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My Heritage

Updated: Mar 13

Updated Oct 22, 2023

Since I will be talking about other cultures on this website, I thought I should share a little about my own. I had been researching my paternal family tree since 2012 and started this blog in 2019 to share my findings with my family. So when I decided to share my heritage with the world, I had a good story about my paternal Norwegian roots in Granvin. I since took a few DNA tests which led to a lot of intense genealogical and geographical research, as you will see, which helped me expand my family tree, but more importantly, it broke me out of my "sheltered" view of history. Before my DNA test results came in, I thought that my paternal grandfather was Norwegian, my paternal grandmother was Irish and Scottish, my maternal great-grandfather was either Lithuanian or Sachsen and that my maternal grandmother was English, Irish, Scottish and feisty! My first DNA test was from CRI Genetics.

CRI Genetics has two analysis reports, one that covers the last five generations and an advanced report which goes back much further. Here's what the advanced ancestry breakdown told me:

They also have an extensive repository of DNA data so matches can be made that share my chromosomes to a set % of accuracy.

The oldest ancestor that I was matched with was from approx. 870 - 930ce, 44 generations back from somewhere in N.W. Europe. This was shared with me at an accuracy level of 99%. Wow, I had some work cut out for me if I was going to find this connection! I ordered another DNA test from MyHeritage, thinking it would help, but it could only tell me my ancestry five generations back and didn't seem to be customer orientated. Their test results described me at 100% European (61% Scandinavian; 13.3% Irish, Scottish, and Welsh: 13.2% East European; 8.8% Balkan; and 2.9% English), generally the same but the research put behind the CRI test seems much more intelligent and comprehensive. The amount of information they provided was impressive and built on my previous research.

First, a quick biology refresher. Males have a Y and an X chromosome, while females have XX chromosomes. Simplified, females only have mtDNA (tracing back through the mother's line -XX-all the way back to the original mother of that line) - Mitochondrial Eve (MtEve).

My haplogroup or mtDNA according to CRI Genetics is H1 and my father's mtDNA is H1c. So both of my grandmothers have the same origins (are apart of the same haplogroup) with my maternal maternal line stopping in Spain/the Iberian Peninsula (the feisty one!) while my paternal maternal line moved on into Eastern Europe. (zoom in on map below to follow from Kenya to Ukraine) keep in mind that Eastern Europe is comprised of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

My father's Y-Haplogroup's extensive travels start with the Y-Adam for his line in Cameroon then onto (A)-Central Africa, (A1)-Central/Northwest Africa, (Ab)-Northwest Africa, (BT)-Malawi, (CT)-Sudan/Ethiopia, (CF)-Southwest Asia/Iraq, (F)-India, (K)-Southwest Asia/Pakistan, (K2)-Southeast Asia, (NO)-Southern China, (P&P1)-East China, (R)-Kazakhstan, (R1)-Iran.

After absorbing everything that I learned about myself, thus far, I stumbled on MyTrueAncestry and the above results started to make more sense. This company reported by ancient civilizations, not regions.

Shows my maternal ancient cultures as:

Vikings (Danish, Norwegian & Islandic),Ostrogoths, Longobards, Celtic & Anglo-Saxon.

The Ostogoths from my maternal side and the Longobards from my paternal side are the main differences between my closest heritages. Both are first Danish with my maternal holding Celt heritage while my paternal holds Anglo-Saxon.

My maternal maternal 3rd and 4th great grandmothers immigrated to Ontario, Canada from Wexford, Ireland two generations before my paternal maternal 2nd great grandparents immigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada from Tyrone, Northern Ireland. My maternal paternal great grandfather immigrated to Saskatchewan from Saxony, Germany and my paternal paternal 2nd great grandparents immigrated to Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail, Minnesota, USA from Gravin, Hordaland, Norway. More on this later.

My paternal - paternal (Y-DNA - tracing back through my father's line XY) is from haplogroup R1. The story at the end of this blog is of his/my descendants from Granvin, Hordaland, Norway.

After six months of determined research, I started to connect to several royal houses through my father's maternal line (mtDNA). It was through my own MtDNA though that I had found out that I had an ancestor from 900ce, so I kept looking. This is when I figured out that both of my MtDNA lines traced back directly to Rollo, the large Viking turned Duke of Normandy. I also found out that he was a very large man who had to walk rather than ride a horse. Maybe there are some elements of truth that he descended from giants.

Leaving the European history search behind, I started to concentrate on the Middle and Near East and the Israeli diaspora to Media and Persia in 727bce from Samaria The evidence seems to uphold the theory that the Persians were originally pastoral people who roamed the steppes with their livestock. They were ethnically related to the Bactrians, the

Medes and Parthians. They divided into several different tribes, the most powerful of which was the Pasargadae, of whom the Achaemenid clan was part of.

Cyrus II, "the Great is recorded as defeating his great uncle (his grandmother's brother) Croesus, King of Lydia, who I believe was from a line of exiled Israelites of the successful -722bce Assyrian conquest. Cyrus is mentioned many times in the holy texts, and it was more than likely the prophet Daniel, who was the one who showed him the 150-year-old scroll containing his name along with El Elyon's (Daniel's God), creator of heaven and earth, the most high God.

King Cyrus of Persia played a significant role restoring the Land of Israel after he conquered the Neo-Babylonian Empire and put an end to the Judean, Benjamite and Levitical captivity. However, most chose to stay in Babylon even after the 539bce Edict of Cyrus was issued- the order to build a house for El Elyon (not rebuild, we have to read precisely). "All of the kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by the Lord God of Heaven, and he specifically charged me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah." It was clear that the Persian king Cyrus had some sort of connection with the God of Israel that needs to be understood.

Using Geni (The worlds largest family tree) was very helpful to map out who was who and from what regions they were from at the time

Gyges, first king of Lydia was born in Lydia/Turkey in -701bce, which is only 21 years after the Israelites arrived in the Medea area. Cyrus IIs grandmother was of Medea. Further research is needed here.

This area is also known as Asia Minor, Anatolia and modern-day Turkey. Revelation 2-3 speaks to the famous seven assemblies of this area along with the exiled location of the author on Patmos.

Those familiar with the scriptures know that in 2 Kings 17:6-23, Shalmaneser took the Northern Kingdom of Israel before dying in -722bce. It's recorded that their God allowed this due to Israel's consistent rebelliousness against Him. King Shalmaneser's son, Sargon II, led the Israelites into exile to the towns around Medea in -720bce. Sargon II became a part of the family through Artaxerxes's mother Amestris while Cyrus II came in through Artaxerxes's father, Xerxes.

Also found in the scriptures and around this area is Galacia, one of Saul/Paul of Tarsus's (Benjaminite) favourite places to visit. What I found out about the Galatians seem to fit the ancient Celtic models of their culture and has connections to ancient Gaul, who were of the La Tène culture during the 5th to 1st centuries bce.

and in Spain...

Further info on my MtDNA (maternal)

(see screenshots below for additional research notes).

CRI Genetics ancient overview of my MtDNA

Looks like there is more research to be done within my admixture results from CRI but due to some very exciting recent findings I know I'm on the right path.

The most comprehensive DNA analysis that I found was by Nebula for my father's results. The data file was so large that I had a hard time uploading it to other sites after but it also came with a comprehensive health analysis. This set of results were the first to identify my paternal roots in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

My True Ancestry helps with is comparing modern populations to ancient ones

0-5% = the same people group, 5-10% = could fit into.

South American populations:

The Anzick peoples - Amerindian @ 1.336%, Mayan @ 1.336%, Incan @ 3.049, Aztec @ 3.597% and, and Pima @ 2.909% - The naturally mummified remains of a young teenage girl, who was sacrificed along with two other children, was found in 1999. -Warning: surreal picture - she's the same age as many of our daughters. To understand why anyone would want to see her on display (murdered preteen, to appease mother earth) is beyond my comprehension. Human sacrifice was quite common among ancient cultures but what's unique here is a potential people group link. Same practices, different locations. Out of curiosity, I did a few searches in Geni to see what Aztec royalty ended up in Portugal. More research is obviously needed since human ritual sacrifice was common among the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations as well as the ancient Canaanite Israelites and Judeans. The ritual was believed to nourish the gods and prevent the end of the world. The practice was initiated by the Olmec civilization and continued by the Maya, the Toltecs, and the Aztecs

African - Ethiopian roots are tied to Tigray and Amhara @ 2.964 & Ancient Banto @ 4.733 - I found a good National Geographic article covering the Berbers in my haplogroup.

Check out the % of H1 (mtDNA, not Y) among the Tuareg of the Fezzan region in Libya.

Middle Eastern right now playing around with the following: Algerian Israeli-Jewish roots (Italian Israeli-Jewish @ 3.93%), Abhkasian (Georgian @ 4.747%) Afgan (Tadjik - Uzbeki @2.635) and Armenian (Georgian Jewish @ 4.834%) & Iranian Israeli-Jewish (Kurdish Israeli-Jewish @ 3.671%) & Samaritan (Samaritan @3.790%) (Samaritan-Levi Tribe @4.681%) (Samarite-Menashe Tribe @2.36%) (Lebanese Christian) & Jordanian @ 4.535%

European roots: Lithuanian (Baltic and Klevan Rus @ 2.855) (Baltic + Scythian @ 3.96%) mixed with (Vikings @4.821%) & Danish (Celt @ 3.027% and various Viking variations with Danes, Anglo Saxon, Dutch and Icelandic @ 2.480%-3.134%) & East German (Scythian & Ostrogoth @2.98%) (Viking Franks, Viking Ostrogoth's @ 3.702%) & finally, East Sicilian (Central Greek @2.993%) (South Italian @ 4.290%) (Hellenic Rome & Roman & 3.972%) and ancient West Sicilian @ 0.0%). West Sicilian and Algerian Jewish seem to have some connection.

Indian roots: Punjabi (Ancient Brahmin @ 3.654%) (Ghaznavid @ 3.654%) (Karkota + Ghaznavid@4.79%) & The warrior clan of Kshatriya (Gujarati @3.011%) (Ancient Karkota & Brahmin @2.59%)

This is a work in progress but when you group information together, it's easier to form unconventional connections. It's also interesting to find pictures and art from each culture and find similarities.

Then I gathered the information I got from CRI to form a timeline in regional groups.

Several months into my research, I heard of a little Merovingian noble boy that was found at an archeology site that dated to about 605ce. The Merovingian dynasty was a ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751ce so using MyTrue, I found a Merovingian DNA match and combined this information to find my 31st great-grandfather (paternal - paternal), Lothair II, king of Lotharingia of the Carolingian Empire - Charlemagne's great-grandson (king of Neustria in 584 and king of all Franks 613-629).

After doing this research, I acknowledge that Eastern Europe formed a people group that still holds a lot of conspiracy theory attention and what I found didn't prove any of the far-fetched theories (because they were real head shakers), but I did follow the research back to ancient Israelite origins - what tribe is still debatable but points to the line of David of the tribe of Judah and/or the tribe of Benjamin. The most famous Benjaminite's that I know about were the Apostle Paul - writer of the first-century Scriptures/thirteen letters (what we call books of the Bible now) and Queen Esther. Paul was an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:4-8, and Romans 11:1) but was assimilated into the greater of the two tribes the Judeans/Jews and grew up in the Judean ways and customs.

I learned so much about the HREs and the Spanish Inquisition. The puzzle pieces are starting to fit together.

Another direct descendant of Charlemagne's who was freely given the "right to rule" was a knight named Godefroy IV de Bouillon, (my 28th great uncle). Here's some of my past research from a different project that I started three years ago for fun. I had no clue about the connections at the time.

Timeline recap since it's handy!

This type of free access to the throne would only point to some type of "right" to it. We all are mature enough to know that spiritual authority follows a chain of command, on both sides. More research needs to be done.

Clovis of the Merovingians was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by pope Clemens III, invoking translatio imerii (transfer of power) and restoring the Western Roman Empire. The pope accepted this people group as being from the line of David while different authors say it's the line of Lucifer or the seed of Satan. Some say it's the purposefully tainted seed of both so therefore the line of the antichrist which is mentioned a few times in modern Biblical translations referencing a kind of person, not a person. For the record, I am -0% in opposition to Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. I have a very faithful relationship with him and want only what he wants. So this disproves a few things. Ps 23.

Now I'm understanding why Upper Italy (Lombards) always seemed to remain strong while the surrounding countries did not. They were probably related! Many ancient artifacts related to the early celts were found in the Leponti/Milan upper region of Italy. Also quite interesting is my 37th great-grandfather, Charles Martel, Mayor of the Palace (676-741 CE), ability to defeat the impending takeover of the mighty Muslim army from the Iberian Peninsula. It's like they anticipated their actions and had a counteraction already planned. These Mayor's of the Palace were formed out of the Merovingians and birthed the Carolingian Dynasty, with Pepin of Herstal (635-714) being the first and Charles Martel shortly after. He knew how to fight the ar-Rahman of the Al-Andalus (Battle of Tours 732) and was used by the Catholic popes. More on this important relationship at a later time.

Snapshots of some of my research:

Sharing these results with my son, he introduced me to the term 'weird flex,' and I'm sure this blog falls into that category somewhat, but I'm not sharing this info to boast; I'm sharing because I have a unique capability to map out historical connections now, connections that others may not be able to make without spending hours upon hours on targeted research with many dead ends. So please know that I'm not meaning to 'weird flex' these findings! I truly believe in fate because I already have a lot of relevant research behind me in this area. I look forward to having some time to write about some historical people, their choices and the events that followed, sometime in the future. But more importantly,

I intend to use this gift for reconciliation wherever possible. Some of my ancestors:

Direct Ancestors as per (Worlds largest family tree)

Paternal - Maternal (my father's mother's line)

Rollo - 29th great grandfather (gf)

Henry II (1133-1189) & Eleanor d'Aquitaine (1122-1204), king and queen of England 24th great grandparents (gg)

Robert de Roos - Magna Charta Surety (1172-1226) - 24th gf

Robert FitzWalter of Woodham, Baron of Little Dunmow, Surety of the Magna Carta - 23 gf

Edward, the Black Prince, Knight (1330-1376) - 20th gu

Sancha Sánchez de Navarra (900-952), queen consorte de León - 32nd great grandmother (gm)

Simon L'Ainé de Montfort (1025-1087) - 26th gf

Garsende de Sabran (1181-1257), comtesse de Forcalquier - 24th gm

Charlemagne (747-814) - 34th gf

Ramon Berenguer III (1082-1131) count of Barcelona - 26th gf

William "the Conqueror" (1024-1087) &

Matilda of Flanders (1031-1083), king and queen of England - 26th great grandparents (gg)

Alfonso VI (1040-1109) & Constance de Bourgogne (1046-1093), king and queen of Leon and Castile - 27th gg & Alfonso's 7th wife, Dª. Zaida (Isabel) (1071-1107)

Count of Galicia & Urraca I (1080-1126), queen of Castilla y León - 26th gg

Brian Boru , high king of Ireland - 30th gf

John de Brienne, king of Jerusalem & Emperor (1/2) of Constantinople (1170-1237) - 24 gf

Godefroy IV de Bouillon - Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre (1060-1100) - 28th great uncle (gu)

Charles Martel (676-741) - 37th gf

Judith of Brittany (982-1017) - 28th gm

Kenneth I Mac Alpine, king of the Picts (810-859) - 36th gf

Alfred the Great, king of The Anglo-Saxons - 32nd gf

Edward the Confessor, king of the English - 30th gu

John Hyrcanus I Hasmonean, Ethnarch & High Priest - 75th gf

Paternal - Paternal

Rurik (830-879) - 30th gf

Malahulc (855-920) - 30th gf

King of Norway Håkon V Magnusson (1270-1319) - 20th gf

Oneca ن فورتون -t755 - 36th gm

Prince of Kiev Volodymyr Svyatoslavich Рюрикович (958-1015) - 27th gf

Adela of France, countess of Flanders (1009-1079) - 28th gf

Artaxerxes I, King of Persia (-500 to -424bce) - 82nd gf

Elizabeth of Jerusalem, Queen Alexandra II (-63 to -28) - 72nd great grandmother

Alyattes, king of Lydia (-631 to -562bce) - 88th gf

John Hyrcanus I Hasmonean, Ethnarch & High Priest - son of Simon Maccabaeus (-164 to -104) of Judea - 75th gf

Yohannan HaCohen, High Priest of Israel (-257 to -197bce)- 78th gf

Joarib HaCohen יהויריב הכהן -222 (Tribe of Levi) - 83rd gf

Gor Thorrasson, Sea King (365-418) of Finland - 33rd gu

Motun (Batur Tengriqut, Mete, Mode) (-234 to -174) - 69th gf

Maternal - Maternal

Rollo - 36th gf

William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1225-1296) - 24th gf

Henry 5th Earl of Hereford de Bohn, Surety of the Magna Carta (1175-1220) - 28th gf

Oneca ن فورتون -t40th gm

Godefroy IV de Bouillon - Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre (1060-1100)- 31st gu

Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017-1056) - 39th gu

Liudolf I "the Great", Duke of Saxony (Sachsen) (782-866) - 35th great grandfather

Gilbert FitzGilbert "Strongbow" de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke(1100-1148) - 28th great grandfather

Notable Distant Blood Relatives

Paternal - Paternal

Leif Erikson (968-1020) third cousin 26 times removed

Queen Elizabeth II - 15th cousin

Queen Victoria & Empress of India - 19th cousin four times removed

Louis David Riel - 20th cousin twice removed

Catherine Parr (1512-1548) 7th cousin 12 times removed

Paternal - Maternal

Sir Ralph de Sudeley - 2nd cousin 25 times removed

Sir Walter Raleigh - fifth cousin 13 times removed

Marie de'Medici (1575-1642) 6th cousin 12 times removed (wife of King Henry IV of France)

Bianca Maria Visconti - 8th cousin 15 times removed

James VI King of Scots, James I King of England & Ireland - 10th cousin 10 times removed (King James Bible)

Sir Francis Bacon, 1st and last Viscount St Alban's (1561-1626) - 12th cousin 8 times removed

Leif Erickson (968-1020) - fourth cousin 33 times removed

Henri de Saint-Clair (1070-1096) - third cousin 25 times removed

Jeanne ler Goyon du Matignon - third cousin

Henry Sinclair, 1st Earl of Orkney (1345-1400) - 6th cousin 18 times removed


Anne Boleyn (1501-1536) - third cousin 17 times removed

Notable In-Law Relatives


Sir Hugues de Payens (1070-1136) of Champagne-Ardenne, France - In-law relation through the Sinclairs

To Canada, previously known as Kanata

Researching my maternal grandfather's line has been challenging to say the least. Many records were destroyed in Germany, and all I could find were in German. I had a friend help translate some of them. All I know about his heritage is what he told me. His father was born in Lithuania in 1900, right before the 1905 Revolution. Their family along with their close friends and neighbours, the Kruschat's, left their farms in Lithuania and travelled to Sachsen (Saxony), Seutschland/Deutschland right before Duke Williams became King Mindaugus II of Lithuania. 21 days before Mindaugus IIs death, at the age of 27, my maternal great-grandfather left Bremen (March 3, 1928) for a ten-day voyage on the S.S. York to Halifax and then onto the land of the Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, and Ochethi Sakowin/Sioux peoples, to a well established German community in a little town named Killaly, Saskatchewan.

On April 30, 1929, my then 22-year-old great grandmother, along with her 1-1/2-year-old son, left Bremen on the S.S. York on the ten-day voyage to Halifax. After arriving, she boarded a train for another four days to get to Saskatchewan. Shortly after settling in Killaly, Saskatchewan, my grandfather was born. Within the year of his birth, the Nazis received 6,371,000 votes and grew from 12-107 seats in the German Reichstag, the second-largest political party in Germany. One could speculate that they had inside knowledge from Saxony of what was about to happen or it was fate. The timing of their departure was too perfect. Life was not easy around this time for new settlers. The oldest four kids survived.

I read a cool fact about Pier 21 (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a major new world immigration port. It was an ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928-1971..over one million immigrants landed in Canada through this Pier and is the last surviving seaport immigration facility in Canada. My great grandfather would have been one of the first year's immigrants in 1928 to arrive at that port. I wonder how that must have felt. I also find myself wondering what was on his mind when he set sail and when he arrived. This is unfortunately all that I am left with for my maternal grandfather's side.

My maternal great-grandmother was not too far away from Killaly. This side of my family had first immigrated and settled on the territory of the Odawa speaking Anishinabewaki peoples. The settlers re-named the area Manvers, Durham, Ontario. My 4th great grandparents, Richard Staples and Jane Eyres brought Jane's mother to Canada before 1857 and traveled with some of their adult children. Jane's mother, Sarah Bryan, originated in Todenham, Gloucestershire England, was sent to Kells, Kilkenny, Ireland without her parents (probably to marry) and had a large amount of land in Kells but found herself in Gorey, Wexford, Ireland with a family. She then traveled all the way to Ontario, Canada after her husband, Robert Eyres died. She found her final resting place in Millbrook, Peterborough in 1857. The family moved onto Rocanville, Saskatchewan soon after her death. What a remarkable woman.

The Colliness/Little side met and had their family roots in Kincaid, Sk before moving to Regina where my parents met.

The Norwegian Story Behind Haplogroup R1

(work in progress)

Dated to 4,000 BC, the earliest agricultural settlements appeared in Norway around the Oslofjord. Gradually, between 1500 BC and 500 BC, these agricultural settlements spread into the southern areas of Norway. The Viking Age (793-1066 AD) helped to unify the country, and by 1349 the population expanded quickly (Oslo: 3,000; Bergen: 7,000; Trondheim: 4,000) but was halved by the Black Death or bubonic plague (1347 - 1352) and other plagues.

"Norway entered the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden in 1397" and when "Sweden left the union in 1523, Norway became the junior partner in Denmark-Norway. The reformation was introduced in 1537 and absolute monarchy imposed in 1661" (Wikipedia). This is where my Kollanes story begins, courtesy of and Google Maps.

Seim -- to --Kvalvik -- to -- Kinsarvik -- to -- Granvin (all in the County of Hordaland) Norway via Google Maps

Story in procress....

Counties of Norway until 2017

Apologies for not having a source here. I obviously found myself in a library (picture of a book page) and got sidetracked.

Brynjulv Larsson Kollanes (Lars Son) was born in 1609 in Granvin, Hordaland when his father Lars Brynjulvson Kvalik, was 29 and his mother was 24. He was the first to be born on the Kollanes land. He married Raveig Ranvei Jonsdatter Kvalik (Jon's Daughter) and had 5 sons (Sylfest, Lars, Trond, Salomon, & Torleive) and 3 daughters (Ranveig, Brita, & Marita). Raveig was also from Kvalik so I wonder how many people traveled together to their new home in Granvin. Brynjulv and his family were the first to take on the land's name for their last name, a very common practice in old Norway. Raveig Ranvei passed away in 1668, the same year Torleiv was born and some of his other children died around the age of 30, Brynjulv lived to an impressive age of 100, give or take a year or even ten perhaps.

Screenshot from Google Maps in 2013 when I started this research project. I cannot find this presently on the same site using Kollanes as a search term. Perhaps when a change to the individual Counties occurred in 2017, some data was deleted. You can however visit the site if you enter 'Granvin, 5736, Norway'. The location is significantly different and does show well-farmed land in the screenshot I just took today.

Screenshot below on November 13, 2019, from Google Maps and from Google Earth.

Here is a picture that I was directed to while trying to chat with a Facebook group from Granvin. I was trying to ask if any of the pictures in their collection were of the Kollanes land. Was a hard conversation using Google Translate!

If this bridge is to the Kollanes farmland then the first marker is more accurate from 2013. See the bridge below:

Kinsarvik Church , rebuilt as below in 1160

I could not find the group I was trying to converse with on Facebook today so I did some research myself and came up with these hits:

Norwegian Country Road 7 - "The road runs from Trengereid in the municipality of Bergen to Kollanes in the municipality of Granvin. The route branches off from European route E16 and passes through the Trengereid Valley to Samnanger before crossing mountainous territory east to Norheimsund. It then continues along the north side of the Hardanger Fjord through Oystese and Alvik and the north side of the Granvin Fjord before meeting Norwegian National Road 13 in the municipality of Granvin..." (Wikipedia). A big thank you to Sigmund Rønneberg, a newfound cousin from Sandnes for sending me exact instruction on how to find the Kollanes land. Cant wait to see you and the land in person.

Back to Brynjulv Larsson Kollanes' story.... Brynjulv Larsson Kollanes was super-human dying at 100 years old in Gravin in 1709. The son that would carry on our bloodline was Lars Brynjulvson Kollanes.

Lars Brynjulvson Kollanes was born in 1652 in Granvin Hordaland, Norway when his father Brynjulv was 43 and his mother Raveig was 26. He married Ingebjorg Knutsdatter (from Granvin) and Olav Kristianson Kollanes was born. Middle name may be wrong or I got something wrong.

Olav Kollanes was born in 1698 when his father Lars was 46 and his mother Ingebjorg was 26. His mother passed away at the age of 36 in 1708 and his father Lars in 1745 at the age of 93. Olav married Alis Ericsdatter Medas and they had a son named Kristian Olavson Kollanes in 1735. Olav died in 1748 at the age of 50.

From what I have researched and seen, the Kollanes' kept their bloodline tight. The farthest ancestor I have been able to trace was from Seim then from Seim to Kvalik and Kinsarvik, finally settling on the Kollanes land from which my family's name was taken. Several generations, farmed on the Kollanes land and all wives were from the same community. So I need not mention Granvin for births, deaths or marriage locations for a bit because from 1609-1859 (250 yrs) everything happened within Granvin minus one strange surname switch in 1830 but I'll cover this later on. 1609 was the birth of the first son born on the Kollanes land. 1859 was the year this side of my family immigrated to the USA.

When Kristian Olavson Kollanes was born in 1735, his father Olav was 37 and his mother, Alis was 24. Kristian married Ingeri Havardsdatter. O. Folkedal in 1765 when he was 30. They had 10 children in 20 years. One of these sons was named Olav Kristianson Kollanes. Kristian Olavson passed away in 1802 at the age of 67 and his wife, Ingeri Havardsdatter, in 1824 at the age of 82.

When Olav Kristianson Kollanes was born in 1779, his father Kristian was 44 and his mother Ingeri was 37. Olav married Ingebjorg Mikkelsdatter Skaftedal in 1805 when he was 26 years old. Olav and Ingebjorg either had troubles having children or the ones that they had, died in early childhood. I found a death record of a one year old son. The only remaining child of Olav and Ingebjorg Kollanes was Ingerid Olavsdatter (daughter) Kollanes. The strong lineage was at risk.

Here is where my last name could have been Arnesen's!

When Ingerid Olavsdatter Kollanes was born in 1812, her father Olav was 33 and her mother, Ingebjorg was 36. She married Lars Arneson on June 21, 1830. Lars Arneson was 13 years old when he took his wife's last name and became Lars Kollanes (Lars, Olav, Kristian, Olav, Lars). This says to me that their name was so important to them that they found someone outside of Granvin, with the name Lars that would be willing to take a woman's last name in 1830..(just a wild guess of course)..This is almost never heard of and I joined a few wiki tree forums to get answers. Lars and Ingerid Kollanes had 8 children in 21 years, all born in Granvin (Ingeborg, Kristian Larsdatter, Arne Larson, Lars, Olav Larson, Harvard Larson, Mikkel Larson and Kristoffer Larson). Lars and Ingerid's son Arne (named after Lar's father), passed away at 17 and his youngest son Kristoffer at 4.

This is as far as I have been able to get with Lars Arnesen's Family.

I do not know why he was chosen or if he just happened to be in Granvin to be a part of a different story but Lars Arnesen was born on September 26, 1817 in Oslo, Akershus, Norway to his father Arne who was 21 at the time and his mother Anne who was 19. Lars Arnesen's baptism was on September 27, 1817 at Hospital Menighet, Oslo, Akershus, Norway; location in the picture below. I mapped the distance to Granvin by bike because that is most similar to the pace they would have had if travelling by wagon. The first railway in Norway was the Hoved Line between Oslo and Edsvoll and only opened in 1854.

After 29 years together in Granvin, Norway, 1859 was the year my family immigrated to the USA. The section to look for below is Citizenship. Under this heading is "Year of Immigration to the United States" (#16), "Number of years in the United States" (#17), and "Naturalization" (#18). This document says that Lars immigrated in 1859 and his wife Martha in 1856 (their story will follow later on). Knowing this date puts Lars Arnesen at 42 and Ingerid Olavdatter at 47 the year they Immigrated.

1900 Twelfth Census of the United States

Family of Lars (son of Lars Arnesen & Ingerid) & Martha Kollanes

Also take note that Kollanes has now changed to Kolliness. I have read over 100 different documents with at least 8-10 different spellings of our last name. This happened to many immigrant families coming to the US and Canada.

Norwegian Emigration/Immigration History

The first emigrant ship left Norway in 1825, but the real wave of emigration started in 1836.

1836 to 1865. An estimated 200,000 emigrants left Norway during this period. The emigration movement took root all over the country. Groups of emigrants came from every county and most communities. Every spring, ships left from ports all over Norway. In this early period, the emigrants sailed to their various destinations, supplying themselves with food and commodities for a trip that could last as long as three months. Ninety-five percent of these went to the United States. No passenger lists exist for any of the Norwegian ports before 1867. Prior to this time, emigrant groups generally bought or chartered a ship and left from almost any of Norway's many ports" (Wikipedia). This would mean that our family was not hurting for money since they emigrated in 1859 (organized and paid for by their own means). Most Norwegian immigrants to the United States arrived at the ports of New York and Quebec.

As I have no access to the emigration/immigration records and could not locate records for some of their children, some facts are absent. Some of their children took the last name Arneson but I am unsure of when that happened either. Here is a snapshot of what I did/did not find.

As you can see, the children who I did find, minus Lars Kollanes (who kept Kollanes), Arne and Kristoffer (who died before the family left Norway) all took their fathers last name at some point in time. This is another example of how important it was for the family name to be passed on, there appeared to be one Kollanes male left. Lars Kollanes and Martha Larson must produce many sons! The family left Norway so no one was there to tell them they had to stay a Kollanes but Lars must have felt differently. He was given the name Lars for a reason I think. Their father's name was spelled Arnesen but I am pretty sure it was supposed to be Arneson (Arne's Son), thus the reason why Igeborg & Christien took Arneson and on Lar's burial record, his name is spelled Arneson.


Hesper, Winneshiek County Iowa

I am not 100% sure as to why Hesper was picked as the family's destination but with a little research, I found out that Pioneer Settlers came to this "Little Switzerland, or Norway-like" area. They came searching for homesteads and a better way of life for their families as a result of news printed in the "Decorah Posten" of Decorah, Iowa, and circulated in Norway. According to Wikipedia however, "Decorah-Posten was a notable Norwegian language newspaper published in Decorah, Iowa. It was founded in 1874 by Brynild Anundsen, a native of Skien, Norway, and widely read by Scandinavian immigrants in several states." Immigration for the Kollanes' was complete by 1859 however but it is quite plausible that this journey was somehow influenced by some early information passed along through some means. More information can be found at these websites:

I'm sure you can imagine how hard and long this journey would have been. After 3 months on a ship and arriving at (assumed) New York, the family set off to Hesper, Winneshiek County, Iowa.

Picture on the web of New Norwegian Immigrants Homestead

I wonder what our family built but I am sure it would have been similar given they did not have a Home Depot near by.

Stamp made in commemoration of all the Norwegian Immigrants to the US

I did find something online that I consider a treasure, I found a monument in Hesper with the names Lars Arneson Kollanes & Ingrid Arnesen Kollanes.

I was not able to find the exact dates or causes of their deaths. I am unsure if they died months apart or together. In 1862 they would have just arrived 3 years prior. Ingrid was only 50 and Lars 45 so it seems likely that they died of causes similar to each other or with each other. Here is where they are buried.

At the time of their deaths their children would have been between the ages 20-31. From Ingeborg's information, Ingeborg remained in Winneshiek County, married Olav Kjaerland and had a family there.

Information on the History of Winnesheik

(found at the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society in Regina)

Kristian moved on with Lars but stopped in Chippewa Falls to start his large family while my second great grandfather, Lars Kollanes traveled to Norwegian Grove for his new adventure. I am unsure if he went alone but there are no records of any relatives I am aware of.

Norwegian Grove Township, Otter Tail, Minnesota, USA

My 2nd great grandmother, Martha Bjornson Larson (born April 19, 1850 in Hausken, Rennesoy, Rogaland, Norway, immigrated to the US in 1856 with her family when she was 4. Her family (Larson) helped establish Norwegian Grove and are on the original land records. I have read many documents with her brother, Lars Larson on them as well.

Lars Kollanes was born on March 12, 1837, in Granvin, Norway to his father Lars (19) and his mother, Ingerid (25). He married Martha Bjornson Larson in 1869 (he was 32 and Martha was 18). They had 12 children (8 girls & 4 boys) in 27 years.

Letter found of relatives visiting Minnesota

In Order of Birth and where they were buried

Emilie Amelia (Norman Minnesota), Ingeborg Isabell (Clay County, Minnesota), Hilda (Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota), Carl (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota), Mina (Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota), Clara Gustav (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota), Louise (Kincaid, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan), Edwin (Kincaid, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan), Effie (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota), Joseph (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota), Eli (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota), and Thelma (Norwegian Grove, Otter Tail County, Minnesota).

Onto New Beginning in Saskatchewan

My great grandfather, Edwin was born on October 19, 1889 in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. His father Lars was 52 and his mother Martha was 39. His father passed away on July 24, 1901 at the age of 64 (above) and his mother passed away November 7, 1929 at the age of 79 (above). Edwin was 11 when his father died.

Edwin (24) married Sophie Gina Helseth (18) in Otter Tail, Minnesota, on February 17, 1914.

Sophie's Confirmation Document

Sophie's given name at birth was Gina Sofie Olesdatter Helseth

When Sophie Gina Helseth was born on July 16, 1895 her father Ole was 45 and her mother Elineor was 42. Her mother passed away on December 6, 1930 at the age of 77 and her father on July 21, 1933 at the age of 83. Both parents remained in Norwegian Grove.

Sophie and Edwin on their wedding day

Edwin left Norwegian Grove with his older sister Louise and her husband Lew in 1909/1910; this would have made Edwin 20/21. He must have had a relationship with Sophie before or while visiting home from the Kincaid district.

Edwin's Story

Found in a book at the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society in Regina, SK.

Also found at the Saskatchewan Genealogy Society

Edwin died on July 29, 1950 in Kincaid, SK at the age of 60 years old and was buried next to his son Leonard Orville who passed away in March 1943 when he was 28 years old. Sophie died in 1958 when she was 63 in Meyronne, SK. She was brought back to Kincaid to be buried next to her husband and son.

Edwin and Sophie had a son named Mervin who in Kincaid met and married my grandma, Vivian. Together with their small family, moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where my father met my mother. This concludes this branch of my family tree...for now.

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