Mons Anfinnson Tveit. With the small payment for his share (possibly a ticket from his brother, Ole) Sjur was preparing to make his way in a new country.

Joining Sjur for the trip were Brita Andersdtr. Berdahl, his fiance; Sigrid, his brother; Johannes Erickson Berdahl and his wife, Kristi Andersdtr. Henjunm; Johannes’ 2 sisters; Peder Wilson Rodbotten; Torkel Torkjelson Fosse and his wife Kristi Anfinnsdtr. Tveit (Sjur’s sister) and their many children. (There is some question whether Brita might have come a year later on her own, following the same route.)

After much preparation and many goodbyes, they sailed from Bergan on a ship named Columbus bound for Quebec. The ship was old and somewhat out of date and a slow traveler. Many of the older passengers were seasick at times and measles went around among the children.

Finally, after 8 weeks and 2 days they docked in Quebec. When they had passed the doctor’s examinations, the ship took them up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. From there they transferred to boats going by way of the Welland Canal and up the Great Lakes to Chicago. (Going through the Welland Canal the boats had to be pulled by mules.)

At the landing at Chicago there was an immense pile of baggage of all sorts on the wharf. There was a great deal of commotion and anxiety as each family found their belongings. At this point the passengers separated for their final destinations. With an interpreter's assistance they found and boarded the Illinois Central Railroad, which had just been finished, to Galena, IL and then by river boat to Lansing. (Sjur’s naturalization papers indicate a landing date of 18 Jun 1856.

The railroad accommodations were very primitive for immigrants. They were all crowded with their baggage into a cattle car with rough board benches set up along the sides of the car to sit on. The boat ride up the Mississippi to Lansing was even worse as they were quartered among a lot of very rough deckhands.

They arrived at Lansing early in the morning after about 3 months strenuous journey. It is not hard to imagine the relief and thankfulness at this point. However, they still had a distance of about 30 miles to go to reach the Big Canoe settlement in Winneshiek Co. where Sjur’s brother had settled.

No one knew just when they would arrive so no one was there to meet them. But, because Lansing was a town with many Norwegians who could speak their language and was a market place for the people in the Big Canoe settlement, it was not long before they found 2 men from the Big Canoe area who promised to bring them to their destination. (The 2 men were Ole Stoen and Jorgen Brunsvold.)

Their belongings were piled on a lumber wagon pulled by an ox team and the group started their walk to Sattre which took them a day and a half. The group finally arrived at the Ole Tweet home and were welcomed with open arms. It was quickly arranged that the Berdahls would be housed with Mrs. Anna Fretheim and the Fosses went on to their friends in the area.

Sjur and Brita soon bought land very near Ole’s and were married 1 Dec 1857 at the Big Canoe Lutheran Church with the Rev. J. Christian Clausen presiding. It was at this time that they dropped the Tveiten farm name and took Anfinson for their last name.

Sjur and Brita raised 12 children on this farm. They centered their lives around family and church activities. The children were all baptized and confirmed at the Big Canoe Lutheran Church. They were educated in the little school in “Tweet Hollow”. Their granddaughter, Ruth, remembers them as kind and caring people. The family Bible rested at the kitchen table and devotions were a daily occurrence at the evening meal.

Anfin (b. 18 Jun 1858), the first born, married Elizabeth Ulvestad 16 Jun 1896. Julia (b. 14 Jan 1860) never married. Brita "Betsy" (b. 2 Apr 1862) married Rev. Nils Arvesen. They lived in Rowe, IL; St. James, MN; Baldwin, Wl; Chicago, IL; Arendal, MN; and finally St. Olaf, IA. They had 7 children. Andrina Kristine was born 3 Jul 1864 and died 12 Mar 1889 of tuberculosis. Andrew (b. 17 Jun 1866) married Anna Johnson. They lived in Valley City, ND where he had a clothing store. Theodore Sanford (b. 2 Nov 1868) married Maren Claudena Horvey of Decorah. The couple raised 12 children on a farm in Denbigh, ND. Marie (b. 11 Dec 1870) worked in Seattle, WA for many years. She returned to Decorah when she retired. Albert (b. 28 Nov 1872) married Lillian Brunner in 1896. Albert was an employee of the Winneshiek Co. State Bank. He was one of the oldest members of the Luren Singing Society. He was a kind, generous man and opened his home to his sisters Clara, Marie and Julia and his mother Brita so they could all be together in their retirement years. Bertina. my grandmother, was born 8 Dec 1875 on the farm near Sattre and attended rural schools. She married Berent Osmundson 14 Dec 1898 and settled in Highland Twp. They continued the family association with Big Canoe Lutheran Church and the farming tradition. The couple had 6 children: Margaret (Nelson), Sanford, Clarence, Ruth (Finholt), Alma (Pfister) and Frances (Gavle). Sander (b. Sep 1879) married Elesa M. Osmundson and farmed in Pleasant Twp. They had one daughter, Bertha. Clara (b. 26 Mar 1882) was a teacher in the Decorah schools for 42 years. Josie Olina (b. 1 May 1884) married James Kerr. They raised 3 children.

Sjur died 10 Aug 1900 and Brita died 30 Apr 1920. They are buried in the Big Canoe Lutheran Church Cemetery.

The Ansten Family

(Rosella Goettetman)

Herbrand Anstensen was born in 1818 on the Kongsjorden farm in Numedal, Norway. The family moved to the Hovland farm in Eggedal. Ingrid Torstensdtr. was born in 1817 on the Kopseng farm in Eggedal. They were married in 1841 and immediately set sail for America. They first settled in Racine Co., Wl. Three babies died while they were there. In 1851 they took their 2 surviving sons, Ansten and Christen, and moved to Iowa. They settled in Madison Twp., Winneshiek Co. They had a daughter, Eli,

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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