FamilySearch Indexing Update: 1875 Norway Census Is Coming

1875 Norway Census
In the first week of December, we will start indexing the 1875 Norway Census. This will be a large segment of the census for rural areas of Norway, but not the entire census. FamilySearch’s Historical Family Reconstitution unit has joined forces with the University of Tromsø in Norway to complete this project. The university is indexing the census records for the urban areas of Norway.

Pass the word along that anyone interested in Norwegian genealogical research is encouraged to help by volunteering as a FamilySearch indexer.

Completed Projects

The following projects have been completed in the past two weeks. Patrons should be able to search them shortly online at FamilySearch Record Search:

Missouri – 1870 US Census

Tennessee – 1870 US Census

Morelos – 1930 Mexico Census

Alabama – 1920 US Federal Census

Arkansas Marriages II

Alabama – 1850 US Federal Census – General

Current Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion Status

1916 Canadian Census – English – 25%

Argentina Censo 1869 – Buenos Aires 2 – Spanish – 19%

Argentina Censo 1869 – Cordoba y San Luis – Spanish – 15%

Arkansas Marriages [Part 1] – English – 54%

Arkansas Marriages IV – English – 8%

Belgique – Registres Des Décès (Français) – French – 14%

België – Overlijdens Registers – In het Nederlands – Dutch, Flemish – 7%

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher – German – 29%*
(*This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Bremer Schifflisten – German – 0.6%

España Lugo Registros Parroquiales [Part 1] – Spanish – 8%

Flanders Death Registration – FR, Dutch, Flemish – 33%

Florida 1945 Census – English – 96%

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche – French – 7%

Guanajuato Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – 86%

Guerrero – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – 51%

Illinois – 1920 US Federal Census – English – 31%

Indiana Marriages, 1790 – Apr 1905 – English – 60%

Indiana Marriages, 1882 – Apr 1905 – English – 84%

Indiana Marriage Returns, 1882 – Apr 1905 – English – 48%

Indiana Marriages, Apr 1905 – Dec 1957 – English – 40%

Massachusetts – 1920 US Federal Census – English – 44%

Massachusetts Death Records 1906-1915 – English – 53%

Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 – English – 9%

New Hampshire – Early to 1900 Births – English – 18%

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records – Spanish – 8%

Nova Scotia Antig. Church Records, 1823 to 1905 – English – 39%

Ohio Tax Records – 2 of 4 – English – 61%

Queretaro – Censo de Mexico de 1930 – Spanish – 7%

UK – Cheshire – Church Records – English – 21%

UK – Cheshire – Land Tax – English – 4%

Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales – Spanish – 1%

Peder and Regina LERFALD’s 50th Anniversary


Source: 50th Anniversary of Peter and Regina Lerfald. Photograph. 7 June 1931. Original in the possession of Troy Midkiff [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

The couple sitting on the bench are my husband’s great-great-grandparents, Peder Johnsen LERFALD (1855 – 1936) and Regina Olasdotter LERFALD (1859 – 1943), celebrating the 50th anniversary of their marriage, which took place 7 June 1881, probably in Goodhue Co., Minnesota. The photograph was likely taken at their home in Woodville, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin. Peder and Regina are not only husband and wife; they are also first cousins. But not, despite their surnames, are they both related on their fathers’ sides.

Peder was born 25 April 1855 to John Nilssen LERFALD and Sigrid Lassesdotter LERFALDBJØRG, near Trondheim, Norwary. He was the fourth of seven children (one died in infancy) in a family that immigrated to America in 1866. His mother appears to have died shortly after they arrived, and his father remarried to Randa [–?–].

Regina was born 2 Apr 1859 to Ola Pedersen FORDALSHAUGEN and Ane Nilsdotter LERFALDHOLMEN, also near Trondheim. In fact, both Peder and Regina likely were born in or around the community of Lerfald, to the east of Trondheim. Regina was the sixth of nine children and her mother and siblings immigrated to the U.S. in 1874 after her father’s death two years previously.

Peder’s father John and Regina’s mother Ane were brother and sister. You can see they both had the patronym “Nils…”, meaning of course, their father’s name was Nils. But they had different surnames because Norwegians at that time and place used the surname for the location in which they lived or the farm on which they worked. Their surnames would change with their location. When they immigrated to the United States, sometimes they used their latest surname, and other times they used their patronyms. The ladies often used the masculine version of their patronyn, becoming Ane “Nilssen” instead of Ane Nilsdotter, even though it didn’t make sense. Americans were used to names ending in -son or -sen, not -dotter. I’ve found Regina in records where she used Lerfald as a surname and at other times used Olsen. Because of the many different names that were used, I’ve actually had a harder time finding my husband’s ancestors after they arrived in the U.S. Their family histories in Norway have been very easy to trace using bygdebøker, a unique combination of census, family histories and farm histories within a parish.

Peder and Regina had six children: Sofia, John, Anna, Ole, Rena (my husband’s great-grandmother), and Nannie, who died in infancy. John and Ole never married and are pictured in the photograph above. The woman is probably Anna, who lived nearby in Eau Claire, Eau Clair Co., Wisconsin with her husband and family. Sofia lived in Montana and Rena lived in Washington State – both with their respective husbands and families, so it’s unlikely they were present for this celebration. We have a few other photos from this day, and neither Rena nor Sofia appear in them. The photos were probably sent to the daughters to share with them the celebration.
——————
We’ve had some interesting conversations at my home regarding this photo:

“Norm, do you realize you’re your own 5th cousin to yourself, and to your siblings? And our kids are 6th cousins to themselves and each other. You and the kids aren’t just father and children, you’re 5th cousins, once removed!”

“Look at the size of Peder’s hands! Holy cow!”

“Wonder what the dog’s name was?”

Happy Syttende Mai

In honor of my husband’s and children’s Norwegian ancestry, Happy Syttende Mai (sit-TEN-day MY)!

Photobucket

Fellow Washington State geneablogger Chery of Nordic Blue has a post about the significance of Syytende Mai. I always enjoy reading Chery’s blog to gain an understanding of the culture of Norwegian immigrants in the United States’ Midwest in the 19th century.

Happy Syttende Mai

In honor of my husband’s and children’s Norwegian ancestry, Happy Syttende Mai (sit-TEN-day MY)!

Photobucket

Fellow Washington State geneablogger Chery of Nordic Blue has a post about the significance of Syytende Mai. I always enjoy reading Chery’s blog to gain an understanding of the culture of Norwegian immigrants in the United States’ Midwest in the 19th century.

Postcard from Mrs. HERMANSON to Rena LERFALD, 1908

Recently, my father-in-law loaned us a pile of postcards that had belonged to his maternal grandparents, George Rice WESTABY, III and Rena LERFALD (click on the links to read more about their lives and see photos). Actually, the majority were received by Rena, and provide insight into her life as a young woman. I have begun to scan them, and will feature them here on my blog.


(front)


(back)

This postcard is not postmarked nor was it dated at the time it was sent. It appears to have been used as a calling card by Mrs. Hermanson, whoever she was (friend, neighbor, possible employer? Looking at the 1910 U.S. Federal Census brought up several possibilities.). At a much later date, it appears that Rena wrote 1908 on the back of the card–the ink and her style of writing here matches notations she made on other postcards in the collection.

Rena would have been 18 years old on September 25th of this year. She lived in Woodville, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin with her parents, Peter Johnsen LERFALD and Regina LERFALD, immigrants from Norway who were first cousins to each other. Rena was the youngest surviving child of five siblings: Sofia, b. 1882; John, b. 1884; Anna, b. 1886; and Ole, b. 1888. An infant girl, Nannie, did not survive. At this time in Rena’s life, she and her sister Anna were looking for work as hired girls or maids. There were a lot of postcards sent to Rena by Anna; I don’t believe I have any written by Rena to Anna (I haven’t gone through this collection extensively, yet, to be sure).

Source: The Westaby-Lerfald Postcard Collection. Privately held by Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington.

Postcard from Mrs. HERMANSON to Rena LERFALD, 1908

Recently, my father-in-law loaned us a pile of postcards that had belonged to his maternal grandparents, George Rice WESTABY, III and Rena LERFALD (click on the links to read more about their lives and see photos). Actually, the majority were received by Rena, and provide insight into her life as a young woman. I have begun to scan them, and will feature them here on my blog.


(front)


(back)

This postcard is not postmarked nor was it dated at the time it was sent. It appears to have been used as a calling card by Mrs. Hermanson, whoever she was (friend, neighbor, possible employer? Looking at the 1910 U.S. Federal Census brought up several possibilities.). At a much later date, it appears that Rena wrote 1908 on the back of the card–the ink and her style of writing here matches notations she made on other postcards in the collection.

Rena would have been 18 years old on September 25th of this year. She lived in Woodville, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin with her parents, Peter Johnsen LERFALD and Regina LERFALD, immigrants from Norway who were first cousins to each other. Rena was the youngest surviving child of five siblings: Sofia, b. 1882; John, b. 1884; Anna, b. 1886; and Ole, b. 1888. An infant girl, Nannie, did not survive. At this time in Rena’s life, she and her sister Anna were looking for work as hired girls or maids. There were a lot of postcards sent to Rena by Anna; I don’t believe I have any written by Rena to Anna (I haven’t gone through this collection extensively, yet, to be sure).

Source: The Westaby-Lerfald Postcard Collection. Privately held by Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington.

Grave photos of Peder and Regina LERFALD and sons

Anne S. Anderson and her husband (Find A Grave photo volunteers) kindly gave of their time to locate and photograph the graves of my husband’s great-great-grandparents, Peder and Regina LERFALD. Our records indicated that the LERFALDs were buried in Lone Pine Cemetery, Woodville, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson went to three cemeteries in Woodville, ending up at Zion Lutheran. They found not only Peder and Regina’s shared headstone, but the headstones for two of their sons, John and Ole (named respectively for Peder’s and Regina’s fathers).

It’s not clear at this point if Zion Lutheran and Lone Pine are two names for the same cemetery, but it appears to be so. I have to do some more checking, perhaps with the St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society or the St. Croix County Historical Society. The good news is that since I know they are buried at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, I am assuming that they may have been parishioners of Zion Lutheran Church. Perhaps I can find some church records that can help me “humanize” this family…so that they are less names, dates, and locations, and more people with needs, wishes, failings and strengths. I found a lot of helpful information at the St. Croix County USGenWeb site, including a history of Woodville. Seems this area was part of the “Big Woods” of Wisconsin, made famous by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first book, Little House in the Big Woods.

Above is a photo of Peder and Regina on their 50th anniversary in 1931, probably in Woodville. Look at the size of Peder’s hands!

Peder Johnsen LEFALD and Regina Olasdotter LERFALD were first cousins, although not on both their fathers’ sides, as it would seem by their common surname. Peder’s father, John Nilssen LERFALD, and Regina’s mother, Ane Nilssdotter LERFALDHOLMEN, were siblings, children of Nils Pedersen LERFALDTRØEN and Randi Olasdotter LERFALDHOLMEN. The variations of the LERFALD surname indicate the various farms in the Lerfald area of Norway (east of Trondheim) where the family members last worked before immigration. In other words, LERFALD and its variations, are place names which became surnames. It’s been very difficult finding the LERFALDs in U.S. records after they immigrated (between 1866 [Peder and parents] and 1874 [Regina and mother]), and they tended to use patronyms. Trying to find JOHNSENs (Peder) and OLSENS (Regina – masculine version of Olasdotter) or their parents’ patronyms of NELSON (for Nilssen and Nilssdotter) and PEDERSEN/PETERSON in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the late 1800s – early 1900s, is a challenge, to say the least!