A work in progress…

When I arrived in Salt Lake City on the 31st of last month, I still had about two hours of research time I could indulge in at the library before it closed at 5:00pm.

I decided to just look at the bygdebøk for Amund’s side of the family, as I can’t seem to get the book inter-library loaned at home. I spent the first half hour just trying to make heads or tails of the information and where I needed to start to find Amund himself.

Then, finally found him.

Now I could start working my way backwards, of course I also only had about an hour left to research. Here is his entry, [this digital image has been annotated by me for my own reference]:

Notice that his name in this publication is spelled Oddmund. I believe the church record of his birth has a similar spelling.

Unfortunately over the week that I was in SLC I only had short spurts of time I could spend looking through the book, so I never actually finished my research on Amund, but I was able to go back to the 1600s in several line’s as I could for Jorgina’s family.

Looks like I will have to go to the Madison Norwegian research center. I hear they are great.

Google maps has a ‘live’ view of the area of Norway that Amund lived so I am including two shots of each side of the road where Amunds’ family came from. After looking at these images I can imagine the appeal of living in Duluth for Amund, and working on the docks, he had water in his veins.

I have indicated ‘Here’ on the map to show the side of the fjord/inlet where Amund’s family came from, they lived up and down this waterway.

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Amund Amundson

Ah yes, the second half of my Norwegian ancestral origins. Because official records can be wrong,  or memory can be elusive, Amund has proven to be a worthy opponent in this genealogical quest. You see some ancestors just don’t want to be found.

In the case of Amund, he was very closed mouthed and had an incredibly bad memory. He is first found in 1875 in the Minnesota State census with Jorgina, his wife and their eldest daughter Christine, who was just a few months old. In it his age is noted as 23, which means he was born in 1852 or 1853. In each successive censes after that he is born later and later until finally, the 1900 census. In this census one must provide month and year born, his entry has April 1852. Excellent. In 1905 he also continues to say born 1852. So now I am pretty sure of the year and I have a month.

Next I tried to find a naturalization record for him. The only Amund found close to the year born in the records for the State of Minnesota was an Amund born 1853 declaring his intent in Polk County. He had arrived at the port of Heuron in 1871.

I had issues with this record, birth year ‘wrong’. Year of immigration in the 1900 census indicated 1872, not 1871. And Polk County? Huh, what would my Amund be doing way up in Polk County. They lived in Goodhue County, Dodge County and then Carlton County, all way south and East in the State. Polk County is up north.

But, between 1880 and 1885 the Amundsons appear to have moved around a bit so maybe they headed up to Polk for work in that time period. In 1882 he applied for his intent.  So…possibly his, but so many dates off.

Thankfully, in 1902 Amund did apply for his final papers in Carlton County. They confirmed that the declaration I had previously obtained was the correct one for my Amund.  The 1900 census also confirms the naturalization papers as his because he indicated his papers were applied for and two years later he is a citizen. Census says he arrived in 1872, but final papers say June of 1871.

See my confusion.

Okay so now I have Amund Amundson arrived in US 1871, through Canada. Born in April of 1852 in Norway.

Ta da:

Parish register entry from Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway

Here is a birth and baptismal record for an Ommund Ommundson, born April 20, 1852 baptized June 7. Parents Ommund Ommundson Maakestad and Kristi Larsdatter Aakre.

Well, sure you say, but there were probably lots of Amunds born in the country in the same year and month.  Ah yes, but this one’s father is Amund Amundson, which matches our Amund’s records. The mother is wrong according to our records, but I am not at all concerned about that, Jorgina’s mother was wrong in her US records too. So I would say this is a good match.

So the second thing I looked for was a ‘hey I am leaving Norway’ record. Yes they have those in Norway.

Ta da:

Here is the same Amund leaving Norway in April of 1871 for Quebec at the age of 19. Hmmm, quite a coincidence huh?

I have to say that I am fairly convinced by these records that our Amund hails from Hordaland, Norway, which is located right on top of Telemark.

With this information I have been able to go back only another generation or two for his line, the records in the parishes in Hordaland are not as thorough as those in Telemark.

It is not a done deal, but I am quite convinced that I have found the right Amund, and I will continue to pursue this line of questioning. An official church record of his marriage might clear the matter up. So anyway its back to the trenches.