Re: Osterheim Family
Contact:  Joe Osterheim


Hi Erica....I just tonight stumbled on your request for Osterheim information for a paper you were writing on Jesse (back in April) when Google turned it up in a search.

I'm not looking at my records, but if memory serves me correctly, Jesse's Mom is Colleen. Colleen's dad was Donald Osterheim who was my first cousin. Don's dad (Harold) and my dad (Andrew Osterheim) were brothers. Their parents were Mons Osterheim (who came from Norway in the 1880's) and Minnie Bronken Osterheim.

Anyway, that traces our common ancestor to the fairly recent past. Mons was born in 1863 and Minnie in 1874. I believe I have the Osterheim side traced back to the late 1500's accurately. The Bronken side is a little less clear, but it still dates back the 1700's. I have the current family tracked also, along with many letters from the middle 1800's and later, and a certain amount of material things (furniture, down to small items) that have been in the family a long time.

The family in Norway have much more - some of which I have photographs of. I have also had to good fortune to have traveled to Norway some 13 times to the old family homestead on both the Osterheim and Bronken side.

Actually, Mons (my grandfather and Jesse's great-grandfather) had lost contact with the family in Norway during World War II when the Germans wouldn't let letters in or out of Norway. My dad and his sisters remember Mons sitting at the desk writing a letter and crying because he was so afraid the Germans had murdered the entire family.

Anyway, on fall day in about 1967 I can remember my dad getting a call from his sister Ragna Aklestad who lived in Aitkin, Minnesota. She said she had gotten a letter from the mailman that was addressed simply to Harold Osterheim, Aitkin, Minnesota. The mailman knew Harold had died, but being a small town, he also knew that Ragna was Harold's sister and since the letter was from Norway, he thought it might be important and delivered it to her. The letter (which we still have) was from Anders Austrheim (that is how they spell Osterheim in Norway today) wondering if the family were still in the US and if anyone would like to write back to him. My Dad both wrote and the next year went over to Norway to meet the family, and that is how we started traveling back and forth again. Some of the family have been here, and Jesse's Mom has met some of them at a family reunion in Aitkin.

How we came back in contact with the Bronken's again is a different story for another time.

At any rate, I have lots of information so if you want to pass it on to Jesse, that's fine by me. As a matter of fact, I think my son Brian (who is now 25) and Jesse had instant messaged a couple of times here a year ago or so.

You have my e-mail address. My phone is 612-308-3801 (cell) and 783-785-0184 (home). I live in Ham Lake - which is a northern suburb of Minneapolis.

I’m not sure Jesse knows it, but his grandfather Don had two other brothers - Alan and Robert. Robert has been dead for 15 years or so now, and he had two kids, Mons Robert (they call him Bobby) and Luz Maria (who they call Lucy) and they are out West. Alan is still living and has one child, Leslie Carol. Both Leslie and her parents live in Hawaii.

Most of the family is still around Aitkin and Jesse has so many cousins (mostly second cousin's) that he wouldn’t know were to start.

It’s getting late and I need to go, but please pass this on to Jesse and please let me know he got it. I’ll be most happy to share what information I have.




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