Wisconsin: Norwegian American Settlements

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

History[edit | edit source]

From the very beginning Wisconsin was a primary destination for Norwegian immigrants. By 1850's 8,600 Norwegians lived in Wisconsin; by 1860 the number was well above 44,000. The high concentration of Norwegians Communities living in Rock River Basin formed the center of Norwegian settlers. By 1900 25% of the Norwegians in America lived in Wisconsin.

The earliest Norwegian settler in Wisconsin was a man named Ole Knudsen Nattestad. He arrived in Wisconsin in 1838, and settled at Jefferson Prairie, Rock County. Ole was born in Vægli in Numedal, Buskerud County, Norway and came over with his brother Ansten. They worked in Illinois for a while, then separated; Ole went to Wisconsin and Ansten went back to Norway where he gathered about 100 persons to come back to America with him.

Muskego3 nor luth church.jpg


One of the earliest settlements in Wisconsin was the Muskego Settlement. (Today the town of Norway). John Nielsen Luraas was the leader of the group. The settlers came primarily from Telemark County in Norway. One of the prominent men in Muskego was Even Heg. Even had been a wealthy Innkeeper in Drammen, Buskerud, Norway. After buying the farm of John Luraas he erected a barn that was to be used for many things. The barn proved to be a refuse for many new immigrants who needed a place of rest, hospitality, and assistance. This special place also became a center for religious services; Claus Clausen organized his Sunday school there, and when the cholera outbreak hit Muskego 1849, 1850, and 1852, the barn was used as a 50 bed hospital.

On 31 Jan 1848 the first Temperance Society of the Norwegians was organized in Muskego, again at the home of Even Heg. Even was elected President and his son, Hans C. the future Colonel of the 15th Wisconsin Volunteers, became the secretary.

Wisconsin Genealogical and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

Norwegians in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society)

County Historical & Genealogy Societies[edit | edit source]

Blue Hills - Barron County Genealogical Society

Buffalo County Historical Society

Burnett County Historical Society

Chippewa County Genealogical Society

Chippewa County Historical Society

Dane County Historical Society

Dodge County Historical Society

Dodge / Jefferson Co. Genealogy Society

Dunn County Historical Society

Eau Claire Genealogical Research Society

Fond du Lac County Genealogical Society

Grant County Genealogy Society

Green County Genealogy Society

Iowa County Genealogical Society

Jefferson / Dodge Co. Genealogy Society

Juneau County Historical Society

Kenosha County Genealogy Society

La Crosse Genealogical Society

Lafayette County Genealogy Society

Langlade County Genealogy Society

Langlade County Historical Society

Manitiwoc County Historical Society

Marathon County Genealogy Society

Marathon County Historical Society

Milwaukee County Historical Society

Oconto County Genealogy Society

Ozaukee Historical Society

Portage County Historical Society

Rock County Genealogy Society

Sauk County Historical Society

Sawyer County Historical Society

Sheboygan County Historical Research Center

St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society

Taylor County Genealogical Society

Vernon County Historical Society

Vilas County - Lakeland Genealogy Society

Walworth County Genealogical Society

Washington County Historical Society

Waukesha County Genealogical Society

Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum

Waupaca Area Genealogical Society

Waushara County Historical Society

Wisconsin Cemeteries:[edit | edit source]

Franklin Norwegian Lutheran Cemetery

Jefferson Prairie Cemetery: Clinton Township,  

Laaland/Johnson Cemetery, Barron County

Norwegian Lutheran Cemetery, Westford, Richland County

Norwegian American Newspapers:[edit | edit source]

Nordlyset  1847-1850 Muskego, Wisconsin

Emigranten 1852-1868 Wisconsin