Norwegian Branch of Family Tree


I visited Mosjøen, Norway, the birthplace of my grandfather, Carl Victor Anderson, in 1977, the centennial year of his birth. I spent 3 days researching in the State Archives in Trondheim, Norway and I was amazed when they let me handle the original documents some of which were over 250 years old. I was able to trace back to all of Carl's great grandparents.

My grandfather was born Karl Antonson on May 13, 1877. His father and mother were unmarried and this was a common (about 20%) occurrence in those days, but the naming convention was the same in either case: your father's first name was the base for your last name. His mother, Karen Ane Paulsdotter, was born September 8, 1838 and his father, Anton Schröder was born on July 28, 1854.

Anton was born to wealthy parents who could afford to hire private tutors to teach their children. I believe that Karen was a servant in their house. Anton's father, Ole Herman Schröder, born in 1799, married for a second time late in life. He was 55 at the time of Anton's birth. Anton's older brothers and sisters died from typhoid fever when he was a teenager. He was almost 23 when Karl was born. I do not know when or where he died.

Karen had another son from a different father born 14 years before Carl, Ludvig Andreas Anderson. He was born on October 5, 1863 and he came to America when he was 24. Seven years later he sent for Carl to join him in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, where my mother would be born 20 years later. I have a copy of the ship's manifest and it was an emotional moment when I saw for the first time the entry for the 665th passenger: Carl Antonson aged 16 of Mosjøen, Norway bound for Sioux Rapids, Iowa.

On the voyage, Carl turned 17 and when he arrived in the new country he took his half-brother's last name becoming Carl Anderson. This was the freedom people had in the nineteenth century before passports, social security numbers and emigration restrictions made starting afresh much more difficult.

One mystery still remains. Where did Carl's middle name come from? "Victor" was an extremely uncommon name in Norway. I conjecture he took his middle name from his wife's middle name: Victoria.

Norwegian Ancestors

My grandfather, Carl Victor Anderson, was born in Norway as all of his known ancestors were. You can see his ancestors, family group by family group, by clicking on his name. You can also explore his tree by surnames. The best way to start is to click on Big Picture which provides you an overall diagram, introductory material and an index of all names in his tree.

Carl was a tall and strong-looking man whose English bore a few traces of his native land. He was a carpenter by trade and I remember his careful attention to detail on the maintenance of the large home which he built. He had high standards of craftsmanship in everything that he did.