Sunday, December 17, 2006

Grave photos of Peder and Regina LERFALD and sons

Anne S. Anderson and her husband (Find A Grave photo volunteers) kindly gave of their time to locate and photograph the graves of my husband's great-great-grandparents, Peder and Regina LERFALD. Our records indicated that the LERFALDs were buried in Lone Pine Cemetery, Woodville, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson went to three cemeteries in Woodville, ending up at Zion Lutheran. They found not only Peder and Regina's shared headstone, but the headstones for two of their sons, John and Ole (named respectively for Peder's and Regina's fathers).

It's not clear at this point if Zion Lutheran and Lone Pine are two names for the same cemetery, but it appears to be so. I have to do some more checking, perhaps with the St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society or the St. Croix County Historical Society. The good news is that since I know they are buried at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, I am assuming that they may have been parishioners of Zion Lutheran Church. Perhaps I can find some church records that can help me "humanize" this that they are less names, dates, and locations, and more people with needs, wishes, failings and strengths. I found a lot of helpful information at the St. Croix County USGenWeb site, including a history of Woodville. Seems this area was part of the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin, made famous by Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book, Little House in the Big Woods.

Above is a photo of Peder and Regina on their 50th anniversary in 1931, probably in Woodville. Look at the size of Peder's hands!

Peder Johnsen LEFALD and Regina Olasdotter LERFALD were first cousins, although not on both their fathers' sides, as it would seem by their common surname. Peder's father, John Nilssen LERFALD, and Regina's mother, Ane Nilssdotter LERFALDHOLMEN, were siblings, children of Nils Pedersen LERFALDTRØEN and Randi Olasdotter LERFALDHOLMEN. The variations of the LERFALD surname indicate the various farms in the Lerfald area of Norway (east of Trondheim) where the family members last worked before immigration. In other words, LERFALD and its variations, are place names which became surnames. It's been very difficult finding the LERFALDs in U.S. records after they immigrated (between 1866 [Peder and parents] and 1874 [Regina and mother]), and they tended to use patronyms. Trying to find JOHNSENs (Peder) and OLSENS (Regina - masculine version of Olasdotter) or their parents' patronyms of NELSON (for Nilssen and Nilssdotter) and PEDERSEN/PETERSON in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the late 1800s - early 1900s, is a challenge, to say the least!

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