Sjur Eirikson Arnetveit was the son of Eirik Kolbeinson Arnetveit and Marta Sjursdatter Tveite HB. He was the second child, and second son in their family of 5 children. Being the second son meant he would not inherit his father’s farm and in 1880 he left his home to make his fortune in America. He spent some time in Minnesota before coming back home to Voss in 1884 for a visit. He returned to the USA and went to Chicago. His future wife Anna Olsdatter øvre Oppheim had also come to the USA in 1880 with her parents and siblings. They made their home in Chicago. About 1887 Sjur and Anna were married. Sjur became known as Sievert and they used Erickson as their surname. Sievert’s brother Odd, who became Edd, also came to Chicago and together they formed a construction company and erected many buildings and structures in the Chicago area. Sjur and Anna had 9 children and they seem to have done very well for themselves and had good careers. They worked as music teachers, school teachers, purchasing agents, nurses, chemists, retail lumber buyers. Sievert and Anna lived in a number of different places in Chicago, but ended up living in the prestigious Oak Park area on the west side of Chicago along the lake. Many famous people made their homes here throughout the years including Ernest Hemingway. Many of the homes in the area were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. When Sievert died in 1924, his widow inherited their home which was then valued at $30,000. A great achievement for young man who left his home at the age of 27 with very little in his pockets. I have not found any information on the descendants of his children. If you can help, please contact me.
Eirik was born at Arnetveit in Vossestrand and his parents were Sjur Eirikson Arnetveit and Marta Larsdatter Tveite Hb. He was 30 years old when he and his wife of 3 years; Gjøri Kolbeinsdatter Store-Høn; and their year old daughter Kari set sail for America. Like many of the Vossings before they went to Dane County, Wisconsin where they stayed for more than 10 years before moving on to Winnebago County in Iowa. There were many people from Voss in Winnebago County, my great-great grandparents being among them. Erick first used Syverson as the family name and later Severson. Gjøri became known as Julia, and Kari became Carrie and later she was known as Caroline. Erick and Julia had 4 more children and raised them to adulthood. Erick made his living by farming and eventually owned his property. Some of his grandchildren and great grandchildren graduated from university and had good careers. One was a teacher at a university. I’m sure Erick and Julia’s dreams for their family were realized. A grandson and at least one great grandson made their home in Alaska. A family migration from Norway, to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, and finally Alaska. They are the first Vossings I have actually located in that northern state, although I know many went there, attracted first by the gold during the rush; and then remained to make it their home.
I have not found anything on Erick and Julia’s children Lewis (Lars) b. 1854; Charley (Charles) b. 1860; Marie b. 1860, or John b. 1862. If you know anything and would like to contribute, please contact me.
Odd Eirikson Arnetveit was the fifth child of Eirik Kolbeinson Arnetveit and Marta Sjursdatter Tveite Hb. His brother Sjur (Sievert) had gone to America in 1880 and when he came home for a visit in 1884, Odd left with him. When they left Bergen in May their destination is recorded as Minnesota, but by June they were both in Chicago and by 1890 he and his brother had joined together and formed the Erickson Brothers Construction Company.
In 1893, at the age of 24 Guri Larsdatter Møn left Voss to make a new life in America. She was the daughter of Lars Møn and Johanna A. Hellesnæs and had a brother Anders who also came to America. She and Ed, as he became known; were wed on 26 Sep 1896 in Chicago. Guri died just 9 years later at the age of 36, and 5 years later, at the young age of 45, Ed also died, leaving an 12 year old son and 11 year old daughter. The children are found in the 1920 Cenus living with their cousins Isaac and Marie Vinsand in Chicago. Elmer was the owner of his own furniture making company after learning the trade at the Colonial Chair Company. Margarethe was a stenographer for an insurance agency. The family used Erickson as their surname.
I have not been able to find anything further on Elmer or Margarethe, and as always if you have any further information to add, you may contact me using the contact form.
Photo from “History of the Norwegians in Illinois”, pg. 308, published 1905.
I love the thrill of the hunt and tracking down my ancestors. I love learning about their lives and how how they lived, and then telling their stories. I am currently Genealogist for Vosselag and would be happy to help you with any research questions you may have. You may also post your questions on the Ancestors from Voss forum. It’s just new but many in the genealogy community are aware of it and we are waiting for your questions.