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Early Emigration from Hadeland


Information taken from "Holand's Settlement History" originally published in Norwegian in 1909.

Translation by Malcolm Rosholt donated to the Norwegian American Historical Association in 1987.

Hadeland is mentioned on pages 117, 182, 330-334, 339, 340, and 360-362


Halvor Larson Lysenstøen was the first to emigrate from Hadeland in 1842.  In 1846 he revisited Norway and appeared unannounced one Sunday morning at a church in Brandbu.  He lived at Muskego and was among the first to settle at Washington Prairie, Iowa. (p. 117 & 339)


The departure of Abraham Olson Rustad and his large family, and Jens and Brede Anderson Holt created quite a sensation in 1849.  This first group to leave from Hadeland settled at Rock Prairie WI.  The settlement would eventually include 800 from Hallingdal, 600 from Numedal, and 600 from Hadeland.  (p. 332)


Settlements at Wiota and Yellowstone Valley in LaFayette County were made up of 2500 people from Land and Hadeland.  These people moved up from Rock Prairie on the Illinois-Wisconsin line. (p. 182)


When the Minnesota Territory opened for settlement in the 1850's, Hadelendings were part of that migration. The populations of Spring Grove and Wilmington (Houston County MN) are made up primarily of Norwegians from Hallingdal, Sigdal, and Hadeland. (p. 360)



Excerpts from "Udvandringen til Amerika fra Hadeland"

(Emigration to America from Hadeland)

The Brua, June 1926 page 3


In 1848, the first people in the Gran parish's "Udflyttede" who list their destination as America were:

   1 April

       Erik Larsen Lyseneiet, a single man born on Askimeiet in 1823

   22 April

       Hans Nilsen Dæhleneiet, a single man born in 1824

   27 April

        Emil Hansen Skari, born 1831

   28 April

        Ole Iversen Melbostadeiet, born 1813

            His wife, Marie Evensdtr born 1807 

            Their son, Iver, born on Klæstad in 1840

        Husmand Johansen Blekeneiet, born 1818

            His wife, Gudbjørg Thorsdtr, born 1818

            Their daughter, Kari, born 1845


In 1849 the church book shows that 85 persons listed their destination as America.  In 1850, 71 persons; 1851, 56; 1852, 111; 1853, 141; and in 1854, 112 persons registered their departure for America in the udflyttede.


Early Norwegian Settlements


    Only Ireland contributed more immigrants,  as a percentage of its population, than Norway.
    Kleng Peerson is generally credited as the first Norwegian emigrant. His first visit to America was in 1821.

 The earliest Norwegian settlements were:
  1. 1825-The Kendall settlement in Orleans County, New York, founded by the famous "Sloopers"
  2. 1834-The Fox River settlement in La Salle County, Illinois, founded by Kleng Peerson
  3. 1836-Chicago
  4. 1838-The Jefferson Prairie settlement, founded by Ole Nattestad in Clinton Township, Rock County, Wisconsin
  5. 1839-Muskego, in Waukesha and Racine Counties, Wisconsin

     "Out of old Muskego came many great men and many great memories. Here in this Telemarken settlement, amid rather poor and unhealthful surroundings, was laid the cornerstone of many of the larger institutions, spiritual movements and material undertakings which are now the pride of the Norwegian-Americans. Here the Northmen first began to take their part in American politics and American life. Here came back the answering cry of the Norwegians when called to help in the Civil war, in which they so loyally and honorably defended their adopted land. Here began the educational movement whose fruit is now seen in many great educational institutions. Here was organized the first Norwegian congregation. From here went out the first call for a Norwegian minister. Here was built the first Norwegian church. Here was issued the first Norwegian newspaper." 

             Hjalmer Holand, De Norske Settlementers Historie- -1908

  6. 1840-Koshkonong, in Dane County Wisconsin




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Last update:February 03, 2019