Elisabet Anna was the youngest of the remaining children of Hans Petter and Målfrid. She was just 20 years old an two years younger than Marit who followed the family to America.

We might therefore wonder why she remained in Norway. It seems to be just one answere to that question; love.

She married Karl Johan Karlsen from the neighboring municipality, Saltdal, in 1866, the same year that her father, stepmother and siblings left for America.

Elisabet Anna and Karl Johan settled at his homestead at Myrland, not far from the place where Sakri-Olai’s wife, Elen, came from. They were all descendents of immigrants from Helgeland. As a matter of fact, Elisabet Anna and Karl Johan were second cousins. In a way theese people stuck together like we see Norwegian immigrants to the US did later on.

Karl Johan and Elisabet Anna.

Karl Johan and Elisabet Anna’s farm at Myrland. Photo from Saltdal: gård og slekt.

Elisabeth Anna and Karl Johan had 5 children and 4 grew up on this farm more than 400 meters above sealevel. I addition to traditional farm work, Karl Johan was a skilled tar maker. Around the farm there were lots of pinewood and he made the tar out of the pinewood roots in a charcoal kiln. The tar was used to impregnate boats, houses and equipment made of wood, and it was an important income to the farm economy.

Neither Elisabet Anna nor Karl Johan became very old. Elisabeth died in 1910, just 65 years old.  Karl Johan died in a tragic accident when a boat capsized and eight people drowned, he was 69 years old.

The oldest still living member of the Lillejord family in Norway, Thora Ernstsen, is a descendent of Elisabeth Anna and Karl Johan. She is born in 1911, a hundred years later than Hans Petter Olsen, and she will attend the reunion this summer.

Elisabet Anna was born in 1845 and was just 20 years old when the plans to leave for America began to take form at Lillejord.