Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Full Circle 110

This Full Circle began when Karla left a comment on the blog that Rena was a relative.

Rena Ensby DL Ant Number 1573 (2)

Rena Ensby  Photo Number 1573

Karla wrote:

I am very interested to find out about the photo 1573. My great-great grandmother was Berti Simonsdatter Ensby born 1850. Her sister was Ronnog Simsonsdatter Ensby born 1854- the Rena Ensby in the picture I believe.  Where did it come from? Do you have others? How can I get a copy? I have attached a photo of Berti to this email. It is a picture of Berti with her husband Teodore Mathisen and two children, Frank and Pete.

Thank you so much! Karla

Here is the photo she emailed me.

berti (2)

Berti (Ensby) with her husband Teodore Mathisen and two children, Frank and Pete.

I answered her questions, the photo came from the antique shop in Detroit Lakes Minnesota.  I am unsure about others.  Although Photo Number 1572 is wearing the same dress as Rena in Photo Number 1573.   They must have been  friends or the dress was store bought and it is a coincidence that they wore the same dress.

Karla wrote:

Thank you so much!  I am so excited!  And that other photo 1572 certainly looks like the exact same person- but I don't know about the info printed there. I will certainly get looking into that!  Again thank you so much!!

I sent off Rena’s photo to Karla.

She wrote back:

Mar 8

Yes! The photo arrived and it is beautiful! I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond. The truth is I have spent many hours of research trying to find out more about her!! My searching is far from over, but this is what I do know:

Ronnog Simensdatter Ensby was born in Oslo, Oppland, Norway on 17 February 1854 to Simen Iversen and Ingebor Larsdatter. Her siblings:

Ane: born 1841

Agnete: born 1844

Iver: born 1846

Lisabet: born 1848

Berti: born 1850

Sicil: born 1856

Anna: born 1859

Pauline: born 1862

Ronnog (or Rena) emigrated 15 May 1885. She was living in Spokane Washington at 1207 Riverside as a "domestic" in 1890. I have not been able to find any marriage record or death record or anything else about her really... But I will continue searching and would love input from anyone who might know something else!

I would love to get the picture of Ana Ensby too! I don't know too much about her either: Ana was born 15 March 1859 in Oslo, Oppland, Norway as well. She is found on the Ensby farm in the 1865 and 1875 census. Then I found a naturalization intention record for her 1888-1907 in Swift County, Minnesota. She also is listed in the Spokane Washington directories from 1892-1907 as a domestic. I cannot find any marriage or death record on Ana.

Berti is my great great grandmother- I have quite a bit of information on her if anyone is interested. Thank you so much, Karla

P.S. I have sent a check to thank you and cover postage for sending the picture of Rena Ensby (and the one for Ana if that is possible!)  Thank you again so much!

I mailed off Anna Ensby’s photo also.

Anna Onsby DL Ant Number 1575 (2)

Anna Ensby  Photo Number 1575

March 21 Thanks! I got the picture of Ana today! I am beyond thrilled!! Thank you for this great service you do! Karla

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. These might not get a lot of comments, but as always, I am amazed at what you do. We are part of a forgetful age. Those who are attempting to remember need all the help they can get. Thank you for what you do.

  2. Berti, Rena, and Anna all have a strong family resemblance!

    I'd love to hear more about Berti - it might help piece together how the three sisters came to America -

  3. This is not about your Full Circle but your blog header. I love it especially the top right. Those children are just so sweet and look so happy.

  4. Happy to read more photo's have made the full circle.

  5. Really needed a Full Circle right now. Gotta have my Full Circle fix every now and then...

    This one provided lots of information. Now that I read about two of the sisters serving as domestic help, I wonder if a requirement for being hired (and traveling to the job from a distance) might have been to provide a photograph to potential employers who might be hiring their help, sight unseen, from another country. Do you think that would be the case back then?

    1. It could have been. Often times I think they had photos done soon after they arrived to send to relatives back in the old country...Grandma etc. BUT that is just my opinion. It would have worked to send off in a letter for employment too:)

  6. A small comment regarding the origin of this family: Ensby (Einsby) is a farm in Øyer community, Oppland County, in Norway. (Oslo is the capital of Norway, further south.) Øyer is in the lower part of Gudbrandsdalen valley, just north of Lillehammer and lake Mjøsa. This is the area of the winter olympics in 1994.

    There is information on the internet that suggests that this family bought Ensby farm in 1830, and that the same family still owns the farm today.

    The farm is here.

  7. Hi
    I was looking on the internet at the name Ensby as this is my name by marrage and was really shocked to see the photograph of Rene as it is like looking at my husband.
    He has always wondered where his name came from but is interested to find out.
    I was wondering if the lady who claimed the photo as a relative would be able to find any links within her family tree? I have no idea where to start

  8. Hi April contact me by email and I will send your email to Karla. My email can be found by clicking on the yellow flower!


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie