Amund Leaves Norway

There is nothing new to learn regarding Amund Amundson’s immigration to the United States from Norway. I know everything regarding the bold facts. The only thing missing was the actual passengers’ list. The only reason I bring this up, is that I finally decided to find out more about Amund’s trip to America and thought I would share.

Amund Amundson turned 19 three days before he boarded the ‘Frigate Bird’ in Bergen on April 23, 1871, with no other family, although it is possible he traveled with others from the same area. He was heading to Minnesota via Quebec, Canada.

The trip took a little over a month, as the ship arrived in Quebec on the 31st of May, but, because 11 passengers had measles, they were not allowed to disembark until the 4th of June. Although, on arrival at Grosse Isle, all emigrant ships were quarantined until they could assure the authorities that they were free of disease.1

A ship of the time rigged as a Bark. This is not a picture of his ship, but it is close.

I estimate the cost for the trip to have been about $15 US (or about $300 in current money), this doesn’t include the outlying cost of bringing all your own food. The ship’s picture I have inserted above was found at http://www.norwayheritage.com, it is known as a bark. Which describes the type of rigging on the ship that when rigged this way needed fewer crew to get ‘er where she was going. According to historical reference, Amund’s ship was sometimes rigged this way. Which also means that Amund’s trip was definitely not aboard a steamship.

The emigrants in those days had to supply themselves with the necessities of life during the passage and be their own cooks and waiters, families as well as single persons. Several people usually combined their kitchen and food chores and it all occurred, as far as I can recall, without much grumbling or commotion. The only items that were provided without cost by the shipping company were the stove, firewood, and water, as well as fresh air when one stood on deck, though the company did not actually provide the latter. To be sure fresh air was also free below deck, but when so many people had to stay in such a limited space at night and occasionally by day, one may more easily imagine its quality than I can describe it.

Recollections from My Journey to America and My First Years in America, by Halle Steensland 2

An interesting tidbit I found when researching more on Amund’s trip was how in 1869 Norway passed a law to better protect passengers from all the scummy company’s trying to exploit them.3

Originally all I had been able to find regarding Amund’s trip was his entry in a database regarding his leaving Norway in 1871. And from this search entry, I have been able to suss out the origins and ancestry of Amund. But I never had an actual passengers list for him.

Here is the database entry from the Digitalarkivet site from about 10 years ago, that helped me find my Amundson ancestors.
And finally here is the passenger list, found at the Quebec Archives. He is listed as Aamund Ammundson Rogdaberg of Ullensvang, 19 years old.

Okay, so Amund is in Quebec. Now what?

Amund, might have purchased a packaged trip to his final destination, or arranged with the captain, as was one of the customs, to continue on to the United States. So that meant he was now going to board a train, as that was the usual mode of transport when heading to Wisconsin, Minnesota or Iowa. And for those folks going to Minnesota, the usual route was to Milwaukee, and from there the train to Minnesota.

If the emigrant is to continue the trip westward by rail, he will be ferried across the St. Clair River at Sarnia to Port Huron in the state of Michigan… For those emigrants who plan to go by way of Milwaukee, it will be most convenient to change trains in Detroit, Michigan, and go to Grand Haven in the same state. From there they can go by steamer across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Those who wish to settle in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or northern Iowa usually choose the Milwaukee route as the most convenient.

John A. Johnson, translated by C. A. Clausen4

Amund possibly went right to Goodhue County in Minnesota, as he is found there in the 1875 state census, already married to Jorgina Johnson, and they had a daughter. But not my great grandmother, yet.

So there you have it. And, if I hadn’t known the ship’s name, it might have been a lot trickier to find this little gem. Now I have to work on finding Jorgina’s arrival.

Source:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grosse_Isle
2. http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/pubs/nas/volume33/vol33_08.htm
3. http://www.norwayheritage.com/articles/templates/historic_documents.asp?articleid=27&zoneid=18
4. http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/pubs/nas/volume33/vol33_07.htm

Yes, They Definitely Were

For years I had been looking for evidence that my great grandparents Fred Hamm and Carrie Amundson had actually married, and my grandmother was in fact not illegitimate, which was thought that that might be why her Hamm grand-parents had raised her.

And then, miraculously, I found their divorce case mentioned in a newspaper, while searching for something else entirely, of course. Yay!! And then, I found their marriage record at the register of deeds office. Yay!! And just this month I found the actual church record for their marriage. Again, a total accident. Yay!

Apparently, some Swedish Lutheran Church records were recently added to the Ancestry.com databases, and while doing Amundson searches in Minnesota, I ran across the church record for Fred and Carrie in this most unlikely record series. I guess that’s why it doesn’t hurt to keep sticking the same names in the search box every few months, because something unexpected can turn up. This find certainly put me in a good mood.

Carlton County, marriage record.
Church record, Fred and Carrie are near the bottom.

I guess this means that it is official, my grandmother Myrtle was totally legit!

Fred W. Hamm vs. Carrie Hamm…

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Julia Caroline (Carrie) Amundson and Frederick Wilhelm Karl Emil Hamm about 1903.

It is a miracle.

I have finally found proof that Fred Hamm and Carrie Amundson were married! All I can say is keep on trucking with newspaper research and the story will out. And, as usual, I wasn’t even looking for this, I was actually trying to find out what happened to Fred’s daughter Margaret, whom he had with Emma Steinbach.

I finally cracked the nut on Margaret, but this beats all. There in the July 28, 1910 issue of the International Falls Press newspaper was a notice for a summons to court for the case of  Fred W. Hamm vs. Carrie Hamm. Further investigation gave me a divorce date in July of 1910 in Koochiching County, Minnesota.

Now I know why I couldn’t find their divorce record earlier, I only knew of two possible counties to research: St. Louis in Minnesota and Taylor County in Wisconsin. Neither had any record of a divorce for them. It didn’t occur to me to check the county where he lived with Emma in Minnesota.

 

newspaper_hamm_courtsummons1910

Fred had left the state by 1909ish and went to Montana for a very short while, probably to just disappear (he is in the 1910 census there which was taken in April). By July of 1910 he was back in Minnesota, in Koochiching County, where he was divorced from Carrie. Notices had been appearing in the paper since March.

The case file is very short. There is a complaint and a judgment, just 6 pages.

judgment

But these 6 pages give me the vital information I have been looking for these many years. Julia Caroline Amundson (I finally have her proper name)  and Frederick Wilhelm Karl Emil Hamm were married on the 24th of February in 1903 at Moose Lake, Carlton County, Minnesota.

Because the notices for the court case were appearing in the International Falls paper, I had serious doubts that Carrie would be in court, she lived in Duluth, and she wasn’t. I don’t currently know if any of these notices were appearing in the Duluth papers. However, from the complaint submitted by Fred, maybe she wasn’t going to appear regardless.

V
That on several occasions, since the marriage of plaintiff [Fred] and defendant [Carrie] the defendant in this action left the home of plaintiff, without any cause, and plaintiff sought her and brought her back. That on October 20, 1908, or about that date, the defendant disappeared from the home of plaintiff, leaving him and the little child above named, and has ever since that time, and still, is living apart from plaintiff and their child. That defendant has ever since the date last mentioned wholly deserted and abandoned plaintiff and kept her whereabouts unknown to plaintiff or their child, and has never returned to the home of plaintiff or to the home of plaintiff’s parents where the child of plaintiff and defend is being cared for and provided for. [So, Myrtle is now with her Hamm grandparents in Medford.]

VI
That defendant seems to possess no love for her child, the issue of the marriage of plaintiff and defendant, and has wholly disregarded, without any cause or provocation, her duties to her husband and child, and has wholly abandoned each of them since October 20, 1908, and has and still does concealed herself from them and kept her whereabouts unknown to them.

This was definitely a marriage with problems, and I believe that some of what Fred is accusing Carrie of is true.

When Fred appeared in court in November of 1908, after having been arrested for non-payment of child support, the newspaper article mentioned that Fred was complaining about also paying for support of her son John Gustafson, who had been living with her parents before they died. I find no evidence in later records that Carrie took care of her son John. And, Carrie does not appear to have made much effort to keep in contact with her daughter Myrtle after she was given to her Hamm grandparents to raise in Medford, Wisconsin. Admittedly, this supposition could be false. I just don’t have enough evidence to know how exaggerated the accusations are, and probably never will.

Here is another interesting newspaper article I found recently regarding the non-support case in 1908:

newspaper_hammfred_1908MNchildsupport

 

According to this newspaper version of events, it appears that my great great Aunt Lydia, was named as a source of contention in the marriage as early as 1908.

The judgment for divorce was entered in the record on July 19, 1910 (Court date was the 12th). Fred went on to marry two more times. Carrie never married again, and spent the rest of her life in Duluth working as a laundress or house cleaner in local businesses and private homes. They had been married for 7 years.

I am quite happy that I can finally mark this question off my list of things I want to know.

Whatever happened to baby Margaret and other tales of woe…

I have made sporatic attempts over the last few years to find out what happened to Fred and Emma Steinbach Fischer Hamm’s daughter Margaret Dorothy, with no luck. (Margaret was my grandmother Myrtle Hamm’s half sister.) And the fact that she is a she has made it harder. Recently I made another stab at solving the mystery by using the Minnesota Newspaper digital hub, where more and more Minnesota newspapers are being digitized. It was there that I learned something new about Fred and Emma, and, using that information, was able to, probably, solve the mystery of Margaret.

Apparently, when Fred married Emma in 1912, she brought two boys from her previous marriage into this new family: Herman and Martin Fischer.  This discovery was made when I found the attached article from a Minnesota newspaper.newspaper_hammfred_fatalshootingMN1913

The article tells the story of how Herman Fischer, age 11, was accidentally and fatally shot by his younger brother Martin, age 9.

While Fred had been a ner’do well in life, he also had his share of tragedy. He lost two siblings when he was young, a brother and a sister. His first child with Carrie Amundson, Amelia, died just over the age of 1. His youngest son, Clarence, was only 8 when he was killed in a car accident caused by his wife’s brother (this would be his third wife Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm*), and his eldest son Raymond died in Africa during WWII.

Herman wasn’t Fred’s son, but the loss of a child in the family, and in such a manner, would have been shocking, and devastating, none-the-less.

Sadly, the fate of Margaret Dorothy Hamm appears to be no better, as she seems to have died at the age of 18, in 1933.

Using clues from Ancestry.com regarding Emma, and now knowing about her two sons from her marriage to Fischer, I have been able to determine that Emma, after her divorce from Fred in 1918, was married to Charles Green for a while and then later Sam Dougherty. (She died in 1947 as Emma Dougherty.) In the 1920 census I found Emma living with Charles Green, along with her son Martin, and daughter Margaret. Both mistakenly listed with the surname Green. Margaret, however, appears to have kept the Green surname. Martin after that census stayed a Fischer. So it was with these new clues that I was able to find Margaret in FindaGrave, where she is buried with her mother and step-father.

Until I get her death registration, cause of death at this time is unknown.

Below is the only identified picture of Margaret in the family collection.

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*NOTE: Emma Paugel married George Hamm, Fred’s brother, and had several children with him. Then she ran away with Fred, and her children, and divorced George. She married Fred about 1930. So she is Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm. Not a typo.

1940 revisited…

Hurray! Miracle of miracles, I have finally found the elusive Fred Hamm in the 1940 census, something I thought was impossible. And, I wasn’t really even looking for him, I was looking for his son Arthur Albert Hamm.

census_hammfred_1940MN
1940 United State Federal Census, Candor, Ottertail County, Minnesota. Almost to Fargo.

Interesting bits of information can be gleaned from this census. One of the questions asked was where was the person living in 1935. According to Fred, he was in Becker County, Minnesota around the Detroit Lakes area. Arthur and Raymond are living with their father in this census, and in 1935 they had been in Shawano County, most likely with their mother Emma, (who died in 1943).

We know that sometime later in 1940 or early 1941 Fred moved to Door County, Wisconsin where he was working as a Cherry picker ,and possibly farming, until he died in 1951.1 Raymond and Arthur probably moved with him to Door County. It wasn’t long after that both boys joined up – WWII had gotten into full swing.

  1. Fred Hamm’s obituary from Door County indicates that when he died he had been living in the area for 11 years.