A Family Heirloom

Our cousin Marcia said she had intentions to take the Borreson cousins through their house before they left the Friday of Nordic Fest, but in hustle-bustle that didn’t happen. (We understand, Marcia – and thank you again for hosting us all.) Specifically what did she want to show us? Here it is.

This spinning wheel, she says, has been in her home as long as she can remember. Her father Gilbert said the original paint was made from berries, and it’s never been repainted. What a treasure! Marcia said it’s very fragile, and of course, it came along whenever her family moved – and her parents before her. Note the beautiful script on it: “Marit Eriksdatter 1864.”

Marcia’s father Gilbert said “something about this belonging to Gina’s mother’s sister.” Clara’s family history Homestead has no mention of our great-grandmother Kari Eriksdatter’s siblings, but she writes of the Tynset parish where they lived and where Kari was born.

I went to the parish register where I had found our great-grandmother’s birth and baptism records. This was my lucky day! “Paging through” the online records, I found her sister Marit (or “Maret” therein). She was born January 5, 1834 and baptized the same day – at home, I am guessing – all recorded in the Tylldal in Tynset parish register, Hedmark County, Norway. I found Marit’s confirmation records too, September 24, 1848, in the same parish. (I wonder if the parish was small because only a few official acts were recorded for each year, and this one register covers 1814-1879.)

How did the spinning wheel come to America? I don’t know. Marit likely received it the year inscribed, 1864. She would have been 30 years old. Her younger sister by almost four years, Kari, married in October 1868 and came to America with our great-grandfather Elias Borresen the following May. How did Gina’s family acquire the spinning wheel? Did Marit come to America too? Did she marry? Those are questions I don’t have the answers for.

In the meantime, thanks from all the Borreson cousins go to Marcia for sharing with us this family heirloom. I look forward to actually seeing it one day I am in Decorah.

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