Jorgensen History 3

Jorgensen History – Page 3 – Continued

—— Forwarded Message

From: Susan Lafo <>

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 11:23:12 -0700

To: Larry  Smith <>

Subject: Re: Thanks so much!


I have 5 of the farms books for Grue and most of the parish records.  I also have the Finnish-Norwegian family book.  We’re related through our Finnish lines.  Not sure which one, but all of the Finnskogen people are related. 8-))  I’ve had to learn to read enough Norwegian to give a rough translation to the farm books (bygdeboka).   Can’t write it, beyond “hei” and “takk”.  8-))


Yes, a daler was a unit of money.  I’m not at all sure about the exact exchange. The exchange rate for Kroner to dollar is about 7:1 last time I checked.


I’m a high school computer teacher.  What do you teach?  sdcoe = San Diego County Office of Education.  I live in a suburb of San Diego.


To buy the different books for Grue and area:


The Räisäinen family website:

Just found this site today.  It used to be at the Grue site. Guess they wanted their own site.  You can follow the links down that I had in the doc I sent yesterday.  My family tends to have all of the Matthis/Matis and Henrik names.


I”m sending an attachment:  The Finns.  Keep in mind, in “the olden days” Norwegians did not like the Finns at all and called them “Finnish squatters.”







Extracted from “The Topographical Statistic Description Over The Kingdom Of Norway”

by Jens Kraft ©1822



Along the Swedish border in Hof and Grue parish and the northern edge of Vinger parish live the Finns.  They survive by farming and sometimes by cattle breeding (they keep a lot of animals), as well as bunting, and fishing in the fresh waters.  Some have taxed-lease farms but most places, or so-called Torps, cleared in the forest belong to the farms in the parish district, and lie 20-50 kilometers from these.  None own their own property but are leilendinger or husmenn (on the Ankerske Fidei Commises or Stratsraadinde Rosenkrantzes) on the heir’s property.  Some are prosperous, but most are extremely poor.  They are, for the most part, simple, credulous, and usually addicted to drunkenness.


There, the Finns have had permission to clear and burn the land in the forest; they grow a lot of rye and have good pasture for their animals to feed upon (which is why the animals are in good shape).  But since all such clearings, even for food, should be alleviated after prohibiting their abuse, the poverty still increases.  Besides, the grain crop often fails.


In their custom and way of living, they are in many respects very different. Their way of dress is somewhat like Norwegians. They all speak, however, with peculiar Norwegian accents, although the Finn language is mutually used among themselves. They have Bibles which are printed in Åbo. Cleanliness appears among the Finns to be highly respected since they have saunas on all the torps and weekly (usually Saturday nights) often use the Swedish custom of steam bathing, whopping the naked body well with leaved branches (even mothers directly after giving birth bathe immediately afterward).


The Finns are regarded, in all aspects, as inhabitants of the country, and pay the taxes and fees as other countrymen. They have, however, a poor ability to interact with Norwegians, and marry mutually among themselves. Usually 2-3 times a year, they are down in the county district where they do business, both bodily and spiritually. They go to church and take communion, but immediately after become drunk, close deals, and do errands. The disorder they on such occasion commit could be controlled, as they are not bad by nature, and there can be found some intelligent and sober men among them. Especially, because of the damage they did on the forest, they are known under the name Forest Finns and became subject to legal penalty, of which the oldest decree was one of King Fredrick III during his stay in the country in 1648, a decree which is repeated in 1673 and similar with the regulations according to decisions in Skog Ordinans 1683, etc., where it mentions Forest Finns together with Jew Beggars and vagrants.



Helga Mathilda – born: January 19th, 1879 (several months before parents were married) – christened: July 10th, 1879 in the Gamle Aker kirke – confirmed: April 9th, 1893 in Sagene church – died in Theodore, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1930 after birthing 9 children.


Christening (baptism) usually took place about a month after birth. There was a conditional baptism, at home, usually by a family member if the baby didn’t look like it would survive. This would be followed by a church baptism in the usual way. Confirmation was the ritual of being accepted into the congregation. It usually occurred at about age 15, but there could be some variation. The children would have to attend classes with the parish priest to learn their catechism and pass an exam. In former times this was a rite of passage into adulthood and the confirmed was expected to go to work. Nowadays in Norway it is a big social deal with parties and gifts from family etc.



Dagny Marie (Mary) Jorgensen – born: October 19, 1882, died: October 3 , 1963 in Emunclaw,                                        Washington of a stroke. She birthed 6 children.


Half Brother, Christ Jorgenson –  born in North Dakota I think, but his son’s birth certificate says Norway.  The mystery deepens.  Grandpa Chris Rasmussen referes to him only as “Dagney’s brother” in a 1952 letter.  Died in Egeland, N. D., 1935.  Fathered two boys, Harold Augen, and Melvin Alando.  Married to Elida.


Jens’ and Dorotea’s places of residence in Oslo:

Vogts gade 30 at the time of Helga’s birth – 1879

Fossveien 26 at the time of their marriage – 1879

Østgaardsgarden 39 when Dagny was born (now known as Oskar Braatens                          gate) – 1882

Bentzegaden 27  (Bentebrogaten & Bentegaten) at the time of Dorotea’s death                               – 1892

Thorshavgaden 1 at the time of Dorothea’s confirmation – 1893

Dortea Olsdatter in 1865 (age 7) was living in the Municipality of Grue – #0423 –                   Domicile name: Skulstadberget/Skjulstadberget with her parents, Ole Arnesen                    and Karen Danielsdatter and three brothers and three sisters.



—— Forwarded Message

From: Tove Dahl Johansen <>

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 09:19:33 +0200

To: “‘'” <>

Subject: Greetings from Oslo




Now you will be leaving Norway today. A long travel for you.

Just wanted to tell you that yesterday (Sunday) I visited the Sagene kirke

(church). Wish you could have been there too. I also walked across the

graveyard (Nordre gravlund). This graveyard was taken in use about 1885, so

it could very well be possible that your great-grandmother was buried there.


Just to repeat:

Fossveien (foss = waterfall, a very old road)

Vogts gate (named 1864 after Jørgen Herman Vogt)

Østgaards gate  (named 1874 after Nicolai Ramm Østgaard)

Torshovgata  (named 1866 after farm named Torshov. Torshov means a place for

worship of the norse god Tor)

Bentsegata, older spelling: Bentzegaden  (named 1864. Bentse Brug was

originally a grain mill from about 1700 with owner Ole Bentsen)

Sagene  (meaning “the sawmills”, this area has its name after all the small

sawmills along the river)


As you now of course know vei / veien (= road),  gate / gaten or gata  (=



Understand that this trip was quite successful for you. Also the weather was

quite nice most of the time.

Hope to see you here another year.




Jens and Dortea were married in the Gamle Aker kirk (Old Aker Church) in Kristinana (Oslo) on July 30th, 1879.  Jens is listed as a factory worker.

On the census for 1865 the family lived at the address 1st Baggade from Ekermogaden (= “the first street behind Ekermo street”…), Kongsberg:

The 1865-telling for 0604 Kongsberg shows Jens Jøregen Jørgensen, age 6, living with his mother and father, Jørgen Gutormsen, age 46, and Anne Kirstine Amundsdatter, age 45. JG is working as a merchant. Anne is listed as being from Naese farm. (plads – outer headlands). The listing shows there are 7 people living on the farm. The address is given as: 1st back street from Ekermgaden.  The farm number is 426b.  Except for Anne who was born in Sandsvaer which is very near Kongsberg.  The rest of the family were all born in Kongsberg. The Gutrmsen family owns one horse.


Gutorm Jørgensen – casual worker, 18

Anne Magrethe Jørgensen, 14

Rudolf Antonn Jørgensen, 11

Gustav Adolff Jørgensen, 9

Jens Jørgen Jørgensen, 6


The Digitalarkivet for 1865-telling for 0629 Sandsvaer shows Anne Kirstine’s family.  Even though her parents were elderly, two of Anne’s siblings were still living at home, plus a “pauper” boy.  With such a large age difference between Anne, 45, and her two at-home siblings, ages 29 and 25 there most likely were more children born to Anne’s parents.  All of the children were born in Sandsvaer. Ann Kirstine was born in 1821 on the farm Nordre Nesset which was part of the main farm called Gran. She was the oldest child in the family. Her mother died in 1832 when Anne was 11 and her father married again. it is her father’s second wife in the census of 1865.  This may explain the age gap between Ann and her siblings. Anne’s parents were Anund Arneson Gran born 1793 and died in 1874. Anund married in 1820 with Anne Margrete Nilsdatter Gunneseiet – 1799 – 1832.


The parish was Efterlød.  The outer parish was also Efterlød.  The head parish was Sandsvaer.  The farm name was Naeset.


Anud Arnesen, age 73, born 1793 and died 1874.  Listed as a tenant.  He owned one horse, two cows, and 150 pounds of barley, 300 pounds of oats, and about 500 pounds of potatatoes.


First wife: Anne Kirstine’s mother, Anne Margrete Nilsdatter Gunneseiet, born 1799 and died 1832,                  age 33.

Second wife, Karen Timandsdatter, age 64.


Berthe K. Anundsdatter, age 29?, his daughter, works as a servant and as a hired hand.

Timannd Anundsen, age 25, is listed as a father helper

Peder A. Paulsen, age 7, is listed as a pauper. Apperently the family has taken him in either to help the boy or out of duty to the state who might have been paying the family to take care of him.

Guttorm Jørgensen (age: 23) and Ragnild Jensdatter (age: 21) were married at

Kongsberg June 6th 1818.

Had a look at “Family search” on the internet and was able to find a lot of

Kongsberg information for you.

Jørgen Guttormsen and Anne Kirstine Anundsdatter were married on July 3rd

1847 at Kongsberg.

Jørgen Guttormsen was born December 9th 1820 and was christened February 3rd

1821 at Konsberg. His parents were Guttorm Jørgensen and Ragn(h)ild


Guttorm Jørgensen was christened September 26th 1795, his father’s name was

Jørgen Guttormsen.


I can find this family on the 1801 census for Kongsberg. Jørgen Guttormsen

was a “hammersmed” (= a hammersmith). His wife was Giøran Enersdatter.

Giøran Enersdatter was his second wife.


I can send you by mail what I have printed out from the internet.


Tove D. J.


Jørgen Guttormsen was a “hammersmed” = “Hammersmith”. (A “smed” = blacksmith.            A “hammersmed” was more skilled in working with metal than a blacksmith.

His second wife was: Giøran Enersdatter. Do not know who was his first wife.

They begat:

Guttorm Jørgensen – christened, September 26, 1795

married: Ragn(h)ild.  They begat:

Jørgen Guttormsen – born December 9th, 1820 and was christened February 3, 1821         at Konsberg, Norway.

Married: Anne Kirstine Anundsdatter on July 3, 1847 at Konngsberg, Norway

They begat: Jens Jørgen Jorgensen in 1860 in Kongsberg, Norway

my great grandfather.


Hi again Vidar,

I have another request for your Searching for slekt in the newspaper. This is not for a tour member, but it is for a member of the Lag that is coming to Kongsberg on his own in late August.

I have ran into a dead end in the bygdebook. Perhaps your newspaper can help.


In the 1865 census for the city of Kongsberg there lived a Jørgen Gutormson and his wife Anne Kristine Amundsdatter who was born on Gransneset in Sandsvær.  They had five children. In 1865 they were as follows with their ages:

1. Gutorm – 18

2. Anne Margrethe – 14

3. Rudolf Anton – 11

4. Gustav Adolff – 9

5. Jens – 6   (This Jens went to America and was the great grandfather of Larry Smith who is trying to find relatives.)


If you have any information you can contact Larry Smith at 315  Laurelwood Drive, Jacksonville, Oregon   USA     97530


Mange Takk


Chet Habberstad

July 5, 2003


Hi Larry,

As you can see I sent in a request to the Kongsberg newspaper.  Let me know if you get any results please. I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high however.  If those siblings were that young in 1865 the chances are quite good that some of them would be living in the 1900 census and I looked in Kongsberg and the surrounding area for all of them and came up empty.   Maybe they all came to America!


Good Luck and enjoy your trip to Kongsberg


Hilsen fra chet



Mother remembers Grandma Dagny Rasmussen telling about the death of her mother.  She was 9 years old at the time.  The story, as remembered, was that Dorthea worked in a paper factory.  The work environment was damp and cold with lots of paper dust floating around to be breathed. These unhealthy work conditions caused Dorothea to come down with TB which eventually killed her in 1892 at the age of 33. While working on the Jorgensen family history I learned that her husband, Jens, worked in a nearby textile factory, Hjula vever i, which would have met the same working conditions as a pulp mill.  Maybe it was textiles rather paper pulp that killed my great grandmother.


Following her mother’s death, Dagny and her sister Helga were probably farmed out. Grandma Rasmussen did say that, with her father in North Dakota, and her mother dead, she found herself in a very lonely position.  One particular night, feeling particularly bad, an angel appeared at the foot of her bed and told her that everything would be all right and that she would be taken care of.


Dagny and her sister Helga Mathilda immigrated to North Dakota in 1897 with only $5.00 between them.


Hello again


I was at the archive yesterday afternoon.

After having gone through more than 5000 names – and almost giving up – I

was able to find your Dortea Jørgensen. She died July 6th 1892 at the age of

33. She died at the hospital. Her address at the time of her death was

Bentzegaden 27. She was born in Grue parish, Hedmark county (near the border

to Sweden) in 1859.

When she died her husband was already in America according to the parish

records (Sagene parish in Oslo).

I have not been able so far to find out when he went to America. He was a

worker in the textile industry, around the time when Dagny was born and they

lived at Østgaardsgaden 39 he worked at the “Hjula veveri”. When you come to

Oslo maybe I can show you where that is.

According to the parish records Dortea was very poor when she died because the state took care of her funeral and burial expenses.


I started to look at the parish records for Grue, Hedmark and I think maybe

I have found the right person Dortea Olsdatter born May 28th 1859, parents

Ole Arnesen and Karen Danielsdatter Skjulstadberget. Have to check some



As to where Dortea and Jørgen were married – they probably met in Oslo.

There are several parishes in Oslo and probably a bit of a job to find the

marriage. Will see what I can do about it.


What is a little bit intriguing is that in the Oslo address book Dortea

Jørgensen is listed as a widow.  I am not certain how to interpret that bit

of information. There is no doubt at all that she is the right person.


Tove D. Johansen

National Library, Oslo  (April 10, 2003)





Good to hear that you are home and safe. The e-mail from the gentleman that

you mention must be the one I received from Ole Kjølseth May 27th. I had

asked him to check a few things at the archive for me because I did not have

time to go there. I found this e-mail still on my computer.


“Hello Tove – You could easily have found this out yourself, but since you

asked it is nice to be able to contribute a little bit.

All information can be found in the Sandsvær parish records between 1817 and


I noted down numbers of cards and pages in case you want to look up yourself


Here is the essence:

Baptism/Christening no. 4, born October 5th 1821. Baptised at home by Tøllev

Gran. Anund Arnesen Gran-ejet and Margrete Nilsdatter’s child ANNE KRISTINE.

Was baptised/christened in Efterlød church December 25th (1821). Godparents:

Ola Knudsen Biørndahlen and his wife, “pige” (= unmarried woman) Grete

Olsdatter Sommerstad, Ole Halvorsen Vinnæs (?), Hans Jørgen Næset.


Siblings (of Anne Kristine):

Arne (1.) born February 19th 1824  “Arne died before he came to the church

(to be baptised)”

Arne (2.) born February 16th 1826 and baptised/christened March 12th in

Efterlød (church)

Nils born October 22nd 1828. Baptised at home December 25th (?) and was to

Efterlød church December 25th.  (I am not sure if my friend Ole wrote down

the correct dates here, it looks a bit strange that Nils was baptised at

home and then brought to the church for confirmation of the “home baptism”

the same day. Usually children were baptised at home very soon after they

were born because they were weak and might not be able to live long. So the

date for the baptism at home on Dember 25th is probably an error, perhaps

October 25th is more likely?) Anyway, it is not so important.

Hans Martin born December 13th 1831. Baptised at home December 20th. Baptism

confirmed in Komnes church January 1st 1832. Perhaps this person is

identical with brewery worker Hans Amundsen living at Waageby in Ø. (for

Østre which means East) Aker with wife and children in 1865)


Anne Margrete Nilsdatter Næsset, Anund (????) Grannæset’s wife, 30 years old

died December 20th and was buried December 28th 1831.


On January 5th 1833 widower Anund Arnesen Grannæset (age: 40) marries again,

his second wife is Karen Syrine Timandsdatter Skretled (age: 31). This

couple with children can be found at Næsset plads (= husmannsplass, a

cotter’s place) in Sandsvær in 1865.


Marriage November 6th 1820 in Efterlød church: “ungkarl” (= bachelor) Anund

Arnesen Gran (age: 27) and “pige” (= unmarried woman) Anne Margrete

Nilsdatter Gransnæset (age: 20).  Sponsors: Tøllev Gran and Tørkild Gran.


You can find Anund Arnessen with siblings and probably parents at Nordre

Gran farm in Efterløedt sogn (sogn is a subparish, in this case a subparish

of Sandsvær parish) in 1801 and Anne-Margrethe Nielsdatter with parents,

siblings and step-siblings can be found at Grans-eje in Efterløedt in 1801.


Best Greetings,





Grue Church.


Whit Sunday in 1822 more than 500 hundred people were gathered for service in the old church in Grue.

During sermon, held by rev. Iver Hesselberg, one could hear crashes of thunder from outside.

From the southwest side part of the church, smoke and fire drifted inside the church. It blew hard from southwest,

and in the strong wind, the old dry church made of wood covered in tar, quickly caught fire. The church burnt

down and 117 people from the district died dramatically in the fire. Because the doors in the church went inwards,

it was impossible to open the doors. The pain and drama words cannot describe. In memory of all the people who

died in the fire in the old church in Grue Whit Sunday in 1822, it has been raised a stone monument near

Grue Church. After the church fire, the royal authorities decided that all public houses in Norway must have doors

going outwards.


In 1828 the present church in Grue was built, made of stone. The drawings was made by

Hans Ditlev Frans Linstow, who also had designed the Royal Castle in Oslo. You can find signs even from

classicism as from then newer gothic style, notice the ponted arch in the doors and windows and the pilaster on

the outside wall. Grue church has 4 double doors, one for each four directions. All doors goes outwards.

Grue Church is probably the first church built in newer gothic style in Norway.


The big fire in Grue church was in May 1822. More than one hundred people were killed. The fire happened during the service.

Tove D.J.





I have been to the archive again to go through parish records on microfilm

cards and have been able to find more information.

This information also confirmed that it was indeed the right Dort(h)ea I had

found at the farm Skjulstadberget in Grue, Hedmark county.


First of all:  I have found the marriage of Jens Jørgen Jørgensen and

Dort(h)ea Olsdatter. They were married in the Gamle Aker kirke (= Old Aker

Church) in Kristiania (= Oslo). This is a very old church. I have a photo of

that church at home which I can send you.

The marriage date was July 30th 1879.

The marriage record has information that Jens Jørgen Jørgensen was a factory

worker, that he was born at Kongsberg 1860 and that his father’s name was

Jørgen Guttormsen. Dort(h)ea was born in Grue parish 1859, her father’s name

was Ole Arnesen.

The address where the couple is living is Fossveien 26.

(Source:  Gamle Aker mini 5 1873-81)


I have also found the records for sister Helga Mathilde. She was born some

months before the parents were married.

Helga Mathilde was born January 19th 1879 and christened July 10th 1879 in

the Gamle Aker kirke.

The address of the parents Jens Jørgen Jørgensen and Dort(h)ea Olsdatter is

Vogts gade 30

(People moved around a lot in those days).

(Source:  Gamle Aker mini 4  1872-79)


I have also found that Helga Mathilde Jørgensen was confirmed April 9th 1893

in Sagene church.

Her address is Thorshovgaden 1.

(Source:  Sagene mini 2  1880-97)



OSLO, NORWAY The city is located on the coast at the head of Oslofjord, in the southeast part of Norway. Founded about year 1000.  The city was destroyed by fire in 1624.  From 1624 to 1924 the city was known as Christiania (sometimes written Kristiania) in honor of King Kristian IV of Denmark who initiated the rebuilding. Norway became independent in 1905, after having been in union with first Denmark and then Sweden from 1814.  The oldest part of the city, still existing, is found close to Akershus Castle. Ruins of the original city are found further east.




Hi Larry! (April 4, 2003)


This from your grandmother’s baptismal certificate. They were standard printed forms which

the priest would fill out, as a copy for the church records. I have

translated a few of these but have forgotten some of the details. But I’ll

try, hopefully I can correct some of the letters. One thing is obvious, the

priest’s ‘t’ looks like a ‘b’ And I have expanded the abbreviations. I can’t

figure out the parish name.



Dapsattest for Dagny Marie Jorgensen

Den Norske Kirke = The Norwegian Church.

Dåpsattest = baptismal certificate.


For gut/pike = For boy/girl

stekisnavn -? – etternavn = surname  Jorgensen


fornavn og eventuell mellomnavn = first name and possible middle name.

Dagny Marie

Født = born


dato og ar = date and year  19 – 10 nittende Oktober 1882 a..k. åttito

nittende = nineteenth

Oslo Istgaardsgt. 39 – (this is a street address in Oslo.)


Døpt = baptized

26 – 12 tjue sjette desember 1882 atten hundre åtti to

26 -12, twenty-six December 1882 eighteen hundred eighty-two.

(As in many legal documents, they used numerals and wrote them out)


Sofienberg kirke (Tebrirs) -?- parish name


Foreldre, dersom vedkommende er adoptert skal adoptive-foreldrene føres opp

som foreldre dens,

Parents, if the subject is adopted the adoptive parents shall be listed as its parents.


Jens – Jorgen Jorgensen Fabrikaibeider = factory worker

o.h. Dorothea Olsen

sokn: Sofienberg

by/prestegield Oslo


Attesten er utskrift av kirkeboka for sokn Sofienber, by/prestegield

The certificate is a copy from the church register for ‘Sofienber’ parish,

by city/clerical district ?  15 – 3 1977


embete = office


den = the


underskrift = signature




Hello, and thanks for your mail.

Concerning your questions about your grandmother and her relatives I have to say that the church records for the time mentioned, are delivered at the archive of the city.

The church then was called Petrus.  Since 1966 the name has been Sofienberg.

I do not know the address you mention as one in the neighborhood. Maybe it has changed too.  I recommend that you contact Oslo Statsarkiv/ Riksarkivet.

I suggest you will find it interesting.


And remember the Petrus name when you search.

When you come to Norway you are welcome to visit the church, and see how it is.

The address is c/o Helgesensgt. 64, N-0558  Oslo, Norway.


With kindly regards and wishing you good luck.


Mona Utaker, menighetsforvalter

Sofienberg menighet



It is a bit complicated with Sofienberg Church. It was first named Paulus

church (1877). Then some years later – when another Paulus church was built

– the church changed its name to Petrus church (1892). Then later again it was

renamed to Sofienberg Church (1962) which is its name today. The Sofienberg church is located at the address Rathkes gate no. 18. (From Olaf Kringhaug, Apri, 2003.  “I suspect the term ‘gate’ is misleading and I’m not sure it has anything to do with our gate. The Norwegian for gate is ‘port’ and perhaps ‘grind’.



To my knowledge “gate” comes from Old Norwegian “gata” denominating a traffic artery between

rows of houses in a city or built-up area. The dialect version “gutu” was/is used for a narrow country

road with fences on each side. I feel sure “gate” is the same word as gate in English, though having

developed into different meanings, but originally meaning a way or street. There is still a difference between “vei” and “gate” in Norwegian usage, as the former is mostly found in towns, such as Karl Johans gate, Stortingsgata, etc. while longer stretches of way are called vei, like Tondheimsveien, Mosseveien. So it seems gate is  generally  a road between houses and vei is not. Landevei can be translated with country road. The English gate in Norw. is “port”, “grind”, ( and more) In Scottish “gate” still means way or road.

Arve (April 9, 2003)


The address for Sofienberg parish is: Sofienberg sokn, Helgesensgate 64, 0558 Oslo, Norway. You can also contact the parish on this e-post:



Oslo kommune


April, 8, 2003


Request about family


We refer to your e-mail of April 5th and enclose a copy of the church register of Petrus church, which since 1962 has been called Sofienberg church. Your grandmother Dagny Marie Jorgensen is registered on baptizing no. 148.  the resister gives the address Østgaards gate 39.  We also enclose a copy of a map from 1926 showing the site of this address.  Some of the small houses in Østgaards gate are still standing, but we do not know whether no. 39 is among these.


Østgaards gate is not at Sofienberg, but on Toshove – formerly spelled Thorshaug – appr. one mile t the north.  The word “gate” means “street” in Norwegian, but it is the same word as the English “gate”, which in origin meant cow gate.


We have a register of deaths in Kristiania – Oslo from the health authorities, but also the church-registers should be useful to find a date of death. In both cases you must know in which parish the person died.  If she died in Kongsberg, a letter to the regional archive in Kongsberg may give results.  Their address is: Statsrkivet i Kongsberg, Postboks 384 3601 Kongsberg.


If you want assistance from a professional genealogist we can recommend:

Terje Gudbrandson   Kristian Augusts gate 15b 0164 Oslo

Jan Ivar Kristiansen    Vardeveien 136     2020 Skedsmokorset


About Kongsberg, we can just say that the town is worth a visit.


Ellen Røsjø

head of section


Leif Thingsrud




April 5, 2003

Hi Larry!

The Kirke means ‘church’, but Kirken means ‘the church’. The masculine indefinite article is ‘en’ and to make it definite, it is suffixed ‘-en’ For example ‘a church = en kirke’ but ‘the church = kirken’ Similarly ‘a man = en mann’ but ‘the man’ = mannen’ Then there are feminine and neuter

articles. Some say that Norwegianis easy!


Oh yes, it’s Petrus, not Peter.


Sofienberg kirke er bygget i 1877 og ligger i Sofienbergparken i Oslo. Kirken het tidligere

Petrus kirke. Trondheimsveien fra Akerselva til Carl Berners plass går som en akse tvers

gjennom menigheten, som bl. a. innbefatter Tøyenparken med Botanisk hage, Ola Narr, Rodeløkka og Freia Sjokoladefabrikk. I vest grenser menigheten mot Grünerløkka, og i øst mot Gjøvikbanen.

Sofienberg menighet eier Sofienbergsenteret, som drives av Kirkens bymisjon. Det består av et eldresenter, sykehjem og omsorgsboliger. Det bor ca. 10 000 mennesker i Sofienberg menighet.


Sofienberg church was built in 1877 and lies in Sofienberg Park in Oslo. The church was formerly called Petrus Trondheimsveien (Trondheim Way) from Akerselva (Aker River) to Carl Brenner’s Place goes like an axis across the parish, which among, other things, includes  the Tøyen Park with botanical gardens, Ola Narr, Rodeløkka and the Freia Chocolate Factory. In the west the paris borders Grünerløkka, and in the east the Gjøvik rail line. The Sofienberg congregation (parish) owns the Sofienberg Center, operated by the Church’s City Mission. It consists of a senior’s center, nursing home and supervised care homes. About 10 000 people live in the parish.


I’m not sure about the meaning of Ola Narr. A ‘løkke’ is a field or

enclosure but I don’t know it’s significance in Oslo.

You’ll notice two names ending on ‘løkka’ The ‘-a’ suffix indicates the

feminine definite article. That is thrown in to confuse you!!



(I live in Vernon, BC – in the Okanagan Valley. We moved here almost 4 years ago after many years in Vancouver. The reasons for emigration from Norway was mainly economic. My father was a logger, but there was little demand for lumber in Europe in the 1920s because of the depression over there. He married in 1927, I was born in 1928. My mother had a sister and brother-in-law over here. The brother-in-law gave glowing reports about work in Canada in 1926-8 (the depression had not hit yet) and I suspect my mother rather pushed my father into emigrating. That happened in 1929 – not an auspicious time! My mother and I followed a few months later. But it took them almost 4 years to get stable work and income. But I don’t think they ever regretted coming, even though my mother always had a longing for things Norwegian.





Grandma Dagny’s birth record shows the family living at 39 Østgarrdsgt.  Østgaards gate is located in a part of Oslo called Torshov. It is a small street, a bit north of Rathkes gate and outside the center of the city. If you have a map you can look for the larger streets Chr. Michelsens gate

and Fagerheimgata. (Some of the tourist maps of Oslo cover only the center of the city).

from Tove D. Johansen (April, 2003), National Library, Oslo Division


And from Torodd Noreng: Here we go. Sofienberg Park and church is located in the eastern part of the city of Oslo, and Oestgarrds gate is a short street one mile north of Sofienber.



The internet (emigration records) for Norway show that Helga Jorgensen (18) and

Dagny Jørgensen (14) left Kristiania, Akershus, Norway, (which is the older name for Oslo) on the S.S. Island, on June 12, 1897 with a destination to Cando, North Dakota.  The S.S. Island arrived in New York on June 28, 1897, 12 years after the Statue of Liberty was built.



List No. “L” Required by the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, under an Act of Congress approved March 3, 1893, to be delivered t the Commissioner of Immigration by the Commanding officer of any vessel having such passengers on board upon arrival at a port in the United States.

S.S. Island sailing from Christiannia (Oslo), 12 June 1897 Arriving at the Port of _________189___

1 No on List 2 Name in Full 3 Age 4 Sex 5 Married or Single 6 Calling or Occupation

2            Helga Jorgensen     18        f              sgl                             servant

3            Dagny Jorgensen    14         f             sgl                             servant


7 Able to read and write 8 Nationality 9 Last Residence 10 Seaport for landing in the US

yes            yes          Norwegian            Christiannia                       New York

yes            yes          Norwegian            Christiannia                       New York


11 Final destination in the United States 12  Whether having a ticket   13 By whom was

to such final destination passage paid

Cando, North Dakota                                       yes                                   my father

Cando, North Dakota                                       yes                                   my father


14 Whether in possession of money,               15 Whether ever in the United State,

if so, whether more than $30 and                       and if so, when and where

how much if $30 or less.

$5.00                                                              no

——-                                                              no


16.  Whether going to join a relative                 17 Ever in Prison or Almshouse or supported by

and if so, what relative,                               charity. If yes, state which. their name address.

father, J. Jorgensen, Cando, D                        no

father, J. Jorgensen, Cando, D                        no


18 Whether a Polygamist 19 Whether under contract, express or implied,

to labor in the United States

no                                              no

no                                              no


20 Condition of health, Mental and Physical 21 Deformed or Crippled, Nature and Cause

good             no

good                                                     no


Nearly half of the passengers on Grandmother’s ship Manifest page were Norwegian, but only Dagny and her sister, Helga, were headed for North Dakota. Most of their fellow countrymen were headed for New York. The Affidavit of the Master Officer, with the departing passengers listed, was sworn before the United States Consul in Copenhagen on June 10, 1897.  That was two days before the sailing.  Did the passengers sit for two days on board, and did the ship stop off in Denmark on its way to the U.S.?  The dates do not quite line up.


The SS Island was a Danish registered ship rated at 1899 gross tons. 324 feet long, 39 feet in breadth.  Built in Copenhagen in 1882.  Engines were 4Cy.36” and 72”-12” 400 IP. Burmeister and Wain, Cpnhgn.  Owned by Dampskibs-Selskab.  The register of 1907 says she was transferred to the ownership of Calame and Cortese, registered in Genoa, Italy,and broken up.





Time Passages

Red River Valley Genealogy Society

112 N. University Drive, Suite L-116

P.O. Box 9284

Fargo, ND 58106-9284

May 17, 2003


Larry Smith

315 Laurelwood Drive

Jacksonville, OR 97530


Dear Mr. Smith,


Please find enclosed the naturalization records for C.H Rasmussen and Jens J. Jorgenson.  On the day Jens received his 2nd paper, October 27, 1896, two other Jorgensons also received theirs.  (Albert C., Peter, both from Norway)


in the book, “North Dakota Place Names” by Douglas Wick, Egeland, ND was located on land homesteaded by Rasmus Rasmussen.  Our library has a very short family history of this Rasmussen.


The North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies has the multi-volume work, “Towner County, ND Families” by Mabel Jacques Haden.  In volume 3 are the following Jorgensons: Albert, Christ, John T., Jorgen, and Nels.  For a fee of $5 per name they will copy the information.  The address is:  North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies, North Dakota State University Libraries, P.O. box 55105-5599.  The web site is


Possible places to look for an illegitimate child is in the baptismal records of the Norwegian Lutheran churches near his farm.  Jen’s farm was located in section 1 of land description and list of churches.  Also included is a list of Jorgensons buried in cemeteries near his farm.


As for his moving to Canada.  We entered his name in the National Archives of Canada’s Homestead Index for the Western Land Grants (1870 – 1930).  There was a Jens D. Jorgenson listed.  This information is also on a separate sheet.


I hope this information aids you in your research.  Thank you for your patronage.


John R. Beving




United States of America

State of North Dakota                                    S.S.

County of Ramsey


Jens J. Jorgensen

personally appeared before the subscriber, the Clerk of the District Court of Ram-

sey County, State of North Dakota, being a Court of Record, and made oath that he was born in Norway on or about the year eighteen hundred and Sixty, that he emigrated to the United States and landed at the Port of New York,  on or about the month of June in the year eighteen hundred and eighty three that it is bona fide  his intention to become a

Citizen of the United States


and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate,

State or Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the King of Norway & Sweden whereof he is a jubject, and that he will support the constitution and Government of the United States.

Subscribed and sworn to this 15th

day of December 1891

Clerk (unclear) Jens J. Jorgensen



Page 145

State of North Dakota District Court



In the matter of the application of JENS J JORGENSON to become a citizen of the United States. C.H. Olson and N.S. Anarill (hand written, hard to read) being several sworn, do depose and say, each for himself, that he is well aquatinted with the above named JENS J JORGENSON, that he has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the Untied State for five years last past, and for one year last past within the State of North Dakota; and that during the same period he has behaved himself as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States, and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the same.


Subscribed and Sworn to in open Court this                          signed: C.H. Olson **

27 day of Oct 1896                                                                            N.S. Averill **

Eli Hanson (unclear)


STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA                                     DISTRICT COURT



I, JENS J JORGENSON do swear that I will support the constitution of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and that I do absolutely and entirely Renounce and Abjure Forever, all Allegiance and Fidelity to every Foreign Power, Prince, Potentate, Sate or Sovereignty whatever; and particularly to the King of Norway (unclear) whose subject I was. And further, that I never have borne any hereditary title, or been of any of the degrees of nobility of the country whereof I have been a subject and that I have resided within the United Sates for five years last past, and in this state for one year last past..


Subscribed and Sworn to in open Court this

27 day of Oct 1896                                          signed: Jens J Jorgenseon (unclear)

Ely Hanson (unclear) clerk


STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA                                     DISTRICT COURT



And Now, to-wit: At a Term of said Court, now being held at Cando in and for the County of Towner, in said State, upon the forgoing oath and affidavits, and upon further proof having been made by the production of a certificate that the said Jens J. Jorgenson id, before the Clerk of District Court Ramsy County ND the same being a Court of Record, having common law jurisdiction, make the requisite declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, to to renounce all other allegiance, as required by the laws of the United States.


It is Ordered by the Court, that the said Jens J. Jorgenson

be, and he is herby admitted to be,  A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.

By the Court:  D.E. Morgan Judge


A True Record Attest.


Signed: Ely Hanson Clerk (unclear)


Naturalization Records of North Dakota

Towner County

Volume 7 – 12

May 8, 1886 – January 3, 1920

Roll No. 12664

Vol. 7 page 145


** Norman S. Averill, born 1868, had a grocery store in Cando.

** C.H. Olson had rooms over his store in Cando where the earliest settlers slept four men to a room at 35 cents each night.  He also owned the local livery stable and was the town’s undertaker. (History of Cando, ND – 1884 – 1984) He also signed as witness to Rasmus Rasmusen when he became a citizen in 1899.




Page 429






The United State of America




Whereas, there has been deposited int he General Land Office of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Devils Lake, North Dakota, whereby it appears that pursuant to the Act of Congress approved 20th May, 1862, “To Secure Homesteads to Actual Settlers on the Public Domain,” and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of

Jens J. Jorgensen  has been established and duly consummated in conformity to law, for the


South half of the North West Quarter and the Lots minimal Three and Four of Section One in Township One hundred and fifty nine North of Range sixty six West of the fifth Principal Meridian in North Dakota containing One hundred and Sixty Acres and sixty hundredths of an Acre


according to the Official Plat of the survey of said land returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General


Now, Know Ye, That there is therefore granted by the United States unto the said

Jens J Jorgensen


the tract of land above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract of land, with the appurtenances

Jens J Jorgensen


and his heirs and assigns, forever, subject ot any vested and accrued water rights for mining, agricultural, manufacturing or other purposes, and rights to ditches and reservoirs used in connection with such water rights as may be recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, laws and decisions of courts, and also subject to the rights of the proprietor of a vein or lode to extract and remove his ore, therefrom, should the same be found to penetrate or intersect the premises herby granted as provided by law.


In Testimony Whereof, I, William McKinley, President of the United States of America, have caused these Letters to be made, Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.


Given under my hand at the City of Washington, the Twelfth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven and the independence of the United States the One hundred and twenty first.


BY THE PRESIDENT, William McKinley

By M. McRian, Secretary

Recorded, Vol 5 Page 30 C.W. Brush, Recorder of the General Land Office


Filed for Record January 19th A.D. 1898 at 1 o’clock P.M.

Geo. Elsbeny, Register of Deeds

By Janus McIntosh, Deputy

(The handwriting of the last three names was difficult to read.)




Duplicate (hand written document)


Final Rec Rec



J.J. Jorgenson


Final Receiver Receipt No. 1821           Application No. 3518



Receiver Office Devils Lake, North Dakota

February 1 – 1897


Received of Jens J. Jorgenson the sum of four dollars – cents bring the balance of payments required by law for the entry of S1/2NW1/4 and Lots 3&4 of Section 1 in township 159 N of Range 66 West of the 66 W containing 160 50/100 acres under section 2291 of the Revised statute of the United States.  AW Schmidt, Receiver


$1.00 testimony fee received – Number of written words 670 Rate per 100 words 15 cents.


Fixed for Record February 8, 1897


Geo. Eelsberry (unclear) Registrar







Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office Records

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Accession/Serial #: NDMTAA 141605   BLM Serial #: NDMTAA 141605

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Acres: 160.6

Metes/Bounds: No

Title Transfer

Issue Date: 5/12/1897

Land Office: Montana State Office

Cancelled: No

U.S. Reservations: No

Mineral Reservations: No

Authority: May 20, 1862: Homestead EntryOriginal (12 Stat. 392)

Document Numbers

Document Nr.: 1828

Accession/Serial Nr.: NDMTAA 141605

BLM Serial Nr.: NDMTAA 141605



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Land Patent Details

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Accession/Serial #: NDMTAA 141605   BLM Serial #: NDMTAA 141605

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Note: This record has not been checked against the Legal Land Patent. We don’t have an electronic image for this document.


Parts         Sec./

Block        Township  Range       Fract.

Section     Meridian   State Counties   Survey


S1⁄2NW       1/       159-N          66-W  No     5th PM         ND     Towner

3        1/       159-N          66-W  No     5th PM         ND     Towner         


4        1/       159-N          66-W  No     5th PM         ND     Towner         



Note: Legal land descriptions can be used to help find the precise location of the land. For more information, please see our description of the Rectangular Survey System.



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Grandmother Rasmussen’s “mystery” half brother –

Christ(ian) Eugene Jorgenson – American name

Kristian Eugen Hansen – Norwegian birth name




Mother says that Grandma Dagny Rasmussen had a half brother possibly born in North Dakota.  Could either have been Towner County or Ramsy County.  Devils Lake or Cando or Egeland.


Whispered stories say that Great Grampa  Jens Jorgensen lived with a women for a while in North Dakota. It was probably after his wife died back in Norway in 1893.  After homesteading in North Dakota for several years, he headed to Canada to work on the railroad, eventually living with his daughter, Grandma Rasmussen’s sister and his grandson, Henry Johnson.


“This seemed the way it was. Nobody really talked about it, just hinted”, says Mother.


Jens Jorgenson’s homestead was in Victor Township of Towner County, Section 1 – about 5 miles east of Egland, ND.


Possible places to look for illegimate birth-baptismal records of child:

Closest Norwegian Luthern Churches to Jen’s land are:

Zion at Alsen

Alsen Congregation at Alsen, 1907

Lakeview Congregation –

St. Ofaf’s – Bisbee – 1903


In the IOOF Cemetery they have listed an Olaf Jorgensen (1899 – 1966)


The mystery of Mother’s uncle, Christ E. Jorgenson, has been solved!

(Nov. 2003) It has taken a month of hard work, but we finally have an answer to the mystery man.


He was not born in North Dakota as thought, but instead in Christiania (Oslo), Norway.


Our great grandfather, Jens Jorgen Jorgenson, left Norway for North Dakota in 1883 the year that his daughter, Dagny, was born. Dortea was apparently left destitute with a baby and a toddler daughter.


In 1885 Dortea became pregnant with child by a 29 year-old widowed bricklayer, Hans Johannesen.  Dortea was 26 at the time.  Kristian Eugen Hansen was born on November 4, 1885 (baptized: February 28, 1886).  Meanwhile the boy’s father, Hans, has died leaving Dortea even more destitute.  She now has three kids to raise.  The boy’s birth recording lists Drotea’s husband, JJJ, as living in America.


Dortea is now living at Bensegade #27 in the Sagene parish (Sawmill church)


The Kristiania probate record shows that she had no heirs or relatives when she died on July 6, 1892 at age 33 at the hospital and was buried on July 12 using the City’s poor fund.  The church register gives her husband’s occupation as being a canvas worker. JJJ had apparently worked at the same Big Weavery as his wife Dortea did. Perhaps they met there when he moved from Kongsberg to Kristiania (Oslo) and she moved over from Grue.  Dortea is listed as a “factory worker” in the City records.


The records show that Dorotea had either taken on the name “Hansen” so that she would have the same last name as her son, or that the writer of the record got it wrong.  “Jørgensen” shows up again at the time of her death.


By the age of 14, “Eugen Hansen” is working as a laborer at at spinning mill.  His foster parents are Kristoffer Gulbrandsen and Karen nee Larsen at the address of Arendalsgade #12.


In 1902, at the age of 16, Kristian Eugen Hansen heads to Egeland, North Dakota to presumably join his stepfather, JJJ, five years after his half sisters had emigrated to North Dakota.


On October 2,  1908, Kristian Eugen Hansen declares his intention to become a citizen of the United States in front of a judge in Towner County, North Dakota.  By now the boy is 22 and has changed his name to “Christ Eugene Jorgenson” apparently in deference to his stepfather, Jens Jorgen Jorgenson and aligning to American rules of spelling.  Jens soon leaves for Canada to join his daughter in Sac.




The Kristiania probate material’s death report records re. Dortea shows no heirs or relatives, just that she died on July 6, 1892 at age 33 at the hospital and was buried on July 12 at the poor relief’s cost. Sagene church register gives her husband as being canvas worker (unclear, but likely) Hans Jørgen Jørgensen (in America). Hans of course wrong for Jens. Her death cause is given in Latin and is besides very unclear, so I don’t know what she died of.


I have searched for “Christ Eugen Jørgensen” in the Kristiania census 1900, as well as in the computerised Kristiania emigration records, unsuccessfully. Neither do I find JJJ in this material. And neither is he listed in the Kristiania directories for 1881 and 1882. In the 1885 census Dortea lived at the adress Bensegade 27 (Sagene parish) with her daughters listed as Matilde and Dani. Dortea given as factory worker. “Christ Eugen” not listed as living with her.


Your guess, however, that “Christ Eugen” was Dortea’s son and not JJJ’s turns out to be the fact:


Sagene church register 1880-1893, page 127:


Born November 4, 1885, baptized February 28, 1886: Kristian Eugen. Parents: Widower, bricklayer worker Hans Johannesen, b. 1856, married wife Dortea Hansen, b. 1859. Address: Bentsegd. 27. Godparents: Paper worker Karl Kristoffersen, ………. worker Kristian Madsen, wife Maren Olsen, maiden Marie Kristoffersen. The child’s father is deceased. The child mother’s husband is in America. The child’s birth has been reported by its mother.


Hansen on Dortea of course is wrong. The godmother Maren Olsen = of course very probably Dortea’s sister.


Now I found one “Eugen Hansen, b. 1885, labourer at spinning mill” as fosterson of one “Kristoffer Gulbrandsen” and his wife “Karen née Larsen” at the address “Arendalsgade 12” in the 1900 Kristiania census. Although it may seem quite likely that this is “Christ Eugen Jørgensen”, I can’t say that for sure, of course.


(From Tove: Hello – If I am not mistaken the Sagene church has address on Arendalsgate. It is the parallell street to Bentsegaten. Arendalsgaten is the much larger street, where the bus is running. So you have been there..)



The maiden name of his wife, Smitte, I have never heard before. Elida was quite common. Gurema uncommon.


I have worked on this for alltogether 8,5 hours at $ 30,00 = $ 255,00 (+ $ 10,00 for cashing expenses on checks, please). Thank you very much.


Best regards to you and your wife

Jan Kristiansen


In June, 2003 – The North Dakota Sate University (NDSU), Libraries, P.O. Box 5599, Fargo, ND, 58105 –  research librarian sent me family information from the “TOWNER COUNTY NORTH DAKOTA FAMILIES” book listing the Jorgenson and Rasmussen families, among others.  On page 1102 under the the Rasmussen section, CHRISTIAN RASMUSSEN is listed: “married Mary Jorgenson, born 1882. Her brother Christ lived Egeland, died March 22, 1936 – see Jorgenson”.  Looking on page 666 of the Towner County North Dakota Family book the name: CHRIST JORGENSON is listed:  married Elida….Lived Egeland.  Children: Harold Augen, April 7, 1922 and Melvin Alando, September 25, 1925.  At least we know a bit more about grandma’s brother.  I now have some hard information to track down.  I have seen “Christ” being used as an abbreviation of “Christian”. Strange that the abbreviation is used in both listings.




—— Forwarded Message

From: “John Hallberg” <>

Organization: NDIRS

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:15:02 -0500

To: “‘Larry  Smith'” <>

Subject: RE: looking for relatives


Dear Mr. Smith:


I was able to locate the family on the 1920 and 1930 census.   I was

unable to locate a Jens Jorgen Jorgenson.  And Christ was not in the

United States until 1902, according to the census.  Thus, I was not able

to locate him in the 1900 census.  I have dropped the copies in the





John Hallberg

Archives Associate




State Historical Society of North Dakota

North Dakota Heritage Center

612 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505


October 21, 2003


Mr. Smith:


I found the first papers (to begin the naturalization process) for Christ E. Jorgenson, Towner County, Vol. 3, page 39, October 2, 19908.  However I did not find second papers for him. I tried different spellings without success.  There are many reasons we do not find these: the person moved or simply procrastinated. But in his case it may be that he only had to file the first papers. I’d have to go find your original letters from earlier this summer to check the names again, but there are two possibilities. If Christ’s father was naturalized he wouldn’t have needed to file any papers at all.  The other possibility is that, because he came to this country at age 16 and had been here for more than 3 years before he turned 21 and 5 years total, he only needed to file once. I’ve enclosed a better explanation of this form the 1907 North Dakota Blue Book.


I hadn’t forgotten the obit search for Christ Jorgenson.  I went and checked the Langdon, Egeland, and Cando newspapers again, and first found a short mention of his death in the Calio news section of the March 26, 1936, edition of the Cavalier County Republican of Langdon. “The death of Christ Jorgenson was announced to have occurred at his home Sunday morning.” Again, I tried the Egeland newspaper but found nothing. I then searched both of the Cando newspapers operating at the time and found another short mention of his death in the April 2, 1936, edition of the Cando Herald. “Joe Alstad went to Newville on Friday to be one of the pall bearers for Christ Jorgenson who passed away at this farm home near Newville.” This mentioned the community of Newville**, which is about half way between Egeland and Calio.  But I am still puzzled as to why there was no full obituary, why they are not listed in the Towner or Cavalier county cemetery books, and why I can’t find a death date for Elida.  But because I was able to find a death date (March 22, 1936) we know there is a death certificate available through Vital Records. I don’t know if the information found there will help.  The cost is $5 if you are interested and their Web site is at


You may pay the $5 fee by making a check or money order payable to the society.  There is no charge for anything else I did concerning his obituary as you have already paid for that work.  Please e-mail me at if you have any another questions.  Thank you.


Greg Wysk, Reference Specialist




NEWVILLE, Towner County


This Farmers Grain & Shipping Co. RR townsite was founded in 1905 in SW1/4 Sec. 25-159-65, Victor Twp. six miles SE of Egeland. On September 5, 1905 pm Lorenzo W. Strong moved the NEWVILLE post office to the townsite from his farm home in Ramsey County, four miles to the SE. The name of that post office was accepted as the name of the townsite by railroad officials.  A population of 80 was reported in 1920, bu the count had declined to just 11 in 1940.  The post office closed August 31, 1942 with mail to Egeland and NEWVILLE disappeared from most maps during the 1960s.




Egeland, North Dakota


This Soo Line RR townsite was founded in 1905 in NW 1/4 Sec. 6-159-65, Victor Twp. and NE 1/4 Sec. 1-159-66, Lewis Twp., a site originally homesteaded by Rasmus Rasmussen in 1894.  It was named for Axel Egelnad, a banker in Bisbee and an official of the Soo Line RR.  Lots were sold August 9, 1905, and on August 23, 1905 the country store and post office called Lakeview relocated here.  John M. borgerson continuing as pm and storekeeper.  The village incorportated October 18, 1905, and reached a peak population of 333 in 1930.  The Zip Code is 58331.


*** A side note:  Rasmus Rasmussen’s son, Christian Hans Rasmussen, married Jens Jorgenson’s daughter, Dagney Marie Jorgenson on December 25, 1900.




No. 39




Department of Commerce and Labor









(Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)


State of North Dakota                                                                     In the District Court

County of Towner                                                                              of Towner County


I, Christ Eugene Jorgenson, aged 22 years, occupation  Farmer, do declare on oath that my personal description is:  Color white, complexion Light, height 5 feet 6 inches, weight 150 pounds, color of hair light brown, color of eyes Blue, other visible marks = Birth mark on right shoulder: I was born in Christiana – Norway, on the 4th day of November, anno Domini 1885; I now reside at Egeland – North Dakota.  I emigrated to the United States of America from Norway – Christiana on the vessel* American – Scandinavian Line; my last foreign residence was Christiana – Norway.   It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Haakon VII KIng of Norway, of which I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York, in the State of New York on or about the 2nd day of July, anno Domini 1902; I am not a anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein:



Christ Eugene Jorgenson

(Original signature of declarant)



Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2nd

day of October, anno Domini 1908


W.E. Peek (unclear)

Clerk of the District Court


*  If the allen arrived otherwise than by vessel, the character of conveyance or name of transportation company should be given.




The 1930 Census of North Dakota, Cavalier County, Seivert Township shows Christ E. Jorgenson living with his wife, Elida.  The family owns a radio, live on a farm, and own their house. Christ as head of the house is age 44.  Was 33 when married.  Both Christ and Elida, age 39, speak Norwegian in the home. Elida was born in the U.S. of Norwegian parents.  Can speak English. Harold is 7, Carl is 6, Melvin is 5, George is 2.  They all speak Norwegian. Elida was born in Wisconsin.


The 1920 Census of North Dakota, Cavalier County Sievert township shows Christ E. Jorgenson living with his wife, Elida. Gurema Smitte, 21, is living at the house and is listed as a servant.  Smitte is Elida’s maiden name, so this could possibly be her sister. (Cannot read the designation.)  No children listed.  Christ is listed as a farmer.




From the Death Register in Sievert Township,

Cavalier County

Clerk of District Court

901 Third Street, Langdon, ND 58249


March 22, 1936. Christian Jorgenson (usually spelled “Christ”.  Cause of death was Tuberculosis of the lungs.  Male.  White. Married.  age 51 years, 3 months, 18 days.  Under “names of parents” is listed: “UNKNOWN” which is really strange because his wife was still alive and should have known the details of his birth.  His parents are both listed as having been born in Christiana (Oslo).  If this detail was known, then why not the names of his parents?  Drats – foiled again!  He was sick a month before dying.  Died in Sievert Township.


September 28, 1938. Then two years later his wife, (Latlie) Elida Jorgenson dies of Carrnbond (?) Hemorrhage Apoplexy Astoin Sclerosis (hard to read the handwriting) at age 47 years, 3 months, 1 day.  Her parents were Halvor Smette and Randi Fenseth.  Father born in Norway and mother born in Wis. Was sick 7 days.  Also died in Sievert Township.


Her death left four orphan boys:

Harold – 16

Carl – 14

Melvin – 12

George – 11


In 1936, one month after their mother’s death, a neighbor, Knute Sale and an uncle, Randil Smette (named after his grandmother) petitioned the County of Cavalier County to gain guardianship of the four boys.


“The petition of Knute Sale and Randil Smette respectfully shows that your petitioner is the neighbor and uncle resp. of the said minors, but that the said Randil Smette lives at some distance from said minors and therefore wishes that the said Knute Sale be appointed guardian with him of the minor children.”


The estate consists of 13 head of cattle, 5 head of horses, machinery sufficient to operate the farm upon which they reside and household furniture.


“There are no relatives living within the County of Cavalier and the State of North Dakota, none but that Randil Smette on of your petitioners herein is the uncle of said minors.”


“We the undersigned minors above the age of fourteen years, hereby nominate and respectfully request your Honor to appoint Knute Sale and Randil Smette, the first named being of the township of Sievert in the County of Cavalier and State of North Dakota, the guardian of our person and estate.”


Harold Jorgenson

Carl Jorgenson


On October 18, 1938 the petition was granted.


The Jorgensons owned personal property of the approximate value of $1,000, real property consisting of twenty-five acres of ordinary farming land in Trail County, North Dakota. The total value of their property was placed at $1,750.  She left no will.


By May 21, 1941 the four boys are living in Starkweathr, North Dakota.  The oldest boy, Harold, is petitioning to have the estate turned over to J.M. Snowfield at Langdon, North Dakota.


Do not know the family connection.




—— Forwarded Message

From: “ruth” <>

Reply-To: “ruth” <>

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 13:29:10 -0600

To: “Larry Smith” <>

Subject: Christ E Jorgenson Family


Hi Larry

I am a granddaughter of Christ E. Jorgenson. My father Harold E Jorgenson was a son of theirs He was the oldest boy. He had three more brothers. Carl J Jorgenson, Melvin O. Jorgenson and George R. Jorgenson.

I never know Christ either for he had passed away at a young age. My dad was only about 14  when he passed away and his Mother he was only 16 so the boys really raise themselves with help of course from some family and friends. My mother mother helped them out allot. I have gotten obit on them in the passed years. Hope to hear from you and we can learn more on the families. Their aunts still live up by Calio that we visit. They are getting up in age.

I also have a family tree book. that Smette if you have anything like that it would be great.

This book is Halvor Christian Smette 1844 1925

and Randi Finneseth 1852–1937 it has all of their children name in it and who they married.

My sister who lives in Washington state has been working on allot of this stuff.

Glad that we got your letter.

My name is Ruth A Jorgenson Miller-Fletcher

My e-mail is

Please e-mail me and see what all we can help each other with.


Thank you Ruth





—— Forwarded Message

From: “skpearl” <>

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 18:36:38 -0800

To: <>






















































Ruby Helen Lucille Rasmussen


Born: January 7, 1917, Kalispell, Montana.


Daughter of:

Christian Hans Rasmussen, b. May 22, 1877, Ringe, Denmark, d. April 15, 1952, Kalispell, Montana, of a stroke,  Immigrated to the U.S. in 1889, settling first in North Dakota.


Married: December 25, 1900, North Dakota


Dagny Marie “Mary” Jorgensen, b. October 19, 1882, Oslo, Norway, d. October 3, 1963, age 81, stroke, Emunclaw, Washington.  Immigrated to the U.S. in 1897, joining her father in North Dakota who had come on ahead.


Rasmussen Children:

Lydia Mabel – born in North Dakota in 1902, d. December 1, 1957, Kalispell, Montana

Esther Minnie – b. 1905, d. May 29, 1992

Iva Gladys – b. Oct. 11, 1906, d. Feb. 22, 1995

Pearl Agnus – b. January 15, 1910, d. February 21, 1979

Ruby Helen Lucille – b. January 7, 1917, b. Kalispell, Montana, on the farm.

Arthur Donald “Don” – b. 1921 – b. Kalispell


LYDIA MABEL was born in North Dakota July 28, 1902 and she died Dec. 1, 1957.  At age 17 she married Ray Grover–son of ministers –an adopted twin–had a twin sister–and they had one daughter Opal LaVonne–born June 22, 1923.  When she was about 10 she had a severe case of measles and she didn’t seem to be very healthy after that and she died Feb. 10, 1948.  Ray and Lydia divorced when Opal was about 9.  Ray remarried soon and Lydia remarried several years later to Eilert Lunde.  I was only age 2 when Lydia married the first time  so I didn’t really realize that she was my sister for several years.  I barely heard not too many moons ago from Rose, that she had a miscarriage.

Re, her death-young–she went into a diabetic comma and Lunde took her to

the hospital early in the am and she died.  My Mother took this VERY hard.

She was only 55.  Lunde was not very good to her–he could be sweet and he

could be harsh.   I get my info from Rosebud.  -I always knew Lunde was “hot

headed” –he was gassed in the first World War and he also had a “plate” in

his head.  Information center in Phoenix.


ESTHER MINNIE was born in Montana May 9, 1905 and she died May 29, 1992.  She married Ted Ross–born March 17, 1904 and died Sept. 20, 1986.  They had 4 children–Betty, Robert, Kenneth and Norma Lee.  Both Robert and Kenneth are ministers with the Assemblies of God.  After Esther finished school and before she was married she worked at the Hileman Photo Studio.


IVA GLADYS was born Oct. 11, 1906 and she died Feb. 22, 1995.  She eloped and married Wesley Carpenter–a twin– and he was born 1905 and he died June 5, 1972.  They had 2 daughters–Donna and Dolores.  Iva was such a good sister–always waiting on other people.  She completed 3 years of hi-school.  Before she married –for several years she was a telephone operator.


PEARL AGNES was born Jan. 15, 1910 and died suddenly of a heart attack Feb. 21, 1979.  At age 17 she married Earl Bowman who was born April 14, 1901 and he died Feb. 22, 1999.  They had 3 children–Jean, Rosealee and Roger.  Jean married John Stewart.  Jean is now a widow and lives in Minn.  Rose married James Vanden Bos and they are now in the process of moving from Seattle to Portland. Roger lives in Montana married Marlene–had 4 daughters–divorced and married Sue.  I was only 10 when Pearl was married but she was always full of life and very active.  We had lots of fun together.

Whenever Pearl would get real active and carry on Grandma Dagny would say, “You remind me of my sister.  She loved to dance.”  Mother remembers her saying this many times.


RUBY HELEN was born Jan.. 7, 1917.  She was the only offspring to graduate from high school.  And one and a half years before that she fell madly in love with Elmer Bennett Smith–born Jan. 4, 1913.  Two weeks after graduation they eloped to Idaho and were married June 10, 1935.  They kept this a secret for about 6 mo. and then they set up housekeeping.  Elmer worked at a grocery. store and after about 4 years they moved from Montana to Southern Ca.  Elmer attended school and started working at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica.  Then on July 3, 1940 along came twin boys–Larry Bennett and Lloyd Christian (the best sons anyone could ever have).  They wanted to NOT raise their sons in So. Ca. so they moved to So. Oregon in June of 1946.


ARTHUR DONALD was born May 29, 1921.  He was to be called Arthur but eventually he was Don against his Father’s wishes.  He was 4 years younger so he says I protected him as we were growing up.  Immediately after graduating from the 8th grade he started working at a grocery. store and he was in the grocery. business all of his working years.  He owned several stores.  He served 4 years in the Service during World War 2 and when he came home he married a long time friend, Doris Lunde in 1947.  They had 1 son–Lamar and he drowned at the age of 42.  He and his wife, Sue, had 3 sons-  They are now Don’s pride and joy–very special  grand sons.  Several years ago Doris became ill and went to live in a Nursing Home and she died Oct. 2, 2002 at the Emmanuel Lutheran Home.  Don was so lonely without Doris that he just couldn’t live alone so he sold the house and moved to same Lutheran Home.  He misses Doris so much.





Box 394

Theodore, Sak.  Oct. 16th/47.


Mrs. C.H. Rasmussen

501 – 9th Ave. West




Dear Mrs. Rasmussen:


I am writing to let you know that your father (Jens Jorgensen) passed away last week – on the 10th.


We thought of wiring, but it would have been too far for you to come for the funeral anyway.  Before he died, I asked him about his funeral and he said he guessed it should be from the Lutheran Church, since he’d been confirmed there.  It was held there on Sunday – though none of us are Lutheran.  There is no Nazarene Church here, or perhaps Grandpa would have wanted that way.  I would have liked to have one of Jehovah’s Witnesses conduct the service, but it was not up to me to decide.


We couldn’t really be sorry that Grandpa died, He’d been bedridden so long and suffered so much, especially the last while. He kept wishing he could die.


It was getting very hard for us to give him the care he needed too.  You see I had a baby – another boy – born in July. He had something wrong with his breathing so they kept him in the hospital to gain up weight and try to find out what was wrong.  They kept him there – in a town 35 miles from here – until a month ago, but couldn’t be sure what caused the labored breathing, so told us to take him to Winnipeg – about 300 miles from here.  Since there was no one to look after Grandpa, we put him in the hospital for the week we were away.  When he got home again he was so much weaker.  He didn’t like being there at all. He had no control of his wastes at all and couldn’t move himself in bed.  He scarcely ate anything.  the doctor here came out and said we’d have to put him in a home as it was too much for me to look after him and the baby.  However we didn’t think Grandpa had much time left and hated to send him away. He got a cold, which developed into pneumonia. He had nothing left to fight it with and passed way just two weeks after he got back from the hospital. He suffered so very much at the last, had a bed sore that got very bad.  He slept little and was calling us day and night to move him.  The doctor didn’t dare to give him a hypo until the Thursday afternoon as he died at 4:30 AM Friday. He slept peacefully during that time at least.


It is nice for me to have the baby home at last. The specialist at Wpg. told me it was a very small windpipe that caused his trouble and that he would grow out of it by the time he was a year.  Now we are satisfied at least that there is nothing to be done for him but wait.  He’s gaining fine now – smiles and coos already.


I am sending that picture of Grandfather back to you, as he promised.


Now I must close wishing the best for you and yours.




Mrs. Henry Johnson  (Irene) (Mother’s cousin’s wife)




Box 7

Theodore, Sak.

Sept. 18/81


Dear Larry:


By now I hope that you have heard from the secretary of our town regarding your great grandfather’s death.  I asked him to let you know that I would be communicating with you soon.


My husband, Henry, is the youngest of your great Aunt Mathilda’s children.  I think there were just the two daughters. We cannot give you any information about their mother.  We never questioned him, just assuming that she had died in Norway.


We do have his baptismal certificate and the translation of same, which I had copies made of for your. Henry obtained these for him and also his Naturalization Certificate made out May 4th/31. He needed these to obtain his pension.


One reason that I delayed answering your letter was that I hoped Henry’s oldest sister Anne – now 76 yrs., (Mother’s cousin, probably born 1905) would have more information than Henry about Grandpa.  She recalls that he was working on the railroad when it first went through the mountains in Canada.  She was not very old when he came to live with their family and helped her father on the farm.  (Perhaps about 1910 – 1915).  He also worked for a neighbor.  This was about 3 miles east of Theodore. Mathilda and her husband left the farm about 1923 and so did Grandpa.  He built a small house in Lockwood. Henry lived there with him for a time.  In 1938 Henry came back and worked for my Dad, who had been renting his father’s farm.


Mathilda was born in 1879 and died in 1930.  Henry’s father died in 1936 when Henry was 21.  Some time later Grandpa came to Theodore and lived in a little house here.  Henry fixed up the old house on the farm and when Grandpa became too old to stay alone, he built a small place for Grandpa to have a quiet place to sleep.  That must have been in 1945 or early 1946.


In July of ‘47 I had a second son, but he had trouble breathing and he vomited profusely, so the doctor kept him in Yorkton hospital for two months and then told us to take him to a specialist in Winnipeg.  He arranged for us to leave Grandpa in Yorkton Hospital for two weeks, so that we could go. When we got him home again we found he had developed bedsores and seemed to have failed a great deal.  Later he suffered kidney failure and then succumbed to pneumonia on Oct. 10th.  He is buried in the cemetery close to town here.


We left the farm in ‘49 and were in the meat market and locker plant business here until February last year.  Henry’s first free day was his 65th birthday (probably born 1915),  the eldest of Mathilda’s children is Mervin, aged 78 yrs. (probably born 1903), at Prenticton, BC; then Anne 76 (probably born in 1905) at present visiting us from Regina with her husband, then Florence 74 yrs. (probably born in 1907),Thunder Bay, Ontario, Effie 72 yrs. (probably born 1909) Vancouver, BC, Ida 69 yrs., ((probably born 1912),Thunder Bay, Ont. and Henry the youngest.


Henry’s mother took him down to visit your Grandmother Dagny in Montana, when Henry was about 5 years old. (Probably in 1919 or 1920.)  He remembers eating apples down there. Anne used to write to Esther and knows the names of the other three girls.  We have pictures of Donald’s wedding and of Dagny and her husband, but the only ones of the daughters were two taken many years ago.


It was nice to be contacted by you. I had been wondering whether we would ever hear of Henry’s aunt again.


Perhaps sometime you will write again and fill us in on her family, including yourself.


As for myself, I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that gives real meaning to my life and hopes.




Irene Johnson




Theodore, Sask.

Dec. 18/81


Dear Larry:


I’m trying to catch up on correspondence. I should have answered your second letter a long time ago.


I think you believe that I am Dagny’s niece when actually it is my husband, Henry, who is Mathilda’s son.  There was change of names which might have confused your grandmother as well. Also Mathilda had a daughter Irene, born just the day after I was born to the Baxters just 3/4 mi. away.  However she died of pneumonia at about 3 mos.


Mathilda’s husband was really called Jens Jenson.  This brother Anton changed his name to Johnson.  Then there was another Jens Jenson whose mail sometimes got mixed with Henry’s father’s mail. For those reason he changed his name to Jens Johnson.  Henry is registered as Johnson.  They moved away from here when I was only about four years old, so I really don’t know too much about them except through others.  My Dad rented there land for several years and Jens would come sometimes, also “Tilda”, but I was only 11 when she died.


Your are right about the name Helga. The record we have shows Mathilda as her second name. She probably preferred it.


About their brother – we never knew that there was such a person.  Mathilda must have lost all touch with him.  Thanks for letting know about both your grandmother’s deaths.


Our eldest son, Jerry, 42 yrs., was home after we got your first letter and we thinking of writing to Norway to learn about Grandpa’s wife.  He has an interest in a firm that sells Office furniture and supplies in Saskatoon, Sask 180 miles from here.  His first wife died of cerebral hemorrhage.  They had no children but he married a girl who has two, a girl 16 and a boy 11.  His wife is a loans officer with the Credit Union.


We have another son, Ronald 34 yrs. He worked for Federated, Coops in Saskatoon since he finished university in ‘68.  In October he and his wife and 11 yr. old daughter moved to Victoria, B.C. where he took a job with B.C. Communications Systems.


Then we have a daughter Sharon 29 yrs. whose husband is a trucker in the oil fields at Lloydminster, about 180 miles from Saskatoon on the Alberta border.  She has a girl of 4, a boy 21 mos, and in October another baby girl.  Henry and I were out there for awhile to help out.


We could not stay away long because we are looking after my mother who is almost 89 yrs. old, so we had to have my sister here with her. Our son wants us to come out to visit them in Victoria. Perhaps we could take Mom along by plane, but not this winter.  She may not be able to take the trip.  It’s a dream anyway.


Now I must sign off. Wishing all the best for you and your family.




Irene Johnson




The following articles are from members of Jens Jorgen Jorgensen’s Canadian family.

Written from memory so there are a few errors which I will try to correct.


No date given when they were written.


JOHNSON, Jens and Mathilda (Interesting that Mathida married a man by the same name as her father, Jens Jorgensen and that both of the sisters married Danes.)


By Henry Johnson, (Jens Jorgensen’s grandson.  Ruby’s cousin.)


In the year 1891, at the age of 17, my father Jens, came to the Theodore district from Denmark with his parents, Nils and Christina and his brother, Anton, age thirteen.  They homesteaded east of the Whitesand River. My paternal grandfather died in 1903 and grandmother in 1908.


About 1897, Dad married Mathilda Guttormson who had immigrated from Norway in 1897.  They homesteaded the quarter which is now the site of Maydel Farms.


They had nine children, of whom three died in childhood.  Their third child was Mervin, born in 1903, followed by Anne, Florence, Effie, Ida and myself, Henry in 1915.


Our family stayed on the farm until 1923, when we moved to Foam Laek where we had a restaurant. Later we operated a hotel in Lockwood.  Mother died in 1930 and Dad in 1936.


(Grandmother Dagny’s sister.  For some reason the Canadian Jorgensens changed their names back to Guttormson.  Jorgen Guttormsen was Jens father’s name, thus the name “Jorgensen”. It was about 1860 that the kings of Norway and Denmark declared that family names would stay the same rather than being based on the father’s first name followed by a “sen’ or “son” for each generation. The Canadian spelling of Guttormsen became “son”.)


Mervin worked as a clerk in Louis Kelson’s Store for a time and also worked on the farm where he stayed until 1925.  He left here and worked at various occupations until he returned in 1936 and again took up farming until 1945, when he went out to B.C. where he did commercial fishing until health problems forced him to retire. He now lives in Penticton, B.C.


Anne married Elmer Bates.


My other three sisters married and moved to various places.  Florence married Gordon Adcock. they lived in Thunder Bay, where he died several years ago., and she in March 1986.


Effie married Clarence Forster of Foam Lake. they had three sons, Wayne, Clarence, and Dale.  They moved to Vancouver.  Clarence predeceased Effie by several years. She died in November 1984.


Ida also lost her first husband, Paddy Casey, with whom she had four children, Dennis, Pat, Delvin, and Jerry.  She later married Norman Stewart and they live in Thunder Bay.


Our family’s history would not be complete without that of my mother’s father, Jens Guttormson (Jorgensen). His wife died in Norway when Mother was only ten. (Actually about 13.)  I believe he brought Mother to this district about 1986. (Actually Mathilda did not arrive the U.S. until 1897.)  He worked out on railway construction and later on farms.  After Mother’s death in 1930, he lived in a small home in Lockwood.  When he needed more care we built a little house beside ours on the farm so that we could take care of him in his declining years.  He died in October 1947 at the age of 87 years.


JOHNSON, Henry and Irene

by Henry Johnson


I was only eight years old when we left our farm, three miles east of Theodore and went to Foam Lake and later to Locwood.  My mother (Helga Matilda) died when I was fifteen and had to quit school and work at whatever I cold get.  At first this was as a farm laborer near Lockwood.


These were hard times. I learned to ride the rails, sometimes able to get into a box car and other times freezing on a flat car.  I managed to find work in various places, at a saw mill, as a store clerk, and on farms, one was that of Hon. Robert Weir of Weldon.


In 1937 I came back to Theodore and began to work for Frank Baxter on the quarter next to ours. I married his daughter, Irene, and in 1939 our son Jerrold was born and Ronald in 1947.


In 1941 I began to work with my brother-in-law Elmer Bates, on elevator construction.  In 1944 I had to give that up because I injured my back.


We continued farming until 1949 when I went into partnership with Carl Gustafson in the Theodore Quick Freeze and Meat Market.  We moved in from our farm to our present home.


In 1952 our daughter, Sharon, was born.  In 1965 I bought out my partner and my helped me run the business until we retired in 1980.


On completing grade twelve here, each of our children left Theodore.  Jerry makes his home in Saskatoon with his wife, Sharon and their children, Kelly and Robert.  He is an assistant manager with an office supply firm there.


Ron is living in Burnaby with his wife, Beverly and daughter Janice,  He works as a computer systems analyst in Vancouver, B.C.


Shari and her husband, Scott Moore, live in The Pas, Manitoba. They have three children, Keri, Kevin, and Kristan. Scott has a trucking and truck and trailer repair business and Sharie helps him, especially with keeping books.




Sharon Slinn

#154-7172 Coach Hill Road SW

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


February 1, 1996


(Sharon is married to Rich Slinn, Mathilda’s (Helga) great grandson. Which would be my third cousin)


Dear Larry,


Thank you for your quick response to my letter concerning family information.  I am not quit on the ball as I would like to be with my correspondence. I have been having a bit of a harder time finding some information, even from the closer relatives. My mother-in-law, Darlene, was youngest in her family and just didn’t have very much to offer.


My husband is Richard Douglas Slinn, son of Darlene Faye Bates and Richard Wayne Slinn.  We had three children. The first, a girl, died after having open-heart surgery in 1992.  Then we have two healthy boys, Robert and David, in 1992 and 1993.  They still keep me very busy. They are a lot of the reason I want to put together this family information.


It seems some of the names have been changed either by the person themselves or by later relatives.  One the ship’s manifest Jens, Dagny, and Helga (Mathilda) are all shown as Jorgensen, but then by the time Jens and Mathilda are in Canada, they are using Guttormsen.  Makes tracing very difficult. Do you have a birth record of any kind for Dagny?  If so, where did you get it (might be able to attain one for Helga) and could I get a copy?  Also, another thing is with the ship’s manifest showing the sisters 4 years apart in age, and Dagney’s information saying her mother died when she was 9 years old, and the Johnson side says she died when Mathilda was 10 years old. It doesn’t compute.  Would you have any confirmation of when this occurred?  Just looking at the birth dates I have for Dagny and Mathilda, show them only two years apart. Could the ship’s passenger list have been wrong?


I have included three copies of the baptismal certificates, and a listing of Mathilda’s (Helga) offspring, that which I have so far.  I believe that her interment was at Lockwood, Saskatchewan.  I am hoping to get either pictures or rubbings from any headstones of the ancestors whom have passed on, to serve as proof of dates. When or if I get them, I can pass a copy on, if you wish.  I haven’t had any responses yet, as to whether there was a brother, or what happened to him.  You are correct about Henry Johnson being Jens’ grandson.  I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and gather any information from him. If you have a copy of Dagny’s obituary or something else to serve as proof of dates, I would appreciate a copy of that as well.  I have included a few family data sheets for your side, if you could fill in what you can and return them.  Thank you for your help.


Yours truly,


Sharon Slinn






It was about in the spring of year that formerly a Norwegian farm would send their livestock to a ‘seter’ A ‘seter’ is a summer pasture, usually in the mountains where the farm’s livestock would be pastured in the summer. In some places it was called a ‘støl’ Practices varied in different communities.

The law obliged farmers to have a seter. Each farm had its own although some might share one. The few animals a cotter might have were also usually permitted on the main farm’s seter. When the livestock was turned out of their byres, usually in May, they would graze on the farm’s infield pastures. These were not very big and when the grass was grazed to the roots, the cattle had to be moved. This would permit the infields to recover and grow the fodder for the cattle in the fall.

The setting off for the seter was quite an event as in this account from Malvik:

‘The trip to the seter took place at night. The left home with the livestock and supplies at 8 o’clock at night and herded the animals along the road. Then we drove the animals through the woods to the seter, but the wagon had to follow roads as far as possible. The seter time lasted from the middle of June until the beginning of September.”


Another account:

“Then we neared the big day! There was a lot of activity. First we hayed at  the seter and stored the hay in a hay barn. On the day itself, down to the barn to milk and clean out. Then out with the pack saddles and baskets. The women brought out all that was needed of dishes, equipment and food and that was packed carefully in the baskets. The horses were then harnessed and the baskets carefully placed and properly secured. Both the horse and the older cattle knew the way, so they didn’t have to be guided. The seter girl had already gone up and cleaned the cottage and sheds. And put on the coffee pot! The horse came first and was unloaded. The cattle came slowly next and were turned out to graze. The seter girl then invited everybody for coffee and food – the first time at the seter.

Then all the supplies, dishes and kettles were set in place. The cow stalls were set up as well as the sheepfolds. Then came evening and the cattle came in as at home – the old ones knew their stalls from the previous year.

Then life took its usual course, she milked every morning and evening, herded all day and made cheese when necessary and kept the cottage clean and tidy. Every Saturday and Sunday and the last 3-4 days of her seter months, she got herders from home.

So they days went – sunny days and rainy days. It was a heavenly to herd the animals on a clear sunny day, but when days came with wind and rain and yes, sometimes sleet, then it  was something else. It could happen that they would trudge all day, soaked to the skin – then it was not so great. It was impossible at the seter to dry clothes in one night, the morning after one had to put on the just as wet and cold clothes – Huff! Some old women tell that they went barefoot until the first snow skiffs came in the fall. They warmed their feet when a cow urinated.

It the hottest time of summer when the horseflies came, the cows were allowed to stay in during the day and turned out about 4 in the afternoon. We called it night herding. About midnight they would lie down – cows and sheep – and rested until about 3 o’clock. They grazed peacefully and then run home about 8-9 in the morning to escape the horseflies.

When it was time to return home, there was great activity again. The men came with the pack horses and most of the night was spent loading the horses. When all was finished the horses set off as surely as ever, followed by the men. Then came the seter girl and closely behind her the cattle and then the sheep. Finally came the herd boys – they shouted and blow their ‘lurs’ as they neared home.

The cattle were let in when they got home. The house was scrubbed and decorated like a bride. The floor was strewn with fine-cut juniper branches. The coffee pot stood ready, as finely polished as an officer. The table was decked with the best foods the house could offer. Everyone sat to the table and had an excellent meal after all the work. Afterwards, those who were home went to the barn to milk the cows – the seter girl was free now.”

Norwegian Farmer Groups



Every genealogist doing research in old Norwegian sources has met some strange words: ‘Selveier’, ‘leilending’, ‘husmann’ (‘husmand’), ‘innerst’ (‘inderst’) etc. What were the realities behind these terms? This text tries to give some simplified explanations. Regional differences and changes during history are not described in detail.

First of all: It’s an anachronistic mistake to label these terms as ‘occupations’. The great majority were farmers, and a great deal of them combined farming with fisheries or forestry.They even worked as blacksmiths, shoemakers and in many other trades. Their means of livelihood almost never consisted of only one ‘occupation’ (which is a too modern word!).

What is the difference between ‘selveier’, ‘leilending’, ‘husmann’ and ‘innerst’? First of all it has to do with their rights to the farming land they used. Secondly, it depends on ‘where and when’ – geography and time.



‘Selveier’ (pl. ‘selveiere’)


A ‘selveier’ (many censuses use the abbreviation ‘S.’) is a person who owns the farm land he or she is using, and who has a registered deed to prove the ownership. This deed is both a security and potential danger. It’s a property, and in a bankruptcy it can get lost to the creditors.

Back in history the Norwegian farm land was owned by the church, the crown or other landowners, but as early as 1660 a fifth of the farm land in Southern Norway had a ‘selveier’. The next century the ‘selveier’ share of the farm land increased, and the ‘selveier’ system spread to Western Norway and Trøndelag. In Northern Norway this transition took place after 1850.



‘Leilending’ (pl. ‘leilendinger’)


‘Leilending’ (in censuses often shortened to ‘leil.’ or just ‘L.’) is usually translated to ‘tenant farmer’. The ‘leilending’ didn’t own the farm. The right to use the land was granted through a registered lease contract. The Norwegian word for this lease contract is ‘bygselbrev’, hence the word ‘bygselmann’, which is synonymous with ‘leilending’.

The lease was valid for ‘his or her lifetime’. This clause reveals a very important fact: A ‘leilending’ was usually a married couple. In contrast, there are many single persons in the ‘selveier’ group. Together ‘selveiere’ and ‘leilendinger’ constituted the class of farmers that used ‘registered farm land units’ (you can read more about these units on my page Norway Farm Names). ‘Selveiere’ and ‘leilendinger’ should be treated as socially equal groups.

In most cases a ‘leilending’ couple could let married offspring ‘inherit’ the lease, but then a new lease contract had to be registered. If a bankruptcy occurred (and it often did!) the lease contract was not treated as a property, so in most cases the ‘leilending’ could continue to live there and use the land as before. The biggest threat was the death of either the husband or the wife. Since there had to be a couple on the farm, remarriages were very common in the ‘leilending’ system.



‘Husmann’ (pl. ‘husmenn’)


The English word for ‘husmann’ is cotter (crofter is also used). Behind this term you will find a very heterogeneous group, with great geographical differences and equal great changes during history. But some conditions seems to have been common for all the ‘husmenn’:

– The farm land they used – ‘husmannsplass’ (cotter’s holding) – was never registered as separate units.

– Their houses stood on land that belonged to a ‘selveier’ or was leased by a ‘leilending’.

– Their lease contracts (‘husmannsseddel’) were limited in time.

– In most cases a ‘husmann’ was a couple.


In censuses and church registers you may find other words for ‘husmann’:

– A ‘husmann med jord’/’husm. m/j.’ (cotter with farm land) had houses and some land to use.

– A ‘husmann uten jord’/’husm. u/j.’ (cotter without farm land) had houses, but no land to use. However, the couple might own a cow and a few sheep.

– A ‘strandsitter’ (literally: shore dweller) is more or less the same as ‘husmann uten jord’. Both groups had fisheries as their main source of income.


There was a social gap between the ‘husmann’ on side and the ‘selveier’ or ‘leilending’ on the other, but to a lesser degree along the coast than in the inland area. In Northern Norway this gap was almost nonexistent. There the fishery was the dominant economic factor, and a ‘husmann’ could be much better off than the ‘selveier’ on the same farm!

The ‘husmann’ class can be seen as the solution to a difficult problem: A growing population had to make a living in a country where the land resources didn’t expand at the same rate. Many couples could get a farm, but not all. The last group became ‘husmenn’. By and large the ‘husmenn’ had to their disposal the poorest land resources, and they lacked any kind of permanent rights to use them.

During the 1800’s the ‘husmann’ group grew in numbers. Their means of living didn’t get any better, most of them experienced harder times. Then came a new possibility – farm land in another country. The emigration to America was heavily recruited from the ‘husmann’ group.



‘Innerst’ (pl. ‘innerster’)


The ‘innerst’ is also called ‘losjerende’/’logerende’ – a couple or single persons who rented a room (or maybe rooms), often on farms. They could be:

– newlyweds waiting to get their own house or farm,

– people who moved from place to place, living of some craft (shoemakers, tailors etc.),

– seasonal workers on the farm,

– very poor, sick or old persons.


Of all the groups explained on this page, the ‘innerst’ class had the most temporarily character: The persons in this group were usually in transition, either to something better – or to something much worse …



‘Gårdbruker’ or ‘gårdmann’


These two words have the same meaning – a farmer. They cover the ‘selveier’ and ‘leilending’ groups, but also ‘husmenn’ are given this occupation in some sources, at least in Northern Norway. Abbreviations are very often used – ‘gårdbr.’, ‘gbr.’, ‘gårdm.’ and many other. In sources older than 1900 the ‘å’ is spelled ‘aa’.





The word ‘forpakter’ (or ‘forpagter’) covers a group of people that manages a farm for it’s owner. This group has never been large, and usually you’ll only find a ‘forpakter’ on the biggest farms. Some of these people were wage earners, but some lived more like a ‘leilending’. After 1900 some of the last ‘leilendinger’ were called ‘forpakter’.





There weren’t any insurmountable barriers between these groups. A couple could during their years together pass these stages: From ‘husmann’ to ‘leilending’ and then to ‘husmann’ again, or (as a pair of my great-grandparents did) from ‘innerst’ to ‘leilending’ to ‘selveier’, or from ‘forpakter’ to ‘selveier’. They were farmers all the time, but their rights to the land they used changed very much.

Here’s a summary of the main points in this text:

Land resource     Contract type       Contract time       Houses

Selveier Reg. farm unit            Registered deed        No fixed limit Own the houses

Leilending Reg. farm unit            Reg. lease contract   Lifetime          Leased the houses

Husmann med jord Unreg. farm land       Holder’s lease            Limited time            Leased/owned

Husmann uten jord No farm land  Holder’s lease            Limited time            Leased/owned

Strandsitter No farm land  Holder’s lease            Limited time   Leased/owned

Innerst No farm land  No contract    N/A      Rented rooms








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