Monday, May 22, 2017

Update on Velgjerd Leikvold

Some time ago, I posted information about my great grandmother's sister
Velgjerd Leikvold (Velgerd, Veljerd)

She was born in Norway on April 19, 1856.

I told of the sad story of Veljerd and her death at a very
young age following childbirth.

 Velgjerd married Andre Ellingboe when she was only 19.

 In 1876 Velgjerd gave birth to a baby girl, also named Velgjerd.     
There were problems, and the baby was baptized at birth.  
 The new mother and her baby daughter died on May 22, 1876

The Leikvold family had quite a few pictures of their family, but I never could find one
of Veljerd.  There were pictures of the whole family, pictures of the girls, pictures of
just one of the girls at graduation or confirmation, but nothing found of Veljerd.
Well, don't you suppose, there was one I found on the internet that was labeled as
"Andre and his first wife Veljerd"
How exciting is that!  While there is a possibility that it is not my ancestor,
it seems as though it is a very strong possibility that it is.  (And who would
ever know if it wasn't?    😀

Here it is:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jules & Lucille Dahlager

I just love it when I find a story about my ancestors that, as far as I know, none of my relatives have heard!  

My Dahlager ancestry includes Jules Dahlager, who has been called "Alaska's most beloved artist."   Jules was the son of my great-grandfather's brother, so I guess he is a cousin a few times removed, but he is related, nonetheless.  For any family members reading this, Jules was the son of Trond Dahlager, brother of Christopher Dahlager.   Trond lived in Iowa, but ended up in Brookings, South Dakota.  I don't think my mother ever met Trond, but she knew of him.  

Jules met his wife, Lucille in Washington state, where she was a teacher.  Jules worked for a newspaper for a time, but made his living mostly as an artist.    He especially loved painting the Alaska landscape and the people there.  I have found his paintings on the internet, but if they are for sale, they are not in my budget.

In 1944, Lucille's sister passed away due to pneumonia.  She left behind nine small children.  Since her husband was in the army, the care of the children fell to the grandmother (Lucille's mother).    Jules and Lucille very generously purchased a larger home for the family and they spent Christmas of 1944 in the new home.    [There was no mention of grandfather, so he may have passed away by this time.]   Lucille's younger sister, aged 15, also was a part of the household, so grandma now  had 10 children in her care!    

This family is not in "my family tree" but Jules is.   I found it very touching that Jules & Lucille were willing to share their success by helping out these children!  

 The article is below, but you may need to zoom in to read it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Mom's Poems

I came across a small notebook that was my Mom's - in this notebook she had pasted poems that touched her heart - most were inspirational, and were indicative of her faith in God.   A few poems were written by me, and a couple by my brother, Jim.   Then there were some written by Mom, in her familiar handwriting, signed and dated.    Her faith is evident in her own poems as well.    Mom didn't put her faith in the government, the neighbors, or worldly things; she shared that even as a small child, her faith was strong, and she credited her parents for the Christian home she was raised in.       Here are two of the poems written by my mom, Mabel Melby:

I was desolate and lost in sin
Then God in mercy took me in
By giving His Son to die for me
By shedding His blood on Calvary's tree.
He redeemed me and now I  see
The blessed thought that now I'm free
He took all my sins away
and now I live for Him each day.  (Nov. 1992)

"Winter Morning"
This morning through my window
I can see the new white snow.
Everything around so peaceful
In the dawning's rosy glow.

The trees were all so frosty white
The sky was clear and blue,
God gave to us this beauty bright
For our enjoyment too!

My cares and worries seems far away
as I gazed at the peaceful sight
It seemed that God had cleansed the world
and made it pure and white.

Mom lived to the age of 102 and even wrote a few poems around the time of her 100th birthday.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ingeborg Dahlager Rovang

This is my great-great aunt, Ingeborg and her husband Nils Rovang.

Ingeborg was born in 1837, the oldest child of Jon Trondsson Myre & Kjersi Kristoffersdatter Dalaker.   In 1855, Ingeborg gave birth to a son, John.   The father of John was Ivar Madsson Brotin. (who knew?)    What happened between Ingeborg and Ivar is not known.  We can only guess.
In 1861, Ingeborg and John immigrated to the United States alone,  
and they lived in Worth County, Iowa.  

On November 29, 1865, Ingeborg married Nils Rovang of Vestre, Slidre, Norway.  
Nils came to the United States in 1850.   He served in the Civil war.
But what about Ingeborg's son, John?
We have never heard anything about this son, and if my mother/aunts/grandmother 
knew about him or not is not known.
He is not listed with his maternal grandparents in the 1870 census of Worth Co., Iowa.
He is not listed in the 1875 census as living with Ingeborg & Nils.

There was a "John Anderson" living with Ingeborg's parents in 1870, but this son was born in Michigan.   I believe this John Anderson is the same as John Rime, who was taken in by Marit & Ole Rime.   But that is another story.

Nils & Ingeborg eventually settled in Tumuli Twp. in Otter Tail Co., MN
Nils & Ingeborg had seven children together:   Martin, Anna, John, Julia, Christian, 
Emma & Otto.
Since they had a son named John, I believe that Ingeborg's illegitimate son died young and named their son after him, but of course this is speculation.

Nils & Ingeborg are buried in the Sarpsborg Cemetery, Rural Dalton, MN

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Here is my new granddaughter, Mika.
Her name means, "Gift from God"
She arrived a few weeks early, but she is
strong & healthy and at home with her mommy & daddy.

I'm so excited to have another grandchild to spoil & love!

Christmas will be extra special with Drew, Dylan and baby Mika!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Grandsons Come to Visit!

It's always fun when the grandkids come to visit!
On this visit, we also "celebrated" their birthdays
with a "party of four."

Drew will be 7 on October 3.

And Dylan was 4 on August 29.

We made birthday "cakes" out of Rice Krispie Bars.
Each cake had their name on it and a candle.

Rock star Dylan with no shirt.
 But it really was a HOT, HUMID day!!

I asked Drew if he would like to be a piano player,
but he said he waned to be a hockey player.

The boys were going to play a "duet" -
 But in order to do that, they said they had
to divide the piano.  Drew got the low
notes and Dylan got the high notes.
Note the little divider they put in place!

Play-Doh keeps them busy for awhile!
They gave me specific instruction to keep their
projects and dry them out so they can get them
the next time they come up.  I checked today,
and if this humidity keeps up, it will take a LONG time!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Dead Church?

Someone recently told me "our church is dead!"  I asked what she meant, and the reply was that we don't shout "Amen!"  "We don't dance around in the pews," plus a few other illustrations.  My first response was, "Well, we are Scandinavians and we are Lutherans, after all!"    [I made a feeble attempt at a little humor in my response. ]    At least she didn't say we were a bunch of non-believers!

But I started thinking about this, wondering what I should have said.   An "Amen" at worship service is certainly not "wrong,"  and it is certain that our joy in the Lord should be outwardly obvious to others.   But are we wrong if we don't shout out an "Amen?" Are we wrong if we don't dance in the pews?    Are there not many ways to worship?   God looks at our heart - while we often look at outward appearances.

When we were growing up, Sunday worship was very reverent - and more structured than the Sunday worship today.   The altar area was a place of confession, communion, marriage and baptism.  You arrived at worship, sat quietly in the pews (it was a time of meditation) until the service began )and and then you sat quietly, too. )  I'm sure grandpa & grandma would have been mortified if someone had started "dancing for joy" in the pews!    As a rule, Norwegian/Lutheran parishioners would not want to call attention to themselves in God's house.

Some churches have bands; they have loud, fast music; some hymns songs can barely be differentiated from rock music.    Is this wrong?    I don't think it is  "wrong" if it is done with sincere worship of God.   But it is not the only way to worship.  Congregations and denominations differ in their preference of worship structure.    But sometimes I wonder if  worship  is becoming more about "me" than about God?    Are we there to be entertained?   Are we there to entertain?   Are people staying home because they don't find it fun?    Worship should be enjoyed, it should be happy, but I am pretty sure it is not about me, but rather about God and Me!

However we chose to worship, remember the One we are there to worship; give Him the glory, quietly...or not.