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For as long as I remember, my mother has flaunted her ‘Norwegian-ness’. Her mother, Gertrude Gaustad, was of full Norwegian stock. So mom has an appetite for lefse but when I would ask her about our Norwegian ancestors she would draw a blank. She didn’t know much except that her grandfather was named Ole, Norwegian woman an odd combination of really sweet and dont mess with me shirt
he was blind and had died before she was born.
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So I set out to find out where we came from in Norway. It took quite a few years but I figured it out. In 1883, a 21-year-old Ole Erickson couldn’t find work in his home region on the Norwegian woman an odd combination of really sweet and dont mess with me shirt Byneset peninsula near Trondheim. So like many other Norwegians at the time he set sail for America where opportunities for work were abundant. He settled in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and became a teamster … most likely he managed a horse and cart and made deliveries. When Ole came to America he took on the name of the last cotter farm he worked at in Norway – the Gaustad farm. I found the fourth generation owner of that farm, Olav Braa. Most likely mom’s grandfather, Ole, worked for Olav’s great grandfather on the Gaustad farm in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
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We visited Olav and his wife, Sissel, on the Gaustad farm. Ole has lived on the farm his entire life and his big move in life has been from one room to the next in the farmhouse. They have turned the farm into a function centre for weddings or company functions. We could see why people would choose to host their special event at the farm as Olav and Sissel and their daughter Lene have done an outstanding job in making the farm stunningly beautiful. Olav gave us a tour of the Norwegian woman an odd combination of really sweet and dont mess with me shirt Byneset peninsula where our ancestors would have lived and showed us the farms where they would have worked. We visited the Byneset church so mom got to see where her grandfather would have been baptised and where her great grandparents would have gotten married. To finish off our full on experience, Sissel prepared a Norwegian lunch which we washed down with aquavit.