Tuesday, January 13, 2015

52 Ancestors No.2: Ole and Emma (Hanson) Hegna's Emigration from Norway

This is the second of 52 blog posts for the 52 Ancestors challenge ~ 2015 edition. The original idea for #52Ancestors is to "have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

 Last week's blog post was about my husband's Norwegian (paternal) great grandmother Hannah (Hegna) Foreman (1885-1965). 

This week I will write about what I know so far about the Hegna family's emigration from Norway to the United States. We have three critical sources of information for emigration:

  1. the 1900 Spokane Washington census, 
  2. the 1870 Strong Prairie, Wisconsin Census and 
  3. the 1920 Naturalization papers.

Hannah (Hegna) Foreman was born in Wisconsin on the 19th of July 1885, daughter of Norwegian emigrant Ole. O Hegna (emigrated from Norway between 1861-1862) and Emma C. (Hanson) (emigrated from Norway 1872)

1900 Census

We know when Ole and Emma emigrated because of questions 16, 17 and 18 on the 1900 census for Spokane Washington: 

1900 Spokane Washington census
Enumerated on the 19th of June, 1900
General Population Schedule Questions:
  1. Number of dwelling home in order of visitation by enumerator (255)
  2. Number of family in order of visitation by enumerator (258)
  3. Name (Ola Hegna)
  4. Relation to head of the family (Head)
  5. Color or Race Enumerators were to mark "W" for White, "B" for Black, "Ch" for Chinese, "Jp" for Japanese, or "In" for American Indian. (W)
  6. Sex (M)
  7. Date of Birth (Nov. 1854)(Emma Apr 1852)
  8. Age (45) (Emma 48)
  9. Was the person single, married, widowed, or divorced? (M)
  10. How many years has the person been married? (15)
  11. For mothers, how many children has the person had? (Emma replied 6)
  12. How many of those children are living? (Emma replied 6)
  13. What was the person's place of birth? (Norway) (Emma replied Norway)
  14. What was the person's father's place of birth? (Norway) (Emma replied Norway)
  15. What was the person's mother's place of birth? (Norway) (Emma replied Norway)
  16. What year did the person immigrate to the United States? (1861) (Emma replied 1873)
  17. How many years has the person been in the United States? (39) (Emma replied 27)
  18. Is the person naturalized? (This is either Na or No)
  19. Occupation, trade, or profession (House Carpenter)
  20. How many months has the person not been employed in the past year? (5)
  21. How many months did the person attend school in the past year? 
  22. Can the person read? 
  23. Can the person write? 
  24. Can the person speak English? 
  25. Is the person's home owned or rented? (O)
  26. If it is owned, is the person's home owned free or mortgaged? (F)
  27. Does the person live in a farm or in a house? (H)
  28. If a person lived on a farm, the enumerator was to write that farm's identification number on its corresponding agricultural questionnaire in this column 

On the same Census, Mary Hegna follows.Born in 1833 she is a 67 year old widow. She had 12 children of which 7 were living. Mary was born in Norway and her mother and father were as well. She emigrated in 1862 and had lived in the U.S. for 38 years, Her home was owned free.

1870 Census

The 1870 census shows us Ole. O. Hegna at 14 years of age with his family living in the Town of Strong Prairie Wisconsin with his family: Father Ole (born 1830, Norway); mother Maria (born 1831, Norway), sister Ellen (born 1859, Norway), sister Margaret (born 1861 at Sea - Atlantic Ocean), brother Jolef (born 1864 Wisconsin), sister Ingborg (born 1865 Wisconsin), and sister Rebecca (born 1869 Wisconsin). 

1920 Naturalization Papers

Petition for Naturalization Part I
Here we learn the following facts about Ole O. Hegna:
  • His residence was 612 Scott St. Spokane, Washington
  • Ole O. Hegna is working as a machinist helper
  • He was born the 14th November 1854 Norway
  • He emigrated to the U.S.A. through Canada around April 1, 1861
  • His first port of arrival was Chicago, Illinois on the 4th of July 1861
  • His vessel name was not remembered in 1920
Petition for Naturalization Part II
 Here we learn the following facts about Emma (Hanson) Hegna:

  • Emma was born the 18th of April 1852 in Kongsberg, Norway
  • There are five children:
  • Hana born July 19, 1886 at Wisconsin; resides at Ontario Canada.
  • Mabel born October 12, 1888  at Wisconsin; resides at Worley, Idaho
  • Rena born August 19, 1889 at Wisconsin; resides at alberta, Canada
  • Ella born May 1, 1894 at Wisconsin; resides at Wallace, Idaho
  • Carl born May 21, 1897 at Wisconsin; resides at Tacoma, Washington

Affidavit (Part I) of Ole O. Hegna
Affidavit (Part II) of Ole O. Hegna
Here we learn the following facts about Ole O. Hegna:
  • Ole. O Hegna's father was naturalized before Ole was of age
  • Ole. O Hegna's father  held 40 acres of government land
  • Ole. O Hegna's father died in 1879
  • Ole. O Hegna voted since 1876
  • Ole. O Hegna served on a jury
  • Ole. O Hegna was a councilman (see 1902 news clipping below )

Hannah (Hegna) Foreman's father
Ole O. Hegna (1855-1935)
Hannah (Hegna) Foreman's father
Emma (Hanson) Hegna

Emma (Hanson) Hegna's obituary
For further research is a document believed to belong to my husbands great great great grandfather who applied for naturalization in 1877


  1. Love the update to the website!

    1. Thanks Kelly! (I had much needed assistance from my web savy daughter)