Niels Andersen Doksrød

Utreist med/Emigrated on:

Utreist til/Emigrated to: Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Niels Andersen Doksrød: Niels was born on December 2, 1814 (Witnesses were: Helge Larsen's wife, Ane Olsdatter, Xstopher Nielsen, Niels Nielsen, Jens Nielsen) His parents were Anders Johannesen and Maren Nielsdatter. They had married Sept 25, 1806 and seem to have lived all theur lives on the small farm Grønsten, which is a cotter's farm under the farm Nordre Bøe (Northern Bøe)
Niels Andersen married Turine Eriksdatter Berberg. She was the daughter of Eric Abrahamsen Berberg and Margrete Tollefsdatter. She was born June 14, 1812 and baptized on June 28th. Her parents had married July 22, 1790.

Census 1835 Gjerpen: On Grønsten we find :
Anders Johannessen, cottager, age 50
Maren Nielsdatter, wife, age 52
Niels, son, age 21
Mads, son, age 13

Census 1845 Gjerpen: On Sandbakken under Tufte we find:
Niels Andersen, worker at the ironworks, age 31
Torine Eriksdatter, his wife, age 33
Maren, daughter age 8
Erik, son, age 5
Anders, son, age 2

Around 1849 Niels Andersen and his family moved to the farm Hagen under Doksrød. They stayed there until they emigrated in 1855.

Anders Johannesen (b. ca 1785) and Maren Nielsdatter (b. ca 1783) had the following children:
Johannes, born 1808 "under Bøe", died 1810, Oct 14 at Grønsten under Bøe
Johannes, born 1811, Dec 9, "under Northern Bøe"
Niels, born Dec 1, 1814 "under Bøe"
Ole, born 1818, Jan 20, "under Bøe"
Mads, born ca 1822

Eric Abrahamsen and Margrete Tollefsdatter is found in the census of 1801:
Eric was 39 years old, farmer and married to Margrethe, age 31. (She was born 1769 on the 3rd Sunday in Advent. her father was Tollef Berberg.
The following children lived with them in 1801:
Inger, born ca 1790
Margrethe, born ca 1796
Maren, born ca 1799
Also Maren Gundersdatter, age 67, who was a widow and Margrethe's mother.
Also on the farm was Jens Gundersen, poor, age 76, widower.

Eric Abrahamsen died in 1825 and in the probate register we find dated August 24 on Berberg:
Heirs: Abraham Eriksen, age 17 (bapt Jan 3, 1808)
Margrethe married to Ole Jensen Berberg.
Inger married to Halvor Jacobsen under Foss
Maria and Tone, both unmarried.
The gross assets amounted to 87 speciedaler and 2 mark, but the debts exceeded the assets with nearly 20 speciedaler, so they were practically bankrupt.
All their belongings were sold on auction.

© 1997 - Skien Genealogical page - by Jan Christensen

From the Gjerpen Genealogy Site - "Gamle Gjerpen" I got the following info about Eric Abrahamsen and his parents:

Abraham Nilsen Fjeldet from Sølland in Siljan b. ca. 1714 bur. 12/8-1784. "Abraham Fieldet 70 1/2 aar." son of . Nils Jonsen Søeland (1694-1734) m. 1711 Helje Olsdatter fro Skilbred in Siljan.
m. 8/9-1753 Margrethe Eriksdatter from Oterholt bpt. 22/1-1730 bur. 25/4-1789. "Abraham Fieldets enke 63 aar." daughter of Erik Jensen Otterholt from Upper Hoppestad and Randi Christensdatter from Bø at Fossum.
1. Erik bpt. 5/8-1753. Born at Sølland.
2. Christen bpt. 28/7-1754. Born at Sølland.
3. Helge Abrahamsdatter b. ca. 1755 in Siljan. Took over the ownership of Fjellet with her husband.
4. Dorthea Abrahamsdatter b. ca. 1757 i Siljan m.t Johan Rollefsen Hogstad. Lived at Hogstad in Siljan.
5. Ingeborg bpt. 24/9-1758. Born at Sølland.
6. Erik Abrahamsen b. ca. 1761 m.t. Margrethe Tollefsdatter Berberg. Lived at Berberg - 423.
7. Randi Abrahamsdatter bpt. 18/8-1765
8. Anne Abrahamsdatter bpt. 2/2-1768 m1t 1789 Frantz Halvorsen Gløsmyr m2 t 1822 widower. Halvor Hansen Kiise.
9. Inger bpt. 18/11-1770 bur. 3/8-1771. "Abraham Fielle's d. Inger age 3/4 ."

This family lived in Siljan between 1753 and 1765.

In Bamble Skifteprotokol. (Probate Protocol) nr. 10b, p. 650a. we find dated 13/9/1784
ABRAHAM NIELSSEN Dead Østre Bøe in Luksefjell.
Heirs: The widow Margrethe Eriksdatter and children:
1. Erik Abrahamssen 23 år. (Erroneously written: "Abraham Erikssen").
2. Helge Abrahamsdtr. m.t Jon Rønnichsen at Bøe.
3. Dorthea Abrahamsdtr. m.t Johan Rollevssen Hogstad in Siljan.
4. Randi Abrahamsdtr. age 19, working at Paul Fjellet.
5. Anne Abrahamsdtr. age 17, working at Halvor Fjellet.
The widow appointed Halvor Fjellet for her guardian. Guardian for Erik was his father's brother Ingvald Nielssen Søeland in Siljan.
Guardian for Randi and Anne was the brother in law Jon Rønnichsen.
Gross assets: 33 - 3 - 6
Dept............. : 33 - 3 - 6.
The farm Eastern Bøe was owned by Løvenskiold, who was the owner of Fossum Ironworks.


From Robert Anderson of Phoenix, Arizona, I have received the following two stories:
Thank you Robert!


My great great great grandfather is Niels Andersen Doxrud, who is listed as emigrating from Gjerpen Mai 1 1855 with a wife and four children. My information indicates that Niels was born at Gronstein, 9 miles from Skien, on December 2, 1814. He married Turine Eriksdatter Berberg, who was born June 8, 1811 in Skien. I do not have the date or location of their marriage. My records indicate that Niels "brought his bride to Gronstein. Later bought and moved to Sandbakken. Sold it and bought Doxrud. Lived here until emigrated to America in 1855." I assume these are names of farms and would be interested in whether Niels actually owned any of these farms or was a husman or tenant farmer. (Because tenant farming is much less common in the Midwestern U.S. than it is or was in Norway, descendants of immigrants often jump to the conclusion that their ancestor owned a farm when in fact they were just tenants.) Niels and Turine arrived in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on July 14, 1855. (Manitowoc is located in eastern Wisconsin, along the shores of Lake Michigan.) I do not have any information on their lives in Manitowoc. Niels died July 27, 1886 and Turine March 9, 1889, both in Manitowoc. Turine and Niels had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood and emigrated to America with Niels and Turine:
(1) Maren Nielsdatter Doxrud (my great great grandmother), who was born April 22, 1837. She was confirmed at age 15 by Bishop Rohde of Gjerpen. She married Andrew Hanson, from Langeland, Denmark, and they lived in Manitowoc their entire lives. Andrew ran a wagon manufacturing Company, the Hanson Wagon Works. I have always wondered what language they spoke at home. Is the Norwegian dialect from Skien sufficiently similar to the Danish dialect from Langeland such that they could understand each other? Maybe Andrew spoke Norwegian (since Norwegian immigrants in Wisconsin far outnumbered Danish immigrants.) Maren died January 7, 1924.
(2) Erik Anderson, born May 24, 1840. Also confirmed by Bishop Rohde. Died March 17, 1896.
(3) Andrew, born May 11, 1843. No further information.
(4) Margethe, born 1846. She married Captain Peter Christianson, who ran a boat on Lake Michigan.
(5) Andrea Nielson, born February 27, 1850 and died September 27, 1850.


The Nils Anderson Doxrud Family
By Robert Anderson

This is a brief history of my great-great-great grandfather, Nils Anderson Doxrud, and his family (particularly his daughter Maren, my great-great grandmother) who immigrated from the small community of Gjerpen, Telemark, Norway in 1855 to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The history is based on notes my grandmother (Hildegarde Moe Jordahl) made over the years, news clippings from Manitowoc, Wisconsin area newspapers, and invaluable genealogical information obtained through the websites of Jan Christensen and Gard Strøm.

Nils was born December 2, 1814 in Gjerpen, a small community located near Skien in Norway. Nils' parents were Anders Johannesen (b. around 1785) and Maren Nielsdatter (b. around 1783), who had married September 25, 1806 and appear to have lived their entire lives on the Gronstein farm, a small cotter's farm that was part of the larger Nordre Boe farm. Hildegarde's notes indicate that Anders was a miner from Tinn in Telemark and worked in the mine owned by Kammerhere Løvenskiold. Anders and Maren had five children: Johannes (b. 1808, d. Oct. 14, 1810 at Gronstein), a second Johannes (b. Dec. 9, 1811), Nils (also spelled "Niels"), Ole (b. Jan. 20,
1818), and Mads (born ca. 1822). Hildegarde's notes indicate that Mads became a schoolmaster and studied in the seminary in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. We know nothing of the other children.

Nils' daughter Margaret visited Gronstein in 1892 with her daughter Milla. The farm was located 9 miles from Skien, up a very narrow trail. Margaret and Milla had to leave their carriage and walk two miles to the farm. On arriving, (quoting from the notes) they "found a stone foundation of a house and a barn still intact. Wild forget-me-nots and tiny pansies grew in the cracks and several birch trees grew in the cellar. Two large flat stones, worn by feet, were at the door - looking up the mountain side was a hole in
the ground called to [that] day 'Anders Gronstein's Gruve' [Norwegian for "mine"]."

Nils' future wife, Turine Eriksdatter Berberg, was the daughter of Eric Abrahamsen Berberg and Margrete Tollefsdatter and was born June 14, 1812 and baptized June 28 that same year. We have a few stories about Turine's family from Hildegarde's notes. Turine's father Erik was a "freeholder" (meaning, presumably, that he owned land) and he wore knee breeches, white long stockings and had silver buckles on his shoes. (Hildegarde's notes indicate that the silver buckles were "thrown away just before I arrived". It is not clear what she means by "arrived". Hildegarde also apparently had a hymn book dated 1794 that is connected to Erik.) Probate records for Berberg (another farm in the Gjerpen area) indicate that Erik died in 1825 but his debts exceeded his assets and so he was practically bankrupt. The records further indicate that "all their belongs were sold at auction."
Turine ("Tone") (who would have been 13 years of age) is listed as an unmarried heir, along with a brother Abraham, age 17 (bapt. Jan. 3, 1808), and sisters Inger (b. ca. 1790), Margrete (b. ca. 1796), Maria (no age listed), who was also unmarried.

Turine and her brother Abraham were the youngest in her family. Abraham became a coachman "for some rich people in Skien". He was kept waiting for several hours in the bitter cold in the coachman's seat on top of the carriage, contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 29. Hildegarde's notes also indicate that Abraham was married and had one child, a daughter who was "lame" and who came to Chicago and married a widower, Per Holtz. He also had a granddaughter, Maren Berberg Johnston or Johnson at Waupaca, Wisconsin.

Turine "worked in a bakery and learned to make wonderful bread that [Andrew's sons] Martin and Thorval could not forget." While working in the bakery, she met Nils, and they were married October 14, 1836 and settled at Gronstein (Grønstein - Norwegian). About this same time, at the age of twenty-two, Nils contracts tuberculosis while spearing salmon. He would struggle with the disease his entire life. They had four children: Maren, Erik, Anders and Margaret.
Maren (my great-great grandmother) was born at Gronstein on April 22, 1837, followed by her brother Erik on May 24, 1840.

According to Hildegarde's notes, Nils subsequently moved to the Sandbakken farm, a part of the larger Tufte farm, where Anders (on May 11, 1843), and Margaret (on Dec. 1, 1846) were born. I can find no records indicating that Nils owned any of these farms. More likely, he was a tenant. In the 1845 census, Nils is working at the iron-works (at Fossum in Gjerpen) and living with his family at Sandbakken. In 1849, the family moved to the Hagen farm, part of the larger Doxrud farm. Vivar  Rhode in Gjerpen confirmed Maren and Erik prior to emigrating to the U.S.

Nils, Turine and the four children (Maren then age 18, Erik 15, Anders 12 and Margaret 9) departed May 1, 1855 from Gjerpen and emigrated to Wisconsin. The family landed in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and took and overland team to Manitowoc, arriving July 13, 1855. There was a fairly large immigrant population in the Manitowoc area from Gjerpen (there is a cemetery in Manitowoc County called the "Gjerpen" cemetery), so Nils and families likely were among friends when they arrived in Manitowoc.

Maren Doxrud
In 1857, Maren married Andrew Hanson, a Danish immigrant. Andrew was born Anders Hansen Mogensen on March 13, 1834 on the Bronsby farm (spelled "Brandsbye" on his passport), in the Humble Parish on the Danish island of Langeland, southeast of Copenhagen. His passport (issued when he was 21), indicates that he had blue eyes and blond hair. One source lists Anders' father as Mogens Johnson. This is the only mention of Anders' father that I have been able to locate, and he soon disappears from the picture. Anders mother was Martha Christiane Hansen, who was born at Brimsby (probably another variation of spelling on "Bronsby"), also in Humble Parish, Langeland on May 23, 1811. Andrew appears in the 1845 census for Tryggelov parish (also on Langeland). Andrew, age 11, is found in the home of Anders Christian Rasmussen, age 43, a blacksmith from Fodslette, Langeland.
Andrew's mother married Rasmussen, who has two children from a prior marriage, Rassemine (age 11) and Niels Peder (age 10). In addition, Martha and Anders Rasmussen have had two children together, Rasmus (age 4) and Anne Kirstine (age 3).

The next stage in Andrew's life is summed up in his own words, found in the Hanson family bible: "[I was] confirmed the 30th of April 1848 in the Fodslette Church, and on the first of April 1955, I left my ancestral home for the first time in order to make my living among strangers. On the 10th of May 1855, I bid my beloved mother and brother [presumably Niels Peder] farewell in the harbor of Rubkøbing [the largest city on Langeland]."
Andrew had apparently learned the trade of blacksmith from his stepfather and was ready to make his way in the world. Leaving his family in May, he traveled through Hamburg, Germany, arriving in New York in June 1855, and then to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he arrived July 6, 1855. His brother, Niels Peter, joined him in August 1856.

On November 15, 1857, Andrew and Maren were married and set about building his blacksmith and eventually wagon-building business. A son, Martin was born on December 29, 1858. On February 14, 1861, a daughter, Marte (also spelled Martha) Christiane (my great grandmother), was born and on October 6, 1863, a son, Thorvald Nikolai, was born.

The Hansons Wagon Works.
Andrew and Maren's company, the Hanson Wagon Works, would become a major manufacturing enterprise in Manitowoc and its influence carried throughout the region. The firm's letterhead indicates that it manufactures "all kinds of farm, truck and spring wagons, carriages, buggies, cutters, sleighs, carriage and buggy tops and trimmings." Hildegarde mentions with pride that the Wagon Works was "well known throughout the Midwest" and that "we would be so proud when we found the name of 'Hanson Wagon Works' under new wagons standing in the street outside the implement dealers." The announcement of Andrew and Maren's 50th wedding anniversary in 1907 describes the Wagon Works as "one of the city's leading manufacturing concerns which, from a small beginning has developed, through his efforts, to become one of the largest wagon manufactories in the state of Wisconsin. The company has a reputation that extends outside of the state and throughout the northwest
and its product is recognized as among the very best on the market."

The 1880's and 1890's would be busy years for the Hansons. We know that Martin worked for much of this time at the Wagon Works. He married Anna Sophie Kappleman (b. Nov. 20, 1863) on June 1, 1883. Martin and Anna had three children: Alvina Almina Dorothea (b. March 1884, Manitowoc), Wilhelm Mortimer ("Willie" in the letters) (b. June 1887 in Manitowoc), and Alvin LeRoy ("Roy" in the family letters) (b. October 1889 in Manitowoc). Anna died April 22, 1890 and is buried in the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery, Manitowoc. Martin married Jesse Warren on October 5, 1894 and they adopted a child.

Martha Hanson married Lars Moe from Elroy Wisconsin on July 23, 1889 and moved to Elroy, where she had three children, Leonard, Olga, Hildegarde and Valdorf. Thorvald married Albertine ("Bertie" in the family letters) (b. Feb. 1870) around 1893. Her family was from New Lisbon, Wisconsin. They had two children: Viola (b. April 1894 in Wisconsin) and Matilda (b. June 1899 in Wisconsin). Thorvald is listed as a blacksmith in the 1880 census, but subsequently worked as a bookkeeper. Adolph married Myrtle Bates during this period and continued to live in Manitowoc. Adolph and Myrtle had no children.

One can sense the gradual decline of the Wagon Works as a significant business after 1900. In 1907, Andrew and Martha celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and the significance of the Wagon Works is touted in the news account of the celebration (quoted above). Letterhead from this time indicates the firm sells or makes "heavy trucks, farm and spring wagons, Studebaker line, vehicles and harness, Sterling whips, Mound City house paints, Eagle gasoline engines, and Kelly-Springfield tires." This suggests an attempt to diversify away from the wagon business, but the lack of work in this time period is palpable in the family letters. Perhaps the advent (ankomst) of the automobile simply was too much. The business closed around 1910, and Andrew and Maren went into permanent retirement. Andrew passed away December 4, 1914 at his home, after a short illness. Maren passed away January 7, 1924 after a lingering illness. Martha her daughter and Hildegarde were with her the last weeks of her life.

The Anderson-Doxruds in Manitowoc.
After immigrating to Manitowoc in 1855, the Anderson-Doxruds continued to live in the Manitowoc area, where their lives continued to be intertwined with the Hansons. Erik Anderson, the oldest son of Nils and Turine, is listed as a "sailor" in one account, and family records indicate he ran a store in Bayview, Door County (just north of Manitowoc). Erik appears from time to time in the Hanson letters. He was married to Marie Salvesen on December 12, 1870 and had three children: Hansine Andrea ("Sina" to her cousin and close friend Martha) (b. April 6, 1872, in Manitowoc County), Theodora Katrine (b. Jan. 3, 1876 in Manitowoc) and Erik Norman (May, 1879, in Manitowoc). Nils' second son, Anders, is listed as a carpet weaver who married Christine Eriksen on December 10, 1865, and had two children: Nils Theodor (b. Oct. 14, 1868) and Edward Martinus (b. May 11, 1874.) Anders died March 17, 1896, in Chicago.

Nils' daughter Margaret married Peter Christensen (b. Jan. 26, 1844 in Porsgrunn, Norway), a boat captain on Lake Michigan, on September 7, 1867. Margaret and Peter had a daughter, Anne Emilie ("Milla" to her friend and cousin Martha Hanson) (b. Jan. 10, 1868). Margaret and Milla traveled back to the family's home in Norway in 1892. Margaret and Peter appear frequently in Andrew's letters from 1910 to 1914, when Peter suffered with foot pain. Peter died May 16, 1917. Margaret died May 14, 1924. Both are buried in Manitowoc.

Nils and Turine lived in Manitowoc the balance of their lives. We know that Nils suffered from tuberculosis, having contracted it in Norway when he was twenty-two. He is listed in the 1880 census as a "laborer" although it is not clear how much work he could do, given his condition. Nils passed away July 27, 1886. We have a beautiful hand-written sermon given at his funeral by Reverend C. F. Magelssen on July 30, 1886. Turine passed away March 9, 1889. Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Manitowoc.

Robert Anderson of Phoenix, Arizona.