From Elverum to Fitch Coulee

A small piece at a time, we have learned the route that Elias and Kari Borresen journeyed from the old world to the new. After my last post on their marriage in Elverum, Norway, this one fills in another gap.

The same Elverum parish register that listed their marriage has another section for migration records. There, on page 237, appears to be a record of Elias and Kari’s emigration. On April 26, 1869, we find a reference to (no. 21) Erik Borresen and (no. 22) Kari Eriksdatter, ages 30 and 31 respectively, with a destination of “Amerika.” I am guessing the register writer mistakenly wrote Erik instead of Elias, maybe with Kari Eriksdatter in his head. The ages are correct, if we are allowed that Elias turns 30 in June.

So, adding this information to what we had before (see early January posts), we can trace Elias and Kari’s journey to America from their roots in Norway:

  • Loten and Tynset, both Hedmark County, where Elias and Kari, respectively were born (1839, 1837) and grew up. As the pace of migration quickened, Norwegians gathered to read and hear the latest letters from America, and we can wonder whose letters Elias and Kari read and when the seeds of going to America were sown.
  • Elverum, Hedmark, where the couple was married October 20, 1868, and registered for emigration April 26, 1869. (Elverum is less than 10 miles east of Loten, but 120 miles south of Tynset.)How each arrived in Elverum, how long they lived here, and how and where they met – these are unanswered questions.
  • Christiania/Oslo, from where they departed on the feeder ship Skandinavia May 11, 1869, six months or so after their marriage.
  • Leith (port of Edinburgh), Scotland, where they arrived, and then boarded a train to Glasgow.
  • Glasgow, where they boarded the ship Britannia for the trans-Atlantic crossing.
  • Londonderry, Ireland, a stop along the way. Trans-Atlantic crossings typically took a bit less than two weeks in these years.
  • New York, where they arrived in America June 8, and probably boarded a train for the midwest.
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin, the next stop.
  • Halfway Creek, Holmen-Onalaska area a few miles north of La Crosse, where they spent the next 3-4 years with friends, and where Syverine and Emil were born.
  • Fitch Coulee, Pigeon Township, Trempealeau County, where they bought land from the West Wisconsin Railway Company and arrived to begin farming in 1873.
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