As I began searching for information on my ancestors here in Bosque County I realized just how many people like myself, there are out there, trying to find information and make connections in far off towns and counties. With that in mind I decided to try my hand at this column each week, which will give those searching for family ties in Bosque County, access to the knowledge of our readers.
I spend a lot of my research time on the internet, and have found it a valuable tool for locating records on my ancestors. I have met wonderful people both online and off who are researching their family lines here in Bosque County.
I hope with this column I can help bridge the gap between those searching from far away and those here at home that just might have that little tidbit of information someone is so desperately seeking.
This column offers the opportunity to help bring families together as well as catch a glimpse of the history of this beautiful county of ours.
In the mid 1970's after both my maternal great grandfather and my grandfather died I set out to record something of their lives. Little did I know what a trip I was going to take. About that time I also received in the mail a small booklet put together by grandchildren of Kittle and Liv Grimland.
I had known that Will's ancestry was Norwegian but I had as a little girl heard something that made me think that he was the one that came by sailing ship to America when he was nine, but in truth it was his father.
Kittel, Liv and their six children
and Liv's sister set sail in late September on the two mast ship "Amerika".
They arrived in New Orleans, La. five weeks later and immediately bought
supplies and set off for Four Prairie in Henderson County Texas.
There they bought a farm. Many happy and sad things occurred in the eighteen years that they lived there. I am sure home sickness was always at the back of their throats but in the same respect we see in letters that they wrote back home to Norway that they were happy here. The eldest son wrote that here you did not have to carry coal the year around. When harvest was done you could sit with you feet up if you wanted to. He also wrote that he went to a school to learn to speak, write and read "American" so he could fellowship with Americans just as he did with Norse
There Liv gave birth to the only child she would have in America, another son. The oldest son married and soon produced three grandchildren. Then tragedy struck. His wife died of "summer fever" About a year later he married again and of this union 15 offspring were born. About the time he remarried the Civil War broke out and he was drafted into the Confederate Army. He spent the war years in Anderson County, at a gun factory. There he learned the blacksmithing trade.
In 1868 the family decided to
sell their farms and move to an area in which there was a growing Norwegian
Community. It was supposed to have healthier air, better & more land.
So the move was made. By this time the next son, Nils was married and the
two sons and their parents bought land near the settlement of Norse in
Ole, the next son helped his parents build a house and then he moved to Lampassas and married an American. The only child of Kittle & Liv's to do so. The rest married in the Norwegian Community. This is where my story begins.
When I received the small booklet in the early '70's most of this information was in it, even a little history of the farm in Norway that they had sold, and the ancestors that owned it all the way back to when it was bought in 1628. This book also told of a Bible bought for one of the ancestors by her son and how the name of each child was added to the Bible, and how it was passed down from generation to generation , from oldest son to oldest son. The Bible was supposed to have been published in 1633.
In the early 1990's we were raising two granddaughters, and had been living in Brownwood, Texas for about ten years when my husband became quite ill. He was in complete Renal Failure. He began dialysis on a daily basis at home. He continued to work in the oil field for about a year. When he was laid off we were struggling to make ends meet until he could go on the transplant list.
We decided for vacation the best we could do was take a day trip somewhere. I got the map out and discovered that we were close to Clifton. We packed a picnic and set off. The first place we came across was Boggy Cemetery. Lock those brakes down! We went back and looked around. Very few Grimlands so we set off again. I thought I was surely seeing things in front of us when I saw the sign that said "Grimland Ranch" over the gate. We turned around and went back.
Mr. Allen Grimland was at the barn but when I saw him walking to the house I said "that man is a Grimland. I can tell by his walk." We visited with him a while. He told us where Our Saviors was, where the old home place is and so much more. You can bet I came home all geared up!
Just a few months later my husband had his transplant, and the girls became more and more active in school activities. I also went to work to help stretch our income some. I took a job at the age of 53 working at the Elementary School as an Aide . So once again GGGG grandparents are on the back burner.
Then, just last year, the Social Studies teacher I work with started a unit on the Census. Very smugly I told her that I had some copies of old census pages I would bring for the students to look at and If she wanted when she got to emigration I could tell them about my Norwegian family. She told me to start getting things ready.
I began to research some on the
computer for background information on Norway. As I started telling the
story these ten and eleven year olds were asking questions I couldn't answer
and I thought I had better buckle down and find a few more answers.
In the year since I gave that first talk I have made contact with some of the friendliest and most helpful people in the world. Bosque county folks. First we attended the Lutefisk Dinner in Cranfills Gap. I might develop a taste for it but...... There I also joined the Norwegian Society, lots of interesting and fun people there. On the internet I have communicated with people in Norway, who have helped me trace the farm, sent me pictures, told me about living conditions and so forth. I have met many people that are willing to give of their time and research abilities to help.
Derwood Johnson of Waco had some letters that the family had written to relatives in Norway that tell of their early lives that he has shared with me, Bruce Wiland has pointed me to descendants of other branches of the family, as has Doris Weiner.
One of the things that the students have spurred me to do was find the "Old Bible". This is where some of you out there can help me once again (I am shameless when it comes to "family") I have contacted one of the members of the oldest sons family but he knew nothing of the Bible. As I sit here after talking to him that night I thought about it for a while and decided that I had been looking in the wrong places. Kathleen Sommer was the granddaughter of Kjerstie Grimeland Solberg, the only daughter of Kittel and Liv. It was very plain that Kathleen took some of her information she shared with her cousins out of the "Old Bible" Could it possibly be in her family? Doris was going to talk to Joseph Solberg at church Sunday. He was also a grandson of Kjerstie. As it turns out she had to talk to his sister and her grandson. Neither of them know where the Bible is but agree that Kathleen had access to it. Kevin even has some copies of the information that she had translated from it.
My plea is if there is anyone
out there that knows any thing about this Bible please contact me. I have
about 300 students wanting to know if the Bible still exists. I would love
to just know that and perhaps to take a picture of it.
P.S. Just this last week-end I made contact with relatives in Lampasas that I have been searching for for years. Good things happen in Genealogy.
I was born on the banks of the Brazos River at about the spot where the bridge connects to the west side of the river. Dad and Mom were married young, Mom was only 14, and were sharecroppers of a sort. Since they were young they did not want to stay with any one so they put up a tent and that was my first home.
As time went on they relocated
to Liberty Chapel in Johnson County and because they had relatives in Kimball
Bend they were back almost every weekend. On the gravel road that came
into Kimball Bend there was an ever flowing spring that we used to stop
at in the summer time and that was the best water I have ever had. Maybe
it was because the dust and heat would really be bad and the water was
so refreshing to us.
We forded the Brazos River and then took the road to Bruce and Adella Bateman's place. These were my great grand parents and some happy times were spent around their tables and listening to their stories.
Grand Mother Bateman would prepare
all the meals and the one thing I really loved was the old double oven
stove, with a water warmer, the inlaid marble
on the oven doors, the cornbread and biscuits that came out of it, and of course, the giant butter beans were out of this world.
As you came out of the front door you came out onto a wrap around porch that extended on three sides of the house. At the porch steps there was always a bucket of water with a gourd dipper. On either side of the steps they had planted honey suckle and in the spring it was very pleasing to the smell.
On Sunday after lunch my two uncles
and I would head out across country to Bee Mountain. Searching for caves,
poking around in them, looking down at
the river, all this brings back memories that I hope to never forget.
Bruce Atwood Bateman 1856-1923
was said to be the first baby born in the bend. He married Winnie Cleveland
1865-1890 and they had two children, Joe Atwood Bateman 1883-1969 and Eugene
Guss Bateman 1887-1963. Bruce then married Amber Adella Martin 1861-1950.
Amber was from Centralia Trinity County, Texas and had been married to
a John R. Tullos. After John Tullos and Winnie Cleveland died Bruce and
Amber started writing to each other and after a courtship of sorts they
married. They had four children: Bruce Carlos Bateman 1895-1897, Flora
Tennessee Bateman 1898-1917, Mary Margaret Bateman 1901-1931 and Leon Thomas
Bateman 1904-1985. Bruce Atwood was the son of William Leonidas Bateman
1847-1903 of Santa Fe, Maury County, Tennessee. As a young man William
study at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky and served
his internship under Dr. James G. Smith and Dr. Plummer. He married F.L.
Tennessee Witherspoon died 1880 in Morgan Texas. They had six children:
Ariadne Bateman, David Wellington Bateman, Earl Van Dorn Bateman, Thomas
G. Bateman, William Leonidas Bateman, Jr. and Bruce Atwood Bateman.
Lucian LaNoy Collins
A glimpse of the news around our county in the Bosque Citizen, February 3, 1887.
Personals: Judge L C Alexander
left for home Saturday last.
Coloniel Murrell moved into his beautiful cottage last week.
Harry White left on Sunday and returned Tuesday.
Mrs. Frank Kell of Clifton came up Friday evening in search of a husband who was hung on a land ease jury, and brought her beautiful baby to cheer him up.
Mr. County Clerk Cooke reports a lull in the license industry this week. Not an applicant from the 18th to the 1st, when Mr. C. Christianson asked leave to be wedded to Miss M. A. Canuteson which was promptly granted, the couple as promptly crossed the street to Esquire Harris' office where they were joined together in the bonds of holy wedlock.
The following is a list of people with letters remaining in the Post Office as of Feb. 1st, 1887: M.H. Angel, William Ada, McD Coffee, Wilford T. Dawson, G.B. Dudley, A.J. Hand, T.J. Jones, T.E. McMeans, T. B. Moore c Oil Mill, E M. Prine, Will Strutin, Mrs. Amanda Smith, White & Grand, Tom Winslow, A.H. Anderson, W.H. Barker, Richard P. Davis, Mrs. J. Harris, Anton Johnson, Judge M.L. Lynch, Louisa MaCurry, Dan Murphey, Robinson & McKinney, Mrs. Nancy J Shelton, M. B. Watson, A.Z. Wilson and Georgian Wommac.