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Bierche/Walstad Farm Archive Journals, 1650-1860
The Bierche/Walstad Farm Archive Journals contain assorted hand-written records. An inscription in the front of volume one states that O. A. Walstad of Douglas County, Minnesota, owned the ledger in 1903. This was Ole Andersen Walstad, who was born 7 June 1828 in Ringsaker to Anders Nielsen and Berte Torkildsdatter. Ole died 29 April 1904 in Douglas County. According to the 1801 census of Norway, Ole's paternal grandfather, Niels Andersen (born 1761), owned the Bierche farm. The journals appear to be a collection of assorted official documents connected to ancestors of Ole Walstad. The most common farm name found throughout is Bierche and a number of the documents in volume one were signed by either Ole Nielsen Bierche or Anders Nielsen Bierche. It is probable that this farm was in the family for multiple generations.
Several of the documents include signatures by the reigning kings of Denmark/Norway: Christian V, Christian VI and Christian VII. It can be assumed that the documents concerning Christian V and Christian VI were authentic; but the one concerning Christian VII was most likely written by an assistant because the king was said to not be of sound mind (Source: Danmarks Historie by Vilh. La Cour, 1947). It is thought that the royal documents acknowledged certain farms and announced new laws throughout Hedmark.
The signatures of Anders Nielsen Bierche and Niels Andersen Bierche were found on many of the documents in volume two. Niels Andersen Bierche was found on earlier documents in this volume, while Anders Nielsen Bierche was found on later documents, prior to 1825. These records indicate the passing of the farm to the next generation. Because Anders was the oldest son, he would have had the right of inheritance from his father. Beginning in 1825, Anders Nielsen began using the farm surname of Hvalstad (Walstad or Kvalstad), suggesting the family moved to this farm from Bierche.
Research indicates that Ole A. Walstad and his family emigrated about 1866 and settled in Urness in Douglas County, Minnesota. According to Minnesota land records, Walstad acquired 160 acres from the Fergus Falls Land Office on June 24, 1878. It is probable that Walstad brought the documents with him when he emigrated.