Ancestors of Ole Andersen Melom and Anne Knudsdatter Espelien Part I

Since my last entry, I have made a bit more progress in the research on the Melom/Espelien branch of the family tree.  I now have the branch back to the mid to early 1700's.  I have a bit more on the Melom side than the Espelien side, but this is more the result of more work having been done on the Melom side than the Espelien side on my part.

The Maternal Heritage

Anne Knudsdatter Espelien was born 2 April 1808 on Espelien farm in Bruflat, Sør Aurdal, Valdres Norway and was baptized at the Bruflat church on 10 April 1808.  Her parents are listed as Guri Andersdatter and Knud Andersen Espelien.  All of this information can be found in the eighth entry on page 14 of the Sør Aurdal Ministerialbok 1807-1815.  Further perusal of the Aurdal parish records reveal her parents were married 10 October 1800 and that Guri Andersdatter hailed from Øyen farm, a bruk of Nordre Hestekind.  Parish records reveal that Guri Andersdatter was born on Øyen farm in April of 1781 and Knud Andersen was born on Espelien farm in 1769.  Guri's parents are listed as Anders Knudsen Øyen and Barbro Engebretsdatter.  Barbro Engebretsdatter can be found in the 1801 Norwegian Census living on Præstøen farm in Bruflat, Sør Aurdal in Valdres, Norway.  She is remarried to Arne Halstensen Præstøen and her children by her previous marriage are also living on Præstøen farm, with the exception of daughter Guri, who is by then married to Knud Andersen Espelien and living on Espelien farm.

Children of Barbro Engebretsdatter and Anders Knudsen Øyen
  • Guri Andersdatter Øyen Espelien (1781-xxxx)
  • Sigri Andersdatter Øyen Præstøen (1786-xxxx)
  • Anne Andersdatter Øyen Præstøen (1790-xxxx)
  • Ingri Andersdatter Øyen Præstøen (1793-xxxx)
  • Knud Andersen Øyen Præstøen (1797-xxxx)
That is as far back as I have the Øyen line as of this writing.  The Espelien line is a different story altogether.

Anders Knudsen Espelien, father of Anne Knudsdatter Espelien, was born in late February or early March of 1769.  He was baptized 5 March 1769 at the Bruflat church.  Parish records for the baptism reveal his parents to be Anne Knudsdatter and Anders Hendriksen Espelien.  Anne Knudsdatter married Anders Hendriksen Espelien at Bruflat church on 19 October 1768, showing that pregnancy before wedlock was a problem that existed long before many people would prefer to acknowledge.  According to the marriage entry (Aurdal Ministerialbok 1763-1781, page 226, fifth entry), Anna Knudsdatter lived on Breien farm at the time of her marriage.  In fact, the Aurdal Ministerialbok from 1730-1762 reveals she was actually born on Breien farm sometime before 13 July 1748, the date she was baptized at the Bruflat church.  Her parents are listed as Sigri Andersdatter and Knud Arnesen Breien. 

It was not so easy to find the baptism entry for her husband, Anders Hendriksen Espelien, since he was not born on Espelien farm.  Rather, Anders Hendriksen was born on Ødegaard farm in April 1751 and was baptized 18 April 1751 in the Bruflat church.  The story would be similar for Anne Knudsdatter Breien's father.  People did move after all.

Anne Knudsdatter Breien's parents married 11 October 1743 at Bruflat church.  The marriage entry lists the bride as Sigri Andersdatter Lunde so that we know she was living on the Lunde farm at the time of her marriage.  We cannot assume she was born on the same farm, however, any more than we can safely assume Knud Arnesen Breien was born on the Breien farm.  It's a good start, but not rock solid evidence.  As it turns out, I have yet to find Sigri Andersdatter Lunde's baptismal entry.  As for Knud Arnesen Breien, he was not born Knud Arnesen Breien.  Instead, he was born on Brufladt farm and that is as far as I have gone on these lines.

Children of Sigri Andersdatter Lunde and Knud Arnesen Brufladt/Breien
  • Marthe Knudsdatter Brufladt/Breien (1744-xxxx)
  • Birthe Knudsdatter Breien (1746-xxxx)
  • Anne Knudsdatter Breien (1748-xxxx)
Marthe is the only one of their children born on the Brufladt farm.  Sigri Andersdatter and Knud Arnesen may have had more children after 1748, but I do not know because I have not looked into the possibility yet.

Next time I will write about the Melom side of the family, since this entry has become excessively long.  For those who are tired of reading the words "Bruflat church" and would like to see some pictures, here is a link to Mango Slice's photos of the church on Flickr:

Mango Slices Norway June 2007 Set On Flickr

She has some lovely photos of Norway in this set and not just of Bruflat Kirke.

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