Karen Marie Helgesdatter Bøe*

Utreist med/Emigrated on: "WALHALLA", departed from Skien to New York. Arrived Aug 11, 1849 with 183 passengers.

Utreist til/Emigrated to: Ashippun township, Dodge Co., Wisconsin

Karen Marie Helgesdatter was born February 11, 1824 on the farm Bøe in Gjerpen. parents were Helge Larsen and Mari Johannesdatter. Helge was born Oct 7, 1787 and his father was Lars Helgesen Bøerønningen. Mari was born ca 1788. She may have been the daughter of Johannes Pedersen U/Bøe, who had a daughter “Marthe Maria” in 1788.

Helge Larsen and Mari Johannesdatter had the following children:
Lars, b. 4/4-1820 at Bøe, Karen Maria, b. 11/2-1824 at Bøe, Ingeborg, b. 14/10-1826 at Bøe, Johannes, b. 30/12-1829 at Foss Mellom, Helvig, b. 6/1-1834 at Foss Lille.

There is a lease dated July 28, 1816 to Helge Larsen for a place Lien u/Bøe Nordre. He was to pay a rent of 6 riksdaler per year and also work 2 days on Bøe Nordre during harvest.
June 5, 1826 we find a deed from Christen Tufte til Helge and Ole Larssønner for Foss Lille. They paid 600 Speciedaler.

We find the family living on Foss Lille in 1835 and also in 1845.

Karen Marie emigrated to Ashippun where she according to Gerhard Naeseth, married Lars Østensen Tufte, who also emigrated in 1849.


* In the emigration list her age is given as 43.1/2 years. This is wrong.


From Clayton Swanton in Wisconsin I have received this wealth of information about Karen Marie and her husband Lars:

It looks as if the recorded age for Karen Marie Helgesdatter recorded on the emigration list is just a mistake. I believe the person before or after her was also recorded with the same age. Of course Karen and Caroline were considered the same name at that time. Her brother Erick Helgeson lived on the property next to
Rogers log house and land.

     Karen Marie Helgeson was married on Christmas Day 1849 to Lars Ostenson at the home of the Rector Martin Sorenson. He was an Episcopal minister married to the daughter of Captain John Gasmann and rector of St. Olaf's at that time. Of course they were cousins. Lars' father Osten Larsen and Karens father Helge Larsen were brothers.  Lars' parents settled near here and the name Tufte was recorded as their name when they were entered as a family in the church book.

      Besides his parents, Lars Ostenson had one sister Karen Maria married to Aslak Pedersen Aas and a brother Engebret Ostenson who was married to Anna Olsdatter Otterholt a relative of mine. We associate the name Dyrkol with all the Ostensons not Tufte. The Ostensons and Aslak Peterson lived next to my grandmother Swanton when she was a girl. It is close to here and I know many stories etc. of those people and knew some of them.

       Lars and Karen Marie had a son John and a daughter Emma Maria (baptized Ingeborg Marie) die within three days of each other while visiting in Pierce County in January of 1888. They are buried next to my grandmother Swantons father Elias Swanton at St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery here across from my home. The parents later moved. Without checking, I think they moved to Pierce County. I do not know their burial location at this time. They were not brought back here to be buried by the son and daughter at St. Paul's. Ingeborg Marie was born Dec.18,1861 and John was born Aug.25,1856. They were confirmed at St.Pauls Episcopal church in 1872. I have seen pictures of John and Emma and may even have them myself.

Lars and Karen Ostenson had one son and two daughters die in infancy. One was named Maren Helena born June 9, 1853 and died Nov.30,1853  and  the other was Anna Margaret born June 25,1859 who died Jan.10 1863. Maren Helena was baptized at St. Olafs while it was Episcopal and Anna Margrethe was baptized at St. Olafs after it was Lutheran. One child died in 1852 having been born that year also. These infants are buried at St. Olaf's The ones dying in 1852 and 1853 were buried while it was Episcopal..A daughter Mary Helena was born Sept.13 1854. She married Albert Christenson of Ellsworth, Wisconsin and lived there.

    Osten Larsen Dyrkold was born near Easter time 1791. He worked with his father in the mines when a boy. Later he learned the mason and carpenter trades. He was a large man with dark hair and blue eyes. He had a keen wit, humor, and possessed good judgment. He married Anna Margaret, daughter of Engebret R. Dyrkold, and lived on a small farm adjoining that of his father-in-law, about a Norwegian mile north of Skien. He took great pride in farming and received a prize of silver spoons from the Government for his success. His son Engebret was born June 11,1821 and worked on the farm as a boy, made horse shoes for the neighbors in summer and burned charcoal in winter. He voluntarily enlisted in the army at age seventeen as a drummer boy and served at Stensarmen, Tonsberg, and at Sognemoen, Christiansand, through the term of five years. He married Anna Olsen Otterholt Sept.6,1846 in Gjerpen Church by Rev.Rhode. They settled on Rosvald near Dyrkold for three years and emigrated to America in 1849. Ostens son Lars was born Nov.16, 1827. He spent his childhood on the farm. He was a first-class blacksmith, turner, and a carpenter. He worked for some time at Fossum iron factory owned by the Slatholder of Norway, where bombs were manufactured for use in war. He emigrated to America in 1849.

      Helge, the father of Karen  Marie Helgeson  was the son of Lars Helgeson. The family had come from Tin to Gjerpen perhaps about 1750. Helge was a skilled builder and blacksmith. He was highly honored at one time by being made foreman of a number of carpenters hired by Ernst Lovensjold to build a residence called Holgenlyst for his father, Statholder of Norway, as a summer resort, near Oslo. Lars Ostenson and Aslak Peterson Aas also worked on this building. Helge was also contractor and overseer for the building of highways; he constructed the highway in Bamla and many others. His son Erick who lived here was born Dec.9,1813. He was educated for a schoolmaster. At the age of 30, he and his wife came to America, arriving on July 4,1843 amidst the waving of flags and other festivites-a patriotic reception. They came directly west and lived for a time in Michigan. They encountered Indians in great numbers and had many interesting experiences with them. He and another man went to the Indians for a health reason. The Indians invited them to stay all night and they accepted. In the morning they partook of an Indian breakfast which they did not greatly relish. Erick associated with the Indians a great deal so that he learned their language and could converse with them. Later Erick purchased his farm  here. He was Town Clerk ,Treasurer, Justice of the Peace and Assessor. He died Jan.9,1867. His wife Kirsten was born  Dec.25,1811 and died Sept.25,1896. Their children were Maren Elise born Oct.8,1848; Helge Foss April 8,1847-Dec.22,1847; Helene March 9,1852-the winter of 1853; and Johanne born March 29,1854. Maren Elise(Mary) grew to aduthood and Johanne(Hannah) married Isaac Larson of Ellsworth, Wisconsin.

       A grandson of Engebret Ostenson and Anna Otterholt wrote a family history in 1899 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He did several branches of the family such as; Haaken Slettne, Lars Brat, Dyrkold, Helgeson, and Kleven (including my family).His name was Isaac Peterson.

       A son of Engebret, Lewis Ostenson, visited Norway,especially Gjerpen, in 1910 and published a paper covered book in 1917 called "Steps of Foreign Travel." He also visited other countries.

        A son of Aslak Peterson Ass ,James A, Peterson, wrote a fiction book entitled "Hjalmar or The Immigrants Son" in 1922. He uses our area for the location in the book and uses Peterson, Ostenson family members as possible characters.

        Osten Dyrkold, Aslak Peterson Aas, Karen Marie Helgeson, Engebret Ostenson families, eleven family members in all, left Norway June 3,1849 on the ship Valhalla. It was a clean and healthful ship, one of the best ships that sailed from Norway. It was recommended to them by Captain Christian Barnholt of Skien. The cactains name was Ole Bjelke from Tonsberg. He read service every Sun. morning. No deaths occurred and there was no sickness except sea sickness, It took 10 weeks. They had good weather with only three stormy days with no damage. There is a story written of their trip from the boat to Wisconsin. They first stopped at Peter Gasmanns house at Pine Lake. They walked the next day 10 miles to Erick Helgesons house and stayed there two weeks. The story then tells of them buying land and building their houses.



2003 - Skien Genealogical page - by Jan Christensen