Dad consigned Mali Hemmingsdatter (1809-1888) to mere mention in our Family History. Ah, but some intriguing stories will go untold if her ancestral girl power is allowed to go unappreciated. She was little sister in the group of four adults in Generation 2: Hemmingsen, of Nord-Trondelag County, Norway.
Now, it is so that her brothers Paul and Ole became our direct ancestors, such that Dad’s focus on them may account for his slight to Mali. Besides, he could not have known of her emigrant precedent. She went to America; the only one of the four siblings to do so.
OK, her sister-in-law, Mali Christensdatter went too, and two years before her, and as a widow whose husband, Sivert Hemmingsen, had passed in 1841. Dad made no mention of him either, so missed telling us about the impressive Mali Matriarker of Minnesota. We correct that here.
The three brothers wed between 1825 and 1826 in their birth parishes of Stjordal and Meraker. Mali followed suit in 1836. She and Johan Andreas Svendsen then began a wanderlust that took them a tad south to Strinda Parish in Sor-Trondelag. Johanna Elizabeth Johansdtr was born there in 1840, despite that Vefsn would be claimed later.
With Sivert gone early, we can only guess that the four siblings had a pact to track together. To that, Mali returned to Stjordal where, in 1845, she bore a second son soon lost, each named Svend. Meanwhile Ole had moved north to Hatfjelldal in the Nordland County of Nord-Norge Region, arriving by 1841. Paul soon followed. Far north they were; just under the Arctic Circle.
Mali then joined her Nordland brothers as evidenced by the 1847 birth of her daughter, Gurine Johansdatter, in neighboring Vefsn Parish. Hatfjelldal had recently broken away from Vefsn to establish itself; usually a sign of population growth and that may have been a harbinger of what would come. At any rate, the Vefsn Birth Registry gave Krogen i Fiplingdal as their residence.
The family was still there at the 1865 Census, that is, at Rural Residence Fiplingkrogen. That census was taken on 31 December. It was the last time Mali, Svend and Gurine would be reported alive in Norway. We have belabored Fiplingkrogen as it was key to expose their fate.
Johanna Elizabeth Johansdtr though, was still at Fiplingkrogen on 14 Dec 1867 when she birthed Sivert Anton Olssen. She had wed Ole Olssen on 13 May 1866, with Jorgen Olaus to be born that July 21st. (Ole was born in Faaberg Oppland, by Lillehammer, in 1841, of Ole Olsen and Gulborg Arentsdtr.) Sivert Anton was baptized on 19 Apr 1868 and that blessed event was his little family’s last record in the Church Books of Norway.
Ole Olssen’s family had reported from “Hatfjelddalen: Østre Valli (Flukstad)” for the 1865 Census. It went unsaid, but Flukstad may have echoed a farm named Flugstad, in Faaberg. Whatever the case, Flugstad, like Fiplingkrogen would prove to be an invaluable detail.
TABLING MALI AGAIN
Norway held no reports of death for any in Mali’s family. Nor were there Utflyttar or emigrant notes in the Church Books of Vefsn or Hatfjelldal Parishes. Norway’s Emigrant Protocols at its Digitalarkivet, such as those for departure from Trondheim, were devoid of their mention. Nonetheless, with no death records for that many persons, it was quite likely that Mali et al would have emigrated, but none of them emerged from search in other countries.
We had reunited Mali with her brothers, and shown that while she was the youngest of her adult siblings, she had been the first to leave their childhood parish, then changed that up twice, to arrive in Vefsn. She merited a story for just that. Here it is, and Mali was tabled at this point – but not for long. It seems she had followed Sivert’s wife, Mali, to America and with a tattling tag-along.
NEPHEW ANDREAS OLSSEN: AN IMPROBABLE TALE WITHIN
When looking for Mali, an Andreas Olssen, born 1843, had been noticed in the list of Utflyttar to America in 1868, leaving Hattfjelldal on, or after March 23. That search was quick work, but to realize such a person aboard a ship takes much more effort. Now, we did have a data-doppelganger in the son of our direct ancestor, Mali’s brother, Ole Hemmingsen, born 1800, Stjordal. There were good alternates, so we lazily dismissed our Andreas because he was well spoken for in Norway, marrying Karen Anna Larsen in 1872 and heading up Nerli later.
As it was, Andreas was soon our research target. Since the unlikely does not preclude a reality, we were forced to follow up. His group of Utflyttar were also not in the Digitalarkivet emigrant protocols. It finally came to attention that for a few years surrounding, there were ships out of Namsos NO to Quebec CA captured at Norwayheritage.com. This Andreas was aboard the Bark Johan, that left Namsos on 12 May 1868 and arrived Quebec 14 July.
The bark’s manifest nailed him as Andreas Olssen Nerli! He was entry 78, but eyes could not be averted from a very long name penned for entry 5 on page 1:
Mali Hemmingsdatter Fiplingkrogen.
Gurine was next on the list, followed by an Erik Larsen Fiplingkrogen. Erik was news to us, in this “Fiplingkrogen household”. Johanna’s family was aboard as well, separated by hundreds of entries. There were 423 souls aboard.
It appears that our Andreas Olssen (1843-1937) docked in Quebec CA in 1868 and was back in Hatfjelldal for marriage in 1872. That tale was not ours to know.
Johan Andreas Svendsen was nowhere to be found.
WHAT HAPPENED TO JOHAN?
Bark Johan had originated in Bodo, same day; May 12, 1868. Vefsn is between, but with Namsos the shorter distance of 240 km or 150 mi, Mali probably headed there. She likely left with Johanna, on or after the April 19 baptismal. It would have been a long go with a two-year-old and an infant. Had the family cut things too tightly, with not enough time and too stressed to register their intentions? After all, Andreas and numerous other Utflyttar left as early as March 23. What of Johan; had he preceded them to America, undetected?
FINDING MALI IN AMERICA
Before tripping over the family on Bark Johan, our best bet said they had emigrated. We expected to find the two cohorts below, but we tabled Mali when diligent efforts failed.
- Johan, Mali and Gurine Svendsen.
- Ole, Johanna, Jorgen and Sivert Olssen.
Instead, because of the new lead, we found:
- Gurine and Erik Larsen, with Minnesotan children.
- Ole and Johanna Flugstad, with Jorgen, Sivert and Minnesotan siblings.
- Mali, interpreted as Molly Huningsdatter in 1870, at Belle Creek, Goodhue MN; as 66 year- old Mary Larson, in 1875 at Yellow Medicine MN, with Eric Larson and wife Geneva; as Mary Haninson in 1880 at Yellow Medicine, mother-in-law to Erikson Larson and wife Gnsena – Flugstad were two doors down; and as Maria Hemninsen in 1885. We offered corrections.
That Mali retained Hemmingsdatter in America, indicated Johan had not preceded her there. We repaired to Norway for a more concerted look.
R.I.P. JOHAN ANDREAS SVENDSEN (1815–1868) ?
Fiplingkrogen was then chanced as surname in a search of “all of Norway for 1868”. There was one return only:
Johan Andreas Jensen Fiplingkrogen. Died: May 4. Buried: May 6. Emigrant; 52 (Calculated: born 1816). From: Vefsen Parish, Nordland.Church Book of Namsos, Trondelag
The source document says Jensen. Still, we claim him ours. It would appear that Johan Andreas Svendsen arrived home to Trondelag, to be denied his American experience. How bittersweet it must have felt for his family to leave him there and board the Bark named Johan to convey them safely to Canada.
R.I.P. MALI HEMMINGSDATTER (1809-1888)
Mali’s name set did not interpret well from numerous ink castings over two decades of documents, once she crossed the border into the United States. We are most appreciative for what is transcribed and preserved, including:
Mali Henningsdatter. Born: May 1809. Died: 12 Feb 1888. Burial: 17 Feb 1888. Bergen Lutheran Church, Hazel Run, Yellow Medicine County, MN.The U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969.
SIVERT HEMMINGSEN and MALI CHRISTENSDATTER
The lives in Norway of Sivert Hemmingsen and his wife Mali Christensdatter, children as well as grands, and their daunting emigration preparation is told in the attached PDFCLICK (where the graphic is readable). The PDF also covers history of his parents, Hemming Sivertsen and Guro Olsdatter. It poses questions and insights that vary somewhat with published Family Trees. (Finish reading below, and come back to the PDF to make the PDF more interesting.)
The MALI MATRIARKER of MINNESOTA
Just as Mali Hemmingsdatter would do, the twice widowed Mali Christensdatter left Norway with her entire family in April of 1866, destined for Quebec CA, with further transit to Goodhue County, Minnesota. Going down the Canadian gangplank with sight of a whole new world, little ones must have ventured “Are we there yet?” “Shush now” would have come the response, for Minnesota was far distant. A comment on Ancestry.com said it was gained by boxcar. The journey must have seemed interminable then, and the food so hopefully prepared in Norway, dwindling. Such risk; such courage!
They brought their farming and other homesteading skills to their new land, and added much to them. Many renamed themselves in reflection of their Norwegian farms, as told in their PDF, to populate Minnesota as Flugstad, Maehla, Mahla, Rognass, Lexvold, Hembre, Fossum and Kyllo. One would need dig deep, to find their roots as Hemmingsen. Some would be memorialized as in the book “History of Goodhue County, Minnesota” by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, published in 1909.
The sixtyish widows Mali, elderly in their time, were early in Norwegian leave-taking. They dreamed of change with declining conditions in their homeland, then bravely left, and updated those at home with reports of their success. They had enormous impact in our family history.
As promised in our restart post “In The Beginning Again”, a wider swath of emigrant family such as the two Mali would be added to our view, in hopes to better appreciate our ancestral networks and their early settlement issues. The old ship manifests, such as that for the Johan, which was transcribed in 2003 by Borge Solem, continue to be vetted. Today, it shows that over 50 passengers were from Vefsn, with the majority yet unassigned. This post gives the final destination of a handful of them.
Descendants of Paul and Ole were yet in Norway, but would soon start planning for life in northwest Wisconsin where farming skills would be augmented by logging. As shown in “If Only November Had Been August” our new Americans would start reporting back to Norway by Telegraphy, for Norway was an early adopter, 1870, of national coverage. That said, maps show that in those early days, no more than 500 miles would separate those in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. We will see that they traveled for interconnection.
Here is the status of our restart roll-out on children of Hemming Sivertsen and Guru Olsdatter:
- 1762-1900: “In The Beginning Again”: Family of Hemming Sivertsen and Guru Olsdatter: Emigrants and Remainers through 1900. (Remainers are sketched in a PDF)
- 1866: Family of Sivert Hemmingsen and Mali Christensdatter to Minnesota – in the PDF that is attached to this post. “Sivert Hemmingsen and Mali Christensdatter in Norway”
- 1867: In-laws of Great- grandfather, Ole Hemmingsen; Ben Mathiasen/ Torger Johnsen to Iowa and Minnesota. “Uncle’s Photo, But For A Decade?”
- 1868: Family of Mali Hemmingsdatter and Johan Svendsen of Fiplingkrogen, Vefsn to Minnesota – this post.
Please leave questions or concerns in the reply box after Notes and Sources.
Notes and Sources
Mali Hemmingsdatter and Christensdatter, and families in the US: a) Minnesota, U.S., Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 accessed at Ancestry.com; b) US Census 1870 and 1880 accessed at FamilySearch.com. c) The U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969. d) Findagrave.com
Norwegian Records at digitalarkivet.no: Church Books of Nord-Trondelag for Stjordal, Meraker, Hegra and Namsos Parishes, Sor-Trondelag for Strinda Parish, Nordland for Vefsn and Hattfjelldal Parishes.
Family Records: John Oliver Hemmingsen Family History, unpublished 1999. Memoirs of Matt Hemmingsen Victoria, B.C., unpublished 1954. Previous posts to this blogsite.