View Full Version : Brita Lisa Mårtensdotter West, emigration to USA (North Bend, Oregon)

13-12-07, 17:32

Another aunt of my grandfather emigrated as well...

Her name was Brita Lisa Mårtensdotter West (born July 9, 1869 in Oravais) and she was married to Matts Kjellman (born February 24, 1868 in Vörå). They lived in North Bend, Oregon. I do know that Matts died August 15, 1932 and Brita Lisa (called "Bertha") September 25, 1955 (Oregon Death Index), and that they had 5 daughters:


Unfortunately, I don't know the years they were born. Does anyone know anything about them, for example if they got married (name of husband) and/or had children (names)?

Thanks in advance,


Karen Norwillo
13-12-07, 20:29
I found your family in the 1900-1905-1910-1920 and 1930 censuses.
In 1900 and 1905, they were in Knife Falls, Carlton, MN. Some of the names are misspelled, but it looks like them. The 1900 census, actual record won't display today for some reason, otherwise I could get the month and year of birth for the children at that time. I'll try again later. What I do see is, Matts, Lizzie, Annie and Selma. In 1905 MN State Census, Matts is 38, resident of area 6 yrs, 10 mos. They have Lizzie as Marita, 36, Annie is 10, born MI, Selma is 6, born MN, Hilma is 4 and Mary is 2.
1910 they're in N. Bend, Coos, OR
Matt 42, Lizzie B 40, Annie A 15, Selma E 11, Hilma 9, Mary 7, Hulda 4 and Mabel H 10/12. Last 2 born in OR.
1920 same place, Selma is 21, Hilma 19, Mary 17, Hulda 14 and Mabel 10
1930 Matt 62, Lizzie 61 and Mabel 20.
So if I figured correctly, Annie born abt 1895, Selma 1899, Hilma 1901, Mary 1903, Hulda 1906 and Mabel 1909.
I only found an Anna Kjellman on the OR Marriage Index, which only goes to 1920. Married 30 Aug 1913, Coos County. Doesn't give groom's name. but I'll go back and try just enering that date and see who pops up. Karen

Karen Norwillo
13-12-07, 22:10
I contacted Ancestry. They're working on the problem with the 1900 census. I did find one birth date on a MN Birth Index. A Kjellman was born 25 Dec 1902 in Calton County, MN . No first name given. MMN was West. Certif.# 1902-03007. It probably was Mary. In 1910 she was 7, but would have turned 8 in Dec. Looks like only Mabel was born in Oregon. Looks like Brita/Bertha used Lizzie in most of the census. Karen

14-12-07, 01:26

Thank you so much for all of this information. With the approximate years of birth, I guess it gives more hope to find living relatives. If the 1900 census works later, and you can find some exact dates, perhaps I could use this to do a search on the SSDI, based on the first names. With some luck (if there aren't too many people with the same name, born the same day), that could provide the last name after/if they got married.

Thank you again!


14-12-07, 02:00

I did a search in the SSDI for all "Mary" born December 25, 1902. I got 116 names. Only one had the SSN issued in Oregon though:

Birth: 12 Dec 1902
Death: 01 Feb 1989
Last residence: 97206 (Portland, Multnomah, OR)
SSN: 544-12-9736
Issued: Oregon

I know that it isn't by no means sure that this is the Mary I'm looking for - she could have moved to another state later, got married and had the SSN issued there. But it seems the most likely "candidate", right?


Karen Norwillo
14-12-07, 16:01
I checked the other marriages for 30 Aug 1913 and there were only two males listed. Hjalmar Anderson and Audleigh Fuller. I'd bet on the Anderson, but???
Oh, see a typo in my other message, should be Carlton county in MN.

Karen Norwillo
14-12-07, 17:21
Found a marriage for a Mabel H Kjellman, born abt 1909, to a Harold J Sopp, born abt 1900, on 27 July 1968 in San Diego City, CA. She was 59, he was 68 Looks like she married late in life. Karen

15-12-07, 01:56

Thank you very much for more interesting information. I'll take a look in the SSDI to see if anything fits with those names.


Karen Norwillo
15-12-07, 16:08
Harold Sopp 2 Aug 1899, died March 1980 in San Diego, CA. Mabel is not listed in the SSDI. It's possible she's alive, but she'd be 98. Ancestry still has a problem with the page I need. I've notified them twice. I searched the entire Knife Falls census, twice, all 78 pages, but can't find them, but I noticed they have the same image on pages 72-73-74. So maybe your family's image was missed in scanning.

15-12-07, 18:20
Hi Karen,

Thank you for all your efforts to find the members of my family. Yes, perhaps Mabel is still alive. My mother recalls that some of the Kjellman sisters + families visited them in Oravais when she was a child (it must have been in the late 1940's or early 1950's), but she doesn't remember any details about where they lived, when they were born etc. She does remember, however, that one her father's cousins was working as a police officer, which she thought was amazing - it wasn't a common occupation for women in those days. She isn't sure, but she thinks it might have been Mabel.

Best regards,


Thomas M. Harrigan
30-01-11, 05:50
I am the grandson of Huldah Irene Kjellman (Harrigan). Huldah was the last surviving sister and died in Sonoma, California (actually in San Carlos, California where she was in a 'hospice' at my cousin's house for the last two weeks of her life.) She married Robert James Harrigan Jr., in the 1920's, in San Francisco, they had 3 kids, Marie, Francis and Robert III. She lost her husband around Christmas 1952 when the tree caught on fire. She has been a widow since. She was the head nurse at St. Mary's Children's Hospital in San Francisco. She retired around 1970, moved to Sonoma, California, was an artist, loved to walk and lived on her own until her death. I can add more info for those that need it. Would love to see any census, pictures, etc that anyone has.

31-01-11, 02:35
Hi Thomas,

Nice to hear from you! I think we must be third cousins if I get it right. Thank you for the information you provided in the forum, it was very interesting to read. I haven't done research on this branch of the family tree for a while, but I think I should be able to share some with you as well if you are interested. I was in touch with Joanne Bianchi a couple of years ago - she is a cousin of yours, right?

You can write back to me directly at michaelrita[at]yahoo.se if you prefer. I also have a Facebook account.

Best regards,