Coming to America

Footsteps of my Great Grandfather Johannes Christianson

Peder Nielsen was born in 1756 and married Marte Kristiansdtr also born in 1756. They had four children. The youngest child was Christian Pedersen.
Christian Pedersen was born in 1798 in Vestre Toten, Norway.

Christian married Ingeborg Johannesdatter (born 1795) on June 10, 1822 at the Aas church in Vestre Toten. Christian and Ingeborg had two children.
• Maria Christiandatter was born March 1, 1824. Maria died in her first year.
• Johannes Christianson was born January 10, 1829 (100 years before stock market crash)

Johannes Christianson married Maria Olsdatter (Born 1831) September 16, 1851. Maria gave birth to her first son, Ole Christian Johanneson, while living on the Sund farm located south of Eina in Vestre Toten. Christian was a Husmann and Johannes was a Shoemaker. They dreamed of adventure and going to America to get their own farm. There would never be an opportunity to own land in Norway.

Johannes and Maria along with son Ole and his parents, Christian and Ingeborg, left for Christiana (Oslo) on April 12, 1853. It was a bold and daring move. The picture of Johannes Christianson that appears below was taken about 1875 on the farm in Strum, Wisconsin. The family sailed from Norway to America with Captain Müller on the Argo, a BARK, i.e. a three –masted sailing ship. It departed from Christiana on April 13, 1853. This was the first ship to leave Christiana in the spring of 1853. Ice still covered the bay several miles out. A channel was cut in the ice and rowboats made several trips to the Argo bringing passengers and cargo. After 47 days on the seas, they arrived in Quebec on May 28,1853. This was considered a very short time to cross the Atlantic Ocean at the time. They must have had good weather and the wind was blowing in the right direction.

It is believed that they then traveled by steam paddle boat via the Great Lakes to Milwaukee. They ended up at the township of Vermont two miles south of Black Earth, Wisconsin. It is likely that they spent a few days at the Muskego church near Milwaukee before moving on. They may also have spent a year or two at Cambridge, Wisconsin.

The 1860 census shows them living in the township of Vermont. Johannes and Marie had two additional children: Mathea, born in 1855, and Gustav born in 1857 who died in 1857. A second Gustav was born in 1857 who also died after 1860. It was common to name a new born after a deceased with the same name. Three additional children were born in the 1860’s: John, who was born in 1863, Inger who was born in 1864, and Gilbert who was born in 1867. Christian Pedersen died before 1860 in the Vermont area. Gustav also died after 1860 in Vermont area.

The family then moved to Strum, Wisconsin, by ox cart in 1870. Johannes and Marie had one additional child after moving to Strum. Peter was born in 1870 just prior to the move to Strum. Oluff was born in 1873. Ingeborg also moved to Strum, Wisconsin, with her son and the rest of his family. Johannes was successful in farming 160 acres North of Strum, Wisconsin. Johannes was also one of the Charter Members as a Trustee in organizing what became St Paul Lutheran church in Strum in 1873. The church was built in 1877. Ingeborg Petersen died in 1882, Johannes Christianson died in 1897 , Maria Christianson died in 1915. They are all buried at the St Paul Cemetery in Strum, Wisconsin.

Peter Christianson, son of Johannes and Maria married Gurine Langlo from Stranda, Norway in 1890. They had 7 sons and 5 daughters between 1890 and 1913.

The third son of Peter and Gurine was William Christianson born April 15, 1902. William married Olga Christopherson ( Born November 9, 1905). They had two sons. William Christianson Jr. born May 21, 1938 and Peter Christianson born April 16, 1940 >> died 1948 from Red Measles.

William Christianson was a home builder and during his career built about 50 homes for his customers. “Bill” as they called him was noted for his excellence in kitchen cabinets that he constructed on site.

Olga Christianson was a country school teacher back in the days when the teacher taught all eight grades in one room. Teachers then also had to build the fire early in the morning during the winter to heat the class room. William Christianson died in 1978 and Olga Christianson died in 1988. They are both buried at the St Paul Cemetery next to their son Peter in Strum, Wisconsin

William Christianson Jr. married Frieda Tackett (Dutch, French roots) (Born August 10, 1938) on December 25, 1958 at the White Church in Plumfield, Southern Illinois. William and Frieda have two daughters, Carmen and Catherine and two sons, Craig and Christopher
• Carmen and Family live in Edmond, Oklahoma (Two sons >> Christopher and Nicholas)
• Catherine and Family live in Hermitage, Tennessee (Two daughters >> Julia and Jessica)
• Craig and Family live in Allen, Texas
• Christopher and Family live in Tulsa, Oklahoma (One daughter >> Cheree)

William and Frieda currently live in Surprise, Arizona, and actively sell retirement homes for HomeSmart.

On my fathers side, Christianson from Eina, Norway and Langlo from Stranda, Norway.

On my mothers side, Christopherson from Norway and Bergerson from Vestmarka, Norway.

Bill Christianson
20 Aug 2009 (Updated July 27, 2015)