|Rudolph Johnson died on January 12th 2007. Read his obituary.|
The Porsanger Line - Solveig's mother and Rudolph's father
The Haugnes Line - Rudolph's maternal grandmother
The Langfjord Line - Rudolph's maternal grandfather
The Karesuando Line - Solveig's father
A family history is never quite finished, and we have prepared several drafts, each with changes and additions. The first draft, completed in 1984 and titled North Norwegian Ancestry, was translated into Norwegian by Sverre Arneng of Sunndalsøra, and copies were sent to various family members for their assistance, and in 1986 we produced a new edition and made fifty photocopies which were distributed to interested parties in the United States and Norway. The 1986 edition was more biographical than genealogical, and since then we have gathered new information, corrected errors and expanded the scope of this study. This 1990 edition takes the family line back to the beginnings of church records and census reports for people in the far north. Arden Johnson has provided editorial and word processing assistance, and on his 1987 trip to Norway he interviewed a number of people and uncovered new sources of information. We feel that we now have a better understanding of our North Scandinavian, our Lapland ancestry.
In addition to tracing ancestral lines we have attempted to provide some geographical and historical information about people and places, and to identify their cultural and ethnic background. There may be material here of interest to students of immigration. The history of immigration has only one single reference to the Sami people, and that a footnote in Blegen's two volume history, yet there are literally thousands of Americans who have some Sami (Lapp) ancestry. The literature of immigration is quite extensive but there are still chapters that need to be written. The indigenous people of Fenno-Scandinavia have been left out of immigration history.
Many people have been helpful to us, and we would especially like to thank Hermod Pedersen of Breivika, Hans Hansen of Indre Billefjord, Barbro Bernestedt of Karesuando, Jenny Drollshammer of Oslo, Marie Eilertsen of Ålesund, Nelly Henriksen of Honningsvåg, Rolf Jonassen of Elverum, Mildred Juntunen of Esko, Heidi Mikkelsen of Tromsø, Lillie Laine of Kettle River, Åsmund Pedersen of Arnøy, Laila Nilsen of Tromsdalen, Elma DeLacey of Cloquet, Sverre Arneng of Sunndalsøra, David Tapio of Delano, and Eva and Gunnar Raattamaa of Kiruna.
The Porsanger district of Norway lies in northernmost Finnmark. Beginning at North Cape in the far north it extends southward to Lakselv and beyond. This area is the home of Ivar and Sofie, their ancestors and descendents. Ivar is the father to Rudolph and Sofie is mother to Solveig. The term Porsanger has been used from time to time as part of the family name, i.e., John Iversen Porsanger.
Porsanger is the family name for the ancestors of Ivar and Sofie. Ivar Johnson (Iver Johnsen) is the father of Rudolph, and his sister Anna Sofie is the mother of Solveig. Sofie gave Solveig and Rudolph the certificate of departure ( udflytningsattest) which had belonged to her father, Jon Iversen. It is a legal document prepared by the pastor of the Kistrand parish ( sogneprest) dated 12.31.1872, a sort of identity paper for Jon Iversen who was moving from his birthplace in Karasjok to the Porsanger district on the coast of North Norway.
Karasjok district churchbook shows that Jon Iversen of parents Iver Johnsen Porsang and wife Marit Johnsdatter Siri is born the first of November, 1847, confirmed the 20th of March, 1864, is reported to be of very good Christian learning, industry, and manners, where I in my official capacity will add that his conduct is known to me to be absolutely good and Christian, wherefore I will wish God's blessing to be with him when he now leaves this congregation where he belonged to settle in the Kistrand district, or maybe as circumstances will, in the Lebesby district.
Kistrand Parish Pastor's Office 31st December 1872
certificate paid 32 1/2 shillings
registered in the churchbook folio 236
Using this document as a starting point, I consulted a book by Erik Blix Nesseby og Polmak Selkter (Oslo, Universitetsforlaget, 1967). This book does mention an Iver Johnsen Porsanger married to a Marit Johnsdatter Siri, but several of the statements which follow do not seem to fit, and while I was in Norway I wrote to the author, Erik Blix, then a church dean ( domprost) in Tromsø, for clarification. He sent me several pages from a manuscript he was working on which describes the Karasjok genealogy, and from his notes we can trace the family line back several generations. Further correspondence was impossible due to his death. His material was transferred to Hans Hansen in Porsanger who found it to be somewhat lacking in accuracy. Hans Hansen and his associate have continued the work, and we include photocopies of their work in progress.
I should explain that Porsanger isn't the family surname but is added to the name for further identification. A farm place-name ( gårdsnavn) or even the name of the district from which the family comes, is often added to the family name so that one could tell exactly which John Johnson is being talked about. We get the name Porsanger from the area of Finnmark known as Porsanger where there is a long fjord called Porsanger. The actual name of the fjord comes from a type of heather called Finnmark's pors which the natives say grows only in Finnmark. This plant has a very aromatic white flower, and the leaves from the plant make a good, nutritious herb tea with a high Vitamin C content. This tea is similar to, or identical with, Labrador Tea, and Solveig and Rudolph were surprised and pleased to find it growing in northern Minnesota at Grand Portage. The Porsanger district has also been called Kistrand, taking its name from the village of Kistrand where the parish church was located.
We should say something here about ethnicity. North Norway is called the land where the three tribes meet ( tre stammers møte), where Norwegian, Sami and Finn live side by side. The Sami were the indigenous inhabitants who may have dated as far back as the Old Stone Age when a reindeer people, the Komsa Culture, lived on the coast of Finnmark. The colonization by Nordic and Germanic types was slow and gradual, and the Finnish-speaking immigrants moved in during famine years in Sweden/Finland. This was Lapland, later carved up by the nation states of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The north of Norway was visited over the years by many hunters, fishermen, whalers, traders and explorers from many lands, but the settled population was mostly Sami well into historic times. Our family history goes back to early in the last century and beyond when Finnmark was thinly settled. Most of the early inhabitants were Sami, and the ethnic Norwegians, the Norse people who settled there, were traders, merchants, clergy and government officials. Our Porsanger ancestors were reindeer Sami ( fjellsamer) who married into several well-known Sami families, the Joks, Siri, Turi, Porsanger, etc. We know that Rudolph's father, Ivar, wore the Sami tunic ( kofte) at his confirmation, and his sister, Kristine, was often seen wearing the kofte. Our Porsanger relatives were mostly Laestadian Lutherans. It seems that today most of our relatives think of themselves as Norwegian, but some will say that back in the old days we were mostly "Lapp".
Porsanger is located in Norway's most northerly county, Finnmark, which is subartic in climate and thinly populated, even today. In an area larger than the whole of Denmark, there are only 65,000 inhabitants. One of the largest towns in Finnmark is Lakselv, located on the southern tip of the Porsangerfjord, with a population of about 1,500 and it is now a NATO base. The nearby community of Brennelv, bordering Lakselv, is where the family of John and Britha Marie established itself. It lies at 70 degrees north latitude, as far north as northernmost Alaska, and 25 degrees east, in line with Istanbul. The town of Karasjok, where John Iversen was born, lies about 75 kilometers south, an inner Finnmark Sami community of about 2,700 inhabitants, where Norway's coldest temperature was recorded, minus 51.4 degrees Celsius, or 60 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
Hammerfest in Finnmark is known as the world's most northerly city, and Honningsvåg, which lies even further north, is known as the world's most northerly village. We have relatives who live in Honningsvåg and in many of the nearby fishing stations, all in the North Cape district ( Nordkapp kommune). Porsanger has many Sami and Finnish- speaking people who are mostly farmers, fishermen and reindeer herders, but the town of Lakselv has become a busy military base for jet aircraft, the Banak Air Base.
Our Porsanger genealogical line, as described first by Erik Blix of Tromsø and now by Hans Hansen of Porsanger, begins in the 1700's when the churchbooks in the far north began recording births, deaths and marriages. It begins with someone named Niels who had a son named John Nilsen Porsanger.
We learn from the Porsanger county history that the early inhabitants paid taxes simultaneously to Norway/Denmark, Sweden and Russia, who all claimed ownership of the region, and in the years 1664-1667 they even had to pay an extra tax to the King of Denmark because his daughter in Copenhagen was getting married!
It should be noted here that by early decree it was forbidden to give Sami, or "heathen" names to children, and if it appears that the names of everyone seem uniformly Biblical and Norse, this was for the benefit of the recordkeepers and were not necessarily the names used everyday. Many individuals, including a number of our family, have been and are more easily recognized in Porsanger by their Sami name.
We will list the names of those of our forbearers and their parents of whom we have specific information.
Father of Johan who married Karen, the daughter of reindeer nomads:
Lars Persen Joks
Johan Nilsen Porsanger 1751 - 6.1.1832
Karen Larsdatter Joks 1754-7 - 3.1.1823
John was a reindeer owner and was confirmed in Kistrand on 9.7.1766 at age 15, and was also buried there. Karen was confirmed 9.2.1770 in Kistrand at age 16 and was buried in Karasjok. One of their six children was John Johnsen Porsanger who married Sara the daughter of reindeer owners:
Iver Nilsen Siri
John Johnsen Porsanger 1784
Sara Iversdatter Siri 1788 - 10.25.1860
John was baptized 8.29.1784 in Kistrand and lived in Veinesbukt. They had eight children, one of whom was Iver Johnsen Porsanger who married the daughter of reindeer nomads:
John Johnsen Siri
Gunil Aslaksdatter Turi
Iver (Ivar) Johnsen Porsanger 3.9.1813 - 7.24.1860
Marith Johnsdatter Siri 12.28.1817 - 1.16.1888
Iver, also a reindeer nomad, was buried in Kautokeino and Marith was buried in Lakselv. They lived at Indrebukta, Gåradakt on the Porsangerfjord, a farm place called Veinesbukt. Their son John Iversen had the old home place surveyed and appraised in 1874 and we learn something about Veinesbukt. It was described as lying on the inner side of Gåradaktbukten, and was overgrown with small trees and had been previously inhabited. The soil was thin and of poor quality but with careful cultivation could provide for approximately three cows. The document delineates the land boundaries and suggests an appraisal value equal to three cows, and is taxed at twenty specie dollars. According to law nearby state land could also be used for pasturage, and the farm could provide for five cows. It should be understood that the farm was on the Porsangerfjord and the principal means of livelihood was fishing. Iver and Marith had three children, listed below:
Gunnhild Iversdatter Porsanger 2.29.1844 - 6.17.1861
She is listed as being born in the mountains " på fjellet", where the reindeer were being herded, or during the spring migration, since they were nomads. She is buried in Kautokeino. Her brother was:
Aslak Iversen Porsanger 1850-1913
John Iversen Porsanger 11.1.1847 - 1.22.1931
Britha Marie Andersdatter 1853-1908
John was the second of the three children, but continues our family. His Sami name was Jolle Jovna. He was confirmed in Karasjok 3.20.1864 at age seventeen. We know that the family herded reindeer and that his sister was born in the mountains during the spring migration. It has been said that the family lost their herd through some natural disaster, and when John was twenty five, in the year 1872, he left Karasjok and moved to the Porsanger region, and three years later married Britha from Lakselv. Sofie Arneng, mother to Solveig, remembered her father as a Sami of slight build and kindly disposition, " en liten og snild Same", and her mother Britha as a tall, stern, squarely-built Finnish-speaking woman. Family legend has it that her father owned several pieces of land in the Lakselv area and gave the poorest piece to his daughter because she married "a poor Lapp". This piece of land is located near Brennelv and is called Gjerdende in Norwegian or Aidenpää in Finnish, meaning end of the reindeer fence. Inge, married to a granddaughter of John and Britha, nicknamed the place "The Little House on the Prairie". Brennelv is located where the river Brennelv empties into the Porsangerfjord, ten kilometers east of Lakselv. There is salmon in the river and cod in the fjord. Where the Brennelv empties into the fjord there are long, shallow tidal flats making the launching of boats difficult. The farm itself is a small piece of flat land with soil of poor quality, sandy and covered with whortleberry bushes and heather and only one corner has soil suitable for growing potatoes. However there is pasture for sheep, and fishing can be good in the river and fjord. The property line runs up to a rocky ledge called Andersfjell after uncle Anders.
We have been led to believe that Britha Marie, born in Lakselv, may have been of Finnish ancestry since Finnish was spoken in her home and all of the children could also speak Finnish, including Rudolph's father Ivar and Solveig's mother Sofie. But we think that Sami may also have been spoken in the home since the oldest brother, Anders, once composed a song in the Sami language. We know that many Sami people speak Finnish as well as the related Sami language, and that Finnish was widely used in Porsanger.
We now know much more about our Porsanger ancestors since the publication of the local history, Porsanger Bygdebok in 1986 we have also made contact with the genealogist Hansen in Porsanger who has compiled a genealogical table for Britha Marie. The Porsanger Bygdebok begins with the Ice Age and the Old Stone Age in Porsanger and lets us know that we were, like everyone else, hunters and gatherers for several millennia.
However, rather than continue with the children of John and Britha, we may now describe the ancestry of Britha from the genealogical table, the Claes Jönsson Slekta, supplied by Hans Hansen.
Jöns (Jens) born in the mid 1600's, had two sons: Tomas and Claes. Claes married Margeta, the daughter of:
Erich lived in Karasjok and is mentioned in the 1741 census along with his wife, son, and five children under fifteen.
Claes (Claus) Jönsson 1696 - 5.30.1773 (buried)
Claes was born in Muonioniska, a church village on the Muonio River in the Torneå Valley, a few miles south of Karesuando on what became the Finnish side of the Swedish-Finnish boundary established in the mid 1800's. This town, now known as Muonio, is mentioned by an early traveller, Sophus Tromholt in his book Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis, published in 1885. The author was very unhappy with all the places he visited in the region except for Muonioniska which he liked very much. Emil Grym in his book Från Tornedalen til Nordnorge writes that in the church book of Karasjok in 1728 three brothers were listed as new settlers, Mats, Hinrik and Erik Persson, and their brother-in-law Clas Jönsson from Muonioniska. Claes lived in Karasjok, worked as a salmon fisherman and farmer, and his brother Tomas worked for him as a hired hand. Claes and Margeta had several children, one of whom was a son, Erich.
Erich Clausen 1715-1782
Margethe Nilsdatter 1717 - 6.8.1801
Erich was a salmon fisherman and farmer who lived in Karasjok and is listed in the 1762 census as being of rather modest means " i middelmodig stand". Margrethe was born in Avjovarre. They had six children, one of whom was Claes (Claus) Eriksen.
Claes (Claus) Eriksen 3.28.1754 - 6.10.1832
Maren (Marit) Andersdatter 1754 - 1833
Claes was born in Karasjok and died in Børselv. He is listed as a reindeer owner who later became a fisherman and farmer in Børselv. According to a Hilmar Iversen at Russenes, Claes was the person who led astray some bandits in the mountains by Skarvberget/Nordmannseth and became a folk hero. This information comes from the printed genealogical listing, Claes Jonsson Slekta. There is a recent Sami motion picture made in Norway titled Veiviseren (The Pathfinder) in which bandits are led astray to their deaths in a mountain avalanche. The film has been commercially successful and has won a number of honors including a nomination for the Best Foreign Film of 1987. The hero of this tale resembles Claus Eriksen, our Porsanger ancestor.
Maren was confirmed in Kistrand in 1769 and died in Børselv. Claes and Maren had three children, one of whom was Peder, who married Ane, the daughter of:
Iver Pederson - Repvågstrand
Berit Samuelsdatter - Karasjok
Peder Claussen 12.9.1787 (baptized) - 2.16.1856
Ane Iversdatter 6.5.1791 (baptized) - 10.10.1853
Peder was baptised in Karasjok and died in Børselv where he had been a farmer and fisherman. Ane was baptised in Kistrand. Peder is mentioned in Porsanger Bygdebok as a participant in an historic event associated with the Napoleonic wars. Denmark/Norway was on the side of Napoleon and the British attempted to blockade the coast of Norway to cut off exports of fish and the Pomor trade with Russia. In June of 1809 a British warship headed for the coast of Finnmark and a small Norwegian fishing boat, actually a Nordlands boat, or fembøring, which used a sail or six pairs of rowers, set off to round North Cape and warn Norwegian fishing boats of the approaching danger. One of the crew members aboard was Peder Claussen. Børselv, where Peder lived, is one of the Stone Age sites uncovered by Nummedal in 1929. It was once occupied by people of the Komsa Culture eight or nine thousand years ago, at the close of the Ice Age. Peder and Ane had twelve children, one of whom was Andreas (Anders) who married Brita, the daughter of:
Ane Johannesdatter - Børselv
Andreas (Anders) Pedersen 7.15.1824 - after 1865
Britha Mikkelsdatter 1828-1865
Andreas' Sami name was Palun-Antte, and he was born in Børselv, a boat builder, fisherman and farmer who lived near Dupelv by Brennelv. Britha's Sami name was Mikon-Brita. It was reported that in 1865 Andreas owned one horse, eleven, cattle, and fifteen sheep. The use of horses was rare in Porsanger at that time and the Porsanger Bygdebok mentions Andreas Pedersen and two other boat builders as owners of horses, which gave them considerable social prestige. Anders and Britha had eleven children, and we note that one of them, Peder, whose Sami name was Palun-Piettari, became a Laestadian lay minister. We are particularly interested in their daughter, Britha Marie, who became the mother of Rudolph's father, Ivar, and Solveig's mother, Sofie. We can understand that Andreas was wealthy enough to give a piece of land to his daughter upon her marriage, even though, according to family legend, it was the "poorest piece" since she had married a "poor Lapp". It seems that Britha Marie was of both Sami and Finnish ancestry.
Since Andreas was a boat builder and not a reindeer herder he had less need for the Sami language, which was well geared to the needs of reindeer husbandry, and had more need for Finnish, which gradually became the first language spoken in the Porsanger area. The family was indeed Sami but Finnish became the language spoken at home.
Brithe (Britha) Marie Andersdatter 1853-1908
John Iversen Porsanger 11.1.1847 - 1.22.1931
We have followed the ancestry of Britha Marie, starting with Jöns, and his son Claes, born 1696. Britha was confirmed in Kistrand on 6.6.1869. This is where the two lines join, the ancestor of Brithe and John.
It was at Gjerdende in Brennelv that Britha Marie and John raised their nine children, a subsistence homestead of modest means, and the children left home early in life to find work. Britha Marie died in 1908 when her youngest, John, was only thirteen, but her husband lived on until his eighty-fourth year and died in 1931. Anders, the firstborn and a bachelor, lived at Gjerdende all his life and died in 1950 at the age of seventy-three.
During the Second World War Norway was occupied by the Nazis, and when they began their retreat from Finnmark in 1944 they destroyed all standing property so that there would be nothing left that might prove useful to the advancing Russians. Thus the buildings at Gjerdende were burned to the ground. Anders was evacuated south and returned after the war and the house was rebuilt just for him. In 1953 it was purchased by his niece, Jenny, and her husband Inge has given it an English name, "The Little House on the Prairie". There is no well at the place and no electricity, and it can be used only as a summer cabin. Jenny, a daughter of Margrethe, and her husband, Inge, live in Oslo but they visit the Little House on the Prairie most every summer.
Another cousin, Ingeborg Gustavsen, lived nearby in Lakselv but she died in 1982. There are three other cousins who live in the area, Nana and Waldemar Eriksen, and Ingrid Riise. Gjerdende will never be a farm again but it has many attractions as a summer place. The view over the fjord toward Lakselv with its snowcapped mountains is splendid, but the noise from the air traffic of military jet planes stationed at the nearby Banak Air Base can be disturbing. The view along the Porsangerfjord in summer with the midnight sun is spectacular, along with a chorus of bird song from the Oyster Catcher ( tjeld).
We shall continue our genealogical listing with the children of John and Britha Iversen, listed chronologically, along with their descendants. They are aunts and uncles of Rudolph and Solveig:
Andreas Johnsen 5.28.1877 - 9.8.1950
He was known as Jolle Jon Anthe in the Sami language and as Anders in Norwegian, and the dates are from his tombstone although his identification card lists his birth date as 1878. He was born at Gåradakt on the Porsangerfjord and lived all his life at Gjerdende, did not marry, and worked as a farmer, carpenter, fisherman, shoemaker, etc. He had many friends in Laestadian circles, and they erected the monument above his grave in Lakselv. He was attending a religious meeting in Narvik, along with Øyvind Eriksen, husband to Margrethe, when he died.
Solveig remembers him as slight of build and very quiet. His niece, Jenny, gave us his identity card ( legitimasjonskort) dated April 4, 1941. He was then sixty-three years old and the photograph shows a person with lots of black hair and a mustache, and he had tucked a small flower in his buttonhole. He was identified as a laborer who was born and raised in Brennelv and was a citizen of Norway. People had to carry an ID during the years of Nazi occupation and Solveig used his tiny identification photo to paint an oil portrait of him, which now hangs in his former dwelling in Brennelv. He is remembered with fondness by nieces and nephews as "our nice Uncle Anners".
Hans Hansen tells us that Anders had once written a song called Song of the Alaska Travelers that was moving and exciting and made abundant use of Sami words. Hansen reported that the people he knew who were familiar with the lyrics are now deceased, and, in his words, "Anders Johnsen Porsanger (Jolle Jon Anthe) har forfattet på samisk 'Sangen om Alaska Farere'. Sangens innhold var meget gripende og spennende med rike forråd på samisk ord".
Marie Johnsen 10.2.1881 - 10.13.1961
Nils Johnsen 10.17.1871
Born in Brennelv and died in Honningsvåg. Her listing in the Porsanger genealogy gives her the Sami name of Jolle-Jon-Maija. Nils was a Sea Sami of the Boine lineage from Sinkelvik which lies on the eastern side of the Porsangerfjord in Nordkapp community. He had a son, Johan Ivar, with his first wife, Elisa Margrethe Iversdatter. He was a farmer and fisherman. Marie and Nils had the following children:
Johan Arvid Nilsen 11.24.1904 - 2.25.1957. He lived for many years in Kirkenes and worked as a carpenter. He was single and a close friend of the Arneng family. During the Thirties he visited in nearby Russia and learned some Russian, and when the Soviet troops moved into Kirkenes in 1944 and drove the Germans south, Johan became a member of the local police force since he knew some Russian. Rudolph remembers him from his 1949 visit when he met him at a birthday party for Olaus who was seventy. Johan arrived with Pastor Galschoidt, a Lutheran cleric and conservative who had worked with Johan in the underground during the occupation, and they were friends. Upon being introduced to his American cousin, Johan said that he was pleased to meet an American worker, that he had much respect for the American working class. He did the Arneng family many favors and Solvieg remembers when he pilfered some German Christmas tree ornaments from the Nazis during the occupation and gave them to the Arnengs for their tree.
Marie Bergitte (Johnsen) Lauritzen 9.28.1906. Was born in Sinkelvik, Porsanger and presently lives in Lakselv. Married with Ludvig Lauritsen 6.6.1906 - 3.13.1980 from Godvika, Laksefjord. They were both 28 years old when they married in Honningsvåg, and they lived in Godvika. When the Nazi troops began their withdrawal from Finnmark Marie and Ludvig refused to evacuate, and hid in a mountain cave until 1945 and then rebuilt in Godvika. They later moved to Honningsvåg. Children:
Birger Lauritsen 10.6.1936. Single and living in Lakselv.
Ida Kristine (Nilsen) Mikalsen 11.26.1911 - 5.5.1969. Married Jens Hedlund Mikalsen 8.9.1911 - 12.4.1973 and they lived in Honningsvåg. Children:
Roald Mikalsen 8.2.1939
Hjordis Sagun 1.8.1944. Married. Children:
Jarle Mikalsen 8.22.1950
Sissel Margrethe Hyllmark 10.21.1952. Married. Children:
Susann Hyllmark 3.23.1979
Mona Hyllmark 10.7.1984
Nelly Josefine (Johnsen) Henriksen 6.22.1921. Married 6.12.1946 with Hjalmar Nicolai Henriksen 12.2.1913. Nelly lives in Honningsvåg and has written to us with information for this family history. Children:
Aud Elbjorg (Henriksen) Strifeldt 4.2.1943. Married and lives in the Oslo area. Children:
Ruth Torild (Henriksen) Rivenes 10.5.1946. Married and lives in Bergen. Children:
Jorunn Helfrid (Henriksen) Algarheim 3.10.1948. Married and lives in Bardufoss. Children:
Gunn Lisbet (Henriksen) Hansen 11.9.1953. Married to Hansen. Children:
Hjalmar-Arvid Henriksen 1.21.1957. Single and living in Bergen.
Hege Marie Henriksen 2.21.1964. Single and living in Honningsvåg.
Aslaug Elisabeth (Johnsen) Sjøveian 8.30.1925. Married to Harald Sjøveian. Children:
Frank Harold Jacobsen 12.6.1971
Raymond Jacobsen 11.17.1976
Gøril Jacobsen 1.26.1982
Lasse Jacobsen 2.9.1985
Linda Jensen 10.25.1971
Kim Sigurd Sjøveian 1.28.1979
Thomas Edgar Sjøveian 6.5.1983
Sille Sjøveian 6.26.1982
Anna Sofie Arneng 11.6.1883 - 1.4.1973
Olaus Aleksander Arneng 3.30.1879 - 5.17.1961
Sofie was born in Brennelv and died in Duluth, Minnesota. Her remains are buried in the Nordstrand cemetery in Oslo next to those of Olaus. At age five she left home to tend a neighbor's children. It was believed that babies needed to be rocked and this was the first job given to the youngest child servants. Then she became a maid at the house of the pastor at Kistrand. She later took employment as a hotel maid in Hammerfest, and it was here that she first met Olaus Isaksen, a handsome young salesman from Oksfjordhamn in Troms who was to become her husband. Since there were so many with the family name of Isaksen the young Olaus added the farm place name Arneng to his surname, and later the Isaksen was dropped altogether.
Olaus once told his daughter how he first met Sofie. He related how as a young boy on his way to school he saw a beautiful young Sami girl and very much wanted to play with her. Every time he approached her, however, she disappeared, to reappear later at a distance. This happened several times and he was unable to catch up to her. Years later, when he was a traveling salesman and checked in at a hotel in Hammerfest he saw her, the same girl he had seen as a young boy. She was now a hotel maid and he caught a glimpse of her coming down a staircase. This was Sofie, and this led to dating and marriage; she was 23 and he was 27.
Iron ore had been discovered in Kirkenes early in the century and a boom town developed. Olaus and Sofie moved to Kirkenes, and in 1907 Olaus took a job with A/S Sydvaranger as a laborer in the ore processing plant. The family established itself in Kirkenes and Olaus lived there until his retirement in 1951. Sofie and Olaus had six children, the first in 1908 and the last in 1925, all born in Kirkenes. The family fortunes varied with the times and Olaus had some success with his wholesale business ventures. In 1914 Sofie and Olaus attended the world's fair in Copenhagen.
Sofie as a young lady had wanted to become a midwife, and she always regretted that she had so little formal schooling. She held education in high esteem, a view which she passed on to her children. She did learn to play the piano, took time away from her busy household chores and studied under a local musician named Svendsen. The story is told that Olaus, who among other things was a piano salesman, told her that if she learned to play a Christmas carol on the piano he had just received, they would keep the instrument for themselves instead of selling it. It soon became a prized family possession; the boys took up piano and the family enjoyed many musical evenings at home. Olaus had written to the Norsk Musikforlag for a sample selection of sheet music and when it arrived he kept the entire collection. There was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and several pieces by the Finnish composer, Oskar Merikanto. Sofie liked Merikanto, learned several pieces such as Mustalainen, Tulli Tulli Tei, etc.
Sofie also sang in the church choir and was a member of the Ladies Aid, and still found time for embroidery, cross stitching and crocheting. For a number of years in the Twenties and the Thirties she boarded a number of school teachers in her own home. She was an excellent cook and hired a maid to help her with the boarders. She had her own political beliefs and voted Labor Party although her husband belonged to the liberal party, Venstre. The Arneng home was a happy, busy place and the family took eager part in the cultural and political activities of their community.
The depression years of the Thirties were difficult for the Arneng family, and they had to send the boys away to school. WWII brought Nazi occupation. Kirkenes, only seven miles from the Soviet border, became a German stronghold for the planned attack upon Murmansk. The German occupying forces soon outnumbered the Norwegians ten to one, and Kirkenes as a military garrison became a target for Allied bombing. Daily air raids by British and Soviet aircraft made life perilous for the local civilian population, and over one thousand bombings were carried out over Kirkenes before the war ended. Many people sought shelter in the hinterland, and after suffering two years of bombing, Sofie and her seventeen-year-old daughter Solveig fled to Oslo where the boys had been living. Leif and Odd were teaching school in Oslo, Sverre was a university student, and Rolf was a TB patient recovering from a lung operation.
In Oslo it was Rolf who searched for housing for his mother and sister. He learned that some former Kirkenes friends who had been living in Oslo and taken part in the Resistance were forced to flee to Sweden, and under considerable risk to himself, since he had to face Nazi interrogation, Rolf was able to take over their apartment. The family now had a home in Oslo and Olaus later left Kirkenes and joined them. The evacuees were able to enjoy a bit of togetherness while the war still raged, and they learned that the home in Kirkenes had been hit by bombs, and in 1944 it was burned to the ground by the retreating Germans. Upon the conclusion of the war Sofie and Olaus returned to the bombed-out town of Kirkenes, and a barrack was constructed upon their property for temporary housing. Olaus took up his former job with A/S Sydvaranger where he remained until his seventieth year.
Olaus and Sofie decided to abandon war-devastated Kirkenes and build a new family home in Oslo where the boys had more or less settled. Rolf located a promising lot in the Nordstrand district of Oslo and construction was begun on a new home. Sofie returned south, and upon completion of the home in 1951 Olaus retired and moved south into the new family home. The Arneng family was once again united, except for Leif who had married and taken a job in Fredrikstad, and Solveig, who had married and emigrated to the United States. Rolf and his wife Helene occupied a second floor apartment, Odd had a studio apartment with a skylight since he was a painter, Sverre moved in an efficiency apartment on the first floor, and Sofie and Olaus had choice rooms on the first floor with a veranda looking over a spacious yard with cherry trees.
Sofie and Olaus were able to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary in their new home in Oslo. They did make one visit back to Kirkenes in August of 1956, but felt very much at home in Oslo, where they entertained friends and a growing number of grandchildren. They enjoyed ten retirement years in Oslo before Olaus passed away, and in 1961 Sofie made her first trip to the US to visit her daughter Solveig and the three grandchildren. She stayed in Duluth for a year and then returned to Oslo, along with her grandson Arden, then thirteen.
It was lonely for Sofie in Oslo after the passing of her husband. Her daughter visited her in 1964 with grandchildren Kai and Iva, and in 1968 Solveig made another trip to Oslo. In 1969 Sofie and her son Odd traveled to Duluth for a summer visit and upon their return Odd died suddenly. Sofie was in her late eighties, getting a bit forgetful and in 1970 she returned to Duluth, this time to live with her daughter and family. Rudolph's mother, Albertine, was also living there, and the two grandmothers enjoyed each others company. They had first become acquainted in Kirkenes many years earlier, before the first world war. They spent many happy hours together watching TV, the Soaps, with Albertine translating. Sofie made a number of friends in Duluth, people who either spoke Norwegian or Finnish. The grandchildren spoke some Norwegian also. She died at 89 years and her ashes were sent back to Norway.
The children and descendants of Anna Sofie and her husband Olaus are listed beginning on Page .??
Margrethe Eriksen 3.12.1885 - 12.9.1970
Hilmar Eivin (Øyvind) Eriksen
Margrethe had a daughter whose father was a German engineer named Neuchel (Neuser?):
Gretel Ingeborg Gustavsen 10.19.(9.12?)1914 - 3.12.1982. Ingeborg spent some of her childhood years with her uncle Anders in Brennelv and some years with the Arneng family in Kirkenes. She was married on 10.16.1937 to Jonas Gustav Gustavsen 6.5.1914 and lived in Lakselv. Children:
Aina Gustavsen 9.24.1939. Married with Willy Rolf Wangsmo 7.13.1945. They are divorced. She lives in Oslo. Child:
Dagny Gustavsen 7.23.1943. Married with Nils Terje Bleken 5.10.1938. They live in Oslo. Children:
Jan Arvid Gustavsen 1.21.1945 - 8.5.1973. Married with Trude Salmila. Son:
Ingar Gustavsen 1.15.1948. Living in Lakselv.
Are Gustavsen 6.7.1950. Two children:
Lives in Karasjok with a woman. Children:
Mai Gretel Gustavsen (Pia) 7.25.1952. Married with Svei Lars Kroken 1.26.1953. They live in Bodø. Child:
Margrethe married Øyvind Eriksen from Porsanger. His father was a school teacher named Mikkel. Øyvind was a widower and had six children with his first wife Konstanse Nilsen, who is related to Mai Bye from Trondheim. Those children are Erling Hilmar, Einar, Ove Kjærbek, Hagbart Andor, Øifrid and Rolf. His son Hagbart Eriksen is married to Edel and they live in Kautokeino where she teaches school. Hagbart and Edel have several children: Reidun, Reidar, and Kari Margrethe. Margrethe and Øivind had the following children:
Helmer Johannes Eriksen 4.14.1922. Born in Porsanger, Helmer moved to Moss in 1945. He and his brother Marius escaped from occupied Norway during the war and walked into Sweden. Helmer is a mason and a building contractor. He is married to Birgit Møller 4.1.1919 from Moss. She died in the spring of 2000. Children:
Ellen Eriksen 7.28.1962. Married with Tom Shiru. Child:
Mette Helene. Died at age four.
Ingrid Konstanse Riise 8.1.1923. Born in Brennelv she married Edmond Georg Hilmar Riise (5.14.1922 - 11.2.1999) They owned and operated a country store in Brennelv. Children:
Dan Edgar Riise 8.20.1948. Married 11.24.1978 to Randi Ballari
b. 6.26. Children:
Elin Ballari Riise b. 2.1.1982
Randi has two children, Hege Ballari b. 10.21.70 and Wenche Ballari b. 10.21.70.
Gunn Margaret (Riise) Ratama 7.8.1952. Married with Sven Ratama 1.14.1947, they reside in Lakselv. Children:
Inge Edmund Riise 9.22.1955. Child:
Viktoria b. 12.10.1997. (Mother: Vera Vangsmo)
Kurt Hilmar Riise 2.9.1959. Married 4.4.1996 Janne Eriksen, b. 12.31.1968 from Honningsvåg
(her parents are Finn and Unni Eriksen). Children:
Tonje b. 12.14.1993
Kurt has a child with Anne Melbye Aslaksen:
Kristin b. 11.21.2000
Øivind Marius Eriksen 10.21.1924. Marius was born in Brennelv. As a teenager he escaped occupied Norway by walking into Sweden with Helmer and after the war moved to Oslo and became a taxi driver. Marius was engaged to Ingeborg Shille from Øverbygd in Målselv who died in childbirth. Their son:
Marius married Kari Andresen 7.14.1932 - 1979. Children:
Ronald Eriksen 6.14.1963. Single.
Elin Eriksen 2.4.1965. Lives with Tom Hansen in Drøbak. Children:
Anne Marie 12.30.1926 - 1928
Jenny Margrethe Drolshammer 2.26.1929 - 12.10.1998. Born in Brennelv, she was evacuated to Oslo with her family when she was a teenager, and she remained there. She married Inge Drolshammer from Krekling, Øvre Eiker born 6.6.1924 who was a sailor as a young man. He was a worker at a shipyard in Oslo. Children:
Grete Drolshammer 10.7.1956. Attended school in Kautokeino and now lives and works in Oslo. Married Sverre Søtorp.
Nina Merethe Drolshammer 11.15.1966. A student
living in Oslo. Married Øyvind Martila. Children:
Andreas b. 1.16.1993
Marianne b. 4.2.1995
John Teodor (Teddy) Eriksen 2.18.1931 - 7.20.2000. Born in Brennelv, he was evacuated with his family during the war. Lived in Steinkjer where he worked as a building inspector. Teddy married Herborg Margrethe Hansen 7.15.1931. Herborg had a daughter Ann Karin 1950-1970 who grew up with the family and was the victim of an auto accident. Children:
Remarried to Bente. Children:
Iver Jonny Eriksen 11.16.1957. Single and living in Oslo.
Lill Greichel 11.16.1960. Married Per Erik
Remarried to Per Arild Lindal. They live in Steinkjer. Children:
Remarried to Per Arild Lindal. They live in Steinkjer. Children:
Kjell Harry 7.14.1962. Lives with Venke in Sparbu. Child:
Ivar Johnson 11.4.1887 - 7.10.1921
Albertine Svendsen 12.17.1886 - 12.29.1984
Ivar was born in Brennelv and died in Duluth at age 34. His remains are buried in the Oneota Cemetery of West Duluth with those of his wife. He was born Iver Johnsen and spelled his name that way on his work record or skudsmaalbog. His sister, Margrete, told that as a young man he decided to call himself Iver Johnsen Porsang after his grandfather, but after leaving home decided against it. Albertine gave him a hymn book for Christmas and wrote on the flyleaf " erindring med julen 1917 fra din kone til Ivar Johnsen" and she always pronounced his name as though it were spelled Ivar. His marriage license and tombstone are with Iver, but his legal name in the US became Ivar Johnson, taken from his first papers, Declaration of Intention, which starts the naturalization process. We have a photocopy of this document made from a microfilm housed in the Interpretative Center in Chisolm, Minnesota, and he had signed it Ivar Johnson. When his first grandson was born to Kai and Beverly Johnson on June 28, 1973 in Kirkenes, they chose to call him Ivar Johnson after his great grandfather.
Albertine always said that her husband was a tall man, almost six feet. We find that on his citizenship application, made when he was thirty years old, he is described as a laborer, five feet eight inches tall, 172 pounds, and this document says that he was born in Sydvaranger, Norway and that he resides in Proctor, Minnesota, general delivery, and that he emigrated to the US from Bergen on the Christianafjord, and was married to Albertine from Skjervøy.
Ivar as a young man worked at various places in the Porsanger district of Finnmark, and at age 21 was engaged in road construction. His work record signed by A. Rode in Braendelv on October 22, 1909 states that he was a good worker, was employed on state road building from September to December in 1908 and from June to October in 1909. He later moved to Kirkenes and took employment with A/S Sydvaranger as a machinist in the ore processing plant where he became foreman of his section. On December 18, 1915 he married Albertine Svendsen from Arnøy who had been employed in Kirkenes as a housekeeper for the company chemist. The wedding was held in the Arneng home where the newlyweds rented rooms, and a son, Rudolph, was born to them on March 7, 1916.
While Ivar and Albertine were living in the Arneng house, Hans Isaksen, brother to Olaus, came for a visit. Hans and his wife Laura had been living in the US and had glowing stories to tell about life and conditions in Minnesota. Ivar heard these stories, caught America Fever and decided that he also wanted to try his luck in the New World. He decided to travel alone first in order to check things out before sending for his family, and he sailed from Bergen in September, 1916. When Ivar left, his wife and infant son moved back to Arnøy where Albertine took a job as manager of a boarding school. Ivar went directly to Thomson, Minnesota where Hans and Laura Isaksen lived. Hans was a brother to Olaus but kept the name Isaksen although the rest of the family took the name Arneng.
With help from a Norwegian-American pastor Ivar obtained a job at the steel plant in Duluth, where jobs were plentiful since the war was on. He started working as a machinist but couldn't hold his job because he knew so little English. Ivar started working on the railroad in Proctor, a Duluth suburb, then moved to Thomson and started working on the hydroelectric dam. Here his knowledge of Norwegian and Finnish gained him many friends since so many immigrants from Norway and Sweden/Finland had settled in Thomson to work in lumbering. While in Thomson he became acquainted with Julius Bauman from North Norway who was President of Nordlandslaget, editor of Nord Norge and a published poet. Mr. Bauman worked as Register of Deeds for Carlton County and he was also ticket agent for a Norwegian steamship line. Ivar purchased tickets so that he could send for his wife and son in Norway, and then set about to purchase a house in Thomson. His family joined him and they lived in Thomson from 1917 to 1920, through the years of the Great War, the Armistice, the Flue Epidemic and the Cloquet Forest Fire. Rudolph has hazy memories of long walks with his father through the woods, or picking blue berries, and of rides on the handlebars of his father's bicycle.
Ivar didn't like his work in Thomson, especially disliked his boss, and in 1920 moved with his family to Duluth where he took employment with Polaris making concrete blocks. On April 19, 1920 he purchased a house in West Duluth, 116 North 64th Avenue West, from Henry Antila, a Finnish immigrant who owned a nearby grocery store. The purchase price was $1,825 with eight hundred dollars down and twenty dollars per month, interest at six percent. It was a one-story frame house with two bedrooms, water and electricity, but no plumbing, Years later after Ivar's death, Albertine had the house remodeled, added plumbing etc., and in 1955 sold it to Mr. Cassel for $3,500. But when Ivar died in 1921 Albertine could no longer afford to live in the house and meet mortgage payments, and she rented it out at $25 per month. Albertine and Rudolph lived in their first home in Duluth for only short periods of time between renters. But it was a happy home in a friendly neighborhood where many Scandinavian immigrants had settled, and nearby was a Norwegian Methodist church. Ivar quit Polaris and took work with higher wages for a building contractor who was building in Proctor, and he became foreman of the plastering crew. Each day he climbed the steep hill to Proctor, a three mile walk to work, and returned home late in the evening. The family was happily situated in Duluth, and son Rudolph even found a neighborhood boy would could speak Norwegian, but Ivar, full of ambition, already had plans for a move to California.
It was a very hot day in July when Ivar decided to go swimming at Park Point, a popular bathing beach. Minnesota Point extends seven miles out into cold Lake Superior, and one side faces the bay where the warmer St. Louis River enters the Lake. Albertine and Rudolph on that Sunday went to visit some Swedish friends from Thomson who had opened a hotel in West Duluth, the Tremont Hotel and Boarding House, and Ivar decided first to seek relief from the heat and swim in Lake Superior. The Duluth News Tribune reported an official high of 94 degrees, with 98 on Superior Street. Ivar did not return home that night and the newspapers on the next morning reported that "Iver Johnson, a swimmer who exchanged his wearing apparel and valuables for a bathing suit...failed to claim his property at 2:30 o'clock this morning...(and) a calling card with no address was found in his coat". Ivar had come down with cramps while swimming and drowned. A neighbor lady, Mrs. Matt Olsen, read the morning paper, saw the notice, and rushed over to inform Albertine of the tragedy. Funeral services were held at Bell Brothers and Ivar was buried at the Oneota Cemetery in West Duluth. Early in the month Ivar had sent a letter and fifty dollars to his father in Brennelv, and a thank you note arrived the day after his funeral.
Rudolph was five years old when his father died, and he has only a few recollections of him. He remembers that on his fifth birthday, the seventh of March of 1921, Ivar took his son to school and introduced him to the teacher. In those days one started school at age five regardless of the school calendar, and Rudolph was proud to be walking with his father and starting school. When summer came Rudolph played with a neighbor boy, Waino Hill, and his father made a device that shot notched arrows into the air. Rudolph, then five years old, does not remember just how the device was constructed, but it probably resembed the atlatl, the Aztec name for a weapon that predates the bow and arrow, and was used to cast spears and arrows with considerable force. Rudolph and Waino stood on the back porch and Ivar demonstrated how to use it. He shot an arrow up so high that it went out of sight, and Waino and Rudolph often speculated how far it went, and if it still might be going. He has since seen a similar sling only once, at the Sami Section of a museum in Stockholm.
Kristine Eriksen 12.1.1889 - 6.23.1962
Johan Erik Eriksen
Born in Brennelv and is buried in Lakselv. Her husband was a telephone linesman, not related to Øyvind, her sister's husband. She is remembered also as a Laestadian. Children:
Nana Kristine Eriksen 2.24.1918. Lives in Lakselv with her brother Waldemar. Child:
Johan Waldemar Eriksen 3.9.1922. He lives in Nedre Smorstad, Lakselv with his sister in a house he built himself, and works as a house painter and salmon fisherman. During the war Waldemar took part in the resistance against the Nazis and was imprisoned in Grini, the concentration camp in Oslo.
Alethe Sofie (Ally) Johansen 7.16.1924. Married to Tor Johansen 2.22.1930 from Oslo. They live in Ski, a town just a few miles south of Oslo, and they have a cabin at Vannsjø, near Moss. Children:
Johnny 1958. Married to Unn, they live in Ski. Child:
Simon Peder Johnsen 10.17.1891 - 3.8.1977
Born in Brennelv and died in Oslo. He was known as Peder, and as a young man he moved to Oslo where he worked as a mason, and for several years he lived in Hakadal with Thora Skjaermoen, a widow with three children. She operated a country store called Jappe Landhandel and on the farm they raised hogs. When Thora died Peder stayed on in Hakadal with Thora's daughter Gunvor and her husband Hakon. When Peder died his nephew Arne arranged that Peder should be buried alongside his brother, John, who was Arne's father. Eva Johnson, wife to Arne, explained in a letter, "you see, both Arne and I were very fond of Peder, a very kind and unselfish person".
John Johnsen 3.3.1895 - 2.26.1969
Dagny Grønli 9.10.1899 - 2.18.1967
Born in Brennelv and died in Oslo. He moved to Oslo early in life and served with the King's Palace Guard. He became an electrician, sailed for several years visiting many lands, and later settled in Oslo to practice his trade. Children:
Arne Johnsen 5.14.1920 - 10.6.1991. Born in Oslo, Arne married Eva (10.12.1919 - 01.01.2003) from Oslo. Arne worked for Bladcentralen in Oslo. Eva has done secretarial work for the Humanetisk Forening, a state organization which serves as an alternative to the official state church. Children:
Kirsti 10.19.1945. Married Sigmund Hansen, later divorced. Married 1971 to Harald Søgstad who owns and operates a shoe store. Kirsti is sales manager for a large book publisher in Oslo. Kirsti and Harals was later divorced. Children:
Roar 1.10.1954. Married to Tove Dreierstad. Lives in Oslo and works as an IT consultant.
Haugnes is on the island of Arnøy in the Skjervøy parish of North Troms. This section will deal with the ancestors and descendents of Petronelle Mortensen, Rudolph's maternal grandmother.
Petronelle was born on the island of Arnøy at a place called Haugnesodden, but her parents came originally from a neighboring parish. In Norway the administrative district or commune is called a parish and takes its name from the place where the church is located. The parish minister is a state official who has civil as well as religious duties. While records show that Petronelle's parents came from Helgøy we do not know if she came from that parish, or from the small island called Helgøy which was once the parish seat. When the church was moved to the island called Karlsøy, that became the parish name, and we shall refer to the parish as Helgøy/Karlsøy, an archipelago of islands. We know that some members of the family live on Ringvassøy, the largest island in the archipelago. When Albertine as a child accompanied her mother on a visit to relatives in Helgøy/Karlsøy they visited two islands, but she does not know which islands. We have heard that the family may have originated on the island called Sandøy. The parish Helgøy/Karlsøy lies along the seventieth parallel in the North Atlantic a few kilometers west of Arnøy.
The Helgøy/Karlsøy district has been inhabited for several millennia, and Stone Age finds on these islands date back four thousand years before Christ, as reported in a University of Tromsø publication, Helgøys Historie, edited by Helge Wold and published in 1980. This coastal area of North Troms has been the subject of a series of studies by the University of Tromsø, a research project which has been called the Helgøy Project which began in 1973/74. The object was to learn something about the Sami population, the "Sea Lapps", in a typical north Norwegian coastal community, to learn about inter-ethnic relationships. The series is summarized in the journal Forskningsnytt, no. 6, published in 1982 and also in a series of articles in Ottar, nos. 125-126 published in 1980. We learn that Helgøy/Karlsøy has been inhabited for six thousand years with many archeological finds from the Stone and Iron Ages, a few finds from the twelve and thirteen hundreds and many finds from the Late Middle Ages, both Sami and Norse artifacts. It is interesting to note that the first historical reference was in late 1432 and mentions that " Skoogs fiord" belonged to a Bishop Aslak Bolts. Skogsfjord is where Otto Kræmer, half brother to Albertine lived, where from time to time her half sister Astrid lived, and where her mother Petronelle died.
The Haugnes ancestral line comes from two main sources. First the Rebecca Line; Rebecca was the mother to Johan Anton, Petronelle's father, as well as the mother to Inger Marthrethe, whose grandson was Otto Kræmer. The Juditha Line traces the ancestry of Petronelle's mother.
Rebecca Margretha Eliasdatter Figenschov Lorch 1801-1882
Morten Hansen Lorch 1801-1878
Rebecca and Morten had the following children and grandchildren:
Hans Georg Edvard Mortensen Lorch 10.21.1829
Johan Anton Serin Mortensen Lorch 1.13.1833 - 6.16.1905. He was the father of Petronelle (see Page).
Albertine Severine Lemming Mortensdatter Lorch 8.8.1835 - 10.29.1903. Married Andor Jørgen Brose Krag 1836-1915. She died in Brensnes. Children:
Ole Kristian Brose Krag 1868-1913. Married Elida Wilsgård from Medfjordvær on Senja on 4.14.1882.
Johannes Edvard Brose Krag 1869. Married Lovise Elida Heggelund 6.3.1880 in Bakkeby.
Anton Albert Brose 3.12.1873. A farmer who emigrated to the US.
Martha Marie Brose 10.23.1875. Married Even Annanias Berger 6.17.1863, postmaster and shipping agent in Finnkroken, Reinøy.
Mathilde Rebekka Brose 5.30.1878. A nurse who emigrated to the US.
Inger Margrethe Mortensdatter Lorch 1837-1928. Born on Helgøy. Married 1861 to Morten Kræmer (1840-1916) from Melvik. They moved to Tromsø in 1908. Children:
Johanna Petrine Kræmer 1863
Therese Kræmer 1869
Odin Magnus Kræmer 5.25.1876. Father to Otto Kræmer (Page ??), Alberine's half brother.
Johannes Edvard Berg Mortensen (Lorch) 3.17.1842 - 1863
Peder Elicæus Mortensen Lorch 3.18.1845
Jørgen Mortensen Lorch
We continue with Rebecca's parents:
Elias Erichsen Figenschov Lorch 1754-1816
Inger Margrethe Mortensdatter Heggelund 1761-1806
Elias was a farmer and postmaster at Berg on Karsøy. Children:
Andreas Heggelund Lorch Baptised on Karsøy 1.1790.
Hans Juul Lorch 1792.
Morten Heggelund Lorch. Baptised on Karsøy in 1793 and died the same year.
Wiveke Catarina Figenschov Lorch 1793-1864. She married Johannes Andersen Kiil 1788-1841 in 1813, a farmer who lived in Svendsby and later moved to Berg. They had seven children.
Ane Heggelund Eliasdatter Figenschov Lorch 1795-1873. She had two children with her first husband, Jørgen Christian Olsen Bugge from Langesund, and three children with her second husband, Christian Andersen Wang.
Johan Petter Lorch. Baptised in 1798 on Karsøy, died as a child.
We continue with Elias' parents.
Wivike Johansdatter Wormhus 1717-1762
Erich Johansen Lorch, Berg 1718-1781
Erich was a farmer who lived at Berg on Karlsøy, the son of Johan Nilssøn "Svenske" who lived at Berg in the years 1714-1738, and his brother was Niels Johansen Berg. After Wivike died, Erich married Aleth Mortensdatter Heggelund 1725-1788. Children with Wivike:
Inger Catarina Figenschov Lorch 1740-1799. In 1760 she married Jørgen Jørgensen Nideros 1724-1798 from Nordeiet and they had four children.
Christen Eriksen Bårlund Lorch 1742-1808. A farmer in Svendsby, he married Anne Grethe Oderup Heggelund 1750-1806.
Johan Peter Lorch 1744-1766. Lost his life at sea.
Hans Christian Lorch 1748-1758.
Inger Maria Lorch 1751-1784. Married Christen Otesen Selnes.
Elias Figenschov Lorch. Father to Rebecca.
Hans Juul Figenschov Lorch 1761. Hans was a farmer at Berg on Karsøy and in 1785 married Maren Kirstina Grabov and they had two children.
We continue with Wiveke's parents.
Johan Reinertsen Wormhus 1684-1748
Catarina Figenschov 1688-1766
The Wormhus line comes from the Hanseatic town of Bremen in Germany and they settled in Bergen about 1676. Johan was the son of Reinert Wormhuus who died in Helgøy in 1696 and his grave marker is preserved in the Lyngen church. Johan moved from Rødgammen in Helgøy to Kjosen in Lygen where he was killed in an avalanche. Catarina was born at Kvitnes and was buried in Lyngen. When her husband died she moved to her daughter's place at Kobbenes in Kjosen.
We continue with Catarina's parents.
Jeremias Eliassen Figenschov 1655-1735
Maren Torgersdatter 16..-1715
Jeremias was born in Bergen and lived at Kvitnes on Karsøy where he was a merchant and skipper. It is reported that he gave a chandelier to the Karlsøy church which now hangs in the Sørfjord (Ullsfjord) church at Sjursnes. The inscription reads Anno 1708 er denne Krone forænt til Karsøoe Kirche af Jeremias Eliasson Figenschow og Maren Taargersdaader. From another inscription we learn that the chandelier as early as 1652 had been owned by three Hanseatic merchants and hung in one of the buildings at the Hansa wharf in Bergen. It was saved from the fire of 1702 and purchased by Jeremias and presented to the Karsøy church. We learn than Jeremias and Maren in 1714 also presented a huge tiara chandelier to a church in Tromsø which now hangs in the Elverhøy church in Tromsø. There is an alter tablet in the Karlsøy church which reads Soli deo gloria. Jeremias Eliassen Figenschov og Margaretha Pedersdtr. Anno 1728 30 Okt.
Jeremias was married three times, first to Anne Høyer, and they had one son; then to Maren Torgersdatter, and they had four children; and finally to Margrethe Pedersdatter 1697-1751 who was born in Bergen and died on Karsøy. The churchbook in Karsøy records his death on the fourth Sunday of Advent in 1734 and his burial in the church proper on 3.5.1735. He was eighty years of age.
We continue with Jeremias' parents.
Elias Figenschov 1599-1660
Anne Christensdatter Bloch 1620
Elias was an artist who lived in Bergen. Elias' father was Hans Figenschow,
a royal saddlemaker from Hindelang in southern German who settled in Copenhagen. Anne's parents were Christen Jenssøn Bloch -1636 and Berte Andersdatter. Christen was a bailiff in Salten.
This is as far back as we can trace Rebecca's father's line. We continue with Rebecca's mother, Inger Margrethe Mortensdatter Heggelund. Inger's parents' were:
Morten Sørensen Heggelund 1731
Anna Mortensdatter Heggelund 1730-1787
Morten's parents were:
Søren Hansen Heggelund 1684-1759
Anna Grethe Rasmusdatter Oderup 1694 - 2.24.1766
The father of Anna Grethe was Rasmus Clemmetsen Oderup 1659. The father to Rasmus was Clemmet Rasmussen Oderup. A census from 1665 lists him as living on Follesøy in Skjervøy. He moved to Hamnes in 1672 and served as sheriff on Skjervøy from 1665 to 1693. The parents of Søren were Hans Mortensen Heggelund ca 1631-1700 and Ingeborg Handsdatter from Elvevoll. The parents of Hans were:
Morten Christensen Heggelund ca 1600-1660
Morten was the bailiff and bishop in Troms from 1630 to 1650. He lived at Hesfjord in Langsund, and the tax census of 1645 lists him as living in the Helgøy district. He paid taxes for himself and his wife, his daughter and one of his three sons. He was also taxed for three laborers and three maid servants. We continue with Morten's father.
Christen Sørensen Heggelund ca 1570-1620
Was once mayor of the town of Viborg in Jylland, Denmark. Christens' father was Søren Christensen Heggelund born ca 1540 and served as a town official in Viborg. Søren's father was Christen Heggelund, born ca 1500 in Viborg.
We have been following the Rebecca line through the father of her mother Inger and now continue with Inger's mother's line, starting with Inger's mother.
Anne Margrethe Mortendatter Heggelund 1694-1765
Morten Hansen Horsens 1693-1764
They lived first at Brattrein and then at Jegervannet. Morten's father was Hans Hansen Horsens born in 1646 in Jylland Denmark, died 1720, a church sexton in Karlsøy. Hans married Rebecca Torbendatter Gamst, born in Loppen 1648, died 7.25.1736. A painting in the Karlsøy church has the following inscription: Gud til Erre Karlsøy Kirke til Zirat Kekaastet af Hans Hansen og Rebekka Torbendtr Anno 1697. Rebecca was daughter of Torben Reierson, who was bishop ( sogneprest) in Loppa, married to Gunild Pedersdatter. Torben died in 1695.
Anne was the daughter of Morten Sørensen Heggelund 1660-1732, a wealthy tradesman whose estate was quoted as en aktiva rdl. 435-2-9 og passiva rdl. 108-2-7 (rdl refers to riksdaler). Morten married Inger Christendatter Lorch from Reinsvoll who was buried in 1748 at 78 years of age. They lived at Bakkeby in Ullsfjord. Inger was the daughter of Christen Knudsen 1633-1712. Christen's parents were Knud Hansen and Trine Henriksdatter Hofnagel. The 1702 census lists him as living in Nordeiet, and using the name Lorch. It seems that only one of his sons used the name Lorch and it may be that his son's wife Alette Madsdatter was a Lorch.
We have traced the ancestry of Rebecca back to the 1500's. It was her son Johan Anton who married Juditha Kristine, and they were the parents to Petronelle. We shall now examine Juditha's ancestry.
Juditha Kristine Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 5.26.1835 - 1890
Johan Anton Serin Mortensen Lorch 1833
Johan and Juditha were the maternal grandparents of Albertine, and in the local history called Skjervøy by Fugelsøy Johan is referred to as Anton Johan Mortensen Haugnes 1829, a landowner, farmer and fisherman, and he and his wife came from Helgøy. It may be that we was known as Anton Johan Mortensen Haugnes while living on Arnøy, but Heidi Mikkelsen has researched his ancestral line for us from church records and census tracts and reports his name and dates somewhat differently. We shall use his baptismal name with information provided by Heidi. Johans' father was Morten Hansen Lorch, 1801-1878, and when he was confirmed in 1822 the minister had written that Morten had little knowledge but good upbringing ( han hadde liten kunnskap men god oppførsel). Morten died in Brennes in Troms, and there is no information available about his parents. Morten's wife was Rebecca Margretha Eliasdatter Figenschov Lorch, 1801-1822. She was confirmed in 1821 and she married Morten in 1828.
Juditha was born on May 26, 1835 and when she died in 1890 her granddaughter Albertine was only four years old. Albertine remembered Juditha as someone who held her and sang to her, and that she had a birthmark on her forehead. Albertine knew nothing about her grandmother's ancestry. Juditha's parents:
Olai Petri Johnsen Leonard Ødegaard
Johanna Christensdatter b. 1799
Olai was confirmed in 1817 and Johanna was confirmed in Breivik in 1818. Children:
Gjertrud Helena Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1826
Christiana Mathilde Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1827
Fredrika Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1829
Inger Christence Leonard Ødegaard 1831
Martha Cicilia Heggelund Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1833
Olenert Leonard Olaissen Ødegaard 1835. He was first baptised at home by his father, who was church deacon, and later that year it was formalized in the church.
Juditha Kristina Olaisdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1835. The mother of Petronelle and Albertine's grandmother.
Johanna was born in Engvik on Rebbenesøy. Her parents are Kristen Olsen, b. 1771, Engvik on Rebbenesøy, and Marta Torstensdatter, b. 1778, Berg (Holmesletten) Tromsøysund.
We continue with Olai's parents.
Jon Christensen Ødegaard ca. 1762
Inger Christence Olaisdatter Leonard ca. 1775
They settled in Lenangen and had the following children:
Olai Petri Johnsen Leonard Ødegaard. Mentioned above.
Carolina Johnsdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1789. Married Morten Figenschov.
Johanna Fredrica Johnsdatter Leonard Ødegaard 1795.
Morten Fabricius Johnsen Leonard Ødegaard 1801.
Leonard Johnsen Ødegaard 1805.
We have no information about the parents of Jon, but his wife's parents were:
Olai Petri Leonard 1745-1805
Birgitta Brun Heggelund 1752-1808
Olai was born in Bergen and died in Karlsøy. He came to Karlsøy as a missionary school teacher, and served as a church sexton there from 1770 to 1805. Children:
Hans Heggelund Leonard 1774-1818. Church sexton in Karsøy from 1805 to 1818. In 1810 he married the widow Anne Lucia Heggelund 1778. She was from Russeelv in Nord Lenangen and had previously been married to Hans Nilsen Dahl 1767 with whom she had several children.
Inger Christence Olaisdatter Leonard. Listed above as the mother of Olai and Juditha's grandmother.
Birgitte Maria Brønlund Leonard 1778. Married to John Nilsen Dahl 1770. In 1801 they lived in Sør Lenangen and had one daughter:
Anne Margrethe Figenschov Leonard 1779-1812.
Maren Maria Holst Leonard 1783.
We have no information about the parents of Olai Petri Leonard, but Birgitta's parents were:
Hans Sørensen Heggelund 1716-1796
Inger Margrethe Mortendatter Heggelund
They lived at Bakkeby. Hans was the son of Søren Hansen Heggelund and Anna Grethe Rasmusdatter Oderup, mentioned previously as Morten's father in the Rebecca line (Page). Inger was the daughter of Hans Hansen Horsens and Anne Margrethe Mortensdatter Heggelund, mentioned previously in the Rebecca line.
It was recorded in the Helgøy churchbook at the end of the year 1826 as follows:
This past winter the hunger on many farms was severe, and many would have perished if it had not been for assistance from the Royal Grain Reserve. The weather did not permit those who were at home to go to sea for food until springtime. The summer was not too bad and the fall was fine for hay. Pollock fishing at the end of summer provided income.
A similar account was made at the end of 1827, but in 1830 the winter fishing was good and the weather mild. The years following continued good until 1835, when there was much hunger and illness among the livestock.
Petronelle Kristine Johannesen 1865-1926
Peder Svendsen 1840-1888
Kristian Gerhard Johannessen 1839 - second husband
She was often called simply "Nelle", and she was born and grew up at Haugnesodden and at nineteen married Peder Svendsen from Stokkenes on Langfjord, located two or three miles from Haugnesodden. Peder Svendsen had two children from a previous marriage, Mekal (Page) and Ludvig (Page), and after the death of his first wife he married Petronelle in 1884. Peder and Petronelle had a daughter, Albertine, born in 1886. Peder died in 1888 before his daughter was two years old. Petronelle and her infant daughter then moved back to Haugnesodden and lived there for six years, until Albertine was eight years old. Petronelle then took employment at Rotsund on the mainland, and Albertine moved back to Stokkenes to live with her half brother Mekal who had married Elin from Haugnes. Mekal now had two infant daughters and needed help with the house and the farm chores. Albertine stayed at Stokkenes until she was nineteen, helping with the house, farm and fishing.
In 1896 a child was born to Petronelle and her cousin, Odin Kræmer. Since Odin's mother was Inger Margrethe, who was sister to Johan Anton, and this made Odin and Petronelle first cousins, there were family objections to their marriage. The child was Otto Kræmer, half brother to Albertine, and he was born at Stokkenes. It is interesting to note that her half brother Otto was not related to her half brother Mekal.
Petronelle then married Kristian Johannesen from Akkarvik just across the fjord from Stokkenes. Kristian was from Rotsund and confirmed in 1859. He was the son of Johannes Olsen, Rotsund and Johanna Christine Olsdatter. Kristian's first wife was Marie Andersdatter Sommer from Målselv. They were married in 1871 and had the following children:
Petronelle and Kristian lived in Akkarvik and in 1906 a daughter was born to them, Astrid Johannesen. In 1982 Rudolph met Oskar Johannesen from Akkarvik. Oskar's father, Alfred 1872-1956 was a brother to Kristian, and Astrid was his aunt. Astrid was also Rudolph's aunt, but Oskar and Rudolph were not related.
Kristian Johannesen also died at an early age and Petronelle once more became a widow and had to seek employment. As she approached her sixtieth birthday Petronelle took ill and her cousin, Odin, made a place for her at his home in Skogsfjord on Ringvassøy where she remained until her death. Petronelle's three children:
Albertine Josefine Johnson 12.17.1886 - 12.29.1984. Daughter of Peder Svendsen and mother of Rudolph. A chapter on Albertine follows on Page ??.
Otto Kræmer 1896-1972. Son of Odin Kræmer. When he was eighteen Otto went on a fishing trip to Finnmark with Ludvig Pedersen and learned about someone on another boat who was said to look very much like him. It turned out to be his father, Odin. Odin's brother, Hagbart, who lived in Tromsø and was engaged in polar fishing and hunting, was persuaded to give Otto a job on his boat. Otto earned quite a bit of money on these polar trips, returned to Tromsø and married Hanna, who was twenty years his senior and a dressmaker. Otto and Hanna established their home at Skogsfjord, and Otto worked at various construction jobs and continued fishing. Hagbart, uncle to Otto, became quite wealthy and had two sons, Alfdan and Halfdan.
Astrid Jonette Lydia Semalie Johannesen 8.23.1906 - 2.2.1985. Daughter of Kristian Johannesen. Kristian did not live long after the birth of his daughter, and Astrid was adopted by some people in Rotsund named Mathissen. She grew up in Rotsund and then took employment at various places, including Skogsfjord. In 1968 she moved to Kvaløyvåg on Kvaløy, an island near Tromsø and just across the strait from Ringvassøy. She worked for Egil Nilsen, a farmer and fisherman who had an ailing mother. His mother died in 1971, and Astrid stayed on as his housekeeper until she died in 1985. Astrid's children:
Dagne Benjaminsen. Married to Viktor, they live in Dåfjord. Children:
Jensine Larsen. Lives at Hansnes on Ringvassøy. Former husband is Hans Larsen. Children:
We have followed the Haugnes line back to early in the sixteenth century and have found much of interest. It seems that Albertine had Norse as well as Sami ancestors and she always thought of herself as pure Norwegian. And we learned that life in the far north could be cruel and the class culture of society was mean an degrading. We see this exemplified in the life of Astrid.
Albertine Josefine Johnson 12.17.1886 - 12.29.1984
Ivar Johnson 11.4.1887 - 7.10.1921
Albertine was born at Stokkenes on the island of Arnøy in 1886 and she died in Duluth, Minnesota in 1984 at ninety-eight years of age. Her birth certificate reads " Albertine Josefine av foreldre Peder Andreas og Petronelle Kristine Antondtr.." Her father, Peder Svendsen, had two sons from a previous marriage, and they used Pedersen as their surname, being sons of Peder, but Albertine adopted the newer practice and used Svendsen as her last name. As we have already seen in this section, her mother Petronelle was from nearby Haugnesodden on the same island. The Langfjord section which follows covers her father's line. Albertine was not quite two years old when her father died, and she moved with her mother back to Haugnesodden to live with her mother's parents. When Albertine was eight her mother sought employment on the mainland and Albertine moved back to Stokkenes to help her half brother Mekal and his growing family. From three hour-long tape interviews with Albertine we have obtained information about her childhood in Norway, her emigration to the United States, and her life in America.
Education: From age seven to fourteen she attended a rural boarding school located in Grunndfjord (Arnøyhamn) on Arnøy about eight to ten miles from her home at Stokkenes. The school ran regularly for three-week sessions and students would attend for three weeks on and three weeks off three times a year for nine years, and they would return home on weekends. Because she had so much work at home Albertine missed much school, to her everlasting regret. According to her school report card dated May 10, 1902 there were only 44 weeks of school attendance with 28 1/2 days of excused absence and 60 1/2 days of unexcused absence. She actually had less than one year of schooling. School marks were graded "1" for very good, "2" for good, etc. down to "5". Albertine for her entire school career received "2" in written Norwegian, "2" in Christianity, "2" in arithmetic, "2 1/2" in nature study, "2 1/2" in geography, "2 1/2" in history, equal to five "B's" and three "B+'s". She also received "1" in effort, "1" in conduct, "2" in ability, and "2" in progress. This is taken from her Afgangsvidnesbyrd, or closing school record.
In the United States she attended citizenship classes in 1923 in order to prepare for naturalization and attended nineteen classes in civics, English, history, etc. She received her Certificate of Naturalization on March 2, 1923 when she was thirty-six years old. This document described her as five feet tall of fair complexion with brown eyes and black hair. She tells that under examination by the Judge she answered all questions correctly, but when asked which direction Sweden lay from Duluth, she answered rather bluntly that she was not a Swede. Over the years she picked up enough English so that she could read with ease, but she never learned to write in English. Rudolph recalls being reminded on the street cars to "speak English or people will think we are foreigners".
Religion: Norway has been a Lutheran country ever since the Reformation and has a state church, but in North Norway religious people, especially those of Sami, Finnish, or coastal Sami ancestry, while loyal to the State Church, adhered to a sect of Lutheranism established by Lars Levi Laestadius (1800-1865), a dynamic Lutheran pastor who served the largely Sami congregation in northern Sweden.
Laestadiansim was more fundamentalistic, evangelical, pietistic and charismatic than mainline Scandinavian Lutheranism. The clergy of the State Church tended to be elitist, member of the upper class, and services were more formal and staid, and not in tune with the folk culture of the north. The Laestadians would beg forgiveness of sins from the actual people they had sinned against and would then embrace with joy when forgiven, and they struggled against the evils of alcohol which they claimed came from the dominant Norse society. Albertine said the "back home we were all Laestadians" and her husband Ivar had a similarly religious upbringing, but they both shied away from some of the fanaticism of the early Laestadians. Albertine told that some people became " religiøs gal", a form of religious madness.
Church attendance was difficult for the people on Arnøy because they did not have a church building on their island. They had to row by boat, and it took four to five hours with two men rowing to reach Skjervøy where the church was located, and an additional hour to walk across the island to the church. The sea was often rough and the journey was not attempted during the long, dark months of arctic winter at seventy degrees North Latitude. Church for them began in the spring with Pentecost and would continue until Michaelsmas. They would attend church only about four or five times a year, bring a tent and extra food and clothing, set up camp when they reached the island, then change into church clothes and hike across the island to the church. Church attendance was also a festive occasion where they might remain a couple of days, visit friends and relatives and shop the markets set up for the occasion.
Back home there were more frequent religious services held in private homes with hymn singing, prayers, Bible reading and talks by lay people. There might also be home baptisms and home funerals which were later formalized in the church. There was also religious instruction at school. The school day began with prayers and hymn singing, and then Bible study. Elementary education was not completed until confirmation. The confirmation classes were held in Skjervøy, and Albertine was confirmed on September 28, 1902, which marked the end of her formal education.
The Norwegian imagination has been full of other-than-human and subterranean creatures such as trolls, elves ( nisser), and draugen (a headless specter who appeared at sea in a half boat and foretold of approaching death). These beings were just as real as the angels and demons of Christian mythology, and were very much a part of the everyday world of growing up in northern Norway. Sea corpses which washed ashore and not given proper burial became ghosts who haunted during the nights. The elves or pixies also existed on Arnøy and were thought to have their own farms and livestock, and on one occasion Albertine thought she saw one of their sheep while out looking for some of her sheep that had strayed. There were stories of weird sea creatures, and strange events, such as casting of spells, and even Satan himself was known to make appearances. The reindeer Sami were though to have magical powers and weird things were said to happen on Langfjord when a "Mountain Lapp" moved into one of the neighboring farms. The children became so fearful that they dreaded to walk past that farm place at night. Stories about these uncanny events were told and retold by evening firesides, and some of these stories were brought along to the New World. American children also shuddered as they heard these stories from the Old Country, told by immigrant parents. As time went on the immigrants came to believe that such things could only happen in the Old Country, and not in America, and that they may even have been a bit superstitious.
Rudolph as a child had often heard the story of the haunted schoolhouse on Arnøy. His mother had taken a job in 1916-1917 as manager of the rural boarding school at Haugnes and they lived there during that time. There were many complaints of strange noises in the building at night, and it had been inspected by both the local minister and the doctor, who could offer no explanation. The schoolmaster, however, was so distracted by these events that he lost his mind and had to be institutionalized. Albertine told that she personally had neither seen nor heard anything unusual, and thought that perhaps the schoolmaster was haunted by a sea ghost. Years later the story appeared in print, published in the 1985 yearbook from North Troms, Menneske og Miljø i Nord-Troms, Årbok 1985. The story Skrømpt på Internatet was written by Carl Bentsen, who presently teaches school on the island, and he made the observation that the school building was set on shallow footings that didn't reach below frostline, and suggested that it may have moved and creaked with changing weather.
Albertine always though of herself as a Lutheran, but when she settled in Duluth, Minnesota, the nearest church was a Dano-Norwegian Evangelical Methodist Episcopal church, known as Bethany Methodist. Services were held in the Norwegian language, the minister was from north Norway, and since many of Albertine's friends belonged, she too began attending. Her son was enrolled in Sunday School where Bible study was taught in Norwegian, and he stayed on through confirmation and later attended a Methodist college in St. Paul, Hamline University. Albertine belonged to Bethany Methodist for over sixty years but never ceased thinking of herself as Lutheran. The Norwegian synod of Methodism was revivalist, similar in many ways to Laestadianism. Albertine was a devout Christian all her life but never very active in church affairs. Her memorial service was held at Bethany Methodist.
Work: Like most people of her generation Albertine worked exceedingly hard all her life. We have described how at eight years of age she left home and moved to her older brother's house to help with house work and care for children, and she was also put to the task of cooking fodder for the livestock. This was done early in the morning over an open peat fire, and fish heads and sea weed were cooked to feed the cows. At Stokkenes they made their own butter and cheese, carded wool, spun yarn, knitted and sewed garments for themselves. There was no time for idle hands and knitting could be done while in school or tending sheep. There were berries to pick and the juice was bottled for winter consumption. Bird eggs were gathered in springtime, and senna grass was collected, dried and woven into wreaths for boot-stuffing in cold weather. Albertine tended sheep, helped make hay, hauled water from the creek for the house and barn, milked cows, and cleaned the barn. All this was considered to be women's work. She made skaller and kommager for footwear, somewhat similar to moccasins. She took part in fjord fishing, set her own net and realized the profit from fish caught in her net. She helped gather peat for fuel and made candles for house lighting. In the barn they used lamps which burned fish oil or seal oil. She picked archangel angelica, a nutritious wild plant which grew in damp places. They baked their own bread in outside ovens, using wheat traded with the Pomor merchants from Russia. Boats came from Czarist Russia to trade wheat for fish and Albertine remembered the Russian sailors who played their balalaikas and danced in a squatting position. The farm and sea provided all of their needs but had to be harvested by hand labor. Very little was ever purchased from town markets.
At age nineteen, in the year 1905, Albertine left her brother's place and took employment on the mainland at Rotsund, working as a servant girl for the merchant Gamst at an annual salary of twenty-five dollars (one hundred crowns). Servants were employed on an annual basis, earned board and room and were paid once a year in the spring. 1905 was the year when Norway separated from the joint monarchy with Sweden and Haakon VII became King of Norway. Albertine stayed on at Rotsund for two years, returned to Stokkenes in 1907, and again in 1909 took employment on the mainland, at Storneshavn, where she also stayed for two years at an annual salary of one hundred crowns.
In 1910 Albertine moved to Kirkenes in Finnmark, a town on the Varangerfjord facing the Barents Sea and seven miles from Russia. Kirkenes was a port town where an iron industry had recently developed. She became housekeeper for a merchant, enjoyed town life, and remained for two years with a monthly salary of twenty-five crowns plus keep. There was no barn work and the town offered entertainments, a cinema, plays, church, dances and the company of many young people. She worked as housekeeper for the company chemist whose wife was ill, and stayed with them for two years. During this time she struck up an acquaintance with Ivar Johnsen from Porsanger who worked in the ore- processing factory. In 1914 she returned home to Arnøy for a visit, returned to Kirkenes in 1915 and married Ivar Johnsen. The newlyweds rented quarters from the Isaksen-Arneng family. Sofie Arneng was her husband's sister. Albertine, who was expecting a child, made lefse for a woman who ran a coffee shop in town, and in March of 1916 her son Rudolph was born.
One of the visitors to the Arneng home was Hans, a brother to Olaus Arneng. Hans and his wife Laura had emigrated to America and were back home in Norway on a visit. The stories Hans told about America so impressed Ivar that he decided to check things out for himself. Ivar left for the United States in August, 1916, while Albertine and her infant son returned to Arnøy. Albertine took employment as manager of the boarding school ( internat) at Haugnes, and remained through the school year. In September of 1917 she left Norway with her son to join her husband in America. She herself had never caught "America fever" but was willing to travel and wanted to be with her husband who had found Minnesota much to his liking.
From her petition for naturalization made on November 20, 1922 we learn that she sailed from Kristiania (Oslo) on September 5, 1917 and arrived in New York on September 22, 1917 on board a Norwegian ship, the Bergensfjord. Passage over the Atlantic in 1917, while World War I raged on land and sea, was fraught with danger from submarines even though Norway was a neutral country. The Bergensfjord was stopped in mid-Atlantic and searched for contraband by a British naval vessel and was then forced to put into harbor in Halifax for a more thorough inspection by British officials before being given permission to proceed to New York. Albertine related how the sea was rough and made many passengers ill, but that she and her son were sea-strong north Norwegians ( sjøsterke nordlendinger) and never missed a meal. She was processed through Ellis Island and was asked to count backwards from twenty to one, passing the test with flying colors. She also had to convince the authorities that she was not a pauper and proudly showed them a one-hundred dollar bill, US currency, which she had earned herself.
Albertine very much enjoyed the train ride west from New York, with friendly co-passengers, no class distinction, interesting scenery, and she immediately fell in love with America. When the train stopped in a corn field, she went out with other passengers to pick an ear of corn, but she was puzzled that people would eat such food which she though was fit only for farm animals. She arrived in Carlton, Minnesota late at night with no one to meet her, and walked about town and knocked on doors seeking shelter. A German-American who was married to a Swede and could understand some Norwegian put her up for the night. In the morning she contacted Julius Bauman who lived in Carlton and he helped her contact her husband. Bauman, a native of Hammerfest, was a published poet, editor of Nord-Norge and President of Nordlandslaget, the north-Norwegian fraternal lodge. It was he who sold Ivar the ticket for her passage to America. Ivar arranged for her to stay with Hans and Laura Isaksen in nearby Thomson, and set about to purchase a house in Thomson, and the family moved into their first house in America.
Settled in Thomson, the family remained three memorable years and Albertine, now a housewife, tended to the needs of her family and also took in some sewing and tailoring work. She volunteered through the Red Cross to do knitting and bandage wrapping for the soldiers and sailors of the on-going war, and remembered the Armistice when the trains passing through towns were full of flag-waving celebrants of peace, and the Flue Epidemic which followed and took so many lives. She also remembered the Great Cloquet Forest Fire which raged all about Thomson, and her home gave shelter to many of the fire victims.
Ivar was not happy with his job in Thomson and disliked his boss. He decided to sell the house, and the family moved to Duluth where he purchased a new home for his family. Albertine liked very much living in Duluth. West Duluth in 1920 was a working-class, immigrant community, and she met many Scandinavian neighbors, attended the nearby Norwegian Methodist Church, and along with her husband went to a number of Scandinavian lodge meetings where recent immigrants could feel at home. She continued with her sewing and became expert at mending children's clothes. A family of Swedish immigrants whom she had met in Thomson owned and operated the Tremont Hotel and Boarding House on Central Avenue, and from time to time she assisted them with food service.
With the untimely death of her husband in July of 1921 she was left with no insurance, a mortgage, and a dependent child. She was forced to seek employment and to had rent out her home so that she could meet mortgage payments. She took a job with the nearby Klearflax Rug Factory, first in the shipping department, working a nine-hour day for five and one-half days a week at thirty cents per hour. She later became a machine operator at thirty-five cents per hour and loved her job, although she had some negative feelings about wearing the overalls required of machine operators. She didn't think that women should wear pants, but soon became one of the Bloomer Girls and loved the sociability and the many parties with fellow employees. She had no thought of returning to Norway.
Albertine and her son usually lived in a rented room somewhere near the factory and Rudolph recalls how they moved from place to place, usually late at night when no one would see them pulling a wagon with their belongings. It took more than one trip, and the biggest item was the kerosine stove used for cooking food. At age seven Rudolph learned how to light the stove and warm his breakfast coffee since his mother was already at work. She kept the factory job for four years and then quit in a huff over a labor dispute. In the mid-Twenties she took a number of temporary jobs keeping house, usually until the housewife regained her health, and seasonal factory jobs such as sewing buttons by machine at Patrick Mills, etc. In 1927 she moved to Montana where she worked for a Norwegian-American wheat farmer and then for a Danish-American rancher, all at twenty-five dollars per month, plus keep for herself and son. Wages in the Twenties were modest, but there was plenty of work and she was gradually being Americanized.
In 1925 Albertine and a girlfriend travelled by Model-T to Minneapolis to attend the centennial celebration of Norwegian immigration, and to hear President Coolidge and several Norwegian dignitaries commemorate the event. Here she met Sigurd Haugen from Madelia, Minnesota, an immigrant from Tofte in Hurum who owned and operated a small restaurant. They struck up a correspondence and in the late twenties were married. Albertine moved to join him while her son stayed in Duluth to complete the school year and his confirmation. Later he also moved to southern Minnesota. Albertine liked the climate and the people in this small town, but the marriage wasn't all that happy. There were several separations and reunions, and in 1934 Albertine returned to Duluth, this time for good, and filed for divorce.
Albertine had learned something about the restaurant business while living in Madelia and back in Duluth she rented a small cafe on First Street and operated it successfully for a season. She then purchased a house in West Duluth by bid for $500, and had it remodeled so that there would be a rental unit on the first floor, and she moved into the second floor apartment, her new home. She still had rental income from her first home in Duluth, just a block away. She then took employment for a neighborhood family that needed help with four small children while the husband worked, and his wife was a TB patient. This job was day labor, paid only one dollar per day, and her employer was the St. Louis County Welfare Department. She kept this job during four years of the Great Depression, until her arthritis made it too difficult for her to continue working outside the home. She took in sewing, quilt making, etc. and lived in her 63rd Avenue residence until her eighty-second year, and then moved in with her son and family who had returned to Duluth.
Despite her arthritis handicap Albertine never looked at herself as a cripple. She managed to get around quite well, first with one crutch and later with two crutches. In 1951 she took a trip back to Norway along with a lady friend to visit relatives and friends of years gone by. She never regretted leaving Norway where work had kept people poor and downtrodden. She didn't miss the splendid fjord scenery either, "just piles of rock" she called them. Conditions in Norway had improved and the fresh fish and lamb was still the best in the world. Back in Duluth she took many trips to St. Paul where her son and family were living, and long trips about the United States with other senior citizens, to Washington D.C., Florida, Arizona, California, etc. In 1968 when Albertine was eighty-two she moved in with her son where she lived until her ninety-fourth year, when poor health and advancing years called for nursing care. Her last four years were spent in Lake Haven Nursing Home and she died in December of 1984 at ninety-eight years of age.
Albertine was always able to support herself and her son, and even helped put him through college. She was never in need of any public assistance until she had a hip operation and had no medical insurance. When her house was sold she repaid the county $4,762.31 to cover the lien placed on her home to cover the cost of the operation. In 1967 she became eligible for supplemental social security, and started receiving $34 dollars per month which gradually increased to $156.67 per month in 1980. Medicare covered the costs of the nursing home.
Albertine is remembered as a very active person, full of energy and zest for living. She always loved to work and kept herself busy with knitting, embroidery, etc. She took an interest in reading and in watching TV, especially her favorite soap operas. She also enjoyed singing and on occasion playing the harmonica. She had many friends, was occasionally shy at social occasions but loved company and participated in many social events at church and in the ethnic lodges. Her acquaintances included many people outside the Scandinavian community and she had close friends who were Catholic, Jewish, Black, Indian, Slavic, Italian, etc. She took very little interest in politics, never voted, but admired Franklin Roosevelt, and had negative feelings towards radicals who were "anti-God". She said that she never wanted a radio or television, but when these things were added to her household she enjoyed them very much. She was in love with the automobile and regretted that the family never owned one.
Albertine died on December 29, 1984. She was able to enjoy her ninety-eighth birthday on the seventeenth of December and Christmas, with gifts and visits from friends, and passed away in her sleep. She had been a member of the Minnesota Memorial Society and her remains were cremated and interred at the Oneota Cemetery beside the grave of her husband. The memorial service at Bethany Methodist was well attended by family and friends with gifts of flowers from home and abroad. At the funeral service the minister read from a citation she had received from the King of Norway. As World War II drew to a close she had made a number of piece quilts which were raffled off to raise funds for war relief, some raffles run by the Norwegian lodges and some by herself. She raised several hundred dollars to assist people in Norway recover from the war damage. She had also sent many packages of clothing to north Norway, things which she had purchased and things she had collected from neighbors, and they were sent to people who had been evacuated and their homes and possessions destroyed by the Nazis. For this effort she received the citation from King Haakon VII dated September 1, 1946, which read "Norway thanks you for your valuable contribution during the fight for liberation, April 9 - 1940 - May 8, 1945". ( Norge takker for Deres verdifulle innsats under kampen for landets frigjøring 9 april 1940 - 8 mai 1945. Haakon R). Albertine and Ivar had only one child.
Rudolph Johnson 3.7.1916
Solveig Arneng Johnson 11.25.1925
Born in Kirkenes, he moved with his mother back to her family home on Arnøy after his father left for America to check things out before sending for his family. In September of 1917 they joined him in Thomson, Minnesota, and in 1920 they moved to Duluth. Rudolph started school in 1921 on his fifth birthday and five months later he lost his father in a tragic swimming accident. He attended various schools as the family moved about, in Duluth, Minnesota; Westby, Montana; Madelia, Minnesota, and in 1933 he graduated from high school in Barnum, Minnesota where he had been employed on a farm for his room and board. He attended Hamline University, a Methodist denominational college in St. Paul, Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1937. During the depression years he wandered about the country, took jobs in the western harvest fields, worked several seasons in Yellowstone National Park, and in Rochester, New York. He then attended the Duluth Teachers College to obtain teacher certification and was drafted into the United States Army. During World War II he served almost four years in the Army Air Corps as a radar technician, attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, and his overseas service was in India with the Twentieth Air Force, the B-29's, working with airborne navigational radar. After the war, with assistance from the G.I. Bill he attended Columbia University in New York City and earned a Masters Degree (M.A.) in history. In 1947-48 he taught high school in St. Peter, Minnesota, and the following summer he attended the American Summer School at the University of Oslo in Norway, where he met and married Solveig Arneng. They stayed in Norway for the school year 1948-1949 while Rudolph took classes at the University of Oslo and Solveig continued art studies at the national art academy, Statens Kunstakademie, and in June of 1949 they left for America. Back in Duluth Rudolph took employment in a restaurant and in 1950-1951 they moved to Minneapolis where Rudolph took courses at the University of Minnesota in Library Science. He worked for one year as a reference librarian on the Minneapolis Campus of the university, followed by seven years on the St. Paul Campus as acquisitions librarian in the Agriculture Library. In 1959 he was appointed Assistant Professor and Library Director at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus where he worked until retirement in 1981. During his tenure on the Duluth Campus he took part in a Ford Foundation library exchange, 1967, and acted as director of the university library in Concepcion, Chile. He visited Norway in 1973 to see his first grandchild, Ivar, son of Kai and Beverly, who were living in Tromsø where they attended the university. Rudolph visited Norway again in the summer of 1980, and upon retirement in 1981 Rudolph and Solveig spent an entire year in Norway. His descendents are listed on Page ??.
Langfjord is on the island of Arnøy in the Skjervøy parish of North Troms. This section will deal with the ancestors and descendents of Rudolph's maternal grandfather.
This section deals with the ancestors and descendants of Peder Svendsen, father of Albertine. They lived on the island of Arnøy in North Troms on an eight kilometer long fjord known as Langfjord. Arnøy is in the Skjervy parish and lies just above the Seventieth Parallel, as far north as northernmost Alaska. It is an outer island which faces Lopphavet, a rough stretch of the North Atlantic. The island itself has a shoreline of ninety kilometers, about fifty-six miles, and is mountainous with glaciers, several peaks rising a thousand meters above sea level. The family home place was named Stokkenes. There is very little farming at this latitude, mostly sheep and small garden plots, but the sea has cod, herring, salmon, halibut, etc., and most of the people live by fishing. The island is also the summer home of several thousand reindeer that pasture on the heights and belong to two Sami families from Kautokeino.
Bishop Gunnerius wrote in 1770 about the first settlement in North Troms and said that the Sami were the most numerous inhabitants, then the Finns, who intermarried with the Sami, plus some Norwegians and a few Swedes. Archeologists tell us that a Stone-Age people lived in North Troms as far back as four thousand years before Christ, but no Stone Age finds have been made on Arnøy. Around 800 AD a Viking named Ottar visited King Alfred of Britain and gave the first account of the region which came into print. Ottar claimed that he was the Norwegian who lived farthest north, and that the other inhabitants were Sami. The origin of the Sami people is uncertain. Fugelsø in his local history Skjervøy states that the Sami were the first people to inhabit the northern regions of Scandinavia, the area called Lapland. Since they were a so-called pagan people who spoke a strange tongue it was assumed that they came from elsewhere, a fugitive people who wandered into Norway from somewhere in Central Europe or Asia. The Sami people claim that they did not come to Norway but that Norway came to them, the indigenous people. Johan Turi, a Sami author who wrote about Lapland at the turn of the century told his questioner that he knew no stories or legends which suggest that his people originated anywhere outside Lapland. It is probably more correct to look upon the Sami as part of the indigenous population of northern Scandinavia who gradually took on the cultural patterns which are now called Sami.
Heidi Mikkelsen of Tromsø, who is related to us and has also made a study of our ancestry tells us that there is Norwegian, Finnish and Sami in our background. She says that people will often not admit to some Sami ancestry because it hasn't been all that prestigious to be Sami. Albertine always insisted that she was pure Norwegian but Heidi claims that Svend Andersen, grandfather to Albertine, was of certain Sami origin and the 1875 census did identify him with the symbol "ln" meaning that he was a reindeer nomad ( nomadiserende Same).
We are interested in Langfjord on the island of Arnøy, and in the second volume of Skjervøy we learn that in 1723 there were still no Norwegian settlements along the fjord, only annual visits by reindeer Sami, and it seems that some of them eventually took root and established small farms and engaged in fjord fishing. The culture of the Sea Sami has developed somewhat differently than that of the Mountain Sami. Reindeer were hunted until about two hundred years ago when the wild reindeer disappeared and reindeer husbandry started. Sea Sami culture developed parallel to mountain Sami culture. Remains can still be seen on Langfjord of turf huts, early Sami dwellings. Before permanent settlement began there had been occasional visits by whalers, probably from Holland, who came ashore to render their whale oil. Fugelsø tells us that by the middle of the eighteenth century there were six to seven dwellings along the fjord with such place names as Toften, Monssletta and Storstein. Among the early settlers on the fjord were several Andersens, Pedersens and Svendsens, and we have not been sure which of them may have been Albertine's progenitor. A map prepared by J.S. Friis to indicate settlement and language-use in the year 1861 identifies four households on Langfjord. Symbols on the map show that one house was occupied by a Norwegian family where only Norwegian was spoken, a second Norwegian home where at least one family member spoke Sami, a third home with a symbol not identifiable, and a fourth home on a farm called Langfjord where a Sami family lived in a wooden house. The same map shows that at Haugnes, near to where Albertine's mother was born, all the homes were marked as Sami.
Our ancestors who first settled on Arnøy may have been Swedish Sami, and Hermod suggests that they may have come via the Torneå Valley which straddles the present-day boundary of northern Sweden and Finland. There had been traffic and trade up this valley into Norway since the early Middle Ages, and a sizeable folk emigration from northern Sweden and Finland began during the wars fought between Sweden and Russia, and continued when a series of cold years in the north brought on famine conditions. Swedish reindeer Sami had annually visited Arnøy for summer pasture for their reindeer, and as living conditions deteriorated in northern Sweden, and this includes Finland, some of them settled on Langfjord.
Those first settlers picked a very advantageous location along the eight-kilometer fjord called Langfjord. It lies on the inner side of the island, protected from the sea, and the fjord is shallow and was earlier full of fish, ideal for the use of small boats. The other side of the island faces the rough North Atlantic where gales are frequent. This is Lopphavet, a notable fishing bank. The family took land along the middle of the fjord, such places as Langfjord, Stokkenes, Monsletta and Toften. Just across the fjord from Stokkenes lies Akkarvik and the mountain peak called Trolltind, now topped by a radio and TV tower. When you look down toward the mouth of the fjord you can see the famous Lyngen alps and the great Blue Glacier.
There is a family legend as to how Stokkenes, which became the family home, got its name, as told to Hermod by his aunt Selma Høyer. It was Sven Andersen (Svein Anderson) who first picked the spot. He had been living on the western side of Arnøy at Bankekeila and decided to select another location for his home. He made a decision to follow along the shoreline until he came to a place where a timber had drifted ashore, and here he would establish a new home. The place then came to be called Stokkenes, meaning driftwood point. Hermod points out that there was a Viking legend to that effect. It was Ingolf who in 784 AD sailed to Iceland, and according to the Saga he cast the timber from the high seat of honor ( høgsetestolpen) into the sea to see where it would drift ashore, and here he would establish his home. That place was Reykjavik (smoky inlet), and is now the capital city of Iceland.
With help of Hermod Pedersen, who has sent us several census tracts, and from Heidi Mikkelsen, we can now trace our ancestry further back on Langfjord. Before 1800 the census did not report personal names, and the census, taken 1801 when Norway was part of Denmark, lists the following. Heidi Mikkelsen identifies them as "of certain Sami origin" ( av sikker samisk opprinnelse).
Peder Andersen 1726- Langfjord
Maren Larsdatter 1736-
In the census of 1801 Peder and Maren are listed as living on the inner end of the fjord, and they were of advanced age, blind, and in need of charity. Their children include the following:
Elen Pedersdatter. Baptized in Skjervøy in 1750.
Inger Pedersdatter 1752
Anders Pedersen 1763(6) whose account follows.
Maret Pedersdatter 1768. Married to Ole Johannesen of Geitvik.
Anders Pedersen 1763(6) Langfjord
Inger Svendsdatter 1766-1830 Maursund
Heidi Mikkelsen identifies both Anders and Inger as being of Sami ancestry, and also Anders father, Peder, and it follows that their children were also Sami. Anders and Inger appear on the 1801 census when Anders was forty years of age and his wife thirty-five, and they farmed their own land and engaged in fishing. They had two sons, Peder who was five and Svend who was two. This Peder is mentioned in Skjervøy as Peder Andersen Langfjord, married to Hanna Margrete Sørensdatter. We shall continue with their son Svend who married Lovise, the daughter of:
Søren Jensen 1761-
Grete Catrine Henriksen 1763-
Søren was from Årviksand on Arnøy.
Svend Andersen 1799-1874
Lovise Birgitte Sørensdatter 1810
Svend was listed on the 1865 census as being seventy years of age which would place his birth in 1796 although he was listed on the 1801 census as being two years old, born in 1799. He was confirmed in 1817. Svend and Lovise operated three farms under one ownership, nos. 279, 284 and 285. They had seven cows, sixteen sheep, two goats, and they raised about two bushels of potatoes. The census lists four of their children, those who lived at home when the census was taken: Peder, Johan Olai, Severina and Jørgina. Heidi names several others: Regine, Rakel and Inger. The census also names a hired hand, Anders Nils who was then twenty-one and in poor health and his wife Elen Kjerstine Nilsdatter, seventeen, and that they were Norwegian. Heidi tells us that Svend, who was Rudolph's great grandfather, was definitely a Sami. The children of Svend and Lovise:
Inger Catrine Svendsdatter 7.1.1835. Confirmed 1851. Married 9.16.1860 to Simon Albrektsen Bankekeil 1839 - c.1856. After Inger's death Simon married Jensine Cathrine Christiansdatter in 1873.
Regine Dorothea Svendsdatter 1836-1908. A section on Regine follows.
Rakel Svendsdatter 1839-1866(69). A section on Rakel follows.
Peder Andreas Svendsen 1840-1888. A section on Peder follows.
Johan Olai Svendsen 1847. Confirmed in 1861. Remained single and was co-owner, along with his brother Peder, of Stokkenes on Langfjord, property no. 283.
Severine Cesilia Svendsdatter 9.3.1843 - 10.11.1900. Confirmed in 1859. Fugelsø states that both Severine and her mother, Lovise, lived with Peder Svendsen on Langfjord. She lived at Stokkenes all her life. Albertine remembered this aunt who remained single and died in her seventies.
Jørgina Martina Svendsdatter 1848. Confirmed in 1864.
Petronelle Matene 1850-1850
Regine Dorothea Svendsdatter 11.7.1836 - 7.10.1908
Augustinius Hansen Bankekeil 1834-1885
Regine was confirmed in 1852. Regine and Augustinius lived on Langfjord on property numbered 280-281, engaged in fishing and farming, and they had one horse, three cows, two calves and ten sheep. Their twelve children:
Lovise Birgitte 7.6.1860. Confirmed in 1877. Married in 1885 to Johan Nikolai Johansen of Strømfjord and they lived in Geitvik (not to be confused with the Lovise Birgitte mentioned earlier who was married to Svend Andersen). Children:
Jørgen Simon Edvin Johansen 1892. Died as infant.
Teodor 1894. Died as infant.
Augusta Rikarda Lydia Jonette Alfine Johansen 9.14.1899. Married Oskar Johannes Dahl. Augusta lived in her own house in Akkarvik as long as Oskar was alive. After her husband death she moved in with her brother Peder's daughter Lilly. In 1986 Augusta moved to Skjervøy.
Augusta Regine 1895-1897
Oline Tomine 7.1.1861. Died as an infant.
Tomine (Thomine) Kirstine 3.28.1863 - 12.22.1895. Confirmed in 1880. Married in 1885 to Martin Adrian Rok Johansen 1861- of Årviksand.
Inger Semina 3.19.1864. Confirmed in 1880.
Anna Kirstine 4.17.1865
Svendsine Cecilie 6.24.1866. Confirmed in 1883. Married in 1901 to Henrik Martin Karlsen.
Richard (Rikard) Jørgen Martin 11.29.1867 - 4.21.1893. Confirmed in 1884.
Augusta Regine 1870-1870
Peder Andreas 1873-1874
Albertine Julianne 9.28.1874. Confirmed in 1890. Married in 1895 to Isak Mikkelsen, and they lived in Geitvik.
Rakel Svendsdatter 1839-1866(69)
Edvard Pedersen 1830-1902
Rakel was confirmed in 1855, Edvard in 1848. They had three sons, listed below. When Rakel died, Edvard married again in 1868, this time to Johanna Andersdatter from Oksfjordhamn, born in 1837. Her father was Anders Hansen. On the 1875 census Edvard and Johanna were listed as living on Langfjord, property no. 283 and they had one horse, four cows, two calves, 14 sheep and two goats. The three sons of Edvard also lived with them in 1875, plus a hired girl Ingeborg Adamsdatter and her daughter Charlotte, and a hired man Søran Johannessen and his wife Katrine, both from Løksund. This Edvard Pedersen was the son of Peder Andreas Eriksen, who came from Røros. His descendants can claim that their family came from Røros, in South Trøndelag, which lies in south-central Norway. Røros is known not only for its copper mines, but is also the region where the South Sami live. We do not know his ethnic identity but this confirms claims that some of our Langfjord ancestors came from southern Norway. The four children of Edvard and his first wife Rakel:
Peder Andreas Edvartsen 1861. Confirmed 1877.
Rikard Severin Edvartsen 1866. Confirmed 1882. Married to Elise Johannesdatter 1845-. Child:
Lorents (Lornes) Benjamin Edvartsen 1864-1950. Confirmed in 1880, Lornes was a farmer and fisherman and married Karen Hendriksdatter 5.3.1878 - 1947 from Storvik, Nordreisa. They lived in Langfjord until 1930. Nine children:
Ragna Larine Larsen. 1917-1966. Married Maks Bergeton Mikkelsen 1918-1942 who was torpedoed near Gibralter during World War II. Children:
After the war Ragna had a daughter with Arne Mikkelsen:
In the late 1940's Ragna married Peder Amandus Pedersen, grandson of Lovisa Birgitte Svendsdatter and Jonas Johansen. Child:
Nils Georg 1924-1955. Married Borny from Kjøllefjord. Lost at sea. Child:
Laura Karlotte 1919. Married Jenvald Kornelius Johannessen 1916-1972. Lives in Akkarvik. Son:
Rakel Edvarda Berg 3.14.1900 - 1988. Confirmed
in 1914. Married to Alvin Berg 1906-1956.
Laila Kristine Nilsen 1933. Married to Ragnar. Laila has written to us that her mother Rakel was named after her grandmother Rakel Svendsdatter, and that Rakel's mother's sister, Johanna married Ludvig Pedersen.
Laubet Karnot Lorentsen. 8.2.1902 - 1987. Married to Lilly Jonette Pedersen 1920-. They live in Akkarvik. Adopted child:
Lydia Malise Petrea Konst 8.2.1902 - 1988. Married to Jacob Albert Konst 1892-1970. Children:
Rollie Elida Nelly 1906. Married in 1944 to Knut Kristensen of Ringvassøy born in 1944. They live in Dåfjord which is in the Karlsøy parish.
Haldis Aminda Pedersen 11.4.1909. Married Magnus Pedersen 1904-1987. Haldis lived with her aunt Hilda in Steinsvik, Nordreisa from her seventh to her eighteenth year. Hilda was a sister to Karen the wife of Lornes, and they owned a slate quarry in Nordreisa. Haldis had a sharp mind and her teachers recommended that she remain in school, but education in those days, as Hermod tells us, was a privilege for the few, and was not any more evenly divided among the rich and poor than bread itself. Haldis is listed further on with her husband Magnus and their descendants on Page.
Selma Johanne Høyer 8.18.1912. Married in 1939 to Sigvald Johannes Høyer 1911 from Årviksand on Arnøy. Adopted children:
Jenny Lovise 3.19.1917. Married Helge Ingbert Johannessen 1910-1966. Children:
Hanne Berit 1966
Kolbjørn J. T. 1968
Ingeborg Alise 1971
Lars Ketil 1974
Laila Karin 1944. Married Leif Gunnar Lien 1940. Children:
Jorunn Helene 1949. Married Magne Harald Vaseli 1948. Children:
Henrik Adrian Edvardsen/Lorentsen 1919-1981. Married to Torbjørg Edvardsen from Sandneshavn. They live in Akkarvik. Children:
Peder Andreas Svendsen 1840-1888
Mikina Margrete Mekalsdatter 4.15.1849-1876
Petronelle Kristine Mortensdatter 1865-1926 (second wife)
Fugelsø lists Peder and his brother Johan Olai, as co-owners of the Langfjord land, including Toften and Monssletta, property which extends all the way to Storstein, plus plots of land further in the fjord used for hay, timber and peat. Peder appears on the 1875 census as head of household, a fisherman and the property on which they lived, Stokkenes, was numbered 279, 284, 285. Ethnicity is indicated on the census by symbols, and the symbol "ln" after Peder's name identifies himself as a Sami nomad. Hermod Pedersen, who sent us the census reports, find this is odd since settled farmers cannot be nomads and Peder had no reindeer. He tells us that information on census tracts is often misleading, that in 1875 Norway was part of Sweden, there were language difficulties, and that people would report whatever information was most advantageous to them for tax purposes.
Peder's first wife, Mikina came from "Reisen S" (Ansjøn, Nordreisa, on the mainland) and was of mixed ancestry. Mikina's father Mikal Karlsen was listed on the 1865 census as a Kven and her mother Susanne Margrethe Petterdatter Høyer, 1821 as Norwegian, and that Mikina spoke Norwegian. The Kvens were Finnish-speaking immigrants from Kvenland, or northern Sweden, who were often of mixed Sami, Swedish, and Finnish ancestry.
Peder and Mikina had a foster son, Christian Frederik Wegner born in Kvenangen in 1865, plus two sons of their own, Mekal, 1872 and Ludvig, 1875 who are listed as of mixed ethnic ancestry. Peder's brother Johan Olai Svendsen, born in 1845, also lived with them and was listed as a Sami nomad. Peder's mother Lovise Bergitte, then a widow, also lived in the same household, and also his sister Severine. Severine was reported as of Norwegian ancestry and that she did farm chores ( bestyrer i fjøset). On the farm they had one horse, one cow, four calves, six sheep and two goats and they raised four bushels of potatoes. Brother Johan Olai on the same farm had four cows, one calf, ten sheep and one goat.
When Mikina died her infant son Ludvig was adopted by Abraham of Grunnfjord, now called Arnøyhamn, and Ludvig did not return to Langfjord until after his marriage. When Mikina died Mekal stayed on at Stokkenes with his father Peder, and with his aunt and uncle.
Peder remarried, this time to Petronelle from Haugnesodden on Arnøy. Two years later, in 1886, they had a daughter, Albertine. Her half brothers Mekal and Ludvig used the surname Pedersen, sons of Peder, as was the custom, but Albertine followed the new practice and used her father's surname, Svendsen. The Haugnes section deals with Albertine's and Petronelle's line, and below we shall list the children and descendants of Peder and Mikina.
Mekal Severin Johan Pedersen 1872-1954
Elin Kristine Johansen 1873-
Born at Stokkenes on Langfjord. Mekal was still a child when his mother died, and in 1884 his father married again, to Petronelle Mortensen. Two years later, in 1886, his half sister Albertine was born, and in 1888, when he was sixteen his father died. Petronelle and her infant daughter Albertine moved back to Haugnesodden and Mekal stayed on at Stokkenes with his aunt and uncle and carried on with fishing and farming and eventually took over as head of the household.
Mekal married Elin Johansen from Haugnes, also on the island of Arnøy where Langfjord begins. Elin's brother was father to Helmer Lysaker who married Anny (Page ). One of Mekal's sons, Erland, remembers his mother Elin as one who didn't speak Norwegian all that well, said that she was from the north, nordfra, a euphemism meaning someone of Sami ancestry. Elin's grandson Hermod has named his daughter after her and tells us that Elin was a self-taught midwife who was called away to assist with childbirth, often on neighboring islands, and she could be gone for a week or more, with never any thought of pay for her services. Haldis and others have frequently sung her praises for such work done in the 1920's and 30's, and Hermod can remember older women speaking reverently of "the old woman from Stokkenes" who gave so much of herself to others in time of need. The 1900 census reported that Mekal had livestock but no garden, that he raised neither grain nor potatoes, but as seen below, Albertine remembered differently. Mekal and Elin had several children, and as the family grew they found that they needed help, and Albertine, who had been living at Haugnesodden with her mother and grandparents, returned to Stokkenes when she was only eight years old to help her brother with the children and the household chores.
Albertine remembered Mekal as a stern taskmaster, and she worked very hard at Stokkenes. She rose early in the morning to go out to the barn to cook fodder for the livestock. Over an open peat fire she cooked fish heads and fish entrails along with seaweed as winter feed for the animals. She remembered the house as a log structure with three rooms on the first floor and three more rooms on the second. One of the rooms on the first floor was large enough to serve as a schoolroom for the Langfjord children. In the barn they had about five cows, a bull, about twenty sheep and a few chickens. As she got older Albertine was permitted to go fishing in the fjord with Mekal and the fish she caught in her own net became her property for sale. Erland remembers Mekal and Albertine coming home covered with ice from fishing in an open boat in bad weather.
Mekal had several small boats for fishing in the nearby fjord waters where there was lots of fish, several types of cod, halibut, haddock, something called brosme and occasionally herring. They did not need to travel great distances to Lofoten or Finnmark to obtain fish. On occasion they would hunt seal at the end of the fjord. Some of the halibut weighed over 200 pounds. Menfolk would hunt ptarmigan, and would collect bird feathers for down from a nearby island, Fugelsøy, and Albertine would gather bird's eggs along the shore in springtime.
Rudolph remembers Mekal from his 1949 visit, living with his son John and family at Stokkenes, in a temporary barrack since the house had been burned to the ground by the Nazis.
Hermod Pedersen has related a story told to him by his grandfather Mekal, told when Hermod was only five or six years old. Mekal on a dark autumn night had been strolling along Langfjord with his dog when suddenly he noticed that the sea was on fire. It was burning violently in a specific area about 200 meters out from land. Mekal whistled to his dog who ran ahead but the dog had not noticed anything unusual. Then he realized that it was the moon that cast a trollish beam of light ( sitt trolske lys) through an opening in the clouds upon the turbulent sea. Hermod tells us that his grandfather's story gave him a healthy skepticism about things occult. But Rudolph, who visited Arnøy in the winter of 1981, had not heard this story, and he experienced something similar. It was a winter night and he walked along Langfjord to view the Northern Lights when suddenly he also saw that the sea was on fire. Now he was approaching Haugnesodden where the notorious haunted schoolhouse once stood, and as a child he heard many stories from his mother about the sea ghost who had haunted the place and driven the schoolmaster mad. Sea ghosts had once been sailors or fishermen who had lost their lives on the sea and never received a Christian burial. Rudolph was startled to view such a phenomenon but decided to turn back home. After all, people don't believe in such things anymore, and he knew it couldn't happen, but he had to admit to himself that he was both frightened and flabbergasted.
Ragna 1887-1918. Died at 21 from influenza.
Petra Mikalda 1895
Erland Martin Løken Pedersen 1.20.1899 - 1989. Remained single and lived at Stokkenes until 1984 when he moved to a home for the elderly in Skjervøy. The family home in Stokkenes, rebuilt after the war, stood empty but has been purchased by Erling, son of Magnus and Haldis, and is being restored. Erland and his brother Hjalmar both lived most of their lives at Stokkenes with their brother John and his family, and together they engaged in fishing. Erland operated the diesel-driven fishing boat on long trips to Lofoten and Finnmark where the fishing banks lay. Rudolph remembers when John and Erland rowed him over to Akkarfjord to board the fishing boat, a trip which took well over an hour, and they rowed at a fast pace in perfect rhythm never missing a stroke, experts in a lost art. After John's death in 1969 Erland and Hjalmar remained at Stokkenes, and John's wife and children came on summer visits to their old home. The children were all very fond of their uncle Erland. A staunch Laestadian Lutheran, he had a good voice and loved to sing the old hymns at church gatherings.
Hjalmar Jentoft Andreas Pedersen 1900-1976. He remained single and was shy and only modestly intelligent. Lived all his life at Stokkenes. Rudolph remembers him as a berry picker, and he came in with pails full of blueberries and lingonberries. Another major occupation was cutting wood. He is remembered for being kind and for speaking his mind.
John Adrian Sigurd Pedersen 1.1.1902 - 1969. A fisherman who lived at Stokkenes, he married Magna 11.13.1898 from Årviksand, a fishing village across the island and facing the open sea. John died while working on a breakwater construction at Årviksand. He is remembered as a first class fellow, kind and good, " en staut kar, snill og god". Children:
Per Arne 3.13.1952. Married to Vigdis, he is a teacher. Children:
Rolf Einar 12.25.1953. Married to Ronnaug Omdal, he is an engineer in the oil industry. Child:
Marianne 10.11.1957. Married to Jan Midtbø. Children:
Ellen 1.29.1963. A technical drawer.
Svein 11.24.1964. An engineering student.
Bjorg Hendriksen 9.15.1935. Married to Ove 1933 from Haugnes, they live in Skjervøy. Magna now lives with this daughter.
Gudmund 10.13.1939. Married to Eva, they live in Tromsø. Children:
Magnus Peder Nikolai Pedersen 6.3.1904 - 1987. A fisherman and farmer who lived in Langfjord next door to Stokkenes. In 1930 he married Haldis Edvartsen from Langfjord who was mentioned earlier as the daughter of Lornes and Karen Edvartsen. Magnus built a home for himself on Langfjord next to Stokkenes. It was all marshland but he turned the soil over by hand to create a garden. The Nazis burned his home to the ground in 1944 and after the war he erected a temporary barracks on his property. The building blew down late one night during a gale and he had to dig his children out of the timbers. Children:
Erling Pedersen 2.3.1934. Married Herborg from Vannøy and they live in Langfjord next door to Magnus and Haldis. Erling is a fisherman. Children:
Lothar Pedersen 9.17.1937. Married Jenny Wang from Øksfjord. They live in Harstad. The children of Magnus and Haldis visit home almost every summer. We have been told that when Lothar came for his 1988 visit he caught two halibut weighing 18 and 25 kilos, beheaded and dressed. Halibut fishing is not only a great sport, but can be very rewarding. Children:
Hermod Pedersen 4.14.1941. Married to Solaug Solbakken, they live in Harstad. Hermod works in an employment office with job placement and training. His literary and journalistic skills have been very helpful to us with out family history. Daughter:
Bjørnar Pedersen 4.16.1944. Married to Anne Maria Jensen from Denmark. They live in Oslo where Bjørnar works with the postal service and data processing. Children:
Arnfinn Pedersen 7.27.1948. Married to Maud, they live in Langfjord and share the home with Magnus and Haldis. Maud had a son, Stig Atle. Arnfinn is a fisherman, and like his brother Erling owns a modern, fully-equipped fishing boat with all the conveniences. Children:
Ragnhild Fredriksen 7.29.1952. Married Jan and living in Hammerfest, Ragnhild is a nurse. Son:
Astrup Perman Pedersen 1907. A fisherman who happened to be in Lofoten during the war when the British navy came to the Norwegian coast, Astrup along with many others escaped from occupied Norway to England where he joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He worked as an aircraft mechanic during the war in England and returned to Oslo where he learned the upholstery trade. He moved to Trøndelag where he set up an upholstery business and married Kirstin from Inderøy, Nord Trøndelag. They live in Hylla, near Steinkjer. Children:
Steinar. Lives in Trondheim, a factory worker.
Nelly Johanna 3.16.1909 - 4.25.1909
Henrik Nikolai 1911-1919. Died of TB at eight years.
Ludvig Pedersen 6.24.1875 - 1947
Johanna Kristine Hendriksen 7.27.1876 - 1960
Ludvig was born at Stokkenes, and when his mother died he was adopted by Abraham of Grundfjord and did not return to Langfjord until after his marriage to Johanna Henriksen from Storvik in Nordreisa. Johanna was a sister to Karen Marie Henriksen, wife to Lorents Edvardsen, and her parents were Anne Martine Christiansdatter 1852 and Henrik Henriksen 1851. Henrik was from Storvik but his parents came from Finland. Anne Martine was born in Oksfjord but both of her parents came from Arnøy. The census lists both of them as being of mixed ancestry. Ludvig's brother Mekal divided the land (property nos. 49: 1,2, and 3) so that Ludvig could have a share, and Ludvig built a house for himself and his family. The 1900 census lists him as a farmer and fisherman, living with his wife Johanna, a son Henrik Ludvigsen born in 1900, a foster daughter Hilda Henriks born in 1891 of mixed ethnic ancestry, and a servant girl Johanne Johannesdatter, born in 1884 of mixed ancestry. Ludvig lost his life at sea in 1947 during a storm. His son Martin was on the same boat and managed to hang on to the keel, but Ludvig and Roald, a son of Martin's wife Petra, were lost. Johanna died in 1960. Eleven children:
(Henrik) Martin Pedersen 7.11.1900. Now a retired fisherman, he lives in Langfjord with Astrid, his wife's daughter from a previous marriage, and her husband Åsmund. Martin in his late eighties still sets his nets out in the fjord and brings home salmon and cod, but only as a sports fisherman. He married Petra Johansen from Nordreisa who had two children from a previous marriage, Astrid and Roald. As a young man Martin worked as a telegraph linesman in Målselv, along with Carl Christianson from Storstein. This Carl Christianson later emigrated to the US and settled in Duluth, Minnesota and became a close neighbor and friend to Albertine. Martin fished the banks of Lofoten and Finnmark and the fjords around home. Great for fish stories, he recounts the two hundred pound halibut he once pulled in. He was twice shipwrecked. He attends conventions held by the Laestadians, and besides traveling in Norway traveled he took a trip to the US in 1982 to visit his aunt Albertine.
Lydia. Died of TB.
Ragna. Died of TB in infancy.
Johan Ludvig 4.23.1902 - 5.1.1902. Died in infancy.
Emil Marentius 4.21.1905 - 6.14.1905. Died in infancy.
Child, unnamed. Died in infancy.
Petra Mikalda Alberte Hansen 5.8.1903 - 198? married to Hilmar Hansen they lived at Storelv on Laukøy where Hilmer engaged in fishing. In later years they lived on Skjervøy with their son Tormud and spent summers back on Laukøy. Children:
Johannes Hansen. Married to Alma, they live in Skjervøy. Children:
Alvin Hansen. Separated from Torgun, lives in Skjervøy. Children:
Tormud Hansen. Married to Dordi, they live on Skjervøy. Children:
Hildur Nelly Kaspara Brautaset 4.26.1906 Married to Peter who died in 1977. She lives in Bergen.
Laura Josefin 7.11.1908. Died of TB.
Helga Agnethe Hansen 1910-1978. Married to Fridtjof Hansen 1912-1985, a brother of the above mentioned Hilmer Hansen, they lived at Storelv on Laukøy and were also engaged in fishing. Children:
Torbjørn Hansen. Married to Berit, they live in Drammen. Children:
Rolf Kyrre Hansen. Lives in Bergen.
Liv Johansen. Married to Petter 4.20.1939, son of Anny and Helmer Lysaker. Lived in Tromsdalen and recently moved to Vettre in Asker, a suburb of Oslo. Liv is a practical nurse and Petter works in construction. Children:
Solveig Simonsen. Married to Warner, they lived in Nikkeby until recently and have moved south to Asker. Children:
Anny Lysaker 9.17.1913. Married to Helmer Lysaker 12.15.1908 - 1985 from Haugnes on Arnøy. They lived in Akkarvik and used the place name Lysaker as a surname although their children use the name Johansen. Anny lives in Skjervøy and worked at the shrimp packing plant for 30 years. Helmer was a fisherman and purchased his eleventh boat in 1982. Children:
Bente Pedersen 5.11.1958. Married to Morten. Children:
Petter Johansen 4.20.1939. Married to Liv, daughter of Helga and Fridtjof Hansen. Lived in Tromsdalen and recently moved to Vettre in Asker, a suburb of Oslo. Liv is a practical nurse and Petter works in construction. Children:
Anita Wiik 3.30.1964. Pharmacy technician married to Frode Wiik from Rotsund. Daughter:
Ragnar Johansen 3.1.1941. Married to Tordis, they live on Skjervøy. Children:
Helge Johansen 10.17.1943. Single and living in Vågadalen, in Skjervøy.
Gunnhild Berg 11.6.1945. Married to Tor, they live in Oslo. Children:
Tore Johansen 12.31.1948. Married to Diane Moreno, the live in the Bay Area of San Francisco, in Larkspur. Tore obtained his degree in electrical engineering in Oslo in 1972 and then sailed for several years on Norwegian cruise ships as the ships electrician. He has recently completed further training in electronics and has set up his own business, Nordic Electric. Diane has been a legal secretary and is now studying to be a court reporter. Her parents come from Mexico and Columbia.
The fishing stations in North Norway are rapidly being abandoned as the fish population decreases and the cities and towns are now offering more attractive opportunities for employment. This is also happening on Arnøy where the sons and daughters are leaving, some for Skjervøy, now a bustling town, and others to Tromsø, Bergen or Oslo. Many of the houses built during the reconstruction period after the war now stand empty. Several of the children of Magnus and Haldis have moved away, although Åsmund very successfully operates a sheep ranch on the properties which have remained in family hands, and two other sons, Arnfinn and Erling, still live on Langfjord and carry on the family tradition of fishing started by their ancestors in the early 1700's, by Peder and Maren Andersen. Now Erling, son of Magnus and Haldis, and his children engage in fishing and on a recent fishing trip west of Arnøy they caught a halibut which, when headless and gutted, weighed 285 kilograms, or about 627 pounds.
From newspaper stories which have appeared in Nordlys (April 27, 1987) and from a young people's magazine, Det Nye, we have learned about two of them who chose to remain behind, Hugo and Paula, children of Erling, whose choice of fishing as a livelihood is now considered newsworthy even in Norway. The article from Nordlys is about "Hugo from Arnøy who has written a lifetime contract with fishing as a way of life". Born in 1963, this grandson of Magnus and Haldis operates his own fishing boat. His parents advised him against fishing as a career, and his teachers in school encouraged him to continue his education and perhaps become a journalist, but for Hugo there was only fishing and the sea. He told the reporters that he could never think of leaving Arnøy where he could fish in the sea and climb in the mountains and shoot ptarmigan from his kitchen window. "What should I do with school grades", he told his interviewer, "file them in a dresser drawer? Ever since I was a child I have been on the sea, just like several generations of my family before me. I have fishing in my blood." But the fishing life is not for everyone. Of the fifteen boys in his class, only one choose fishing as a career. Hugo, 24, his sister Paula, 21, and his brother Bjørn Erling, 17, operate a 35-foot fishing boat, Havål. Even though Hugo owns the boat, he must make regular payments while the income from fishing can vary greatly. On a good day they can pull in two thousand pounds of cod during an eight hour shift, earning about six or seven hundred dollars per person. Fishing may also be poor and the weather bad but they love the gamble and keep an optimistic outlook.
Hugo now lives at Stokkenes, the place where Albertine was born, and where her brother Mekal had raised his family. When Mekal died three of his sons stayed at Stokkenes, John and his family, Hjalmar and Erland. Erland was the last to survive, and when he reached his nineties he sold the house and moved to a senior residence in Skjervøy. Now Hugo lives in the old family homeplace, the same Stokkenes where a timber once drifted ashore over one hundred and fifty years ago.
Paula took a six-month course at a seaman's school in Tromsø and was one of the few women to work full-time on the larger fishing boats that go far out at sea. The summer of 1988 she married Geir Sørensen from Senja who owns his own fishing boat. Both Paula and Hugo still carry on the family tradition of a life at sea, fishing in the cold stormy waters of the North Atlantic.
Hermod, who sent us clippings about his niece and nephew, is pessimistic about the future of Arnøy. He notes that the young people are leaving and the old people are dying and in a few years there will be no one left. He tells us that Hugo in the year two thousand may indeed be the last inhabitant on Arnøy. He reminds us that only five hundred years will have passed since people first inhabited the island, and that for the mountains that stand by the fjord, in sunshine or in drifting fog, five hundred years is but a short time.
This section deals with the ancestors and descendents of Olaus Arneng, father to Solveig. Olaus was born in Oksfjord, which is located in the Skjervøy parish of North Troms, but his family originated in the Karesuando parish of Norrbotten in northernmost Sweden. This is Swedish Lappland, which borders both Norway and Finland, and where the Torneå Valley begins its gradual descent south to the Baltic.
In the far north of Sweden lies Karesuando, a community of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, making it a large town for Samiland (Lapland). It is located on the Muonio river which marks the boundary with Finland, and just across the river lies Karesuvanto, Finland. Just ten miles east of Karesuando is a small border town called Kuttainen. When the brothers of Isak Carlsen, father to Olaus, came to America, they wrote their birthplace as Kuttainen. Kjell Fjortoft in his book Vi Fikk Vår Frihet, a documentary account of the war in Finnmark in 1944, speaks of Kuttainen (pp. 168-169) as a small Swedish Samiland town where folk earned their livelihood through reindeer husbandry and farming, with about two hundred inhabitants, and it was a market place for the Swedish Sami and a wintering place for reindeer.
The Torneå river and its tributary the Muonio, which now mark the Swedish-Finnish boundary, are not large, and it seems that the same kind of people lived on both sides of the river, mostly Sami, since this was early in the last century. A recent book by Nils Arell, Arbete och Liv i Vittangi-Karesuando Omradet, published by the University of Umeå, Sweden describes the Karesuando region between the years 1750-1950. The first dwellers were reindeer Sami and by the middle of the nineteenth century the reindeer herds had grown large and some of the Sami had discontinued reindeer nomadism and started farming, and a few Swedish and Finnish settlers had also moved in. The whole area lay along a trade route from the Gulf of Bothnia along the Torneå River. There was good lake fishing here during the summer, and fisherman came upriver, but during the winter, reindeer sleds were the only transport, and travel was westward to coastal Norway where there were sea ports, markets and ocean fishing.
Isak, the father of Olaus, was born on his parent's farmstead located about twenty miles southeast of Karesuando and fifteen miles south of Kuttainen, near to Suijavaara and Luongostontori. This was the home of Carl and Anna Grethe Eriksson, parents of Isak, and the farm place name was Marainen. According to Marie Eilertsen, the farm itself was called Velitalo (Velidalo in Swedish) and we have learned that talo in Finnish means "house" and velitalo could mean "the in-between house". There may have been three houses in a row, for example. However, we have learned from Eva and Gunnar Raattama of Kiruna, Sweden that the farm plcae was called Marainen, in Sudjavaara, and that people who live there now are called Maraiset, in the Finnish language. This is probably the origin of the family name Maranen used by the Carlson brothers who emigrated from there to Carlton County, Minnesota. Mildred Juntunen of Esko, Minnesota reports that two of Isak's brothers who came to America used the name Maranen. The children of Carl and Anna Grethe who moved to Norway told that they came from Karesuando, Sweden. Karesuando was well known as a church town where Lars Levi Laestadius had served as pastor, and it is natural that the family should say that they came from the parish known as Karesuando. We are not certain of the ethnic makeup of the ancestors of Olaus. It has been reported that Isak, son of Carl and Anna Grethe, did on occasion wear a Sami kofte, a garment made of reindeer hide, but Marie Eilertsen, daughter of Olaus' uncle Henrik, says that her people were farmers, that they had horses, not reindeer, and that the garment he wore may have been a pesk, a sheepskin cut like a kofte to keep out the winter cold. Arden, on a visit to Kirkenes, spoke to Agnes Laudal, who lived next door to the Arneng family, and asked her about the ethnic identity of Olaus. She reported that Olaus had once stated, "You can call me a Lapp, but I'm a Swedish Lapp". Swedes were well thought of in Kirkenes, an industrial town that attracted people from a wide area, and those from Sweden were considered to be good workers. His family had lived in Sweden and used the Finnish language, but it seems that they didn't refer to themselves as either Swedes, Finns or Sami. We note that Robert Crottet, in his book Lapland (Oslo, Dreyers Forlag, 1968) writes "most of the Swedish Lapps speak Finnish".
It seems that there may be Finnish as well as Sami in our family history. Olaus and Anna Sofie spoke the Finnish language well. Many people in north Norway can speak Finnish and are descended from Finnish-speaking immigrants who came from nearby Sweden and Finland. We should think of this whole region as Samiland, and the national boundaries which now divide the area into the national states of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Soviet Union came rather late in the history of the region. Finland itself did not become an independent nation until 1917 and had previously belonged first to Sweden until 1809 and then to Russia. The people in Samiland were forced to pay tribute, and later taxes to all the states claiming sovereignty over their homeland. At one time they had to pay taxes simultaneously to Sweden, Russia and Norway/Denmark.
The original inhabitants of Samiland were semi-nomadic and lived by fishing, hunting, trapping, and a small amount of reindeer husbandry, but as the fur-bearing animals, wild reindeer and game populations dwindled, they were forced to intensify their herding or settle down as farmers and or fisherfolk. Farming in Samiland was always marginal, at bare subsistence level. Sweden, Finland and Russia attempted to encourage colonization of the area in order to strengthen their territorial claims, offered free land and even exemption from military service to attract settlers.
Beginning in the 1700's colonists started moving up the Torneå Valley and northern Sweden was occupied by eight to ten thousand Finnish-speaking immigrants. The newcomers had a lifestyle similar to the indigenous Sami population, and they could be either Sami, Finn or Swede, or a mixture of these peoples. There followed a series of cold summers and harsh winters which brought about famine conditions, and some of the new settlers moved on into nearby Norway and others emigrated to the US. In Norway these immigrants and their descendents came to be called Kvens ( Kvaener), and many districts in north Norway became largely Finnish-speaking Kven settlements. Some came to escape the famine conditions which prevailed in Sweden and Finland and others fled from the wars being fought in their territory between Sweden and Russia.
We learn something about the ethnic compostion of people in Swedish Lapland during 1861-1870, the famine years, from a table published in a book by Marie Nelson called Bitter Bread, published in Uppsala in 1988. It reports the distribution of language groups in the Karesuando parish, quoted in averages for the decade, as follows: Swedes 18 (1.4%), Finns 343 (25.9%), Sami 965 (72.8%).
A book by Emil Grym, Från Tornedalen til Nordnorge, gives some historical background. As early as the Ninth Century there was a brisk fur trade carried on by a people called Birkarls who obtained furs from the Sami. The Birkarls have been identified as hunters and traders from Pirkkala, Finland who at an early date dominated the region and later became tax collectors for the Swedish crown, collecting mostly dried fish from the coastal population of Norway. The Swedish term Birkarlarna disappeared after 1660 and they were called Torneå borgere or Swedes.
The Birkarls often came in conflict with the Kvens who superceded them in the Torneå Valley. Grym writes that the Kven were a Finnic tribe. The term Kven was used early in Viking times, appears in the Saga literature, and early maps from the Middle Ages denote the area just above the Baltic as Kvenland. Ottar, the Norwegian Viking who lived farthest north, told King Alfred of England, in the 800's AD, about Kvenland or Cwenland (various spellings). Fridtjof Nansen in his history of arctic exploration In Northern Mists, written in 1910, speculates about the origin of the term Kven. He suggests that it may have come from the word for women, Kven in the sense of wife (in English, queen) and that Kvenland was the mythological Land of Women, or the Land of the Amazons. Early geographers tried to guess what lay north of known territory in Europe, and one of them, Adam of Bremen, a noted geographer of the Middle Ages, placed the Land of the Amazons north of the Baltic. It has also been suggested that the term Kven may have come from the name of an ancient Finnic tribe, the Kainu ( Kainulaiset) of north Ostrobothnia.
The ethnic identity of the Kven, people who came from Kvenland, could be a mixture of Swedish, Finnish and Sami. Roger Frison-Roche, a French novelist who has written two novels set in Lapland, mentions in his book The Last Migration (English edition, 1965, Harper & Row, Page 10) the Kvaens, and in a footnote reference identifies them as "Lapps who have settled in the Norway-Finland border country". Emil Hansen, writing in the county history Nordreisa about the Kven who settled in Nordreisa, quotes a Major Schnitler (1743) and a missionary, Anders Olsen, who describe the Kven as Finnish-speaking settlers from Sweden who spoke an East Finnish dialect. Hansen says that in the northernmost part of Swedish Kvenland, the upper one hundred kilometer district which adjoins Norway, the land was largely uncultivated and was occupied by Swedish Sami. This is the Karesuando area, the ancestral homeland of the parents and grandparents of Olaus. However we have no knowledge that Olaus or Anna Sofie were ever called Kvens. It has been suggested that Kven is used as an indication of place of origin rather than an ethnic distinction. Many of the so-called Finnish-speaking immigrants, the Kven, also spoke Sami, a fact which is seldom mentioned in the literature. My impression is that the Kven were mostly Finnocized Sami. When they gave up reindeer husbandry and settled upon the land they had less use for Sami, a language well suited to reindeer breeding and nomadism, and had a need for Finnish, which was taught in the schools in the Torneå Valley. The Kven were a people who spoke several languages, and it has been said of them that they are not like the crows that could only say "caw caw".
Barbro Bernestedt is the genealogist in Karesuando who searched the church records for Carl and Anna Grethe and has added some interesting notes. She tells us that in Carl and Anna Grethe's day most everyone is the area spoke Finnish and that only the pastor and sheriff could speak Swedish. However, the inhabitants of the Karesuando district didn't call themselves Finns since they lived in Sweden, and didn't calls themselves Swedes since they spoke Finnish. They learned Finnish in the schools, but it was often impossible to find a teacher, and many children had to learn to read and write at home from a family member. The schools of that day could hardly use Sami in teaching since there were no learning materials in that language. In this century Sweden established nomad schools where the Sami language was also taught, but these schools closed in the Sixties when local children refused to attend them. These schools have now reopened, and to be Sami now has greater status. In the Sixties and Seventies many people from the North moved south to Kiruna or Stockholm and thought of themselves as ethnic Swedes. It was disadvantageous to identify oneself as Sami from Lappland. Now that the mining activities in Kiruna have diminished, many young people from Karesuando have returned home. Sami identity has become almost fashionable and there are new economic incentives there. Barbro goes on to say that many southern Swedes call all inhabitants of northern Sweden "Lapps", since that region is known as Lappland.
Olaus spoke Finnish so well that he was as a court interpreter in Kirkenes. He also privately acted as an interpreter for Sami and had applied to be court interpreter in that language also. The Sami language has several distinct dialects and Finnish was often used as a common tongue, especially at Laestadian religious services. To the Sami people Finnish is the language of religion, since Laestadius preached in Finnish; Norwegian/Swedish the language of law, since they were subject to these states; and Sami the language of love. When the children of Carl and Anna Grethe moved into Norway they were rapidly assimilated into the Norwegian culture. There would have been little to gain if they acknowledged a minority status of either Finnish or Sami. Today the pluralistic culture of the North is somewhat more respected, and a few of the younger people will admit to some Sami or Finnish ancestry.
We have noted that Rudoph's father and both of Solveig's parents spoke Finnish as well as Norwegian, and even some Sami, but as far as we know they were never referred to as Kvens. Ethnicity is not a matter of blood types or cranial measurements but refers to cultural identity. Both Rudoph and Solveig think of themselves as Norwegian Americans of Sami ancestry, but they also acknowledge some Finnish heritage.
Before proceeding with the children and descendents of Carl and Anna Grethe of Karesuando we shall attempt to trace their ancestry. We do have some information about Carl's parents, lack information about his father's father, but again do have information about his father's grandparents, who also happen to be related to Anna Grethe. You will note variant spellings of names from the past century. Peter Carlson may be spelled Peder Karlsen or even Per Karlsson. There is an anecdote about one of the early relatives. According to Olaus this man distinguished himself in a Swedish war with Russia, perhaps in 1809 or as early as 1735, and received the nickname Skarpsverdet (sharp sword). Swedish officers often couldn't pronounce the names of Finnish or Sami soldiers and gave them nicknames such as Stark, meaning strong, and such names on occasion were adopted as surnames.
We begin this ancestral line with Margareta Clausdotter who was distantly related to both Carl and Anna Grethe.
Margareta Clausdotter 1715-1778
Anders Andersson Cuttainen 1710-1750 (first husband)
Erik Persson Kyrø Ratama 5.13.1723 - 10.29.1778 (second husband)
Margareta was related to Anna Grethe through her first marriage, to Anders, and was also related to Carl Alexander through her second marriage, to Erik. In tracing the ancestors of Carl Alexander Eriksson we start with his maternal grandparents.
Johan Johansson Gardin 1754-1804
Sigrid Henriksdotter 1759-1832
They were from Kengis near Pajala in Swedish Lapland, and their daughter Katarina, was Carl's mother. We proceed with Carl's parents and their children.
Erik Johansson Raattamaa 1.20.1783 - 12.31.1869
Katarina Johansdotter 1783 - 12.18.1836
We do not have the name of Erik's parents but we know that his grandparents were Margareta Clausdotter and Erik Persson Kyrø Ratama, mentioned above. According to Eva Raattamaa in Kiruna, Grandfather Erik came from Ala-Kyrö in Kittilä, Finland. This place, Ala-Kyrö, is now officially called Raattama. Grandfather Erik's ancestors came from Iso-Kyrö, near Vaasa in Finland. Two brothers, Olli and Pekka, escaped from the Russians and became pioneer settlers in "Raattama". Listed below are the children of Erik and Katarina, brothers and sisters to Carl Alexander.
Johan Eriksson Raattamaa 12.23.1806-2.26.1878
Eva Caisa Johansdatter Raattamaa 1814-1858
Erik Eriksson Raattamaa 1.3.1809 - 7.6.1850
Stina Kajsa Persdatter Niva 5.23.1817 - 3.19.1874
Brita Stina Eriksdatter Raattamaa 6.6.1818 - 5.20.1907
Johan Johansson Markskau 1816-1893
Isak Eriksson Raattamaa 12.14.1820 - 12.3.1893
Anna Greta Persdatter Jatko
Isak and Anna Greta were married in 1856 and they settled in Paittasjärvi which is 30 kilometers south of Karesuando near Sujavaara. We have heard from Eva, the granddaughter of Johan Erik, and her husband Gunnar, the grandson of Petter Isaksen, who live in Kiruna, Sweden, and their last name is also Raattama.
Zackarias Eriksson Raattamaa (Marainen) 5.20.1823 - 9.20.1860
The entire family is listed as having moved to Northern Finnmark.
Olof Eriksson Raattamaa 12.3.1825
Anna Greta Henriksdatter 1824
The entire family moved to Norway
Gustaf Elias Eriksson Raattamaa 3.7.1830
Anna Maria M____datter
They were married in 1856 in Kautokeino and moved to Northern Finnmark in 1858.
We note from the church records that one daughter of Erik and Katarina, Greta Sofia, moved to Bålsfjord in Norway and a son, Johan, had a daughter who moved to Nordreisa in Norway in 1882, and then emigrated to Carlton County, Minnesota and died in Moose Lake. Another son, Isak, had two daughters and one son who emigrated to North America. Their son Zacharias moved with his whole family to northern Finnmark in Norway, and their son Olof also moved with his family to Norway. Another son, Gustaf moved with his wife to northern Finnmark in 1856. And Carl remained in Karesuando, but five of his offspring moved to Norway and four emigrated to the US. We can see the push-pull factors of emigration at work here, but when Ivar Johnson, Olaus' brother-in-law, left Norway he abandoned a good job. Ole Rølvaag suggests that adventure, " eventyr", was also a factor in emigration, and Ivar may have left the old country to seek adventure, but he chose to come to Thomson, Minnesota because he had acquaintances there, descendents of Erik and Katarina Raattamaa of Karesuando parish, Sweden.
Barbro, the genealogist from Karesuando who helped us with this history, informed us that her children are descendents of Johannes, through his son Carl, who has other family in Kiruna and Stockholm. She has also forwarded us greetings from a Maja Pesonen, a grandchild of Brita Stina.
On the facing pages are photocopies of church records made by Barbro, and we learn something about the brothers and sisters of Carl Alexander, listed above. Johan and Gustaf Elias are listed on a sheet dealing with Kuttainen and suggests that perhaps they lived there. Carl Alexander is listed under Sudjavaara, and also his sister Brita Stina. This suggests that the family home of Carl and Anna Grethe may have been Sudjavaara, and the farm place itself may have been Velitalo, as suggested by Marie Eilertsen. Olaf is listed under an unclear name that looks like Maraijarvi, under a page headed Marainen. Zacharias also has Marainen written above his name. This may be the source of the Maranen name taken by two of Carl's children, Peder and Frederick, who emigrated to Carlton County, Minnesota and were sometimes called Carlson-Maranen.
We have traced the ancestry of Carl Eriksson back to the 1700's and shall now continue with the ancestors of Anna Grethe, Carl's wife, beginning with her parents Per and Ella, and tracing her father's line backward, and then return to her through her mother's line. Her parents were:
Per Persson Raattamaa 1781-1829
Ella Persdotter Jatko 1787-1865
Anna Grethte's father's parents were:
Per Andersson 1747-1822
Brita Johansdotter 1744-1821
Anne Grethe's father's father's parents were:
Margareta Clausdotter 1715-1778
Anders Andersson Cuttainen 1710-1750 (first husband)
Erik Persson Kyrø (second husband)
We note here that Margareta married twice, and her second husband was Erik Persson Kyrø. You will also find his name on the ancestral chart for Carl, and through Margareta he became the great grandfather of Carl Alexander. We continue with Anne Grethe's mother's line.
Anders A. Cuttainen 1660 - 6.16.1740
Ingrid Pehrsdotter 1661 - 6.16.1740
It is worth noting that there is a column in the church record for cause of death, and even though Anders and Ingrid apparently died on the same day, the cause of death is listed as unknown, " obekant". Their children:
We are descended from Pehr as well as Anders, because Pehr was related to Anna Grethe's grandfather on her mother's side, and Anders was related to Anna Grethe's grandfather on her father's side. Pehr and Anders are listed on a table from a book Jord och Upbörds, which names new settler in Torneå Lappmark who paid taxes to the King of Sweden, "Per Andersson Kuttain of Tulllingsuando and Anders Andersson Kuttain".
Pehr Andersson Cuttainen 1680-1749
Margreta Pahrsdotter 1700 (second wife, no children)
Anna Grethe's mother's father's parents:
Pehr Pehrsson Cuttainen 1700-1765
Anna Olofsdotter 1720
Anna Grethe's mother's parents:
Per Persson Jatko 1754-1838
Sigrid Pehrsdotter Niva 1761-1840
Barbro informs us that nearly everyone who lives in Karesuando is related to the Niva's in Karesuando. The name has evolved to Nilimaa, Tuoremaa, Niila, etc. but is still traced to Niva. The originator took it from his place name. When Olaus Arneng sent his daughter in America a picture of his parents, he wrote their names on the photo as we have listed above. There has been some speculation as to where the name Grape has come from. We learn from a Swedish encyclopedia that Grape is a well known family name in northern Sweden and that it originated in Lübeck, Germany.
Carl Alexander Eriksson 2.13.1814 - 12.4.1868
Anna Grethe Petersdatter 1825-1916
Fugelsøy in his book Skjervøy, the county history, wrote that Isak Carlsen who moved to Norway was the son of "Carl of Karesuando", and that later other members of the family joined him. Family legend has it that when Carl was born, two famous prices were visiting in the region, Prince Karl of Sweden and Prince Alexander of Russia, and that the child was named after these two princes. There was a Prince Karl of Sweden, the Bernadotte who took part in the French Revolution, was made a Prince of Ponte-Corvo by Napoleon, later became Crown Prince of Sweden, and in 1810 ascended the throne as King Karl Johan of Sweden/Norway. There was also a Prince Alexander of Russia who became Czar and Emperor in 1801. The princes did meet three times, once at the Czar's hunting lodge in Över Torneå, a border town a little further south from Carl's birthpalce on the Swedish/Finnish border. It is interesting to note that Olaus was named Olaus Aleksander after his grandfather and that his grandson Arden also has the same middle name, Alexander. Eva Raattamaa tells us that Carl was born in Kuttainen and became a settler in Sudjavaara.
Anna Grethe Petersdatter was born on April 25, 1825 according to the church record, although Nordreisa, the county history, lists her birth as 1824. They were married in 1841. We have learned that this Anna Grethe once worked as a maid at the home of Lars Levi Laestadius when he served as pastor in Karesuando, sometime between the years 1826-1849. According to church records it was in 1841, during her stay with Laestadius, that she married Carl. Family legend has it that it was the wife of Laestadius who assisted her with her trousseau to prepare for her wedding, " pyntet henne til bryllup". Years later when a son was born to Olaus and Sofie in Kirkenes they decided to call him Leif, even though grandfather Isak in Oksfjordhamn very much wanted his grandson to be called Lars Levi after the famous pastor.
Anna Grethe's granddaughter Elida remembers, as a young girl between 10 and 14, rowing over the fjord with her father twice a year to visit her uncle Isak and grandmother Anna Grethe. She recalls Anna Grethe helping her mother set up a wool weave, and that Anna Grethe was good at handiwork, a "clever and good woman". She also says that Anna Grethe was quite attractive, had dark hair with a little red in it.
Their children, all of whom were born on the Marainen farm place in Karesuando parish, follow:
We know that the times were always difficult for people who lived in the far northern regions, and that in the 1860's there were several years of harsh climate followed by a famine in 1867, and that many families were forced to leave their land for non-payment of taxes. Marie Eilertsen tells us that the family in Karesuando had to resort to bark bread made from flour ground from the inner bark of fir trees, mixed with a little wheat or rye, to sustain themselves. The children left home early and Henrik, who was five when his father died, was placed for adoption. Isak moved to Norway and was later joined by other family members. After Carl died 12.4.1868, Anna Grethe moved to Oksfjord in 1874 with her daughters Maria Kristina and Sofie who were approximately ages thirteen and six. She remained with her son Isak in Oksfjordhamn until her 92nd year, and died in 1916. Most of the children of Carl and Anna Grethe left Sweden to escape famine conditions. Peter, Fredrik and Marie emigrated to the United States, and Erik also made a trip to Minnesota but then returned to Norway and settled in Nordreisa. In 1888 the youngest sister Sophia also emigrated to the States. The story continues as each in turn leaves Sweden, and we are surprised to learn that for some the family scene shifted from Karesuando, Sweden to Carlton County, Minnesota.
Marie C. Nelson reported on these events in a 1988 doctoral dissertation from Uppsala titled Bitter Bread: the Famine in Norrbotten in 1867-1868. The prolonged cold spell resulted in crop failures, sale of land, bankruptcies, foreclosures, emigration and even the sale of children. The surrogate foods included lichens, straw mixed with flour, the inner bark of trees, mushrooms, ground pond lilly roots, etc.
The stories of these children of Carl and Anna Grethe follow.
Brita Kajsa Karlsdatter 12.21.1843
Brita was called "Brido" which is the Finnish pronunciation of her name. She was lame in one leg, and as an adult moved to Røyeln in Reisadalen and lived with a Swede named Brändström. It is also known that she once received a dress from her niece Marie who lived in America.
Isak Carlsen Grape Arneng 11.14.1844 - 1926
Oldine Helline Olausdatter Kauren 6.13.1849 - 1921
Isak was born in the Karesuando parish of northern Sweden, the eldest of Carl and Anna Grethe's children, and father to Olaus. As a young man he moved to coastal Norway to escape poverty in northern Sweden where several years of harsh climate brought on famine conditions. He moved to Oksfjordhamn in North Troms, a fishing community in the Skjervøy parish and purchased farm land by the sea, the gård known as Arneng. The country history, Skjervøy, records him as Isak Carlsen, landowner and farmer who also engaged in fishing. We don't know when Isak arrived in Norway. The Swedish church record has them all leaving in 1874, but we know Isak and Oldine's first child was born in 1873 and since they were married in Norway, it was most likely that they left early in the 1870's. Oldine was born in the Helgøy parish of north Norway.
According to Skjervøy, the farm called Arneng had been established in 1723, before there were church records, by someone named probably Aren or Arent since the oldest written form was Arnteng ( eng means field). The ocean was rich with cod, and across the fjord rose several majestic mountain peaks. All the original farm buildings were razed by the Nazis in 1944 and Arneng now stands empty, but several members of the family have adopted Arneng as their surname. Isak's mother Anna Grethe joined him in Arneng in 1874 after the death of Carl in 1868, and brought along her youngest children, Christine and Sofie. Isak's brother Frederick came to Arneng in 1870 and took part in fishing for a few years before emigrating to the US. We know that another brother Henrik also spent some time at Arneng before he purchased his farm in Hamneidet. Anna Grethe is remembered as a strong minded woman who spoke Finnish while her daughter-in-law at Arneng spoke Norwegian. The story is told that Anna Greta loved to have the Bible read to her in Finnish and would ask her grandson, Olaus, to do it since he read Finnish so well. The young Olaus would chose selections from the Song of Solomon, the most erotic passages from the Bible, and this made her furious, but it was Scripture. When her son Isak returned from long fishing trips to Lofoten or Finnmark, Anna Grethe would report all of the children's misdoings so that they might be properly punished.
Elida tells us that Oldine was from Ringvassøy, and that she was Norwegian, or at least spoke Norwegian. She says that Isak and Oldine met at Lauksund, that they were both there in connection with fishing, and that Oldine may have been a cook. Elida tells us that Oldine was a cozy lady. The children of Isak and Oldine were:
Bernhard Isaksen 1873
A fisherman, he is remembered as handsome with jet black hair, and that he was good at singing. Elida tells us that at one time Bernhard was half-engaged to a sister of her husband, Helmer. Helmer was young, however, and when he came across some love letters sent to his sister, he used them as sails on his toy sailboats. She implied that was enough for Bernhard, who remained single. He died of appendicitis while at sea.
Carl Edvard Isaksen 1873
Amanda Birgithe Larsen Dyrnes 1878
Carl was born in Oksfjordhamn on the Arneng farm, and he later dropped the name Arneng. On July 28, 1904 Carl and Amanda were married. Amanda was from Dyrnes in Oksfjordhamn. Carl Edvard was lost at sea when his children were still very young, and we have very little information about him. Amanda moved back to her family in Kjøllefjord after his death. Their Children were:
Their family information follows:
Alfhild Ottelie Isaksen 9.3.1905 - 9.16.1973. Born at Arneng in Oksfjordhamn. Her father was lost at sea when she was still a child and there were few opportunities for fatherless children to get an education early in the century. She began working as a seamstress and at age nineteen her first son Rolf was born. She was engaged to be married, but her fiancee was lost at sea. In 1940 a second son, Lars Kåre was born and his father was also lost at sea. This was all too common a tragedy among fisherfolk in the far north.
Alfhild continued in the dressmaking trade, became skilled as a fashion designer, worked in the construction of women's apparel, and also taught courses in tailoring. In later years she took employment in women's garment factories in Drøbakk and Oslo as an inspector of the finished product. Alfhild was a rather tall woman with black hair and dark complexion who was admired for her forthrightness and independence. An active Laestadian in later years, she was buried in Kjøllefjord beside her mother. Children:
Alf Arne 5.7.1958. Born in Bodø, attended the gymnas in Lørenskog. He began working in an psychiatric clinic for children, took nursing assistant training, and eventually decided to study medicine. He took the necessary courses at the adult gymnas in Oslo and then entered the university medical school in Tromsø. He is a medical doctor in Rjukan. In 1982 he married Kirsten Sannes from Rjukan. Kirsten has completed her Master's Degree ( Lektor Grad). Children:
Nils Petter 9.24.1962. Born in Bodø, has studied to become a power plant electrician. In 1984 he made an extensive trip throughout the US. He is an engineer and lives in Oslo.
Aud Benthe 5.17.1968. Born in Hammerfest, is a student at the Ullevål hospital in Oslo. She has traveled in England, France and Spain and is considering attending engineering school.
Lars Kåre Isaksen 11.22.1940 - 4.21.1971. Married in 2.1964 with Elisabeth Nordli, 5.26.1943. Lars Kåre was educated in the military, and after military academy, Krigsskole, he served with the North Norwegian brigade. He died in an automobile accident at age 31. After his death Elisabeth returned to her childhood home on Snarøya in Bærum near Oslo, and now is employed in SAS Service Partner, Offshore & Catering as a divisional secretary. Remarried to Jan Annerløv. Children of Lars and Elisabeth:
Jon-Terje Nordli Isaksen 9.9.1967. Student at Dønski school in Bærum.
Lene Carine Nordli Isaksen 7.4.1970. Gymnas student at Stabekk school in Bærum.
Gudrunn -1974, married Alf Nilsen, lived in Kjøllefjord. Children:
Marie Josefine Mortensen 1875-1930
Marie is a daughter of Isak and Oldine. Her husband Anders from Oksfjordhamn, a native of Denmark, worked as a carpenter and fisherman. Children:
Arthur Arneng 1902-1959. Married to Christine from Nikkeby. They lived in Skjervøy where Arthur, a fisherman, also served in local government, including the office of Vice Mayor. Christine died in 1983.
Emilie Rataama 4.25.1906 - 9.19.1979. Married Reidar 9.12.1909 - 6.1.1977. Children:
Edvin Rataama 10.3.1934. Married Anna Kjersberg of Lauksund, they reside in Skjervøy.
Aud Amundsen 6.28.1936. Married to Asbjørn resides in Hammerfest. Children:
Åge Rataama 1.26.1938. Lives in Skjervøy.
Leif Rataama 5.3.1939. Lives in Skjervøy.
Almar 8.5.1941 - 1975. Lost at sea on board the MD Berg Istra. Children:
Martha 8.9.1946. Married to Edvard, they reside in Hardanger. Children:
Laura 1.19.1948. Lives in Stokkmarknes. Children:
Håkon Severin Andreasen 1908-1971. Married Aminda from Fikse in Kjøllefjord. Son:
Othelie Arneng Skattør 10.14.1912. Married Ragnvald Skattør, a sailor. Othelie lives in Asker and she also sailed for many years and her ships touched many ports, including the port of Duluth. Children:
Hans 1939. Married to Rita, and is a sailor. They live in Asker. Children:
Ingvald Arneng 1915-1983. Ingvald had a daughter with Marie Eilertsen:
Ingvald married Therese Konst from Akkarvik and they lived in Horten. Ingvald was a sea captain and a fisherman. Children:
Knut Arvid 1962. Attending school in Sweden.
Ingvald was a great story teller. During the war he was skipper of his own boat and would pick up corpses of German soldiers and sailors along the coast of Finnmark. He would often find them washed ashore and would turn them over to the Nazi authorities so that the death could be registered and the body buried. For this he would receive a fee, a modest amount for enlisted men and a great deal more for officers. At times there were many such corpses, and when they found an officer corpse, they would have to hide it so that it wouldn't be stolen by body snatchers.
Nils Arneng 3.8.1915 - 12.4.1973. Twin brother to Ingvald, he married Olga from Hamneidet. Daughter:
He later married Solveig Hansen from Tromsdalen. Children:
Gunne 1.17.1953. Children:
Hans Peder Isaksen 1877-1938
Hans was born in Oksfjordhamn and died in Maursund. In 1904 he married Laura from Hamneidet. Her mother, Dorotea, was from Hammerfest, and her father, Olaus, was from Rotsund. In 1907 they emigrated the United States where Hans had several aunts and uncles who had emigrated earlier to Carlton County, Minnesota. They settled in the town of Thomson. Hans was then thirty and Laura twenty-seven. According to the federal census of 1910 they both spoke English, owned their own home in Thomson, and Hans worked at "odd jobs". Hans reported his father's birthplace as Finland and his mother's birthplace as Norway. Albertine Johnson said that when she came to Thomson in 1917 Hans had a good job with the hydroelectric plant.
Hans and Laura made a visit back to Norway just before the first World War and visited relatives and friends, including Hans' brother Olaus in Kirkenes. At his brother's house he told of the good times in America, how jobs were plentiful and wages high. One of the people who heard these stories was Ivar Johnson, father to Rudolph. Ivar was so impressed that he caught "America fever" and decided to also try his luck in the New World. In 1916 Ivar made the crossing and came to Thomson where Hans and Laura lived, and in the following year his wife and son joined him.
Hans and Laura learned about the West Coast of America, where there was lots of sunshine plus good jobs, and early in the 1920's they moved to Portland, Oregon. Here they found employment, established a home and very much enjoyed the climate, but as Hans got older and developed health problems, he decided that he wanted to spend his final years back in Norway. They built a new retirement house in Maursund by the sea. Hans died in 1938, just before the onset of the second World War. They had arranged that a niece of Laura should inherit the house provided that she would permit Laura to live out her days there. Laura remained in Maursund through the war years until she was evacuated, and the house was burned to the ground by the Nazis. She returned to Maursund after the war, the house was rebuilt and her niece and family continued to live there. When her niece died, the husband remarried. Laura lost the property but continued to live with this new family until advancing years and poor health forced her to enter a nursing home in Skjervøy where she died.
Rudolph visited Laura in Maursund in 1949, ferried there by John and Erland Pedersen, and he wrote several letters for Laura in English to her friends back in Portland. Laura was a Laestadian and enjoyed being back in Norway, but she very much missed the States. It was said that no one knew the art of drinking coffee quite like Laura Isaksen.
Hans is remembered as tall and genial with red hair. Rudolph remembers him from his childhood years in Thomson, called him uncle, but he was actually uncle to Rudolph's future wife, Solveig. In Norway he is remembered for his stories about America. In one such, he was the foreman of a road crew of so many different nationalities that he had to yell "dynamite" in 22 languages, and there would still be a couple of guys not taking cover. Hans kept the name Isaksen although his brother took the name Arneng.
Olaus Aleksander Arneng 3.30.1879 - 5.17.1961
Anna Sofie Johnsen 11.6.1883 - 1.4.1973
Olaus was fifth of the seven children of Isak and Oldine. Both Norwegian and Finnish was spoken in his childhood home since his mother spoke Norwegian and grandmother Anna Grethe spoke only Finnish. As a young man he took employment in Nordreisa, first for the merchant Gjaever in Hamnes and then for the merchant Hansen in Storneshavn. Instead of carrying on the family tradition of farming and fishing, he attended the county school ( amtskole) in Nordreisa where he studied business. He became a traveling salesman and business agent on the wholesale level, and worked for a Johan Isaksen of Kiberg and helped him manage his business.
It was while he was on a business trip to Hammerfest that he met the hotel employee who was to become his wife. When Olaus and Sofie were married in Hammerfest, Olaus was twenty-eight, and Sofie twenty-three. That same year they moved to Kirkenes where iron ore had been discovered and jobs were plentiful.
Kirkenes, a port on the Barents Sea and seven miles from Russia, was a boom town with iron mining and ore processing. Olaus took a job with the company A/S Sydvaranger, first as a laborer and then with the office staff. Low-grade ore was mined in nearby Bjørnevatn and hauled by train to Kirkenes where it was crushed. The iron was magnetically separated, a pioneer taconite process, and then loaded into boats in the harbor. They did not at that time pelletize the ore such as has been done in Minnesota. Olaus worked for the firm for forty-four years until 1951, but he also continued with his sales work and at various times sold pianos, insurance, margarine, etc. He also did bookkeeping for the weekly newspaper Røsten. The family fortunes varied along with the economy and they enjoyed some affluence in the earlier years when the Pomor trade was being carried on with Czarist Russia before the revolution. In the Russian language the pomorets were coastal dwellers, and they carried on a brisk trade with North Norway, exchanging grain and lumber for fish, which carried on until 1917. In 1914 Olaus and Sofie took a trip to Oslo, then called Kristiania, to attend festivities for the Centennial of Norway's Constitution, and then traveled to Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, and returned just before the outbreak of the first World War.
Olaus was also employed as an interpreter for the Finnish language in the courts and he subscribed to some Finnish language professional journals to improve his legal Finnish. He also applied for the job as interpreter for Sami but he did not get the position. Privately he did some translating in Sami, especially when people had to conduct official business by phone.
The 20's and 30's were difficult times in the north of Norway with unemployment, labor unrest, strikes, etc., and the 40's brought war and German occupation, but Olaus and Sofie successfully raised their family in Kirkenes where six children were born to them. The long years of the second World War brought difficult times for the Arneng family in Kirkenes. Several thousand German soldiers turned the town into a military stronghold for a planned attack upon Murmansk, just across the Soviet border, and Kirkenes became a base for the harassment of Allied shipping to the Soviets. The Germans soon outnumbered the Norwegian population ten to one, and there was also an influx of Russian prisoners who were used as slave labor in arctic weather conditions building roads, barracks, and an air field. Kirkenes also became a concentration camp for Norwegian school teachers who refused to collaborate with Nazi curriculum.
German troops took over much of the Arneng home for their own use. One of the first floor rooms was occupied by two junior German officers and another was used as a tailor shop by German enlisted men who "borrowed" Sofie's sewing machine. At times a second floor bedroom was also occupied. There were constant air raids, weather permitting, and Kirkenes suffered over one thousand bombings by Allied aircraft, second only to Malta as the most bombed town in Europe. But Olaus stayed on with A/S Sydvaranger, and his teenage daughter Solveig attended school. The sons had left before the war started and were living in Oslo. After enduring two years of constant air attacks, his daughter Solveig and her mother moved south to where the boys were living. Late in 1943 Olaus joined them in Oslo and the family was reunited. At the end of the war Olaus returned to Kirkenes and took up his former job, and Sofie joined him. The town had been burned to the ground by the retreating Nazis, and they moved into a temporary barrack which had been erected upon their property, and this served as their home until Olaus retired. They decided not to rebuild in Kirkenes and a new home for the family was planned in Oslo. Olaus continued working in Kirkenes well into his seventieth year and moved south only when the new house was completed in Oslo in 1951. He was able to enjoy ten retirement years, with one brief visit back to Kirkenes. In 1957 Olaus and Sofie celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. He died in 1961.
His son Leif recalls receiving a telegram from his father during the occupation: "Have you kneeled before Baal? Greetings, father." He was inquiring if Leif had joined the Nazi's teaching organization, and the negative response was encouraging to the imprisoned teachers in Kirkenes who were isolated and needed encouraging news from the south.
Olaus was also a great story teller. When he was a travelling salesman he often travelled in his own boat in all kinds of weather, and on land he would go by reindeer to visit clients. On one of those occasions when he drove his own animal, the frisky thing turned on him and Olaus had to turn over his sleigh ( pulk) and hide under it. He had to wait until it calmed down before he could proceed on his journey.
Trygve Laudal, a long time friend of Olaus for many years who taught school in Kirkenes, wrote a tribute for him in a Kirkenes newspaper, the Sørvaranger Avis, May 31, 1961, which reads as follows, freely translated:
This short, round, brisk and always active man, who spent his last remaining years in Oslo in a house built by his wife and sons, is at age 82 no longer with us, although he did from time to time long for the far north where he spent his youth and most of his adulthood. It was here in Kirkenes that he established his home known for its cozy atmosphere of warmth, cheerfulness, and open hospitality.
I remember how he, who could at times be a bit short tempered, remained very calm and collected during the frequent air raids of the long war years.
Characteristic of him was a strong interest in knowledge, a love of reading, an involvement in social concerns and a dedication to education. He served for many years on the school board. He and Sofie worked hard to give their children a good education, with considerable success. His political views were always straightforward, a liberal democrat ( Venstre) with his whole heart, as it should be.
He often served the local court as interpreter of Finnish, and was for a while business manager of the newspaper Røsten. While working for A/S Sydvaranger he was also in the wholesale business, and even ran a store of his own. He had worked at the control gate out of A/S Sydvaranger, and after the war he worked in the office, continuing into his seventieth year.
The children and descendents of Olaus are listed below:
Leif Arneng 10.14.1908
Karin Aamodt - 3.25.1989
His first school years were in Kirkenes where he was outstanding in math and science. Along with some schoolmates he studied at home to save a year of school expenses, and in 1924 he entered the second year of gymnas in Tromsø. He passed his exams in 1926 and moved south to Oslo to study for acceptance at the Royal Frederiks University, which later became known as the University of Oslo. He was admitted but found it necessary to work and study alternately to meet school expenses. He taught at Bokfjord school in Jakobsnes in Finnmark and he also took a job in the taconite plant in Kirkenes as a sheet metal worker, among other things. His undergraduate studies were completed in 1933 and he pursued graduate courses in physics, along with teaching stints at a military academy, and in Kongsberg. In 1941 he graduated and was able to teach at the post-secondary level.
Through a personal contact he acquired a job at the Cathedral School, a private school in Oslo. During the military occupation the department of education was Nazified and teachers would replace each other unofficially. He remained there through the teaching year 1946. It was during this time Karin and he were married. She had graduated from Horten Technical School in engineering and was employed by Vulkan, an Oslo engineering firm. Karin was interested in voice and she studied with Bokken Lasson, a cabaret star from Oslo in the Twenties and also a noted teacher. One of her classmates was her cousin Eva Gustafson who went on to perform at La Scala and the Met and to teach voice at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 1947 they moved to Fredrikstad, a culturally rich milieu. Karin became a member of the Cecilia Society which performed major religious choral works such as Bach's Christmas Oratorio. Leif taught mathematics and physics at the gymnas. In 1953 they moved to Horten where they presently reside. Leif taught physics at the Horten Gymnas and retired in 1976. He is an eager pianist. In the summer of 1989 he visited his sister and family in the United States.
Ingrid Arneng 8.12.1948. Born in Fredrikstad, Ingrid became an agricultural agent specializing in animal husbandry. She worked for two years in Telemark at Vinje and then on Frøya, an island in Trøndelag. She and Harald Lund, were married 6.20.80. They now have their own farm named Skjel in Vestre Slidre which is in Valdres. The farm is ecologically run, and they have 5 sheep, around 80 goats, horse, dog and cat. The nuclear accident in Chernobyl in 1986 still influence on their farming. They have to use Berlin blue in the grain feed and salt lick to limit the takeup of radioactive caesium in the animals (sheep and goats). They produce some "geitespekepølse", which is cured sausage from goat meat. In summer they receive guests on their mountain farm. Children:
Kirsten Arneng Holmstedt 6.19.1954. Born in Horten, Kirsten is a special education teacher. She married Viggo Holmstedt who was a classmate at Halden Teacher's College. They both work at Solbo Sentralhjem, a school for developmentally disabled. Kirsten is interested in voice, sings in a choir and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They live in Horten. She is divorced, and is working at the Norskskolen school in Horten. Children:
Odd Arneng 3.22.1913 - 10.2.1969
Odd attended teacher's college in Tromsø and taught at various places in Finnmark before continuing his education at the National Art Academy in Oslo, studying under Reidar Revold. As an artist he did portraits and landscapes, using oils, water colors and graphics. Also an amateur violinist, he played with musical groups. He taught drawing at the technical high school in Oslo and at Grorud Gymnas. His home was a studio at the family home at Nordstrand. He made several trips abroad, including a trip to the US in 1969, and was active in the cultural life of Oslo. He died at age 56 years and is buried in the Nordstrand cemetery.
Rolf Arneng 3.13.1915 - 12.25.91
Helene Petra Hornæs 7.30.1915 - 4.11.96
Rolf was born and raised in Kirkenes, and after Middle School he worked for the town of Kirkenes and later moved to Oslo to study business at the Treider Handelskole, and he became a partner in a company making steel products. While in Oslo he contracted tuberculosis and spent years in a sanatorium. Rolf was primarily responsible for buying the lot, acquiring the then scarce building materials, and supervising construction for the Arneng Oslo home.
In 1945 he and Helene Hornæs of Oslo became engaged. Helene grew up during the Depression and after one year of post-elementary education began working in a clothing factory for two dollars a week. Later she worked as a seamstress doing contract work, but with bad working conditions, she also fell ill with TB and spent time in a sanatorium. Helene then worked as a seamstress in her sister's dress shop, and sewed costumes for one of Norway's national theaters, Oslo Nye Teater.
Rolf worked for nearly thirty years for the Norwegian trade union of woodworkers as an accountant, treasurer, assisted them in the publishing of their journal and arranging annual conventions. Rolf and Helene have also read proof for an Oslo publisher, Tiden Forlag. They purchased the family home on Nordstrand, and have redesigned the second floor as their home. Their primary avocation is travel and they have made numerous trips throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Twice they have visited the United States in 1975 and 1984, Rolf traveling here a third time in 1986.
Rolf and Helene are avid vintners, using the usually abundant cherry crop from their garden. Rolf is a serious student of Hamsun and other Norwegian authors. Helene has been active in a number of community organizations and does volunteer work with the elderly.
Sverre received his primary education in Kirkenes, and after beginning gymnas in Tromsø, he moved to Oslo in 1940 to complete school at Aars and Voss in 1941. He studied at the university in Oslo and supported himself with a number of student jobs including hospital porter, shop assistant, waiter, community education teacher, city hall guide, office clerk, ski instructor, and cocktail pianist. He worked for six months in Paris as a messenger for the Norwegian embassy, and also for a British firm conducting tours of Europe.
Completing his studies, he moved to Sunndalsøra in 1956 and began working as director of community education. In 1958 he was employed by the local junior high school and in March of that year married Ingrid Nerås. Sverre has taught English, French, Geography, Social Studies and from time to time piano. He has chaired the regional community education board and has been school librarian. Ingrid works for Social Services. They have a cabin in Skaret near Oppdal. Sverre retired in 1989 and along with his wife visited his sister and family in the United States. Children:
Trine Arneng 11.9.1965. Completed gymnas and is presently studying marketing in Oslo. Married 1992 to Wegard Kalmo, lives in Drammen. Wegard works as a consultant in an advertising agency. Trine works as a freelance drawer, for newspapers and graphic design companies. Children:
Solveig Johnson 11.25.1925
Rudolph Johnson 3.7.1916
Solveig was born in Kirkenes and lived there during the depression and war years. In Oslo she attended the Foss High School and then enrolled in an underground art school, Bjarne Engebrekk Malerskole, while the war was on. She was admitted to the school of arts and crafts, and later transferred to the national art academy where she studied for three years under Jan Heiberg, a protege of Matisse.
Solveig was an art student at the Academy when she first met Rudolph, who attended the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. They were married in Fredrikstad where Leif was teaching school. After a ski trip to Hadeland they travelled north to Kirkenes to visit Olaus and Sofie. That spring they took a boat to Rotterdam, visited cities and art galleries in Holland and Belgium, and spent ten days in Paris. They sailed on the Queen Elizabeth to New York City and continued honeymooning in New York and Chicago before arriving in Duluth.
Their first child, Arden, was born in Duluth in 1950. The family then moved to Minneapolis where Rudolph enrolled in the University of Minnesota Library School. His first employment as librarian was at the university, and later he transferred to the St. Paul campus where he was acquisitions librarian. They purchased a home at 2340 Gordon Avenue in St. Anthony Park, St. Paul, where Kai was born in 1952 and Iva in 1954. Solvieg, who became known to her friends in America as Sally, continued her art studies taking classes from Yasuo Kunioshi in Duluth, and Walter Quirt at the University of Minnesota. She also exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair.
In 1958 they moved to Duluth where Rudolph worked as Library Director at the Duluth campus of the University. Sally continued painting, exhibiting several times at the Duluth Art Institute and the Superior Public Library. In 1976 she exhibited fifty paintings at the University's Tweed Gallery along with her friend Viola Hart. Sally's most recent exhibit was a one-person show at the Duluth Heritage and Arts Center in 1986.
When Rudolph's mother reached eighty-three, she began staying with him and in 1970 Solveig's mother Sofie also joined them, staying for three years until her death. The home in Duluth was a haven both for the grandmothers and for many of the Flower Children of the 60's. They all shared in the political and social struggles of the day.
When Rudolph retired in 1981 he and Solveig took a year-long trip to Europe and visited Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Yugoslavia as well as Norway. They particularly enjoyed their visit to north Finland and the boat trip to the island of Ukonkivi on Lake Inari under the midnight sun. They say that they felt a spiritual blessing from their native haunts, and were surprised to find so many people who resembled them.
Now in retirement, they take time to paint and contemplate their roots. Children:
Kai Mark Johnson 10.7.1952. Kai was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was baptized at Bethany Methodist church while on a visit with him grandmother, Albertine. His first school years were at the St. Anthony Park School in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1959 the family moved to Duluth where he continued his education, and he graduated from East High School in 1970 when he was seventeen years old. Kai has also visited Norway, first in 1970 when he was twelve years old. Kai was opposed to the war in Vietnam and upon finishing school in 1970 he went to Norway, along with his friend Beverly Welo. Kai and Beverly were married in Oslo in 1971. He worked at various jobs in Oslo including that of welder, courier, and mail carrier with the Norwegian postal service while Beverly worked with the costume department of a theater, Det Norske Teater, where Kai played a non-speaking role in one of the productions. Kai and Bev also played bit parts in an American film Call of the Wild produced in Norway starring Charlton Heston. On a vacation trip north they decided that they would like to live in Finnmark, and Kai took a job with a fish factory in Vadsø, and later became a library assistant in the county library at Seida. On June 18, 1973 their son Ivar was born in Kirkenes, the same town where his grandparents Rudolph and Solveig had been born. Kai and family then moved to Tromsø where Kai attended a teachers college, with plans to teach school in Finnmark. Kai had received conscientious objector status with the American war draft, and the mandatory draft eneded a month before he was to report to Germany for his physical. In 1974 Kai and family returned to the United States where Kai and Beverly were divorced in November of 1975, and Kai retained custody of their son, Ivar.
In 1977 Kai married Kelene Koval of Duluth. She had been previously married to John Sarette and had a daughter, Jonnia, born in 1968. Kai continued his education at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in psychology. He worked for a year as a school counselor assistant at a Duluth high school and then took a job as a chemical dependency counselor for Douglas County in Alexandria, Minnesota, where the family lived for several years. He left county employment and took a job in Alexandria with a private treatment center, Hazelden, which had started in Minneapolis and is now world-wide with its clinics and services. The Hazelden Foundation moved him and his family to Palm Beach Gardens where he works as Out-Patient Supervisor. His wife Kelene is a writer and her daughter Jonnia plans to enter the nursing profession. Ivar was confirmed in 1988 at age fourteen and now attends high school. Kai's religious upbringing was Unitarian and he and his family now belong to the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Florida. Child:
Iva Liv Arneng 10.4.1954. Iva was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved with her family to Duluth in 1959. Her public eduction was in Duluth and she completed high school in two years and graduated in 1972. She attended college at the University of Minnesota, Duluth for three years and then transferred to the Minneapolis Campus but did not quite complete her degree requirements after her marriage and pregnancy. Iva first visited Norway in 1964 when she was ten years old, and again in 1970, this time by herself. In 1967 she toured Yellowstone Park with her mother and brother, also Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco. Her third trip to Norway was in 1973. Her first job was with the Community Theater in Duluth, and various plays were presented in park and playgrounds for young audiences. She has also done waitressing, worked as a salad chef and as a bakery sales clerk. In 1976 she joined a Christian organization called the Christian Fellowship Workers and lived and worked for a while at the Solid Rock Mission in Superior, Wisconsin. While a student at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where she was working towards a degree in Black Studies, she met Lynn Savage. They were married in Duluth on December 15, 1979. Lynn was from Benton Harbor, Michigan. He is employed as an electronics engineer and designs control circuits on a computer and installs them at various locations in the United States. Iva and Lynn live in St. Louis Park, a suburb of
Minneapolis and continue to be actively involved with their Christian faith. Children:
August Isaksen 4.15.1884 - 11.10.1961
August was a fisherman and farmer, remained in Okfjordhamn and married Indiana from Lyngen who was his housekeeper. He was a Laestadian, took part in meetings and occasionally acted as a lay preacher. He took care of his father in his last years. Daughter:
Helga Knutson -1984. Lived in Strømfjordness in Nordreisa. Son:
Anna Sofie Olsen 3.22.1890 - 11.26.1963
Johan Ingvald Olsen 1889-1960
Johan was from Oksfjordhamn and was well known as a healer. People would come to him when they had pains, tooth aches, and blood poisoning. He was also able to stop blood from flowing. Other stories celebrate his psychic powers. Children:
Their families follow:
Ågot Nordmo 3.28.1914. Son:
Ågot is married to Trygve Nordmo. Trygve is a dairy farmer in Rundhage, Målselv and he died in 1989. Children:
Helge, married to Anne Lise. Son:
Åge, living with his parents in Rundhagen.
Johannes Olsen 3.26.1917 - 197?
Hartvik Olsen 1919. Married to Marie, they live in Tromsø where he works as a building contractor. Children:
Lillian, living in Tromsø.
Andreas Olsen 1919. Married to Randi, a sister to Marie, wife of Hartvik. They live in Oksfjordhamn. Children:
Ole Olsen 1926-1978. Married to Kaia from Laksefjord and they lived in Horten. Children:
Gunn-Lise, married to Steinar Bardset. Children:
Ivar Olsen 4.19.1926 - 1987. Twin brother to Ole, married to Hansine Johnsen from Oksfjord. Their home is in Oksfjordhamn. Children:
Carl Bergetson Olsen 1928-1960
Øivind Nikolai Olsen 1931-1975. Married to Asbjørg from Nordreisa, and she lives in Oksfjordhamn. Twin children.
This is the last of Isak and Oldine's descendant's. We now continue with the other children of Carl and Anna Grethe.
Erik Karlsen 1.22.1849
Britha Salamonsdatter Rautila 1853
Erik's birth was reported on the Karesuando church record as being January 22, 1849 although in Nordreisa, the county history, it stated that he was born in Kuttainen, Finland in 1850. Erik married Britha Salamonsdatter Rautila and they made their first home in Tommernes, in the Nordreisa district of Norway. According to Hansen in Nordreisa they found conditions there less than satisfactory, and in 1884 they took a trip to the United States where some of Erik's brothers had settled, and after a stay of two years they returned to the Nordreisa district of Norway. They may have intended only a short visit, like other so-called immigrants, who sought only temporary employment to pick up some cash and then return to Norway. Nordreisa describes the poverty which the family had faced in Sweden, that Erik was both talented and energetic, used his eyes to good advantage during his stay in Minnesota and later put his observations to good use when he returned home.
Upon his return in 1886 he purchased land in Bakkeby which Marie Eilertsen describes as a large property. Although it lay by the sea, he was not interested in fishing as a livelihood. He developed his land for farming, engaged in lumbering, started a slate quarry, and prospered. He served his community in a number of ways, including local government. Erik regretted that he had so little formal education and saw to it that his children took full advantage of schools offered, even though they had to walk long distances in all kinds of weather to obtain the twelve weeks of school offered each year. Erik and Britha had the following children:
Karl Eriksen, married to Ilise Abrahamsdatter, no children. Records show that Karl and his wife moved to America, but it seems that they returned to Norway and settled in Bakkeby. Ilise wrote several letters from Bakkeby to her aunt Sophia who in her advanced years had moved to Kettle River to live with her sister Maria and husband Lars Johnson. The letters were given to us by Elma DeLacey of Cloquet, Maria's granddaughter, and Sophia was her great aunt. In her letters Ilise also mentions Laura Isaksen and other common acquantances from Minnesota and Norway.
Anny Mary Eriksen 1884, emigrated to North Dakota in 1902, married a Dane in the hotel business. Died young.
Peder Eriksen 1889, married Helga Bjørnstad from Målselv. Peder worked as a hotel employee, first in Tromsø during the years 1909-1912, then in Hammerfest in 1913-1916, and in 1920 he opened his own hotel in Sørkjosen, which grew and prospered. He also became involved in banking, served on the school board and with city government and became Vice Mayor. He was Liberal Party ( Venstre) in politics, and he collected books: technical and business and a number of literary classics. Children:
Britha Jensberg 1918, married to Ole Jensberg who operated the hotel in Sørkjosen for many years, but which has now been sold and is no longer in family hands. Children:
Olav Eriksen 1922-43, a promising accordion player who was killed in an auto accident with a German Nazi vehicle.
Åge Eriksen 1893, married to Karoline Aslaksdatter. Age worked for a while in the iron mines near Kirkenes. Children:
Ida Emilie Eriksdatter 1896
Peter Carlson 8.4.1854
Listed in the Karesuando church records as Per Karlsen, he reported his birthplace to the US Census of 1910 as Sweden/Finland. Since he was born in Sweden and spoke Finnish, he may have wanted to distinguish himself from Finland which was then a Grand Duchy of Russia. In the 1905 Minnesota census his wife spelled her name Kristiina and also reported her birthplace as Sweden/Finland. A year after their first son was born they emigrated to the US when Peter was 32 and his wife 36. They farmed their own land in Thomson township of Carlton County, Minnesota and Peter became a naturalized citizen. In Juhannusjuhla, a short history of Esko, Minnesota published in 1966, Peter and his brother Frederick are listed as pioneers, and the surname Maranen appeared in parentheses, which we understand is a place-name from the region of their birth. Children:
John Even Carlson 1881, born in Nordreisa and his birth was reported on the census as Norway/Finland.
Luvi Carlson 1883, born in Minnesota. His name was spelled Levi on the 1895 Minnesota census. Married Anna Pekala who had two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage.
Alfred Carlson 1887, born in Minnesota.
In 1950 Solveig and Rudolph visited Thomson to see if they could locate any of the relatives of Solveig's father who had emigrated to the United States. They knew that Olaus had an aunt Sofie who had lived in the village of Thomson, and hoped to find someone who had known her. They heard about John and Luvi Carlson, two brothers who farmed near Esko and paid them a visit. The Carlson brothers were then in their late Sixties, retired and living on their modest farm. Luvi was married, with no children, and they met his wife who spoke only Finnish.
They didn't seen to know much about the older generation and said that most of their relatives had moved west to the Red River Valley and that they had lost contact with them.
They did tell about a young Carlson couple who owned a hotel in Carlton. She was Alice Solberg, born Carlson, daughter of Frederick and Mary, who appear in the next chapter. In this 1950 visit they did not learn how this Solberg couple may have been related to Solveig. When Solveig wrote to her father in Norway about this visit he wrote back that he remembered that John Carlson was born in Nordreisa and moved to Arneng in Oksfjordhamn when he was only one year old. He remembered that he had cried bitterly when John at five years of age was about to leave Norway.
Frederick Carlson 11.28.1856
Frederick reported his birthplace, and that of his parents, as Sweden/Finland
on the 1910 census. He is mentioned in Skjervøy as being
born in Karesuando and moving in 1870 to Oksfjordhamn in Norway where his
brother had settled at Arneng, and that he hired out on fishing boats,
" løskar og fisker". In 1882 at age 26 he emigrated, along
with his brother Peter, to the US. At age 29 he married Mary, who was 35.
Mary had emigrated from Finland in 1883 and spoke only Finnish. Frederick
and Mary farmed their own land in Harney, Minnesota and Frederick became
a naturalized citizen. He, like his brother, used the surname Maranen.
Their children's names on the census show Americanization:
|Ida, 12||Ida J., 17|
|Fanny, 10||Fanny E., 15||Fanny, 20|
|Ollina, 8||Alice E., 10||Alice, 18|
|Robert, 5||Robert E., 10||Robert, 15|
|Ester, 2||Ester, 7||Esther, 12|
Their children's families are listed below:
Mary Carlson McLeod. Daughter to Mary by an earlier marriage. Married Kenneth Mcleod. Children:
Sigurd Carlson. An adopted son.
Ida Carlson Kurrle 1889. Married Albert Kurrle. Son:
Fannie Emilia (Carlson) Sunnarborg 2.24.1890 - 12.22.1973. Married to John Erick Sunnarborg 9.5.1889 - 11.29.1959.
Fred William Sunnarborg 8.6.1913 - 7.3.1979. Married Ailie Heine. Children:
John Robert Sunnarborg 8.31.1915 - 1957(42). Married Esther Arriakkainen - 1958. Children:
Martin Edward Sunnarborg 3.7.1917 - 1967. Remained single.
Mildred Genevieve Juntunen. 2.13.1920. Married Raymond Juntunen 9.19.1940. Live in Esko, Minnesota. Children:
Gladys Esther Viola Hendrickson. 6.13.1922. Married Leo Hendrickson. Live in Esko. Children:
Alice Dagmar Michaelson. 6.25.1924. Married Richard Michaelson. Live in Esko, Minnesota. Children:
Lloyd Wilfred Sunnarborg 7.30.1926. Married Lorraine Merfeld. Lives in Esko, Minnesota and Apache Junction, Arizona. Children:
Lorraine Hilda McKibbon. 9.27.1930. Married Ernest McKibbon. Live in Esko. Children:
Kenneth Russell Sunnarborg 9.3.1932. Married Claudia Sink. Live in Esko. Children:
Doris Pearl Santerre 7.22.1928 - 9.1.1958. Married George Santerre 7.2.1928 - 9.1.1958. Both died of drowning. Children:
Betsy Elvera Mills. 10.29.1935. Married Ocie C. Mills. Alborn, Minnesota and Pensacola, Florida. Children:
Alice Carlson Solberg 1902. Married Ole Solberg. Daughter:
Robert Carlson 1905-1985. Married Esther Olson. Children:
Ester Carlson Nelson 1908. Married Emil Nelson. No children, both deceased.
Maria Kristina Johnson 3.25.1860 - 4.6.1944
Lars Johnson (Wara) 3.30.1856 - 10.10.1940
Maria, listed as Mary in the 1905 Minnesota census and as Maria in the 1910 census, was known as Marja and was born in the Karesuando parish of northern Sweden. Her parents were listed in the 1905 census as born in Sweden and in 1910 as born in Sweden/Finland. Lars was born in Pajala, Sweden, and we know that according to his grandson Walter Johnson, he spoke at least some Sami and Norwegian besides Finnish. It seems Lars and Maria emigrated to Norway, possibly Nordreisa, since their uncle Johan had a daughter Eva Stiine 1851-1932 who moved to Nordreisa in 1882 and died in Moose Lake, Minnesota. According to her obituary, as reported by her granddaughter, Maria and Lars emigrated to the US in 1889 and lived in Thomson for two years before settling on their homestead in Kalevala township of Carlton County in 1891. Marie Sofie Eilertsen tells us that she was named after these two aunts who emigrated to the US, Maria and Sofie. She also told us that she received a letter from her aunt Sofie from Thomson dated August 11, 1933 written in very poor Norwegian (Page ). It relates a visit she had from her sister Maria and Maria's son and daughter-in-law, all visiting from "takuta." Mrs. Harold (Elma) DeLacey of Cloquet, Minnesota, Maria's granddaughter, tells us that the son was Henry, and that he returned to Carlton County from South Dakota shortly thereafter.
Elma also believes that Eva Stiina was the person they called Tiina who her parents would visit, a relative of her grandmothers (cousin) and who would come in a model T coupe with her husband Carl Peterson, or Töyran Kalle. She recalls Tiina dressing like her grandmother, in a gathered ankle length skirt and blouse. Besides raising her own twelve children, Elma tells us her grandmother Maria also raised three of her grandchildren, Martha Barney and Irene and Lillie Palola who had lost their mothers as babes. She reports also that both Sophia and Maria spent their final days at her parent's home, there being no nursing homes in those days. The following is taken from a genealogy written by Elma:
Maria Kristina Carlson-Maranen was born in Kaaresuanto, Sweden, March 25th, 1860. She later moved to live in Norway and was married there at Kiruna, Sept. 20, 1885 to Lars Johnson (Vaara). Mr. Johnson had moved to Norway from Pajala, Sweden, where he was born. They came to America in 1889, and lived in the town of Thomson in Carlton Co. two years, and moved to live on their homestead in the northern part of Kalevala township in 1891 and lived in this community to the time of their death. Mr Johnson died on Oct. 10, 1940.
Burial from the Eagle Apostolic Lutheran Church was on April 12th, with Reverend Rudolph North officiating. Children who survive are four sons, three daughters (and the article lists them) and 24 grandchildren. Son Frank came from Brush Prairie to attend the funeral.
Mrs. Johnson and her husband were charter members of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of north Kalevala and Eagle townships and were respected pioneer citizens of this community.
Sophia Barney 9.20.1886 - 4.15.1910. Born in Norway and emigrated with her parents at age three. Married Henry Barney. Child:
Anna Johnson 12.15.1888 - 10.15.1905. Born in Norway.
Minda (Hanna) Salo 9.19.1890 - 8.31.1930. Listed in the 1905 census as Hanna M. Johnson, sixteen years old and born in Norway although the 1910 census lists her as Minda J. nineteen years old and born in Minnesota. Married Emil Salo 1893-1956. Children:
Tauno Salo. Married Helen Weber. Children:
Mary Rebekah Palola 6.3.1892 - 10.16.1926. Born in Minnesota. The 1910 census lists her as being 17 and working as a servant for a family. Married Charles Palola 11.5.1884 - 1.22.1939, born in Kalvia Finland. Children:
Irene Juola. Married Eino Juola. Children:
Carl Palola. Married Ellen Hepola. Children:
Lillie Laine. Married Emil Laine. Children:
Nancy Johnson. Married Kenneth Johnson. Children:
Rachel Johnson 5.14.1894 - 1920(21). Married Emil Salo who later married her sister Minda.
Henry Johansen 1895. Married Jemina (Minnie) Koistinen, they lived for a time in South Dakota, returning to Carlton County sometime in the 1930's. Children:
Mary Dee Esther (Johansen) Rettig. Married Harold Rettig. Children:
Carl J. Johnson 1897. Listed in the 1905 census as John, age seven, and in the 1910 census as Charley J., age 12. Married Aina Jokimaki. Children:
Harold Johnson. Married Phyllis Korhonen. Child:
Howard Johnson 1924-1945. Was killed in action in Okinawa in WWII.
Walter Johnson. Married Joyce Layon. Children:
Esther Wait. Married Murnice Wait. Children:
Mae Switzer 3.29.1934 - 2.18.1976. Married Harlan Switzer. Children:
Paul Johnson. Married and divorced from Caroline Korpela. Remarried to Debbie Peterson Johnson in 1987. Children with Caroline:
Ray Johnson. Married Sharon Johnson. Children:
Josephine Lindquist 1899-1988. Married Aaro Lindquist, deceased 1957. Children:
Ernest Lindquist. Married Adele Tahti. Children:
Isaac 3.24.1900 - 10.31.1900
Fred Albert Johnson 5.10.1902 - 12.8.1902. Listed in the 1910 census as Frederick, age seven. Twin.
Marta Erickson. 5.10.1902 - 12.17.1988. Married Walter Erickson 5.10.1901 - 12.11.1968. Children:
Leonard Erickson. Married Claudia Hammitt. Children:
Frank Johnson 10.22.1903 - 3.21.1968. Listed as Frans Oskar in the 1910 census. Married Ina Heiskari (deceased 12.23.1973). Children:
Shirley Odom. Married Roger Odom. Children:
Robert Johnson. Married Dawn. Children:
Henrik Karlsen 3.20.1866 - 4.12.1932
Anne Martine Eliasdatter Ansjøn 9.5.1874 - 3.30.1958
Henrik ? was only five years old when his father died, and he was placed for adoption in Vittangi, Sweden approximately 40 miles south of Karesuando. He lived in Vittangi, moving around as needed by various farmers, until confirmation, and in 1880 moved to Jukkasjärvi. Even though he only had a few weeks in school he was good at reading and figures. At age 18 while taking care of some farm animals, a fire started in the barn. He dared not return home and fled with some Sami to Skibotn, Norway wearing mismatched shoes, a winter shoe with reindeer fur and a summer shoe of hide. He cut wood for the merchant Robertson in Skibotn until he learned the whereabouts of his family. Early in the 1890's he bought some land in Hamneidet on the Norwegian mainland in the parish of Skjervøy. It was a big farm in Eidet Indre and was called Gjøvaren after a nearby mountain peak of that name. Marie said that her father Henrik purchased their farm at auction for 1200 crowns.
Marie also relates an incident which tells us which languages were spoken at Oksfjord. It seems Sami was also spoken, as well as Finnish and Norwegian. Once two girls were talking confidentially about Henrik, not realising that he was within earshot and could understand the Sami language, said in Sami that he was very handsome and they would like him for a lover. Her father spoke mostly Finnish when he came to Oksfjord and he did learn to speak Norwegian, but never very fluently.
When his two brothers and one sister emigrated to America Henrik was invited to join them but he refused, telling them that there was only lumberjack work in Minnesota and that he had enough of that work in Sweden. He wanted to be a farmer/fisherman. Henrik farmed and fished, and also worked for a while in the iron mines of Bjørnevatn in the Twenties, staying with the Arneng family.
His wife Anne-Martine was the eldest of eight children to Ane Grete and Eljas Mikkelsen, Ansjøn, Nordreisa. Marie tells us that her father had coal black hair, blue eyes and a reddish-brown beard. Solveig's brother Odd made a pencil sketch of him during an Easter visit when Odd was a student in Tromsø, and Solveig used the sketch to make an oil portrait. Marie relates that her father was never registered as a citizen of Norway and that he joshingly told the sheriff that he was born in Sweden at a time when Sweden and Norway were one nation, and didn't need to register. Henrik's daughter Elida remembers her father as very capable and independent. He built his own baking oven and successfully grew grain for fodder as well as potatoes, both difficult and unusual crops at that time for the climate. Henrik had a son with a women named Maren:
Henrik Marinius Noreng 1895 - 12.31.1968. Born in Oksfjordhamn, in 1940 he came to Kvenangen a widower, and married Nanna Nilsen from Sørstraumen. They lived at Naviteidet, Kvenangen, had their farm and did fishing, and he also worked on Svalbard. After the evacuation they returned and rebuilt, and continued farming and harvested timber off their land. Henrik also built a campground for tourists on his land. Elida, his half sister, remembers him as very like her father and a very good-humored man. Children with his first wife:
Henrik Karlsen and Anne Ansjøn from Nordreisa had the following children:
Elida Margrethe Johannessen 11.15.1900. Married 7.21.192 to Helmer Even Bernhard Johannessen 7.4.1888 - 8.20.1962. They moved to Helmer's home place since his parents were deceased. Helmer fished during the winter, and had a farm with timberland. During the Thirties he became partner and eventual owner of a boat, MK Rolf of Skjervøy. Children:
Elida and Helmer also had two stepsons:
Olaf Benjaminsen Pramli. From Skjervøy, he was approximately 16 when he arrived, one of six children. He stayed with his step family 18 years. Married and has a home in Hamneidet. He has been a fisherman and is presently a lighthouse keeper in Vardø, Finnmark. Five children.
Astrid Karlsen 3.18.1927. Married 1946 to Ingval Karlsen 5.7.1920, from Skjervøy. Ingval worked in a shop in his youth, and has been a cook on several boats. He was custodian at the Skjervøy primary school for 24 years, and more recently at the Skjervøy nursing facility. He retired early in 1985 and is presently building a cabin at Gjøvaren. Astrid has worked at the Skjervøy Hotel, Kåre Renø's shrimp factory, in the nursing facility's kitchen, and as substitute home economics teacher at the Skjervøy secondary school. Children:
Elna Irene Evensen 10.16.1953. Married Torleif Evensen 12.8.1948 from Lillesand in southern Norway. She is a seamstress and he is mason and cement contractor. Elna works with children, teaching arts and crafts as leader of the housewife association. They live in Lillesand, near Kristiansand. Children:
Karl Helmer 1.7.1963. Teaches driving in Oslo and rides a motorcycle.
Georg Johannessen 10.16.1931, married to Kristine Wilhelmine Johansen 8.21.1932 from Skjervøy. Kristine has worked as a substitute homemaker for the city of Skjervøy, and in the shrimp factory and presently works in the kitchen of the nursing facility. Georg worked on his father's boat and took it over when his father retired. A shrimp fisherman, he also owned the boat Bremsnes. He sold his boat, and as a teacher helped develop the shrimp fishing industry in Angola and Canada. Presently a lighthouse keeper at Torbjørnskjaer in southern Norway. They have built a home on Skjervøy and have taken over Georg's childhood home in Gjøvaren as a cabin. Children:
Elisabeth 4.11.1957. Married Hermod Gustavsen, 5.2.1952, from Oslo. He works as a machinist in a factory and she is a factory seamstress. They own a house in Lillesand and Elisabeth plans a furniture restoration business on their basement level. Children:
Solveig 9.30.1960. Lives with Charles Fondevik from Skjervøy. Charles works as an auto mechanic and Solveig works in a restaurant and has studied to be a hairstylist. They have built their own home in Lillesand.
Hans Jacob 10.8.1965. He has studied mechanics and mechanical engineering at the Skjervøy secondary school for three years and acquired his license. Having spent a year in the military and a year working in his field he now studies at the Institute of Technology in Stockholm. A member of the Skjervøy diving club, he is an active diver.
Ellen Tretten 9.12.1941. Born at Hamneidet. Married 7.31.1965 to Alfred Johan Tretten 11.6.1941, also from Hamneidet. They have lived in Skjervøy since their marriage. Alfred is a machine fitter and has worked in the merchant marine and on the fishing fleet since he was 15. He now is a fitter on the MF Kvaløy which sails between Flåten and Hamneidet. Ellen has one year at a folkhighshool and a year studying tailoring. She worked in a clothing studio in Tromsø for a year and besides working in the shrimp industry, she has been a substitute teacher in the Skjervøy elementary and middle school. For the last eight years she has been activity director at the Skjervøy nursing facility, a half-time position. Alfred has built a cabin at Gjøvaren. Coincidentally, Alfred appears in another part of this family history. Alfred's mother, Laura Hansine, who died when he was two, was the niece of Laura Isaksen, wife of Hans, Olaus' brother. Alfred, his sister, and his father Tormod lived with Laura even after Tormod married a second time with Signe. Son:
(Henry) Mikal Klaus Karlsen 1903-1984. He married Emma 9.23.1907 - 2.10.1978, from Hamneidet. Henry worked some years in Kirkenes/Bjørnevatn as a locomotive engineer. He also had a farm and fished shrimp with his sons as a crew on his boat, the Polar of Skjervøy. Children:
Leif Karlsen 7.14.1934. A first engineer, he has sailed throughout the world and worked in shipbuilding. Owns a house in Bakkeby, Nordreisa. Married Brita. Son:
Arthur Karlsen 8.25.1936. Independent taxi owner-chauffeur in Skjervøy where he owns a home. Married Laila.
Fridtjof Karlsen 8.21.1947. Has purchased the family place at Hamneidet and raises dairy goats. Married Britt. Son:
Reidar Karlsen 1.1.1951. Works as an occupational therapist at Rotsund. Married Signy. Daughter:
Elias Bernhardt Karlsen 8.1.1905 - 7.1962. Worked as a fisherman on his father's boat and on the farm. Handicapped from birth due to rickets he completed grammar school. A good swimmer, he had a good singing voice, and loved children.
Karl Albert Karlsen 1907-1907. Died of whooping cough at eight months, a serious childhood disease at that time.
Marie Sofie (Karlsen) Eilertsen 9.25.1911 - 1988. This is Marie who has contributed so much to the family history. Marie and Ingvald Arneng had one child:
In 9.5.1939 Marie married Åge Martin Bertinius Eilertsen 10.27.1904 - 9.17.1980, from Rakto in Bakkeby. The lived in Rakto from 6.4.1939 for two years and then moved to Leiros by Gjøvaren which was inherited from her father, part of Eidet Indre. After the war they evacuated to Sunnmøre and then in 1959 moved to Ålesund. After Åge died Marie moved to Spjelkavik to be with her daughter Aud. Children:
Harald 9.10.1946, married to Eva Tone and living in Sogn. An engineer by trade, he teaches construction at a vocational school. Children:
Also related in some way to Henrik and the Karlsen family is a man named Karl Karlsson Vellidalo, with the Finnish nickname of Pitkä Kalle (long Karl), who once served in the Swedish Rikstag and who died in 1966. We are not sure of the relationship but Marie thinks that he was a cousin of her father. He has a sister, Anne Grethe Vellidalo, who came to Norway in 1890 and was the first wife of Johan P. Tretten 1866-1927. They had a daughter Petra 1897-1926 who married Ludvig Gamst from Rotsund. The grandchildren of Anne Grethe are heirs to the Karlsson estate.
Sophia Anderson 7.13.1868 - 194?
Ole Anderson 1849
Sofia listed her birthplace on the US census as Sweden/Finland. Only a few months old when her father died, she probably moved with her mother and sister to Oksfjordhamn where her brother Isak lived. Church records have her moving to Reisen in 1878 at age ten. She was only fourteen when her two brothers and sister emigrated to America. Marie Eilertsen thinks that Sophia probably spent her teen years in Reisadalen with her sister "Brido", and emigrated to the US at age twenty.
The story is told that an Ole Anderson, who had emigrated from Kildal in Nordreisa in 1882 and started farming in Carlton County, Minnesota, sent a ticket back home so that his sister might join him and keep house. At the last minute his sister decided not to go and gave her ticket to Sophia, her girlfriend.
In 1888 Sophia left for America and married the 39 year old farmer. Marie thinks that Sophia might have known him, or at least heard of him, back in Nordreisa, and tells us that Ole was the son of her mother's cousin. We know that Ole was Norwegian of Norse ancestry and spoke Norwegian with his wife who also spoke Finnish and English. Census records tell us that Ole Anderson was born in Norway in 1849 and emigrated to the US in 1882, purchased land in Carlton County and began farming near Esko. They were married in 1888 and both became naturalized citizens.
Ole and Sophia had no children and adopted a young boy, William listed as 14 years old on the 1910 census, who died at age 20 of TB. When Ole died Sophia left the farm and purchased a house in Thomson from her nephew, Hans Isaksen of Oksfjordhamn who was a brother to Olaus Arneng. Hans and his wife Laura had decided to move west, to Portland Oregon. Thomson was a logging and lumbering center and the site of a new power dam and hydroelectric development, then under construction. Thomson was very much a pioneer Finnish-American community with lumbering, saw milling, railroad building, and a hydroelectric development and is today a small village with fewer than one hundred inhabitants. Thomson lies on the St. Louis River about ten miles south of Duluth, next to Jay Cooke State Park. When Hans and Laura Isaksen first came to Thomson, Laura learned to speak Finnish before she learned any English since her husband spoke Finnish and most of the townspeople spoke only Finnish.
When Rudolph came with his family from Norway to the town of Thomson in the summer of 1917, he probably met both Ole and Sophia, but he was then under two years of age and doesn't remember them from these early years. Rudolph and his parents did live in Thomson for three years, and later after moving to Duluth made many visits back to Thomson to visit old friends. On occasion they would spend a whole week in Thomson, in summer months, and these were memorable visits. They would take a train from the railroad station in West Duluth directly to Thomson, a distance of about twenty miles, and Rudy would stay on with Mrs. Anderson when his mother went back to her factory work. He remembers her good homemade bread, and the stereopticon pictures she had, mostly mountain scenes from Norway. He carried in wood and water, and helped her pick potato bugs off her garden. He was particularly impressed with the way she simply crushed the bugs between her fingers, while he would have to brush them off into a can of water. He also remembers how she dressed, with long skirts, and always a shawl and kerchief. She spoke Norwegian with a Finnish accent, but she also spoke some English. Rudy remembers how they picked blueberries up by the power dam and she would warn him about falling into the water.
On one occasion he attended church with her in nearby Esko, a Finnish Lutheran church. They walked the three or four miles to Esko and the service was always in Finnish which he did not understand. Sophia was a Laestadian Lutheran and the services in Esko were of the revivalist type where people became very agitated, spoke in tongues and acted out religious ecstasy in ways similar to the Sami liikutukset, all very frightening to a small boy. Most impressive was the worshiper who climbed the pole in the middle of the church and howled like a dog, and with the ladies who would roll on the floor and wail. In those days the charismatics were called "holy rollers". Sophie Anderson died sometime during the 1940's. Elida, her niece in Norway, inherited one third of her estate, 16,700 Norwegian crowns.
The church in Esko is called the Apostolic Lutheran Church and observed its one hundredth anniversary in 1895. The church historian, Ray Mattinen, reports that they do have Laestadian roots.
Marie Eilertsen has written to us about her aunt Sophia who lived in Thomson and the letters her aunt wrote back home in her poor Norwegian. She often substituted "b" for "p" and wrote the name August as Aykysd. Marie said that her aunt used the old Finnish alphabet such as was used in northern Sweden during the 19th century, as follows:
Marie copied for us a letter she received from Sophia dated August 11, 1933, and translated as follows:
signed: Mrs. Sophia Anderson, Thomson
Carlton County, Minnesota
The letter was written during the years of drought, the so-called Dust Bowl Years. Sophia spent her final years in Kettle River in the home of her nephew Carl, in the company of her sister Maria.
Many references to Laestadianism appear in this family history, and something should be said of its origins. The people of Samiland, like other circumpolar people in pre-Christian times, were shamanistic and they also were acquainted with elements of Norse mythology. There were early missionary attempts by Russian monks to christianize them and royal decrees issued by Swedish monarchs to convert them. In Norway King Kristian IV ordered that all Sami be converted to Christianity or suffer the death penalty. The old folk religion was banned and outlawed, the shaman drums burned and the joik, the traditional song-chant, was forbidden. This process was first carried out by the official Catholic church, and later by the state Lutheran church.
Lars Levi Laestadius 1800-1861, a Swedish Lutheran pastor of Sami ancestry, adapted the Lutheranism of the state church to better fit the folk culture and psyche of the people of Samiland. Laestadius was born on a poor, new-settler farm in Arjeploug in northern Sweden. His father provided for the family by hunting, fishing, tar-making, and they also had a farm and a few reindeer. The family lived in poverty, but with help from a half-brother who was a pastor at Qvickjock, Lars Levi was able to enter the university at Uppsala in 1820, and he proved to be a brilliant student. Because of his interest in botany he was made assistant in the Botany Department while he pursued studies in theology, and he was ordained a Lutheran cleric in 1825. His first parish was at Arjeplog, and he became the regional missionary for Pitalappmark. In 1826 he was made pastor at Karesuando, the most northerly parish in Sweden, where he served until 1849. In addition to his pastoral duties he continued his interest in botany, authored a number of articles on plant life in Samiland and served as botanist to a French research expedition to Samiland, 1838-40. One of the plant forms which he first identified bears his name Papaver Laestadianum, which he discovered in the region where the boundaries of Sweden, Finland and Norway come together, Treriks-Röysa.
While in Karesuando he learned to speak both Finnish and the North Sami dialect so that he could deliver his sermons in these languages although his mother tongue was Luleå Sami and his books and articles were written in Swedish.
Laestadius married a local Sami woman, Britta Catarina, and together they raised a family of twelve children. It was while Laestadius was pastor at Karesuando that Carl and Anna Grethe also raised their family in the same parish. Family legend has it that Anna Grethe once worked as a maid in the Laestadius household and that the wife of Laestadius assisted her with her bridal trousseau. Laestadius himself may have conducted the wedding ceremony.
For the first eighteen years of his ministry in Karesuando, Laestadius was quite an ordinary country pastor, except for his interest in botany. Then, on a pastoral visit to Åse Lappmark in 1844 he met a Sami woman named Maria who had sought his religious counsel. She was very sincere and sensitive, but troubled in her spiritual development, and together they explored the problem and experienced a Great Awakening, a sort of born-again experience which changed their lives. Laestadius became a dynamic and charismatic evangelist who started a religious revival that spread throughout Samiland and even reached the sons and daughters of Samiland who had emigrated to the United States.
Laestadius was critical of the elitism and worldliness of the state church and preached a Christianity more in tune with the folk culture of the north. He spoke with great force and his language was very blunt and earthy, appropriate to the audience of his day. His sermons have since been collected and published in several languages, including English.
One of his parishioners, Juhani Raattamaa 1811-1899, who was his confirmation school pupil and later taught at various mission schools, became his successor. Raattamaa, born in Kuttainen the son of a Finnish settler, became a catechist, and together they examined the Bible and the works of Martin Luther and developed a body of doctrine known as Laestadianism. Central to their doctrine was a concept of sin and salvation, and they preached eloquently against the evils of liquor and immorality and set up a temperance society. Upon the death of Laestadius Raattamaa carried on his work for forty years and is known as the second father of Laestadianism. According to Olaus Arneng this Raattamaa was a family relative although we have not established the lineage. It seems that Raattamaa, like many other dwellers in the upper Tornio Valley, was a Sami Finn who lived in Sweden. The Apostolic Lutherans of the United States have published a number of church history papers, and one of them "The Second Leader of the Northern Revival" is about Raattamaa. When asked how the people should live and dress, he was quoted as saying "Should the people of Rovaniemi (a large central town in Finland, now considered the capitol of Finnish Lapland) live as we Lapps?" It seems that he thought of himself as a Sami.
Laestadianism can be thought of as a sort of pentecostal revival movement, charismatic and fundamentalistic, also pietistic and evangelical, and one of its distinctive features was the liikutukset, an intense emotional religious ecstasy with speaking in tongues. His message spread throughout Samiland and was taken up by various lay preachers. Laestadius felt the need for a larger parish to help support his growing family and in 1849 he left Karesuando and moved a bit south to Pajala where he carried on with his evangelism. He preached against liquor, immorality and vanity (fine clothing, ornaments, etc.) but he suffered from health problems and died in 1861. The work that he started was carried on by many others including Juhani Raattamaa. We should note that in Samiland the Laestadians remained within the state Lutheran churches whereas in far-off American they established their own denomination, the Apostolic Lutheran. A Swedish encyclopedia, Bonniers Lexicon (1961) numbers Laestadians as 30,000 in Finland; 30, 500 in the US; 20,000 in Sweden; and 18,000 in Norway.
There have been many books and doctoral dissertations, novels and plays written about the Laestadian movement, and some historians note that Laestadianism also had political overtones. Samiland was then being colonized by neighboring powers with attractive offers of free land and exemption from taxes and military service. The reindeer pasturage was shrinking and in 1851 the Russia/Finland boundary with neighboring states was closed to nomads, resulting in economic hardships for the reindeer Sami. In southern Norway there was labor unrest and the beginning of a labor movement under Marcus Thrane. There were revolutions in Britain and France. In Kautokeino in 1852 there was an open rebellion by fanatical Laestadians who assaulted the Norwegian pastor and murdered the local liquor dealer and the sheriff. This provoked a military occupation by Norwegian army troops, the execution of several participants by beheading and life sentences for many others. This was the November Revolution of 1852 in Kautokeino, and some see Laestadianism as part of the social unrest in Europe in the middle of the last century.
A recent book by Ivar Bjørklund called Fjordfolket i Kvænangen (Tromsø, Universitetsforlaget, 1985) presents an interesting interpretation of the Laestadian movement. He sees it as a reaction against the on-going Norwegianization process and the beginning of ethnic consciousness among the Sami people. They had been driven to abandon their own language and culture, forget their history, their ethnic identity. The officials of the state church forced state Lutheranism upon them and they had to stand hat-in-hand and listen while the official version of religion was preached and interpreted for them. They organized a Sami movement against the cultural oppression of the Norwegian state. They called the dominant society the unspiritual, unconverted power structure, " den uåndelig, uomvendte øvrighed". and the called the state church a stinking cadaver, " et stinkende kadaver". They discovered that they did not need to live by Norse standards, that the Sami and Finnish languages were also sacred, and that their ancient life-style had dignity and merit. Laestadianism became an organized religious movement through which they could assert their own unique identity. And in later years they organized politically and economically through the labor movement to advance local interests against Norse colonialism. They called the fjord merchants children of the devil " djevelens barn" who should burn in hell " breene i Helevete". The church authorities can no longer call the parishioner dirty and stupid and today they have to ask permission from the Laestadians before they appoint a pastor or bishop in the north.
Emigration from Samiland in the nineteenth century brought many Laestadians to the US, and several of the children on Carl and Anna Grethe of Karesuando went first to Norway and then to Carlton County, Minnesota. Pioneer conditions still prevailed when they arrived in the 1880's, but they came to already established Finnish-speaking Laestadian communities. Some of the first Laestadian immigrants to arrive in the US were Finns and Sami from the Alta region of Norway who moved to the copper country of Michigan when the copper mines in Finnmark were nearing depletion. These immigrants first joined regular established Lutheran churches but they did not feel at home and on occasion were even expelled from these churches because of their unrestrained emotionalism which upset the more sedate Scandinavian congregations.
May Lunde of Oslo made a study of the Laestadians of Calumet, Michigan, which was later published in a book Essays on Norwegian-American Literature and History (Oslo, 1986). She found that the Laestadians were excommunicated from the church in Calumet in 1872 and had to establish their own church under the leadership of Salomon Kortetniemi of Hammerfest. As the number of such churches grew there developed schisms and she counted at least seven sects of Laestadians in the US, each with its own name. This also happened in Samiland after the death of Laestadius.
A history of the Laestadian movement in the US has been published in Finnish, and a shorter English version by Uuras Saarnivaara, The History of the Laestadian or Apostolic Lutheran Movement in America, has been published in Ironwood, Michigan in 1947. We learn from this book that a number of immigrant Laestadian communities were springing up in the copper country of Michigan, some as early as 1864, and in such Minnesota towns as Red Wing, St. Peter, and Cokato. A book edited by Hans Wasastjerna, History of the Finns in Minnesota, published in 1957, also lists several such communities in Brainerd, New York Mills, Holmes City, Minneapolis and Thomson. We find that in Holmes City in 1883 there were already 133 immigrant Finns and that they built a Laestadian church in 1887. Most of these so-called Northern Finns came from northern Sweden and Norway, and some were Laestadian Finns.
We have learned that Laestadius had a sister who emigrated to Minnesota. She was Angelica Charlotte (1842-1900) who had lived for a while in Kittila, Finland where she married Mikko Jokela, and together they emigrated to central Minnesota and settled in Franklin. It has been told that Angelica attempted to mediate between two rival Laestadian sects that sprang up in Homes City. Mikko and Angelica had no children, but a granddaughter of Laestadius, Selma Makitalo (1858-1930) married Henrik Makitalo of Pajala, andthey emigrated to Minnesota and now have many descendents in central Minnesota. One of them, a prominent attorney in Cokato, has made a study of the life of his great great grandfather, Lars Levi Laestadius. Central Minnesota has several thousand inhabitants who are descendents of the Sami Finns who settled here one hundred years ago. There are several other centers that have come to our attention: Iron River, Michigan; Carlton County, Minnesota; several in the state of Washington; and in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
It seems that Laestadians in American had many contacts with their co-religionists back home in Samiland, and we learn that Peter Raattamaa, a son of the famous Juhani Raattamaa, became pastor of a church in New York Mills. The Laestadian churches, now mostly known as Apostolic Lutheran, number about 150, and they have set up their own seminary, although many churches are served by lay ministers. They have published a hymnal, a newspaper, several newsletters, and collections of sermons by Laestadius and others, both in English and in Finnish. We have also learned of other Sami Finns who emigrated to Minnesota. Elmer Josephs of Minneapolis published a family newsletter, Staar Light, a biannual now in volume six which is distributed to over 300 family members in 21 states, all descendents of a Sami Finn from Kuusamo, Finnland. David Tapio of Delano, Minnesota has also made a study of his Laestadian ancestorss from the Torneå Valley. He sees the Laestadians as largely people of Sami ancestry and writes in one of his letters the following: It is hard to explain how the truths of the Laestadian visitation carry such enormous trust of conviction to Sami, Pirkkalaiset, Kainulaiset and their descendents and hit a wall with other Finns and Swedes. They all have Sami blood.
We trace our family history back to these Laestadian pioneers, and our settlement in the New World was part of the historic movement of Samiland immigrants to the Lake Superior region in the latter half of the Nineteenth century. Two of the sons of Carl and Anna Grethe settled near Esko and are mentioned in a short history of that community, Juhannusjuhla, published in 1966, as pioneers and founders of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Esko. They are listed as "Fred Carlson (Maranen) and Peter Carlson (Maranen)". This church now has a membership of 450 and celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in 1985. Maria, a daughter of Carl and Anna Grethe, married Lars Johnsen, Vaara, and lived in the Kalevala township of Carlton County in 1891 and were charter members of the Eagle Apostolic Church in their community. Another daughter of Carl and Anna Grethe, Sofie Anderson, lived in Thomson and belonged to the Laestadian church in that community.
We learn from the Wasastjerna book on the history of Finns in Minnesota that the first Finns came to Thomson in 1873 and that by 1885 there were over one hundred Finns in Thomson and two rival Laestadian churches. Hans Isaksen, an immigrant grandson of Carl and Anna Grethe, lived in Thomson and we do not know if he though of himself as a Laestadian, but his wife was very much so, at least in later years. Solveig Arneng's future mother-in-law lived in Thomson but did not attend the Laestadian church because the services were conducted in the Finnish language. It is certainly true that the ancestors of our families included in this history were very much influenced by Lars Levi Laestadius of Karesuando.