January 9, 2018

Great Grand Aunt Jacobine "Bina" Gundersen 1869-1935 - Found!

My great grandfather Nils came from a fairly large family. He had an older sister who I could never find. Jacobine Gundersdatter was born 11 Feb 1869 in Eidanger, Norway. I easily found her birth record but that was it. She was not with the family in the 1891 nor the 1900 Norwegian census. Nor could I find any proof of her marriage or death.

At a loss with Norwegian records, I thought I would try the FAN method. Looking up family, acquaintances or friends. I thought since her two nieces (0ne of them being my grandmother) and her brother had all gone to Chicago perhaps she had also emigrated to the US and why not Chicago? I would start there. Jacobine seemed an unusual enough name and I tried searching her with her patronymic Gundersdatter/sen, her fathers patronymic Nielsen and the family farm name Øvald without luck. I  had found my uncle's baptismal record in the archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Norwegian Lutheran Churches were one of the synods that combined to form the modern day ELCA. There she was! Jacobine Gundersen married Nicholai Nelson November 12,1893 in the Bethania Lutheran church of Chicago. Once I knew her husbands name it was easy peasy to find her in the US census' living in Chicago. She must not have cared for the name Jacobine (don't think I blame her) because shortly after arriving in the US she went by the name Bina, which is even on her official Cook County death record.
Jacobine Gundersdatter = Bina Nelson

Lesson learned to not only use the popular FAN method but add Faith also as a way to search for those elusive ancestors.

married November 12, 1893 in Bethania Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois
Nicholai Nelson, 34 and Jacobine Gunderson, 24

my great grand Aunt
Jacobine "Bina" Gundersen Nelson
b. 11 Feb 1869 Eidanger, Telemark, Norway
d. 18 Jun 1935 Chicago, Cook, Illinois,  USA