2025 Reunion scheduled for August 1-3, 2025 at the Best Western Plus in La Crescent, MN:

See more information >>

Benrud Family History

In Eidsvoll, Norway, about 40 miles northeast of Oslo, there is a farm called “Vestgarn Aas”, attached to which is a smaller tract, of about 8 acres, known as “Benerud”. Until the late 1800’s the latter was a husmannsplass, where the husmann who lived there with his family was a tenant farmer who paid his rent by working part-time for the landlord.

In 1762 CHRISTOPHER TORGERSON, a peddler and itinerant teacher who was the son of TORGER CHRISTOFFERSEN PRESTEBAKKEN and MARTE LARSDATTER, married MARGARETE PEDERSDATTER and came to be husmann at Benerud. They had two sons, Peder Christoffersen and JON CHRISTOFFERSEN, and Peder followed his father as husmann. He married Kari Olsdatter and they had two daughters. Kari died in 1806, and Peder later married BERTHE POULSDATTER, who had come to the farm called “Siggerud” from Toten with her parents, POUL JENSEN (son of JENS RASMUSSEN RØISE and KARI NILSDATTER ENGE) and ELI TORCHILDSDATTER NARUM. Peder and BERTHE had two daughters: Pauline (1814-1824) and Christiane, who lived to marry Ole Andreasen Blikkelsrud; they were the recipients of the letters written by the Beneruds from America back to Norway in 1875 and 1882.

In 1761 OLA ANDERSEN HOFSLØKKEN and KARI PEDERSDATTER had come from Toten, about 60 miles further north, and purchased Vestgam Aas and moved there. Among their children were Kari Olsdatter, Anders Olsen, and PETTER OLSEN. OLA died in 1788, and KARI married Ole Guttormsen, from Trysil, who took over operation of the farm. It was Kari who was the first wife of Peder Christoffersen Benerud; Anders became operator of Vestgam Aas; and after the death of Peder Christoffersen, PETTER married his widow, BERTHE POULSDATTER, and became husmann at Benerud, therefore known as PETTER OLSEN BENERUD. PETTER AND BERTHE had three children: PEDER PETTERSEN (1818-1914), Andreas Pettersen (1826-1841), and Elen Pauline Pettersdatter (1828-1849). JON CHRISTOFFERSEN, second son of CHRISTOFFER TORGERSEN BENERUD, married JOHANNE IVERSDATTER. In 1810, JON purchased Overbakken, which had been another husmannsplass attached to Vestgam Aas, but in 1813 he sold it and stayed on as husmann. Their ANNE SOFFIE JONSDATTER was born in 1816, and in 1829 she moved with JON and JOHANNE and her sister Margarethe to the farm Østby. There Jon operated the part known as Arstun Østby until retiring in 1832; then they continued to live at Østby with Margarethe and her husband Johannes Østby, son of Nils Jonsen Østby and Ingeborg Poulsdatter, sister of BERTHE POULSDATTER.