Abraham Ellison was born in Eidanger, Telemark, Norway in 1827 and married Inga Monsdatter in Porsgrunn, Norway in 1855. Abraham was the son of Elias Jacobsen and Amborg Marie Hansen and they lived on the Stulen Farm in Eidanger. They had four children, including Cato, in Norway before leaving in 1864 for Wisconsin, settling in Waupaca County. After the birth of their last child in February of 1880, they left Wisconsin for Pembina County in the Dakota Territory.

Abraham and his family left Porsgrunn in April of 1864, probably sailing on the ship Laurdal to Quebec. "Leaving" records of the church indicate that he and Inga departed with their children Alvina, Cato, Mary Anne, and Josephine. Earlier that year Captain Petersen advertised in the Porsgrunn newspaper for passage to North America. Capt Petersen made annual trips to North America from Porsgrunn. For a history of this ship, see the site "100 Years of Emigrant Ships from Norway" at http://www.norwayheritage.com.

To the left, a map showing Porsgrunn and nearby Eidanger. To the right is a photo of the Stulen Farm near Eidanger.
Abraham himself had already made one voyage across the sea in 1853, more than likely to visit his oldest brother, Hans Jacob Eliasen, whom it appears had settled in Waupaca County, Wisconsin a few years earlier. Abraham then returned to Norway and married Inga.

After landing in Quebec, they made their way to Chicago, then to Wisconsin, where they found some land relatively close to Hans. After the birth of their last child in 1879, the family left Wisconsin for Dakota Territory.

In 1882, Cato Eliason [sic] and Abraham Ellison granted a farming contract to other parties for 120 acres in section 1 of township 158, suggesting that this might be the land they originally selected in Dakota Territory. In May of 1883, Cato paid $250 for 160 acres in section 3 of the same township. He received his patent for the land in 1886, and in 1893 filed an affidavit of homestead for the same parcel, saying he had been living on that land for ten years. This parcel is near Hoople, North Dakota.

Cato Ellison
Maude Etta Perley
Cato married, in Dakota in 1885, Maude Etta Perley.

Cato took out a $1200 mortgage in 1890 on his land, it was sold by Sheriff's sale to the mortgage company in 1895 (for unpaid taxes probably), but Cato got it back one year later. Cato died in 1897 from heart failure.

Cato's land in North Dakota
For a detailed description of Abraham and Inga's family, click here.
A photo album can be found here.

Many thanks to the people who helped me on researching Cato's ancestry: Kathleen, Joan, Edith, Joleen, Dorothy, and Steve.

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Copyright 1999-2013 Martin E. Cassidy