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Astri, my Astri where art thou?


Fri, May 10th, 2002
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A primer for searching Fillmore County genealogy records for pioneer ancestorsBy Deb Nelson GourleyMarch 18, 2002

Imagine a class called Genealogy 101: Fillmore County Pioneers. You are only given the following information for your assignment: "Astri Herbransdatter, age 65, and her husband Tosten Larson Nøbben immigrated to America in 1857 with their two daughters, Gunhild, born August 13, 1832 and Ingeborg, born March 12, 1837." To complete the course you need to find out where Astri is buried.

Given an assignment like this, would you know how to research your pioneer ancestors and their families? These last couple of months my mother, Char Nelson, and I have been in this imaginary genealogy course. We not only learned what resources are available in Fillmore County, but found an incredible amount of information about our pioneer ancestors as well.

At age eight, I had rescued from the burn pile the rosemaled trunk that belonged to my Great-Great-Great Grandmother Astri Herbransdatter. This single event set in motion my lifelong interest in genealogy. Last October, after my story "Astri Herbransdatter 1812" appeared in the Fillmore County Journal, I was contacted by a reader, Delphin M. Johnson, Astri's first cousin four times removed from Superior, WI. Del informed me that Astri and her family had immigrated to America. I was ecstatic. My interest had taken me "from the trunk to the family tree."

For the past 26 years, I had only been searching for Astri's death records in Norway. Now, within a few days of her story being published, I learned she was in America. But the important question of where she was buried remained unanswered.

Mom and I headed straight to the Fillmore County History Center and Genealogy Library in Fountain, which contains thousands of books, photographs, microfilmed newspapers, as well as county records, State and Federal Census reports, and other government sources. We specifically wanted to research the center’s death records, cemetery transcriptions, and obituaries to see if Astri came to Fillmore County.

No Church records at Genealogy Library

We suspected Astri settled in Fillmore County since her older daughter, Gunhild Guttormsdatter had immigrated seven years earlier. Gunhild and her husband Knud Knudson were buried in the Elstad Lutheran Church Cemetery near Highland. Thus, we requested to see all the Amherst Township Church records, prior to 1 .....
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Garnås wheel still spinning after 200 years

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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February 4, 2002

Inheriting a 200-year-old Garnås family spinning wheel from my Grandmother, Stella (Bårdsgård) Nelson, was exhilarating. Having myself been an avid handspinner for years, I could visualize what the assembled spinning wheel would ..... 
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Garness Church roots go back to farm in Norway

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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December 31, 2001

The familiar sounds I grew up with, the unloading of the horses, the snorting and pawing, and the cinching of the saddles were all heard that cold blustery day, January 14, 1996. However, someone very important to me was missin ..... 
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"You are a Hjørnevik, but who are you?"

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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Delivering tragic immigrant news about the 1862 Sioux Uprising 114 years laterBy Deb Nelson GourleyNovember 12, 2001

When I found the Hjørnevik farm near Evanger i Voss, in the Bergan area of Norway in 1976, I felt like I w ..... 
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Astri Herbransdatter 1812

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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Tracing the history of a Norwegian trunk"By Deb Nelson GourleyOctober 22, 2001

The wagon was fully loaded for the burn pile out in the woods, when I spotted the old painted trunk on the flatbed. I was a second grader at the ..... 
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Norwegian Ancestry Series

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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The following articles are part of a Norwegian Ancestry series by Deb Nelson Gourley. Deb was raised SE of Preston, MN, at Amherst, and is writing a book about her Norwegian heritage. Deb is a layout editor at the Journal

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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Rushford-Peterson Wrestling Team

Fri, May 10th, 2002
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Rushford-Peterson Wrestling. Front row from left: Ben Kruze, Travis Johnsgaard, Abe Wilkemeyer. Middle row: Ben Johnson, J.J. Pettit, Christian Dahl, Nick Langseth, Dustin Johnson. Back row: Matt Rislov, Darrin Dessner, Joe Rye, Lee Johnson, Ryan Agr ..... 
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Fri, May 10th, 2002
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