2008 Wisconsin & Illinois (36 images) --- Time for some research related to early Norwegian immigrants known as "Sloopers."  (For more background on Keith's "Slooper" connection, see "The Slooper Monument Project" web pages.)

Keith got word from his distant cousin in Norway that he would be visiting the US In September 2008 with a tour group of Norwegian Sons of Norway members. Gunleif would stay behind when the tour group went back.  Keith flew out to Madison, Wisconsin, on 29 September for 6 days where he would rendezvous with Gunleif.  They would both meet good friend Blaine Hedberg, Executive Director of the Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library located in Madison.  The cousins spent an interesting time at the Center, getting familiar with that facility and meeting the friendly & helpful staff.  Enjoying the interesting city of Madison after hours was a fun side benefit.  On a very special day, actually one of the main reasons for this trip, Blaine, Gunleif & Keith would spend many fascinating hours in the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.  The specific objective was to search through the professional files of historian and author Rasmus B. Anderson (1846-1936).  Among other noted activities, Anderson met or communicated with many of the original Sloopers or their first generation descendants. From these contacts, he wrote the 1895 book, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, (1821-1840), Its Causes and Results.  Letters written by Keith's great great grandmother Serena Madland-Anderson would be among those viewed.

On another day, Gunleif and Keith took a rental car south of Madison to the Fox River Settlement area in La Salle County just north of Ottawa, Illinois.  Here Gunleif and Keith would meet first with Lou Hougas Wise, Secretary of the Slooper Society.  Lou is also Keith's 4th cousin, both descending from Norwegian "Slooper" Madland sisters.  Keith discovered that Lou and Gunleif are 6th cousins once removed.  Lou took a full day to guide Gunleif and Keith around this historic Norwegian immigrant area visiting monuments and cemeteries.  A highlight was a visit to the Norsk Museum in the small town of Norway where they would meet 2 other officers of the Slooper Society.

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