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Nels Knutson Ranum


Corrected, Updated and Arranged


Bernie A. Ranum

June 1, 1981



My sincere thanks to the following people for their contributions in helping to update the Ranum Family Tree


Ray D. Ranum (Our Heritage)


Rev. Merrill Gilbertson (Gilbertson Family Tree)


Maurice Ranum and Sister Ella Johnson for their research in Norway


Janet (Mrs. Paul) Ranum, for typing copy


And to all those of the Ranum family, who cooperated

in the updating process


And last but not least, by a long way, I want to thank

my wife, Marjorie, for her patience and help with this book.





By Maurice Ranum


Our story begins in the Valdres area of central Norway. Valdres is in Oppland Fylke (county).


On august 18th, 1749, a son, Knud Olson, was born to Ole Larson Moen and his wife Ingeborg Olsdatter on the Moen gard, (farm) in Ostre Slidre (Austra Sleedra), on the hegge Fjord, (Hegge Lake), the village of Heggenes is now built on part of the farm. It is a few miles North West of Fagerness.


Kund Olson was baptized in the ancient Hegge Stav Church. This church was mentioned in records from 1327, but it in believed to be considerably older.


As was the custom in Norway, Kund's oldest brother, Lars Olson had "odel" rights of inheritance to the farm, and he took possession after their father, Ole Larson, died.


(At this time perhaps I should explain the system used in Norway, for hundreds of years, for naming children).


The oldest son always took the first name of his fatherís father, the second son took the first name of his motherís father, the third son took the name of his fatherís grandfather and the fourth son took the name of his motherís grandfather. The same was true of the daughters, the oldest daughter got the name of her fathers mother, the second got the name of her mothers mother, the third got the name of her great grandmother on her fathers side and the fourth got her name from her great grandmother on her mothers side. Because of this, we will often find two Knuds or two Oles etc. in the same family.


Kund Olson had many brothers and sisters and his oldest sister, Marit, along with her husband, Trond Knudson, took possession of part of the Moen farm in 1768.



Because Kund Olson was one of the younger children at Moen, he had to look elsewhere for land, so we see in the court records of 1784 that he purchased the farm Skrindsrud in Etnadal translated, that in Etna Valley, and in this valley is a lake called the Steingetfjord Etnadal is several miles south east of Heggenes and east of Fagerness.


Kund Olson Moen was now known as Kund Olson Skrindsrud. (When you moved in Norway, you took the name of the new farm as your last name and the second name, Olson, told you that his fathers name was Ole).


On June 2nd, 1789, Kund Olson Skrindsrud married Anne Andersdatter (Andrews daughter) Kjorlie, in the Skrautvold Church Knud was 40 years old and Anne was 22. They had at least 9 children and one of the younger children was Kund Knudson Skrindsrud, born Oct. 16, 1804. He became the father of NILS KNUDSON HAGESET RANUM.



As Knud Knutsonís oldest brother, Ole, was destined to take over Skrindsrud, Knud had to look elsewhere for land, and in 1826 along with his new wife, Guri, took possession of north Hageset (on the Steingetfjord). Guri inherited the farm from her widowed mother, Barbro Mikkelsdatter. Guri was born Oct. 2l, 1804 to Nils Hanson steinset and Barbro Mikkelsdatter. After their marriage Nils and Barbro had owned and lived on the farm Tomaset, and Nils was known as Nils Hanson Tomset (Grandfather Nils got his name from his Grandfather Nils Hanson).


Besides our grandfather Nils Knudson (Hageset) Ranum, Knud and Guri Hageset had sons Kund, (the elder), Mikkel (who died in Norway aged 25), Anders, Haldor, Ole, and Kund (the younger), and two daughters, Anne and Barbro.


One by one all except Mikkel and Anne followed their brother Nils to the U.S.A. Anne along with her husband, Thore Hendrickson Maanum, took possession of North Hageset in 1848 some of Anne's descendants are still living on Hageset and others are scattered all over the Valdres area. Some of her descendents have come to America. Two of her sons, Nils and Henrik, were in America but later returned to Norway Nils is the father of the second cousins visited by my brother Edward and wife Gertrude in 1948. Evelyn and I in 1966 and 1977 and Sister Ella in 1973.


The scene now shifts to Raniemsbygda (the Ranum farms) on the hillside overlooking the present Town of Fagerness and the strandfjord. It is interesting to note that all of these family farms so far, overlook beautiful lakes, which at the time were valuable if only for the fishing rights enjoyed by the landowners. In 1846 there was no town of Fagerness as there is today, but in that year Knud Knudson Hageset bought one half of the farm named Raneimsmarken (a Marken is an open field area) from Halstein Olson Raneim (a future brother-in-law of Nils Knudson Hageset Ranum). In 1849 Knud Sold Raneimsmarken, to his son Nils who later married Berit, the daughter of Ole Halsteinson Ranum and Synnev Halvorsdatter. Letís go farther back in the relationship of Berit and the history of Raneimsmarken.


Halstein Olson got Raneimsmarken in 1788 after his brother Gndmund's death and in the probate court proceedings after Halstein's death in 1817 or 1818, the farm went to his son Ole, Oleís wife was Synnev Halvorsdatter. Ole and Synnev had 2 Children, Halstein and Berit. Ole died Oct. 19th 1843 and the son as mentioned before, sold the farm to Kund Knudson Hageset in 1846, and he in turn sold it to his son, our grandfather Nils, in 1849, After Nils and Berit's marriage they decided to immigrate to America, so in 1852 they sold their half of Raneimsmarken to Knud Anderson Ranum who owned the other half Kund was the Second husband of Berit's mother Synnev Nils and Berit left for America in 1852 and settled for a short time in Perry township, Dane county, Wisconsin on Dec. 2nd 1854 Beret's brother, Halstein, died in Norway, and his inheritance went to his mother Synnev and Berit. We have a letter from Beret's uncle Halvor Halsteinson about the death and inheritance.



Synnev outlived both her son Halstein and daughter Berit. Grandfather Nils received a letter about Synnev's death Nov. 9th 1867. Knowing that she was about to die, she asked to be carried outside so it would be easier for her to be taken to heaven.


In the meantime, Berit had passed away in 1865, leaving Nils with five children. Nils was fortunate in finding a young lady to keep house for him and help raise his children. This young lady was Marit Gulbrandatter who had taken the name Marit Gilbertson when she arrived in America in 1861. She was destined to become the second wife of Nils Knudson Hageset Ranum in 1866.


Marit Gilbertson was also a native of Valdres, but she was born on the farm Turibraaten, near Bagn in south Valdres. On her fathers side she descended from the Kongsbakke family whose ancestors previously came from the farms, Aasen, Erstad and Hoff, but as we had no information on Marit's mother, Anne, I Decided to do research on this when I was in Norway in 1977.


Anne was born January 16, 1803 to Ole Gunderson Sorflaten and Turi Gulbrandsdatter Brager. The farm Sorflaten is near Bagn and Brager is in Leirskogen, to the East of Bagn. Ole Gunderson

Sorflaten was a tenant on the Brager farm when he married Turi. Then they moved to a tenant Farm of Sorflaten called Sorflateie later called Turibraaten. Turibraaten was a small clearing in the woods with a steep hill below, going down to the Begna Valley. Ole Gunderson was born October 13, 1770 and baptized at the bagn church. He died December 29th 1837. Ole's father was Gunder Hovelson Sorflatdalen, born in 1727. Gunder's father was Hovel Bratrud who was born on the Bratrud farm and later bought Sorflatdalen, These are all neighboring farms.


Turi was born February 23rd 1772 at Brager in Leirskogen and died July 22, 1833 at Turibraaten. Her father was Gulbrand Gulbrandson Brager who on November 24th, 1771 married Gunhild Olsdatter Skjaerstein who died in 1812. she was the daughter of Ole Skjaerstein. Gulbrand was a son of Gulbrand Gulbrandson Saeter.


Our great grandparents, Gulbrand Olsen Kongsbakke and wife Anne lived in the Hedalen area until they sold their farm Sollibraaten October 30th, 1837, Evidently they then moved to Turibraaten near Bagn and lived with Turi's father Ole Gunderson who was in failing health. He died shortly after, and in 1839 Gulbrand bought Turibraaten. He sold it the same year, but evidently they must have continued to live there because the children of Gulbrand and Anne, born after little Ole, were baptized in the bagn Church near Turibraaten under the name of Turibraaten.


In 1848 Gulbrand and his family moved to Brennum in North Torpa in land parish north west of Gjovik. Brennum is about 20 miles North East of Turibraaten Big Ole, born June 22nd 1827 was married January 2nd 1850 to Ragnil Olsdatter Johnson, born August 3rd 1823, and did may 22nd, 1871.




There is no record in North Land parish as to when Big Ole end Ragnil went to America, but on April 4th 1858 Little Ole left North Land parish for America. little Ole was born August 13th 1835, and baptized in Hedalen. On April 4th, 1859 Hans Olsen Brennum, born Feb. 10th, 1828 and his wife Tarand Gulbrandsdatter, born Feb. 30th, 1826, and their son, Anton, born June 8th, 1850, went to America. On April 15th, 1861 Gulbrand Olson (Kongsbakke) Brennum and wife Anne Olsdatter, and their children Thora born Dec. 14th 1830, baptized at Hedalin, and thoraís two children Gunhild born May 26th, 1855, and Antonette born June 10th, 1859, Olea born March 25th, 1838 and baptized at Bagn, Marit Born Nov. 2nd 1840, baptized at Bagn, Gulbrand born Dec. 2nd 1843, baptized at Bagn and Anne born June 26h 1847, baptized at Bagn, all left north land parish for American. So these relatives who had used the names Kongsbakke, Turibraaten and Brennum became Gilbertsons in America.


On their Arrival in America they settled in the Black Earth, Highland and Livingston areas of Wisconsin, but now in 1981 descendents are spread out all over the U.S.A.


my sources for research have been church and probate records at the archives in Hamar, Norway, family letters to Nils K. Ranum from Norway, stories handed down from relatives, visits to the old family farms and relatives in Norway and access to several books on farms in Norway. Gudrun Bohle and her Daughter Annaloug Islandmoen of Bagn Norway gathered most of the information on great grandmother Anne who married Gulbrand Kongsbakke and I am greatly indebted to them.


At this time I would like to thank cousin Ben Ranum for the Tremendous task of updating the Ranum Family tree and I hope that my research will add a small part to it.





by Bennie A. Ranum


As you will see in reading the information written by cousin Maurice Ranum which I have taken the privilege of calling "Ranum Roots", our grandfather Nils was the first child born to Knud and Guri of North Hageset he was named Nils after his grandfather Nils Hanson who had sold North Hageset to his father Knud in 1826. Nils was born on Aug. 22, 1829. Knud had bought North Hageset in 1826. In 1849 Knud sold this property to his son Nils K. Hageset who in 1850 Married Berit Olsdatter, daughter of Ole Halsteinson, and they lived at Raneimsmarken until 1852 when Nils sold the farm to Knud Anderson Raniem who had owned the other half since 1846. In that same year, 1852, Nils K. Hageset and wife Berit came to the U.S.A. Town of Perry, Dane County, Wisconsin. So when Nils first came to America he went by the name of Nils Knutson Hageset. They became citizens of the United States in 1854.




In his first summer in the U.S.A. Nils worked as a laborer and carpenter. Then he bought forty acres of land located in the south part of Perry Township. On this he built a log cabin in. which his first child Guri (or Julia) was born Feb . 7 , 1853, named after her grandmother Guri who lived in Norway. After a year or so they sold this place and purchased eighty acres of land in Highland Township, Iowa Co. They later bought an adjoining forty , so they had 120 acres of land. He cleared a part of the land and built some buildings.


While living on this farm four children were born. Sena on July 20, 1854, Knute about 1856, Ole K., Sept. 23, 1858, and Andrew on Oct. 4, 1864.


It was while living on this farm that Nels, (who in Norway is known as Nils) lost his wife Berit, in the summer of 1865. The day was hot. While barefoot, Berit entered the cool spring- house, and stayed there long enough to churn some butter. Although she was a strong and healthy woman, she caught a cold. This developed into pneumonia, and she passed away.


Her place of burial is assumed to have been somewhere in the area of the farm home. An effort has been made to locate the grave, but has not been successful.


Left with five small children and the farm work to do, it became necessary for Nels to secure someone to help him. He found a young lady, who lived in the neighborhood, to take care of the duties of the household. Her name was Marit Gulbrandsdatter (or Mary Gilbertson) who later became Nels' second wife.


After living there for about 10 years Nels and family moved to a rented farm near Martinsville,

Grant County and then to Annaton. There he worked as a carpenter-wagon maker.


Later about 1895, they purchased the farm east of Daleyville, North of the Hauge Lutheran Church, in Perry Township, Dane Co. They sold this farm in 1903 to son Gilbert, but in the sale, they reserved the use of a part of the house. This they occupied until their deaths.


Nels and Marit were faithful to the church of their choice, the Hauge Lutheran Church, which for a time was pastored by Rev. Knute Hageset, (brother of Nels).


Somewhere along the line, Nels changed his name from Nils Hageset, to Nils Knutson, to Nels Knutson Ranum (because he had lived and owned a part of the Raneim or Ranum place in Norway for a time before coming to America).


Today Nels Knutson Ranum and wife Marit and his brother Knute Hageset and wife Kjorste lie Buried in the beautiful yard that surrounds the church of their choice, Hauge Lutheran Church East of Daleyville. Wis.










Hauge Log Church Built 1852

Town of Perry, Dane County, Wisconsin

On Z, 1/2 mile west of 78 on Z.

1852 Norwegian church and cemetery.


The Hauge Church site was nominated and accepted for listing on the the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. At that time, the State Historical society of Wisconsin described the church and site as follows:

"The Hauge Log Church is one of three churches still on their original sites constructed in 1852 by members of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. It was the first Norwegian Lutheran Church built in western Wisconsin, and its restoration in 1927 makes it one of the early-restored structures in the state. In 1852 it was used as the first school in the area until a permanent structure was built."

"Adjacent to the church is a small cemetery where members of the first congregation are buried. The earliest grave dates from 1852 and contains the remains of Arne Ruste who cut the first log used in building the church."

Richard W. E. Perrin includes this church as the only Dane County building in his 1960 booklet Historic Wisconsin Architecture. "It is one of very few known surviving log churches in the state and its form is sufficiently rare to warrant its preservation. The pews, pulpit, altar rail, and balcony are all completely original and in excellent repair."

National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form
State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1974




Since 1967, this citizenís preservation committee has overseen operation and maintenance of the 1852 Hauge Log Church,

one of the earliest Norwegian churches in Wisconsin. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the church and its adjacent cemetery

are located on a southwestern Dane County hilltop approximately eight miles south of Mount Horeb just off Highway 78 on County Highway Z.

Visible in the structureís interior is its lime-plaster-over-log construction along with the original unfinished pine homemade pews and a combined pulpit

and church altar. The church is open seven days a week during daylight hours for quiet meditation and is also available for weddings or other special events of religious significance.

How to contribute to the Hauge Preservation Fund...

Cash or check contributions of any amount, large or small, are always gratefully accepted and will be registered in the Donation Log Book.. All contributions are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please mail your contribution to:

The Hauge Preservation Fund

Post Office Box 34

Blue Mounds, Wisconsin 53517

Donations may also be made for special donations of stock or other securities.

For more information on these options please contact the Hauge Preservation Association or by mail at the address shown above.




Perry Historical Center

c/o Perry Lutheran Church

1057 Highway 78

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin 53572 437-5924





Hauge Lutheran Church 2004



Hauge Lutheran Church 1915