We are researching ancestors and descendants of families related to Loren and Mavis [Winge] Amundson. Mavis is "100% Norwegian"[Winge,Hegre,Olson,Finstad] and Loren is half Norwegian [Amundson,Magnus,Hamre,Aker], one quarter Swedish[Benson,Johnson] and a quarter French/German/Canadian/English [Lifto,Alguire].
The Winge/Hegre lineage is from Stjørdalensfjorden east of Trondheim, the Olson lineage from Hallingdal northwest of Oslo, and the Finstad/Gulbrandson lineage south of Eidsvoll and north of Olso, all in Norway. The Amundson/Magnus/Hamre/Aker lineage is from Sorfjord, Hardanger, Norway, the Benson/Johnson lineage from Halmstad/Eldsberga, Sweden, and the Lifto/Alguire lineage from the St. Lawrence Seaway in both Canada and upstate New York.
All of these ancestors ended up living along the Minnesota-South Dakota border in the upper midwest. Mavis' Winge and Hegre ancestors homesteaded in Goodhue County and then on to Lac Qui Parle County in western Minnesota where the Olson and Finstad ancestors had also settled upon arrival in America. Loren's several-sided family originally came to Lee County, Illinois [Aakre (Aker)], Grant and Lancaster Counties in Wisconsin [Johnson, Benson, Alguire and Lifto], Winneshiek County in northeastern Iowa [Amundson, Magnus, Hamre and Aker], and later all of them were drawn to Minnehaha County, Dakota Territory, just west of the southwest corner of Minnesota, where they homesteaded. The Federal Homestead Act of 1862 accomplished its mission for these sturdy forebearers of our families as roots were laid deeply into the fertile soil where ancestors rest and many descendants still till this land.
Our family tree maker program currently contains about 12,000 names and a series of books telling the histories of these families, "Norwegians, Swedes and More," is underway. Book One presents descriptions and stories about the ancestors and descendants of pioneer Minnehaha County, South Dakota homesteaders, Andrew Lifto and his wife Mary Jane Alguire. This book has been accepted for publication by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing and will be available this spring of 2004. It will be available for purchase through the web page: www.virtualbookworm.com and can be previewed and ordered by the book name above and a visit to their online Bookstore. We hope you will give us a try.
Books Two and Three will follow and present the Winge/Hegre and Olson/Finstad sides of Mavis' families - all Norwegians! These two books hopefully will be available by the end of 2004. Books Four, Five and Six will cover the Swedish and Norwegian ancestry of Loren's families to close out the series of six books. All books have a common core of material in addition to family-specific ancestor and descendant files, photos and stories in each family book.
We are anxious to hear from you if you might be part of our clan or have questions. We are looking for additional information and are willing to share some of our collected history when appropriate. You can help fill in and add to the branches, and also make it into one of the remaining books to be published! Please send an email if you have questions or information to offer. Thank you.