Monday, April 13, 2015

Mappy Monday : Here Comes the Syversen Family, part 3

The Syversen Family
created using

Between 1870 and 1900, a number of members of the Syversen family immigrated from Lesja, Oppland, Norway, and settled in the United States. Following their move, family members usually took on a variety of surnames. The primary ones found through US and state census records or engraved on cemetery markers are shown above.

By 1900, the family members were scattered across the midwest and were known by a number of different surnames. Yet, they were still family. Below is a brief look at the Syversen family after they came to the United States.

Patriarch Syver Hansen kept the surname of Hansen. A few years after immigrating, he died in Jackson County, Wisconsin.

His oldest daughter Anne Syversdatter and her husband Haldor Ericksen remained in Norway, but all five of their sons immigrated to the US in the 1870s. The brothers at times lived near each other but eventually were scattered across the country.  Son Elias moved to Wabaunsee County, Kansas and was known as Elias Holvorson for many years. Their second son Syver moved to Umatilla County, Oregon. Lars went by the name of Louis Halverson after his move to Garvin County, Oklahoma. Their fourth son Mathias. known as Mat Halvorsen, lived in Morrow County, Oregon. Ole, their youngest son, ended up in California. Three versions of a surname, four different states, and that is just one part of the Syversen family.

Hans Syversen, the son whose immigration started this series of posts, eventually lived in Day County, South Dakota, and took the surname of Belle. His sons Hans, Ole, Anton, and Otto continued to reside in South Dakota but used the Belden surname, Belden being the name of the farm area where the family has resided in Norway. Anton was later known as Anthony Belden while his brother Otto was sometimes referred to as Oscar Belden.

Another daughter, Ronaug Syversdatter, married in Norway and later immigrated to the Trempealeau, Wisconsin area with her husband, Syver Johannansen.

Guro Syversdatter seems to have been the first family member to immigrate, coming to the Chicago area around 1870. After her marriage to Erick Pederson, the family lived in Jackson County, Wisconsin. Through the years, several family members would stay with Guro and Erick after they first arrived in the US.

The second son, Syver Syversen also lived in the Jackson County, Wisconsin area. Syver, however, was known as Siver Siem, Siem being the name of another farming area in Norway.

My Great Grandmother, Kari Syversdatter, immigrated to the US before 1881 and married my Geat Grandmother, Peter Petersen Myren, They homesteaded in North Dakota, and a descendant of theirs still owns the family farm. Two of Kari and Peter's daughters preferred to use the surname of Myron while the rest of their siblings, as well as the parents, chose to use the name Myren.

It has been interesting to follow the various paths taken by members of the Syversen family. As shown on the map above, by 1900 the siblings and cousins were scattered across the country. Each seemed to have a surname preference, and although many were farmers, they also followed a variety of career paths. My research in following the family has also led me to contacts with other family members living across the US today.

I chose to write this post without my usual citations, but trust me, they exist. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in the sources used for the information presented here.

A final thank you to Thomas MacEntee. His Genealogy Do-Over encouraged me to be more systematic in my research and in recording the information I located. Without these tweaks to my methodology, I probably never would have been able to write this post.

Now, I think I'll take a look at some of those Bright Shiny Objects I came across in this journey.

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