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The People of the Shoebox Letters

Almost all the letters in the Stjørdal-South Dakota shoebox collection are connected to the Holm family. Ola Markussen Hemre and Karen Jacobsdatter Røkkesaunet had 10 children, all with the last name Holm (they lived on the tenant farm Holmstrøen in Hegra, hence their last name) who constitute the center of this collection:

1. *Olaf Holm (1862-ca1888)
2. *Anna Lovise Holm (1864-1934)
3. *Johan Magnus Holm (1868-1948)
4. Markus Holm (1871-1914)
5. Hilmar Holm (1874-1875)
6. Hanna Holm (1876-1959)
7. Ola Holm (1878-ca1970)
8. Conrad Lauritz Holm (1881-1943)
9. Laura Sofie Holm (1883-1966)
10. Aksel Holm (1885-1966)

Those who authored letters in this collection are in bold. Those denoted * emigrated to the U.S. and remained there - Ola also lived in the U.S. for a while, but went back to Norway. Johan is the one around whom the letters are centered, he called himself John in the U.S. All of the above, except Olaf (who died early) and Hilmar (who died at the age of 1) are represented as authors of the letters in the collection.

Olaf Holm married Karoline Sandboløkken, but died in a flu epidepic, leaving his widow and a young child, Alma behind (Alma is identical to Alma C. Wilson). This is not Ola Holm, who authored many of the letters.

Anna Holm, also mentioned in some of the letters, was 18 when she came to the U.S. She settled in Baltic, SD, later in Jasper - married twice, she had 11 children, the descendants of many have now been located. Anna died at Sioux Falls, buried at Jasper Cemetery. Some of her children are mentioned in the letters - Cleo, Hattie, possibly others too?

John Holm (Johan Holm) married his brother Olaf's widow Karoline, in other words, he was Alma's uncle and her stepfather.

Grace Wilson, mentioned in some of the letters was Alma's daughter. Mathilda Halvorson (letter dated Oct. 10-1911) appears to have been Karoline's sister. A descendant has now been located. A. H. Voler (letter dated Apr. 4-1916) I believe was a friend of Karoline's.

Markus Holm was run over by a train - he left his widow Gjertine, also mentioned in the letters, and 7 children. Their daughter Klara (Krogstad) wrote several of the letters. There's also a letter from Olaf Holm, dated Jan. 25-1948 - he was one of Markus and Gjertine's twin boys.

Hanna Holm married Edvard Eidum - this is the Edvard Eidum who wrote many of the letters to John and Alma. They at first lived in Hegra, but moved to Narvik in 1914. Hanna and Edvard had 10 children, one being daughter Gusta Eidum, the author of some of the letters - also, Ågoth or Ågot (Søberg).

Edvart Søberg (letters dated Apr. 11-1948 and Dec. 21-1947) is Agoth's son and Gretha Søberg (letter dated Sept. 6-1948) is her daughter - in other words, Edvard and Hanna Eidums grandchildren.

Karen Austvoll (letter dated June 20-1948), is another one of Edvard and Hanna's daughters, as is Hilma Lindgren (letter dated May 20-1952).
Some of Hanna and Edvard's descendants have been located (one in Australia).

Ola Holm's wife was Berith (authored some of the letters), they had 5 girls, some of whom are represented among the authors of the letters - Evelyn (later signs herself Evelyn Fiskvik), Effie, and Sonja (Bakken). Other girls were Agnes (Tangvik) and Gerd. When in the U.S. Ola performed as a roller skater.

Conrad Lauritz Holm (author of a couple of the letters) married Olava. Among their 9 children was Odd Holm (Siri's father), who wrote the letters from Africa to his uncle Johan. Anna Holm Sundberg (letter dated Febr. 20-1946), was one of Conrad's daughters, Odd's twin sister. Jorun Holm (letter dated Febr. 12-1945 - but should probably be 1946) is also Conrad's daughter, she's still alive.

Laura Karlson is Laura Holm.

Axel Holm (or Aksel) wrote many of the letters. His wife was Helga and they had children Eilif, Herborg, Arne and Einar, all of whom are mentioned, or wrote some of the letters. (Letter from Einar Holm, Jan. 4-1948, also, Einar and Astrid's song).
Aase Holm (letter dated Jan. 23-1948) was married to Aksel's son Eilif Holm.

Anna Pettersen (letter dated Dec. 2-1948) is just a lady in the norht of Norway in need of help, no relation.

Alma C. Wilson had the following children:
Bert Edson Leroy (1909-1979)
James Clifford Eugene (1912-1985)
Grace Arlene (1914-1991)
Frances Irene (1917-1920)
Ralph Orville (1921-1996)
Henry Richard (1927-2001)
Henry was the father of Terry Wilson, who owns the originals transcribed and translated for this letter collection.