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Hilary Underwood

Looking for my great grandmother

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Hilary Underwood


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,




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