Christian Oleson Rukke



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Christian Oleson Rukke (1805-1874)

Christian Oleson Rukke.

Christian Olseon Rukke was born to Ole Thorson Tollefsgardie and Jöran Christiansdtr Gire. He was the fourth of their eleven children. His ten siblings were Margit, Magrete, Thor, Joran, Ingeri, Knud, Åse, Magrehte, Peder and Ole. Christian was a twin to his brother Thor. We don’t have birth records with timestamps to prove that Thor was born first, but Thor, being the first son, shared a name with his paternal grandfather. Christian got his name from his maternal grandfather, and Christian was listed second on their shared baptism record in the Nes parish in Hallingdal, Buskerud, Norway on 10 Nov 1805.

Christian Olseon Rukke, baptism.

Christian’s mother had been married to Knud Syverson Rukke previous to her marriage to Ole Thorson Tollefsgardie, so Christian had two half siblings, namely Syver Knutsen Rukke and Ingeri Knutsdatter Rukke.

It’s long been said that Christian Olseon Rukke was born sometime in August 1805. But that date is suspect. Actually, a lot of his dates are suspect. His baptism was clearly recorded in Nov 1805, so 1805 is probably the right birth year since babies were generally baptized very shortly after their birth. But, as we’ll see throughout his story, there is conflicting information regarding his year and date of birth.

As was required by law at the time, Christian received his religious training in the Lutheran Church and was confirmed in the Nes Parish on 03 Jul 1825. He was listed as 20-years old at the time. If he were 20-years old on 03 Jul 1825, his birthday would be sometime between 03 Jul 1804 and 03 Jul 1805.

Christian Olseon Rukke, confirmation record.

When he was about 27-years old, on 09 Apr 1833, he married Ragnild Bjornsdtr Skolt at Nes, Buskerud, Norway. She was the daughter of Bjorn Sveinson Hallbjorshus Skolt and Kari Olsdtr Markegolo Skolt. To add to the date confusion, the marriage record claimed that Christian was only 23-years old, indicating that he was born in 1810 or so.

Christian Oleson Rukke – Ragnild Bjornsdtr Skolt, marriage record.

Christian Oleson Rukke and Ragnild Bjornsdtr Skolt had the following children:

  1. Ole Christianson Rukke was born on 04 Oct 1834 in Nes, Buskerud, Norway (Rukke). He died on 11 Jan 1836 in Nes, Buskerud, Norway (Rukke).
  2. Ole Rukke Christianson was born on 23 Oct 1837 in Nes i Hallingdal, Buskerud, Norway.  He married Kari Hillson on 15 May 1860 in Udolpho, Mower, Minnesota. He died on 30 Apr 1918 in Mower, Minnesota. Kari was the daughter of Hallstein Nilson Haugveie and Ingerid Torleivsdtr Imré.
  3. Jorand Christiansdtr Rukke was born on 08 Apr 1838 in Nes, Buskerud, Norway (Rukke).  She married Guttorm Hillson Wenaas on 27 Jul 1857 in St Ansgar, Mitchell, Iowa, USA. Guttorm was another child of  Hallstein Nilson Haugveie and Ingerid Torleivsdtr Imré. Jorand died on 16 Mar 1906 in Dodge, Minnesota, USA.
  4. Björn Christianson Rukke was born on 11 Nov 1841 in Nes, Buskerud, Norway (Rukke). He married Barebo Engebretsdtr Torset on 10 Jul 1870 in Mower, Minnesota. He died on 16 Oct 1932 in Udolpho, Mower, Minnesota.
  5. Kari Christianson was born on 05 Jul 1846 (in ship sailing to America). She married Erick Nilsson Lostegaard on 06 Apr 1868 in Minnesota. He was the child of Nils Olson Ro Lostegaard and Barbo Eriksdatter Lostegaard. Kari died on 11 Jun 1904 in Freeborn, Minnesota.
  6. Randi Christiansdtr Rukke was born on 27 Feb 1849 in Rock, Wisconsin. She married 1) Nils Johnsen Bjerke and 2) Hans Reierson Rukke. She died on 19 Jan 1890 in Mower, Minnesota.
  7. Margit Christiansdatter was born on 28 Apr 1852 in Dane, Wisconsin. She died on 31 May 1867 in Mower, Minnesota.

In 1846, Christian, Ragnild, and their three living children departed for America. Their intention to leave Norway was recorded in local parish records. The family sailed on the ship Columbo. They arrived in New York on 29 Aug 1846 and then made their way to Wisconsin. They were recorded living at Spring Valley, Rock, Wisconsin at the time of the 1850 Federal Census.

Christian Oleson Rukke family, emigration record.

After almost a decade in Wisconsin, Christian decided to move his family further west. They and eight other families, including Christian’s brother Knud, left Wisconsin in the spring of 1855 headed for St. Ansgar, Mitchell, Iowa. When they got to Iowa, they found that the best land had already been taken, so they turned north and traveled further, into the territory of Minnesota where land had just been purchased from the Winnebago. On 5 Jul 1855, they settled on a farm in what became Udolpho Township, Mower County, Minnesota. Then on 05 Mar 1857, Christian Oleson Rukke received his United States Citizenship papers. To do so, he had to travel by foot on a 70-mile round trip to the nearest government station in Mitchell County, Iowa.

Note that besides his birth date being confusing, his name, Christian Oleson Rukke, was written differently through the years as well. Breaking it down, Christian was his given name. Oleson, indicated that he was the son of Ole, and Rukke showed that he was from the Rukke farm. Oleson was sometimes spelled Olson or Olsen. Once he was in America, Rukke was often dropped and he usually went by Christian Oleson. His children adopted the Christianson surname.

Christian Olseon Rukke, citizenship.

Christian and family were recorded living in Udolpho Township, Mower, Minnesota in the 1857 Minnesota, 1860 Federal, 1865 Minnesota State, and 1870 Federal census records. They built their home and life in their new community. They farmed, watched their family grow, and were active in Red Oak Grove Lutheran church.

Christian Oleson, 1865 Census.

Christian Oleson Rukke died 13 Sep 1874 and was buried the next day at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church Cemetery, Mower County, Minnesota. His tombstone claims that he was 69-years, 11-months old at the time of his death. This adds to the confusion over his birth date. If that were true, he was born about 13 Oct 1804.

We need to thank Christian for bringing his family across the ocean and credit him with being the father of our Christianson family in America.

Christian Oleson Rukke, grave.

Where is he in the trees?

Christian Oleson Rukke is a direct ancestor of both Bennett Nils Christianson and Margaret Olga Aldahl.

Pedigree chart. Christian Oleson Rukke.

How can I learn more?

The Christianson Family book covers much more about the life, ancestors, and descendants of Christian Olseon Rukke.

The Christianson Family

Selected Sources:, 1850 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the), iPhone Tree, http://www.iPhone Tree, Year: 1850; Census Place: Spring Valley, Rock, Wisconsin; Roll: M432_1005; Page: 278A; Image: 135., 1860 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records),,, Database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Udolpho, Mower, Minnesota; Roll: M653_572; Page: 453; Image: 40; Family History Library Film: 803572., 1870 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record),,, Database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Udolpho, Mower, Minnesota; Roll: T132_8; Page: 110; Image: 60; Family History Library Film: 830428. Record for Christian Oleson., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),, Record for Christian Olsen Rukke,, Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 (Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007),, Database online., Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 (Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007),, Record for Christian Oleson,, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006),, Database online. Year: 1846; Arrival: , ; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_63; Line: 32; List number: 780.

Arkivverket Digitalarkivet (Norway), Christian Olseon Rukke baptism ( : accessed 13 Aug 2018). Baptism record for Christian and Thor Oleson Rukke. Archive reference: SAKO/A-236/F/Fa/L0005; Physical location: Statsarkivet i Kongsberg; Archive: Nes kirkebøker; Series and subseries: F: Kirkebøker Fa: Kirkebøker; Piece/folder: L0005: Kirkebok; Source type: Parish register (official); Protocol no./period: no. 5/1787 – 1807; Area: Buskerud county, Nes parish, Nes local parish, Flå local parish, Gol local parish, Hemsedal local parish; digital images, Arkivverket Digitalarkivet.

Arkivverket Digitalarkivet (Norway), Christian Olseon Rukke, confirmation record ( : accessed 13 Aug 2018) Kildeinformasjon: Buskerud fylke, Nes, Ministerialbok nr. 8 (1824-1834), Konfirmerte 1825, side 574-575. Christian Oleson confirmation digital images, Arkivverket Digitalarkivet.

Arkivverket Digitalarkivet (Norway), Christian O. Rukke, emmigration, 1946; Kildeinformasjon: Buskerud fylke, Nes, Ministerialbok nr. 9 (1834-1863), Inn- og utflyttede 1846, side 568.; digital images, Arkivverket Digitalarkivet.

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