Genealogy is about making connections
 - to the past, to family members living today, 
as well as to future generations.

My maternal grandparents, Paul and Dagmar Sevald were Ellis Island immigrants 
coming from Norway and settling in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1920's

Hello and welcome!
1953 Chicago, Illinois Grandpa, Grandma, Mom and Me 

Here I post photos, documents, stories, memories and thoughts about my Norwegian ancestry and my life growing up Scandinavian-American in Chicago. I've been researching my family branches in earnest for over twenty years  I'm happy to share the information I've gathered, and I would love to hear from you.  Are we related? Do you have comments, corrections, information to add? Let's connect and share. Contact me?

hope to hear from you,

Great Grand Aunt Bina Nelson 1879-1935

Perhaps half a year ago I was thrilled to find my great grand aunt had left her home in Norway to settle in Chicago.   The post "Great Grand Aunt Jacobine "Bina" Gundersen 1869-1935 - Found!" can be seen HERE.

Now knowing that in the U.S. she was known by her knickname "Bina" , and that her married name was Nelson, in searching again today I made a great find! A picture of Bina. Here she is, the older sister of my great grandfather Nils and the aunt of my grandmother Dagmar.

my great grand aunt
Jacobine "Bina" Gundersdatter Nelson
b. 11 Feb 1879 Eidanger, Telemark, Norway
d. 18 Jun 1935 Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA

and her husband
my great grand uncle
Nickolas Nelson

literally pleased to see you Aunt Bina! 


Paul and Dagmar Sevald -Norway1937

My grandparents, Paul and Dagmar Sevald. On a visit to Norway they sit relaxing outside a family members home? This photo is very typical of them.

My grandfather, always dressed in the finest. Unless he was fishing or building/working on something he always wore a suit. Single or double breasted with a vest, tie and long sleeved white shirt. The tie always neatly done, never haphazard. I know he also wore those old timey green elastic shirt armbands. I think I can almost see them in this photo. What I can't see, but I guarantee you are there, are sock suspenders. God forbid his socks should fall down! The only hint in his dress, that shows he is relaxing, is that he took off his jacket and hat!

Grandma, of course, has her knitting with her. She always was busy doing something. Older ladies back in the day always wore a dress. I never saw her in anything but a dress but she was never a fancy gal, generally a flowery cotton dress of the variety she wears in this photo. Every day? Throw an apron on. Going out to shop or to church? Add a hat and of course a pair of white gloves.

They sit right next to each other because Grandma and Grandpa always did. He would reach across and give her a little pat on the leg. She would shake her head, smile and say "Oh Pa", pretending to be irritated by his little public show of affection. But she wasn't.

My Maternal Grandparents
Paul Skoglund Sevald
b. 25 Aug 1894 Kragerø, Telemark, Norway
  d. 5 Sep 1971 Chicago, Cook, Illinois USA   

Dagmar Gundersen Sevald
b. 10 Jun 1900 Eidanger, Telemark, Norway
d. 12 Jun 1991 Skien, Telemark, Norway


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!!