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Vern Elefson's Tele-PageClick to return to a list of member sites and pages


Elefson and Hayer Families

Four of my great, great grandparents immigrated to the Muskego settlement arriving in September 1842. They were:

  •  Halvor Ellefsen Jørisdal, his wife Gro Olsdotter Bakka and five children. In America, Halvor Jørisdal became known as Oliver Elefson.
  • Lars Andersen Folseland, his wife Anne Olsdotter Haugen and their eight children, one of whom was married with children.Lars Folseland became known as Lars Hayer. Some of Lars' relatives, using the same surname, spelled it Heyer or Hyer or Heier.
These families came from Tinn, Hovin and Gransherad in Telemark.  T
he second son of Lars and Anne Hayer, Anders Larsen Folsland (Andrew Hayer),  was born on Møli in Tinn but at the time he emigrated he was living on Folsland in Gransherad. He was single when he left Norway, but he married as soon as he got to America. In fact he was married while still on board the immigration ship in New York harbor. His bride was Aslaug Olsdtr. Midtgarden, who was a niece to Oliver Elefson. This initiated several intermarriages between the Hayer and Elefson families.

Of the five Elefson children, three married, and all three married children from the Hayer family.

Andrew Hayer was one of the signers of the Muskego Manifesto.  He left Muskego relatively early and settled briefly in the town of Koshkonong, Jefferson Co., Wisconsin, but soon moved to the Fox River Norwegian settlement in LaSalle County, Illinois. He prospered there. He had five children.

The Elefson and Hayer families were related in several ways to several of the early immigrants to Muskego. For example, Ole Øysteinsson Sjøtveit arrived in 1841 and was a nephew of Anne Hayer, the mother in that family. This Ole later settled near Mt. Horeb in Dane Co., Wisc. Ole Kittleson Luraas and wife also arrived in 1841. He was a first cousin to Oliver Elefson and his wife, Anne Christiansdtr. Mårheimsrud in Tinn, was a niece to Lars Hayer. There were other more remotely related relatives.

There is a book, now out of print, that traces the descendants of the Hayer and Elefson families down to about 1950. It is by Annie Hyer Kemp and is titled "What We Know About the Hayer (Hyer) Family."

A few years ago, I published a small book -- "Elefson Family History" -- that traces the ancestors of these two families in Norway. It is available from me at:

Vern Elefson

N6616 County Road O

River Falls, WI 54022



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