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                                               Trydals Trek North

Osmund and Birgit (Olson) Trydal’s trek begins in their homeland of Norway.  The Setesdahl Valley region.  There is a city called Trydal located in this valley.  We don’t have the exact date that they sailed for the Americas.  I would assume from the picture of them and daughter Bergit, that Laura discovered, was taken in Norway, and since Aase was born in Yellow Medicine County, New York, in 1986, they were on their way to Minnesota, where an influx of Norwegian immigrants were going.

Since all the family were born as of the 1900 Census, one could assume that everyone still lived in Red Lake, Minnesota, where Great grandpa Osmund listed himself as a blacksmith.  But when great grandma Birgit passed away (in childbirth) in 1901 and then the youngest child, Sofia died, one could imagine that life held little promise for great grandpa Osmund and his family.  His oldest daughter Bergit (Betsey) 21 years old, had married Gunder Jorgen Salvhus, on February 27,1897, and Aase was 15 when their mother died.  I have no information regarding Ingeborg, who would be 13 or so.  Tena (my grandmother) was 11, with Ella 10 and Olina only 8.  Tordjay (Tom) a mischievous 7.

Sometime after 1901, Osmund Trydal trekked north to Canada bringing his family of four girls and one boy with him.  He would leave behind Bergit and her husband and family, and apparently Ingeborg, who may have stayed with Bergit to help with the household chores.  Do we know anything about this trek?? The only piece of information I gathered was that Aase worked in Winnipeg at the hospital there. The map shows Red Lake just south east of Winnipeg and the Number 1 highway from there goes west past Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  The Number 4 north-south Saskatchewan highway intersects the #1 and crosses the South Saskatchewan River at the Saskatchewan Landing.  I believe Osmund  would have applied his trade as blacksmith in the area around as there were farms and lots of ranching in the country.  His girls married, but Tom never did.  My grandma Tena (Tona on the 1900 Census) married a real life cowboy, Roy Dyer, who was known for his ability with horses.  They had two girls, Bessie and Alma. 

In 1933, Bessie and her husband Henry Krueger, their four small children Myrtle aged 3, Dave aged 2, and twins Allan and Alma aged one year, and all their belongings, cattle, and horses began their trek north. With them, on horseback was Bessie’s young sister, Alma who would be 16 that September.  They trekked from the Piapot area east to the Saskatchewan Landing intending to stop over at Aunt Ella Goodwin’s place.  When they arrived and the animals began to partake of the water in the trough, Aunt Ella apparently saw this and came rushing out of her house rendering the sky blue, and chased them away.  Little did she know that she had chased her own nieces from her yard.  Aunt Bessie told me this tale, and the postscript is that the Krueger's never visited Aunt Ella again.  I don’t think my mother, Alma did either.  Though  I did take my three kids to meet her in 1971 on my way to Piapot to visit with my step-grandmother, Ida (Saastad) Dyer, my step-aunts Alice and Leonard Wheeler,  Pearl and Bud Ellefson.  They were living at Manyberries, Alta. Alice and Pearl are younger than I am. The boys, Clarence (Bud) and Vi lived at Creston, B. C. and I did visit Arthur (Sonny) and Gloria at Medicine Hat, Alta.

The trekkers journeyed across the river to cousin Nils Egeland’s homestead. They then traveled on past North Battleford to Aunt Olina and Uncle Ben Egeland’s farm.  They must have spent most of the winter of 1933-4 here.  In the spring the Kruegers left for the Meadow Lake country, where they homesteaded and lived for the rest of their lives raising  nine children.  They left without my mother Alma as my Uncle Clifford, who was married to my Dad’s youngest sister, and  known as a horse-trader traveled by and suggested that Alma come to work for my paternal grandmother on the farm south of Battleford.  My grandma Emma’s journal mentions “Alma not arrived yet,” then Alma arrived in February of 1934.  My dad, Elmer, the youngest of five, was 26 years old and single. They were married November 17, 1934, with dad thinking she was 19, but she was really only 17.  Their union brought me and my brother, Arvid in to the world.  When I was 7 and Arvid was 5, their marriage broke down and our mother left.  Her trek took her to the far north country of  Lake Athabasca. Here is where my sister Lena’s tale takes over Alma’s final chapter of this Trydal descendant.

When my husband, Gordon Inness and I retired in1983, we trekked north to the Meadow Lake country, built a log house in the village of Dorintosh and we lived there for 19 years, when he passed away October 22, 2002.  I stayed on until I sold the house in 2005.

 Olina and Ben Egeland also trekked to the Neeb area southeast of Meadow Lake, with their children.  Ben and Olina are buried there, as well as four of their children, Ted, Oskar, Gladys and Selma.

Written by Julia Inness (Laycock)(Kuhnle)

Grand-daughter of Tena (Trydal) Dyer


The following information was provided to Glen Meyer (Glen is married to a great granddaughter of Gunder Salvhus) by the Tuve family and relates to two Salvhus sisters departure from Norway and journey to the United States. 


Birgit Salvhus and her older sister Torbjør were at a party at Dale, a small town about twenty miles from their home in Bygdland, Sogn, Norway.  It wasn’t really a party, but rather an auction, and a farewell for a family that was about to leave for America.  Birjit was in her early twenties and very beautiful.  She was being courted, sometime almost violently, by one of the Tollefson boys, a next-door neighbor she described as ugly.  She couldn’t care for him but had to admit that on occasion he could put on a charming and magnetic personality.  It occurred to her during the festivities that day that one way to end young Tollefson’s chase would be to join her friends going to America. 

It was Four o’clock on Saturday afternoon when she made her decision to do just that.  She had expected to stay overnight with her friends, and make the day-long drive home Sunday.  Instead, she told her friends in Dale that she was going to America with them and would go home for her clothes and return late the next day, Sunday.  The girls didn’t set out for home until after dark.  The poor mountain roads made it slow going but the horses were equal to it.  The girls were excited, wide awake and full of talk, and besides it was Spring and the weather was ideal. 

They arrived home just at daybreak, and the family was soon in an uproar trying to dissuade Birgit from her plan.  But she insisted on Woman’s lib, and finally convinced her brother Jorgen to take her side.  He persuaded the family that Torbjør should accompany her young sister.  Torbjør was almost thirty and it didn’t take long to convince her.  After it was agreed, Jørgen hastened to reach the parish minister before church so as to get the necessary papers for his sister.  He then canvassed several friends and managed to collect over a thousand crowns of borrowings (about $300) cash for the trip. For the long trip on a sailing ship, the girls must furnish and carry their own food, so at the house their mother Rachel and the four daughters were too busy all morning to think much about what was happening to the family.  Of course they realized that soon the three-story manor house with the large storage cellar and adjacent pantry structure (Stolpehus), would serve only the widowed mother and her youngest daughter Mari, She was seventeen. The other son and daughter were married, and lived nearby.  Shortly after noon that Sunday the girls set out for Dale, and arrived late at night.  The next day they must go on to Grøndal, another full day’s drive.  The ship was waiting, but they learned it would not depart until Thursday. 

What a letdown and time to think!  They would be steerage passengers in that crowded little sailing ship, the “North Pole”, and the trip would take weeks.  They began to realize that they had forsaken family, friends and comfort.  Brigit was getting rid of young Tollefson alright, but Torbjør (Grandma Tuve) has even left her fiancé, who was a prosperous young coastwise trader.  The girls also realized that they would lose their inheritance, the land that was given them when their father died.  How they would miss their freedom in summer at the three mountain chalets (seeter) belonging to Salvhus; and Lake Jaardal, and Hestefjell Mountain.  

The voyage was even worse then they had feared, but they did meet several other home folks from Saeterdalen on the boat.  There were several storms that lasted for days and the little boat rocked and pitched violently, making the girls very sick.  For many days, they were becalmed, between storms and made no progress at all.  It lasted sixteen miserable weeks, but the time passed somehow, even if toward the last, the food ran very low.  

Newfoundland finally came in sight, and they landed at once so that anyone with a little money could buy food, and share it.  The stop at Quebec was the most exciting.  They were there several days and some of the local boys in military uniform insisted on showing them the town.  The girls dressed up in their traditional Saeterdahl fold Costumes. With embroidery, colorful silk neckscarf, knee-length dresses, silver pins, and silver buckles in their shoes.  The soldiers paraded with them up and down the avenue, -- it was the experience of a lifetime.  But back to the ship.  They were on shipboard almost all the way to and across Lake Michigan, and they finally landed at Milwaukee.

It was wonderful to find that transportation was waiting to take the group to a meeting place several miles away on the Rock River.  Here the Salvhus girls were delighted to be met by an acquaintance from Saeterdalen, Peer Baarson.  He had an ox team to take them the overland journey to Jefferson Prairie, Rock County, Wisconsin to the farm of Baar Nilson.  They learned later that this community near Madison and Janesville was at that time one of the largest Norwegian settlements in America.

Now it was already fall, almost five months since the fateful party at Dale, where they had made their decision.  But the New World had work for them.  Birgit Salvhus worked at Jefferson Prairie for two years and then went to St. Paul.  She also worked for a time in Stillwater, Minnesota.  She served as a maid, and had some experiences as a midwife.  She was well paid, and seemed satisfied with her new world.  Gradually her sister and family lost contact, and little is known about her by the Tuves family.   

The Salvhus Girls had come from Saeterdalen, Sogn, Norway; adjacent to the Sognefjrod.  Salvhus was the name of the family estate or farm (Gaard), and it was known as “the best of the sixteen farms in Jaardalsbø.”   The land included several fields, forest areas of fir, birch, and linden, and a higher area called Hestefjeld, about five miles from the house.  It also surrounded Lake Jaardal, a fjord inlet.  The buildings included a three-story, ten-room manor house, a pantry house (høie stolphuset), barn and sheds, and three chalets “ihøierne”.  There was and excellent well, with water piped into the house.

The family consisted on one son Jørgen (born 1825), Five Daughters, Sigrid (1814), Anlaug (1817), Torbjør (1820), Birgit (1828) and Mari (1833).  Their parent’s name was Aanund Jørgenson and Ragnhild Mikkelsdatter.  The father died in 1837, and it was 1852 when Torbjør and Birgit came to America.  By that time Jørgen was running the farm but he and his sons proved to be poor managers, and at fifty they said he died of grief (1875).  Three of his sons Ole, Gunnar and Lille Ole, finally came to America and settled in the Red River Valley in Minnesota.  Jorgen’s daughter Rachel became Mrs. John Nastebø. Sigrid died in her late seventies.  Anlaug became Mrs. Nomeland, and had several children.  Mari became Mrs. Skreland but was soon widowed.  She later married Thor Sandness, and had three children Anna, Torbjør and Thore.

No record has been found of any direct contact between Torbjør and the rest of the Salvhus family after she left on that fateful day after the party, in May 1852. Torbjør stayed in Jefferson Prairie for four more years; there was a short marriage, and she had a daughter, Petrian, early in that period.  Soon after becoming a widow she met Gulbrand Tuve, and shortly he proposed to her.  The young folks walked thirty miles, from northern Fillmore County, Minnesota, to Decorah, Iowa, and were married by the noted pioneer Lutheran preacher and educator, U. V. Koren.  Torbjør was thirty-six and Gulbrand was still in his twenties.  On their farm in Minnesota, four children were born to the young couple, Rachel (1858), Marie (1860)  Ole (1862) and Anton (1864).  The Tuves proved to be good farmers, and had a happy and prosperous life.  Soon after Anton was born they acquired a good farm near Decorah and their family grew up there in the little community called Nordness.

Following is a partial quote of an email from Lars Saagus to Glen Meyer in response to the above information.

It was an interesting history.  I have to forward to the others interested in the family in Setesdal. ( )The Vally Dale is the neighbor Dale, east of Jordalsbø.  Yes, you may put the pictures into the web.

My father’s name was Jørgen Saaghus. His father was Aanund Saaghus.  Aanund was born at Saaghus. His father was Jørund Saaghus. This was the name on the iron cross. Jakob
Saaghus was the oldest son so he took over the farm born in ca 1890.  He was late married to Gunnhild coming from the neighbor Saaghus farm called Downhill Saaghus.  I remember them well. They did not have any children so he wanted my father as the oldest nephew should have it. My father gave it to my younger brother Jakob when he was 19. This is the person living there today. He works as an agronomic consultant for a company in the whole Setesdal.

My grandfather, Aanund, had brothers Jakob and Jørund and sisters Anne, Sigrid and Tone. They are all dead now.  My father had a brother Egil and a sister Tordis married in
Scotland.  She is 80 now and has 4 children.

The branch I think you belong to is the neighbor Saaghus farm. It was divided into three Saaghus farms. Tarkjell Langerak was the last person living there.  He had two children, one son living in a new house close to the old farm.  My brother has renovated the old summer farm in the mountains between Jordalsbø and Dale in Tovdal.  Another interesting thing, my grand grandfather, Jørund and his wife were the last generation only using the locale costume.  I never met him. he died some years before I was born. We are 6 children.  Aanund is oldest,  two children; twin sisters, Marit, 3 children and Bergliot, 3 children,  all in Madagascar where my father and mother worked as missionaries. Me and then Jakob, with 4 children.  My youngest brother Beint has two children.  Above left is Jakobs family, Lars' mother Asta to the left.   At right is Lars Saaghus and his wife, Aase Mari Bjorvatn Saaghus.  



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This site was last updated 06/23/07