Gulbrand Gulbrandsen Kassenborg
Gulbrand Gulbrandsen Kassenborg was born in Valdres, Norway, on February 10, 1811 to Gulbrand Gulbrandsen Skjærsteineie (born Braka) and Liv Knudsdatter Houg. He was baptized March 17 of that year in Bagn church in Sør Aurdal. The family lived on Kølbu, a subfarm of Skjærstein at the time. The "eie" indicates that his father was a husmann, cotter or renter.
The family moved to Nordre Land parish about 1818, possibly to Kasenborg. Kasenborg was a sub-farm of the large Thomle farm holdings. This may explain why the family is sometimes referred to as Thomleie in Norwegian genealogies. Gulbrand was confirmed on October 30, 1825, in the Haugner (now Nordsinni) church.
Gulbrand returned to Sør Aurdal and Vang church for his marriage on October 19, 1833, to Astri Andersdatter Skjærstein. It appears he married a daughter of the owner of the farm on which he was born. Astri's father was Anders Juleson Solbjør (1780-1848). In 1819 he traded the Solbjør farm for Skjærstein and the family name changed accordingly. Astri's mother's name was Anne Isaaksdatter Sørum (b. 1778).
Gulbrand and Astri lived on Kasenborg after their wedding. Tarje Grover's wife Geline was born in 1834, her brother Andreas in 1836, and Gulbrand in 1842.
Until recently, people lived on the Kasenborg farm in Norway. The following pictures were taken in 2015. The stabbur, barn, and outbuildings date from the early 1800s, so they were there when Gulbrand and his family lived there.
The house on the
The stabbur The barn
(roof has collapsed and
fallen in front of it)
Buildings behind the house A little friend left by
the front door
Rock County Wisconsin
Gulbrand and his family registered their intent to emigrate on May 2, 1850. Their son Andreas, who was just 14 years old, remembered that it was a difficult journey, and that the fresh water supply aboard ship ran out before they reached their destination. The Kassenborgs made their way to Rock County, Wisconsin, where the first large groups of Norwegians settled in Wisconsin. Luther Valley was the new home for many immigrants from Land kommune and also from Valdres, and in fact Luther Valley church records show that Gulbrand 'Kastenberg' and his wife took communion there on October 19, 1851. Luther Valley Lutheran's records also indicate that Andreas Gulbrandsen 'Tomlien' was confirmed as a member of this congregation.
To read an interesting history of how Luther Valley was settled in 1839
1.34 MB pdf format, opens in a new window
Gulbrand moved his family to Yucatan township, Houston County in 1853. Martin Ulvestad writes on page 97 of "Nordmændene i Amerika":
"Guttorm Guttormsen Oino from Rotnem in Gol, Hallingdal, Ole Evensen Dølehus from Hemsedal, along with the Stutelein Brothers and G. G. Kassenborg from Valders were the first white settlers on the South Fork (Root) River; but at that time the area was full of drunken Indians. They discovered that they were not hostile; nevertheless, they had constant fear of them."
To read a complete translation of the Houston County History in "Nordmændene"
67 KB pdf format, opens in a new window
Descendants of Gulbrand qualify
for membership in the
Astri died in Houston County on November 14, 1871 and was buried in the Stone Church cemetery. Gulbrand moved to Moland Township with his daughter Geline and son-in-law Tarje. His son Andreas also lived in the "Buffalo River Settlement" in Clay County MN.
Gulbrand learned the blacksmith trade in Norway and brought his anvil with him from his home in the Land kommune in Norway. His skills were important to the farmers in Houston County and were even more valuable in the Buffalo River Settlement. His grandsons, Krist and Aleck in particular, loved to help him and credited that "apprenticeship" for developing their own mechanical skills.
Gulbrand (Gilbert) Kassenborg died on August 8, 1888.
He is buried at Concordia Lutheran Church Cemetery. His gravestone is directly behind Tarje and Geline's.
Gulbrand Gulbrandsen Kassenborg Grave Stone
The Clay County Historical Society has put the biographical sketches found in "A History of Clay and Norman Counties," published in 1918, on-line.
For the Edward Kassenborg sketch, which includes information about his father/Geline's brother Andreas
86 KB pdf format
(opens in a new window)
Click here to visit the book's index page on the CCHS website.
(opens in a new window)
Some Kassenborg Autographs
(open in new windows)
|Ed Kassenborg||Eliza Kassenborg|
|Gilbert Kassenborg||Mary Kassenborg|
The Kassenborg Block
Al Stevens, a descendant of Geline's brother Gulbrand (Gilbert Gilbertson).