himself through Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago medical school, and also paid for his brother David, and another cousin whose name in not known to also go to medical school. He got his degree in 1904. He also took in Anders daughter Tina, his brother Ole, his mother Ingeborg and a nephew John Hjelmeland. Gilbert was very industrious and much loved by the people in Scarville, and Lake Mills. In 1914 the family was at a picnic and one of the young cousins fell in the creek. Gilbert’s wife Anna jumped in to save them. She caught a chill and became quite ill and died 2 weeks later. Five years on 8 Apr 1919 later he remarried to Clara Henderson. He died the following year on 20 Oct 1920. From his obituary it states “Business places were closed for the funeral at Lake Mills. The funeral was the largest seen in a long time. “Dr. Herm’s thoughts never centered on the dollar, but entirely upon what good he could do unto his fellowman.” Scarce 1/4 of the people coming to the funeral found room in the church.” After his death his children were fostered out to his brother Ole and his wife, as apparently Clara did not want anything to do with children that were not hers.


I believe the second photo is of Gilbert and his second wife Clara.

  1. Ola (1872 – )
  2. Betsie Julia (8 Sep 1875 – 29 Sep 1960) m. About 1893 to Lars Davidson Gullbrå (23 Sep 1870 – 1919). Lars was born at Gullbrå, Evanger, Hordaland, Norway. Betsie and Lars made their home for a time in Logan Township in Winnebago County Iowa and in 1910 were in Clinton Township in Miner, South Dakota. They were farmers as many were and were the proud and busy parents of 11 children. Lars died in 1919 of influenza and at least 3 of their children died in the same time period, also likely of influenza. The children were: David, Ella Charlotte, Christopher, Esther, Andrew D. Laura B, Margaret, Helmer, Stella E., Louis C., and Melford. I have spoken to Melford’s son Tom and he gave me quite a bit of information on the family.
  3. Susan Alice (22 Jan 1879-Jul 1967) m. 1 Nov 1899 to Charles Vigdahl. Susan and Charles lived in Mason City where Charles was a car repairman for Stearns Railway. Susan was superintendant for the Mission Unions Sunday School and did translations for the blind. They had 4 children: Elsie Geneva, Margaret Estelle, David Christopher, and Ansil Severt.


Susan & Charles’ Wedding Photo

  1. Ole G. Herm (16 Sep 1881 – 1930) m. c1911 to Celia Johnson (31 Aug 1886 – July 1968). Ole was a civil engineer and lived in Marshalltown. He was responsible for and built many of the bridges in that town. He also held a number of patents for things he invented, one being for stitching the fringes on awnings which is still used today. Also for an Automatic Planimeter and for an engineers instrument used for taking various measures. He was a member of the Mason and attained a high office and at his funeral they presented him with a gold sword which was donated to the Mason’s museum. He died in his office and was found by his 12 year old son Robert. Robert also grew up to be an engineer and is responsible for much of the skyline of Chicago, having built many of the buildings. He had a son Robert as well, who also followed in his footsteps working as an engineer in structural steel and building construction. Robert’s son Thomas is also an engineer and land surveyor, making 4 generations of engineers. When Ole’s brother Gilbert died, he and Celia took in his two children, Jane and Rueben. They had 7 children: Martha, Robert James, Harriet E., Richard E., Edna, Howard, and Margie. Richard is said to have been one of the first soldier’s up to the Eagle’s Nest when Hitler was captures. Thomas Herm has all the newspaper clippings on this and has said he would make copies and send them to me. Margie was apparently very pretty and was a model.


  1. Lewis C. (12 Dec 1891 – 5 Nov 1957). Lewis lived in Lake Mills, Iowa.

Anders’ third sibling was Ragnhilda Guleiksdatter Sundvesflyne (1836 – 18 Apr 1902). She was a pauper and died at Bystølen at Vossestrand of typhoid.

Anders’ fourth sibling was Ablu Guleiksdatter Sundvesflyne (1838 – 1883). She worked as a day labourer, finding jobs where ever she could. She never married.

Anders was 10 years old when his father died and 15 when his mother died. His brother Per assumed the role of parent and took care of his siblings. Anders was a pauper and found work wherever he could and was seeking alms from the community. On 24 Apr 1873 he was married at Vinje to Guri Olsdatter Draugsvoll (1845 – 1885) and left most likely the same year for America. They either went with Ander’s brother Kristoffer or followed shortly after he went.

Guri was the eldest daughter of Ola Person Bygd (1817 – 14 Apr 1902) and Gjertrud Olsdatter Tveite Md (1814 – 4 May 1899). She was born at Hyttetræt which translates as house in a clearing with a fence. Her father was a “husmann med jord” which means he was a farmer with land. He would lease the land from the farm landowner and pay a fee for the use of the land. I have traced Ola and Gjertrud’s line back at least another 7 generations. Guri had 3 sisters.


Hyttetræt at Draugsvoll, where Guri was born and grew up in Vinje, Vossestrand. Photo taken in 2010.

  1. Ingebjørg Olsdatter Draugsvoll (1847 – ) m. 1877 to Lars Olson Bratthole (1842 – ). In 1879 they left for America with their infant daughter Ingeborg (12 Mar 1878)
  2. Marta Olsdatter Draugsvoll (1850 – 4 Apr 1890) m. 1885 to Knut Larson øvre Vinje (1844 – 18 May 1924). Knut was a mail carrier. They had a son Ola (1883 – )
  3. Oline Olsdatter Draugsvoll (1854 – 13 Aug 1931). Oline never married and had no children.

Anders and Guri had their first child in America. According to the census records, Gilbert was born in Illinois about 1874. I have not been able to find any records about his birth or his parents time in Illinois. There were many Vossing people in Chicago so perhaps they stayed there for a while, or maybe they were just passing through. By 1875 they were in Worth County, Iowa and that same year their second child Ole was born. 4 years later my grandfather Andrew was born at Shell Rock, Iowa on 26 Oct 1879 and baptized at Elk River Lutheran Church in Kensett, Iowa on 26 Dec 1879. They must have been on the move at the time of Andrew’s baptism as Kensett is 112 miles north of Shell Rock. In 1880 they are found in Brookfield, Iowa which is 38 miles east of Kensett. In 1881 Anders and Guri are still on the move with their fourth child Peter being born on 12 Dec 1881 in Northwood, Worth County, Iowa. Northwood is about 23 miles North of Kensett and northeast of Brookfield. By 1883 they had moved east to Highlandville Twp., in Worth County, Iowa where their first daughter Tina (Gjertine) was born in Dec 1883. In 1885 their second daughter Julia Olivia was born in Brookfield on 20 Mar 1885. Later that year they moved again to Brookfield as they are found in that census and Anders is farming in Township 9, Range 21, Section 10, NW & NE4. Again they move that same year to Vinje, Winnebago, Iowa where Guri dies. There is no record for her death or where she is buried as they were burned when they Vinje Church burned. It is believed that she is buried in Bethel Lutheran Cemetery in an unmarked grave.


My great-great grandparents, Anders Guleikson Sundvesflyne and Guri Olsdatter Draugsvoll

Anders was now a widower with 6 young children and no easy way to take carclip_image032e of them. They were placed with various family members and people in the community and Anders struggled to make a living. In 1893 he and David Olson were commissioned to build the Bethel Lutheran Church at Vinje, Iowa. They did not have any plans or specification and with only a verbal contract they were given the outside dimensions and a promise of $300 when completed. David Olson recalls that it took one year to build the church and earned about 50 cents a day. They had to board themselves and slept in the churchyard and made their own meals there. He further states that my great great grandfather Anders was very clever and drew the designs for the decorations and ornament which he then cut out of 50 cent keyhole saw. Together they made all the inside fixtures, including the pulpit, altar, baptismal font and all the trimmings.

In 1895 both he and David Olson where boarders in the home of William Alison and Anders was working as a carpenter. By 1900 he was in North Dakota with his son Peter. They were boarders at the home of Simon and Elline Hestness. Anders was a carpenter who had been unemployed for 4 months, and Peter was a farm labourer who had also been out of work for 2 months.


David Olson

Anders was also a photographer and I am very fortunate to have some of his photographs. His son Andrew received his photography equipment and $500 when Anders died. Anders died in 1903. They family story says he died in Granville, McHenry, North Dakota and he is buried in Trinity Cemetery, Velva, North Dakota; which is 18 miles south and a little west of Granville. He had gone to North Dakota with a number of folks from the Scarville area; Petersons, Jordals, Nesheims, Larsons, and Stalheims. Many were people he would have known in Vossestrand. They too, are all buried at Trinity Cemetery.


My great-great grandfather Anders Guleikson Sundvesflyne

Anders and Guri’s six children:

  1. Gilbert (1874 – 29 Mar 1896) was just 22 years old when he died of typhoid and is buried at the Bethel Cemetery in Vinje, Iowa in an unmarked grave. When his mother died he was placed to live with his father’s brother Kristoffer and his wife Ingeborg. His uncle Kristoffer died in 1894 and hew was living with still living with his aunt Ingeborg in 1895, along with his brother Ole and sister Gjertine.


    1. Ole (1875 – 1900) was 25 years old when he died. He likely died of typhoid which had already taken the life of his brother Gilbert and cousin David. Ole was living with his aunt Ingeborg in 1895, along with his brother Gilbert and sister Gjertine.


  1. Andrew (26 Oct 1879 – 24 Jun 1961) and his brother Peter were living in the John A. & Mary Herfendal household in 1895. Andrew, my great grandpa apparently lived in a number of homes and his favourite was with the Thorgerson family who he was living with in 1900. He remained in contact with them for many years and has photos of them. He had very unhappy memories of his young years and I think he missed his family very much. He only saw his siblings a few times after his mother died, and then most of his siblings died and only he and Julia lived to an old age. Andrew apparently left Iowa and went to Montana, and then North Dakota where he went to work for Elling Lunde and met his lovely daughter Ellen Mathilda “Mattie” Lunde who would become his wife on 19 Jan 1907 in Claresholm, Alberta. Andrew and Mattie lived most of their lives in Barons, Alberta and raised 4 children. In later years they moved to the coast and made their home in Surrey, BC. Their children are Arthur Elwin, my grandfather Myron George, Alice Louise, and Helen Lorraine.


The second photo is Andrew and Mattie’s Wedding photo (1907)

  1. Peter (12 Dec 1881 – 15 Mar 1919) was 37 years old when he died of tuberculosis. He was also placed into foster care when his mother died and is found in the 1895 Census with his brother Andrew in the John and Mary Herfindahl household. For a while Peter was a peddlar selling watches, rings, and glasses for old people. Later he attended the Stone School of Watchmaking in St. Paul, MN and became a jeweller. In 1910 he was a boarder in the Keller home in Rochester, MN and working as a watchmaker in a jewelry store in the same town. On the 17 May 1910 he married the lovely Atilda Grangaard in the church his father built in Vinje, Iowa. He and Tilda continued to live in Rochester until Peter purchased Tyke’s Jewelry store in Lake Mills, Iowa in 1912. He had the business until 1918. His health had failed in the last 3 years of his life and he and Tilda moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico which is north and east of Albuquerque as the drier and warmer climate would be beneficial to his health. They stayed there for a while and then went to Colorado. They returned to Lake Mills shortly before his death and lived with Tilda’s parents were he passed away. He was buried in Salem North Cemetery beside his infant son Telford. He and Tilda had 5 children. Alice N., Arnold G., Thelma, Thelford Waldemar, and Ethel V. Many of Peter’s children kept in touch with Andrew throughout the years and my uncle has a ring made by Peter. Thelma’s husband was Brigadier General Fred Heimstra, Sr.


Peter and Atilda (Grangaard’s) Gullickson
Wedding Photo


Peter’s children and wife in 1962

  1. Gjertine Amelia “Tina” (Dec 1883 – ). Tina was alive in June 1900 and was living with her cousin, Dr. Gilbert Herm. Gilbert was the son Kristoffer Gullickson, her father’s brother. She supposedly went to live with a family who worked her very hard and it apparently led to her death sometime in her twenties. Not much is known about her but she was pretty, quiet, and proud. She never married and my grandpa Andrew last saw her when she was 14 years old.


  1. Julia Olivia (20 Mar 1885 – 7 Feb 1965). Julia’s mother Gui (which is Julia in English) died shortly after Julia’s birth. She was taken care of by her paternal uncle Kristoffer and his wife Ingeborg and lived there until 1895 when she placed in the John and Mary Fjone household in Logan Twp., Winnebago County, Iowa. She is recorded in the 1900 census as being a servant in their household and was also going to school. They Fjone family had 7 children ranging from 1 month to 14 years of age. On Aug 26 1911 Julia was married to Otto Dahl in Mason City, Iowa. She and Otto would have 4 children: Vernon G., Thelma, Joseph O., and Pauline. Julia kept in touch with Andrew and they visited many times.


Second photo is Julia and her husband Otto Dahl


A Reunion of mainly Peter Gullickson’s family.
The photo is really large and if you would like a copy you may contact me.

Posted in Voss Immigrants | 8 Comments

Lars Eirikson Våle and Herborg Torkelsdatter Våle

Lars and Herborg were among the first of the Vossings to emigrate and the came to America with their four children in 1837. They had one born in America. Their family had spread far and wide, not only across America, but to China as well. From early beginnings as farmer their descendants include a Commander of US Naval Ship and served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, NATO Standing Group at the Pentagon. Another, a female, was one of the first employees hired by the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, MD.

In the 1850’s most of Lars’ family and grandchildren were living in Illinois. At the beginning of the decade his daughter Randvei and had gone to California but had returned to Illinois by 1854. His son Torkel had gone to Australia in 1854 but was also back in Illinois by 1858. The majority of the family were living in LaSalleCounty. His son Torkel and grandson George W. Erickson were in Chicago and his daughter Randvei was in Dekalb county. Lars was farming.

The 1860’s bought about the birth of Lars and Herborgs first great grandchildren in 1864. All the family was living in Illinois with the majority in LaSalle and DeKalb counties. His granddaughter Mary Erickson was living in Chicago and another Nellie Sophia Erickson was in Kendall County. Lars was still farming as was most of his kin.

The 1870’s bought saw the death of both Lars and his wife Herborg, just four years apart; Lars in 1872 and Herborg in 1876. They have been married for 48 years and had spent 35 years in America together. Their son Torkel had become quite civic mined and along with farming was the county commissioner LaSalle and the town assessor in Miller. All of the family was living in Illinois and all in LaSalle County, spread out between Mission, Ottawa, and Seneca. They were still involved with farming and Lars’ grandson Charles Benjamin Erickson had wealth that included $8000 in real estate and $1558 in personal assets.

The 1880’s bought about the birth of the 3rd American born generation. Again, most were still living in Illinois in LaSalle County, but were now spread out between Ottawa, Miller, Sheridan, Adams, and Leland. His granddaughter Amanda Mary Erickson had married and moved to Humboldt County in Iowa. As in the previous decades, the majority were farming.

The 1890’s still find the majority of the family in LaSalle County, and had added Marseille to the list. The next largest settlement of Lars’ descendants was in Iowa, in Humboldt and Kossuth counties. One family moved to Jackson county, Minnesota.

The 1900’s find the descendants of Lars and Herborg moving out and away from LaSalle and planting new roots. The majority was still located in Illinois, but had added Will to the list of Illinois counties. Lars’ sister Ragnilde (known as Marinda) was in Kansas in 1900, but came back to Illinois the following year. Many were located in Humboldt County in Iowa living in Humboldt, Rutland, Bradgate and Livermore. There was still one family in Jackson county, Minnesota. This decade was the first time that a female was recorded as being employed. She was the great granddaughter Jennie Florence Erickson and was a cook. The men are still earning their keep and supporting their families by farming.

The 1910’s truly finds the family splintering across America. Most are located in Illinois and Iowa with the rest found in Alabama, California, and Minnesota. Many are still farming, but now we find teachers and clerks, and one who is even living off his own income.

The 1920’s sees the spread of the family into Montana, Indiana, and Wisconsin. There are teaches, boilermakers, chemists, 1st class engineers, painters, nurses, and seamstresses, along with those who still farmed.

The 30’s see the roots stretching even further with families in Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, South Dakota and Shandong, China. Iowa appears to be edging out Illinois now. Women are now employed more often and we find a reporter, baker, nurse, bookkeeper, cook, and teachers. The women who didn’t work outside the home married business owners, physicians, managers, as well as farmers, meat cutters, managers, clerks, and labourers. The men are still farming but we also find refinery workers, pipefitters, machinists, and teachers.

This is not a complete record by any means, but I thought you might find it interesting.

Vivian Gullickson White

Nov 5, 2012

Posted in Voss Immigrants | 2 Comments

Guri Olsdatter Flatekvål Draugsvoll, b. 1817; emigrated 1876

Guri Olsdatter Flatekvål Draugsvoll

Guri and her husband Jon lived at the Draugsvoll farm in Vossestrand. In 1876 Guri and her daughter Gjertrud emigrated to America and she made her home with Gjertrud and her family. The 1880 census records that Guri was a widow, but the the Vossestrand records indicate that her husband did not die until 1883. All of her children came to America and she has many descendants since she was the proud grandmother of more than 40 children.


  1. Torbjorg (1847 – ) m. 20 Jun 1875 in Voss to Eirik Guleikson Leidal. They emigrated the same time as Guri and also lived in Winnebago County, Iowa. They had 3 children.
  2. Ola (24 Apr 1849 – 4 Dec 1915) m. 11 Oct 1873 in Minnesota to Olina Rognaldsdatter Stalheimsøyne (20 Oct 1853 – 18 Feb 1898). They lived in Minnesota and later moved to Winnebago County, Iowa. He and Olina had 13 children. When Olina died he married Marta Oddsdatter Bratthole (7 Jan 1879 – ) and had 3 children with her.
  3. Arne (1852 – after 1925) m. to Marta Andersdatter Hole (the younger) (1869 – after 1925).
  4. Anders (18 Feb 1855 – 1 Jul 1939) m. 6 Nov 1880 to Marta Kristoffersdatter Herheim (13 Jul 1862 – 7 Jul 1948). They also made their home in Winnebago County, Iowa. They had 13 children.
  5. Gjertrud (7 Jun 1858 – ) m. c1877 to John Reine (1 Jan 1847 – ) who was from Haangsfjorden, Langenes, Vesteraalen, Norway. They also made their home in Winnebago County, Iowa. They had 11 children.

SOURCES: 1865 Norwegian Census (Nordland); 1885, 1895, 1925 Iowa State Census Records; 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 US Cenus Records; Bethel Lutheran Cemetery Transcription Records; Directory of Winnebago County Iowa (1900); Gullickson Family Tree (Gullickson); Iowa Marriage Book 1880 – 1897; Emigrants from Bergen (1874 – 1930); History of Winnebago and Hancock County Iowa, Vol. II (1917); Lake Mills Graphic; Lime Creek Genealogical Society; Obituary (photocopy, unknown source); Tronheim Emigrants (1867 – 1930); Vossestrand Baptism Records (1855 – 1867; 1865 – 1879); Vossestrand Death and Burial Records (1878 – 1903); Vossingen 19th year, Issue 33 (1937); Ættebok for Vossestrand

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Odd Jonson Himle, b. 1816; emigrated 1837

Odd was one of the early emigrants from Voss and he and his family have many descendants in America. He was born on the Himle farm in Voss and his parents were farmers. His father was a blacksmith and is known for making a chest hardware and locks. His father’s father Amund Johannesson øvre Himle fought in the war against Sweden in 1809 – 1814 as a drummer, and was later promoted to battalion drummer. Drummer’s in the military would drum out messages to another battalion. Amund was the first crofter (tenant farmer) at Moatråen in Granvin and when his house burned down he purchased the Lae farm at Tykkebyd in Voss, which is now a part of Hylle. He later purchased a farm at Himle where he eventually stayed. Amund had two sons that came to America; Sjur and Lars.

The ancestors of Odd’s mother Anna is connected to the well-known Glimme family and as such has many connections. The first of her Glimme ancestors is Torgeir Glimme who was mentioned in documents in the years 1603 – 1635. Then there was Tormod Torgeirson Glimme, followed by Lars Tormodson Glimme. His daughter Anna was married to Odd Nilson Himle and their son Tormod Oddson Himle was married to Arnguna Larsdatter Rue. Their son Odd Tormodson was married to Inga Nilsdatter Gjelland and their son Nils was the father of Bjarne Nilson Himle who came to America in 1839. Bjarne’s daughter Anna, born in 1786; was married to Johannes Amundson Himle and was Odd’s mother. Odd’s mother died young after having 2 more children; Amund and Brita. Johannes married again to Marta Aslagsdatter Flatekvål and had 5 more children, many of them having descendants in America.

When Odd first arrived in America he began working on the canal, which had been started to Ottawa, Illinois, and surveyed to the Mississippi River. Then he started with farm work until he took a trip to Voss in 1844. Anders Flage writes in 1840 that Odd Himle was making 2 dollars a day in harvesting which was more than commonly paid. Odd made his home in the Fox River Settlement as many of the early emigrants had. In the fall of 1839 he was hired by three young Voss men living at the Fox River Settlement to help them look for cheap land in Wisconsin. Odd had been in the country long enough to have learned the language tolerably well and also was skilled in evaluating land so he had been hired These young men had heard about rich land in Wisconsin and that there were great possibilities for anyone with courage and strength. Those fellows were Nils Sjurson Gilderhus, Lars Nilson Bolstad, and Odd. Magne Botolvson Bystølen was to be among them, but had gotten sick and had to remain behind, but land was selected for him and he joined them the following year. They all chose land between the border of Deerfield and Christiania. It was these men who founded the settlement at Koshkonong and earn the distinction of being the first Vossings and the first Norwegians at Koshkonong.

In the fall of 1844, Odd went back to Norway and was married the following spring on “Brudetirsdag” or Bridal-Tuesday; to Mari Larsdatter Gjermo. Odd, along with his bride went back to America. His father-in-law and his family went along with him. They sailed on the “Statsraad Van Vogt” and during the voyage a baby was born to Olav Anderson Dyvik (Haus) and Kristi Olsdatter Bolstad (Evanger) and was named Mons Statsraad Van Vogt Dyvik. Sadly, the baby did not survive and was buried at sea. After some weeks at sea they saw smoke. As they drew closer they could see it was a burning ship and as they neared they saw the deck collapse. Soon it wall all aflame and then sank. It had been a freight ship and had no passengers on board. In all, it took nine weeks and three days to reach New York. When they arrived they were asked if they wanted to travel by rail or by canal boat to Buffalo. Since they had heard that Lars P. Gjermo’s son Peter had injured his leg when he rode on the railroad earlier in the summer, they preferred to go by boat.

After being instrumental in founding the settlement at Koshkonong in 1839, Odd then moved in 1845 to Portage Twp., which became Leeds Twp. in 1846; and became one of the founders of the big settlement at Spring Prairie north of Madison. It had been discovered the previous autumn by Knut Langeland from Samnanger. In the fall he was joined by a Sogning, Ole Klæben. When Odd had returned from Voss he had brought many of the emigrants with him. Many of them had first gone to Koshkonong and found that what appeared to be the best land there was already claimed. That was the land that lay a little higher than the other prairie land and had little forest. This led Odd Himle, who, as a good judge of land, to look elsewhere, and several went with him. They heard of some outstanding land that lay about 20-25 miles farther to the northwest, and there went Odd and his following. It was this district that was called Spring Prairie. It lay partly in Dane County and partly in Columbia County, Wisconsin and was about 18 miles north of Madison. The mid-point of this area seemed to be Leeds Center which was a place in Leeds Township in Columbia County. This region now has the familiar sounding places of Keyser, Morrisonville, Windsor, DeForest, Columbus, Arlington, and Poynette Rio. Thus, they became the actual founders of this big settlement. Odd purchased 40 acres (SW. ¼ of SW. ¼ in section 36, town 10. North range 10 E.) and a cabin at Spring Prairie from Ole Klaeben and then made his home there. This cabin (hut) turned out to be the first dwelling of a Vossing on Spring Prairie, and it as a result a number of people in his party soon had lodging. This became Odd’s permanent home. He continued to purchase land until he owned more than 300 acres and in 1860 he had real estate valued at $4,000 and personal assests of $500. By 1870 he had increased this and his real estate value was $5000 and his personal assests were $1200.

Many families joined him in his home that first winter. Beside him and his wife, there was his father-in-law Lars P. Gjermo and his wife and six children, Sjur S. Reque with his wife and five children, hired boy Mons Småbrekke; and also Ole Klæben. The next winter there were also several families, among them Styrk Ivarson Vike, who had come from Muskego.

Odd was an obliging and helpful pioneer, and he took an interest in the future of the colony. He was interested in establishing a church and it was he who first got Pastor Dietrichson to come to Spring Prairie. He and Knut Fosmark went and got him from Koshkonong and Odd’s children were the first to be baptized at Spring Prairie. For one reason or another he became dissatisfied with the high church ministers from Norway, and when Elling Eielson Sundve came there in 1846 and started a congregation,Odd adhered to him. First he gave free land to the church on his property, and Eielson’s Society, as it was often called, had its church there. He subsequently became a member of Hauge’s Synod. The result was, that two congregations were started in 1846, one with Dietrichson as minister and one with Eielson.

In 1890 he moved to the village of DeForest, WI, where he spent the last three years of his life.

Mari, Odd’s wife was the daughter of Lars Pederson Gjerme, born 11 Dec 1822, and was the granddaughter of Peder Larson Gjerme and Marie Madsdatter Sæve. Marie’s great-grandfather was sheriff Mads Torbjørnson Sæve of the old Norwegian Dal family. Her paternal grandmother, Gudve Knutsdatter Raudstad’s was Inger Klausdatter Miltzow of the well-known and documented Miltzow family.

Mari’s father had his father’s farm at Gjerme until he, in 1845, sold it to his sister and her husband Anders Strykson Rekve, who then started to live on Gjerme. After his arrival to Spring Prairie, Lars bought land beside his son-in-law Odd; but he didn’t grow old in America. He was already dead in 1847, leaving eight children: Mari, Peder, Margaretha, Eli, Synva, Asgjerd (Ester), Knut and Martha. After Lars Gjerme’s death his widow, Asgjerd, married widower Ole Knutson Fadnes (Rongo).

The family took the name Johnson. They had seven children.

  1. Johannes (11 Mar 1846 – 1847)
  2. John (2 Sep 1847 – 1917). In 1867 John went to Iowa and bought a farm in the Forest City area. He never married.
  3. Lars (c1849 – ). Lars died between 1850 and 1853. He is buried in Spring Prairie Lutheran Cemetery.
  4. Ann (31 May 1851 – 2 Jan 1924). Ann was married to Andrew Leedahl (20 Feb 1842 – 29 Oct 1925). He was born Endre Hermandson Leedahl in Sogn, Norway. They lived in many places Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Oregon. Andrew was a farmer. They had 9 children: Ed Henry, Lewis Robert, Mary Matilda, Judith Anna, Burnie Mathias, Carl Alfred, Esther L., Arthur John, and Emma J.
  5. Lewis O. (19 Sep 1853 – 1932) m. to Inger Sjursdatter Rindal (1861 – 1898), 6 children: Minnie, Edward, Sivert, Nellie, Arthur, and Jennie.
  6. Esther (20 Nov 1855 – 18 Oct 1920) m. 1870 to Ole Illand, 13 children: Ole, Emma, Adolph, Lewis, Christian, Otto, Willie, Josephine, Henry, Joseph, Marie, Lilly, and Ida.
  7. Inger (1860 – )

Sources: 1885 Iowa State Census; 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 US Census Records; A History of Norwegian Immigration (Flom); History of the Emigration from Voss (Rene); Norwegian Immigrants to the United Steates, Vol. I (Naeseth); Spring Prairie-Hauge Cemetery Records (Leeds, Columbia, WI); Vossaboki, Vol. IV (Kindem); Vossingen, 3rd yr., No. 3 (1921); Zion Lutheran Cemetery Records (Noonan, Divide, ND)

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Bård Jonson Rogne, or Lassehaug, b. 1794; emigrated 1837

Bård Jonson Stora Rokne was the eldest son and child of Jon Bårdson Rokne and wife Sygni Arnfinsdatter Rogne. He had five other siblings. He was born in 1794 and bapitzed on 1 Jan 1975 at Voss. His lineage goes back to the Losna family to Filip Erlandson of Odensland who was born about 1290. Bård’s father owned the Rokne farm and his mother owned the Rogne farm. On the 24th of Jun 1817 he married Inger Andersdatter Kyte (1793 – ) at the Voss Kirkke. She was the first of Anders Torsteinsen Kyte and Brita Olavsdatter Gjejak’s five children and was baptized on 14 Jul 1793 at Voss. When he married Inger he inherited the Rogne farm from his mother and in 1824 he got the Rokne farm. He lived at bruk 1 at Stora Rokne until 1828 when he traded it with Lars Mikkjelson for Lassehaugen. In 1837 he sold Lassehaugen to Eirik Magneson Rykke for 760 spd. and came to America with his wife and his wife and 7 children. In “The History of the Norwegians of Chicago” it is mentioned that Bård, his wife, and 5 children arrived in 1837. This is either an error or they lost two children along the way. The same publication also mentions Rev. Paul Anderson as having mentioned that Bård and his wife arrived with their five children in 1837. I have not been able to find anything on Marta or Inger so that may have been the case.

Bård’s family had a long-standing history in Chicago. In the beginning they lived on Cass Street and Bård found work as a labourer in the Dutch Settlement and by 1840 he had greatly improved upon his beginnings. Anders Flage reported on Bård that after renting a house for a time, he had his own house built. For a time Mads N. Sonve and Knut E. Rokne lived with him. In 1843 Bård’s son Anders, who was very involved with prohibition wrote that his father had become totatlly abstinent. That same year Bård sold his house and moved into the country. His sons John and Anders had purchased 320 acres of land and he and his wife and younger children Arnfin and Syngi moved on to this land. John and Anders had good jobs, running their own lumber business in Chicago; and stayed there. Later the family moved back to Chicago. It is possible that Inger, Bård’s wife died while in the country.

In Norway they were also known as Rokne and Lassehaug. The family used Johnson as their name in America. They had 7 children:

  1. John B. (1819 – ), m. to Synva Andersdatter Buland (c. 1823 – ), a daughter of Anders Buland. In 1839 John was a labourer in Chicago and by 1843 he was a store clerk. His brother, Anders tells in a letter that John earned ten dollars a month and he, nine. In 1860 his occupation is recorded as a teamster. Later he and his brother Anders had started a lumber business, which they ran together until 1871. In 1860 his home was valued at $5000 and he had personal assets of $400. He lived next door to his brother Anders. John and Synva had 6 children.
  2. Brita (26 Sep 1920 – Dec 1842) m. to William Frank. William was of German descent. He and Betsey, as she was known; had two children. Their daughter Maria married the well-to-do Vossing and Chicago publisher John Anderson. Their son Frank lived in Racine, Wisconsin.
  3. Andrew B. (17 Aug 1823 – 11 Jun 1890); m. Laura Anderson (c1827 – 1897), a daughter of Anders Buland. Anders  was a waiter for John H. Kinzie in 1839 Chicago. In 1843 both he and his brother John were employed as store clerks. Seventeen years later he had become a very succesful businessman in Chicago and held a number of respected positions. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors and the Board of County Commissioners.  For a time he was president of the County Commissioners. He was also a member and for a time president of the of the Board of Education. He and his brother John ran a successful lumber business in Chicago. In 1880 he was dealing in real estate. He is buried in Grace Cemetery in Chicago. He and Laura had 7 children, 5 sons and 2 daughters.
  4. Martha (16 Apr 1826 – )
  5. Arnfinn (3 Jun 1829 – ). He was also married to a daughter of Andes Buland. They did not have children. In 1839 Arnfinn was working as a tailor for Simon Doyle on Kinzie Street in Chicago. That apparently became his trade. He and his wife later moved to California.
  6. Sygni (14 Jan 1832 – ), m. to John Gittleson (c1835 – 7 Jan 1897). John was a Norwegian immigrant. He was a sailmaker and businessman in Chicago. He and Sygni had 4 children; 1 son and 3 daughters.
  7. Inger (28 Sep 1834 – )

SOURCES: 1850, 1860, and 1870 US Census Records; A History of Norwegian Immigration [Flom]; A History of the Norwegians of Illinois; Fergus Directory of the City of Chicago 1839; History of the Emigration from Voss [Rene]; Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths 1916 – 1847; Migrants from Voss (Digital Archives); Norwegian Immigrants to the United States, Vol. I; Norwegian Sailors on the Great Lakes (Gjerset); Voss Parish Records (Digital Archives); Vossaboki, Vol. I, III

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Botolf Magneson, b. 1847, first generation of 1837 emigrant

Botolf  Magneson was the first child and son of Magne Botlovson Bystølen who emigrated in 1837. Botolf was born in the Koshkonong Settlement in Wisconsin on 4 Nov 1847. When he was seven years old father purchased a tract of government land on Section 11 in Rock Dell, Olmsted, Minnesota and they made Minnesota their new home. He received his education in schools in the area, but very early on, he had determined to become a farmer. In 1888 he married Miss  Ella B. Roe. She was born in Dec 1857 in Norway and was the daughter of pioneer settlers in Iowa who had come to Armerica in 1885. Botolf owned 180 acres of land in Olmsted County, Minnesota and made his living farming. He found it hard going in the beginning, but stuck to it and eventually became quite prosperous and it is said that there was not a nicer farm in the entire township. His sister Åsa and her husband Ole Ellingson had a farm (blue) right next to his (green). Botolf had stocks in the Zumbro Creamery Company and in the Farmer’s Telephone Company. He and Ella did not have any children. Botolf died in 1917  and he and Ella are both buried in Zion Cemetery in Rock Dell Twp., Olmsted, Minnesota. His first name was recorded as Botolf, Buttolf, Butle, Bottle, and Buttle.

Botolf Magneson; Ole Ellingson; 1878 Plat Map; Rock Dell, Olmsted, MN

Sources: 1905 Minnesota State Census Records; 1850; 1860; 1880; 1900; 1910 US Census Records: History of Olmsted County, Minnesota (Leonard); History of the Emigration from Voss (Rene); Minnesota Cemetery Inscription Index; Norwegian Immigrants to the United States (Naeseth), Vol. 1; Olmsted County Plat Maps; Zion Lutheran Cemetery Headstones

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Magne Botolvson Bystølen, b. 1806; emigrated 1837

Magne was the son of Botolv Magneson Bystølen (1753 – 1819) and Åsa Larsdatter Store-Hyrt (1767 – 1844) and was the twelfth child born in a family of thirteen. In 1837 he left his home Voss and headed for America. In 1839 Magne was living in at the Fox River Settlement in Illinois. He was supposed to go with some fellow Vossings; Nils S. Gilderhus and Nils L. Bolstad to go to Wisconsin. They had hired Odd J. Himle, also a Vossing, to with them as an interpretor as they looked for land. Magne became ill and was not able to go with them. The three who went found their land and returned to Milwaukee and purchased 160 acres with 40 acres belonging to Magne. In the spring of 1840, the two Nils’, Magne, and another Vossing Aners Fenno moved to Koshkonong and built a cellar on Magne’s land, which they all used. This was the first building built on Koshkonong in the town of Christiana by Norwegians. They all started farming the same year.

In the winter of 1841 Andres Nilson Lee and his wife Gunvor Sjursdatter Gilderhus, and their two children came to Koshkonong and spent the winter with Magne and the 3 bachelors in their ground cellar. Later that same winter a man from Nummedal, Tore Kaase arrived and also moved in with them.

In 1841 Magne was one of a number of Vossings at Koshkonong who supported Pastor C. Willerup, A Danish Methodist minister, and as a result was instrumental in bringing about the first Norwegian-Danish congregation in the world.

In 1843 John Haldorson Qvileqval wrote in a letter from Chicago to his parents in Voss, that Magne was living in Wisconsin and had fellow Vossing, Haldor Bryngelson Løn living with him. He reported that Haldor had been ill for some time, but was on the mend.

On 15 Jan 1847 Magne was married to Mari Nilsdatter Giere (c1823 – 1 Aug 1861). She was from Hallingdal.

In 1850 Magne had real estate valued at $600. In 1855 he sold his property to Gulleik Saue and moved to Olmsted County, Minnesota. In 1860 Magne’s neighbor was Eirik Larson Skjerve. Magne continued to farm and at that time had property worth $800 and personal assests of $125.

Magne and Mari had five children:

  1. Botolf (4 Nov 1847 – 1917); m. to Ella B. Roe (Dec 1857 – ). Ella was born in Norway and came to America in 1885. Botolf owned 180 acres of land in Olmsted County, Minnesota and made his living farming. They had no children. Botolf is buried in Zion Cemetery in Rock Dell Twp., Olmsted, Minnesota.
  2. 2. Åsa (2 Nov 1849 – 16 Dec 1877); m. to Ole Ellingson who was born about 1846 in Norway. Ole was a farmer. He and Åsa had 5 children. She is buried at East St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery in Rock Dell, Olmsted County, Minnesota.
  3. 3. Ester (c.1851 – )
  4. 4. Marie (22 Nov 1854 – )
  5. 5. Nils (8 Oct 1868 – 1934); m. 8 Jul 1877 in Wisconsin to Mari Giere (Apr 1857 – 1933). Nils had attended the Lutheran College in Decorah in preparation for going in to ministry, but decided that the calling was not for him. Instead he went into general merchandising and had a business and was postmaster for 20 years in Rock Dell. He later sold he business and took up farming on 228 acres in Section 8 in Rock Dell Twp. He was civic minded and held many positions, notably town treasurer and county commissioner. They had five children. Both Nils and Mari are buried in Zion Cemetery in Rock Dell Twp., Olmsted, Minnesota.

They were known as Bystol, Botleson, and Magneson

Sources: 1850, 1860 US Census Records; East St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery Records; History of Olmsted County, Minnesota (Leonard); History of the Emigration from Voss (Rene); History of the Norwegian Settlements (Holand); Norwegian Immigrants to the United States, Vol. I (Naeseth); Voss Church Records, Birth and Baptisms (1780-1810); Vossingen, 5th, 8th, and 18th years; Ættebok for Vossestrand

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