Jon Rasmussen Bestul

Utreist med/Emigrated on: "SUPERB" to New York. Arrived July 2, 1849 with 121 passengers.

Utreist til/Emigrated to: Scandinavia township, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin

Jon was born
June 16, 1825 on Bestul farm in the upper part of Gjerpen parish which is called Luksefjell. He was the son of Rasmus Jonsen Bestul and Dorthe Nielsdatter, who emigrated in 1853.
In 1835 we find the family on Gromstulen farm, also in Luksefjell.

Gromstulen, Matr. No.: 38
John Torkildsen, married, tenant farmer, age 67 (father of Rasmus)
Gunhild Ramusdatter, marrid, age 64
Ole Johnsen, age 26

Gromstulen, Matr. No. 38
Rasmus Johnsen, married, age 36
Dorthe Nielsdatter, married, age 33
John Rasmussen, age 10
Ingeborg Rasmusdatter, age 9
Niels Rasmussen, age 7
Maren Rasmusdatter, age 5
Helvig Olsdatter, age 24

10 years later, in the 1845-census, we find them on Bestul.

Rasmus Johnsen, tenant farmer, married, age 46
Dorthe Nielsdatter, married, age 43
John, age 21
Ingeborg, age 19
Niels, age 17
Jacob, age 10
Gunhild, age 7
Ole, age 4
Anne, age 1
John Torkildsen, his father, married, age 77
Gunhild Rasmusdatter, his mother, married, age 74
Marie Olsdatter, maid, age 19

Jon died Sept 19, 1901 and is buried in Scandinavia Lutheran Cemetery. So is his wife, Sigrid, who died
Nov 25, 1918.
They had married before 1858 and had the following children:

Jørgen, born 1858
Marian (Maren), born 1859, married to Martin Nielsen.
Johan, married to Mary Anderson
Jørgine, born Jan 27, 1870, not married, died March 19, 1895
Rasmus, married to Mary Noble
Karen, married to Charles Thompson
Jonas, married to 1) Laura Hoyord, 2) Celia Monson
Otto, married to Amelia Trinrud
Gunhild Sylverine, born 1874, died as infant.
Sarah, married to Teman Peterson
Edwin, married to Laura Johnson
Ella, married to Alfred Hoyord.

Sigrid, Jon’s wife, was born
June 29, 1835 in Gausdal.

In the book “From the Indian Land” , Malcolm Rosholt writes about Jon.

JOHN RASMUSSEN (1825‑1901). This name in the 1856 tax roll is actually John Rasmusson Bestul, eldest son of Rasmus Bestul, who probably immigrated from Norway in 1849 and came first to Waukesha county where he worked a couple of years before moving to Waupaca county. Stephen Nygaard said he came to
Scandinavia in the spring of 1851. The other members of the Bestul family did not come until 1853 and it was no doubt John who wrote to his relatives in Norway to come and join him.

John Bestul, apparently not quite 26 years old when he arrived on the Indian Land, took no part in town politics. He was assessed on $277.30 in personal property in 1858, and the fact that he made a pre‑emption claim on more than a quarter‑section of land suggests that he had ample financial backing either of his own or from his family. He was still on his farm in 1889 by which time he had added more land, making it one of the largest farms in the town­ship. But the children did not elect to carry on the farm very long and it passed out of the Bestul family. In 1953 Arthur Hasler owned most of the original claim.

John Bestul married Sigrid Kaalrud (1835‑1918) in Scan­dinavia. She was originally from Gausdal. Their children were Johan, who married Mary Anderson; Maren (Mrs. Martin Nelson); Rasmus (also called Robert) who was twice married, the second wife's name being Mary Noble; Karen (Mrs. Charles Thompson); Jonas, whose first wife was Laura Hoyord and second wife Celia Monson; Jorgine, who never married; Otto, who married Amelia Trinrud; Gunhild Sylverine, born in 1874 but died in infancy; Sarah (Mrs. Teman Peterson); Edwin, who married Laura Johnson, and Ella (Mrs. Alfred Hoyord).

Meanwhile, a footnote may be added to the background on Rasmus Bestul. From an old Norwegian Bible brought to this country with the family and now in possession of Mrs. Norman Egeland of Iola, great‑granddaughter of Rasmus Bestul, I have copied the following inscription, which appears in a fly‑leaf in the original handwriting (and spell­ing) of Rasmus Bestul:

"Denne bog tilhorer mig Rasmus Johnson Gromstul i Linfjeld (?) i Gjerpen Sogn. Jeg Rasmus Johnson er fodtt til Werden paa Gromstul den lste October 1799 Og min Drag (?) Kone Dorte Nielsdatter Gromstul er fodtt til Werden den 14th April 1802. Wore born ere som folger ‑(This book belongs to me. Rasmus Johnson Gromstul of Linfjeld (?) in Gjerpen parish. I, Rasmus Johnson, was born to this world on the Gromstul or Linfjeld place on October 1, 1799, and my attractive (?) wife Dorte Nielsdatter Grom­stul was born to this world on April 14, 1802. Our chil­dren are as follows):

Oldest son, John Rasmussen, was born July 16, 1825.

Oldest daughter Ingeborg was born March 6, 1827.

Son Niels was born in December 1828.

Daughter Maren was born April 4,1831.

Son Jacob was born November 22, 1835.

Daughter Gunhild was born July 20, 1838.

Son Ole was born June 22, 1841.

Annie was born May 23, 1844.

The spelling of the word "Linfjeld" is not clear in the above text. It may refer to Lukesfjeld, as the village of Bes­tul lies on a lake north of Lukesfjeld. Nor is the Norwegian word "drag‑" clear. It probably refers to "dragende" which means "attractive" or "irresistible."

From April Schaadt I have received a full family tree of the Bestul family in America.
Thank you so much, April!!.


2003 - Skien Genealogical page - by Jan Christensen