Friday, April 20, 2007

Family Heritage ~ CHBM Photo Friday

I love this week's topic for Photo Friday... coincidentally, I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I would post a little about my family history. I've been fortunate to have access to hundreds of photographs of my ancestors. Even more exciting is the fact that there has been a 'genealogist' in each generation of my family so not only do we have photos... we have the stories to accompany them. As you may have guessed, I'm the family historian for my generation. :) The following photos are some of my favorite... I've included a brief summary for each to put them into context.

Lars was born on the 1st of July 1855, in Hardanger, Norway. As a young man, he found work on a farm. It was here that he met Martha. He worked the farm for about 6 years before they were married. Martha, soon thereafter began plotting for how to get to America. Her brother, Samson, sent her a ticket, which surely put Lars on the spot as he was not richer than Martha, but finally made the price of a ticket. [This photo of Lars & Martha was taken in the late early 1900s]

Their first child, Kanutta, was born on July 5, 1885, approximately one month after arriving in Story City, Iowa. A few years after their arrival, they purchased 80 acres nearby and began farming it. It was in 1896 that Lars sold his farm on the prairie and signed up for 120 acres of land in Glen Flora, Wisconsin

Lars was a rugged individual, about 5'8" of normal weight, approximately 165 pounds and reddish brown hair. It was very difficult for him to speak English, although he readily adapted himself to his new surroundings, spending much of his time logging and hewing railroad ties. He was also a road builder and did a great deal of stone mason work. Many bridge abutments in the vicinity of Glen Flora were put in by him. He also made stone foundations for many houses and barns.

In July of 1900, Kanutta married Ole, who had come to the United States from Kragero, Norway as a young seaman. [This photo is of his father, Jens]

As a young man, Jens apprenticed in blacksmithing for four years and an additional two years as a toolsmith. He helped with the harvest in the fall and also worked at sawmilling. Following in the footsteps of his children, he left Norway in April of 1891 and moved to Glen Flora, Wisconsin to be near his family.

This is the youngest son of Jens. He also came to the United States as a young man (he was 19). He worked as a timber cruiser and surveyor for a few years in Wisconsin and Montana. Later he came to live with my dad's family in Portland, Oregon. During this time, he cared for a small herd of goats, just as he had done as a child in Norway.

This is a photo of my dad and his siblings around 1949.
The family we protray at the homestead is based upon my own family's history. I'm hoping to get started again next month.


  1. Some mighty fine looking young men there, Makita :-) That is so cool you have a good family history.

  2. People looked so serious in those old photos - wonder if they had a lot on their mind?
    The one of your Dad is sweet.

  3. Very cool pictures! I have some older ones of my family that I copied out of a book about my families history. I am lucky enough that someone else did all this fancy historian stuff so I can just read about it. I'm hoping those books will be passed down to me when the time comes.

  4. You are so fortunate to have not just pictures but a written history of your family! I hate to say it this way but my family's history has virtually been erased -- a lot of stories my older family members just wanted to leave behind in the "old country." I wish I had stories to share with Amara!


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