Digging Deeper - a Possible Connection

Hova1763 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A page showing dead people from the church reg...
A page showing dead people from the church register at Os parish in Hordaland in Norway. 27 of 28 people on this page died at sea during a storm known as "Crazy Monday". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I decided I needed to dig deeper if I wanted to uncover a possible family connection between Marit Fjeld's family and my Fjeld family.  (I just hope I am not digging myself a metaphorical grave).  So, to that end, I decided it was time to dig deeper into the roots of Marit's biological parents to see where these led.  I knew Marit's biological parents were Marith Olsdatter and Hans Andreassen Fjeld, but I knew little else.  It was time for some more digging in the parish registers and the Norwegian census.

They were easy to find in the 1865 Norwegian Census.  Of course, they are living on Fjeld farm in Søndre Aurdal in 1865 and the census data list members of the family, their ages and places of birth... and this is why I like to find people in the census first, before perusing the parish registers.  The further back in time you go in the parish registers, the more difficult they become to read.   Not only is the style of lettering different, but in many cases the "events" are crammed together with sloppy handwriting and oodles of ink smears everywhere... in short, it looks every bit like something I wrote by hand with a calligraphy pen, or any ink pen for that matter.  Not very legible at all, even if you are well-versed in the old scripts.  (Of course, being left-handed makes me extra gifted at smearing ink all over the page)!  Additional difficulties with parish records can be faded text, torn pages, holes in pages and missing pages.

It is what it is, though, and I highly recommend looking through the parish records.  It's worth developing the patience.  Tenacity helps, too, especially when the information you thought was correct is farther from veracity than India is from Sirius.  It helps to remember that the parish records were not written for genealogists to peruse at leisure centuries later.  They were written to conform to church edicts and Norwegian law and were probably viewed as a make-work chore by those who were forced to write in them.  A nuisance at best.  I confess, I would write sloppy too.  Not necessarily intentionally, but in speeding through the chore just to get it over with.

Enough about parish registers.  If you follow the link I've provided for the Fjeld Farm two paragraphs above this one, you will see the census listing for the Fjeld farm.  You will see Marit, her parents and some of her siblings.  I used this information to find birth, baptism and even marriage and death information for some of these people.  I also uncovered both sets of grandparents in the parish records using this information as a result.

What did I discover?  Marit's maternal grandparents were Helena Andersdatter Hestekind (1812-1898) and Ole Andersen Kompelien (1807-1902) and that this couple themselves immigrated to the U.S. in the 1880's.  They can be found on the Brosveen farm in the 1865 Norwegian Census.  Marit's paternal grandparents are Andreas Hansen Brufladt, born 1805, and Marith Andersdatter Espelien av Brufladt (1808-before 1865).  I also found many of Marit's parent's siblings this way.

How did this help?  Well, I plugged all this information into my Nussberger Fjeld family tree on Ancestry.com and came up with links to photos of many of these family members (joy!) and stories about these family members.  One of the stories I came across was about Marit Fjeld herself.  It was written by Lillian Skarperud in 1980 and tells how Marit came to America to live with an Aunt Kari Nysveen... and there's my connection!  Maybe.  I am a direct descendent of Anne Nysveen and perhaps this Aunt Kari or, if she was married at the time, which I am sure she must have been, her husband is related to my Anne Nysveen.  This would mean there is a biological relationship between my Fjelds and Marit's Fjelds.

Voila!  Another possibility to research and a blog post for another day!  Aunt Kari Nysveen.

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That was a great deal of detective work. I love finding when pieces start to fit together in my onw genealogy.

Regards, Jim
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