Ole Larson's Folks

Category: Larson

Here are some photos of the ancestral region of Ole Larson’s parents. Bunader (festival costumes) are distinctive in each of Norway’s regions. The ones below are from Gudbrandsdalen. The next photo is from the website of the Skurdal family of North Dakota. It is definitely Gudbrandsdalen, but is not the Sore Uppigard Skurdal (“South Upper Skurdal”) farm, where the family’s matriarch, Anna Skurdal, was born in 1890.  The Skurdal farm, South Skurdal in particular, was the home of the Lars…

I was most grateful to receive this week the autobiography of Uncle Ivan Larson, the youngest of Isaac’s five sons. It is a fascinating 20-page document, filled with pictures, and a summary of his 85 years, up to now. Among other remembrances was the detailed account of his service in World War II, where he saw combat in the famous and decisive Battle of the Bulge. That will be coming in a future post, along with the WWII experiences of…

By the time Isaac moved to Longview in 1942, Lovell and Walt both had children, and Vernon was engaged to be married. Ivan, fresh out of Sidney High School, stayed with Lovell and Reatha while he attended business college in Longview. Bob, Vernon, and Ivan all served in the armed forces during World War II. I was born six years later. I believe Isaac had worked in the mills for a few years, but by the time of my earliest…

(Grandpa Larson used the nickname, “Ike,” although I seldom heard it, as he was just “Pa” or “Grandpa” within the immediate family.) After establishing the homestead, Ike returned to Wisconsin to marry Anna Moen on 10 January 1912, and brought her to the new place. Crops were plentiful, and their family grew rapidly. Their first son, Waldemar, was born in January 1913, followed by Lovell (1914), Vernon (1917), and Robert (1919). (The names of Lovell and Walt may be reversed.)…

“Grandpa Larson,” as I always called him, was born on his father Ole’s dairy farm in Vernon County, Wisconsin. He was the last of six children born to Ole and his first wife, Anne Samuelsdatter. Anne died soon after, and Ole married Helena Olsdatter, who had a daughter the same age as Isaac. Ole and Helena eventually had six more children together (see “Ole’sChildren“). Pictured below are Isaac and two of his elder siblings. The eldest brother, Smith Larson, not…

Why was my great-grandfather named Ole? The question sounds downright silly at first blush, since it seems like about half of all males in Norway had that name. Indeed, among Kari Larsdatter’s relations and in-laws, there are enough Ole’s to make for a lot of confusion. Her eldest son (more about him later), her husband (not the boy’s father), and her son-in-law, are all named Ole. And the proportion overall certainly is very high. I started with 1840 and tallied…

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