A very exciting part of genealogy is finding something totally by surprize. This is happened to me twice and only ten miles from my house. I have one family, John S. and Mary B.C. Young
, who lived in the town next to mine from 1850-1861. One day while looking through a book of cemetery records for someone else in the town library I came across the name of Elgy Evan Young. I kind of ignored it until I saw the name of the parents. They were John S. and Mary B.C. Young. I immediately went to the cemetery and found the marker. The child died in December 1860. In the 1860 census for the John Young family the name was either written down wrong or the handwriting of the census worker made Elgy E. look like Eliza J. In my next blog I will tell you about the second surprize which also involves this family.
Since I began my hobby of genealogy I have found copies of many kinds of documents. I think, though, my favorite is a hand written summary of my great-great grandfather's life by Aagot Raaen
. Aagot Raaen is a semi-famous author who is best known for writing "Grass of the Earth
", which is about her growing up in North Dakota as an immigrant from Norway. Towards the end of the book she mentions a friend of her father's by the name of Asle, mutual friends from Norway. The grandson of the sister of my great-grandmother recognized this Asle as Asle Lien his grandfather and my great-great grandfather. A corrrespondance began between him and Aagot Raaen about Asle and his family. At the end of the correspondance Aagot wrote a summary of Asle's life and family based on what the grandson had written and what she remembered from his visits. All this correspondance plus other papers of hers can be found at North Dakota State. I was able to get copies of the correspondance from the University.
I have traced my male lineage back to Botolv Ellingson Engjum who was born in 1588 on the Engjum farm in the vicinity of Kvamsoy province of Balestrand. He had a son named Morten Botolvson Engjum. His son's name was Bendik Mortenson Engjum. He married Magnhild Markusdatter Dyrdal where he eventually took over the Dyrdal farm which is about twenty miles up the Sogn Fjord from Balestrand. His son was Markus Bendikson Dyrdal. He passed the farm on to his son Anders Markuson Dyrdal. His son Markus Anderson Dyrdal inherited the farm. One of Markus's son, Sjur Markuson Dyrdal, immigrated to the United States where he settled near Kenyon, Minnesota in 1856. His son Joseph is my grandfather.
Besides the Civil War, I have had several ancestors participate in various military conflicts. My father was in WWII, my grandfather was in WWI. He was one of the many, many soldiers that came down with the Spanish Flu
. He didn't die but according to my mother was very sick. My ggg-grandmother Beulah Fish first son was named Charles. In 1870 he joined the United States Cavalry and was assigned to Arizonia/New Mexico area. He was killed in an Indian raid. My ggggg-grandfather, whose name is Balzaleel Archer served in the War of 1812
and his father David served in the Revolutionary war. The picture is of my grandfather in his WWI army uniform.
I am going to make a change in my approach to my family's history. Up to this point I have concentrated on individual ancestors. Now I think I will ramble on about points of interest (at least what I think are interesting) relating to my ancestors.
The Civil War is always a good place to start. I did not have any direct ancestors (g-grandparents, gg-grandparents, ggg-grandparents, etc.) participate in the Civil War but three of them did have siblings fight in the war, all on the Union side. My gg-grandmother, Beulah Weinhart, had three brothers, whose last name was Fish, fight with Iowa regiments. They all came back alive. My g-grandfather Erick Gunhus had a brother Christian Gunhus fight with a Wisconsin regiment. He died of disease. My ggg-grandmother Mary Burgess Carson Young had two brothers and a brother-in-law fight on the Union side. The two brothers fought with a Indiana regiment. One brother died in battle
and the other died of disease. The brother-in-law was a member of a Iowa regiment and he also died of disease days after returning home. The picture shows you the dates that James C. Young and John L. Young (name is given but is for the individual below James C. Young) died in battle.
Joel Meader and Rebecca Austin Meader (gggg-grandparents on my mother's side)
- Joel Meader was born 1781 in Durham, Strafford County, New Hampshire
to David Meader and Sarah Bean. Rebecca Austin was born 1778 in Berwick, York County, Maine to Andrew Austin and Mary Hoag. They were married in New Hampshire in 1801, went to Vermont, and then to Canada and finally coming to Elkhart County, Indiana
in 1838. They had eight children. Joel probably died in Elkhart County before 1850 and Rebecca moved back to live with a daughter in St. Lawrence County, New York where she probably died. Their son Samuel was my great-great-great grandfather. The picture shows an 1825 Canadian census of Joel Meader.
Elsie Weinhart Meader (g-grandmother on my mother's side)
- Elsie was born November 2, 1881 in Dallas County, Iowa to Lorenzo Weinhart and Florence Archer. She was the first of three daughters. She married Orren Ellis Meader on January 9, 1901 in Des Moines Iowa. They had six children. After their marriage they lived in Polk and Winnebago Counties, Iowa
and then traveled to Glenville and Albert-Lea in Freeborn County, Minnesota
. She died October 4, 1845. Her oldest daughter is my grandmother. The picture is of her marriage certificate.
Fredrick Ellingson Ringerud (gg-grandfather on my mother's side)
- Fredrick was born January 9, 1821 to Fredrick Olsen Ringerud and Gjertru Knutsdatter in the Adalen region of the Ringerike kommune
in the Buskerud province of Norway. He married Beret Nubsdatter on October 20, 1845. They had five children. He and his younger daughter arrived in the United States in May 1876 and proceeded to Freeman Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota
. He stayed there until sometime after 1885 when he went to Cavalier County, North Dakota
with his oldest daughter and her family. I believed he died sometime before 1910. His only son, Nub, is my great-grandfather. The picture is of the present Ringerud farm where Fredrick was born.
Joseph Weinhart (ggg-grandfather on my mother's side)
- Joseph Weinhart was born 1826 in Baden, Germany in the Black Forest area
. He came over to the United States in 1847. He was working in a sawmill in Monroe County, Pennsylvania when he married Beulah Fish in 1850. They had four children. One being born in Pennsylvania and the other three in Iowa. They migrated to Dallas County, Iowa
with Beulah's parents in 1854-55. He worked as a laborer on his father-in-law's farm. He died of pneumonia in February 1860 after being ill with it for nine weeks. His son Lorenzo is my great-great grandfather. The picture is of his tombstone.
Berit Nubsdatter Blakstvedt (gg-grandmother on my mother's side)
- Berit Nubsdatter Blaktvedt was born on February 1, 1816 to Nub Gulbrandsen Blakstvedt and Ingeborg Petersdatters Tosseviken. She married Fredrik Ellingson on Oct. 20, 1845 in the Viker Church, Adalen region of the Kommune of Ringerike, Buskerud,
Norway. They had five children one who died young. She came over to the United States in 1877 which was about a year after her husband and youngest daughter did. When she arrived she went to Freeman Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota
where her husband had settled. Her death date is unknown but I believe it is somewhere between 1880 and 1900. Her first child, Nub, is my great-grandfather. The picture contains information about her marriage from a Norwegian Church record book. By the way I have seen her first name spelled Beret, Berte, Birgit, Birgith, Bereth, and Betsy.
Ingeborg Oldsdatter Brekke (gg-grandmother on my father’s side) – Ingeborg was born November 21, 1790 on the Brekke farm in the Vik (?) Kommune of the Sogn og Fjordane Province of Norway to Ola Torstenson Saebo and Guri Oysteindatter Sande. On June 14, 1812 she married Markus Anderson Dyrdal. They had 10 children. In 1865 she was living on the Dyrdal farm with her son Anders and his family as a widow. She died March 29, 1879. She and her husband on my only great-great grandparents that didn’t die in the United States. Her son Sjur is my great-grandfather. The picture shows the church engagement announcement (lysing) for her and her husband to be.
Ragnhild Gudbrandsdatter Finneplassen (gg-grandmother on my mother’s side) – Ragnhild was born December 28, 1825 on the Fjosvikeie farm in the Aadalen region of the Kommune of Ringerike in the Province of Buskerud in Norway. On January 29, 1846 she married Lars Gudbrandson Hauselhagen. They had 11 children. One of their children died within a year and another, Erick, died within a couple of years. Erick was born in 1872 when Ragnhild was 50 years old making her as far as I know my oldest female ancestor to give birth. In 1877 she and her family immigrated to the United States and went to Barron County, Wisconsin where there was already family living. She died October 23, 1906 of Cholera Morbus an outdated term for Gastroenteritis. Her daughter Bertha was my great-grandmother. The picture shows a Norwegian church record where both Ragnhild and her daughter Bertha were witnesses to a baptism in 1875.
Florence Archer (gg-grandmother on my mother’s side) – Florence Archer was born April 16, 1864 along with her twin brother to Lester and Lucinda Archer in Medina County, Ohio. While living in Adair County, Iowa she met and married Lorenzo Dow Weinhart on September 29, 1880. She and Lorenzo had three daughters. They divorced about 1889 and she married Thomas Wayne, moved to Eagle/Garfield Counties, Colorado where she had three sons plus two younger children who died young and are buried in Colorado. In 1902 she divorced for a second time and married a third time in 1909/1910 to Jacob Tinker. In 1910 she was living with him and her three sons and her mother in Blaine County, Oklahoma. The given date for her death is 1916 in Arkansas but I have never been able to verify that. Her first daughter Elsie is my great-grandmother. The picture is of her divorce decree for her and her second husband.
Orren Ellis Meader (g-grandfather on my mother’s side) - Orren Ellis Meader was born in Junction City, County of Republic, Kansas on April 20, 1874 to John Edward Meader and Emma Ann Young. He married Elsie Weinhart on January 9, 1901 in Des Moines, Iowa. They had six children. As a youth he resided in both Kansas and Iowa. While married he lived first in Polk County, Iowa then for a few years in Winnebago County, Iowa and finally in Freeborn County, Minnesota. He worked among other things as a farmer, employee on a Dray Line and a care-taker for a park. He died May 24, 1954 in Albert-Lea, Minnesota. His first daughter was my grandmother. The picture is of Orren.
Ingeborg Nistad Markusson (gg-grandmother on my father’ side) – Ingeborg was born October 3, 1839 to Christen Nistad Bendixson (Benson) and Brita Kristensdatter Nese in Nistad on the Arnafjord in the Kommune of Vik, Province of Sogn og Fjordane in Norway. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 1856. After spending four years living in Wisconsin, they came to Kenyon Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota. Within a year of settling there Ingeborg married her neighbor Sever Markusson. They had ten children. She died April 28, 1921 after she broke her leg in a fall. A contributory cause to her death was arteriosclerosis. Her daughter son Joseph was my grandfather. The picture shows the location of the Arnafjord and the Nistad farm where she was born.
Lester B. Archer and Lucinda Edwards (ggg-grandparents on my mother’s side) - Lester B. Archer and Lucinda Edwards were married in Medina County, Ohio on April 30, 1853. Lester was born Livingston County in the state of New York in 1832. Lucinda was also born in Livingston County in 1824. Lester’s parents were John and Sarah Archer and Lucinda’s parents were Samuel and Sarah Edwards. They had seven children. Lester died in 1907 and Lucinda died 1915. Between when they married and when they died they lived in Illinois, the majority of their life in the counties of Polk, Adair, Gurthie, and Cass in Iowa, spent time in Kansas, and in the middle 1880’s were living in Nebraska. In 1910 Lucinda was living in Okalahoma with her daughter Florence and her family. Florence is my great-great grandmother. The picture is of the Archer family for the 1880 census.
Beulah Fish (ggg-grandmother on my mother’s side)
– Beulah was born June 27, 1833 in Stroudsberg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania
to Abner Fish and Margaret Kettle. In 1850 she married Joseph Weinhart. They had four sons. According to her obituary she and her family came to Dallas County, Iowa
in 1856. Joseph died in 1860. Beulah worked as a seamstress until she remarried. Her second husband’s name was Sylvanus Knight. They had two more children. She was married a total of four times, the other two being James Crabtree in 1890 and Washington Bennett in 1908. She died in 1927 at the age of 95 years and 7 months in Ankeny, Iowa. Her son, Lorenzo, is my great-great grandfather. The picture is of Beulah.
Brita Kristensdatter Nese (gg-grandmother on my father’s side) – Brita Kristensdatter Nese was born in 1815 on the Nese farm which is located in the Arnafjord in the Kommune of Vik in the province of Sogn og Fjordane in Norway. Her parents were Kristen Lasseson Nese and Gjertrud ? Geithus. In 1843 she married Kristen Bendikson Nistad. She had four children. In 1856 they came to the United States, first to Wisconsin and finally ending up in Kenyon Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota. The family Americanized their last name from Bendikson to Benson. Of all my Norwegian ancestors that I am aware of she is the only one too have given birth to a child outside of the provinces of Buskerud or Sogn og Fjordane. Her last son was born in the province of Nordland in 1848. The year she died is unknown but she was living during the 1880 census as a widow with one of her sons and his family. Her oldest daughter Ingeborg is my great-great grandmother. The picture shows information about her children.