Oddvar Gundersen 1917-1991

Not long ago a second cousin of mine in Norway shared this photo of his grandfather with the family. I first met my grand uncle Oddvar, my grandmother's baby brother, when he was in his mid sixties. He was a very nice older man yet I love seeing him, as a younger man, in this photo. A firm, confident stance, head held high, cap at a jaunty angle. In  this photo I  imagine him young, carefree and looking forward to the future, believing anything is possible.

my grand Uncle 
Oddvar Gundersen
b: 19 November 1917 Skien, Telemark, Norway
d: 9 May 1991 Skien, Telemark, Norway


1801 Norwegian National Census - Peder Rasmussen Family of Garnes, Verdal, Nord Trøndelag

In the Norwegian National Census of 1801 is recorded the residents of the 
farm Garnes in Verdal, Nord Trøndelag, Norway.

Peder's wife, Agnes Olsdatter, had died 4 years earlier. Five years after this census was taken Peder and his children Kiersti, Rasmus and Lars were brutally murdered in their beds. His son Ole survived the murder attempt with  severe injuries. Kiersti's infant daughter Anne, asleep in her crib, was not harmed. She was to be my 3X great grandmother. In an earlier post I told the story of the
                                                → GARNESMORDET (Garnes Murders).

my 5th great grandfather 
Peder Rasmussen Garnes
b: 12 Mar 1752 Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway
d: 29 July 1806 Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway

my 4th great grandmother
Kiersti Pedersdatter Garnes
b: 1785 Garnes, Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway
d: 29 July 1806 Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway

my 3rd great grandmother
Anne Olsdatter Skavhaug
b: 4 May 1806 Garnes, Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway
d: 29 May 1895 Stuskin,Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway

***click on document to enlarge for easier viewing***


Anders Jakobsen Stuskin 1787-1875

When I came upon this photo I was so pleased. This is the earliest photo I have of any of my ancestors. This is one of my great great great grandfathers, Anders Jakobsen Stuskin. I found it in a bygdebok or family history book of Verdal, Nord Trøndelag, Norway; Verdalboka; en bygdebok om Verdal Bind IV.  Verdal is the ancestral locality of my grandfather Paul. I know the photo is not the best quality, not the clearest, but keep in mind that Anders was born in the 1700's! What a cool find.

my great great great grandfather
Anders Jakobsen Stuskin
b: 21 February 1787 Stuskin, Verdal, Nord Trøndelag, Norway
d: 18 September 1875 Stuskin, Verdal, Nord Trøndelag, Norway

Anders Jakobsen→Sevald Andersen→Anders Sevaldsen
→Paul Skoglund Sevald→Grace Gunhild Sevald→ME!!


Nils Olaves Fredriksen Klevjer 1890-1943

On the last Veterans Day I posted the story of my Dad, a veteran of  WWII. A cousin in Norway read it and responded by passing  to me the story of another family member who served the United States with honor. An unusual story of a Norwegian American cousin who served in WWI. A cousin to be proud of.
Nils Olaves Fredriksen Klevjer

In the Gjerpen, Telemark official parish register it is recorded that Nils was born 6 Nov and baptised 14 Dec 1890 in Gjerpen, Telemark, Norway. When he was two years old his family moved to Klevjer in Vestfold county and it was that name his family later adopted as their surname. Nils worked briefly as a sailor until his emigration to the United States.

Nils left Kristiania (Oslo) Norway August 27, 1910 on the ship "Tasso" bound for England. Nils had $25 and a third class (steerage) ticket on the S.S. Saxonia which left Liverpool, England August 31, 1910 and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts September 7th, 1910. His contacts in the US were his aunt and uncle, Henry and Karen Larson of Boston, Massachusetts.

In Boston he learned to drive and worked as a chauffeur. Not as easy a job as you would imagine.
In 1910 in even the larger cities such as Boston, streets were generally mud, crowded with bicycles, horses and people, chaotic, disgusting and filthy with animal manure. Even though the average vehicle traversed at what we would see at a relatively low rate of speed there were many casualties, particularly of children since the playground had not yet been invented. Children played in the streets. No one knew how to deal with the rapidly growing number of automobiles. Traffic laws were non existent. In fact the first stop sign didn't come until 1915 in Detroit, Michigan.

Nils must have loved the US and intended to make it his home because barely a year after his arrival  he filed his declaration of intention to become a US citizen in April of 1911. He took the oath of citizenship November 2, 1915.