Marit was born in Beiarn February 2, 1843. She was the eldest of Hans’ children who joined the emigration journey from Norway in 1866. We can imagine that the 23-year-old woman was given a lot of responsibility for her younger siblings during the journey and the pioneer period at their homesteads.
Marit was clever to keep contact with her Norwegian cousins, and we have found traces of letters and photos she has sent to relatives in Norway. In one occation the contact has been kept between descendents on both side, and the actual persons will meet at the Lillejord Reunion this summer.
Marit was still living together with the Lillejord family in 1870, according to the Federal Census. In 1875 she has left her father’s family, and she married a Swede, John Sundquist, and they settled in Sacred Heart, not far from the Lillejords.
John Sundquist was a widover with two sons, Ole Heitmann (1869) and Lars Johan Alfred (1875) from his first marriage. John and Marit got 4 children, Stina Marie (Mary), Hans Petter, Emilie (Mellie) and Karl Martin.
John died in 1889, and Marit was alone responsible for the children, whom she reared in a good Christian home. Valerie Sietsma tells: – Marith became a midwife and would drive a team of black horses on house calls, cracking a whip over their heads. She was also very knowledgeable about animals and was a pretty good vet. I have several pictures of her taking care of her chickens. There is also a picture of her by her spinning yarn used for her loom to weave carpets.
Marit and John’s children in 1993. Back: Mellie (12) and Mary (16). In front: Hans Petter (14 and Martin (8)
Marit with daughters, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Back: Tillie (Ole’s wife), Mellie, Mary and Marit. In front: Ole and Tillies children, Marvel, Olive, Gerhart and Pearl.
Marit’s eldest daughter, Stina Marie (Mary) was born 1-1-1877 and died 1-1955. The photo below shows her as a 16 years old girl. She married Rasmus Refsland on 11-12-1912
Mary and Rasmus Refsland’s wedding. Martin Sundquist, Rasmus, Mary, and Lena Hanson. Mary and Rasmus had one daughter, Helen Mulfry, born 1-9-1913.
Mary Refsland holding her daughter Helen (left).
Marit and grand-daughter Helen in 1920 (right).
* Mary and Rasmus’ 40th Anniversary 1952, together with daughter Helen and granddaughter Susan.
Helen married Vincent Peter Paradee on 3-25-1938, and they had five children: Velyndon Roscoe 1-9-1941, Monroe Arden 10-12-1943, Susan Marie 10-14-1949, Heidi Helene 2-18-1953, and Valerie Lou 3-5-1955.
Velyndon (Lindy) married Paula Otsea on 1-6-1968, and they had nine children: Tammy, Robin, Daniel, Sarah, Adam, Martin, Esther, Lisa, and Rachel. Lindy passed away on 1-2-2004 at the age of 62. He and his family lived on the home place where Marith lived with her daughter, Mary, and Rasmus near Sacred Heart.
Monroe married Brenda Lane on 10-26-1964, and they had five children: Patrick, Jean Pierre, Elizabeth, Rhonda, and Michelle. Monroe now lives in Florida with his wife.
Susan married Mike Forbes in 2004 and lives in Willmar, MN. She is on disability because of rheumatoid arthritis. They have no children together.
Heidi married Donald Anderson in 1982. They had no children. Donald passed away in 1994 at the age of 50; Heidi passed away on 12-8-2003 at the age of 50, three weeks before Lindy passed away. They lived near Hector, MN.
Valerie married Randy Sietsema (4-30-1956) on 6-17-1978, and they have five kids: Benjamin Peter 6-14-1979; Lance Lynn 2-19-1981; Lucas Phillip Simon 10-17-1986; Cassandra Valerie 4-1-1988; and Christopher David 3-12-1994. We live near Clara City, MN. None of our children are married.
Hans was married to Dinah – their kids were Jewell, Mulfry, Roy, Silas, and Harlan Sundquist. Jewell married Harvey Knutson and had Sharon, who did not marry; Mulfry married Carl Samuelson and had Kenneth who married Ramona Swanson, and they had no children; Roy did not marry; Silas married Harvey’s sister, Thelma Knutson, and they had Shirley, who married Norman Reek and had four to five kids–Debbie, Daniel, David, and the rest I cannot remember; Harlan married Hazel, and they had four kids-Jeff, Leora, Karen, and Mary. Leora is married to a man from Norway, and I believe they still live in Norway.
The photo is from Hans and Dinah’s 50th Anniversary.
Emilie “Mellie” married Claus Clausen. They had Melrose and Irene. Melrose married Sylvester “Slim” Paradee. (My mom, Helen, and Melrose were first cousins who married brothers, Pete and Slim Paradee.) Irene married Stuart Perry, and they had Gayden, who married Beryl Parks, and their kids were Corinne (married to Jaime Lecy, kids-Tyrel and Amy); Celeste, married to John Rolfing and had Brittney; divorced, and she married Roger Knutson and had Jessica, Marissa, and Richelle; and Paulette married Gary Malecek, and they have three boys.
On the photo we see in the back row: Dinah, Mary, Mellie, Gerhard (Ole’s son), Claus Clausen. Marit is sitting in front.
Karl Martin (went by Martin) never married. He farmed and lived with my Grandpa and Grandma Refsland (his sister Mary) until his death. He had gotten a new car and was driving into town when he had a heart attack, died, and drove off the road.
The photo shows him as college student.
Marit’s stepson Ole lived in Winthrop, MN and married Mathilda Hansen. He was a car salesman and owned and operated a gas station. His kids were Pearl, married to Gerard J. Meyer and lived in Portland, OR; Olive, married to A.E. Sander and lived in Detroit Lakes, MN; Marvel, married to E. Riehard Barnes and lived in San Diego, CA; Gehart, who never married and ran a gas station with his dad in Winthrop, MN; and Everett, married to Imogene Ballantzne and lived in Eugene, OR.
The other stepson Lars Johan Alfred (John) Sundquist married Rose, and their sons were Leslie and George. George had a son, but I’m not sure of his name. I’m not sure about Leslie. He lived in Chicago. George lived in Minneapolis, MN, as did John and Rose, who had a small grocery store there.