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Ove's 1896 letter to his mother and brother in Norway

Trudy believes that the Rangdi Søndvol mentioned here is probably Rangdi Söndrol Flaten (#12828), Ove's first cousin. The Marit mentioned here is probably Marit Aslaksdatter Ellingbøe (#3067), Ove's half-sister.

January 26, 1896

Lakeville P.O.
Dakota Co.
Minnesota
North America

Dear Mother and Sister,

Finally I have received a little note from you. And it pleases us to hear that you are healthy and well. We haven’t heard from you for several years so I thought that perhaps you had forgotten about us. Thus it is: parents forget their children and children their parents. But, God be praised, we have a friend who does not forget us, namely the Lord Jesus Christ.

{Margin note on 1st page: I would like it if you could buy a couple of carding combs (for wool) and send to us with Randi Søndvol when she comes back.}

I wrote a letter to you and one to brother Ole who is at Lajord a short time after Ole had died in which I asked you to get information regarding how much he left. I thought that the Mother must be the first heir of her son since he did not have children. And I think that this situation has made the inheritance confusing. But I have not heard a word from you since. You probably thought that I wanted to get some benefit or advantage from this. You write in your letter that I have written to Ole that I thought that there would be a large inheritance for me. That is a clear misunderstanding of Ole’s and yours. I thought this way: if Mother gets what comes to her from Ole perhaps it could be that a little might come to me. I have never been plagued by greed for someone else’s goods. I have trusted in God’s providence and He has of his blessing and beneficence dealt out to me what I need for me and mine. We have not suffered for any necessity up to this time. I thought you knew how it went with us before we left for America from Tholen: we were confronted by swindlers and I lost about $400 cash in paid-out money so I certainly did not go to America with full pockets. I had to borrow money before I could come over with my family so one is not there with an advantage as one says. Lately, there have been some hard times and an ordinary man has all he can do to make ends meet. There are low prices for what we sell and low wages for a laborer.

I will enclose for you a picture of me and my wife and our four youngest children and likewise one for brother Ole together with a loving greeting for him and his family. I await a letter and picture from her again. Anyway, please greet everyone for me.

Marit our daughter is married, which you already well know. They live 150 miles from here and Thea has gone to visit them now.

We are all in reasonably good health for today but we do not see into the future. Dear Mother, when you send us a letter next time, try to get someone to write it for you, someone who writes more clearly so I can understand the meaning. All I can understand of these lines is that Marit over and over talks of an inheritance which she fears that I want to share with them but that is a misunderstanding and nothing else.

{Margin note on 4th page (probably intended to be the closing): A loving greeting from your son and brother Ove Ellingboe.}

I want to add a few more words. I heard that those who were with Ole said that he was in clear mind all the way to the end. And you know, you and all who knew him, that he knew what he wanted when he had something in mind. Were they therefore in agreement that she (the wife) should have the most of what he left? You can be sure that he did things orderly and did not just speak of this orally as she says. However, if he did not make a will then it must have been his meaning that it should be shared between our mother and his wife according to the law. Anyway, it should not be regarded as wrong to examine such a matter accurately, especially when it concerns so much money. You must surely not let her know that I have written about this or she will be angry with me. But I know that she can manage well on her share of it.

{Margin note on 6th page: They had kitchen articles and furniture worth much money too. You should have seen it.}

Owner/SourceTranslated by Brad
Linked toOve Ovesen ELLINGBOE

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