Ole Larson's Folks

Wednesday, May 29

I picked up my rental car in La Crosse, and drove east on I-90 about half an hour to Rockland. Cousin Aline met me for breakfast at her favorite cafe, a local hangout located in a Chevrolet dealership(!) a few miles from her home. At nearly 88, Aline drives to this cafe at least twice a week to meet with friends. After breakfast, we stopped by her home briefly, where I met her son Ron Jernander, who lives on the same farm.

Aline and Ron

Aline and I then drove to the Brush Creek church and cemetery for our second visit there together.


The first visit was in June 2009. Please click here for the first post in my series on that adventure. I will not show you a lot of “repeat” photos, but below is one that I retouched from that occasion, the gravestone of my great-grandparents Ole Larson and Anne Samuelsdatter.

Ole-Anne stone

It did not look that good in my original photos, and had gotten worse by this year. Two months before my trip, I ordered a professional cleaning, but that did not get accomplished until August. I am curious how well it came out, but have not seen any photos yet.

Here is a short list of other Brush Creek graves pictured in those 2009 posts. Click on the name to view the photo: my other paternal great-grandfather, Gunder Moen, Ole’s mother Anne Larsdatter, Ole’s sister Mari, her husband and family members, named Stigen on their headstones, but also known as Hanson. Great-uncle Smith Larson.

Now for some graves I did not pick up in 2009, along with some I did, but did not publish then. First, a friend who passed away only last year, Norman Haakenstad. His wife Norma (still living) is my third cousin via the Samuelsons. I met both of them in 2009. RIP, Norman.

2012 Norman Haak stone DSCN2322

Another great-grandmother, Gunder Moen’s wife Marie Volden Moen (1858-1929) (more about Voldens just down the road).

Marie Moen stone

Also a pair of second great-grandparents I had overlooked before, because of a changed surname. I discovered this several months ago, researching on findagrave.com. These are the parents of Anne Samuelsdatter, my great-grandmother. At their immigration, and on Anne’s marriage certificate, their surname was Jørgensen/Jorgenson.

Samuel stone

Next, a second great grand-uncle (biological), who is also related by a  marriage of two cousins. Arne Pederson was a brother of Marit Pedersdatter, wife of Samuel “Samuelson” on the previous stone. Plus, Arne’s son “Pete” married his cousin, Marit’s daughter Mattie Samuelson. I recently wrote of their son, Atley Pederson, who was first cousin of Grandpa Isaac Larson, and a friend of my parents.

Arne Pederson stone

Also buried at Brush Creek is Ole Larson’s second wife, and mother of seven of his thirteen children, Helena Olsdatter (1854-1927).

1927 Hellina O stone

Her grave is near one of her children, my great-uncle (and Aline’s father) Olaf Larson (1896-1972).

Olaf stone

To summarize: Counting only my direct ancestors, Brush Creek cemetery is the resting place of all four paternal great-grandparents, and three great-great grandparents. I can’t even count the number of great-aunts, uncles, and distant cousins, but I’m sure it’s in the dozens. There are more ancestors nearby in Coon Prairie cemetery, but before we move there, a bombshell at Brush Creek: Ole Larson, Junior?! Stay tuned.


Dueling Bibles
Ole Larson, Junior?!