Happy Birthday Bertha H. Stemson

Bertha H. Stemson (1877-1968)

Bertha H. Stemson was born on 05 Mar 1877 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota as the eighth child of Halvor Stemson and Birgit Nilsdtr Lostegaard. Her parents were Norwegian immigrants. Bertha had eleven siblings, namely: Ingeborg, Barbra, Christina, Nels, Sam, Carl, Carl Gilbert, Berthena Olivia, Julia Helene, Henry Bennett, and Ole Edwin. Bertha H. Stemson was baptized on 29 Mar 1877 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. She was baptized Barbro, but was known as Bertha, the American version of the name. She was confirmed at Red Oak Grove on 13 Aug 1893.

Bertha Stemson baptism

Bertha (Barbro) Stemson, baptism record.

Halvor Stemson Family 1887

Halvor Stemson family, 1887. Back row, from left, Sam, Christina, Nels. Middle row, from left, Carl, Henry, Bertha, Birgit, Ole and Julia. Front row, Berthena. Missing from photograph is Isabelle who had moved to South Dakota in 1885.

Bertha’s mother died of pneumonia when she was only ten years old.

Stemson siblings.

Stemson siblings. Back row, from left, Carl, Henry, Ole. Front row, from left, Berthena, Isabelle, Sam, Bertha, and Julia.

When she was 21, she married Christian Bennett Christianson, son of Björn Christianson Rukke and Barebo Engebretsdtr Torset, on 05 Mar 1898 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. According to an article in the Blooming Prairie Times, “A quiet wedding took place at Red Oak Grove Saturday the 5th. The contracting parties being Christ B. Christianson and Miss Barbara H. Stimson; both exemplary young people of the neighborhood. The groom is the eldest son of our prosperous farmer Ben Christianson and a graduate of the business course at the St. Ansgar Seminary and Inst. The bride, a daughter of Halvor Stimson, an estimable young lady well liked by her many friends. Rev. Rogne from Austin officiated. The young couple enter upon life’s journey with the best wishes of all and is expected they will go to housekeeping on Mr. Christianson’s farm in Newry.

Christian Bennett Christianson and Bertha H Stemson had the following children:

  1. Blanche Birgithe Christianson was born on 06 Dec 1898 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. She married George Oliver Knutson on 23 Feb 1927 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. She died on 27 Jun 1990 in Blooming Prairie, Steele, Minnesota at age 91.
  2. Hilda Bertine Christianson was born on 14 Oct 1900 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. She married Carl Sanford Swenson on 29 Mar 1922 in St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. She died on 05 Mar 1940 in Nicollet, Minnesota at age 39.
  3. Bennett Nils Christianson was born on 14 Oct 1902 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. He married Margaret Olga Aldahl on 21 May 1930 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. He died on 14 Nov 2000 in Albert Lea, Freeborn, Minnesota at age 98.
  4. Charles Bernhard Christianson was born on 03 Oct 1904 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota, USA.  He married Ruth Agnes Nelson on 22 Oct 1932 in First Lutheran Church, Blooming Prairie, Steele, Minnesota. He died on 28 Feb 1990 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 85.
  5. Inez Ruby Christianson was born on 06 Nov 1906 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. She married Richard Freeman Noble on 27 Mar 1929 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. She died on 18 Nov 1995 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 89.
  6. Lawrence Richard Christianson was born on 29 Oct 1908 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. He married Mildred Helena Peterson on 11 Mar 1936 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, Austin, Mower, Minnesota. He died on 28 Oct 1991 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 82.
  7. Merril Clifford Christianson was born on 14 Jan 1911 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. He died on 23 Jan 1912 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota a few days after his first birthday.
  8. Clifford Selmer Christianson was born on 13 Nov 1912 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota, USA. He married Marjorie Elaine Nagel on 30 Apr 1958 in Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota. He died on 15 Jun 1986 in St. Marys Hospital, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota at age 73.
  9. Orville Byron Christianson was born on 12 Jan 1915 in Newry, Freeborn, Minnesota. He married Helen Margaret Thompson on 23 Jan 1943 in El Reno, Canadian, Oklahoma. He died on 03 May 1995 in Good Samaritan Center, Albert Lea, Freeborn, Minnesota at age 80.
  10. Ivan Gilmer Christianson was born on 09 Aug 1918 in Udolpho Township, Mower, Minnesota, USA. He married Mildred Katherine Benesh in Blooming Prairie, Steele, Minnesota. He died on 16 Dec 2011 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 93.
  11. Arnold Raymond Christianson was born on 21 Feb 1920 in Udolpho Township, Mower, Minnesota. He married Rayma Arliene Peterson on 29 Jul 1945 in Mower, Minnesota. He died on 02 Feb 2016 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota at age 95.

The family was active in Red Oak Grove Lutheran church. But, Bertha was almost 76-years old before women were allowed to vote in the church.

Family reunion ca 1940

Bertha and C.B. Christianson family, circa 1940. From left, Clifford?, Chester Swenson?, Arnold, Rayma, Ivan, Charles, Orville, Ruth, C.B., Lawrence, Bertha, Mildred, Richard Noble, Margaret, Inez, Bennett, George Knutson, Blanche. Kids, in front, from left, Merlin, David, Burton, Charles, Rosalie, Marlys, Marjorie, Phyllis, and Dean.

Bertha was a farm wife who raised a large family. She had eleven children, 30 grandchildren and 72 great-grandchildren.

My youngest sibling was the 39th and last great-grandchild born during her life time.  I like to to think that she would be happy to know that her 25th great-grandchild and 27th great-grandchild have met as adults and have spent a lot of time together on family history work over the last couple years.

C.B. and Bertha Christianson

C.B. and Bertha Christianson.

Bertha H. Stemson Christianson died on 11 Jun 1968 in Austin, Mower, Minnesota. She was buried on 14 Jun 1968 in Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church Cemetery, Austin, Mower, Minnesota.

Where is she in the tree?

How can I learn more?

The Christianson Family

This book traces the descendants of Ole Thorson Tollefsgardie who was born about 1777 in Flå, Buskerud, Norway. These descendants number in the thousands, have lived in far corners of the world, and have been known by many different surnames .Extended biographies are included for the families of Ole Thorson Tollefsgardie; his son, Christian Oleson Rukke; his son, Björn Christianson Rukke; his son, Christian Bennett Christianson and his wife, Bertha Stemson; and finally, for their son, Bennett Nils Christianson.

ChristiansonBookCover

The Stemson Family

This book covers Bertha Stemson’s family history. Natives of Norway, many family members immigrated to America and settled in Minnesota. This book traces the descendants of Steengrim Halvorsen and Guri Olsdatter through the family of their great-grandson, Halvor Stemson.

The_Stemson_Family-book_cover

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