Knudson Family History
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By Ed Knudson - 2/13/2013

About This Page

The "K-Family" includes hundreds of descendants related to the ancestors and progeny of Clarence and Ina Knudson who lived their lives mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota. They were my parents, so I may refer to them as my mother and father, mom and dad, or also in the third person with their common names, so things are less confusing. Here are the sections of this page:

Clarence Edward Knudson was born July 2, 1905 and died July 14, 1992. His wife was Ina Elvira Quammen, born August 27, 1911 and died December 3, 1985. Clarence was raised on a farm near Manvel, North Dakota, just north of Grand Forks. Ina was raised on a farm south of Grand Forks, near Reynolds. Clarence worked for the U.S Post Office, first as a clerk then as a postal inspector in Grand Forks (and for a brief time in Ironwood, Michigan). They moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, then Fargo, North Dakota, then Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was director of a five-state region, then back to Grand Forks. These moves were due to promotions in the postal service.

Clarence and Ina had four children, Jean Marianne, born 1932, Ina Diane, born 1934, Lyle Edward (myself), born 1941, and Curtis Lee, born 1944 and died on July 20, 2011 (see his obituary here). For more about the progeny of Clarence and Ina go to Knudson Family Tree. They are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Grand Forks.

Clarence traces his ancestors back to the Setesdal valley in Norway, west of Oslo on the map. Ina's forbears came from the Hallingdal valley in Norway, northwest of Oslo. Norway is one of the Nordic or Scandinavia countries in northern Europe along with Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.

If you have information to add here please contact us or call me at 503.318.3175.

I am working on this page partly because of my own interest in my family history, for my children, Sonja, Thanh, and Rachel, my grandchildren, Brayden, Sofia, Jakob, and Mickie, and for everyone else related in any way to Clarence and Ina, for their enjoyment and the pleasure of knowing more about one's roots.

See the Ancestors page for another presentation of the data presented here.

Hallingdal Relatives (Ina)

The following are from notes I took of conversations with my mother, Ina E. Knudson, about her family history. Her maiden name was Quammen. (this was originally an email to the K-Family mailing list on June 12, 1997.)

She was the only child of Lars Quammen (1885-1959, the fifth of eight children) and Margit Hegland. I have nothing in my notes about my grandmother's ( Margit Hegland) geneology, but we have a picture of her mother outside the front of her pioneer sod house near the Red River just a mile east of the farm on which my mother grew up (the woods of which are still owned by Curt). In fact, when Linda and I visited that farm near the Red River, we went back closer to the river and there was an old abandoned farmhouse there. We found a table leg laying in one of the rooms and took it and made a candle stand of it which has been a symbol of that part of our history. I know very little about the Hegland's, but Grandma Quammen told me that her father had been kicked by a cow or horse and was "never right" after that. Her mother lived to be very old, as did grandma.

Lars's parents were Sven Quammen (1851-1920), the eighth of ten children, and Ingeborg Larsgaard. They left Hol, Hallingdal, Norway, on their wedding day, April 1, 1872. Linda and I visited the stave church in which they were married when we were in Norway. There are several gravestones there with the Quammen name.

Sven Quammen's parents are Ole Syverson Quammen (1818-1869), the first of eight children, and Kari Svensdatter Rodning (1816-1908), the seventh of 10 children. Kari's parents are Sven O. Rodning, born 1872, and Kristi Larsdatter Nastegaard, born 1776 (year of the Declaration of Independence in the US).

Sven O. Rodning's geneology can be traced back to Knut Hallingstad, born in 1580, who lived on the farm called "Hallingstad" high up the hillside in Hol, Hallingdal. My parents, Clarence and Ina, visited that farm in 1972. A Hallingstad was still there at that time; Hawkin Hallingstad who lived on the farm. We have a big picture of that farm on our bedroom wall, a copy of one my parents brought back from that trip. When Linda and I were in Norway we visited that farm, no one was home, but a neighbor pointed out the farm to us and said that Hawkin had died. An ealier relation of Knut Hallingstad is Thor Willard, who lived in the year 1528.

Ole Syverson Quammen's parents were Syver Olson Groven Quammen, born 1785, and Tarand Olsdatter Heinton. The name change to Quammen, referring to a place in Holl, Hallingdal, took place somehow with Syver. His father was Ole Syverson Groven, born 1755. His mother was Elf Olsdatter, born 1755 in Skurdalen, probably not a "Halling".

When Linda and I returned from our trip to Norway, we visited with a woman who had been born and raised in Norway. When we said we had been to Hallingdal, she said, "Oh, those Hallings!!!" She went on to explain the Hallings had a reputation for being very feisty, to put it nicely. They would come to weddings with knives ready to fight with anyone for any reason. We had a big laugh about that.

Anyway, I have always thought of my mother as a rather feisty woman. It was part of her history.

Another personal note: I remember as a boy going to the Pioneer Picnics held at a park near the Rosendal church. The land for this church, and maybe the park, was donated by Sven Quammen, my great grandfather, who lived nearby. Curt was at the closing of this church just a couple years ago. My grandparents, Lars and Margit, are buried in the cemetary next to that church. I have a book about these Pioneer Picnics.

There is more information about the Quammen ancesters in a book compiled by Tina Quammen, who I remember visiting as a boy in Fisher, Minnesota.

Slides of Norway Trip

On June 12, 1997, I sent the following message to the K-Family mailing list and reproduce it here just to get it into the record, so to speak. In the future I hope to get many of these slides onto a web page along with all the descriptions.


In 1972 my parents went on a trip to Norway and took slide pictures. I have the slides as well as a list of comments on each slide written by my mother. There are some names of people and places which can be very helpful to others who want to visit Norway. I wish I had this list when we went. I will just type some of her comments:

45 - summer cottage in ski slide area where Gudmund Kvammen (note spelling) works with brother Torgne.
46 - going to saeter (summer farm), up in Halling-Skarvet mountains.
48 - Gudmund, Mrs. Rodning at Saeter (Prestholt)
49 - Mrs. Rodning making cheese for tourists.
50 - Gudmund and Mrs. Rodning.
51 Geilo church and post office.
52 - Kjell Christianson (music instructor once at Bemidji and organist at Geilo)
53 - cemetary in Geilo
54 - grave of Gudmand's parents, Olav and Margit Kvammen and Olav is brother of Grandpa Quammen's father.
57- on road to Hol
62 - old Hol church
63 - grave of Syver Qvammen (Gudmund's dad)
67 - Gudmund, Ina, Iver and Asta Martinson (relatives)
68 - view from Loing's
71 - Larsgaard farm
74 - Nestgaard farm
75 - Lars Hollingstad farm (3000 feet from Hol church)
77 - Anna Tviet's house
78 - Anna Tviet and Ina
94 - Tveit
95 - post office in Tveit-Moen in Setesdal
96 - Grandma Kvammen's cousin, Anna and Daniel Tveit.
97 - Anna Tveit's family
98 - Austad church in Tveit (Grandma Hegland went to church there).
99 - inside of church
102 - grave of Anna's sister.
103 - Daniel Tveit, Mari Tveit and Ina
104 - Austad church and grave
105 - gravestone of Clarence's gread granddad
106 - Torkel Austad, wife
107 - current house of Grandma Besta Hegland's farm in Ose
109 - Torges Viche and mother
110 - land wehre Grandpa Thor Vigin lived (Ose) (also pronounced Vichi) and Reioifossen waterfall.
111 - another view on Otra River
112 - Dreng Ose's farm
113 - his stabbur with wood and rosemaling.
114 - chest from 1858 (with rosemaling)
115 - Hegland farm building
116 - Birgit Austad in Ose
117 - Moi
118 - Clarence at Moi House (Grandma Anne Moi)
119 - Moi house (now restored)
120 - inside Moi house
128 - Knute Rystad (jewler) (Grandma Quammen's cousin).
129 - Jon Rystad (another jewler) (Vigin relative) in Rystad
130 - view of Amli mountains in Setesdal
131 - view coming into Valle
132 - Valle - Grandpa Knudson's Kvasagers
133 - Valle sign
134 - stove in hotel
135 - Kvasager farm
136 - Knute Kvasager and wife (both now dead)
137 - Kvasager house
148 - Olaf Dvasager in Valle
149 - Olaf Dvasager and wife
150 - Olaf Dvasager home
151 - in home
152 - Olaf Kvasager's mother (born in America)
154 - Vigen home in Valle
155 - stabbur built in 1734 with Aakre
156 - Aakre farm
157 - Trydal farm (Clarence's paternal grandma grew up here)
158 - location of house
159 - Bykle church
166 - Bygland church cemetary with graves of 7 English flyers
167 - Tarkel Langerak's home (second cousin) in Bygland
168 - in Langerak home
169 - in living room
170 - Curt helped plant these trees
171 - Langerak home
172 - back of bank
173 - Bygland store
174 - Langerak in bank
175 - Bygland graves

History Pages on this Site

  • Knudson Family Tree. This details the descendants of Clarence and Ina Knudson and their four children along with the siblings of Clarence and the many cousins of the family.
  • Knudson Family Ancestors. Here you will find details of those pioneers who made the voyage from Norway to Minnesota and North Dakota, their children and some stories about them, including the connection to the Homme-Kvasager family.
  • Norway Ancestors. The focus here is on people and places in Norway, including photos of the farms and towns where our ancestors lived.
  • Where We Come From. This is a photographic introduction to the K-Family with some basic descriptions.

Setesdal Relatives (Clarence)

(from an email message to the K-Family mailing list on June 12, 1997. Some of the following may need editing and correcting!)

Let me start with notes I took from a conversation with my brother, Curt Knudson, about when he was there. Curt stayed with Tarkjal Langerak for a couple months in 1966. He is a relative off mother's side, Grandma Quammen's side, whose maiden name was Hegland. He was president of a bank in Byglansfjord in the Setesdal valley. He has died, I believe, but Curt said his son and daughter should still be there.

My notes include the name of Daniel Tvidt, with the note that he is dead, but I'm not sure of the connection right now.

Valle, Setesdal, is where dad's side of the family is from, the Kvasager's. In my notes Curt recommends stopping in a restaurant and ask questions there about the Kvasager's. (In Norway Kvasager is spelled Kvasaker).

Linda and I stopped in Valle during our Norway bus tour. We were going east-west across the mountains so didn't see the whole valley, which runs north-south. It is an incredibly beautiful place. I walked around the main part of town, but didn't have any time to talk with anyone.

One time I asked dad (Clarence) about family history and wrote down a brief family tree. Here is some of the information from that. The names here are clues for future research.

On dad's paternal side, the folks that actually made the trip to the United States were his great grandparents, Knut Knutson Kvasaker, born 1826 and died 1876, who was married to Torbjor Knutsdotter Akre, born 9-20-1825 and died 8-6-1909. They left Valle, Setesdal, Norway in 1861 with six children, aged 1-15 years old, and came to Harmony, Minnesota, and later moved to Walle township, North Dakota, 10 miles south of Grand Forks, though dad said he was uncertain about this. The one year old, Tone, died at sea.

One of these childen had the same name as his father, Knut Knutson Kvasker (born 2-19-1846, died 2-24-1878) who married Ingeborg Trydahl (born 12-1-1850, died 4-10-1945). These are Clarence's grandparents. Clarence's father, my grandpa, Edward Knudson was born 5-2-1876 and died 3-19-1958. He was the fifth of six children.

On dad's maternal side, his mother was Julia (Jorand) Vigen, born 5-15-1879, the fifth of six children, died 11-10-1936 (cancer). Her parents were Anne Anundsdotter Moi, born in 1846, died 1-3-1881, and Thor O. Vigen (Tor Viki) born 1847 and died 1928. It was Anne and Thor, Clarence's grandparents, who were born in Setesdal and came to the United States in 1875 with two children. It would be most interesting to know more about them and how they fared in this country in the early years. Note that Anne died just six years after coming to this country; is it her grave which we visited on the Minnesota side of the Red River? We have a picture of that grave.

Thor Vigen's parents in Setesdal were Olav Anison Viki, born 1815, died 1887, who was a blacksmith. He was married to Joronn Torsdotter, born 1824. Olav was the son of Olav Anison Vollen and ? Torsdotter.

The above information is from my notes in a conversation with dad. There is much more information in his book.

Others can add more here as they are able.

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