Peder Johannessen's Ancestors

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We wish to thank Åse for sharing the research done by genealogist Kaare Hasselberge, with us. 

Johannes Jeremiassen was born about 1625, probably in Skjerstad, Nordland County, Norway, the eldest of eight children born to Jeremias Anderssøn and Karen Jensdatter. Some researchers say he was born in Fauske, which is across the Skjerstadfjorden fjord, in the same county. When he was about five years-old, his family moved to the farm named Vatnan, in the lake village area, just north of Fauske. He worked this farm with his family until his marriage to an unknown woman, probably in the 1650’s.

Johannes and his wife had at least eight children – Karen, whose birthdate is unknown, who never married and died in 1742; Margrethe, whose birthdate is unknown, married Joen Marvoll; Anna, born about 1662, married Peder Pedersøn; Lisbeth, born about 1663 married Peder Hanssøn and they both died in 1724, on the Yttre Fauske farm in Skjerstad; Sophie, born about 1670, married Christopher Olufsøn on October 15, 1693, and died in 1755; ancestor Peder; Hans baptized on February 13, 1676, and buried on April 24th that same year; and another Hans baptized on August 15, 1677, who married and lived in Skaug.

Researchers say that in the book Families of Fauske and Skjerstad, Volume II, it is stated that from 1662 to 1672, Johannes was a farmer on Tverå in Fauske. There are two entries for him on the 1663 to 1666 Census of Helgeland and Salten, one on page 213 and the other on page 239 (click on the links to view each page in a new window or tab.). Both are dated June 17, 1665 in the text versions and have the same people working on them. On page 239, 36 year-old Johan Jeremiæsen is living and working on a farm called Turaaen and his 30 year-old brother Niels is listed just above him on a farm called Tortenlien. On the other page, 36 year-old Johan Jeremias is working on a farm named Tueraam. 32 year-old Niels is listed on the Tortenlien farm, entered one line previous to Johannes’ entry. It seems likely that Tverå, Turaaen, and Tueraam are the same farm as it seems unlikely that they were working on different farms at the same time. Being that this census spanned a few years, these entries could have been made a few years apart, but dated the same. In either case Johannes’ age is less than what it should be. Females are not listed on this census, unless they own the farm, and being that he did not have a son until after this census was taken, it makes sense that he is listed alone.

The book, Families of Fauske and Skjerstad, Volume II, goes on to say that Johannes moved and resided in Ytre (Outer) - Fauske from 1672 until his death. During this time his name is mentioned many times in the Skjerstad Parish Register, as a witness to baptisms and other church matters (mouse over image left for details on this example).

On the 1701 census, Johannes is listed as 77 years old, without sons listed on the Yttre Fusche farm, with a 20 year-old helper named Daniel Olsen. Under Johannes’ name, there are two other males listed. The first is his 26 year-old son Hans, with no sons listed. The name under Hans is Johannes' daughter Lisbeth’s, 50 year year-old husband, Peder Hanssøn, along with their three sons, who are Johannes' grandsons. (Mouse over image left and click to enlarge in a new window or tab.) Fourteen years later both Lisbet and her husband died on this farm. The translation of their probate card reads, “both of them in good old age dead.” Unfortunately, nothing is known about Johannes’ wife, not even her given name.

The book, Families of Fauske and Skjerstad, Volume II, says that Johannes Jeremiassen died sometime in 1710, at the age of 85, on the Yttre Fauske farm. This researcher has not found a death or a probate record or him.

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Jeremias Andersen was born sometime between 1598 and 1605 on the Røvik farm in Fauske, Nordland County, Norway, the son of Anders Gunderson and his unnamed wife. He worked the farm with his father and brothers. He met and courted Karen Jensdatter, daughter of the pastor of Skjerstad, who lived on the other side of the Skjerstadfjorden fjord. They had a troubled courtship which lasted years. They married about 1624 when they were no younger than 25 years-old, which was older than others who married for the first time. It is said they lived with her parents for the first few years of the marriage, but this is undocumented. About six years after the marriage, in 1630, they built up their own farm Vatnan in the lake village area just north of Fauske, where he also fished to feed his family. They had a total of eight children who all helped in the running of the farm and with the fishing.

Jeremias worked his farm until his death in about 1660. It is said he is buried in the Skjerstad Parish churchyard, but again, no documentation exists to support this.

Mouse over map left, (original unlabeled map created by NordNordWest and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-de via Wikimedia Commons) to see a close up map of the Fauske Municipality, created by Jensens, which is licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Karen Jensdatter’s birth year is unknown. She most likely was born in Nærøy, Outer Namdalen, in Nord-Trøndelag County, Norway, between 1600 and 1605, the eldest daughter of the pastor there, Jens Christensen and his unknown wife. In about 1618, when her father was demoted, she moved with her parents to Skjerstad, Nordland County, south of the Skjerstadfjorden fjord. There she met her husband to-be, Jeremias Andersen, who lived on the farm Røvig, on the north side of the fjord, which is now in the municipality of Fauske.

Karen’s father Jens would not allow her to see Jeremias, as although he was the son of a captain he was just a farmer and fisherman, and not good enough for his daughter. It seems her father kept her secluded for a year, not allowing her to cross the fjord, to prevent her from visiting her boyfriend. But Karen was a young lady who knew what she wanted and went after it. She took ordinary kitchen items, two flat wooden baker’s peels that are used to load and unload bread in and out of an oven, and used them for oars to cross the Skjerstadfjord to see Jeremias. Her father eventually gave up when she was about 25 years-old and they married in about 1624. In 1630, they settled on a farm named Vatnan in Fauske and they had eight children – ancestor Johannes; Anders, born about 1628; Effuert, born about 1630; Niels, born about 1634; Oluf, born about 1640; Daniel, born about 1642; Jens, born about 1648; and a daughter Karen, whose birth year is unknown. It is said that today there is large portion of the Skjerstad population that are descendants of Karen and Jeremias.

Karen was left a widow in about 1660, and we find her listed as such on the Salten, Baadøe Parish, Skjerstad Quarter, April 30, 1666 Parish Priest Census. Her name is first on the farm Vatten list, followed by nine men, including her two sons 24 year old Daniel and 18 year-old Jens. This implies that she was the owner of the farm and the men worked for her. (Mouse over image right and click to enlarge in a new window or tab.) In that same census book, found within ten pages of each other are her sons, 38 year-old Anders, 36 year-old ancestor Johannes, and 32 year-old Niels, living on different farms. It should be noted that there is another 1666 entry for Enchen (widow) Karen on page 241, but this time she is not listed first. Being that she is mentioned at all, females are not on this census, supports that she was the owner of the farm. Another interesting thing is that there is a 65 year-old Hans Gundersøn on this farm. Karen’s father-in-law was ancestor Anders Gundersøn. This may be a much younger brother of his.

Although records do not exist to confirm it, most researchers believe Karen Jensdatter died in 1685 on her farm Vatnan.

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Anders Gundersen was probably born in Arvika, Värmland, Sweden between 1572-1575.In Harald Solbakk’s volume II of the book Families of Skjerstad and Fauske, it states there is a legend that he immigrated as a young child with his father, Gunnar Svenske, to Skjerstad, Nordland County, Norway, where he they worked on and built up the Røvik farm. His name, listed as Skipper Anders Gunderson, was mentioned often in the bilge accounts in the years 1609-1635, as a captain and landowner. In the weapons collection report of 1609, Anders Gunderson was equipped with a rifle and a sword. That same year, he was one of only three males in the area who paid the full leidang (levy), namely 1 våg or bay fish. (Mouse over Manxruler's photo, left, of the village of Skjerstad for details.)

Anders Gundersen married, but his wife’s name is unknown, and they had at least four children, all born on the Røvik farm – sons Gunder and Peder, whose birthdates are unknown; ancestor Jeremias; and Anders, who was born about 1632, and was probably the youngest.

Most researchers say Anders Gundersen died in 1635 on his farm, some say it was in Fauske and others say it was in Skjerstad. The confusion arises because the boundries changed over the years. On January 1, 1905, the northern district of the municipality of Skjerstad was separated to become the new municipality of Fauske. In 1949 and 1963, small areas of the municipality of Skjerstad were separated from it and put into the Saltdal and Bodin municipalities, respectively. In 2005, what remained of Skjerstad was merged into the town of Bodø. So it seems likely that Anders Gundersen lived in the northern district of the then municipality of Skjerstad, on the north side of the Skjerstadfjorden fjord, which became the municipality of Fauske. (See map above.)


Jens Christensen was probably born about 1575 in Northern Norway or in Denmark. From his surname, we know that his father’s given name was Christen, but we do not know the surname. We know Jens was the parish priest of Nærøy, Outer Namdalen, in Nord-Trøndelag County in 1607, as he had to pay 20 rdl to the Trondhjems Lensregnskaper (accounts on microfiche in the National Archives in Oslo) for what seems to be a wedding ceremony for an already married woman. Jen's predecessor, Hans Jacobsen, was the pastor earlier and he died in 1594, so Jens probably was appointed then. He served this community until 1618, when he left this parish suddenly. It was so unexpected and abrupt that many researchers thought he had died, but this was not the case. (Mouse over Nærøy photo Skrøyvstadfossen by Robert Eliassen for details.)

Jens is listed as the second pastor of the Skjerstad parish, in Nordland County, beginning in 1620, on a list compiled in the latter half of the 1700’s by the twelfth pastor of Skjerstad, Christian Fredrik Hagerup. According to Hagerup, Jens was transferred out of Nærøy, and into a lower staff position in Skjerstad as assistant pastor, because of his harsh disciplinary actions toward a Nærøy parish servant. Jens did well in Skjerstad, worked his way up to pastor in 1620 when the first pastor, surnamed Just, died. Jens served Skjerstad until his death.

His wife is unknown, and it is believed they had six children, but only four are known – ancestor Karen; an unnamed eldest son, who because he had an unusual skill in marksmanship, was accused of witchcraft, sent to Copenhagen, then became the honored King’s hunter; Ole, who went to live with his brother in Copenhagen; and Christian, born about 1616, became a vicar and settled on Langset in Saltdal and had numerous descendants.

Jens Christensen’s exact death date is unknown, some say it was in 1623, but most agree it was in 1630, when a new pastor was appointed in Skjerstad.


Gunnar Svenske was born about 1550, in Arvika, Värmland, Sweden to unknown parents .It should be noted that his surname Svenske, was given to him in Norway, as it is the Norwegian word for Sweden. Some researchers say he was married to a woman with the surname of Stopp, but this is undocumented. According to Pastor Johannes Pedersen Hagerup, in his Schierstads Sogn Efterretninger, (Skjerstad Parish News) written in the early 1700’s, he immigrated with his son, ancestor Anders Gundersen, in the late 1500's to Skjerstad, Nordland County, Norway and established the farm Røvik, west of Fauske. The fact that he was the one to start farming Røvik has come into question as there were four other farmers in that area at the time. Hagerup also tells us that both Gunnar and his son became well known in this parish partly because they both were accused of witchcraft, which was usual for people of this time and partly because a great deal of the people of Skjerstad and Saltdal descend from them. He is mentioned as a local legend in Volume II of the book Slektsbok for Skjerstad og Fauske (Families of Skjerstad and Fauske).

Researchers do not know when Gunnar Svenske died, but all agree it was at his farm Røvik.

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