What do Margret Lommen Ranzenberger, Eloise Myrah Hoff, Beverly Storlie Thompson and others have in common? They are all descendants of Ove Martinus Olsen Aasum and his wife, Marie Jensdatter Braaten/Benson.

When I attended Spring Grove High School, the above girls were also students there; and so, I became acquainted with them. Beverly and Margaret rode on the same school bus as I did.

Eloise Myrah had four sisters: Norma, Ethelyn, Patricia and Marjorie, who all moved to other areas. Beverly Storlie had two brothers, Charles and Melbourne, and a sister, Janice. Both Charles and Melbourne have passed away, and I do not have any further information on Janice.

When I started doing genealogy, this family was a puzzle because Maria Jensdatter's parents were Jens Bjornsen Braaten and his wife was Gunhild Syversdatter Nohre.

On my first trip to Norway in 1989, I became acquainted with Della B. Berg from Bangor, Wis., who helped me straighten out the relationship.

The Bjornsen name became Americanized to Benson. Then on further research, I found that my aunt and uncle, Gunder and Regina Johnson Overby, at one time had lived on the Benson farm, as they always called it; and pursuing that, I found that this Jens Benson was actually Jens Bjornsen Braaten.

This farm was located just over the Houston/Fillmore county line in Section 36, Preble Township. As a youngster with my parents I visited there many a time.

I remember the floor in the living room leaned to one side and that fascinated me (the little things a person remembers).

I also remember Gunder milking cows by hand in the barn and squirting milk into the mouths of the cats that sat watching him.

The road that entered from the north was their driveway, and it used to be a road that went through to the road that goes south out of Riceford to Mabel, but that part was closed to through-traffic.

One time during threshing, I remember riding along when Gunder drove this ancient, grassed-over, gully-filled road; I thought it was great fun.

This farm became vacant, and if I remember correctly, first the house disappeared and then the barn, but the windmill remained standing for many years. I'm not sure if the windmill is still there or if that has also disappeared.

Ove Aasum's father was Ole Storkersen who was born March 16, 1815, in Saur, Stod, Nord-Tronderlag, Norway, and died Oct. 4, 1901, in Hesper, Iowa.

He married Anna Marta Larsdatter Wennes who was born Jan. 21, 1822, and died June 6, 1904.

The couple had eight children:

Ole Syvert Aasum born Nov. 3, 1843, died March 18, 1915, married to Ellen Selness, six children;

Lorentz Magnus born Dec. 21, 1845, died April 7, 1893, married Margrethe Casperson, seven children;

Elen Anna born March 6, 1849, died Dec. 27, 1928, married James B. Harvey, six children;

Thomine born May 18, 1851, died Aug. 6, 1927, married Andrew Rygg, nine children;

Oline Margarethe born Sept. 24, 1853, died Jan. 31, 1941, married Anton Smith, 10 children;

Berith Marie born Sept. 7, 1861, died Oct. 26, 1959, married Esten Klegseth, five children; and

Bernt August, born April 29, 1870, died April 6, 1934.

Bernt never married and Lorentz went west, dropping the Aasum name, so the Aasum families in this area are probably descendants of Ole Syvert, Ove Martinus and Berith Marie Klegseth.

Ove Aasum born Jan. 24, 1858, died April 2, 1941, married Marie Benson born Feb. 4, 1867, died Jan. 10, 1941.

Ove and Maria's children were: James, 1893-1975, married Esther Nelson;

Grant 1896-1977;

Blanche 1897-1993 married Kenneth Storlie;

Minnie 1899-2000 married Gilman Myrah;

Stella 1901-1996, married Harry Lommen;

Judene 1905-1995, married Mildred Anderson;

Melvin 1907-1986; and

Bennie 1909-1980, married Thora Lommen.

Stop by our library at the Ballard House, and we will be glad to print pedigree or group sheets from our holdings for a small fee.

We also provide more extensive research services, connecting local families to their Norwegian ancestors. Call (507) 498-5070 for more information or email rosefarm@springgrove.coop.

Additions and corrections to these columns are welcome.