Jorgen Halvorsen Digernes was born 25 September 1850 on the Digernes farm in Stord, Hordaland, Norway to parents Halvor Torressen Digernes and Eli Gregoriussdatter Nysaeter1. He was baptised on 3 October of that year.
He was the 11thof 15 children. His older brothers were Torres (1834), Gregorius (1837-1840), twins Gregorius and Frederick (1842), Hans Frederick (1846) and Ole (1849). His older sisters were Helga (1837), Valgjerd (1839), Guro (1843) and Cicele (1847). His parents then had two more sisters: Eli (1852) and Aasa (1853), followed by two more brothers Halvor (1855) and Viking (1861).
He was confirmed on 29 October 1865. He received a “good +” on his religious work2. He carried that religion through for the rest of his life, as he took time out every day for reading the bible17.
He was living on the Digernes farm in 18654and may have started fishing by then. As a young man he fished in the areas between Iceland and Greenland17. He also learned the carpentry trade and was good with an axe17.
In 1869, he had an illegitimate son with Eli Arnesdatter, Hans Frederich.24 It appears that his parents fostered and raised Hans Frederich.25
In 1873, he married Martha Johannesdatter Eldoen from another farm in the Stord Parish. Their banns were read on 30 March, 6 and 14 of April and they were married on 01 May3.
Their first child Eli was born in November 1873, however, she died at just over six months in June 187418,19in Lervik. Their second child Halvor Johann was born in February 1875. The 1875 Norwegian census indicates that they were living on the Digernes farm with Jorgen’s dad and mom, Aasa and Viking as well as a couple of farm workers.
By the time they decided to emigrate, Jorgen and Martha had added six more children to their family: Helga Marie (1876), Ella (1879), Carl (1881), Svend Gregorius, Torres Gustav (Tom)(1886) and Eyvind (Edward) Martin (1887)6.
There is another daughter noted in the Rose Valley Historical Society Book: Hannes, born in 188417. However, there is no record of her birth, nor a record of her death prior to emigration in the parish records for Stord.
The family left Stord on June 13, 18876and took passage on the Allen Line on June 1711. Unfortunately, Eyvind did not survive the voyage and died enroute to America17.
By 1895 they were living in Sundahl, Minnesota and had added two more daughters to the family: Emilia (Emma) in 1889 and Matilda Josephine Karoline in 18927. One more son was to be born: Wilhelm in 1895, however he lived on a few months17.
In 1900, the family was living in Betrami, Minnesota8. It was there that Jorgen applied for US Naturalization21,22. He was granted a homestead certificate in 19019. However, the pull of Saskatchewan was strong. The call of cheaper land sent many from Minnesota to Saskatchew20, whether it was to be able to purchase more land for the sake of land or to keep larger families together, Jorgen was one of the many who ventured to Saskatchewan.
By 1909, he had found the land he wanted. He paid $10 for his application on the homestead and by March of 1910 he had broke and cropped ½ acre and had built his 14×28 log house, which he indicated had cost $250 to build13. By 1913, Jorgen had 26 acres plowed and 13 head of cattle. On his application for land patent in 1913, he claimed British/Canadian citizenship by naturalization14. So he went from being a citizen of Norway, to a citizen of the US, to a citizen of Canada.
In 1916, Jorgen and Martha were living at their farm in Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan9, where Jorgen was still living in 192110, Martha was perhaps visiting family elsewhere as she doesn’t show up on that census.
In 1926 they moved to a smaller farm in Rose Valley17. By then, Jorgen was 76 and Martha 78, so it was a good time to retire from full farming.
Martha died in 1928 and Jorgen continued to live in Rose Valley until he died on 14 April 193323. They are buried together in the Rose Valley Cemetery16.
1Baptisms. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen. 3 October 1850. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/8303/74: accessed April 2017.
2Marriages. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. 01 May 1873. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen and ELDOEN, Martha Johannesdatter. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/8304/116: accessed April 2019.
3Marriages. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. Copy of parish records. 01 May 1873. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen and ELDOEN, Martha Johannesdatter. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/11676/112: accessed April 2019.
4Census. 1865. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/38228/92: accessed April 2019.
5Census. 1875. Norway Stord, Hordaland. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/52269/530?indexing= : accessed April 2019.
6Parish Records. Out-migrated. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. 13 June 1887. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/11676/112: accessed April 2019.
7Census. 1895. USA. Sundahl, Strand, Norman, Minnesota. DEGERNES, Jorgen. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRVS-C39?i=2&cc=1503031: accessed April 2019.
8Census. 1900. USA. Betrami, Copley, Minnesota. DEGERNES, Jorgen. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DHF7-6DZ?i=5&cc=1325221: accessed April 2019.
9Census. 1916. Canada. Ponass Lake, Humbolt, Saskatchewan. DEGERNESS, Jorgen. http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed April 2019.
10Census. 1921. Canada. Ponass Lake, Humbolt, Saskatchewan. DEGERNESS, Jorgen. http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed April 2019.
11Emigrants from Bergen (Norway). DIGERNÆS, Jorgen Halvorsen. 17 June 1887. Serial number 1332. Collection: 1874-1930, The Digital archive. https://www.digitalarkivet.no/en/view/8/pe00000000678792: accessed 18 May 2018.
12Confirmations. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. 29 October 1865. DIGERNES, Jorgen Halvorsen. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/view/8304/75: accessed April 2019.
13Department of the Interior Canada. Land Patents Branch. Land Patent Certificate. 6 October 1919, application date 28 October 1913. DEGERNESS, Jorgen. http://www.ancestry.caaccessed April 2019.
14The United States of America. Homestead Certificate. 9 April 1901. DEGERNES, Jorgen H. Certificate No. 10336. Application 16458.
16Monumental Transcriptions. Rose Valley, Saskatchewan. 1933. DEGERNESS, Jorgen.
17Rose Valley and District Historical Society (1981). A tribute to our Pioneers. Saskatchewan: Rose Valley & District Historical Society. Pp. 201-202.
18Baptisms. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. DIGERNES, Eli Jorgensdatter. 16 November 1873. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/8304/50: accessed April 2019.
19Deaths. Norway. Stord, Hordaland. DIGERNES, Eli Jorgensdatter. 24 June 1874. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/view/8304/134 accessed April 2019.
20Albert Lea Freeborn County Standard. 5 January 5 1910. Silhouettes of Western Canada. p 7. http://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/lccn/sn85025442/1910-01-05/ed-1/seq-7 : accessed April 2017
21Minnesota, State of. County of Norman. Intention of US Citizenship. DEGERNES, Jorgen H. 23 November 1887.
22Minnesota, State of. County of Beltrami. US Citizenship Papers. DEGERNES, Jorgen H. 4 April 1900.
23Deaths (CR) Canada. Rose Valley, Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan. DEGERNESS, Jorgen Halvor. 14 April 1933. Record # 2218 1933.
24Baptisms. Norway, Digernes, Stord, Hordaland. 18 July 1869. JORGENSEN DIGERNES, Hans Frederik. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/8304/35 : accessed 24 February 2021.
25Census, 1875. Norway. Degernes, Stord, Hordaland. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/52269/530?indexing= : accessed 17 March 2021.