Johnson (Minnesota) & Benson (Tennessee) Connections

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  • ID: I8
  • _UID: 49BEA45776CE4DEA9CEF91E5C1E796621E42
  • Name: Torkel ANFINSON
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 6 JAN 1832 in Lofthuseiet, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
  • Death: 20 DEC 1919 in Smiley Township, Pennington County, Minnesota
  • Burial: 23 DEC 1919 St. Pauli Cemetery, Thief River Falls, Minnesota
  • Christening: 19 FEB 1832 Lofthuseiet, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
  • Emigration: 21 MAY 1880 from Norway to America
  • Note: aboard the ship ?Angelo? on the A. Sharpe line, departed Kristiania (Oslo); destination: Hawley, Minnesota
  • Note:

    1895 Minnesota Census: Polk County: Torkel (52, Norway, resident of Minnesota for 15 years, resident in this district for 8 years); Sigrd (64, Norway); Anfin Torkelson (31, Norway, resident in MN for 15 years, in Polk County for 9 years); Chris T. Anfinson (25, Norway, resident in MN for 15 years, in Polk County for 9 years).

    1900 Census: Township 153, Range 42, Red Lake County, Minnesota lists Torkel (68, head) and Sigrid (69). The next entry is for their son, Anfin, living as head of household (38) and unmarried

    Torkel Anfinson in 1905 MN State Census, Red Lake Co., T153N, R42W (Township later named Smiley Township.) (Note: T153M. R42W was in Polk Co until 1896, in Red Lake Co., 1896-Nov 1910, and in Pennington Co., MN after Nov 1910

    Anfinson, Torkel, age 74, b. Norway, 23 yrs 6 mo in state, 12 yr 4 mo in enumeration district.
    Anfinson, Sarah F., age 76, b. Norway
    Anfinson, Anfin M., age 43, b. Norway, farmer, 23 yr 6 mo in state, 12 yr 4 mo in ED
    Anfinson, Ole T., age 39, farm laborer, b. Norway, 23 yr 6 mo in state, 12 yr in ED
    Anfinson, Mattie, age 34
    Anfinson, Sophie, age 14
    Anfinson, Betsy, age 12
    Anfinson, Tilda, age 10
    Anfinson, Pauline, age 8
    Anfinson, Melvin, age 5
    Anfinson, Ruth, age 7/12


    1910 Census: Torkel Anfinson (78) and Sigrid (89) are listed as living with their granddaughter Tillie Torkelson (15).


    Death Certificate: Torkel Anfinson was 87 and died from 'bronchial pneumonia' related to 'old age.' Informant (person notified of death) was Anfin Anfinson. Date of death: December 20, 1919. Date of birth: January 6, 1832. Birthplace: Norway. Length of residence in community: 33 years. Name of father: Anfin Anfinson. Maiden name of mother: Aslaug Anfinson. Buried at St. Pauli.


    Source: Bygdebok for Rollag Buskerud at UND Special Collections Library Book #?, pp. 62-69:

    ?The next people we know about in Pontedalen are Torkild Anfinsen, XIV (see also p. 69 XXIV Saelebote), b. 1832 in Saelebote, and his wife, Sigrid Olsdotter, from Nore, b. about 1831. In the 1865 census they lived with three children in Pontedalen. Probably they took over in 1864. Fodsla [what gave them food] in Pontedalen were then:

    * 2 cows, 3 sheep, 1 goat.
    * To sow: 1/4 barrel barley, 1/4 barrel mixed barley, 1/4 barrel oats, 2 barrels potatoes.
    But as time went by, there were more children. At the 1875 census there were seven:

    * Aslaug, b. 1854.
    * Kristi, b. 1864. To USA 1880.
    * Ole, b. 1866. To USA 1880 [Melvin Torkelson's father]
    * Kristen, b. 1868. To USA 1880.
    * Ragnhild, b. 1871, d. 1876.
    * Peter, b. 1874, d. 1876. [for last two children - epidemic? starvation?]

    Apart from these there also lived "legdslemet" [I think this is one who had, for whatever reason, by contract, to be taken care of, probably for life] Aslaug Torkildsdotter b. 1800 [she was Torkild's mother] - in all ten people living in the tiny house.

    All of this family went to America in 1880. Before they left there was an auction on the furniture and all "loose" things belonging to Torkild Anfinsen.


    The name itself belongs to a large group of place names that may have implied a somewhat ironical meaning. There was a certain "belittling" in the name, even if the original signification is fine enough. It is a combination of two parts: "Sael" = happy, and "bot" which comes from bote = repay [pay a fine or suffer for something] The word Saelebote in itself was here preferably used meaning "gift to somebody who suffers" [gift of grace].

    Saelebote is situated a little north of Arvelta, but on the same height [? hill, slope]. The place is totally overgrown in a large forest. There are only the remains of a "loe" [hay barn] in 1982. The lower part of the fields is flat, while the houses were on the slope above.

    There still exists a photo taken in front of Saelebote, which was taken when the neighbors met there to say farewell to the last ones who lived there. They were about to leave for America.

    The place [farm?] belongs to the many that were started around 1750. From the beginning it belonged to South Lofthus.

    The first time we get to know people at Saelebote is in the census of population in 1801 when Torkel Torkelsson [odd that it is spelled in the Swedish way. It should have been Torkelsen, but meaning the same of course - dotter should be datter!], born in 1759 and Ragnhild Kristensdotter, born in 1759, with their household lived there. Torkel supported himself with "farming and begging."

    Torkel Torkelsson [Melvin Torkelson's great-great-grandfather] was the son of Torkelsson Risteigen [Melvin Torkelson's great-great-great-grandfather], born in 1724, and Joran Toresdotter Tveiten, north, born in 1728. Ragnhild Kristensdotter came from Vamreeiet [eidet - eid in Swedish - is an old Nordic word for an isthmus between two waters over which boats could be hauled]. She was the daughter of Kristen Gunnulfsson, b. 1727, and Aslaug Nilsdotter Brattrud, born in 1726.

    Torkel had a daughter before the marriage, Joran, born in 1788, married to Ola Olsson, Bogstrandeidet. Her mother was Ingebjorg Olsdotter.

    Torkel's and Ragnhild's children:

    * Kristen, b. 1792.
    * Torkel, b. 1794.
    * Joran, b. 1797, married to Sebjorn Olsen Eie in Prysjo.
    * Aslaug [Melvin Torkelson's great-grandmother], b. 1799, married in 1823 to Anfin Anfinsen, Nore, died 1844 (which one?)

    Torkel was a frequent borrower of seed for sowing when the granary was started in 1802, so he probably had a field already then. In 1824 Saelebote was, through a settlement between the owners of the two Lofthus farms (Nils Olsen and Reier Olsen), transferred from South Lofthus to North Lofthus.

    At the same time the widow Ragnhild Kristensdotter, who at that time ?sat? [held, occupied] the farm, was given notice by the new owner Reier Olsen. Instead he granted the use of the place to Anfin Anfinsen , born in Nore, died 1844, and Aslaug Torkelsdotter (Ragnhild?s daughter). They took over in 1826 and Aslaug ?sat? as a widow in Saelebote in the census of 1865.

    Saelebote then supported 2 big cattle [cows?] and they sowed 1/4 barrels of barley and 1 barrel of potatoes. Aslaug died after 1875 [?did not die until?]. The last years she was ?laegdslem? [?] in Pontedalen [taken care of].


    * Anfin, XXIII [I think the XXIII refers to the position in a family tree somewhere, and not that he is the 23rd of the same name], b. 1823, died 1889. In 1844 he married 1. Ambjorg K. Sveinsrud, b. 1813. USA 1844. [They probably emigrated then, or if she died the same year, he went over himself.] Married 2. (in the USA) Martha Evensen (1825-1868). Wealthy farmer.
    * Ragnil, b. 1828. In 1852 married Johan E. Hvaleeiet, Nore.
    * Torkel, XXIV, b. 1832. Married Sigrid Olsdotter from Nore. Went to USA about 1880.[Melvin Torkelson's grandparents]
    * Christen, b. 1835, d. 1842.
    * Margit, XXV, b. 1839, married Torstein Olsen.
    * Myre, b. 1837. In USA 1858 [I have only heard this as a surname. Have a feeling it is a girl?s name.]
    * Gjermund, b. 1842.

    Torkel Anfinsen and Sigrid Olsdotter were tenants in Pontedalen from 1851-1880. They are mentioned as living there, but it would seem that they also farmed Saelebote for some years after 1865. None of Anfin Anfinsen?s and Aslaug Torkelsdotter?s remained at Saelebote.?

    Torkel Anfinson record in Crookston Land Office: Doc #9649; Total acres: 160; Issued: 13 Feb 1899 under Homestead Act of 20 May 1862. Land Description: 1 NE, 5th PM, No. 153 N, 42 W, 3

    Obituary in the Tribune, 23 December 1919: ?Torkel Anfinson age eighty-seven, died Saturday, December 20, 1919, at his home in Smiley township. The cause of his death being old age. The burial was made in St. Pauli church cemetery of Smiley.?

    Obituary in the Spectator, 25 December 1919: ?Torkel Anfinson, aged 87 years, a pioneer resident of Smiley township near Hazel, died last Friday after a short illness. On the same day occurred the death of Andrew Hestekind, a well known and highly respected young farmer residing north of Hazel. His death was caused by tuberculosis. Double funeral services were conducted by Rev. Grimsrud at the St. Pauli church Monday afternoon.?
  • Change Date: 7 AUG 2007

    Father: Anfin ANFINSON b: 1791 in Nohre Nedre, Nore Sokn, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
    Mother: Aslaug TORKILSDOTTER b: 28 JUL 1799 in Lofthuseiet, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 28 JUL 1799 in Lofthuseiet, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway

    Marriage 1 Sigrid F. (Sarah) OLESDOTTER b: 23 AUG 1830 in Nore, Buskerud, Norway c: 1 SEP 1830 in Nore, Buskerud, Norway
    • Married: 20 JUL 1861 in Nore, Buskerud, Norway
    1. Has Children Ole TORKELSON b: 3 APR 1866 in Kongsburg, Buskerud, Norway c: 29 APR 1866 in Buskerud, Norway
    2. Has Children Anfin M. TORKELSON b: 12 MAY 1862 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 1 JUN 1862 in Rollag, Numedal, Norway
    3. Has Children Kristin (Christie) ANFINSEN b: 25 NOV 1864 in Lofthus-Eie, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 18 DEC 1864 in Rollag, Numedal, Norway
    4. Has No Children Ragnhild TORKELSDOTTER b: 13 JAN 1871 in Lofthus-Eie, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 19 FEB 1871 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
    5. Has No Children Peder TORKELSON b: 8 FEB 1874 in Lofthus-Eie, Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 15 MAR 1874 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
    6. Has No Children Khirsten (Christ) TORKELSON b: 12 FEB 1868 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway c: 8 MAR 1868 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
    7. Has Children Aslaug (Ellen) Torkelsdatter ANFINSON b: 13 MAY 1855 in Rollag, Buskerud, Norway
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