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Gulbrand Anderson Köln 1796-1901


Posted By: Alton H. Quanbeck (email)
Date: 1/30/2006 at 19:39:11

Gulbrand Anderson Köln (17 March 1796-10 March 1901)
A Native of Hadeland Who Lived in Three Centuries

-written by Alton H. Quanbeck, Middleburg, Virginia, Gulbrand's great-great-grandson

Gulbrand Anderson Köln, my great-great-grandfather, was born in Gran, Hadeland, in 1796. At age 64 he emigrated with his famly to America where he lived until 1901, being just seven days short of 105 years old when he died. His longevity was remarkable since the life expectancy of a male during his time was about one-half of the age that he attained.

The parish record of Gran, Oppland, shows the marriage of Anders Ingebrethson Horgen to Berthe Olsdatter Helgager on 11 December 1788. Their third son, Gulbrand, was christened on Palm Sunday, 1796, in Gran. Three generations of the family are shown in the 1801 Norway census living on the farm Kolden, Brandbu subparish, Gran parish. That record identifies Gulbrand Anderson living with his parents, twin brothers Ingebet and Peder (age 10) and sister Marthe (age 3). That census also shows Gulbrand's grandfather, Ingebret Jenson (age 80) and grand-mother, Pernille Erichsdatter (age 60). To find three generations of one's ancestors in one record was a windfall.

In his twenties, Gulbrand Anderson moved eastward from Gran to the farm Rudhagen in Hurdal, Akershus, where he was a sagmester and husmann. The Hurdal Bygdebok indicates that he was from the farm Kollen in Gran. In Hurdal he met Marthe Pedersdatter from the farm Gjodingsetra. She gave birth on 12 January 1826 to a son Anders where Gulbrand Anderson is listed as the father even though they were not married. Two years later they did get married three weeks before the birth of my great-grandfather, Peder Gulbrandson, on 10 December 1828. Other children followed: Marie, Katrine who died in infancy, Martin and Karine.

The parish record for Nannestad in Akershus shows the famly of Gulbrand Anderson and Marthe Pedersdatter moving into the parish on 7 December 1854. Their departure for America in 1860 is then recorded for Gulbrand (age 64), Marthe (age 47), their daugher Karine (age 21), her husband Lars Hanson (age 23) and child Gulbrand Larson (age 1). During some period of their six-year stay in Nannestad, Gulbrand lived at the farm Østli, a name which most of his descendants chose as their surname in America.

I have not been able to find the migration route for the family from Norway to America since passenger records for that time are incomplete. In any event, the 1870 United States census records Gilbert Anderson (age 75, retired farmer), Marthia Anderson (age 70, keeping house) and son Andrew Gilbertson (age 44) in Grand Meadow township, Clayton County, Iowa. The census enumerator took the liberty of anglicizing their names. After the 1870 census, Marthe Petersdatter disappears from the records and it is likely she died in Iowa sometime between 1870 and 1878. Unfortunately the death records for that locality in IOwa in that time period do not exist.

The Northwood, N.D., Diamond Jubilee, 1884-1859, tells that Gulbrand Anderson, a native of Hadeland, settled in Section 28 of Northwood Township at the age of 82 years. Together with his son Peder, they had with them a herd of Norman horses. The same publication provides more detail about his life and family:

"Gamle Gulbrand, A man who lived in three centuries"

Gulbrand Gulbrandson was the oldest pioneer to homestead in Northwood Township. He left Hadeland, Norway, with his family in 1857 and came to Dakota Territory and files on land in 1878. Having been born in 1796, he was 82 years when he homesteaded. When he was 100 years old, he pumped water for 35 head of cattle and remained in fairly good health until he died in 1901. He is the only pioneer whose life spanned three centuries.

Gamle Gulbrand's son Peder G. Ostlie, purchased the first Woods Binder in the township in 1884. His grandson, Lauritz Ostlie, bought one of the first steam threshing ourfits in the township. this granddaughter, Mrs. Hans Buraas, lived in the first frame house built on the prairie east of the Goose River, and great-great- grandson, Vincent Buraas, purchased the first airplane in the township in 1944. Vincent also started the first airport and flying school here, and its the first to operate an airplane spraying service.

After the death of his son Peder on 15 January 1889, Gulbrand returned to Iowa to live with his eldest son Anders, his daughter Karine and her husband Lars Hanson. The 1900 U.S. census finds the family together in Grand Meadow Township, Clayton County, Iowa, where the occupations of Lars Hanson and Andrew Gilbertson are shown as 'capitalist' and 'landlord,' resectively. Less than a year after the 1900 census was enumerated, Gulbrand Anderson died near Clermont, Iowa, on 10 March 1901."

E.M. Lundt, Elgin, Iowa, wrote an obituary in April 1901 which follows in its entirety, including misspellings and inaccuracies:

105 Years Old Gudbrand Anderson Kolan Fulfills His Long Life At Clermont Iowa

Gudbrand Anderson Kolan is dead in Clermont, Iowa. He was born in Grans Prastegjeld Hadeland Norway March 17, 1796. He was confirmed in Akers Church by Pastor Heierdal in October of 1812 and served after his confirmation in Maridalen for a salary of 6 to 10 dollars per year. When he was 30 years old he was married and moved to Hurdalen, where he was caretaker of a house and acreage until 1860. While there he saved himself enough money so he bought himself an acreage in Nannestad. With this marriage he had 5 children who came to America with him in 1875. They settled near Clermont, Clayton County, Iowa. The land here was already taken up and high priced. He then moved to the Red River Valley, Minn with his oldest son and took up free land there. His son died after a few years there and the old man was now 95 years old. He then moved back to the Clermont settlement with his daughter Karen where he lived until he died on March 10, 1901. He was lacking 7 days of being 105 years old.

The underwriter visited him last fall. He told me many things about old times. He told me that at one time back in Norway he was assigned a Swedish Officer who had been taken prisoner by the Norwegians and to take him to a place in Hadeland. When they reached their destination the officer sat dead in the saddle.

In the morning he sang hymns with a strong voice. Hymns from both Guldberg and Kingo's Hymnals. He had an exceptional good voice and had always been close to God and had always lived a quiet, busy and moral life.

His aged daughter and son-in-law, Lars Hanson, did everything possible to make his last days happy and pleasant. Yes, Gudbrand waited for the Lord and now sleeps in the East Clermont cemetery until the morning of his ressurection. Peace be with his remains and pleasant be his memory.

The reader will note that the farm name in Gran that Gulbrand Anderson chose to use appears in various forms as Kollen, Kolden, Kolan and Koln. The inscription on his tombstone is Köln. It is also noteworthy that some of the information presented in the local history and his obituary is inconsistent with the historical church and census records.

During the summer of 2001, my wife Susan and I found his gravesite in the front row of the cemetery of the classic East Clermont Lutheran church. In addition to the birth and death dates, there is the following inscription on his tombstone:
Fred med hans stov
Nu har jeg seier fan-get
Ske den gode Gud's son
Som hover enSynder saa bange,
Gud giv os den evige Lon

Peace be with his dust
Now I have captured victory
to the good God's son
who hears a Sinner so grightened
God give us the eternal reward.

It is likely that Gulbrand Anderson Koln has several thousand descendants living in the United States today. My great-grandfather, Peder Gulbrandson, adopted the surname Ostlie after the farm Østli in Nannestad. He had 10 children who were in turn very prolific. A check on the Internet shows more than 3,000 hits for the name Ostlie. My cousin, Cindy Ostlie, who lives in Missouri, and I have shared the results of our research into our family history. She had uncovered some matters that were a deep mystery to me and I am indebted to her for much of what appears in this article. If any reader has any further information about our ancestors, we would be pleased to hear from them.

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