Before leaving Norway, we had filled in the ESTA application - but on the plane we were presented with the old "green formula", and our electronic Visa application seemed to be waisted work. A phonecall to the US Embassy in Oslo gave the answer that "rakfisk" was illegal to bring to the US, bur gravelaks was OK -

Upon arrival in Chicago, we located the terminal where the 'National' shuttlebus picked up passengers, and after a short while we were seated in our yellow "Compact" with instructions on how to drive towards Milwaukee. You can view all pictures from the trip here.

After buying a Wisconsin map, we travelled trough Milwaukee, and settled for the first night at Regency inn in Belgium, Ozaukee Co.

Our plans for the beginning of the day was to go to Valders in Manitowoc County.

Arriving Valders, the older participant, out of old habit, had to grab his camera and go hunting for gravestones .....

Our Saviour Cemetery (by the watertower)  Maps here – and lots of info on Manitowoc here



Anders Kristensson Snortei



”Moving out” list

Emigration – [Ship list]

Learn more about Anders from page 4 in ”Manitowoc-skogen” by Robert Bjercke

Bjørn Toresson Ulnes



”Moving out” list

Emigration – [Ship list]


Learn more about Bjørn from page 29 in ”Manitowoc-skogen” by Robert Bjercke


 Valders Cemetery - situated on a hill a few minutes west of Valders village:


Ivar Jonsson Alfstad




Learn more about Ivar from page 94 in ”Manitowoc-skogen” by Robert Bjercke


Ivar is granduncle to my sons maternal great grandfather.

Arne Syversson Hallé

[Arne Syverson Åbjør (Aaberg)]



- minimizing the trips to Church: -

Christening of daughter and Marriage to

Ingebjørg Amundsdotter Øyé



Learn more about the couple from page 22 in ”Manitowoc-skogen” by Robert Bjercke

 Jole family from Krøssjordé i Åbjør

Knut Olsson Jole




Gjartrud Olsdotter




Ola Knutsson Krøssjordé



Marriage to

Siri Olsdotter Åbjørsbrøtin



Jole family ”Moving out” lists – source2

Learn more about the couples from pages 130 & 180 in ”Manitowoc-skogen” by Robert Bjercke

Info on the family on Douglas Joles webpage


After spending some unforgettable days with the Fossens in De Pere, WI, on Thursday Nov. 6. our yellow Chevrolet were onto the next leg of our trip ..

We move westwards into Minnesota - to Pope County:

Friday 7 was spent driving around in an area 'the old one' had visited in 2003, and bringing some stones from Åbjør to the grave of a dear relative. - On Saturday we were taken veru good care of, first by beeing invited to 'kaffeslabberas' at Arne Peterson in Starbuck, next to be served fried walleye in the home of Nancy and Don Vergin in Benson, Swift Co. - Donna had made the schedule for the coming Sunday, first a visit to both West- and East Zion Cemeteries, and finally meeting with a lot of people with Valdres-roots in the Eldercenter in Starbuck. - - Below is some of the tracks of Valdres-people arriving long time ago....

West Zion, Hoff Twp., Pope Co. Minnesota

. . Halvor Olsson Veslehestkinn :




Emigrates: april 1868 [#80-86 (+ 2 children)]


Page 42 Vol B, ”Gard og Bygd i Etnedal”

Marriage 12/1-1840 LINK



I have some notes telling Oleanna married

I Johannes Åberge from Sogn in Pope Co

………Johannes died April 11. 1882 (picture right side)


And later Oleanna marries

II Syver Syversson Hieismarke (from Etnedal)

--------------- MAP -----------------------


Marit Knutsdotter Lieseige

(Wife of Halvor O Hestkinn)




Gunhild Halvorsdotter Hestkinn

(Daughter f Halvor and Marit Hestkinn)





Census 1865 LINK - Marriage; LINK

Emigration: May 10. 1885 (Kristiania) - LINK

------------------------------------------------------- Ancestors-----------------------------------------------------


Haldor Aslakson

Rugbrøtin under Sørre Lie gnr. 1 i Sør-Aurdal

Birth, Confirmation

Emigration ( Norway Heritage # 145, 146 )

Notes from Ruth Ann Wingers webpage


Aslag Haldorsson



Ingrid Haldorsdotter



Marriage .. Emigrantlist


The branch from Åbjør [B3]:

Eivid Trondsson follows the male line in Åbjør back to late 1500. - As far as we know the history of the farm. (Today Åbjør is split up into a lot of farms)

On Unni Embriksdotter few informations are known, but based on the given name UNN(I/Y/A), her origin is probably in the inner Sogn area (Lærdal/Aurland/Sogndal)

If you look at census 1801, close to 90% of the women having the UNN name, lives in this area!

The given name Timann was much used in the Aurdal area, but not in Slidre and Vang. The Timann name can in most cases be traced back to one person, living in Aurdal in the midst of 1500.

[Remember that it was common to inherit the given name of the ancestors]



Her hviler

barn af

Mr. og Mrs.

K. K.





26 Nov


Here rests

the child of

Mr. And Mrs

K. K.





Nov 26.





Anders Andersson Krakkaplassen


Birth, Confirmation, Marriage


Some boy !!!!

Left his wife short time after the wedding, ran away with a much younger girl to America. Left all his debitors in Norway without giving them a nickle !!

Looks like he did not get too long time across the Atlantic before he was visited by ”the Grim Reaper”

He is my relative in multiple branches !!



Krakkaplassen is today inside the area of Fagernes, where a lot of new homes have been constructed after the 1970’s.



Mikkel Kristensson Lie






Knut Halvorsson Turtlite


Turtlite (meaning: dry and small) was a cottars place under Nordåk farm in Aurdal.




Emigration parents/siblings

Anders Syversson Astribrøtin ( Anders Aaberg )



Left: detailed map of Åbjør

with the farms of the ancestors marked.


Anders Syversson are related to me in more branches. (D2, D1, B1 & C2)

---------------------- East Zion ------------------------------

Torstein Torsteinsson Hippe





Mari Hansdotter Steinset




Census 1865

Link to manuscript from Ål



Maria Knutsdotter Oppeisbakkin



Oppei is marked A on map

Gudbrand Knutsson Garlislette



Marked D on map






Here rests Maria Embriksdotters parents, Embrik Andreasson Oppeisbakkin and his wife, Astri Isaksdotter Sørei B – and Marias brother Andreas


Nils Nilsson Bjørkrud




Kari Timannsdotter Bjørkrud







Jana Robertson reference webpage:



Andris Amundsson from Brattebrøto, his nephew Anders Knutsson from Astribrøta and the Veien family from Åbjør.

In Åbjør, this story

it starts in august 1832 with the marriage of

Amund Trondsson from nerreHaugo( A) andAnne Ivarsdotter from Brøto( B).

The couple settles in Brattebrøto( C), and rises 5 children:

Inge – b 5/10-1832 ( D)

Trond - b 22/8/1835

Åste – b 22/8/1840 – d 1902

Ivar – b 26/3/1843 – d 1864

Andris – b 20/11/1849

Everyone is closest to oneself” is a well knovn Norwegian proverb. Looking at the map I have put the arrow for Brøto farm ( B) to point to the part where I live. The main farm is the one just above the ’t” in Jordet.


The brothers Trond and Andris takes the ’big leap’ across the Atlantic. Both the brothers are later to be found in Pope Co,

Inge marries Knut Syversson from Veslebrenn and the couple moves to Astribrøtin ( D). Her sons, Syver, Anders, Knut and Trond leaves for America, and ends up among relatives and other people from Åbjør living in Pope County. – Inge travels to her children in 1892, after her husband Knut dies in 1891

The sister – Åsta stayed with her parents back in Norway. She had 2 daughters, and has decendants kiving in the area today.


The first one to leave Åbjør, in 1867, is Trond Amundsson Brattebrøto. He is in 1910 living in sect. 16 in Gilchrist Twp.

The next one to leave is Tronds nephew, Syver Knutsson Astribrøtin , known as Syver K Aaberg over there. Pope Co. His wife Ingebjørg joins him some months later. The couple is in 1900 found in sect. 4 in Langhei Twp. – The next spring Syver is joined by his brother Anders Knutsson. One year later, Anders Amundson arrives in the States, Knut Knutsson Astribrøtin (Knut K Aaberg) arrives in the late 80’ and Trond Knutsson travels to the area in 1889.



Birth - ( info on Ruth Ann Wingers database)

Dedrikke was married first time to Eivind Helgesson Fløvike (Even Erickson in US) born in Fløo in Åbjør in 1839, who died in Nora Twp, Pope Co in 1878.

Tekstboks: During my trip to USA in september/october 2003, Jin Belgum took us to the ’Pioneer Cemetery’ in Nora Twp.   Helge Erickson is Even Ericksons father, Bergitte is his wife, and also the mother of Dedrikke, Even Ericksons wife.  Eivind was 2. cousin to Dedrikkes 2. husband, Anders Amundsson [their grandmothers, Ragnhild & Åste Lagesdaughters Vesterbø, were sisters )



Anders Knutsson Astribrøtin

(Andrew Aaberg)





Let us now take a look at Anders ( E )Knutssons grandmother on fathers side, Marit Nilsdotter Moen( B ) She was the aunt of two ladies who also came to Pope Co. – Anne Persdotter Veien ( A ) and Marit Persdotter Krøssjordet ( C ).

Anne and her husband, transfers the farm Veien ( A ) to Annes sister Marit, and the Veien family emigrates in 1883, -- the eldest daughter, Anne has already left with her uncle, Ole O Hagen ( F & G ).- , Anne is recorded dead in Nora Twp. in 1881. In 1900 the Veien family are found in sect. 14 in Langhei Twp.

In 1885, the widow Marit Persdotter sells Veien to her neighbour, Knut Haraldsson Bruhallen,( G ) and emigrates with her children. In 1900 she lives in sect 27 in Blue Mounds Twp.

Let us also mention that one of Knut Haraldson Bruhallens sons, Anders Knutsson, at the same time owns a farm in sect. 15 in Gilchrist Twp.















------------------- thanks to Maynard Lundebreck, who organized the map of the East Zion Cemetery ------------------


Both the driver and the passanger of the Chevrolet started to wonder if Nancy had the ability to read minds... We were presented with a bag containing among other things - a road map of North America and 3 boxes of "Snickers-style" cookoes, rich in energy - and easy to grab at during our upcoming long trip trough 12 states ...... on returning the car, we had been driving exactly 5000 miles ...

Immidiately after the meeting with the Valdres-people in Starbuck, the youngest member, and the main driver of the hired car, took command of the schedule (thinking his father had used much time running around Cemeteries), and we drove for 48 hours directly to the south, away from snow and cold winds. Pivtures from the trip can be foond at the picasawebaccount, after touring 12 states in the southwest part, we arrived back in Wisconsin, in another Valdres-inhabited area, and wewe invited to a saturday bazaar in Perry Luhteran Chutch

------------------- Perry Church, Daleyville, Dane Co. Wisconsin---------------------

In Daleyville we were taken care of by Sherry and Ray Einerson. Sherry is the author of "the Jelle Family". We met outside Perry Lutheran Church in Daleyville, and after meeting with pastor Hans Floan, we went to the study room to look at the family-history material collected here.

As you will see, we also found a lot of familiar names on the gravestones. - After eating 'rummegraut' at the Church bazaar, abd exhausting the cameras memory card , we went to the 'Hauge Log Church' and to the local Museum in Mt. Horeb.



Erik og Inger Kjørstad

Erik Olsson Kjørstad

Birth – Confirmation

Inger Helgesdotter Kjørstadhaugen

Birth – Confirmation

Marriage – Emigration – Census 1880


Sigrid Jensdotter Breiset (born Hippe)






Daughter Marit married to Henrik Knutsson Grøndalen

Daughter Anne Married to Tore Knutsson Grøndalen


”Timannsson-family” from sørre Kleivgard in Etnedal

Arne Olsson Kleivgard

Birth * - Confirmation

Inger Syversdotter Kringlemoen

Birth *

* : difference between Churchbook and gravestone

Marriage - Emigration - Link to Marisa Bensons pages



Ole Arnesson: Birth

Anne Eriksdotter: Birthreference database Å

Arne Ellendsson - Birth }

Arne Ruste (Arne Ellendsson) - gravestone at Hauge Log Church

The Anne Eriksdtr. family may be mentioned in the book: ”The Coleburners Legacy


Arne Ellendssons daughter, Anne (b 1835) married into my family from Åbjør in Dane Co.


Nils Nilsson


Siri Nilsdotter




Census 1865

Census 1875

Emigration ( 82018 - 82022 )


Tølleiv Sjugurdsson Anmarkrud og Karen Nilsdotter Lund











They probably went with ”LYNA” from Drammen June 8. to New York August 8. (1849)

As you see, the ship list is not transcribed Strong proof found in the refered article…




Ola Julsson Hovrud

Birth – Confirmation - Emigration






Tronrud, Gudbrand og Eli (Ellen)

Gudbrand Olsson Tronrud

BirthConfirmation - Emigration

Eli Reiersdotter Dølve

BirthConfirmation - Emigration


Hauge Log Church

with Sherry and Ray Einerson by the door.

Ola Helgesson Bøle og Kari Jørgensdotter Syndé

Ola Helgesson Bøle


Kari Jørgensdotter Syndé


ConfirmationMoving into S.Aurdal


Moving out records, family

Emigration ( ”Shiplist”)

There are many people from Valdres on board ”Freya”, arriving New York August 5. 1850.

---------------------Mt Horeb – museumvisit – ”meeting home away from home” --------------------------


Books have been transported from Åbjør to America trough more then 150 years


”This book belongs to me,”

Halstein Gudbrandsson Krøssjordhaugen

Born (in Åbjør) June 21. – 1806

Christening ... Confirmation

Marriage toAnne Arnesdotter Roo


Translated article by Martin Ulvestad


Travelpermission to leave for America

and Smallpox-vaccination attestation


Halstein Knutsson Rennebrøtin

aka Halstein Knutsson Grøndalen from Åbjør



Emigration – ”Moving out note”

Halsteins younger brother, Timann Knutsson, is among the ” Goldconfirmants” pictured further down….


”Goldconfirmants plus” in Mt. Horeb



Click to see the original image



Jul Toresson Mehus , one of the ”Goldconfirmants” was shoemaker in Mt. Horeb. A lot of his equipment is yet on exebishion in the museum


On Saturday night we left for Chicago, and the coming Sunday was spent as tourists, taking a organized trip in the City center.