Family Genealogy
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
 

Lars Markuson Dyrdal (from the last entry) was not my only Norwegian ancestor that had leprosy. My gg-grandfather Kristen Bendixson Nistad (he Americanized his name to Christian Benson) also had it. They knew each other in that they went to the same church in Goodhue County, Minnesota and Kristen's daughter Ingeborg was married to Lar's brother Sjur (my g-grandfather). Whereas Lars probably wasn't aware of his leprosy until he was in America for several years Kristen was suffering from his for over a decade while still in Norway. He visited doctors and even traveled to Nordland from his home along the Sognefjord in hopes of finding a cure or at least a way to help treat it. Whereas Lars had only one other member of his family who also had leprosy (a nephew) Kristen had a brother, sister, and several grandfathers who suffered from it. The picture is Dr. Just Christian Grovold of Goodhue County who was considered an expert on leprosy. I imagine he would have treated both Lars and Kristen.
 
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