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15 April 2006


TARAL TORGEISON /Torjeison (Thomas Torgeson)

The Norwegian Pioneer to the United States,  father of Torgei Torgeison/Thomas Torgeson, and the grandfather of Florence Torgeson)

The researcher for this page is swiftwater@lenapedelawarehistory.net, son of Florence Torgeson.

1828 30 December - Born Norway
1852 - Married Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson) in Norway
1854 - The family [Tarald Torjeison and Torborg Jonsdatter] lived as lodgers with Tarald's parents.
1857 29 September - Son Thomas/Torgei/ born Norway
1862 21 March - Left the Bygland area for "America."
1862 September - Birth of daughter Julia in Janesville, Rock County
 7 April - Declaration of Intent to Become a U.S. Citizen, Iowa County, Wisconsin. [Why two separate dates?]
1868 3 November - Declaration of Intent to Become a U.S. Citizen issued by District Court of Iowa County, Wisconsin
1869 30 April - Bought E2NW4 Section 32,Township 14 South, Range 7 East, Morris County, Kansas; 80 acres (map)
1870 Census - Can't locate in this census.
1872 April - Built house on homestead near Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas
1873 7 February - Affidavit Homestead No. 14179 made at Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas
1873 14 February - Settled and began residing on above homestead
1875  In Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas (census)
1877  Bought land in Section 29, Township 14, Range 7. [Have map]
1879 25 April - Became a Citizen, Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas. Head of a family with eight children. Had a house before this date
1880 30 June - In Parkerville (Receipt for Homestead)
1880 - A farmer in Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas (census)
1881 21 April - In Parkerville (Receipt for Homestead)
1885 In Parkerville (agricultural census)
1895 In Morris County, Kansas (agricultural census)
1900 - In White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. Owned house on Stover Street. (census)
1905  Should be in White City census.
1908 30 December - Died White City, Morris County, Kansas (White City Register)

Their graves in the White City Cemetery c 2000 read: FATHER THOMAS TORGESON Died March 1 1908 Aged 79 Yrs./MOTHER MATILDA HIS WIFE Died Feb 28 1908 Aged 26Yrs./TORGESON (Tom Hahn Photo)

Some place names in Norway are old names, some are modern ones, and some are variants. Editor

     Tarald Torgeison (Thomas Torgeson) was  born on 30 December 1828 in Dal, Ardal, Bygland, East Agder, Norway (Newspaper Setesdelen, Bygland, Norway, "Some Family History from Ardal Parish," Part 1,"  p. 7, published about 1985).   His granddaughter, Mae (Torgeson) Christensen, said that he was born in Christiana [the old name for Oslo, but that may simply have been the place people were told as they would be familiar with the name. Actually, she may have meant Kristiansand (Christiansand), as that is the port city at the beginning of their fjord.]. Taral was christened on 26 January 1829 in Bygland. (Bygland [Norway] Church Register 1816-1844, p. 60, Baptism Record. "Tarald. Parents: Torgeij Knudsen, Tore Taraldsdatter (on) Dahle." (From Genealogist Jan Kristiansen E-mail 7 July 2001 to Thomas Hahn.) Thomas married Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson) on 26 February 1854 in Bygland:

Married  26 February 1854: Bachelor and inderste Tarald Torjeison Hurverak, born and lives In  Aardal parish, 24 years old, son of Torjei Knudsen Hurverak. The maiden Thorbjorg Johnsdatter Klep, place of birth: Hordnaes, 22 years old, daughter of John Nielson Klep. Best men: Salve Taraldsen Bakke and Torjus Skjellufsen Boe. (Bygland [Norway] Church Register, 1842-1858, p. 293.) [Genealogist's Note: "Inderste) is a term which is no longer in use in the Norwegian language. It described a person who did not own or rent land.

Another record, very difficult to read, which is probably a church marriage record, gives as Item 3 on 26 February 1854, more or less the following:

Tarald Torjeisin [?] Ha[or o or u]verak [age 27] og [to?] Torbjor Johnsdatter [daughter] [of] Klep [age]22 [Witnesses?] Ole Torjeson [of] Boe [and] Torjei [Torjus?] [of] Skjellufsen Boe.

     The farm names added to the persons; names are to be considered as their addresses and not as family names own or rent land. The farm names added to the persons; names are to be considered as their addresses and not as family names. Aardal=Ardal=sub-parish of Bygland parish. "Hordnaes"=Hornes=sub parish of Evje parish (all situated in Aust-Agder county, southernmost part of Norway). I do not find them mentioned in Bygland Bygland farm-and family history, in the sections dealing with Horverak and Klepp (modern spellings) farms. Bygland's sexton's register shows an "Ole Torjeisson Boe" as the best man instead of "Salve Taraldsen Bakke". Genealogist Jan Kristiansen E-mail to Thomas Hahn 7 July 2001.] The family [Tarald Torjeson and Torborg Johnsdatter] had lived as lodgers with Tarald's parents. "Tarald Torjeisen Hurverak, born and lives in Aardal Parish." [Hurverak [Farm], Aardal Sub parish, Bygland Parish, West Agder, Norway] (Family History Ardal). He and his spouse, according to Mae Torgeson, had eleven children. To of the children died in Norway. His spouse, Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson) was born on 20 December 1931 in As, Horness, Eve, East Agder, Norway. She was christened on 26 December 1831 in Evje. Matilda died on 28 February 1908 in White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas and was buried on 2 March 1908 in the White City Cemetery. A descendant, Steve Torgeson, said that Taral was a logger in Norway.

      The following article was written by Reider Vollen in the Norwegian newspaper Setesdoelen:

In Setesdoelen 11 Oct. 1985 Riborg M. K. Knudsen [the genealogist hired by Steve Torgeson to work on the Torgeson Family] has an article where she asks if anyone had knowledge of living relatives of a couple, Tarald Tarjeison (Thomas Torgeson) and Torbjoerg Johnsdatter (Mathilda Johnson) who emigrated from Bygland in 1862. As nobody else seems to be willing to answer, I will give some information that I myself have collected. To give such an answer a proper documentation, it is necessary with quite a comprehensive account, but hopefully it will be interesting to many readers of Setesdoelen. 

The husband, Tarald Tarjeison, was born at Dal in Ardal parish 30 Dec. 1828. His parents were Tarjei  Knutson and Tore Taraldsdatter. Tarjei was born at Sjeggedal in Evje, and christened in Evje church 2 March 1800. His parents were farmer Knut Jonson Sjeggestad and wife Birgit Skogdrivsdatter born Vanna. He (Tarjei) married in [the] Aardal church 20 March 1826 Torre Taraldsdatter Dale, christened 2 May 1802, [the] daughter of tenant farmer Tararldson and wife Aslaug Salvesdatter born Nordre Vasenden. Tarald and Aslaug used farms [in] several places, between [that is, among them] the Horverak, Dale, Bakke, and Froyrak. Tarjei and Torre lived at Klepp and Dale, but around 1855 they came as cottars to Horverak (probably Ystejordet) where Tore died 14 Sept. 1859 and Tarjei 1 Oct. 1963. They had in all 11 children, but of these 5 died young.

1. The eldest,  Birgit Tarjeisdatter, was born at Klepp on 9 July 1827, and married on 24 November 1852 the cottar Halvor Jensen Kaddehagen in Lidi, who settled at the cottar's allotment Reise under [the] Bygland vicarage. They had 8 children and have great posterity both in Norway and America. These eight children were:
   a. Knut, born on 30 August 1851, married at Gjovdal on 22 November 1874 to Tarjer Hansdatter , Fjellsenden. Settled at Nygard under Askland in Gjovdal. Went to America in 1903. (See the Gjovdal-book p. 171 [which hasn't been been found].
   b. Birgit, was born on 13 April 1854, and married at Gjovdal on 9 September 1876 to Eivind Olavson Oland. She moved to Bjornebo in Barbu.
   c. Jens, was born on 23 June 1856, and died on 13 April 1857.
  d. Tore, was born on 18 June 1858, and married Tor Bjorn Knudsen from Seljord. One of their grandchildren is Mrs. Thora Isaksen at Vennesla.
   e. Jens, was born on 19 October 1861, and married at Amli on 19 November 1884 to Anne Gunhild Tellefsatter, Stangelia.  He settled at Lindelandsplass in Holt.
   f. Anne, was born on 18 August 1864, and was married on 17 March 1890 to Olav Halvorsen Nordbo in Bygland. She had many descendants, among other places at Sogne.
   g. Sigrid, was born on 6 January 1867, and died unmarried at Hisoy.
   h. Tarjei, was born on 20 June 1870. He emigrated to America on 16 June 1892 together with his father, who on 4 February 1888 had become a widower. Tarjei married in America Stine Hangard, a daughter of the well-known photographer Hangard. [His father] Halvor Jensen died at Bemidji, Minnesota in 1905.

*2. Tarjei and Tore's next child was Tarald [Thomas Torgeson] who went to America. (This fact is taken from my article in Setesdoelen. In addition to the two children mentioned in Setesdoelen (Tarjei = Thomas and Torborg = Matilda or Tiggie) there were two more)
  a. Tarjei was born at Bo on 8 December 1854, and died at Horverak on 30 March 1856.
  b. Tore, was born at Horverak, on 5 July 1856, and died there on 10 December 1856.

3. Aslaug Tarjeisdatter, was born at Dale 28 January 1832. She married in Ardal church to the cottar Tarjei Jensen Dale (Ap-ledokk). They had three children
  a. Jens, was born at Horverak on 28 September 1856, and died at Bo on 26 September 1858
  b. Mari, born at Dale on 14 February 1860, was unmarried, and died in 1941.
  c. Tore, born at Dale on 15 October 1864, "but died some hours after birth."
This family is mentioned in the Farm- and Family History for Bygland, where Auslaug erroneously is called Eivensdatter. Auslaug died 31 July 1875, while Tarjei died 23 March 1924.

4. Tone Tarjeisdater, was born at Dale on 28 January 1834. She married in Tovdal in 1857 the widower, Anon Larsson Roin ubder Ovre Ramse. They had 7 children, among them Tone who married Olavson Syrtveit in Evje (Tovdals book, p.299). It Setesdoelen we observe that Tone in 1914 was named Sortvedt (from Even Torgeson's death certificate). This, then is Syrtveit in Evje.

5. The next to grow up was Eivind (Eve/Evan) Tarjeison [Evan Torgeson], who born at Horverak on 3 October 1840. He got his emigration certificate to America on 6 May [year?] and was then unmarried.

6. Child no. 11 was  Tarjer Tarjesdatter. (Turger, Torgun = Mrs. Thomas Nelson), born at Horverak on 7 August in 1847. She married in Tovdal on 19 April 1879 the cottar, Tomas Nereson (Nelson) Ytre Ramse. Tomas came from Hovstad in Greni, on 25 September 1848, son of Nere Osmundsoon Hovstad and wife Ase Tomasdatter, as born at Stoledalen in Iveland. Tomas and Tarjer emigrated to America on 18 May 1881.

From another article in the Norwegian newspaper Setesdoelen: "More Family History from  Ardal":

Tarald Tarjeison's wife was Torbjorg Jonsdatter. She was born at As in Horness 20 December 1831. Both her parents came later to Ardal parish in Bygland where they died. Her father was Jon Nilsson from Steinsland in Hornnes, while her mother was Gunhild Reiersdatter from Moseid in Hornnes. Jon and Gunhild lived many places in Hornnes: Kjetsa, Faret, As, Moseid, Birkeland, and, from 1845, as tenant farmers at Klepp in Bygland, where they used half of Klepp. Jon was called there "John in the House." He died at Klepp 7 March 1853, while Gunhild died at Vasenden on 17 May 1886. Jon and Gunhild had 9 children, of which 1 was stillborn, all of them born at Hornnes. Of these I have closer knowledge of the following four:

1. The eldest, Mari Jonsdtr., was born at Kjetsa 1823. She married at Hornnes on 28 December 1848, Sveinung Frantsson Vasenden, born on 23 October 1824, son of Frants Wilhelm Andersson (who together with his family came from the farm Storsvea in Trysil, together with the parson Anker Bruun in 1798) and wife Ragnhild Knutsdatter, born Vassenden. Sveinung and Mari were farmers and lived at Vasenden, Senum, Vralsplass and finally once more at Vassenden. They had 10 children and great posterity. [The genealogist Riborg Knudsen commented on the term "farmer" by saying "must mean in contrast to most of the others who were tenants or cottars."] Among their sons were Frants and Bjorgulf Svenningsen, skippers on board "Dolen" and "Bjoren." See further the Bygland's  book, among other, p. 446.

2. Nils Jonson, born at As in 1827. He married in Ardal church on 26 March 1854 Kjersti Tellefsdatter. Bo, born on 28 January 1834. Nils was [a] tenant farmer at Klepp and Horverak and from 1860 was owner of a part of Bo (no. 1) which he bought from his father-in-law. They had  children:
  a. Gunhild, born on 28 May 1859, married on 13 July 1874 the neighbour Sjelltr Torjusson Bo (no.2).  They had two children: They son Torjus born on 13 January 1878, died of consumption 5 March 1879, while the daughter Mari Sjellufsdatter, was born on 22 January 1876, and was married on 2 November 1890 to Olav Torjusson Froyrak. Olav and Mari took over the one part of Froyrak, Of their 5 children  2 died as infants, while the remaining three have descendants.
  b. Jon Nilsson was married on 21 February 1880 to Birgit Nilsdatter. Klepp. But exactly 1 month after the wedding, on 21 March 1880, Jon and Birgit were on their way home from church. A short way from home they went through the ice and were drowned. At the same time were drowned Jon's father Nils Jonsson Bo and Gunhild Sveinungsdtr. Vasenden, who was a daughter of Nils' sister. Birgit Nilsdatter), (the bride's) father, whose name was also Nils Jonsson (born at Aknes in Aseral on 6 January 1820, farmer at Klepp) was the only one in the party who was rescued. The tragedy, which caused great Attention, was referred to in an article in Kristiansand's Stiftavis (local newspaper) for Saturday 27 March 1880. (I should think that Thomas Torgeson and wife must have heard of this disaster, as Mathilda's eldest brother Nils and her nephew Jon Nilsson were among the victims. R. K. [genealogist Riborg Knudsen]. Jon Nilsson did not live to have children with Birgit Nilsdatter, but he had a son, Jon Jonsson, born on 23 February 1879, with Sigrid Anonsdatter. Tveita. Together with his mother, Jon Jonsson emigrated to Wisconsin on 1 June 1888. [The Genealogist R. Knuidsen notes that drowning took place in Ardalsfjorden, a part of the big lake Byglandsfjorden that lies outside Ardal.] not to be confused with two fjords on the West Coast by the same name.

*3. Torbjorg Jonsdatter [Matilda Johnson], married Tarald Tarjeison [Thomas Torgeson] Horverak and went to America in 1862. She was child No. 4.

4. The last of Jon Nilsson and Gunhild Reirsdtr's. children: of whom I have any knowledge is Reier Jonsson, born at Moseid on 1 June 1841. He was unmarried and lived as [a] workman at Bo. He died at Kristiansand hospital on 12 October 1974 and lies buried in the cathedral's cemetery. He had a daughter, Berthe, born at Bo on 12 October 1864, mother Siri Tellefsdtr.Bo, whose sister Kjersti Tellefsdatter was married to Nils Jonsson Bo (Mathilda and Reir's brother). But Berthe died at Nevesjord on 28 July 1871, so Reier Jonson had no descendants.

     On 21 March 1862, Taral Torgeison applied for permission to left Bygland: "Married couple Tarald Torjeison, 33, and Thorbjorg Johnsdatter, 28, from Hurverak, with their two children Torjei, 4, and Thore, 2, to America." (Bygland [Norway] Church Register 1859-1873, p. 423, Exit Record.) Five months later, on 7 September, their daughter Julia Torgeson, was born at Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin. It is not known from what port they departed Norway, at what port they arrived in the United States--or Canada, or by what means and how they went to Janesville. Because there were Torgeson's from Norway in Rock County in the 1870 census and the 1900 census, and probably other and in later censuses, one wonders if there other members of the Taral Torgeison who emigrated there. It is not know how long they lived in the Janesville area before they moved to the vicinity of Dodgeville, Iowa County. On 7  April 1868, in  Rock County, Wisconsin, Thomas "Torgerson" submitted with the Clerk  Circuit Court of Iowa County, his intent to become a citizen of the United States, renouncing "forever, and particularly to the King of Norway & Sweden." Because he signed his name with an x, he didn't necessarily say or verify that his name was Torgerson rather than Torgeson. The name variously appears as Ferguson, Tarjeison,  Terguson, Thorguson, Torgenson, Torgurson,  Torguson, or Turgeson in public records. He later signed his name as "Thomas Torgeson." His grave marker says Thomas S. Torgeson. The middle initial was not found elsewhere and we do not know what it stands for. In 1868, the Clerk of the District Court of Rock County certified in November 1869 that he [Thomas] had resided in the United States for more than the period of five years.  It appears that they moved to Kansas about 1870, but we have as yet to find them in the 1870 Census for anywhere in the United States..

     Bessie (Torgeson) Gillaspie, daughter of John Torgeson, Thomas Torgeson's brother, in a telephone conversation  with Thomas F. Hahn on 6 December 1998 said, "The Thomas Torgeson's [senior] first moved from Wisconsin to a farm near Parkerville, then homesteaded a farm 3-4 miles east of White City, then in later years they moved to a small house just north next door to her folks [John and Celia Torgeson]. Bessie's sister, Helen Torgeson, said that in 1869 or 1870, they emigrated first to Junction City, Geary County, Kansas. Two censuses say that they were "from Iowa." It is possible that they stopped off in Iowa, of course, but it also could be that they were referring to Iowa County, In Wisconsin. Their first appearance in public records in Kansas is in Thomas Torgeson's homestead papers in which he said that he moved into his house in April of 1872.  In April 1873, Thomas Torgeson "of Morris County Kansas" applied for  homestead as an "actual settler" of E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of Section No 32 in Township 14 S. of Range 7 E. containing 80 acres. On 14 February 1873, the Register of the Land Office at Salina, Kansas certified that the aforementioned application was for "surveyed lands of the class which the applicant is eligible." On 14 February a Homestead" document said: Receiver's Receipt, No. 14179. Application, No. 14179. Homestead. Receiver's Office, Salina, Kan. Feby 14 1873 Received of Thomas Torgeson, the sum of Fourteen dollars --- cents; being the amount of fee and compensation of Register and Receiver for the entry E 1/2 W 1/4 of Section 32 in Township 149 of Range 4 E under the acts of Congress approved May 20, 1862, and March 21, 1864,  entitled: An act to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain. $1414.11 [?] The homestead transaction on 30 April 1879, "Final Receiver's Receipt No. 4699 Application No. 14179 HOMESTEAD Receiver's Office Salina Kas. April 30 1879 Received of Thomas Torgeson the sum of four dollars and ----cents, being the balance of payment required for the entry of E2 NW4 of Section 32 in Township 14 Range 7E containing 80 acres...[Notation at bottom] June 30, 1880 Vol. 10 Page 153-Mailed to H. S. Day Parkerville KS Apr. 21, 1881"On 25 April 1879, Thomas Torgeson was declared to be a citizen by the District Court of the 8th Judicial District of the State of Kansas, sitting in and for the County of Morris, 8th.

     On 25 April, Thomas Torgeson filed the following "Homestead Proof"  for his homestead entry for E 1/2  NW 1/4 of Section 2. Township 14, S. of Range 7 East, summarized here: Name Thomas Torgeson. 50 years of age [1929] Head of a family consisting of a wife and eight children. Naturalized Citizen of the United States. No coal, salines, or minerals on the land that he knew of. Post-office address Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas. No homestead entry except for No. 14179. Had not sold any interest in the homestead. No one else claimed the land. First settled the land on 14 February 1873. First established a residence on the land 14 February 1873. Declared that he moved onto the land on that date, that he lived there to the present time, that the residence was continuous, and that his family resided there in that period. Improvements included a "House built frame 1 story 14x24. frame Kitchen attached 10x14. Stone Stable 16x50. Well. corral. orchard of about 1 Acre. Between 45x50 acres broke. He said that the house was built in April 1872 and was worth about $500. That he cultivated 45x50 Acres of wheat, corn, oats, and other farm products. Thomas Torgeson and his family appear in the Census for Parker Township as farmers. [The data for this and other census are given below under Census Data.] The farm increased in size and complexity during the period. Probably all the sons were involved in the work of the farm until they left, one by one, to pursue their own lives in the surrounding area.

     Little is known of their life on the farm in Parker Township. The following item from the Morris County Enterprise shows that they attended the Lutheran Church there: [To be added] [In describing an accident of their wagon, on their way to the Lutheran church]: Serious accident. On Tuesday forenoon while Mr. Ivan Torgeson and family and Mr. Nelson and family were on their way to the Lutheran church they met with a very painful accident. By some means the wagon was overturned and the occupants (eight in number) were thrown out. Mrs. Thomas Torgeson received a contusion of the spine, Ivan Torgeson had his right arm broken near the shoulder, Mrs. Nelson had her collar bone broken and her little girl had two ribs broken and was also injured internally. The rest were more or less injured, but not seriously. Dr. Martin was called and rendered the necessary medical assistance." [Ivan [Evan] Torgeson was the brother of Thomas Torgeson, Sr. and Matilda Torgeson, who was injured. Matilda Torgeson, who was injured, married Thomas Nelson. Evan apparently lived with and farmed with the Nelsons. The other persons involved in the accident were probably children of the Thomas Torgeson's." ( p. 3, 12 September 1884, Kansas State Historical Society Research Center, Topeka, Kansas)

     Although the 1895 census shows Thomas Torgeson with 160 acres of land, no land seemed to have been acquired other than his original homestead of forty acres. The original search covered covered volumes K (1877) through V (1888) A further search of the Morris County deed books might be fruitful. A deed record was found in the Grantee Index, of the Morris County Deed Book,  on 2 November 1877 based on a sequence of deed books: " from Lewis McKenzie Warranty Deed Vol. K, p.263 Portion of SE 1/4 of Sec. 29 T 14 R=100 acres." Terguson, Thomas Jr. One would think that the "Jr." would be for his son, Thomas Torgeson. By 1900, the Torgesons gave up their farm and retired to White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. In that year they appear in the White City Census. All the census data from 1775 to 1805 for the Thomas Torgeson Family are summarized at the end of this entry.

The children of Taral Torgeison (Thomas Torgeson) and Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson):
     1. Tarjei Torgieson was born on 8 December 1854 at Horverak Farm, Norway, and may have remained in Norway.

     2. Tore Torgiesdatter was born on 10 December 1856 at Horverak Farm, Norway, and may have remained in Norway.

     3. Torgei Torgieson (Thomas Torgeson) was born on 29 September 1857 at Bygland, East Augder, Norway. He married on 29 April 1886 at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas Margaret "Maggie" Owen. Thomas Torgeson. He died on 30 March 1939 at Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas and was buried on 2 April 1939 in the White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas Cemetery. See the separate account of his life Thomas Torgeson .

     4. Torborg Torgiesdatter (Matilda "Tiggie" Torgeson) was born on 25 or 26 September 1859, probably at Bygland, East Augder, Norway. She married on 17 December 1877 at Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas, Francis "Frank" Strong.

Census: 1930, Ukiah, Mendocino County, California, Roll 177, p.10A, Image 1069.0, Ancestry.com Online Image 18 of 33, Enumeration District 23, enumerated 8 April, p. 240: 210 W. Henly, Dwelling 210 Family 257, Line. 1. Francis O. Strong, was age 73, owned his own home worth $4000, was born in Illinois, parents were born in New York, was a staff attendant at the State Insane Hospital.
Line 2. Matilda Strong, age 70, was born in Norway, and her parents were born in Norway.

Their children:
Mamie Strong who married Frank Green; Gertrude Strong who died as a young woman; Alice Strong, who married but had no children. Matilda died on 16 October 1951 at Modesto, Mendocino County, California and was buried on 17 October at Ukiah, Mendocino County, California.

     5. Julia Torgeson was born on 7 September 1862 at Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin. She married _______ Winters. She died in June 1941 at White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas and was buried in June 1941 at Waterloo, Waterloo Township, Black Hawk County, Iowa.

     6. John Torgeson was born on 21 April 1864 at or near Dodgeville, according to his daughter, Bessie (Torgeson) Gillaspie, or near Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin,   according to his daughter, Helen Torgeson. He married on 20 September 1903 at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas, Celia Louisa Johnson. Celia was born 7 August 1875 in Sweden. Celia Torgeson died on 21 January 1959 and was buried in the White City Cemetery. John died on 22 January 1949 at White City and was buried on 26  January 1949 in the White City Cemetery.

Census: 1920 White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. Roll625_538, p. 1B, Enumeration District 99, Image 055.Ancestry.com Online Image 2 of 24. Enumerated 5 January.
Line 78. Dwelling 23 Family 23. John Torgeson, was age 51, was born in Wisconsin, his parents were born in Norway and Norwegian was their mother tongue, and he was a retail merchant in a department store.
Line 79. Celia Torgeson, was age 54, was born in Kansas, and her parents were born In Sweden and Sweden was their mother tongue.
Line 80. Helen Torgeson was age 14, had attended school. and was born in Kansas.
Line 81. Bessie Torgeson  was age 6, had attended school, and was born in Kansas.
[Census: 1930 White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. [They should be in this census, but I cannot find them. Editor]

The children of John Torgeson and Celia (Johnson) Torgeson
     Their first daughter, Helen Anna Torgeson, was born on 13 December 1905, married Leslie E. Jaecke 22 November 1959.

1930 census for Little Levels, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, Roll 2554, p.3B, Image 817.0, Enumeration District 12, p.p. 143-144, enumeration 7 April, Ancestry.com Online Image 56 o6 of 26,. Helen was a boarder in the home of Henry W. and Lucy Beard, at Dwelling 56 Family 56, with a number of other young women [who were probably school teachers, as was Helen], was age 24,  was born in Kansas, her father was born in Wisconsin, and her mother was born in Kansas.

     Their second daughter, Mary Beatrice Torgeson, born on 11 February 1908, died on 9 November 1911. Their third daughter, Bessie Louise Torgeson, born on 4 February 1913, married on 26 April 1937, Loy Walter Gillaspie. Bessie died at Council Grove about 2001. Their children: Jo Ann Gillaspie, born on 30 December 1937, married Robert Victor; James Gillaspie was born on 24 August 1939, married; Richard "Dick" Gillaspie was born on 26 June 1943, married; Dr. Thomas "Tom" Gillaspie, born on 3 September 1946, married on 20 November 1975 Janelle _____;Wes Dean Gillaspie was born on 18 March 1949 and died on 20 July 1967. John Gillaspie, born on 27 August 1953, married ______; Edward Gillaspie was born on 27 July 1956.

     7. Canute/Knute "Newt"  Torgeson was born about December 1869 [?] in Wisconsin. "Newt" was enumerated in the 1895 census for White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas, at Dwelling 21, in Family 21, at age 21. He married _____. They lived at Kelso, Kansas. Their children were John Torgeson, who married; Clyde Torgeson; Lucille Torgeson, died about 1924; Alice Torgeson was born on 24 February 1966 and died on 10 December 1976; Hazel TorgesonClarence Torgeson, married; and, Willard Torgeson, married. Knute died on 4 May 1944 at Neosho, Morris County, Kansas and was buried on 9 May in probably the White City Cemetery.

    8. Henry  "Handy" Torgeson was born on 13 March 1868 in Wisconsin. Henry was enumerated in the:

 1895 census for White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas, was age 29, at Dwelling 59. He married Nevada "Vada" or Vida" ______. She was born on 14 February 1880 in Pennsylvania and died probably in Council Grove in 1960. They had no children. Henry died on 20 or 23 November 1951 at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas and was buried in the White City Cemetery, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas.

1920 Census Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas. Roll T625_538, p.5B, Enumeration District 89, Image 0397 Ancestry.com Online Images 10 of 22: Line 91, 223 Rock Hill [?] [Can't read?]
l. Line 91. Henry Torgeson. Was age 51, was born in Wisconsin, his parents were born in Norway, with Norwegian as their mother tongues. Henry was a Law Student [at age 51?] in an office.
92. Nevada L. Torgeson, was age 35. She and her parents were born in Pennsylvania.

9. William Torgeson was born on 11 February 1873 at Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas. He married Elma Annet Johnson on 27 December 1897 in Kansas. She was a sister of Celia Johnson who married John Torgeson. Their children were Harold Torgeson who was born 12 August 1899 and married Pearl Sharp of White City, Morris County, Kansas, and they divorced and he remarried; Dale Torgeson who was born on 27 September 1907;  Mildred Torgeson who was born on 27 August 1912. She married _______ Johnson and  they divorced. William Torgeson died on 28 March 1936.

Census: 1920 Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas, Roll T626_538, p. 11N, Image 0573, Enumeration District 99, Ancestry.com Online Images 22 of 24, enumerated 21-22 January:  
Line 80. Dwelling 265 Family 271,William Torgeson, was age 46, a farmer, was born in Kansas.
Line 81. Elma Torgeson, was age 41, was born in Kansas, her parents were born in Sweden and their mother tongue was Swedish.
Line 82, Harold Torgeson was age 20, had attended school, was born in Kansas.
Line 83, Dale Torgeson was age 10, had attended school, and was born in Kansas.
Line 84 Mildred Torgeson was age 7, had attended school, and was born in Kansas.

     10. George Torgeson was born on 9 December 1877 at White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. [Check this. It would seem more likely that he was born in Parker Township.] He married NeRessa Mae Scott. They had no children. George died on 30 November 1947 and was buried in the White City Cemetery.

Census: 1920 White City, Morris County, Kansas. Roll 625_538, p.1A, Image 0552, Enumeration District 99, enumerated 5 January, NeRessa Torgeson Enumerator, p. 275: [It is interested that as numerator, NeRessa started with her own family and house.]
Line 1. George Torgeson. Walnut Street. Dwelling Family 1. George Torgeson. Was age 42, was born in Kansas, his parents were born in Norway and Norwegian was their native tongue, and he was the employer as a retail merchant in a department store.
2. NeRessa Torgeson. Was age 34, was born in Kansas, her father was born in Illinois and her mother was born in Kentucky.
3. Bertha Scott, a niece [the daughter of NeRessa's brother] was age 11, was born in Kansas as were her parents.

From the White City Register:

On Friday night, February 28. 1908 the aged mother [Matilda Johnson], surrounded by all her children except Mrs. Strong, residing in California, passed away peacefully and with a calmness that was supreme. The aged father, too ill to be beside her, when told what had happened, gradually became weaker until Sunday morning at l0 o'clock, one hour prior to the time the funeral services were to be held for Mrs. Torgeson, he, too passed away, calmly and peacefully as had his loved companion, thirty-six hours before. [Saturday was on 29 February as this was a leap year.] On Monday morning [2 March] at l0 o'clock, funeral services were held at the Presbyterian Church and were conducted by Rev. Cramer, assisted by the other ministers of the city. No such remarkable coincidence had ever before happened in White City--that of two, an aged husband and wife, passing out of life together and being together borne to the cemetery and placed side by side in one grave. The event was the occasion of all business suspended in the city during the funeral hour. A great number were present to pay the last tribute of respect to those two who had finished the good fight.

According to his daughter-in-law, Margaret (Owen) Torgeson, Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and died willfully. Their grand-daughter Florence Torgeson Hahn told her son, Thomas Hahn. "I was eleven years old when they had the double funeral and what an ordeal for my dad to lose two parents at once. The grandparents were taught the English language by their children. My grandfather was an austere person. Not one you could warm up to." Florence also said that as young girls, she and her sisters took food that their mother prepared for the grandparents, but they were not comfortable with them as they didn't speak English. Florence said they stood around, around grandma gave each of them a stick of candy, and then left. The  stone marker for Thomas Torgeson  viewed in the White City Cemetery by Tom Hahn and Chris Hahn was in excellent condition on 26 June 1998: THOMAS TORGESON DIED 1 Mar 1908 79 yrs.  He was buried next to his wife, Matilda.

     Thomas Torgeson was buried in the White City Cemetery. His gravestone read THOMAS S. TORGESON 1 MAR 1908 AGED 76Y (White City Cemetery Tombstones.

1930 Reunions of the Thomas Torgeson, Senior Families

Torgeson Family Reunion in an unknown Year and Place.

Some of the Sons and Daughters of Taral Torgeison (Thomas Torgeson) and  Torborg Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson). Even though we do not know the year or the place of this photograph of a Torgeson Reunion of the children of Taral Torgeison (Thomas Torgeson and Torbjord Jonsdatter (Matilda Johnson) from Florence Hahn's Scrap Book near the invitation to the 1935 reunion, the individuals look younger to me than those in the supposedly 1932 or 1933 reunion photograph just below. The persons are thought to be, right-to-left: Thomas Torgeson, Julia (Torgeson) Winters, John Torgeson, Newt Torgeson, Henry Torgeson, Will Torgeson, and, George Torgeson. Missing is Matilda "Tiggie" (Torgeson) Strong) of California. (From the Scrapbook of Florence Hahn)

Possibly the 1931 or 1931 Torgeson Family Reunion at the Wamego, Kansas Municipal Park

(Right-to-Left) Henry Torgeson, John Torgeson, Newt Torgeson, George Torgeson, Will Torgeson, Tom Torgeson, Julia (Torgeson) Winters, and "Tiggie?" (Matilda) (Strong) Torgeson.   (Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

George and John Torgeson were merchants at the General Store on the left; prior to about 1920, Christian Hahn was the merchant of this store or the one to the right. (Photo 2002 by Tom Hahn)

Torgeson Brother Wives and Sisters at a Family Reunion at the City Park at Wamego, Kansas in 1932 (Left-to-right) 1. Celia Louise (Johnson) Torgeson, wife of John Torgeson 2. Margaret Louise (Owen) Torgeson, wife of Thomas Torgeson 3. Julia (Torgeson) Winters? 4. Neressa "Ressa" or "Ress"  Mae (Scott) Torgeson, wife of George Torgeson 5. "Tiggie" (Matilda) Torgeson?  6. Elma Annett (Johnson), sister of Celia Johnson) Torgeson, wife of Will Torgeson 7. "Nev" Nevada (_______) Torgeson?, wife of Henry Torgeson. (From Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

Torgeson Reunion at Wamego, Kansas in 1931 or 1932. (Left-to-right) Tommy Hahn, Res (Scott) Torgeson, Elma Torgeson, Bernice Torgeson, Dorothy Christensen. (From Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

[Unknown Year [but 1933 or after] at Junction City, Geary County, Kansas: The annual Torgeson reunion was held in Junction City Sunday. A certain young couple arrived very carefully carrying a baby basket and of course everyone want[ed] to see the baby for none of them even knew of the stork's arrival. Imagine the surprise when the baby proved to be a large doll. This started a dat of pleasure for all. At noon a big basket dinner was enjoyed. Those present were:
Mr. and Mrs. John Torgeson,
Miss Helen and Miss Bessie Torgeson [daughters of the John Torgeson's],
Mr. and Mrs. George Torgeson,
Mrs. Julia Winters and Mrs. Mary E. Scott, all of White City. [Was Mrs. Mary E. Scott the mother of Neressa Scott, wife of George Torgeson?]
Mr. Nute Torgeson of Kelso,
Mr, and Mrs. Henry Torgeson of Council Grove
Mr. and Mrs. Will Torg[e]son of Lawrence
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson,
Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Haun [Hahn] and son,
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Murphy [who were married on 1 July 1933],
Miss Bernice Torgeson, all of Topeka.
The immediate family were all present except one sister, Mrs. [Matilda "Tiggie"] F. O. Strong of Ukiah,California. (From Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

Unknown Year, but 1933 or after), and unknown Place: The annual reunion of the Torgeson Family was held Sunday in the park at Wamego [Kansas]. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. George Torgeson, Mr. and Mrs. John Torgeson, Mr. and Mrs. George Scott and family [This may be the family of Neressa Mae Scott, wife of George Torgeson.) and Mrs. Julia [Torgeson] Winters, all of White City, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Torgeson of Council Grove, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Christensen of Junction City, Mr. Nute Torgeson of Kelso, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Torgeson and family, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Hahn and son, Tommy, and Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Murphy, all of Topeka. (Probably Topeka Capitol or Journal) [Gladys (Torgeson) and Jack Murphy married on 1 July 1933, so the reunion would have to have been that year, or later. Missing and Mr. and Mrs. Will Torgeson and Matilda [Torgeson] Strong of California.]

Although this invitation is signed by Tom Torgeson "Dad," I don't think that it was written by him, but but his wife, Margaret. The Other side of the card to the Schumps was also signed "Dad" but very poorly, which leads me to believe that it was rewritten. (From Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

1935 Torgeson Family Reunion: "The Torgeson family held its annual picnic and family reunion Sunday in Gage Park with the following in attendance:
Mr. and Mrs. William Torgeson, Lawrence
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Torgeson, Council Grove
Mr. and Mrs. John T. Helm and daughter, Dorothy, White City [Not recognized family members.]
Mrs. Julia Winter, White City
Mrs. Elmer Crist, White City [Not a recognized family member]
Mr. and Mrs. R. H Christensen, Junction City
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson
Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Torgeson and family
Mr. and Mrs. W. S. [F].] Hahn and son, Tommy
Mrs. Jack Murphy [She may have been divorced from Jack Murphy by this time.]
Miss Bernice Torgeson"
(The Topeka Capitol or Journal, from Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

Missing are Matilda ""Tiggie" (Torgeson) Strong (of California, Mr. and Mrs. John Torgeson, Mr. and Mrs. Newt Torgeson, Mr. and Mrs. George Torgeson, and Mr. and Mrs. Newt Torgeson

1936 Torgeson Family Reunion at Wamego, Kansas (Florence Hahn's Scrapbook)

1937 Torgeson Family Reunion at Topeka, Kansas (Florence Hahn's Scrap Book)

1938 Torgeson Family Reunion at Topeka, Kansas (Florence Hahn's Scrap Book

The place of meeting is not known, but probably in Topeka and possibly held because of the visit of Thomas and Margaret's son, Al Torgeson, and his wife, Sevena, from California. (From Florence (Torgeson) Hahn's Scrapbook. It is nice to have the handwriting of these people and some addresses.

Memories of the Taral Torgeison Family

     In your letter was an article about the death of Christ written by a Dr priest about a heart condition was the cause and it reminded me about grandpa Torgeson [Thomas Torgeson, Sr./Taral Torjeison],. (my dad's parents) Grandma had a short illness, some kind of flu and was in bed for only a short time maybe three days and when Grandpa saw she wasn't going to get well he took to bed also and when Grandma died the doctor told Dad to hold off the funeral as Grandpa was not going to survive. The doctor said he could find no health problem with Grandpa, but he had no will to survive Grandma, in other words, a broken heart. but can see where [it] was for the best.
     Grandpa was on the stern side and did not have anything to say to we kids but Grandma talked a little but they were not like the grandparents on mothers side. I had fun at Grandma Owens.
     Mother would send us over to take food and we usually went in two's like the Latter Day Saints that go from door to door in airs, and we would stay a very short time and then grandma would go in the bedroom and bring us out a stick of candy. We could hear her open the dresser drawer and we would wait for the candy.
     My minds picture of that old couple was like a commercial several years ago, a tall stern couple standing straight one with a hoe in one hand a one with a pitchfork [Grant Wood's "Gothic"]
     My Dad belonged to the Pres[byterian] church and the minister would call on the old folks and one day I was there when he came and was embarrassed because Grand Ma was smoking a little clay pipe. (Letter from Florence Torgeson to Tom Hahn 1980)


Census: 1875 Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township, p. 4 Dwelling 28 Family 29:
Thomas Terguson [Torgeson] was age 46, was born in Norway, value of real estate $320, value of personal property $130, was from Wisconsin.
Matilda Terguson, was farming, was born in Norway, and was from from Wisconsin.
*Thomas Terguson, was age 14, was farming, and was born in Norway, as was from IA [?].
Julia Terguson, was age12, was from Wisconsin, and was from Wisconsin.
Canute Terguson, was age 9, was born in Wisconsin, and was from Wisconsin.
Handy [Henry] Terguson, was age 6, and was from Wisconsin.
Willie [William] Terguson , age 2, born KS
All born WI from WI? ad fathers and mothers born in Norway.
(LDS FHL Film 0570213)

Census: 1880 US, Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township, p. 395B.
Thomas Ferguson. Self. Farmer, age 52, born Norway, father and mother born Norway.
Matilda Ferguson, wife. Keeping House, age 49, born Norway, mother and father born Norway.
Thomas Ferguson, Jr., son. Farmer, age 22, born Norway, father and mother born Norway.
John Ferguson, son. At School, age 16, born WI, father and mother born Norway
Julia Ferguson, son. At School, age 18, born WI, mother and father born Norway.
Newt Ferguson, son, At School, age14, born WI, father and mother born Norway.
Henry Ferguson, son, At School, age 12, born WI, father and mother born Norway.
Willie Ferguson, son, age 5, born KS, father and mother born Norway.
George Ferguson, son, age 2, born KS, father and mother born Norway.
Evan Ferguson, Farmer, age 40 brother [of Thomas, Sr.], (FHL Film 1254390, National Archives Film T-0390, p. 395B)

Census: 1885 Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township, p.7 Line 14 Dwelling 31 Family 38:
Thomas Torgeson, age 57, farmer, born Norway
Wife Matilda, age 54, born Norway
C[probably for Canute=Newt], age 19, male [Newt born 1866 would be 19]
Julia, age 22, born WI
Henry , age17, born WI
Wm., age 12, born WI
George, age 7, born WI [ but 1900 and 1920 Census say George born KS]

Census: 1885. Kansas, Parker Township, Agricultural Schedule: Line 29, p. 3; Thomas Torgeson. Owner. 15 acres under fence, 65 acres not under fence, 80 total acres in farm value $1200, farming improvements and machinery $100, 9 acres millet and Hungarian, 1,000 bushels of corn, 8 tons of Tame cut, 15 tons of Prairie cut, 300 pounds of butter, 4 horses, 3 cows, 4 other cattle, 13 swine.

Census: 1895. Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township Agricultural Schedule,  p.2, line 28; 160 acres in farm, 90 acres under cultivation, 80 acres under hedge and wire fence, value of farm $2,000, farm improvements and machinery $40, 40 acres corn, 22 acres oats, 10 acres flax, 4 acres Millet and Hungarian, 5 tons of Tame cut, 10 tons of Prairie cut, $10 poultry and eggs sold, 200 pounds of butter, 4 horses, 2 milch cows, 5 other cattle, 6 swine, value of animals $100, 1 dog, 75 bearing apple trees. (LDS FHL Film 0570334)

Census: 1900. Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, White City: Census taken 4 and 5 June 1900 by Francis B. Harris; Enumeration District 108. Family 58, Dwelling 58. Lived on Stover Street.
Line 95. Thomas Torguson, Head, age 71, born Dec. 1828 Norway, came to Kansas from Norway, parents from Norway, naturalized citizen since 1862, 38 years, can't read or write but can speak English, owns own home, a frame house, free of mortgage.
Line 96. Matilda Torguson, wife, age 68, born Dec. 1831 Norway, came to Kansas from Norway , parents from Norway, in U.S. since 1862, 38 years, can not read or write but can speak English
Line 97. George, son, age 22, born Dec 1877 Kansas, parents from Norway. a farm laborer, 3 months at school.
Thomas's brother Evan is in the census at age 59.

Census: 1905 Kansas, Morris County, White City, p. 9, line 25 Tho. Torgeson 74 born Norway, from WI.
Line 26 E. Torgeson. [E is for brother Even?]

Times New Roman 14 point. Copy 12 November 2004. Photo check A. TH

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