Granddad and Caroline Dybedal: Wedding Photos 1905 … her story

titleonlywidgetHere we celebrate the wedding of our beloved Granddad, Matt Hemmingsen, to Caroline Dybedal, his first wife. HemmingsenMattCaroline2They were married March 17, 1905 in Moland Lutheran Church, Mason, Bayfield County, Wisconsin. He was 28, and she, 22.1   2  

Caroline was born in Norway in September of 1883 and emigrated to the Mason area, actually to Pratt Township, in 1886.3 HemmingsenMattCaroline

We previously discussed the couple on this blog; those posts can be accessed by entering “Dybedal” in the box entitled “Search this Blog” found at the top right of this page.

Caroline broke Granddad’s heart; she soon grew ill and succumbed to galloping consumption in 1907 – a particularly virulent form of TB. Her younger brother, Ed, later married Granddad’s half-sister Mildred. 

We have established a wonderful new connection to descendants of Mildred and Ed. They shared these photos.


Great Uncle Ed Hemmingsen (1882-1966) is second left, next to Caroline’s sister Inga.  Our Dad more resembled Ed than Granddad, in this picture. Hemmingsen1905WedParty



The Wisconsin State Census was conducted June 30, 1905. It would be the couple’s only census. Matt and “Karolina” Hemmingson were next door neighbors of  Lars Rued – whose wife was Pauline, sister to Matt’s father, Ole. They would soon depart on their ill-fated migration west.  Matt brought her home again; she rests in Mason WI. 





Caroline’s father, Jens or John, left Norway in 1883.3 Wife, Caroline or Karen, arrived in 1886  with Jens, b 1881, and little Caroline.  John was a farmer. He and Karen were born in 1853, so were same aged as our Berith Mathisdatter. Karen claimed to be mother of eleven, six of whom survived. Their Wisconsin-born included Henry b. 1887, Carl E. b 1891 and Julia b. 1894. 3 Carl was likely Edward, who married Mildred Hemmingson. 


Farmor is one’s Norwegian paternal grandmother.  Usually, a step would come after one’s farmor, but we can be flexible. The couple had no issue, but Caroline is ours, so she has us. Granddad did not shy of remembering her in his memoirs. She impacted his life. Granny, Margaret Naysmith Alexander (1891-1979), was confidently inclusive to allow it. Granny’s attitude  hints to a nuance that reflection can bear out.

Just a few generations ago, blended families were ever so  common and driven by early death. Today it is more likely due to divorce, with feelings of jealousy and fears of divided loyalty. Bereaved families of yesteryear were apt to be grateful to step-parents who allowed fathers to work and/or shielded mothers from poverty – “that’s life”.  

In our family, Granny honored her step-father Dugald Buchanan Mitchell.  In no way did she diminish her deceased Dad, when she second-forenamed her son Buchanan. Then too, Granddad  appreciated his step-Mom, Alette, without upstaging his mother, Berith.  All Good. 

Matt and Caroline’s married life was short, but they would have had a joyous family Easter celebration in 1905 at their Moland Lutheran Church.4  That census told us they were still in town.  We shall leave them on that happy note. 


1 The Hemmingsen Family Collection including “John O Hemmingsen / Mary Margaret Hemmingsen (Dickson)” authored 1999 by John Oliver Hemmingsen. All materials posthumously published here are copyright © Marilee Wein 2018-2019.  All rights reserved.
2 The Kofal-Dybedal-Hemmingson Family Collection © 2019.
3 Norway Census, BMD and Emigration data, plus US Immigration, Census, BMD, Lutheran Church and Draft Data, plus State Census and BMD on Hemmingsen Family members have been detailed in three previous posts on (1. Dear Granddad: If Only November Had Been August, 2. If Only November Had Been August: What Came Next, and 3. TB Was Not On The Draft Card: Was Disaster?”) Posts authored by Doublegenealogytheadoptionwitness are copyright © Marilee Wein 2018-2019.  All rights reserved.
4 Moland Lutheran Church Mason, Bayfield County WI found at  

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