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Sletten from Biri, Norway

Sletten from Biri, Norway

Posted: 1396495360000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sletten
I have recently discovered that my ancestor Mathias Larson Sletten b. 7 May 1829 was from Biri, Norway. I also found through a site on the internet that there is a Sletten Farm located in Biri area. Would it be probable that he was raised on a part of that Farm? We have a "old picture" of a couple with a young son that has Lillehammer. engraved on the back, leading me to believe that it was taken there. That is less than 30 miles from Biri. This appears to be someone in Mathias family, but are to young to be his parents, possible a brother or sister. Would the Larson middle name (found in his civil war pension papers) mean that his fathers name was Lars?? Mathias came to America in 1847 but I have not yet found the ship he was on.
Thank you anyone in advance that can help shed some light on how I can proceed since I cannot read or speak any Norwegian.

Re: Sletten from Biri, Norway

Posted: 1396528340000
Classification: Query
There are dozens of places called "Sletten" in south eastern Norway. I don't see a birth record in Biri for Mathias Larsen, born 7 May 1829. What is your source for the date of birth and the location Biri?


Possible emigration

Posted: 1396529490000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1396529777000
Looking at the index of people leaving Biri from 1814 - 1901, this might be the person you are looking for:

Mathias Larsen Gullordsletten, 23 yrs old, left for America on 23 Mar 1847

Now, if he was 23 yrs old in 1847, he would have been born about 1824.


Kildeinformasjon: Oppland fylke, Biri, Ministerialbok nr. 5 (1843-1854), Inn- og utflyttede 1847, side 295.
Permanent sidelenke:

Possible birth

Posted: 1396530399000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1396530674000

Born 13 May 1824 in Biri, Oppland
Father: Lars Olsen
Mother: Kari Pedersdatter
Residence: Gullord Eie (meaning "a farm subordinate to Gullord")

Kildeinformasjon: Oppland fylke, Biri, Ministerialbok nr. 3 (1814-1828), Fødte og døpte 1824, side 68.
Permanent sidelenke:

This birth record says he was born on "a farm subordinate to Gullord". When he left or America in 1847, it said he was from "Gullordsletten". It is safe to assume that the farm he was Born on was called "Sletten", but subordinate to Gullord, so sometimes referred to as "Gullordsletten". There were other farms called "Sletten" in Biri also; Vangsletten, Storsletten and Sletten.

Re: Possible birth

Posted: 1397012617000
Classification: Query
This post was deleted by the author on 12 Apr 2014 1:43AM GMT

Re: Possible birth

Posted: 1397138615000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1397146572000
Hi jayne_mccarley,
Hope you'll stop back and post again here in your thread re. Matthias Larsen Sletten.

This seems to be the family (?) posted by Brian:
"Lars Olsen, født ca 1794, gift 1. gang 16. april 1816 som ungkar, dragon på Båbergseie med tjenestejente på Udal, Kari Pedersdtr. født ca. 1792 i Båbergstuen. I 1818 er de husmannsfolk på Gullordsletten under Øvre Gullord. De fikk flere barn, og Kari døde i 1837. Lars gift 2. gang 1838."

Here is an Ancestry message board post from 2007:

"My Ancestor Mathias Sletten came to the US in 1847. He "reportedly" arrived with several brothers. They were from Berepresthjill, Norway and their father's name in Norway was Lars but on arriving they were told that Larson was such a common name that Mathias took Larson as a middle name and the brothers changed their name to Sletten. They first went to IL and from there they reportedly split up and went to find land to settle. (Some reportedly went to TX) Mathias was one of the first settlers of Martell, WI settling there by 1850. He married Bertha Thoen in 1854. According to church records they had 8 children but only 4 survived to adulthood. Mathias served in the Civil War and in 1871 they moved to Erhard, Otter Tail Co., MN....had a son Martin b. 23 Sep 1864" Info added: Mathias died June 1902 in Velva, McHenry, North Dakota.

The above is an old post and obviously the OP has cleared up the place name.
Berepresthjill probably = Biri Prestegjeld

Martell is in Pierce county, Wisconsin

(One wonders what is the source of those locations and the other info - where did jm read or hear each piece of information)

I won't try to research this, as highly capable people are already "on the case."

Re: Possible birth

Posted: 1398727410000
Classification: Query
You are great and I apologize for not seeing your post and responding sooner. . I am very hopeful that the Mathias, son of Lars & Kari is my Mathias. I need to be more detailed about a few things so that I may help you as you try and help me. .
The only documents that we have giving his birth date are secondary. Even his Civil War Pension papers do not have it, only his children's birth dates. His pension record does say that on May 6, 1891 he states he is: 66 years old meaning he would be born in 1825, 6ft 1" and wieghs 165.. It is of course possible that being born in May, he could easily be off a year. His naturalization intent says: Mathias Slatten "a native of Norway aged 27 years". signed 28th day of Oct. 1857 which would mean he was born 1830. A article written in 1949 "The history of Township of Erhards Grove, Otter Tail Co., Minnesota says that he was born 7 Nov 1829 - The family of his youngest son Alfred has his birthdate as May 7, 1829 in Bereprsthjill Norway but have no documentation in his hand where he states his birthdate.

Since 2007, I have been trying to locate a area of Norway called Bereprsthjill to no avail. In re-reading the information researched by Pat Wiff in the book "The Lefse and Lutefisk Belt: A History of the Village and Townsip of Martell, 1840-1920 there is a note that I missed in my prior reading of the book. pg. 5 It is in regards to the Rush River Lutheran Parish. Rev. Clausen brought from Rock River "Five men originally from Beri, Norway who decided to settle there. They were Matthias Slatten, Hans Iverson, Hans Stumlie, Per Ellertson Granum and Lars Anderson Dahle. (these names may help)
All the branches of the family agree that Mathias immigrated to the US in 1847 and 1 cousin believes there was a document about the ship he arrived on, but no one has found it.
Recently, Mathias Granddaughter died and her granddaughter rec. some of her belongings which gave us some more information to work with, one being a "family picture" taken in Lillie hammer Norway. It is noted as being a family member of Mathias. (I have a digital copy if that would help.) That was when I started checking towns and areas of Norway close to Lillie hammer and came up with the possibility of Biri being his home and that the person researching the church records was right and the family member wrong. I think that the person that posted this: Berepresthjill probably = Biri Prestegjeld is probably right as don't believe Mathias grandchildren spoke Norwegian. Mathias was very careful to be sure his children leaned English and went to school and was even the town and school treasurer in Martell. He also had beautiful handwriting as he signed his Civil War Pension papers. There are copies of his childrens attendance records in school.

There is also a "family tradition" story about a name change and 6 brothers but I never really thought 6 brothers came because am sure some of them would have stuck together. It does make sense if he came as Mathies Larson Guillordsletten that he could have dropped the Gullord when he arrived.
Mathias named his only known daughter Karen which I think could be a American form of Kari??
She died at age 3. There are also listed in the History of the Co that there were 8 children born to the family, but I don't believe that as I have copies of transcriptions of the Rush River Lutheran Baptisms and I do believe there were only 7 children, 2 born in MI after they left WI.

Hopefully some of this information may help.

Re: Possible birth

Posted: 1398744869000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Sletten, Larson, Pedersdtr
Thank you so much for your help and interest. I am so grateful to you and Brian for all of the help. Please see my reply to Brians post as it has some more information. I do not think that the story about the brother's is credible and I don't find any records that would support that. I do however think the the name change from Gullordsletten to Sletten upon arriving in the US would be very possible. I have found that many of our family history tradition stories have some basis in truth no matter how small a kernel it is. I have a "sea faring ships Captain" gt. gt. Grandfather that in reality was a cabin boy on a steam ship on a lake. LOL

In regards to this posted family, I am trying to figure out what it says. Please bear with my total lack of the Norwegian language.

"Lars Olsen, født ca 1794, gift 1. gang 16. april 1816 som ungkar, dragon på Båbergseie med tjenestejente på Udal, Kari Pedersdtr. født ca. 1792 i Båbergstuen. I 1818 er de husmannsfolk på Gullordsletten under Øvre Gullord. De fikk flere barn, og Kari døde i 1837. Lars gift 2. gang 1838."
Does it go something like this.????
Lars Olsen (the father of Mathias Larson) born circa 1794 married 16 April 1816 (is this the place they were married) Kari Pedersdtr born circa 1792 in Babergstuen. Kari died in 1837 Lars died 1836???? I have no idea if I am even close but trying. What does gift 1. gang and gift 2.gang mean. I thought that barn might mean child?
Thanks so much for helping me.

Re: Possible birth

Posted: 1398747551000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1398748030000
Hi Jayne,

Thank you for your Kind words. "Bereprsthjill" is definately a misspelling of "Biri Prestegjeld", meaning "Biri parish. On the other men from Biri that settled in Martell, "Stumlie", "Granum", and "Dahl" are all farms in Biri.

When your Mathias Larsen left Biri for America, no brothers were traveling with him. I'll see if I can find out if he had siblings.

It does make sense that he only used "Sletten" and not "Gullordsletten". The farm itself was probably only called "Sletten", but referred to as "Gullordsletten" because there were other farms called Sletten in Biri.

Looking at the Emigration records from Biri, I do see Peder Eilertsen Granum leaving for America on 21 Jun 1850. A Hans Iversen left for America in 1848.


Translation / children

Posted: 1398749288000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1398750538000
I am not real fluent in Norwegian, but here is what I understand:

"Lars Olsen, born about 1794, married the first time on 16 Apr 1816 when he was an unmarried soldier living on Båbergseie (Båberg). He married the servant Girl from the farm Udal, Kari Pedersdatter, born about 1792 at Båbergstuen. In 1818 they were cotters on the farm Gullordsletten, a farm subordinate to the main Gullord farm. They had many children and Kari died in 1837. In 1838 Lars married a second time. "

I found records that the following people left Biri for Akerø parish on 13 Mar 1851:

Lars Olsen Gullordsletten, 57 yrs
Anne Gulbrandsdatter Gullordsletten, 53 yrs
Ole Larsen Gullordsletten

This would be Lars with his second wife, and son Ole from his first marriage.

Here is a list of children, all verified by original birth records - all born at Gullordseie.

Oline, b. 15 Nov 1818
Mathias, b. 13 May 1824
Andreas, b. 15 Feb 1827
Even, b. 23 Nov 1829
Ole, b. 2 Feb 1833

The list may not be complete.

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