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The Search for Enoch Olson, 
aka Enok Oleson, 

b. 27 July 1848, 
Orkdal, Sør Trøndelag

email: Enoch's Great Granddaughter

1849 map Sør Trøndelag | 1849 map Trondheim | Orkdal Kirke | Orkdal Kommune | Newspaper | Aunemo Gård | Fannrem Map |      |

Little was known about Enoch Olson who came from Norway to Minnesota sometime in the 19th Century. His birth date was recorded as July 27, 1848, in the Messelt family Bible, in the possession of his daughter, Ella Enochs. Ella had said that Enoch came from Trondheim, Norway, and had been a fisherman. He had been married in Norway and had several children, including Ole Enochs and Sam Enochs.  Ella Enochs had left a hand written notes with these words:  Enoch Olson, b. July 27, 1848, Orskdalen, Siverson, Jonas.  His mother had the last name of Sivertsen who had lived on a farm, Gjønnes.

Enoch's youngest son, Sidney Olson, wrote a family history of the Messelt side, but only recorded birth and death dates for Enoch, along with a description of life in Granger and Outlook, Washington state. Upon selling their home in Yakima to move to a retirement home in Warm Beach, Washington, Ella sent to Messelt Bible to a cousin, Ingvald Messelt, in Minnesota. Having discovered in 2002 the online Norwegian resources, I was able to trace what I believe to be the ancestry of Enoch Olson.

The Digitalarchivet is a Norwegian resource including Norwegian census records for 1801, 1865, 1875, and 1901. There are extractions of Norwegians from the various US states1880 census records. There are also emigration records from various major cities. Persons were required to register as emigrants when leaving the country.

1880 Minnesota census. The Norwegian extraction of the 1880 census for Minnesota included an Enoch Oleson; age 31 was living in Eirin Township, in Rice County, Minnesota. Wife Synneve, age 31, Ole Oleson, age 6, Svend Oleson, age 5 and Emmeld Oleson, age 11/1 (b. July?).  Since that census, Enoch and Syvnneve had a daughter, Elida, born 15 November 1881, in Erin Township, Rice county. (Her parent's names were given as Enoch Oleson and Sarriva in the Rice county record.)

Synneve passed away and Enoch married Anne Beathe Messelt sometime in the early 1890's in Minnesota.  They had the following children: Ella Enochs, born August 1894; Signe Olson--died young; John Olson--died young; Sidney Olson.

Anna Beathe Messelt & Enoch Olson with Ella Olson, b. August 1894.  Photo taken Fall 1894, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Emil Olson, son of Enoch & Synneve

Elida, daughter of Enoch & Synneve
Ella, daughter of Enoch and Anna.
Taken 1908

Anna and Enoch Olson at Outlook, Washington with granddaughters Elaine and Barbara.

1876 Tronheim emigration register. Since Enoch apparently was from Trondheim, a check was in order of the Trondheim emigration list that covers the years of 1867 to 1930. Sailing aboard the Stjerne Line's ship, Tasso, in 1876, was Enok Ols., Synove, Ole Enoks.*., and Svend Enoks.*. Enoch's age was given as 29 (registered on July 19, 1876), that would match in age to one born July 27, 1848. And there was that son, Ole.

It was also noted that the family's residence in Norway was Øxnæs, a place in Northland County, Norway. They were headed for Northfield, Minnesota, a place in Rice County. (Note that in the Messelt history by Sidney Olson, Sid gives official names, and then the nickname of various people. Perhaps Svend was known as Sam?)

Enok's uncles Amund Andersen Fossum and Johannes Anderson Fossum and aunt Johanna Anderssen Fossum had already settled in Rice County, MN.

1875 Øxnæs census. Enoch's birthplace in 1848 was given as Orkedalen, a place in Sor-Trondelag County, that is the same county in which Trondheim is located. The farm name was Bulvaag. Note Enoch's occupation as fisherman. Listed were:

1872 marriage record. Enok Olsen married Syneve Svendsdr, July 14, 1872, at Øxnæs, Nordland. (From the LDS Vital Records for Norway.)

1865 Orkedal census. We find Enok Ols., age 18, living at Orkedal (Sør Trøndelag), working as a deres Dreng, "their boy," which may indicate he was some sort of a hired hand. The farm names were Sveli, Brandaas, #ís 323, 312. The other names in the household do not appear to be related at this time.

1848 birth record. Enoch Oleson was born July 27, 1848, at Orkdal, Sør Trøndelag, to Ole Andersen Fossum (b. 1828) and Elisabeth Sivertsdatterr. Uncle Amund Andersen was a witness. Note: The geographic location in Orkdal was Fannrem. The Orkdal church is located there,
Ole Andersen Fossum

1854 Orkdal marriage record.  Ole Andersen (b.1828) (son of Anders Amundsen 1805-1877) married Karen Pedersdatter (b. 1828, daughter of Peder Jonsen) on 17 July 1854. Ole was the son of Anders Amundsen and Ane Oldsdatter. Anders was the son of Amund Andersen and Valborg Christensdatter.

1865 Orkdal census on Fossum farm. #317a (Fannrem)The family later used the farm name Fossum as their surname.

1875 Orkdal census. 1801 Orkdal census, Fossan Gard

Elisabeth Sivertsdatter

1854 Orkdal marriage record. Elisabeth Sivertsdr married Sivert Sivertsen, on January 5, 1854 at Orkdal, Sør Trøndelag.

1865 Orkedal census. Elizabeth Sivertsdr was found in the Orkedal 1865 census. Names listed (all born Orkedalen): farm name Gjønnes

1875 Ørkedal census. All born Orkedalen.
Census year: 1875
                              Municipality: Orkdal
                              Municipality number: 1638
                              Name of domicile: Gjønnesrønningen
1901 Ørkedal census.

Ørkedal, 1638, Rydningen

Sivert S. Rydningen, hf, Gaardbruger S, b. 1854, Orkedalen
Johanna Ingebrigtsdatter, hm, Gaardmandskone, b. 1851, Orkedalen
Sivert Sivertssen, s, ug, Jordbrugsarbeider og møbelsnedker, b. 1879, Orkedalen
Arnt Sivertssen, s, ug, Jordbrugsarbeider og møbelsnedker, b. 1881, Orkedalen
Edvard Sivertssen, s, ug, Arbeider ved snedkerverk, b. 1884, Orkedalen
Ingeborg Sivertsdatter, d, ug, b. 1887, Orkedalen
Sivert S. Rydningen, fl, e, Føderaadsmand, b. 1829, Orkedalen

Vågan, 1865, Smedvikens distriktsfængsel, Kabelvåg

Arnt Sivertsen Gjønness b. 1863,  Vagtmester v. fængslet
Marianne Gjønness, wife, b. 1863, Aalesund Rom
Idar Eugen Gjønness, s, ug, b. 1887, Trondhjem
Gudrun Synnove Gjønness, d, ug, b. 1889, Kristiania
Ornulf Gjønness, s, ug, b. 1891, Kristiania
Finn Gjønness, s, ug, b. 1893, Kristiania
Bjorn Gjønness, s. ug, 1894, Kristiania
Odd Gjønness, s. ug, 1897, Kristiania

1801 Ørkedal census.

Aunemo Farm 1801:

Skinalden Farm 1801:

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22 Oct 2003

Notes: Tronhjem Øreland, Øreland Stalvig, 1801
Even Hansen, huusbonde age 41
Siri Karlsdtr, hustbru, age 28
Hans Evensen, son, age 2
Peder Jonsen, fosterbarn, age 10