This handsome couple, Dorothy Onstott writes, were my grandparents in their younger years with 2 of  their children.

Peder Johan Hansen Lillejord and Jorgina Arneson married in November 1881. Jorgina was also born in Norway in the village of Kongsvinger, in March 1864.

Peder passed away in 1937 at the age of 84. Jorgina passed away a couple of years later at the age of 75.

In the union of their marriage eight children were born. The sadness they must have endured as three of their oldest girls passed away in a short period of July 1885 to December 1886. They all died during the flu epidemic of those years. I believe it was diptheria. Then in 1899 they lost a son, Peder Julius, just 8 years of age.

They homesteaded in the Township of Madison, Minnesota in the early 1880’s. The prairie land of Minnesota was mostly homesteaded land. In the 1880’s Norwegian migration peaked. There were large colonies of settlers from Norway in the area, including Peder and Jorgina.

The old homestead home just before it was torn down approx. 100  years after it was built.

It survived several tornados and I wonder how many additions were added to the original homestead house prior to this photo.

The aerial shot shows the Lillejord farm as it looks now and is presently being occupied by the fourth generation of Lillejords. The last tornado that went thru that area was in 1958 and it took all the buildings except the house and the old garage. So the barn and all the out buildings in this photo were rebuilt after that storm. The newer house was built approximately 10 years later.

Peder and Jorgina with their four living children. From left: Lilly, Hjalmar, Gina, Henry, Melvin and Pete.

Dorothy is the daughter of the youngest son, Melvin, and she remebers her grandparents as old people.

‘Theese  pictures are the way I remenber them. “Pete” with his beard and cane and grandma “Gina” always in a hurry and rushing to go somewhere.


Below is a casual photo of Pete and Gina taken in the yard at their homestead farm in Madison township, Lac Qui Parle county, Minnesota.



Three of Pete and Gina’s children as grown ups with spouses. From left: Melvin and Bernice, Henri and Milda, Lillie and Robert. The picture is from a family reunion in Madison, Minnesota in October 1960.

The ‘child’ Hjalmer and his wife was absent. This photo of him and wife Elsie is taken in the fall of 1971.

We thank Dorothy for the photos and the information on the Peder Johan family. Maybe there will be more?

And so it was. Here is a photo of Dorothy’s family in Hawaii, celebrating her and husband Jerry’s 50th wedding Aniversary.  From left: son Mark (44) Dorothy (74) Jerry (76) and daughter Linda (49).