"Sjur and OLine Stadem to America,

by Barbara Vorseth Benson,

Stadem Genealogist & Descendant

On 25 April 1866 Sjur (or Syvert) Olsen Stadheim, his wife Oline Madsdatter Vikoren, and their four young children (Berent Martin, Peder Johan, Ole Severin, and Bertine Gurine) left Bergen, Norway, on the ship, Brodene, for the United States of America. Why Sjur and Oline left Norway is unknown. However, Sjur 's older brother, Knud Olsen Stadheim, had sailed to America in 1854, and their mother Brita Knudsdatter Djuvik Stadheim emigrated in 1856. These family members may have encouraged them to come to America. Knud married Agate Alvadatter Svolsvik on 25 September 1859 in Boone County, Illinois, and the family moved in Worth County, Iowa, about 1861. Agate was also born in Vik I Sogn. [This Knud Stadheim line, in part, moved possibly in the 1930s from Iowa or some other state to Washington State, where a family of descendants now resides in Puyallup, Washington, by the name of Matthews--which was discovered and contacted by Stadem genealogist, Sylvia Fjelstad Yuge--Ed.]

According to the National Census 1865--Rode 22, No. 92 in the City of Bergen, Sjur who was a watchman lived with his wife Oline and their four children. Sjur and oline had been living in Bergen about six years. The three younger children had been baptized at Krosskirken in Bergen. However, Sjur and Oline were born in Vik I Sogn and lived there until after they were married.

Sjur, the youngest son of Ole Person Stadheim and Brita Knudsdatter Djuvik, was born on Stadheim Bruk nr. 9. Sjur's grandparents Per Monsson Stadheim and Sigri Olsdatter, had purchased the farm in 1798 from Madam Daae. Sjur was baptized at the Hove Church on 20 December 1829, and he and Oline were married at that same church on 29 December 1857. Their first born, Ole, died when he was a baby and was probably buried in Vik I Sogn.

Oline, the daughter of Mads Olsen Vikeron and Brita Jonsdatter Hove, was born 27 December 1833, was baptized at the Hopperstad Church on 12 July 1835, and was confirmed at the Hopperstad Church on 7 July 1850. The voyage across the Atlantic took 32 days arriving in Quebec, Canada, on 27 May 1866. From there they probably traveled through the Great Lakes to Chicago, Illinois, and then by land to Worth County, Iowa. They settled in Heartland Township where his brother Knud [or Knudt or Knut] lived with his family. According to the US Census taken 20 July 1870 Farmer Sjur/Sever O. Stadem had real estate valued at $1600 and personal property worth $420. Martin, Peder, and Ole were attending school, but Tena, Christine [or Kristine], and Anna were at home. Two daughters, Martha and Anna Sophie were born after 1870, but the first Anna died in 1874. Their neighbors (others listed on the same census sheet) were also from Norway. The spelling of the family name was changed from Stadheim to Stadem. Sjur had many different spellings for his name on records in America. Sever, Syvert, or Severt.

In the spring of 1883 [the same year Sjur received his citizenship and naturalization papers in Northwood, Worth County, Iowa--Ed.], the Stadem family moved again--this time to homestead in Dakota Territory. Sjur/Syvert and Oline built a house out of wood (which was very rare at the time) in what is now Washington Township, Clark County, South Dakota. This wooden house was destroyed by a cyclone. The land went to their son, Peder, and he built a sod shanty on this homestead land. Sjur and oline moved in with their sons, Martin and Ole. These two brothers had homesteaded in what is now Dixon Township, Hamlin County, South Dakota. The farm was only about three miles away from their first home.

According to the 1900 Census Syvert O. Stadem had become a cftizen of the United States (effected 1883, in Worth County, Iowa--Ed.]. he was able to speak some English although Oline could not. Neither of them could read or write English. Their grown children, Martin, Ole, and Anna, and a granddaughter Andrena Stene, were living with them.

Six of their children married and made their homes close to their parents. All of the spouses were of Scandinavian descent. Berent Martin married Ingeborg Nelson Rasdal of Voss, Norway, Peder Johan's first marriage was to Marie Hansine Karkson and his second marriage [after Marie's death] was to Mrs. Gurina Erickson. Bertine (Tena) married George Christian Jensen of Aalborg, Denmark. Kristine Stadem married James (Jens) Stene of Aalen, Norway. Martha married Andrew Vorseth of Byneset, Norway, and Anna Sophie married Erik Hanger of Trondheim, Norway.

The Stadems were active in their church. They helped to start the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Willow Lake, South Dakota.. It was a rural church in Pleasant Township and in 1928 the name of the church was changed to Pleasant Lutheran Chuirch. Syvert (Sjur) was on the committee to choose the site for the church and cemetery. Oline was a Charter Member of the Ladies Aid. The first wedding in the church was on 27 July 1884, when their son Peder married Marie Karlson. Their daughter Kristine was a member of the first Confirmation class.

Retired farmer Syvert O. Stadem died 17 May 1908 of broncho-pneumonia and was buried in the Pleasant Lutheran cemetery, Clark County, South Dakota. Widow Oline Stadem who died 30 April 1911 of apoplexy, her husband Syvert, and their son Ole who died 20 September 1909 are named on the same tombstone. Daughter Kristine Stadem Stene is buried on a nearby lot, as well as daughter Martha and her husband Andrew Vorseth.

The descendants of these immigrants, Syvert (Sjur) and Oline, now number more than 600. The living descendants have moved to all areas of the United States and are engaged in a variety of occupations. We do not all share the Stadem name, but we all share the Norwegian Heritage Syvert and Oline brought with them from Vik I Sogn to America!.


Links to other sites on the Web

With only three years left on this earth, even with some memory loss, Grandma Bergit Stadem still had her mind in good thinking order at age 96 or 95:

Bergit Stadem's 1980 Christmas Letter

PAPA'S STORY (Parts One and Two)


"The Stadem Line of Knudt Stadem was Found by a Stadem/Fjelstad genealogist, with one family in Puyallup, Washington

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