Saturday, February 23, 2013

Surname Saturday - Dahl, Christian Johnsen

Christian Johnsen, my great-great grandfather, was born 4 January 1823  in Stange, Hedmark, Norway to John Christiansen and Oliv Larsdatter. He was christianed  26 January 1823. He married Kari Syversdatter, the daughter of Syver Olsen and Kjersti Borgersdatter, on 12 May 1848 in Stange, Hedmark, Norway. To this union, 7 children were born. Oline (Lena) Christiansdatter 1851, Kjersti (Katie) Christiansdatter 1854, Johnia (Jenny) Christiansdatter 1856, Ole Christiansen 1859 (who died before the family came to America), Ludvig (Louis) Christiansen 1862, Syverine Christiansdatter (Sarah) 1863, and my great grandfather, August Christiansen born 1 August 1866.

Seeking a better life, Christian Johnsen decided it was time to go the America. At the age of 46, Christian Johnsen Dahl, whose occupation was listed as snedker or carpenter, boarded the Ship the Columbus the 23rd of April 1869 for a two month voyage arriving in Quebec, Canada on the 23rd of June 1869. His destination was Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have not yet found how he spent his time in Milwaukee as he awaited the rest of his family. His wife Kari along with her children, Oline, Kjersti, Johnia, Ludvig, Syverine and August, boarded the ship the Nathaneal capt Jacobson from Christiana on the 9th of June 1871 and arrived in Quebec, Canada on the 29th of July. What a brave lady to set sail along with 6 children in ages from 17 to 4. Their desination was Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they were to be reunited with Christian.

The Dahl family settled in the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin in a modest home on Avon Street on the northside of town.Christian was employed as a millwright at the La Crosse Lumber Comany's Big Mill for many years. It is said that he never too hiss toolchest out of the mill for fifteen years. He as well known among the Scandinavians on the North side of town. He 3 March 1904  and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in La Crosse.

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