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Sunday, March 29, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 13 "Different": Aaste Halvorsdatter Otterholt

The book Boe (Bø) and Halvorson-Otterholt; Shared Roots in Telemark, compiled by Melvin and Alpha M. (Boe) Brodshaug, begins with "A Brief History of the Boe (Bø) Family," written by Melvin Brodshaug.  He wrote the following about my great-great-grandmother Aaste Halvorsdatter Otterholt: "Grandmother, Aasta, was a woman of great presence.Where-ever she was, she definitely took charge." That description does not fit me at all. I am not the leader type, and am more likely to remain in the background unnoticed. So I have chosen to write about Aaste for 52 Ancestors Week 13: "Different." 

Aaste Boe. Photo from Boe (Bø) and Halvorson-Otterholt; Shared Roots in Telemark. Compiled by Melvin and Alpha M. (Boe) Brodshaug, 1984. Published by Arlene (Boe) Christensen and Marjorie (Boe) Bergee. Printed by Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, Iowa.

Aaste was born on 3 February 1854 in Bø, Telemark, Norway. She was the daughter of Halvor Eriksen Otterholt and Guro Hansdatter Askilt. 

Aaste Halvorsdatter birth/baptism record. Telemark county, Bø, Parish register (official) nr. 8 (1849-1861), Birth and baptism records 1854, page 60.

Aaste and her family lived on the Otterholdt (or Otterholt) farm in Bø. She was enumerated there with her family in the 1865 Norway Census. On 20 April 1867, she and her family departed from Skien, Telemark, Norway on the Rjukan, and they arrived in Quebec, Canada on 30 May 1867.

Passenger list, Rjukan, 1867. Passenger Lists, 1865–1935. Microfilm Publications T-479 to T-520, T-4689 to T-4874, T-14700 to T-14939, C-4511 to C-4542. Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG 76-C. Department of Employment and Immigration fonds. Library and Archives Canada Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Available from Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.

The family settled in Canisteo, Dodge County, Minnesota. On 17 December 1873, in nearby Rock Dell, Olmstead County, Minnesota, Aaste married her second cousin Jorgen Jorgensen Boe.
Marriage record, Gorgen (Jorgen) Bue and Aaste Halvorson. State of Minnesota, County of Olmstead, 17 December 1873.

Jorgen and Aaste's daughter Kari was born in Rock Dell on 5 April 1874. By 1875, they had moved to Swenoda, Swift County, Minnesota. Their son John, my great-grandfather, was born 15 March 1876. They were living in nearby Chippewa County by 5 February 1878, when their son Hans Adolph was born. They were in Big Bend, Chippewa County in 1880. Jorgen applied for a land patent in 1880 under the Homestead Act of 1862, for 40 acres of land in Swift County, Minnesota, but his application was commuted when he paid cash for the land in 1882. Their son Theodore Jorgen was born on 16 July 1883. In 1885, the family lived in nearby Lac qui Parle, Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota. Jorgen and Aaste's last child, Hannah Gurina Boe, was born on 23 May 1886. In 1895 the family was living in West Bank, Swift County, on the land that Jorgen had purchased.

Aaste's husband Jorgen died on 17 December 1900, the couple's 27th wedding anniversary. He was buried at Big Bend Lutheran Church Cemetery. In "A Brief History of the Boe (Bø) Family" in Boe (Bø) and Halvorson-Otterholt; Shared Roots in Telemark, Melvin Brodshaug wrote about the pine tree that Aaste planted by Jorgen's grave. The Big Bend Lutheran Church Council passed a by-law which forbade the planting of trees in the churchyard, but Aaste's pine tree was allowed to remain in the churchyard.

On 6 August 1906, Aaste declared her intention to become a citizen of the United States. Her husband Jorgen had declared his intention in 1874 and had become a citizen of the United States by 1881. Aaste became a citizen when her husband did, so she did not need to declare her intention. Perhaps she was not sure of her status.

Aaste H. Boe declaration of intention, 6 August 1906. Swift County District Court, State of Minnesota. It is clear from the use of "he" and "his" on the certificate that women did not often declare their intentions.

By 1910, Aaste was living with her daughter Hannah, Hannah's husband Henry Einerson, and their children. She resided with them until her death on 17 February 1922.

Certificate of death, Aasta Boe. 17 February 1922. State of Minnesota, Division of Vital Statistics.

Aaste was buried in Big Bend Lutheran Church Cemetery on 21 February 1922. At her funeral service, Reverend Theo. Bergee preached in Norwegian and Reverend E. I. Strom preached in English.

Milan Standard, 24 February 1922

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