Thursday, February 7, 2013

Jon Bergstad, Joseph Bergstad, and Jon Johanesson

I'm still working my way through my Bergstad files, though I've made a lot of progress the last week or so. As I was wrapping up my review of the non-census documents I've collected, I was looking at the marriage record for Selma Bergstad and B B Hendrixson, when something caught my eye. Her father was listed as Joseph Bergstad. I've had her dad listed as Jon Bergstad for years, and now I started wondering - do I have his name wrong? Have I confused two unrelated families? I decided I had to go back and review all my records on him, and see what I could make of the situation. This is what my review turned up:

Family Bible page from Delores Olson lists Jon Johanesson, born 10 November 1864
1880 US census lists Johan J. Bergstad, age 15 (born about 1865)
1885 Iowa state census lists Joe Bergstad, age 19 (born about 1866)
1894 marriage record, to Gjertina Nesheim, lists G. or Jon Bergstad, age 29 (born about 1865)
1915 marriage record, Tilda Bergstad to Sivert Fadness, lists her father as Joe Bergstad
1920 US census lists Joseph Bergstad, age 55 (born about 1865). Gjertina's father, Knut O. Nesheim was living with them at this time.
1932 marriage record, Clara Bergstad to Edwin Yonker, lists her father as Joe Bergstad
1942 marriage record, Selma Bergstad to B B Hendrixson, lists her father as Joseph Bergstad

That's eight records total. I wasn't able to find Jon/Joe or Gjertina in the 1895 Iowa census, or the federal 1900 and 1910 censuses. I tried tracing Gjertina's family back in time, to see if I could find Jon/Joe living nearby, but alas, no luck there. I don't like that there's a 20 year gap in Jon's life I can't fill yet, but that's what I have at this point.

As far as the records go, Jon/Joe's age is consistent in the records that list an age, always born around 1865. His place of birth is always listed as Wisconsin. The 1894 marriage record has Jon Bergstad married to Gjertina Nesheim, and the 1920 census has Gjertina married to Joseph Bergstad. The 1920 census also says Gjertina was born in Norway and naturalized in 1894, the same year that Gjertina married Jon Bergstad. The marriage records for all three daughters name Gjertina Nesheim as the mother, and Joseph Bergstad as the father. Aside from his first name, all the facts of Jon/Joe's life seem to match each other in the various records.

Conclusion - it seems to me that, putting all the facts from the various records together, it seems to me that Jon Johanesson, Johan J. Bergstad, and Joseph/Joe Bergstad are, in fact, the same person.

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