Search billions of records on

Notes for Hans Gulbrandson

The Family of Endre Gulbrandson & Marit Hansdatter Gravli

1857 State Census Township 102, Freeborn, Minnesota
Andrew Gulbranson, age 40, b. Norway, Farmer
Marit Gulbranson, age 42, b. Norway
Gulbran Gulbranson, age 17, b. Norway, Farmer
Gonor Gulbranson, male, age 14, b. Norway (listed as male but this is an error)
Hans Gulbranson, age 13, b. Norway
Veger Gulbranson, age 11, b. Norway
Karee Gulbranson, age 8, b. Norway (listed as male but this is an error)
Mary Gulbranson, age 5, b. Norway
Elsie Gulbranson, age 3, b. Norway
Ole Hanson, age 68, b. Norway, Farmer (Ole Hansen Rustand Haugerud)
Peter Lund, age 37, b. Norway, Farmer
Elsie Lund, age 37, b. Norway
Asle Lund, age 12, b. Norway

1860 census Hayward, Freeborn Co., MN
Andrew Gilbransen (Endre), age 47, b. Norway
Maryett (Marit), age 46, b. Norway
Gilbran (Gulbrand), age 19, b. Norway
Julia (Gunner), age 17, b. Norway
Hans, age 15, b. Norway
William (Veggar), age 14, b. Norway
Caroline (Kari), age 11, b. Norway
Mary (Maria), age 7, b. Wisconsin
Elsie L. (Else), age 5, b. Wisconsin
Edward, age 1. b. Minnesota
Living next door to Peder & Else Lunde and family

1870 census Hayward, Freeborn Co., MN
Peter Lund, age 51, farmer, Real estate 3000, Personal Estate 900, b. Norway
Elsie, age 49, keeping house, b. Norway
Asle, age 24, b. Norway
Ole, age12, b. MN
Endre Gulbranson, age 57, farmer, Real estate 2000, Personal Estate 1000, b. Norway
Marit, age 55, keeping house, b. Norway
Gilbert, age 28, farmer, Real estate 3000, Personal Estate 300, b. Norway
Julia, age 27, lives at home, b. Norway
Hans, age 26, farmer, Real estate 1900, Personal Estate 250, b. Norway
Viger, age 23, farmer, Real estate 1900, Personal Estate 250, b. Norway
Maria, age 17, b. Wisconsin
Elsie, age 15, b. Wisconsin
Edward, age 11, b. Minnesota
Nils Gulbranson, age 42, farm laborer, Personal Estate 300, b. Norway
Gury, age 46, keeping house, b. Norway
Carrie, age 19, b. Norway
Erick, age 15, b. Norway
Gulbrand, age 12, b. Norway
Thorwald, age 8, b. Norway
Maria, age 4, b. Norway
Ole, age 1, b. Wisconsin

1880 United States Census Albert Lea, Freeborn, Minnesota Page Number 103A Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
Hans GULBRANDSON Self M Male W 35 NORWAY Hardware Merchant NORWAY NORWAY
Elizabeth GULBRANDSON Wife M Female W 23 WI Keeps House NORWAY NORWAY
Nicholas JOHNSON Other S Male W 20 NORWAY Clerk In Hardware Store NORWAY NORWAY

1900 census Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota
124 Third Street 181/190
Hans Gulbrandson, head, Oct 1844, age 55, md 22 yrs, Norway/Norway/Norway, imm 1852, in US 48 yrs, Hardware
Olava E, wife, Feb 1857, age 43, md 22 yrs, 3 births, 3 surviving, Wisconsin/Norway/Norway
Einard M., son, May 1879, age 20, Minnesota/Norway/Norway, Salesman
Martha A., daughter, Dec 1881, age 18, Minnesota/Norway/Norway
Edmond H., son, Aug 1887, age 12, Minnesota/Norway/Norway
John B. Wall, boarder, Jun 1880, age 19, Iowa/Norway/Norway, Bookeeper

1910 census Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota
124 East Third Street #8/8
Hans Gulbrandson, head, age 65, md 30 yrs, Norway/Norway/Norway, imm 1855, Retail Merchant
Olive E, wife, age 53, md 30 yrs, 3 births, 3 surviving, Wisconsin/Norway/Norway
Einar M., son, age 29, Minnesota/Norway/Norway, Retail Merchant
Edmund H., son, age 22, Minnesota/Norway/Norway, Salesman, Hardware

1920 census Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota
124 East Third Street #14/16
Hans Gulbrandson, head, age 75, Norway/Norway/Norway, imm 1852, Hardware Implement Proprietor
Olive E, wife, age 62, Wisconsin/Norway/Norway
Edmund H., son, age 32, Minnesota/Norway/Norway, Hardware Implement Partner

1930 census Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota
East Third Street #30/31
Hans Gulbrandson, head, age 85, age at first marriage - 32, Norway/Norway/Norway, imm 1852, Merchant, Hardware store
Olive E, wife, age 73, age at first marriage - 21, Wisconsin/Norway/Norway
Edmund H., son, age 42, single, Minnesota/Norway/Norway, Clerk, Hardware Store
Mildred Moller, Servant, age 14, MN/WI/Norway, Servant, Private Home

--- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 8:36 PM
Subject: Gulbrandson Notes #1

Albert Lea, MN Newspaper


The family and descendants of Endre Gulbrandson have so long been a part of the Albert Lea scene that it is sometimes forgotten that he was one of the early settlers of Hayward.

He was born December 4, 1812 in Aadahlen, Norway, and married Marit Hansdater Gravli in 1840.

They had eight children, at least some of whom were born, also, in Norway.

A brief, but comprehensive family history written by Endre's great granddaughter, Ruth Gulbrandson, hints at some of the difficulties the family had in establishing a new home.

In 1852, Endre walked from his home at Aadahlen to Christiana (Oslo), 21 miles, to obtain permission from the king of Norway to emigrate to America.

Permission having been granted the painstaking preparations began. As the travelers had to feed themselves and cook their own meals en route, large quantities of flat bread (Flat-brod) were baked and packed into wooden chests. Other food, provided for the voyage, included potatoes, salt pork and herring.

The family came by sailing ship in the spring of 1852 embarking at Drommen. The voyage from Drommen to Quebec took about nine weeks. From Quebec the family went by canal boat and sail boat through the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes to Milwaukee, Wis. and on from there to Wingville, Wis. where they first settled.

In the spring of 1856 Endre visited his two brothers, Gulbrand and Amund, who had settled in Fillmore County. He and his family then moved on to Rock Creek, Iowa, where he encountered a good friend from Norway, Peter Lunde.

The two men and their families set out by covered wagon into unexplored territory and arrived in Section 8, Township 102, Range 20, later Hayward Township.

They left their families in the covered wagon and walked west along the Blue Earth Trail to the East Chain lakes, south to what is now Fairmont in Martin County. Finding it no more promising than their first choice they returned to Freeborn County.

They had no reason to return thanks for their choice when the following year the East Chain Lakes settlers were massacred by Indians.


Not that life was easy in the Hayward area. They lived with constant anxiety and hunger was more often than not a reality. In the winter of 1856-57, Endre - not neglecting to take his musket - directed his steps toward what is now Bancroft in quest of some corn.

Unable to find any he stopped on his way back at the Ole Indahl home. Indahl had no corn either but took him to another neighbor, Ole Christenson.

Christenson had corn, but did not want to share it. But Indahl insisted and Endre happily carried the corn home in a sack on his back, ground it in the coffee mill and thus fed the hungry family.

The family accounts of Endre's wife, Marit, picture her as a warm and loveable woman and an excellent homemaker.

Their children were Gunnor, Gilbert (who fought in the Civil War, started the Hardware business and was first president of the First National Bank at Albert Lea), Hans (who was also in the hardware and implement business), Veggar (who was in the hardware business for a short while but who eventually found politics more interesting), Maria (later Maria Anderson), Kari (later Kari Lunde), Elsie and Edward (died young but not until after he had married and fathered two children).

As the children began to marry and have families of their own they enjoyed coming home for reunions and formed what they called the Cousins Club.


The family was always noted for its strong religious felling. They needed their faith. In the fall of 1857 or 1858, when Endre had his hay all stacked by his stable a prairie fire driven out of bounds by a strong south wind burned stable and hay.

Earlier the first cow he had been able to acquire in America had falled into an abandoned lead mine at Mineral Point in Wisconsin and was killed.

He had acquired land for the Hayward Cemetery from D.C. Armstrong, Albert Lea, and it was there he was buried after his death March 22, 1886.

Marit lived until February 21, 1898, and was also buried at Hayward.


Hans Gulbrandson was eight years old when he came with his parents, Endre and Marit to settle first in Wisconsin and then in Hayward Township.

As a young man he was sent to Nora Springs, Iowa, to work for his room and board as there were times when the early settlers didn't have enough to feed their children.

Before he joined his brothers in Albert Lea in the hardware business he walked from Hayward to Austin and worked for a year in a hardware store there.

In 1870 he started selling farm machinery and implements in Albert Lea.

He married Olive Elizabeth Nelson on July 4, 1878. The daughter of Mathias and Agnetha Rood Nelson, she was one of five children. her father had been born in Hedemark, Norway. Her mother was born in Land Prestegjeld, Norway. She was of aristocratic heritage and her family was in the ship building and shipping business.

Her brother's family donated the ship that is in the museum at Luther College.


Mathias and Agnetha were married in Norway, but like the Gulbrandsons had migrated, locating first in Lafayette County, Wis., and then coming on to settle not far from St. Nicholas on Albert Lea Lake.

Their daughter, Olive Elizabeth, was another in the Gulbrandson family who made a name for herself for her hospitality and her neighborliness.

In addition to the more mundane tasks of home she tatted, pieced quilts, crocheted, knitted, and enjoyed her plants and flowers.

Her daily devotions were always an important part of her life whether she was alone or the family was present. Hans, too, was known as a God fearing man and accepted whatever misfortune fell him as "God's will" and not to be complained of.


His implement building was located at that time on Broadway across form the corner of Pearl and Broadway. A shipment of machinery, worth $10,000 had been loaded into it and on January 24, 1908, the building burned with a complete loss of the uninsured machinery.

The next day, Sunday, found him in church, confident that God still "had charge over all." Shortly afterward a building was build on Broadway and housed Gulbrandson Implements throughout his lifetime. He also did business in a frame building a bit south of what was later Gulbrandson Hardware, erected in 1882. He and his sons, Einar and Edmund worked there together.

He also had a daughter, Martha Agatha, who was later wed to a Lutheran minister. Now in her 90's, she lives at the home built for the Hans Gulbrandson family, 124 East Third Street.

Always religious, Hans Gulbrandson bought and gave to a group of Lutherans the church that later became Our Savior's Lutheran, often referred to as Hans Gulbrandson's Church.

Minnesota Death Index

Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002
about Hans Gulbrandsen
Name: Hans Gulbrandsen
Death Date: 19 Jun 1931
Death County: Freeborn
State file number: 004416
Certificate Number: 004416
Certificate Year: 1931
Record Number: 593487

Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002
about Olava Elizabeth (Nelson) Gulbrandson
Name: Olava Elizabeth (Nelson) Gulbrandson
Death Date: 25 Apr 1948
Death County: Freeborn
State file number: 004525
Certificate Number: 004525
Certificate Year: 1948
Record Number: 1065044