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Photo by Daniel Klemesrud         A Story about the Church

Hedal Church
Oppland County

"An Unusual Ancestor - A Love Story"
About Herman & Kari Bøen of the 1700s
(grandparents of the one who purchased
Nørdre Klemmetsrud in 1820)
"Skurveknatten" is a poem related to the story

As a rule, if you or your family use "Klemesrud" (no t), you are a descendant of Knud (1834). If you use "Klemetsrud", you are a descendant of Herman (1838). Confirm your connection using the documents below. In Norway, "Klemmetsrud"s (mm) are distantly related (pre-Klemmetsrud farm), and "Klemetsrud"s (m) are not related.

Descendants of Marit (1825) by Diane Stephens

Descendants of Syver (1829)
Descendants of Knud (1834)
Descendants of Herman (1838) by Kris Johnson
Guri 1842-1845

Knud/Herman Letters - Martin's Letter to Knud
1903 Letter from Knud - 1929 Letter from Martin


Knud's Valdres Samband membership form
Knud Klemesrud by Stanley Klemesrud
Ancesters of Guri (1771) to 1346
Family History by Eric Jennings (Iowa State University)
History of Meroa Mitchell County, Iowa
Budstikken - May 2013 (article about Knud)
Printable version of "Home"& "Before Klemmetsrud" webpages

VIDEO: Hedalen & Klemmetsrud Farm
15mb version, 640x480 (1:02)
8mb version, 320x240 (1:02)

Recorded by Daniel Klemesrud in 1996, Edited by John Eric Klemesrud
Music: Valdres Bridal March (Traditional) recorded by Fiddlespel

Not far from this Hedal stave church in Valdres, Norway is the north Klemmetsrud farm which Herman Syversen Bøen purchased in 1820. As was tradition, the family adopted the name. Someone named Klemmet probably started the farm some time between the Viking Age and the Black Death (1066-1349). Rud is a very old Norse word for a land clearing. Others have adopted versions of the Klemmetsrud name, but they are not necessarily related to Herman Syversen Klemmetsrud (1790-1877) and his wife, Kari Knudsdatter (1797-1891).

Herman & Kari had four surviving children. Marit (1825), Syver (1829), Knud (1834), Herman (1838), and their parents all left for America between 1857 and 1882. Their grandparents lived at the farm too, but they died before this time. The farm was sold in 1882 and no one in this Nørdre Klemmetsrud lineage remained in Norway. Klemmetsruds from the middle and south parts of the farm arrived at this location separately, and coincidently, are distantly related through a connection traced back to the 1600s. There are also places near Oslo with the Klemetsrud name but they were probably named after a different Klemmet.

Daughter Marit migrated with her family in 1857. A record shows them in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin in 1860. Sons Herman and Knud migrated to Black Earth, Wisconsin in 1866. They arrived with their families in the spring and summer respectively. When parents Herman & Kari came two years later they went with their son Herman to Hickory Grove, Wisconsin, where son Herman bought land, built a home, helped construct the church, taught religion in school, worked as church precentor and choirmaster, and served on the town board. In 1880, three years after the elder Herman had passed away, they moved to the Ada and Twin Valley area in MN. A majority of the descendants, however, ended up in the Rock Creek settlement near Osage Iowa called Meroa. Knud made the move there in 1868. His brother Syver arrived in 1882. The History of Meroa was documented by Gertrude Norby-Crowell in 1977. The Knud Klemesrud page and the Photo Gallery have information as well.

Through this website I hope to share all the interesting stories about the ancesters and descendants of those who lived at Nørdre Klemmetsrud. The Before Klemmetsrud page is rich in history. "An Unusual Ancestor - A Love Story" is of special note. We are fortunate to have this kind of detail from so long ago.

John Eric Klemesrud
great-great-grandson of Knud

Early History from the Bygdebok: On Klemmetsrud the abandoned times after the Black Death lasted until the 1670s. Arne Bjørnsen Dølve (an ancestor of ours called "the chief (king) of Dølven") commissioned the re-clearing of many of the abandoned farms in Sør Aurdal, including Klemmetsrud. His grandson, also named Arne Bjørnsen, lived at Klemmetsrud for a time until about 1690.

Klemmetsrud belonged to the Crown until after 1690. In 1699, Klemmetsrud, Goplerud, and Ospholt were sold (descendants of Liv Klemesrud have a Goplerud connection). Klemmetsrud was sold again in 1702 to the users there. The farm was divided into two parts around this time, north and south. It wasn't until 1819 (the year before our family purchased the north part), that the southern part was divided into the middle and south parts.

Our Dølven Connection:
The Mother of Herman Syversen Klemmetsrud (1790-1877) was Guri Olsdotter Ølmhus (1771). Guri's family lived on the Ølmhus farm for several generations that lead back to the 1500s and her great x4 grandfather, Arne Bjørnsen Dølve. See the Ancestors of Guri document for more details.

Nordre Klemmetsrud in 1982. Photo by Sanford K. Fosholt.

The "n" above "Klemmetsrud" on the map shows the location of the nordre (north) farm house.

Click here for a modern interactive map that also shows the location. Copy and paste
"Nordre Klemmetsrud, Sør-Aurdal" into the search
. Try zooming in with the satellite view (Flyfoto).

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John Eric Klemesrud

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