Progress Report:  7 August 2001
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7 AUGUST 2001:

As of today, we have the birth, christening, and marriage documentation for Syver Madsen and Hellene Olsdtr and their children, born in Norway, Ragna, Otillia, Oliana Marie, and Hefred. David and Martha were born in Strum, Wisconsin, USA.  We also have the confirmation date for one of Hellene's siblings, Johan.   We know when Syver and Hellene and children came to America, and we know how they came.  We can name the parents of Syver and Hellene:  (Syver) Mads Larsen and Oline Christophersdatter; (Hellene) Ole Hansen and Ragnild Juulsdatter. 

The female names are clues to names in the next earlier generation.  Oline, for instance, is the daughter of Christopher, and Ragnild is likely the daughter of Juuls.  Our families appear to have stuck fairly well to the patronimic naming system that was used for so long in Norway.  Female names are actually easier to track than male names. 

Now, we are going to pursue some other possibilities to further identify the parents and the siblings of Syver and Hellene.  After we get to that level, I will probably begin to work on both the Madsen and and Garsjoen sides of the family more equally. 

I am presently very interested in what may turn out to be a special very long term relationship between the families in our family, all, or nearly all, which lived at the point on the map where Ostre Toten, Vestre Toten, and Hurdal intersect.  It is very likely that the Madsens, Garsjoens, Frodahls, Larsens, Hansens......all lived next or very near each other, but went to churches in multiple parishes.  The parishes involved, Hof, Kobu, and Hurdal, are very close. 

I now intend to check out the location of the various farms these people lived on.  Indications from my friend, Leroy Madson, are that the Brennsaetre (Braendsaeter) farms, and there are two in Ostre Toten, are only about 5 kilometers, or less, from Hurdal.  Hellene was born on a sub-farm of Braendsaeter:  Bjerkebakken.   The Garsjoen farm was right on the border of Ostre Toten, located on the Kings Highway, virtually the only way south from Ostre Toten toward Oslo.

If there is something to these earlier relationships, then that may begin to explain how and why these families related as they did in Strum, Eleva, and Osseo, Wisconsin, northern Trempealeau County, USA.  The distances between some of these norwegian farms may have been no more than the distance from Eleva to Strum, 4 miles!   A long ways, perhaps, in those days, but still very very close.

These interesting possibilities may open up new views on what really happened with our ancestor's lives in Norway.   I intend to pursue this, and to continue to indentify more ancestors, and immediately also identify the siblings of Syver and Hellene.

Fred Matson