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Posted By: Deidre Badker (email)
Date: 9/27/2014 at 10:12:41

Johannes Moa Pedersen Maakestad was born March 27, 1818 at Mokkestad, Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway to Peder Larsen Mokkestad (b June 18, 1785) and Guri Johannesdatter (b March 15, 1790, d December 10, 1852), one of their four sons who all came to America. (The 3 brothers were: Lars (1813-1893), Holden (Helge) (1830-1904) and Johan (John) (1833-1931).

The first found reference to the Maakestad (Mokestad, Mokkestad) farm in Norway was abt. 1293. "Maagestad" (Mokestad, Mokkestad) is Norwegian for "Home of the Seagulls"

Johannes was baptized on March 29, 1818. His birth/baptismal record can be found in the Norwegian Digital Archives for Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway, 1817-1825, page 15, entry #32: Baptismal sponsors: Lars Johannesen Qvastad; Hellie Larsen Maakestad; Jacob Jonsen; Guri Jonsdatter; Martha Johannesdatter Qvatsad.

He was confirmed on December 15, 1852 at Ullensvang. Confirmation record found in the Norwegian Digital Archives for Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway, 1825-1853, page 202, entry #23: Johannes Pedersen of Maakestad, age 15, son of Peder Larsen Maakestad and Guri Johannesdatter. Polio vaccination October 1818.

Johannes married Gjoa Olsdatter Aaren (Orren) on July 21, 1851 at Ullensvang, Norway. (Gjoa b April 18, 1831 Stana, Odda, Hordaland, Norway, d August 29, 1855 Mitchell Co, Iowa). Wedding record found in the Nowegian Digital Archives for Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway, 1825-1853, page 267, entry #36: Johannes Maakestad age 33 1/4, son of Peder Larsen Maakestad and Gjoa Orren (Aaren) age 20 1/4, daughter of Ole Sjursen Orren.

Believe the couple had 3 children at Ullensvang: Peder Johannesen (b abt 1851, d abt 1852 both at Ullensvang, Norway);

Peder Johannesen (b August 9, 1852 Mokkestad, Norway d abt 1855 in possibly Lee, Illinois) and

Guro Johannesdatter (b March 14, 1854 Mokestad, d between 1854-1855 Lee, Illinois).

Johannes, wife Gjoa. son Peder and daughter Guro left the church on March 30, 1854 at Ullensvang, to emigrate to America, traveling with a large group of friends and relatives. Emigration record for group leaving Ullensvang found at the Norwegian Digital Archives on-line for Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway 1854-1866, page 304, entry #'s 5 - 13:
#5. Jacob Hansen Maakestad (born July 4, 1827)

#6. Johannes Pedersen Maakestad (born March 27, 1818), wife Gjoa Olsdatter (born April 18, 1831); Peder Johannesen (born August 2, 1852) and Guro Johannesdatter (born March 14, 1854)

#7. Ole Johnsen Maakestad (born December 25, 1826)

#8. Helgesdatter Maakestad (born June 20, 1822)

#9. Vigleik Olesen Reisaetter (born October 7, 1816), Gyrid Gundersdatter (born October 3, 1831)

#10. Helge Pedersen Maakestad (born January 18, 1830), Torbjorg Vigleiksdatter (born August 8, 1828)

#11. Lars Nilson Rogde (born April 1, 1829), Ambjor Vigleiksdatter Sandven (born June 4, 1832)

#12. Johannes (?) (born September 15, 1828), Anna Vigleiksdatter Sandven (born December 28, 1834 (or 1837))

#13. Ole Johannesen Winte? (same last name as #12) (born 1831).

The group traveled by ship to Quebec, Canada and then walked to settle at a Norwegian Settlement in Lee County, Illinois. Johannes and Gjoa lived there about a year and believe their two children died there.

In mid 1855, the couple left Illinois and traveled by foot, oxen and wagon west, to settle in Mitchell County, Iowa. Some in their group came with them and some came the following year. Johannes and Gjoa bought farmland in Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa where they had twin sons:
Olai Johannesen (b August 28, 1855 Mitchell Co, Iowa, d October 11, 1856 Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa) and

Peter Johannesen (b August 28, 1855 Mitchell Co, Iowa, d unknown in North Dakota) . Gjoa died on the day following the twins birth, probably due to complications.

Believe Johannes then married a Britha (surname unknown) in 1856 at Mitchell, Iowa but have found conflicting information about whether or not this marriage occurred. Britha (born 1824 Norway) died February 15, 1857 at Mitchell County, Iowa. Britha and Johannes did not have any children

In 1857, Johannes married Chatrina Helvig Halvorsdatter Vambheim at Mitchell County, Iowa. (Chatrina born February 9, 1827 Ulvik, Hordaland, Norway, d October 7, 1912).

The couple had 4 children who were all born at Cedar township, Mitchell County, Iowa:
Anne Marie Johannesdatter (b May 13, 1859 d June 28, 1868 Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa);

Gurina Johannesdatter (b December 1860, married Lars A Sorose, d 1948 Osage, Mitchell, Iowa);

Jane Lydia Elizabeth (b April 13, 1868, married Olaus Knudsen Haugen, d 1952 Osage, Mitchell, Iowa) and

Martin Hannanias (b March 30, 1871, married Emelia Nicolene Himle Nelson, d August 17, 1961 Osage, Iowa).

Found in the 1856 census at Osage, Mitchell, Iowa: John Peterson 36, John Peterson 22, Betsey Peterson 32, Ole Johnson 1, Peter Johnson 1.

Found in the 1860 & 1870 censuses at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa:
1860: John Peterson 40, Catharine Peterson 31, Peter Peterson 5, Maria Peterson 1, Wm Oleson 43.

1870: John 53, Kate 40, Peter 14, Julia 10, Lydia 2; Anna Peterson age 20; says she is a hired girl, William Oleson age 25.

(Note that Johannes is using the name John Peterson.)

Johannes was a charter member of the Rock Creek Lutheran Church, Meroa, Iowa. His first house on the Maakestad farm was a log cabin complete with cellar. The second house was brick. He owned a 14 inch walking plow for a team of horses or oxen. The chief crop grown at first was wheat, which was hauled to McGregor, Iowa after harvesting.

Found in the 1911 Mitchell County Atlas, Section 2, page 19:
Another settler of 1855 was Johannes Peterson Maakestad, familiarly known as John Peterson. Born in Hardanger, Norway, March 27, 1818, came to Illinois, America in March 30, 1854 with a wife and two children; lived in Illinois two years, then moved to Mitchell County, he driving a yoke of oxen with a wagon containing their belongings, and his wife drove the three or four head of cattle. They walked on foot all the way from Illinois. On August 28th, the same year, the wife died, being one of the first funerals in the township. Four children blessed this union. Three died in infancy and Peter a few years ago in Dakota as a wealthy man. In 1857, John was married again to Katherine Wambein (Vambheim). Of their three children, three are living - Gurine, Mrs. Soros, In Minnesota; Lydia, Mrs. O. K. Haugen, on Section 8-97-17; Martin H. who owns the old homestead, on section 7-97-17, but resides on Section 13-97-18. Mr. Peterson died August 9, 1876. Mrs. Peterson is still living in the township at the advanced age of eighty-four years.

Johannes Peterson died August 9, 1876 at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa and is buried at the Rock Creek Lutheran Cemetery, Meroa, Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa.


Mitchell Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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