Friday, January 22, 2010

Found Descendants of my Great Uncle Christen

A few posts ago I wrote regarding my search for two great uncles who had come to America (  UPDATE: I was able to find the descendants of one of them and have made contact.

This has been extremely exciting.  By tracing the deceased son of my great-uncle, I was able to find records with the name of his children, and long-story-short, Google is a powerful thing!  I found the children and emailed my way to finally receiving a response from two of Christen's grandchildren.  This led me to finding out that one of Christen's children was still alive!  She was born in 1917, and I have talked and emailed with her daughter as well.  This was wonderful because I was able to find out quite a bit about Christen and his life in North Dakota.  He was a homesteader in Fertile Divide who met a widow, Inga, and they had three children.  Christen was quite the musician, and he had played for the King's band in Norway.  He continued to play his trumpet in Grenora, ND.  I also found out how harsh life could be in ND in the winter as I was told he would have to ride his horses in bitterly cold winter weather, 20 miles both ways, to buy coal to keep the home warm.

Here is a synopsis of things I learned from Christen's daughter:

1. Her father said he skied a lot down the hill close to his home in Norway,  and he had to walk up the hill (makes sense since the Jordbaerhaugen farm is on a hill)
2. He played the trumpet in the King's Band in Norway (I mentioned this already)
3. He was a physical fitness advocate, and every night he would lead his children in exercises
4. He started a band in Grenora-played for barn dances, at the church, anywhere they would let him!
5. He had a beautiful singing voice and started the Haug quartet with his wife and two older children
6. They belonged to Bethany Lutheran Church
7. He liked to be called Chris

I was able to inform Christen's descendants regarding the location of Jordbaerhaugen, the farm that gave them the surname Haug.  Christen's daughter had never seen a picture of her grandparents (my great-great grandparents), so that was pretty awesome to share.  I also sent some pictures of my grandmother, her first cousin.  I am in the process of collecting some more information and things to send, and they are looking for more pictures to send me.  I am posting one picture I have received so far (see below).  Christen is on the far left with his three children.  I am also posting a picture of Christen's brother, Kristian Olausen Jordbaerhaugen -- my great-grandfather.

Far left, Christen Olausen Jordbaerhaugen (1881 - 1938) or Christen Olausen Haug, in North Dakota with his children.  Photo taken July 9, 1936.

My great-grandfather Kristian Olausen Jordbaerhaugen ( 1878 - 1962)

One of Christen's grandchildren sent me a link to help me locate Christen's grave.  He is incorrectly listed as "Christian" Haug, but his grave is still there, along with his wife, Inga, and a number of other relatives.  If you would like to find a grave, the site is pretty good!

Next on my to-do list is to track down the other brother, Nils.  I had traced him from Norway to Ellis Island to North Dakota where his brother Christen lived.  It looks like the family rumor that he went to Canada is true, and I am attempting to contact descendants in British Columbia.  I will let you know more once I know for sure this is the right family.

1 comment:

  1. Astrid, you did not mention that the name of Christen's daughter is Carmen, due to Christen being an opera fan, in addition to his other musical interests.