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Hilary Underwood

Looking for my great grandmother

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Hilary Underwood

Hi, 

My apologies for this being in English. Also please excuse if I posted in the wrong section. I do not know Norwegian and Google translate is not always helpful.

I have been trying to find out more about my great grandmother who is said.to have been from Norway. Or that is what she said. She seems to be a complete mystery and I was looking for any possible help. Here's what I know:

 

Her name was Ella or that is what she went by here in the US. 

She married my great grandfather Seth Howard Hannon in Great Falls, Montana, USA in 1918. She listed her name as Ella Matilda Jourgenson and birthplace as Norway and listed age was 32.Her parents names given were Hilda Burke and Hans Jourgenson.

It says she was not previously married

 

There is a birth record for my great aunt Mabel whom our family knows as my great grandmother's first child. She was born in 1917 in Glasgow, Montana, USA. Mother: Ella Matilda Hanson Father: Eli Jourgenson Residence: Poplar, Montana, USA My aunt was listed at child number 2.

 

On my great grandmother's US Social Security registration her name is Ella Matilda Hannon born July 7th, 1886. Yet she wrote her birthplace as Fargo, North Dakota USA. She wrote down her parents as Eugene Banard and Carrie Berg. (yes, Berg. with a dot at the end as if it was short for a longer name) 

 

In the 1920 US census she (Ella) was living in Bellingham, Washington, USA. I believe the census taker got the last name wrong as it's listed Harmon instead of Hannon. She listed her birthplace as Norway. 

 

Other information:

She told family members she was from Lofoten, Norway. 

 

She refused to speak english in her later years. My family claims she would only speak Norwegian. To be honest, no one in my family spoke Norwegian so I'm not sure that is what language they heard. My grandmother could understand what my great grandmother Ella was saying but could not speak the language herself.

 

She claimed to have come to the US in 1900 at the age of 16.

 

She claimed to some family that her mother's name was Kristine/Christine. She aslo gave my grandmother the middle name of Mathilda.

 

She also claimed her family were from Lappland.

 

My mother took DNA testing and the closest genetic matches come from Finland. There are some matches in Norway. 

 

So as you see I am a bit lost and confused trying to get information about her. I was wondering if anyone could put me in the right direction? Any help is very much appreciated! 

 

Thank you,

Hilary 

 

 

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Torbjørn Igelkjøn

ELLA HANNON was born 10 July 1886, received Social Security number 538-28-0297 (indicating Washington) and, Death Master File says, died 15 May 1967.
For more information, click here (free), then check Archives and PeopleSmart

Source: http://sortedbybirthdate.com/pages/18860710.html

 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=hannon&GSfn=ella&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=49440785&df=all&

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Hilary Underwood

Hi, Yes, I have all that information. Everything after she married my great grandfather Seth Hannon is easy to find. The only record I can find before her marriage to my great grandfather was my great aunt's birth certificate. I am sorry if I wasn't clear about that in my initial post. I greatly appreciate you looking at that. 

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Inger Karin Haarbye

1920: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHN6-XMV

 

Her mother is listed as norwegian, but father as English?

 

About norwegian names last part of 1800: They gradually started to use surnames, but patronymicons were still in use. Norway had no name laws. If father was Hans Jurgensen, she could use Hanson or Jurgenson.

 

But she has given different information about parents?

 

(Add "Lofoten?" to subject?)

Endret av Inger Karin Haarbye

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Arnstein Rønning

Hilary - did you use FTDNA when testing your mother's DNA, and if you did - what surname did she use?

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Hilary Underwood

I've never seen that one before although I did hear their was a story that her or her mother was supposedly supposed to be the daughter of a British sailor. This is at least something different to look at. Thank you very much! 

 

 I've seen in researching that surnames were much different in Norway. Yes, she used different names it seems.It makes it difficult to trace her.


I've never seen that one before although I did hear their was a story that her or her mother was supposedly supposed to be the daughter of a British sailor. This is at least something different to look at. Thank you very much! 

 

 I've seen in researching that surnames were much different in Norway. Yes, she used different names it seems.It makes it difficult to trace her.

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Hilary Underwood

Arnstein- My mother actually did the testing. If you mean what surname my mother used? It was Underwood for my mother. Is that what you mean?

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Arnstein Rønning

Arnstein- My mother actually did the testing. If you mean what surname my mother used? It was Underwood for my mother. Is that what you mean?

Yes, that's what I meant. Did you use FTDNA (Family Tree DNA)? I will se if some of my kits have her. Most Norwegians (and Finns) are using FTDNA when testingDNA. I'm 1/4 Finn and the rest mostly Norwegian.

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Hilary Underwood

Thanks for looking! Her name is Marjorie Underwood. 

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Arnstein Rønning

Sorry, I couldn't find her (but she may have tested by another company). But I think you could get a clue from the DNA test. If you tested by 23andme, you can still transfer to FTDNA, I think. They have the largest database of testers from Scandinavia.

 

If she once said she was from Lappland, and your closest DNA-matches are Finnish, she probably (or her parents) could have come from northern parts of Finland to Norway (like my greatgrandparents did). There was a famine in the northern parts of Finland in the 1860s.

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Hilary Underwood

 I'm currently looking at what company did the testing. I believe my mom actually did it first through National Geographic. Thank you very much, Arnstein! At this point any information is good to know! 

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Hilary Underwood

Hi Inger! 

I've seen that document.I guess the trouble is getting beyond that. Later in life my great grandmother would write down that she was born in the USA but it wasn't true. In trying to find out more it's hard because she used different last names and different names for her parents. The last document I can find is from my great aunt Mable's birth certificate in 1917. But I can not find anything earlier. Thank you so much for looking!

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Inger Karin Haarbye

If she told she was from Lofoten, I think that is important information. But off course she could have been born other places in North of Norway, as she said her family was from Lappland.

But parents names are very confusing. Hilda Burke and Hans Joergenson - or Eugene Banard and Carrie Berg? As she is using Hanson and Joergenson as surname, I think Hans Joergenson is most likely fathers name.

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Hilary Underwood

I agree, it's very confusing. It's hard to tell what is real and what was made up or lost in translation. But some of it seems like she did not want anyone to know the truth. That's why I posted here. It's very nice so many people are willing to help.

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Arnstein Rønning

I have seen in other fora that people of Saami or travellers family often kept this a secret in America. Maybe some Forest Finns too.

 

You said her mother is mentioned as Hilda or Kristine Burke. The closest name I find to this in Norway, could be the farm Børke in Ringsaker, Hedmark (south/east in Norway). This is an area were you could find both Forest Finns and travellers, I think.

 

I've looked at Børke farm in the census 1865, 1875 and 1900, but couldn't find any of intrest (Hilda or Kristine).

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Hilary Underwood

That is very interesting Arnstein! Thank you for looking into that and giving me that information. It seems as though she was trying to keep something hidden. I guess at the time she moved to America she could be whoever she wanted. Maybe ashamed? I'm not sure I understand why. Was it looked down upon to be Saami or a traveller?

 

This is the first I've heard of Forest Finns. I will have to look this up. Thank you again!

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Arnstein Rønning

In northern parts of Norway, there was also a hierarchy.

 

On top the priests and other officials, often of Danish origin.

 

Then came the Norwegian fisherman/farmer, using Norwegian language.

 

Then the Kvens, who were Finnish-speaking people from Northern parts of Finland (often a blending of Finnish and Saami origin).

 

Lowest in this hierachy you would find the Saami people (called Lapp), speaking Saami or Lappish (a language close to the Finnish language).

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Grete Singstad
Hilda Burke / Carrie Berg.

 

= Kari/Karen Mathilde Berge? Or something like that.

 

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Arnstein Rønning

Yes, Grete - Burke could be Berge or something like that.

 

This may not be the right person, but ee have Mathilde Johanna born 24. jan 1851 in Hammerfest (Finnmark, N-Norway). Her father is "handlende" (selling things) Nicolai Henrik Berger in Mefjord. Mother is Sophie Johanne born Leijonarm from Haparanda (on the border Sweden/Finland up in Ostrobothnia). Probably with Finnish ancestry.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=296&idx_id=296&uid=ny&idx_side=-68
Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20050304020301.jpg

 

In the 1865 census, Matilde is called Matilde Johana Berg, she is now stephdaughter. The stephfather is "dagarbeider" taking jobs when offered. Her brother is called Berger (like their father was called).

http://digitalarkivet.arkivverket.no/ft/person/pf01038401000555

 

 

 

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Hilary Underwood

Arnstein- How very interesting. I am now doing a lot of reading on the subjects. I like to read on subjects like this.She gave different stories, different names and places so much of it doesn't seem true.  

 

One story was that her father or grand father was a british sailor and of part spanish/moorish decent. She or her grandmother was born on a ship. The mother passed away 9 days after the birth of her or her mother and then the British father took the child to her maternal grandparents to be raised in Lofoten.

 

Another story was one that my grandmother told. That my great grandmother received a letter from her brother during World War 2. He was living in Findland and fight in the resistance against the Germans. This is the only story where I've heard she had said she had a brother

 

The stories passed down are not very realistic but very imaginative! 

--------------------------

Hi Grete! Yes, I've been thinking of a number of name combinations. She was a very allusive woman!

 

 

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Arnstein Rønning

Well, the one I mentioned above, Mathilde (Hilda?) Johanna Lejonarm from Haparanda was married in Hammerfest Nov 5. 1847 to Nicolai Henrik Berger born in Rendsburg in northern Germany. She was then 20 3/4 years old.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=296&idx_id=296&uid=ny&idx_side=-196
Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20050304020429.jpg

 

The priest has first written Lejonarm as her father's name. Then it is changed til Lieutenant Clementsjof. This seems to be Lieutenant Magnus Fredric Clementeoff who was in Rovaniemi and in Kalix. Haparanda (Nedertorneå/Alatornio) is lying between those two places. Clementeoff was of a noblefamily, probably of Russian origin.

http://www.geni.com/people/Magnus-Fredric-Clementeoff/6000000007936313485

 

If this is true, she was probably born out of wedlock. Or may be she didn't know her father's name and said it was this nobleman? When a child is born out of wedlock, you can't find the father's name in churchbooks in this area. I have 2 ancestors from the same area, both with no father's name given (the two got married).

 

Lejonarm is a so-called "soldiers name" (rotenamn in Swedish). We find this "rote"-name in the Haparanda area. It means "Lion's arm". 

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Hilary Underwood

Wow! This is fascinating. I wonder if it is my 3rd grandmother? I really appreciate you helping me like this. I know my great grandmother spelled her middle name as Matilda but I figured she was trying to Americanize it but my grandmother was given the middle name Mathilda with my great grandmother making sure the "h" was always written. 

 

I was wondering something else-- I am still trying to figure out my mother's DNA kit and what it all means. As I said before most exact matches are finn but there is a match in Norway of the name of Bjorn with the highest cM. My mother and he share 15 DNA segments. Do you think this is of significance? I am still looking at all the matches in Finland but there are so many.

 

 

Endret av Hilary Underwood

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