52 Ancestors #24 – Heirlooms

This week’s theme was pretty easy for a change – we are using my 2nd great grandfather’s traveling trunk in our front hall as mitten/hat/scarf storage – an everyday heirloom.

Gullak Christenson was born 5 December 1846 in Borgund, Laerdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. (A beautiful area that I wish to visit someday)

Laerdal mountain pass, via Wikicommons

He was one of two sons in a family of eight daughters with parents Kristen Kristenson and Kari Gullaksdatter.  He emigrated from Norway. leaving from Bergen on April 23, 1869 on the ship S. S. Maryland and arriving May 30 in Quebec, Canada.  He made his way to Greenwood township, Vernon County, Wisconsin, which was founded by Laerdal immigrants in 1863. (Need to suss out the story of that place also).  He married and farmed and eventually planted his family in Polk County, Minnesota, where my grandfather and father were born.

The trunk remained in the family, and I feel extremely lucky that it landed in my hands, as it could have gone to any of the 100s of descendants that call him great-great grandfather.  It is a round-top, embossed tin, wooden trunk with leather handles. Somewhere along the line it lost the interior shelf – there is a place for it to sit.  It is lined in a wood-looking paper, which is peeled in areas, but otherwise it is in great shape for being schlepped across the ocean and a few states.  I’m so glad that this little bit of my family history can be used everyday, not just kept as a sacred relic or packed away for a special occasion – it is a great conversation starter too!

Gullak Christenson, personal collection
Gullak’s trunk, an everyday heirloom

2 thoughts on “52 Ancestors #24 – Heirlooms

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