Meny Lukk

Donna’s grandfather Gustav Gunderson – Gunder Gundersen from Finnås in Hordaland, Norway!

A couple of days ago, I received an e-mail from Donna R in Saskcatchewan, Canada. Donna has been looking for her grandfathers norwegian roots for years with no luck. She had never had the opportunity to reach out to genealogists in Norway before,  but at last she did, and she found me! Since the research was done in English, I will do this blogpost also in English (forgive spelling and grammar errors). Donna gave me  her permission to blog about the research on her family and use of her pictures. Thank you, Donna!

I got a  greeting from Donna today, thank you again Donna!
«I am Donna Rudy  Saskatchewan Canada, the only grandchild of Gunder- Gustave ( Gus ) Gunderson. I had very little information on him. Laila Christiansen was recommended to me. She started working immediately, I am so impressed with her success, and would recommend  her highly to anyone searching family history. She is amazing»

gustav gundersen
Gustav Gundersen, born in Norway

Donna had very limited information on her Grandfather.

This  was what she knew before she picked her cousins brain:

  • Gustave Gunderson was born in Norway in 1865
  • Unknown parents
  • His father might have fought in the Civil War.
  • Gustave Gunderson was a sailor, both in Norway and in USA (worked as a pilot on the Great lakes)
  • Unknown immigration ship, immigration in the 1880s.
  • Gustav married Caroline Elisabeth Lillebo in Pope County in 1903. She was also born in Norway (Stord), they met in USA. They lived in Wendell, Grant County, Minnesota before immigrating to Canada in 1912.
Gundersen_Gus_and_Lillebo_CarolineE_marriage Minnesota-Starbuck-Fron ELCA - Ancestry
Gundersen_Gus_and_Lillebo_CarolineE_marriage Minnesota-Starbuck-Fron ELCA – Ancestry

I started the research with the information above, and I found the marriage record from Starbuck, Pope, MN.  In the marriage record, it stated that Gus Gunderson (Indexed as Gero Gunderson)  was born in Norway 12. May 1864 to Gunder and Elisabeth Hansen. I also found the family in the 1910-census that stated that Gustave immigrated in 1889. I did not find Gustav Gundersen, in the Norwegian 1865 census or in the emigrant lists from Norway. Nor did I find his father Gunder Hansen in the 1865 census in Norway after using a couple of hours, I almost gave up.

I gave Donna some scenarios:

  1. He (Gustav) was born out of wedlock, his mother did not live with his father, and we don’t know his mothers maiden name at this time.
  2. He Americanized his name to Gustav from something, or he had more than one given name, and is not listed with Gustav at all in the census.
  3. The father Gunder Hansen is not his real father, might be that his mother married him later, (either as a widow, or after what I mentioned here in scenario no. 1),  and Gustav took his name Gundersen (this happened a lot), and also gives Gunder Hansen as his father when he married in the US.

Donna put on her «Thinking Cap», and then she came up with two farm-names she had heard in connection with her family: Teigland and Hauvig

With this extra information I actually solved this mystery.

In the Census of 1865 for Finnås, Moster, Hordaland, I found a little boy, Gunder Gundersen (from now on I call him only Gustav or Gus to avoid confusion), living as a foster son on Teigland farm. He is in the same household in 1875, but at that time he is listed as a servantboy. I have not found any connection between the foster parents and  Gunder (Gustav) Gundersens biological parents at this time.

In the church record in Moster churchbook, I found the baptism record for the little boy. He was born May 12th, 1859 to a unmarried couple, Gunder Hansen Idlestigen and Lisbeth Johnsdatter Sandveien. Idlestigen is a sub-farm to Haavig farm, Sandveien is a subfarm to Sætre farm. Anna Lisabeth Johnsdatter died in 1862, place of death was Haavig farm.

2015-07-19_15-39-48
From Digitalarkivet: Gunder (Gustav) Gundersen birth record. Witnesses to his baptism were 1. Ole Jacobsen Haavig 2. Ole Thorbjørnsen Steensland 3. Endre E. Steensland d.y. (the younger) 4. Siri Larsdatter Haavig 5. Sørine Olsdatter Haavig

After Gustav’s birth, Gunder Hansen Haavig left home and went to Hetland in Rogaland. (Listed in the chuchrecords migration lists) From there he must have worked himself across the Atlantic on a ship (he is not mentioned in any emigrant records) – but he is listed in a book as a soldier in the Civil War, and that he was from Finnås.

HAAVIG, Gunder H. Residence: Aastad, Minnesota. From Finnaas, Norway. Civil War: Private. Wounded and died in Memphis, Tennessee, during the war. Sources: (Ulvestad p285)Aastad låg i Otertail County MN.

We did not find Gustav emigrating either, but since he worked as a pilot/seaman in the US, he probably have found work on a ship, and worked himself across to family members in USA. He had relatives on both his mother and fathers sides in USA.

Gunder Hansen Haavig had several brothers in the US, one was Hans Hansen Haavig, he also lived in Grant County, where Gustav lived with his family in the 1905 census.

What we found that makes me sure:

1. «Gus» Gunderson was born May 12th «1864» in Norway (he cut 5 years of his age when he came to the US, but he kept his birth-date. This is rather common. Gunder Gundersen was born May 12th 1859 in Moster, Finnås, Hordaland. Gunder Gundersen americanized his name to Gustav after immigrating to the US. The birth record from May 12th 1859 gives his parents as Gunder Hansen Idlestigen and Lisbeth Johnsdatter Sandven (Sandven is a subfarm to Sætre).

  1. «Gus» Gundersen (indexed as Gero Gunderson) married in Stabuck, Pope County 1903. His parents given in the marriage record were Gunder Hansen and Elisabeth. The family in the US/Canada remember farm names Haavig and Teigland, Gustav grew up as a foster child on Teigland His mother (Anna) Lisabeth died on Haavig, and his father Gunder Hansen was born on Idlestigen a subfarm under Haavig.
  2. Neither Gustav nor Gunder are found in censuses in Norway after 1875. Gus was a servant boy on Teigland also in 1875,
  3. Gustav’s father, Gunder Hansen Haavig left home in August 1859, and went to Hetland in Rogaland he is not mentioned in any other sources in Norway. Donna’s family has a picture of a person that was said to be Gus’ father, in a Civil War uniform.
    gunder hansen haavig
    Gunder H. Haavig – in his Civil War Uniform?

    In the book «Norwegians in America, their History and Record (A translated version of the 1907 and 1913 Nordmændene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord), Volume 2, Written by Martin Ulvestad) – Translated into English by Odd-Steinar Dybvvad Raneng, Transcribed from Gothic script by Benjamin Keith Huntrods, Edited and indexed by Deb Nelson Gourley
    Astri My Astri Publishing:

    From page 5 is a list of Norwegianss in American wars.. On page 40 in this listing is:
    Haavig, Gunder H. from Finnaas, CW, was wounded and died in Memphis, Tenn. during the war. Lived in Aastad, Minn. This fits with Gunder Hansen Haavig’s brother Hans Hansen Haavig, as he is said to be one of the first settlers in Aastad, Minnesota.

    He (Gunder H. Haavig)  is also listed in the database at vesterheim.org – this listing has the old original book mentioned above as a source:
    https://collections.vesterheim.org/civil-war-database/?_sf_s=haavig

    I don’t find Gunder in the database of people at National Park Service here:
    http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/people.htm

After Donna got the report with all the information, she could also confirm that she had heard the farmname Steensland mentioned somewhere in her family. (from the witnesses to Gustav’s baptism). She has now also looked at some cousins’ Haavig-trees, (these people are actually her unknown cousins).

During my research for Gunder Gundersen born in 1859, I found that several people, both in Norway and in the US,  have been looking for what happened to the little boy – born out of wedlock in 1859. He was in US and Canada all the time! The connections are for sure there, and I am 99,9999% sure we have found the right people!  Only a DNA-test can prove it, and maybe Donna connects with a cousin on the Haavig line, to do a DNA-test? Would be interesting to see the result!

This is some of the research:

Hans Danielsen Vold.1,2

Hans married Brynhild Knudsdatter1,2 They had several children, but at least two boys: Hans and Gunder.

Hans Hansen Haavig2 was born on 27 Sep 1836 in Haavig, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland, Norway2 and was christened on 9 Oct 1836 in Moster church, Finnås, Hordaland.Hans emigrated to America, and has many living relatives.

Gunder Hansen Haavig1,3,4 was born on 5 Jan 1840 in Haavig, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland, Norway,1 was christened on 19 Jan 1840 in Moster, Finnås, Hordaland,1 and died in 1861-1865 in Memphis, Tennessee at age 21. Gunder moved to Hetland, Rogaland in August 1859.5

Gunder had a relationship with Anna Lisbeth Johnsdatter,3,6 daughter of John Askjeldsen6 and Anne Larsdatter,6 This couple did not marry. Anna was born on 14 Oct 1837 in Haavig, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland,6 was christened on 15 Oct 1837 in Moster church, Finnås, Hordaland,6 died on 21 Dec 1862 in Haavig, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland, Norway7 at age 25, and was buried on 19 Mar 1862 in Moster church, Finnås, Hordaland.7 They had one son: Gunder (Gustav)

Gunder Gundersen4,8 was born on 12 May 1859 in Idlestigen Finnås, Moster, Hordaland8 and was christened on 20 May 1859 in Moster church, Finnås, Hordaland.8 Another name for Gunder was Gustav Gunderson.

  • He appeared on the census on 31 Dec 1865 in Teigland, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland, Norway.9
  • he appeared on the census on 31 Dec 1875 in Teigland, Moster, Finnås, Hordaland, Norway
    http://rhd.uit.no/folketellinger/ftliste.aspx?ft=1875&knr=1218&kenr=001&bnr=0067&lnr=00
  • He was confirmed on 20 Sep 1874 in Moster, Finnås, Hordaland.4

Source Citations

1 Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 6 (1836-1850), «Birth and baptism record 1840,» Gunder, page 32 no. 4; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 18 Jul 2015);
Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8822&idx_id=8822&uid=ny&idx_side=-37

2 Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 6 (1836-1850), «Birth and baptism records 1836,» Hans, page 7 no. 119; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 17 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8822&idx_id=8822&uid=ny&idx_side=-12

  1. Moster church (Finnås parish, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register copy nr. A 1 (1851-1873),, «Birth and baptism records 1859,» Gunder, page 31 no. 23; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 18 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8824&idx_id=8824&uid=ny&idx_side=-34
  1. Moster church (Finnås parish, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register copy nr. A 2 (1873-1882),, «Confirmation records 1873,» Gunder Gundersen, page 94 no. 8 record; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 18 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8824&idx_id=8824&uid=ny&idx_side=-42
  1. Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 7 (1850-1862), «Migration records 1859,» Gunder Hansen Idlestien, page 349 record no 23; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 19 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8271&idx_id=8271&uid=ny&idx_side=-327
  1. Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 6 (1836-1850), «BIrth and baptism 1837,» Anna Lisbeth, page 13 no. 93; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 19 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8822&idx_id=8822&uid=ny&idx_side=-18
  1. Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 7 (1850-1862), «Death and burial record 1862,» Anna Lisabeth Johnsdatter, page 307 no. 5; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 19 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8271&idx_id=8271&uid=ny&idx_side=-289
  1. Finnås parish (Finnås, Hordaland county, Norway), Parish register (official) nr. A 7 (1850-1862), «Birth and baptism records 1859,» Gunder, page 87 no. 99; digital images, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(arkivverket.no/digitalarkivet : accessed 19 Jul 2015); Permanent pagelink: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=8271&idx_id=8271&uid=ny&idx_side=-92
  1. Norway Statistics, «Census 1865 for 1218P Finnås parish,» database, Arkivverket, Digitalarkivet(http://www.arkivverket.no : accessed 18 Jul 2015), Gunder Gundersen in Lars Johannessens household; Mosterøen, Moster, Finnås – Teigland farm; http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/en-gb/ft/person/pf01038227001172

2 kommentarer

  1. Helga Kallevik

    I live in Haavik, Mosterhamn (bømlo) and have the Bygdebook for Moster (bygdebook for Bømlo bind 4).
    Here I find the same information about these family.
    Brynhild Knutsdatter, the wife of Hans Danielson Vold, had a sister named Britha Knutsdatter Straumøy.She married a brother of my gr great grandfather named Halvard Jacobsen. they also lived in Haavik. They got a son naed Knut Halvardson Haavik or Kallevik? I have a reason to belive that he also emigrated to USA.

    Some mistake in the text over: Moster is not on Finnøy.
    Finnøy is in Rogaland county, and here you find Mosterøy.
    Mosterhamn is in Bømlo, (earlier Finnaas), Hordaland county.

    sincerely Helga Kallevik

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