Lilly Dagny Tollefson Bertelson ("Grandma Bertelson" to myself and my 23 first cousins) was the daughter of Ellef Tellefsen and Anna Octavia Hansen who were immigrants from Norway. Ellef and Anna both immigrated in 1887, and were married in Chicago in October of 1887, the groom using the name Ellef Tellefsen.
Ten years later in 1898, the groom filed his "First Papers" or Declaration of Intention to become a citizen. To do so he had to renounce his allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty.
Two things are really interesting in the above document.
1) He is now Tollef Tollefson - a choice he made. Who knows if he thought that name more "American", or if he wanted to break with the past, or if he just liked "Tollef Tollefson" over Ellef Tellefsen.
2) He had to "renounce and abjure forever, all allegiance and fidelity" ... to "Oscar II King of Norway".
Oscar II King of Norway
As my cousin Christian Bertelson said of this image: "Do you think King Oscar II was sad to see him go? :) They say this portrait was painted just after Tollef left. He looks rather indignant at the news. It was the beginning of the end for Oscar as parliament dissolved his government in 1905 and he was deposed but got to keep the cape."
In 1900, three years after filing his "First Papers" Tollef Tollefson was granted citizenship after declaring an oath before the Clerk of District Court, Harrison County, Iowa and renounced his allegiance forever to King of Norway.
Thanks to my second cousin Bill Arrick (grandson of Lily's sister Agnes Tollefson Wisecup) for the images of the Naturalization records.
Thanks to my first cousin Christian Bertelson for the image and comments of Oscar II King of Norway.
Want to know more? Go find a copy of Bertelson Family History Book by Clytee Thordis Kleager Gold and Christian Dale Bertelson. And do something to encourage me, like e-mail me that you want to know more and tell me to keep at it! Thanks, Clytee