1929 Story of Andreas Langum, by his daughter, Deodette

Andreas Langum immigrated from Drammen Norway to America in the early 1850s. He ended up in Wisconsin, where he met his wife, Gurine Swenson. Gurine left Tylldal, Norway with her family in 1853, landing in Galveston, Texas. She went, with her older brother, to Wisconsin where she met Andreas. They married and homesteaded near Spring Valley, Minnesota. In later life, Andreas wrote an account of his life. It was fairly short, but somewhat humorous – in a Norwegian sort of a way. This longer account, while less humorous – has more detail, and is interesting not only for Andreas’ story, … Read more…

OVER THE SEA: Chapter 1 through 10



Being the partially fictional account of Zechariah Field – 10th Great Grandfather of Jackson, Ella, Rosa, and Sofia Eastvold

Copyright © 2014 Carl Eastvold



The English man standing at the ship’s rail, breathed in the pine scented air wafting out from the rapidly approaching shore. He’d never seen such wild looking country. The sand and gravel beaches were backed by deep forest; some areas pine, others, leafy deciduous, great oaks and chestnuts, both inviting in the sunlight, and forbidding when overcast. Occasional headlands and small islands showed a few rocky outcrops, but there were … Read more…



Growing up in the northwoods, there are many cabins stored in my memory. The “our cabin” on Vermilion, the Priesthouse, our shack at Dam Seven Flowage, my grandfather’s cabin in the same place – which preceded it (where my mother was born), the cabin at Big Noise – built of perfectly matched cedar logs, the “Cedar Chest” built palisade style, at Wilson Lake, and Cy Young’s cabin on Wilson, built by my great-great-grandfather.


Every log cabin builder settles on a style. Mine is pretty mundane. It used to be known as the saddle notch. Chinkless, with scribed notches, using … Read more…

Snow White – the Sleeping Beauty?


I watched a couple episodes of a show called “The Viking,” recently. The main character was named Ragnar Lodbrok. I thought the name sounded familiar, and a look at the Kluge/Ausvoll Redbook confirmed it. Yes, he’s an ancestor. 36th great-grandfather. That would be back a ways.

Sources vary quite a bit concerning Ragnar. If a quarter of what is written is true – there was a madness in the man. People speak of “the mists of time,” and it is an apt phrase when trying to get a look at Ragnar’s life. One source gives no less than six possibilities … Read more…

Further Adventures of Ridder Erling

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Medieval Norwegian records being what they are – I’m not even sure this is the same guy that rescued SKAARVANGSOLE. If it was – he was plenty busy before and after raiding Sandbu, burning Ivar Gjesling’s buildings and making his leap across the Ridderspranget. As the account below shows – he was certainly capable of it.

By 1152, Christianity was well established in Norway, but the urge to go “A Viking” was not quelled and Ridder Erling Ormsson took off with 15 ships on a Crusade together with a friend, Eindride Unge. Unge was lensman for King Inge Haraldsson (The … Read more…

Skaarvangsole – or A Norwegian Love Story


Norwegians! We’re just a bit odd!

In the 1160s, Erling Sigvat, a Ridder or knight of Kviden lived at Valdres on his estate at Melby. A member of a powerful family, he was the most powerful person in his district.

To the north lived Ivar Gjesling, an older man with the ear of the king. He was the most powerful person in Gudbransdalen, besides being the king’s Lansman (judge and ruler) of the district. As a member of the nobility, Ivar had his own army and navy. He and Ridder Erling were often at odds as both laid claim to … Read more…

Grandma Artichone’s Got a Gun

Ojibwe Snowshoes


I didn’t know Grandma Artichone. She died before I was born. But I heard many stories about her, as I was growing up – usually around a campfire. I’m not sure how many of the stories were true, but I do suppose there was some truth to them. That she lived, I have no doubt. I had photos of her, before our flood two years ago. She was a tiny thing. I’ve seen her old cap-lock shotgun, one of my great aunts had her maple syruping kettle and I’ve got a pair of … Read more…

Tracing Norwegians

John Johnson Eastvold

Somewhere, in one of the relative’s collections, there is a photo of my great-great grandmother Karen Austvoll – saying goodbye to her sons as they leave for America, circa 1885. A rather unusual photo for that era – no one is dressed up in their Sunday clothes – the shot seems almost candid. Karen, or “Mutti” as she was affectionately known, appears distraught with all the sadness evident on her face of a mother who will likely never see her sons again.

Karen “Mutti” Austvoll’s husband, John Jakob Hodnefjel

In the background are stone fences reminiscent of a scene from … Read more…

Florida, March 2014


It’s been a long winter in NE Minnesota. for the last decade or so, our winters have been mild. This year we paid for it. Snow and cold were prevalent and unrelenting.

Old friends, Steve and Rosie Forsyth, have been after us for a couple of years to come visit them in Florida. I’ve never really had much interest in Florida, and though we made plans a couple of times, we allowed day to day crisis to de-rail these plans.

Finally, though we didn’t really feel like we could afford it – off we went to Florida.

I’m not terribly … Read more…



I believe any serious and honest researcher would have to admit America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. To proclaim otherwise is indicative of ignorance or an ideological or personal bias.

John Adams, in a letter to the Officers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the Massachusetts Militia, dated 11 October, 1798, says: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

While some of the founding fathers had slipped into Deism, a European export of the “age of Reason” – Adams among them – no one questioned … Read more…