Friday, November 2, 2007

Continuing Research


Here are the continuing questions which drive my research currently:

1. Who were my father's father's parents? My grandfather's selective service record in 1917 indicates that he was born in Belfast to John Fearon and Mary Walker. I'm looking for William Walker Fearon's birth certificate, or record of birth, in November 9, 1896. I'm also looking for any records of his parents.

2. Who were Pat's father's parents? Jan Kuta and Katherine Olearski were born in Poland. We think we know the town names, and have located hers.

3. Who were my wife's brother's wife's father's great-grandfather's parents (Marvin Miller, born in 1817 in New York)? Who were her father's grandmother's parents (mary A.Miller, born in 1858 in Massachusetts)? Who were her father's mother's father's parents (John Monigle, born in 1869 in Ireland)? Who were her father's mother's mother's parents (Joseph Laware, born in 1824 in French Canada, and Mary Laware, born in 1832 in French Canada)?

4. I'm doing some research on the family of a friend of mine, Jim Evans. We are looking for his father's father's parents, and have located .

Monday, September 3, 2007

Back from Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway)


For a detailed report of the trip, go to the travel blog I used to write up the daily adventures (GFPK Travels).

I also am correcting and augmenting the family tree that I have established, and will be posting photos and documents, and other info into individuals in the family tree. Email me at if you want to gain access to the tree.

And so many thanks to all of you who provided me with information and contacts. I could not have had nearly as successful a trip researching my Norwegian ancestry without you.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Preparing a visit to the Valdres Area in late July


I've read the materials from Trudy Sondrol Wasson, and integrated the information from them into this blog and the family tree information on my account. That history connects the earlier information on my Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota relatives which I received from Shirley Manning and my aunt aunt Eloise Skare - to relatives around the towns of Vang and Hedmark in Norway.

Of my ancestors in Vang, I know much more due to the many resources I've been guided toward from the Valdres Samband. I've obtained many texts, a DVD, and links to quite a few websites and other materials. I have less information on the my great grandfather's side of the family (from Hedmark), and may learn more research connections while traveling to there.

But my main hope is to see the farms where my great great grandfather (Jon Johan Johnson Lajord Soine) and his wife (Ingaborg Ovesdatter Kattevold), and their parents, were born. Those are the farms with the following names and gardnummers: Ovre Kvale (38/7-8); Berge (22); Norde Tune/Sender (36/2); Soine (50); Lajord (51/3); Myre (47/1); Kattevold (44/1-4); Boe (42); Sore Ellingboe (34); and Norde Haen (70).

I'm going to contact the genealogist for the Valdres Samband to see if he can help me make contact with someone in Vang who might be of help during the four days I will be there. Some have said that the local residents wouldn't mind my showing up without notice, but I would feel much better with someone in the area who knew our relatives or who could direct me to best use my time.

We leave this Thursday, July 6th, and will be gone until mid August. I'll post trip journals as I can on our travel blog ( When I return, I'll make a slide show and post it on for those interested in what we saw and did.

Have a great summer.

Gregory Fearon
Pat Kuta

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Soyne family farm photos


My friend and cousin, Trudy Sondrol Wasson, sent me these photos of the Soyne family farm. She is helping me better understand the locations and histories of my family's Norwegian ancestry. She has also sent me maps and other information about several of my family's ancestral farms in the area in and around Vang.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Norwegian Connections


With the help of the Digitalarkivet, I was able to locate some key family farms in Vang, and some key relatives living there in the 1801 Census:

Anne Madsdtr Myhre - Mother of Ann Sjugurdsdatter Lajord, 22 years old and living on the Myhre farm with her brothers John (28) and Thron (32), and sisters Marit (34) and Randi (19). Also living there is his father Mads Johnsen Myhre (64), and mother Anne Evensdtr Myhre (60).

Endre Trondsen Kattevold - grandfather of Ingeborg Ovesdatter Kattevold (her father's side), wife of Jon Johnsen Soine. At 24, he is living on the Kattevold farm with his brother Ove (22), and sisters (Ambior (26), Gertrud (17), Dorthe (15), and Kirsti (12). Also living there is his father Thron Johnsen Kattevold (60), and mother Kiersti Boyesdtr Kattevold (56).

Osten Torstensen Boe - grandfather of Ingaborg Ovesdatter Kattevold (her mother's side). At 20, he is living on the Boe Sondre farm with his sister Giertrude (15), his father Torsten Torstensen Boe (54), and his mother Giertrude Ostensdtr Boe (55).

Per (Peder) Johnsen Kvale (Qvale) - grandfather of Jon Johnsen Soine (his father's side). At 25, he is living on the Qvale farm with his brothers Iver (23), John (15), and Anders (9). His sisters were Randi (19) and Anne (18). Also living there is his father John Pedersen Qvale (58), and his mother Ingeborg Iversdtr Qvale (47).

Ingeborg Andersdtr Thune - grandmother of Jon Johnsen Soine (his father's side). At 24, she is living with her brothers Anders (27) Torsten (21), and Iver (38). Also living there is her father Anders Iversen Thune (65) and her mother Ingri Johnsdtr Thune (65).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Important Questions


Well, I've gotten a few more pieces of information since my last post here, so I thought that I would summarize the important questions I'm pursuing so I can focus the work ahead. Most of the questions concern the period of 1800-1860, and relate to the transition from Norway to the U.S.

1. Who lived on the Soine farm in Vang, Valdres, Norway? Who from that farm traveled to the U.S., and became members of the Soine family here? and when, and where did they settle? I've gotten a referral from my cousins Bob Skogman and Shirley Manning to Erling Nefstad. Erling lives on the Soine farm, in a house directly across the street from the site of the original house.

2. Where do the Lajordes fit into the Vang, Valdres, Norway history? If my great great grandfather, John Johnsen Soine, came to the U.S. on the Statsraad Vogt in 1848 with two others his same age from Vang (Nils Tronsen Lajordes and Anders Andersen Lajordes) whose names are nearly the same as that reported to be his mothers name (Anna Sjugurdsdatter Lajord) - could these be his cousins? Where did they settle into in the U.S.? My latest information seems to indicate they are cousins of my great great grandfather, and that they settled in Minnesota.

3. Some of the others who came over on the Statsraad seem to have names which relate to my family. Do they have relatives or farms in Vang which can be located? The names (and ages) are: Knud Halvorsen Strand (30), Anne Halvorsdatter (26), Anne Haaversdatter Berge (22), Halvor Haldorsen Hagen (20), and Ingebret Christophersen Heen (49). Do they have descendants in the U.S.?

4. There are names from the ancestry of my great great great grandmother mentioned in #3 above) which are Haen, Kvale, Kattevold, and Bo. What can be found out about their descendants? I found farms in Vang for Bo, Ellingboe, Haen, Kattevol, and Kvale in the database online.

This is a start at some key questions I'm interested in getting any information which readers can provide.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Soine Family Information


My Soine heritage begins in the Valdres Valley in Norway, around the town of Vang. I spent some time ten years ago corresponding with a cousin of mine in North Dakota - Shirley Manning. Shirley sent me several long letters filled with information on her and my Soine ancestors, and helped me assemble at rudimentary family tree with the information I had gathered. There were still many pieces missing, and I remember making a vow to try to fill them in when I reached retirement.

One of the most interesting genealogical tools was a photograph taken by Torger Soine at the farm of my great grandfather - Julius Michaelsen Leen - in 1915 a few miles west of Ray, North Dakota. It was a panoramic view of 73 relatives and neighbors standing between the barn and the house on the farm. Appearing in the picture are the my great-grandmother's brothers and sisters or their children. I thought that It would be interesting to write up the story of how they got to that moment.

John Persson Kvale - Great-great-great-grandfather.
John Persson Kvale was born in 1800 in Valdres, Norway. At the age of 26, he and Anna Sjugursdatter Lajord (19) had a son, Jon Johan Johnsen Soine. They were never married. John later married Marit Torsteinsdatter Skelhaugen, and had children from that marriage.

Anna Sjugursdatter Lajord - Great-great-great grandmother.
Anna was born on the Lajord farm (Gardnummer 51/3 Berget) in Vang, Valdres, Norway, in 1805. She had a child with John Persson Kvale (Jon Johan Johnsen Soine) in 1826. She married Christopher Larson Heen in 1829. Between 1830 and 1844, Anna gave birth to three sons (Lars in 1830, Syver in 1842, and Ole in 1844), and two daughters (Anne in 1833 and Marith in 1836). She died of dipteria with her husband Christopher and their daughter Marith in Michigan in 1853.

Lars Soine - Great-great uncle.
Lars Soine was born in 1830 in Norway. He married Anna, and they emmigrated to the U.S. in 1858. There is an indication that they were living in Warsaw Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota in 1867. The 1910 Census indicates them still living there. Their son, Tars Larson Soine, was born in Wisconsin in 1860. Neither Lars, nor his wife Anne, are in the photo.

Tars Larson Soine -
Tars was born in Wisconsin in 1860, and married Anne T ?. Both the 1900 and 1910 Census shows them living in Warsaw, Goodhue County, Minnesota. Their children were: Ludwig O. (1898), Clarence E. (1900), Carl J. (1903), Anna S. (1905), Bernhart (1907), and Selma B. (1908).

Anne Soine - Great-great aunt.
Anne was born in 1833 in Norway. In 1867, she was living in Warsaw Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota. In 1871, she was living in Wang, Renville County, Minnesota. She married Torger Strand.

Torger Strand - Great-great uncle-in-law.
Torger was born in 1845. He emmigrated to the U.S. in 1854. The 1900 Census indicates he was living in Wang, Renville County, Minnesota.

Marith Soine - Great-great aunt.
Marith was born in 1836 in Norway. Soon after arriving in the U.S. with her parents and family, she died of diptheria in Michigan in 1853.

Syver Soine - Great-great uncle.
Syver was born in Norway in 1842. In 1867, he was living in Maynard, Minnesota.

Ole Christopher Soine - Great-great uncle.
Ole was born in 1844 in Norway. He emmigrated with his parents and family in 1854. In 1867, he was living in Warsaw Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota. In 1871, he was living in Wang, Renville County, Minnesota. He married Gjertrud Tordsdrer Eltun before 1870. Their children were: Bertha (1871), Anna (1872), Christopher (1875), Torger (1876), Mary (1878), Gertina (1880), Theoline (1884), Olans G. (1885) and Gerhard Olaus (1885). Gjertrud died in 1885, due to complications during the birth of Gerhard Olaus. Torger married Sigrid Gulbrandsdatter Steinde-el Lundseiga in 1886. Their children were: Martin (1892), Olaf (1896), and Syver (1896).

Gjertrud Tordsdrer Eltun

Bertha Soine
Bertha was born in 1871, and married a Mr. Dahl.

Anna Soine
Anna was born in 1872, and married a Mr. Brekke. Their children were: William (), Cara (), Benny (), Anton (), and Myrtle ().

Christopher Soine
Christopher was born in 1875.

Torger Soine
Torger was born in 1876.

Mary Soine
Mary was born in 1878.

Gertina Soine
Gertina was born in 1880. She married a Mr. Huseby.

Theoline Soine
Theoline was born in Minnesota in 1884.

Olans G. Soine

Gerhard Olaus Soine
Gerhard was born in 1885. He married Emma Leuken. Their children were: Edith (1908), Muriel (1910), Arnold Ovester (1914), and Joseph (1915). All are in the photograph.

Sigrid Gulbrandsdatter Steinde-el Lundseiga

Martin Soine

Olaf Soine

Syver Soine

Jon Johan Johnsen Soine - Great-great grandfather.
Jon Johan was born to the union of John Persson Kvale and Anna Sjugursdatter Lajord on November 23, 1826 in Berget at Lajord, Vang, Valdres, Norway. After the death of his father, his mother married Christopher Larson Heen in 1828, and he had five brothers and sisters. He left the family just after turning 21 in 1847. He traveled to Bergen early in 1848, and sailed on the Statsrsad Vogt to New York, arriving there on July 3, 1848. He made his way to Minnesota, where spent the rest of his life farming. He married Ingaborg Ovesdatter Kattevold in the Holden Lutheran Church in Goodhue County in 1862. Their children were: Anne Marie (1865), Ove Julius Johnsen (1867), Emma (1871), Geneva Marguerita (1877), Julia Cecilia (1878), Alfred J. (1882), and Clare Claude (1887). Jon Johan died on November 14, 1888 in Renville City, Renville County, Minnesota. While Jon Johan signed his name "Soine" on the passenger list in 1848, the earliest use of it for others is in the photo taken on the family farm in 1915, and in the listings for Ole and Sigri Soine in the 1910 Census.

Ingaborg Ovesdatter Kattevold - Great-great grandmother.
Ingaborg was not on the farm the day the picture was taken. Ingaborg was born on the Kattevold farm (Gardnummer 44/4 Sustoga av Sygarden)in Vang, Valdres, Norway on March 4, 1842 to Ove Endresen Kattevold and Gjartrude Oysteinsdtr Boe. She married Jon Johan Johnsen Lajord Soine in the Holden Lutheran Church in Goodhue County in 1862. Their children were: Anne Marie (1865), Ove Julius Johnsen (1867), Emma (about 1871), Carl (February, 1871), Geneva Marguerita (October, 1877), Julia Cecilia (1878), Alfred J. (February 19, 1882), and Clare Claude (1887). She died on January 1, 1930 in Equality Township, Williams County, ND.

Ove Julius Johnsen Soine
Ove was born on July 15, 1867 in Warsaw Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota. He was confirmed in the Hawk Creek Church on October 15, 1882. He married Christine Maria Anderson in November of 1903 in Williston, North Dakota. Their children were: Vernon Noble (), Hazel Evangeline (), Mamie Idella (), Lillian Evelyn (), Cora Orine (), Ernest Ervin (), Violet Adeline ().

Christina Maria Anderson

Vernon Noble Soine

Hazel Evangeline Soine

Mamie Idella Soine
Mamie was born on August 14, 1904 in Equality Township, North Dakota. She married Simon Pepper on June 28, 1930 in Williston, North Dakota. She is in the photo, standing next to her sisters, Lillian and Cora.

Lillian Evelyn Soine
Lillian was born in Rugby, North dakota on September 15, 1905. She graduated from Ray High School in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota in 1923. In 1990, she was living in a retirement home with her brother in Anoka, Minnesota. She is in the photo, standing with her sisters, Mamie and Lillian.

Cora Orine Soine
Cora was born on April 7, 1912 in Equality Township, North Dakota. She later married Juel Myron Holland. She is in the photo, with her sisters, Lillian and Mamie.

Ernest Ervin Soine
Ernest was born on January 6, 1914 in Equality Township, North Dakota. He later married Ruth Heaselet. He is not in the photo.

Violet Adeline Soine
Violet was born on March 30, 1915. She died on July 4, 1915.

Emma Soine
Emma Soine was born in 1871 in Minnesota. I believe that she married Ed Rodberg, as the photo contains an Emma Rodberg, Ed Rodberg, Grandpa Rodberg, and Grandmother Rodberg.

Geneva Marguerita Soine
Geneva (Eva) was born in October of 1877 in Minnesota. She married Carl Sanders. Eva and Carl, and their children Ruth and Nobel are in the photograph.

Julia Cecelia Soine
Born about 1878, and known as "Cissie" in 1900 Census; Sisselia in 1910.

Alfred J. Soine
Alfred J. Soine was born in Maynard, Minnesota on February 19, 1882. In 1905 he was living in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. In 1902, he married Seneva (Lula) Laila Nygard Katterud. Their children were: Leslie Orville (1906), Jessmond Telford (1908), Mariel Irene (1910), Maurice Harold (1912), Martha Ornell (1919), Jean Ardis (1923), and Margaret Eleanor (1925). In 1955, Alfred married Prudence Fatland Karpen. Alfred died on December 25, 1967(8) at US Consulate, Canada. From 1935 to 1965, Fred carried mail by horse north of Ray for 10 years, and then on the south route for 20 years.

Seneva (Lula) Laila Nygard Katterud
Seneva was born in Sacred Heart, Minnesota on June 24, 1889. She married Alfred J Soine, and had the children named above. Lula died in 1953.

Leslie Orville Soine
Leslie was born in 1906 in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. He married Marion Zevalney Mavis.

Jessmond (Jessie) Telford Soine
Jessie was born in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota on January 19, 1908. He married Ellen Crawford Crolley. He and Jessie Soine are pictured on the far left and the far right in the photograph. The camera was a panorama type, and the complete photo panned from left to right. The two children ran around the photographer's back and got into the photo again on the far right before the shutter closed.

Mariel Irene Soine
Mariel was born on September 19, 1910 in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. She married Richard Meredith. Mariel is in the photograph.

Maurice Harold Soine
Maurice was born on August 20, 1912 in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. He married Donalda Gordon.

Martha Ornell Soine
Martha was born in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota on June 8, 1919. She married Wendell McNulty.

Jean Ardis Soine
Jean was born on JUne 17, 1923 in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. She married Manfred Arnold Safstrom.

Margaret Eleanor Soine
Margaret was born on March 26, 1925 in Ray, Equality Township, North Dakota. She married Donald Haugh.

Clare Claude Soine
Clare was born April of 1887. She married Anton Holman. Both Clara and Anton are in the photograph.

Julius Mikelsen Leen - Great grandfather.
Julius is in the photo holding his granddaughter Beatrice. Julius was born about 1871 in Wisconsin, married Anne Marie Soine on July 1, 1893 in Minnesota, and died in May of 1954 in King County, Washington.

Annie Marie Soine - Great grandmother.
Anne Marie Soine was born on July 19, 1865 in Minnesota. She married Julius Mikkelsen Leen on 1 July 1893 in Barron County, Wisconsin. Their children are: Elodie (), Edna (1894), Clarence (1897), Lillian (1900), Homer (1903), and Floyd (1906). She is in the photo holding her daughter Elodie Leen. She died on July 18, 1940 in Ray, ND.

Elodie Leen - Great aunt.
Elodie is being held by her mother, Annie, in the photo. She was born about 1891 in Minnesota. She married Mr. Halvorsen.

Edna Leen - Grandmother.
Edna is in the photo, standing next to her mother, Annie. She was born on January 27, 1894 in Minnesota. She married William Walker Fearon. She lived a long life, and died near 101 in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He died on September 11, 1962 in Long Beach, CA.

Clarence Leen - Great uncle. He was born in 1897 in Minnesota. He married Nellie. He died on June 13, 1965 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lillian Leen - Great aunt.
Lillian is in the photo. She was born in 1899 in Minnesota.

Homer Leen - Great uncle.
Homer is in the photo. He was born on August 4, 1903 in North Dakota. He married Roseanne Hilde.

Floyd Leen - Great uncle.
Floyd is in the photo. He was born on June 13, 1906 in North Dakota. He married Joyce Ruby Fraiser. He and Jessie Soine are pictured on the far left and the far right in the photograph. The camera was a panorama type, and the complete photo panned from left to right. The two children ran around the photographer's back and got into the photo again on the far right before the shutter closed.