Pay attention…

It’s not that I am unsure of the connection of Kari Jorgina Johnson to John Stianson and Kari Gunlichsdatter, the evidence and coincidences are too many to be in doubt, but in researching Jorgina and her family, I have yet to find a definitive document that specifically connects Jorgina Johnson Amundson to who I believe to be her parents. The marriage record and her death record both give a good record of a connection, but her father’s surname is hard to read and her mother’s name is wrong on her death record, and neither of her parents or Amund’s are listed on the marriage certificate, but her last name of Johnson helps push the connection to the yes category, as does the fact that her birth is the same as the Jorgina born in Norway to this family. When doing genealogical research the preponderance of the evidence is usually enough to prove a connection. So in order to cover all my bases, I am still looking for more evidence.

I have filled in most of the gaps of Jorgina’s sibling’s families using the Holden Church and online Norwegian records, and I was trying to think of another record that might help in that regard. That’s when I smacked myself on the head when I realized that the marriage certificate has witnesses listed.

And there was the fourth connection that says yes to Jorgina being the daughter of John Stianson and Kari Gunlichsdatter – H. Einertson and E. Halvorson are the witnesses to her marriage. H. Einertson is her sister Ingaborg’s husband – Halvor, (E. Halvorson is possibly her cousin, a son of Ingaborg and Halvor, I’m not really sure yet).

I am still trying to find a church record for Jorgina and Amund’s marriage. I might have to wait until I get to Salt Lake City to look at the Lutheran Church records on microfilm there. But maybe an email to a good source before then will answer the question unequivocally.

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Norway I hardly know you

It all started with a gentleman from Australia, or I should say it all started with an email from a gentleman from Australia. He was contacting me regarding a mtDNA match with one of my mtDNA accounts at FamilyTreeDNA, and as I have many accounts with FamilyTreeDNA I first had to find out which one he was matching. So I responded. A day later he informed me the match was with Victor John’s maternal line, this would be Myrtle Hamm. The match is only in Region 1 which means our common ancestress would be very far back in time. His mother’s line is English so any connection would probably have to do with the Nordic folks invading England, because Myrtle’s maternal line is 100% Norwegian.

I have to confess I haven’t done as much Norwegian research as I should have because well, the records that are available are in Norwegian, the websites that have the records are in Norwegian, and having no experience with Norwegian in any way, shape, or form, I’m afraid I felt a bit intimidated by the research. But that’s ended now. I decided I needed to buckle down and try again. Maybe things have changed in last few years. 

From past experience I am familiar with two sources for Norwegian research. One is the FHL, the other is http://arkivverket.no/Digitalarkivet, a Norwegian website that I have tried in the past.  So I started with the FHL. They have very few online digital records for Norway, but the ones that they do have include births, christenings, marriages, deaths. So I started with births hoping to find Kari Jorgina Johnson’s birth record. 

From the many census records I have found for Kari I knew the month she was born and the year. I also know her parents names from her death record at the asylum. Although we couldn’t quite read the father’s surname. We came up with John Staneson.

I found a record for a Kari Jorgina Johnsdtr born May 31, 1838 and baptized June, 1838. Her parents names were John Stianson and Kari Gunlichsdtr.

Kari Jorgina Johnsdtr baptismal record. Click on images for larger size to see details.

Kari’s death information indicated her mother’s name was Kari Johnson. It is quite possible that information is incorrect. So if I have indeed found her baptismal record, further research on her parents has taken me in to the 1760s with her parents, parents births, marriages, etc. I have even found family in the 1801 and 1865 Norwegian census.

I am inclined to believe that the above baptismal record is true. Here’s why. In looking for all the siblings for Kari, I found a brother named Gunlech. He is said, by another researcher of this same family, to have emigrated to Minnesota in 1869, in fact I believe I found him in a census record in the same county Kari shows up in, in 1875, married to Amund, with their daughter Amelia Christine. In fact I think I even found her parents in 1875. There is also a cemetery index record for Gunlech that includes the information that he emigrated in 1869 from Aase, Tordal, Drangedal, Telemark, Norway. By the way, that is where the family is from.

John Stianson and Kari were using the farm name of Aase as their surname in the census record.

So you can see my hesitation in doing Norwegian research, all those name changes with each generation, using farm names, not using farm names. It can lead to much hair pulling and teeth nashing.

Here is a map found at Wikipedia of the area of Drangedal where Tordal, Aase is located in Telemark. Click on images for larger size to see details.

The evidence appears to be pretty convincing. I am hoping now to find a ship record for the members of the family. That might help to make the connection. I also need to look at church records in Goodhue County, Minnesota again, now that I have a better idea of what I am looking for.

This is all very exciting for me. Now I am getting all nostalgic for Norway. If only I could get the same break on Amund. Guess I will have to keep digging.

A picture in Tordal, to get a general idea of the landscape.