I want to introduce my mother’s maternal grandparents – Mary Ann Sanderson and Thomas Lewis Oakland, the Norwegian branch of the family. Other than some facts taken from the census, an obituary, and a few family stories, I don’t have much about their early years. But what I lack in interesting stuff, I’ll try to make up for with some photos!
Mary Sanderson was born 26 November 1869 in Milan Township, Illinois. Her parents were Anna Moland and Sander H. Sanderson both born in Norway. Mary was the eighth of nine children.
Thomas Oakland was also born of Norwegian parents: Ira Oakland (originally Erich Tollevsen Egeland) and Isabel Larsen. Thomas was born 4 April 1863 near Lee, Illinois, the oldest of ten children (two died in infancy).
They married 3 March 1887. He was almost 24, she was 17. Both of her parents and his father died before the couple married.
They had four children: my grandmother, Albie Irene (23 July 1888), Eber Stanley (15 June 1890), Hazel Mae (1 June 1892), and Milo Thomas (22 December 1893). Hazel Mae died within three weeks on 21 June 1892. Albie was born in Dakota Territory; the other children were born in Illinois.
Thomas was listed in the census as a farmer. They moved from Lee to a farm between DeKalb and Sycamore (IL) in 1905. More on their farming life in the next part.