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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ivan Oluf Stjerkreutz Bjerkmann

For many years, we thought that Ivan was the oldest child of Andreas and Gustava. We now know that he is the 3rd child, and second son, of our great-grandparents.
Ivan, born in 1867 in Vestre Aker, Oslo, worked at Spigerverk, as did Andreas and Hilmar. It is unknown if any other family member was employed there, too.
Spigerverk was the local Iron Works factory in Vestre Aker. Andreas and Gustava lived in the factory employee housing district for many years. 
Not much was known about Ivan at first, even though Grandma's scrapbook had more pages of pictures of Grandpa's brother and his family than any other member of Grandpa's family.
As it turned out, Rønnaug and her brother are descendants of Ivan, and it was Rønnaug who identified the one 8x10 photograph in Grandma's scrapbook that I could not identify, but had attributed it to possibly being of the Sondee family. 
Now, this post is also where the identity is solved of who Eugenie and Astrid were - and where they fit in the family. It also identified two different pictures of the same  blonde-hair little girl that I had associated with Astrid Bjerkmann. It turned out not to be a Bjerkmann, but a Sjöholm - the adopted daughter of Grandma's brother, Axel.
Ivan married Kristiane Kristoffersen in 1892. They became the parents of five children - Eugenie Inga Marie, Eivind Thorleif, Dagny, Astrid Gustava,  and Viktor Sinding. Sadly, they lost Dagny when she was about 5 years old.
Eugenie married Harald Bjerkelund and they had 4 sons and 1 daughter. 
Eivind emigrated to the United States and was naturalized through his military service. He changed his name to Erwin Bjorkman. He settled in Wisconsin, marrying a woman named Helen. They had one son. Erwin died sometime prior to 1930.
Eivind spent some time in a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Milwaukee. According to those records, he had contracted Tuberculosis. This may have been his cause of death, but it is unknown as a death record has not been found yet. By 1940, his wife had remarried and had at least one daughter from this marriage. 
Astrid married Arne Fosbek and they had a daughter and a son.
Viktor married Anna Moe. I do not have much information on them yet, so it is unknown if they had any children.
Ivan died in 1938 and Kristiane died in 1931. 

This 8x10 photograph took up one whole page in the back of Grandma's scrapbook. I, at first, thought that it could be that of the family of Grandpa's sister, Leanora (Nora), but it was not. It is some of the Ivan Bjerkmann family. From left to right - Harald Bjerkelund (husband of Eugenie), daughter Eugenie, mother Kristiane, father Ivan, daughter Astrid, and son Viktor. It was taken in the home of Ivan and kristane, and believed to have been after the funeral of Gustava, Ivan's mother, who died in 1921.

This photograph, from Grandma's scrapbook, had also been a mystery. It has now been identified as Eugenie with her three sons - Ivar, Havald and Per.

Photograph curtesy of Rønnaug. Left to Right: Dagny, Eugenie, and Eivind.

This photograph was on a page in Grandma's scrapbook that included photographs of Hjalmar, so we naturally thought, at first, that this was Hjalmar with his wife, Anna, and oldest son, Birger. Such is not the case. This is Eivind with his wife, Helen, and their son, Russell. It is assumed, because of the photograph being in the scrapbook and the fact that Hilmar and his family lived not far from Eivind and his family, that the two families had contact with one another sometime before Eivind's death.

Mistaken Identity. Because of the placement in Grandma's scrapbook, the little girl was thought to be Astrid, daughter of Ivan and Kristiane (the photo's are labeled "Astrid"). It is now known that this little girl is not a Bjerkmann at all! This is Astrid Sjoholm, adopted daughter of Axel and Hildur. I guess it can safely be said now that Grandma did not put photogrraphs in her scrapbook in any type of order.

The  photograph on the left is of Astrid and Arne Fosbek on their wedding day. The photograph on the right of Astrid is from Grandma's scrapbook. As you can see, the little girl Astrid looks nothing like Astrid Bjerkmann.