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Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Posted: 9 Sep 2004 3:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 Oct 2004 12:19PM GMT
Surnames: Christopher, Sonnie, Heljeson, Thorson, Hefte, Holter, Shay
Christopher Family
The Christopher family to the Letcher area from Lee, IL.,in 1882 -1883. The first to come were Mr and Mrs Jens Christopher. He was born on the farm known as KVALNES in Hardanger, Norway. A daughter Julia and her husband Knute Nelson Hefte, and their children came to the US in 1882, too.
In addition to building up a large stock farm in Elliott township, complete with a smoke house and a large water wheel for grinding purposes, Jens was a lay preacher and travel in eastern SD organizing Lutheran Congregations. He was named first director of the Elliott School District. He died in 1903.
In 1883, Jen's two sons, Christ and John J. Christopher came to Dakota Territory from Lee, IL. Christ and wife, Ella Thorson, brought their baby Anna, who later was Mrs Dan Tjomsland of Los Angeles. They settled in Elliott Township west of Letcher. Other children of Christ and Ella Christopher were sons, Gerhard and Elmer who went to Los Angeles, and daughters Sarah (Mrs. Rudolf Holter) and Hattie (Mrs. Elmer Shay) of the Letcher area.
John J. Christopher married Kathrine Helgeson of Haugesund, Norway in 1889. Their home was in section 26, Elliott Township. In the early days they angled wast across the prairie to trade in Letcher, following a trail past the Carter's grove, the present day Wilbur Johnson farm. In 1902 the family moved into Letcher and lived there until 1908. Mr Christopher operated a threshing rig in the area and a few years ago Joe Heinzman and Mrs Vitak (mother of the Meiers brothers) remembered this well. John rented pasture in the school section, west of Letcher Cemetery and daughter Margaret, herded cattle there. John Christopher and the Sellands also brought livestock in the area during these years and shipped it by rail to Sioux City. Their pens were located west of the tracks, on the north side of Letcher Main Street.
While living in Letcher, the family attended the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mrs Christopher was a member of the Rebeccas. The children attended Letcher Public School. During this time the house in Elliott was occupied by several families, among them P. M. Hjelm, and Pat Callahan who reportedly farrowed a sow in one of the rooms.
John J. and Kathrine Christopher were the parents of six children. Two died in childhood. Two daughters, were Margaret (Mrs A. P. Aanestad 1895-1980)) of Washington, DC and Sun City, Ariz., and Elsie (Mrs. T. M. Garborg 1900-1964 of Minneapolis). Their sons. Millard, (1894-1953) and Harry (1898-1963) farmed in Elliott Township.
About 1907 a band of traveling gypsies came to Letcher and settled down near the railroad tracks. Ellick Heljeson, a visiting Uncle of Kathrine Christopher and an old Civil War Veteran, marched up to the group, and in a thundering voice much fortified by hops and barley, ordered them to leave town at once. They left Letcher.
Harry married Amanda Roti of Howard. They were parents of three children, Richard, Donald and Nancy, all of Letcher. Donald married Patricia Buchanan of Mitchell, and their children are John, Denise and James. Nancy married Myron Sonne and their children are Christopher and Amanda.
I am not related to this family. I am just working on the Letcher, SD family sections from the 1983 Letcher History book. My own family from Norway is Moen from all Sparbu

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

PR (View posts)
Posted: 10 Sep 2004 1:42AM GMT
Classification: Query
Jens Kristofersen of the Kvalnes farm was born about 1823 in Ullensvang, Hordaland, Norway. He is recorded as leaving for Lee County, Illinois about 1856. His father was Kristofer Ingebrigtson and his mother was Gyrid Jensdatter.

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Posted: 21 Nov 2004 8:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you so much!!!
Thanks to PR and Jean Marthaler I just found out my Great Great Grandmother Sigrid was from Kvalnes farm and according to the information PR gave was Jen's sister.
This has helped me out immensly :)
Thanks again
Tracy Critchfield

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Carl Christopher (View posts)
Posted: 22 Nov 2004 6:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Christopher
I would like to add or edit some things on the page so the info is correct. Also I would like to add a Christopher Family Site and or page what is the best way?

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Carl Christopher (View posts)
Posted: 22 Nov 2004 6:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Christopher
From Virginia Taylor I thought it best to post Carl's reply to me asking for help with posting to t
Hi,

My name is Carl Christopher was wondering Jens Christopher He was my great great grand father. So is there a connection? I'm great with spread sheets and formulas but the Roots web stuff is new to me can you help? Would let to talk more.

Thank You,
Carl Christopher

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Carl Christopher (View posts)
Posted: 22 Nov 2004 7:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Christopher, Kristofferson
From is Obituary I have it that is full name was John Jens Christopher Sr. the last name was changed from Kristofferson (not sure when). He was born October 28, 1828 on the farm Kvalnes near Ullensvang, Hardanger, Norway. He received his passport to go to the United States on March 10, 1856. Hope this clear up some things.

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Posted: 16 Apr 2012 10:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Kvalnes, christopher
I am a great great great grandson of Jens J Kristofferson Kvalnes. My Great Grandfather was Elmer Christopher. Was wondering if anyone has been able to come across a book on the family, or why we left Norway?

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 6:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
Most people left for better economic opportunities. I had ancestors who also left that area about the same time as Jens' family members and one of my family also claimed that she hoped for more religious freedom. Kvalnes was and is a very small farm homestead along the edge of a steep sided fjord in Hordaland, Norway.

That entire family, Jens, his siblings and parents all left for "Nordamerica" before 1860. What his obituary lists as a passport date was actually the date that the local minister recorded in the books there that Jens with a younger brother and a sister were leaving the parish.

Re: Christopher Family Kvalnes, Hardanger, Norway

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 4:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
My great grandfather was also Elmer Christopher. I am Charles Christopher the son of Randy Christopher. I have lots of info about the Christopher family, if you would like to get in contact with me my email address is charleschristopher3@gmail.com
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