As we have seen, four of Hans P. Lillejord’s children stayed in Norway. The oldest son, Sakarias Olaus, often called Sakri-Olai, married the same year as the parents left, in 1866. His parents had two farms, Lillejord and Laukslett, and Sakri-Olai got Laukslett. Lillejord was sold to Sakri-Olai’s brother in law. We have heard that Hans and Maalfrid were tenant farmers from the beginning, but in the course of 20 year of life at Lillejord, Hans succeeded in getting ownership to the farms before leaving the valley.

Sakri-Olai married Elen Pettersdtr. from the JunkerValley, near the Swedish border. Her family also were migrants from the DunderlandValley, and we can assume that their families were well known to each other. Elen’s brother Johan Petter was the one that bought Lillejord, the other farm of Hans and Margrete. As a matter of fact, the Passenger list of Hans and Margrete’s voyage shows that Elen and Johan Petter’s parents, Petter Arntsen and wife Oline Benjaminsdtr. were on the same ship, together with five children, on their way to a new life.

sakri-olai-11Sakri-Olai and Elen had four children. All of them stayed in the BeiarnValley and most people in the area are within the family. Among them is Geir Heggmo, member of the Reunion organizing committee.

Hanna Pauline, b. 1837 was married in 1858 to Fredrik Olsen Os. Os is a farm abt. 20 miles down the Beiarn valley from Lillejord. It was populated in the Iron age, but deserted around 1400, after the Black Death. The farm was resettled 200 years later, and Fredrik’s family had stayed at the farm since then. So, Hanna came into new and more settled conditions. Hanna and Fredrik had nine children, and they all stayed in Norway. One of their descendants is the Mayor of Beiarn, Frigg-Ottar Os, also a member of the Reunion organizing committee.

Sakarias Olaus Hansen (photo: Ole Tobias Olsen, lended by: Beiarn historielags bildesamling)

Dorthe Oline, b. 1841 was married in 1860 to Ingebrigt Andersen Strand. Strand is a neighbour farm to Os, and with the same general history. Dortea and Ingebrigt got nine children, too, but four of them went to the United States or Canada. Two of them settled near Bengough in Saskatchewan Canada. Otto Strand, b. 1884, was married to Tilda and they had ten children. Most of them lived in Alberta, and Otto jr. and Addie are still living in Calgary AB. Hanna, b. 1880 was married to Mons Hesjedal, and they had nine children. Most of the family still live in Saskatchewan. Head of the Reunion organizing committee, Inge Strand, is a descendant of Dortea.

Elisabet Anna was the youngest of the remaining Lillejord children. She was karl-karlsen-og-elisabet-hansdatter-myrland1born in 1845, and had probably fallen in love when her parents were planning the America Voyage. She married Karl Johan Karlsen from the neighbour municipality, Saltdal, in 1866, and settled at her husband’s homestead Myrland (Marshland) in the valley of Saltdalen. For a long time this branch of the family was unknown to us in Beiarn. An incident in 2000 made us aware of this part of the family.

Karl Johan Karlsen and Elisabet Anna Hansdtr. (photo: Saltdal kommunes fotoarkiv)

We have earlier noticed that a lot of youngsters had to leave the DunderlandValley in the early 1800s to find their living. Some of them went to Beiarn, while others went to Saltdal or other areas with free land resources. Actually we can see the same process going on as the later emigration to America. The need of a living is the main factor driving the migration process. Families stuck together in spite of living far from each other, and we often see that people married within these kinds of family networks. Thus, Elisabet Anna and her husband Karl were second cousins. The marriage of Sakri-Olai and Elen, and Johan Petter’s take over of Lillejord may be seen as a part of the same pattern.


Sakri Olai’s farm Laukslett is today divided into several small properties. They are growing grass and keeping goats for the milk. In the summertime they keep the goats at cooperative summer dairies. The picture shows Heggmo (photo: Martin Strand)


5 Responses to “Those who stayed”

  1. Gerd Strand Larsen Says:

    My name is Gerd Strand Larsen and I’m the great grand daughter of Dortea Olsen. Dortea was Hans Petter Olsen’s daughter. She married Ingebrigt Andersen and moved to Strand in Beiarn. My grandmother was Margrete and my dad was Ludvig.

    Grandmother’s siblings, Otto, Hanna, Anders and Dina immigrated to the U.S in the early 1900. Otto & Hanna later moved to Canada, where most of their family still lives. My dad immigrated to Canada in the late 1920’s. He arrived in Halifax by ship and traveled by train to meet up with his family in Bengough, Sask. My dad decided to return to Norway around 1930. He married my mom, Marie, and their first son was named Hans. A few years later I arrived and last, my brother Inge.

    When I grew up in Beiarn, my fairy tales were those of my dad’s stories from Canada. I never grew tired of hearing them, and as a little girl, I yearned to travel to America.

    Well, I grew up and married Gunvald Larsen; he was born in the southern part of Norway. In the fall of 1965 Gunvald immigrated to the U.S. and in 1966 our oldest son, Aage and I arrived in NYC by ship with all our furniture. We lived in Brooklyn, NY, until retiring in 2002. A number of years before, we had a home build in Pennsylvania, and we are enjoying our retirement here. We have 2 sons, Aage, who is married to Kathy, they have 2 boys, Nathan (14) and Daniel (11), and they live in Menomonie, WI. John, our youngest son, was born in Brooklyn. He is married to Diane and they live in Smithtown, NY.

    1. Gregory Chorney Says:

      What an interesting read. Learned so many new things. I wish I had read this article much earlier as I would have enjoyed this reunion. My name is Gregory Chorney(1968). I am currently living in Regina,Saskatchewan. My mother is Linda (Evenson) (1946). Her mother, my grand mother was Josie Strand who was the daughter of Otto Strand(1884) and Thilda Johnson(1891). I am the great great grand son of Dortea Olsen (Hans’dtr) and Ingebrigt Andersen. I guess that makes your boys Aage and John my 3rd cousins.

  2. Jordan Says:

    Is the administrator of this blog still actively managing it?

    1. Inge Strand Says:

      ‘Actively’ is an exaggeration, but it is still maintained.

      1. Jordan Says:

        Right on, I came across the decedents page and found my name and the names of my immediate family. I could contribute to that .PDF file if you were interested in adding new members. Great blog though, that PDF is amazing!

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