Places Where Nils Knudson Ranum Lived
Mark Ranum
Last updated March 5, 2012

This work is compiled from one primary source (obituary of Nils (1)) and three secondary sources. This timeline should therefore be used as framework for further investigation. The "pieces of the puzzle" seem to fall into place in a manner that indicates a 90 percent probability of accuracy (author's guess). The overall accuracy could be improved by citing more primary sources such as abstracts, birth and death certificates and such. While the "Ranum Roots" (2) is a secondary source, it seems to be a very well researched work that this author regards as very trustworth. The source of the references from (3)&(4) are not known to the author and need to be verified. It would appear they were posted by Roger Knutson. More work is needed in that area.

1929 Nils born on the Skrindrud farm ? ? See note below on conflicting dates. If this is true, his first actual name would have been Nils Knutson Skrindrud!

1830 Nils moved with his folks to Hageset ("Our Heritage" (6) shows 1830 on page 4 but "Ranum Roots" (2) shows Hageset purchased in 1826) Author in this case leans towards the date of 1830 Given in "Our Heritage"as schoolmasters records are cited. (This needs updating as new information is available 3/3/2012 mar)

1846 Nils moves to Raneimsmarken with his folks at age 17.

1849 Nils Bought 1/2 of Raneimsmarken

1850 Nils remains on Raneimsmarken but marries Berit

1852 No reference to domicile other than Perry township, Dane County Wisconsin (2).

1853~(a) Nils and Berit buy 40 acres in South West(1) part of Perry township in Dane County Wisconsin. Nils built a log cabin on that property(2). He lived on that property for about a year (1)(2) then sold it to Hans Hegdahl (1). That property was owned by Andrew Jeglum (1) at the time of Nils' funeral in 1911 and is possibly #17 as listed on page 122 of "The Historic Perry Norwegian Settlement". Andrew Jeglum is listed as the 2nd owner of this farm owned by Michael and Barbra Jeglum at the time of that books writing. Check with Dane County Registrar of Deeds. A conversation with John Ranum February 2007 indicated that a Steve Jeglum lived there at that time. (5) Mark Ranum talked to Steve Jeglum in 2008 and he does not recall any remenants of a log house on the property. More research is needed. There is text in "Our Heritage"(6) page 7 that indicates an elderly Gilbert Ranum saw the log house in the 1950's It states "The Log cabin, that was built in 1852, was visited by son Gilbert about a hundred years later. He found every joint to have been carefully mortised and laid to precision measurments." That would indicate the log house still existed in 1950's. Research done by Mark Ranum (me) on March 8, 2009 would indicate that the 40 acres would have been in the SE 1/4 of section 32 of Perry Township. The land was "sold to Hans Hegdahl"(1) and there is no record of him shown on the plats of 1862(7) or 1873(8). However, the book "The Historic Perry Norwegian Settlement"(5), page 121 under farm 15 states that Hans P. Hegdahl was known as Hans Pederson. This name does appear on both the 1862 and 1873 plats. Corelating the land owned by "H Pederson" on those plats and the land owned by "A Jeglum" on the 1922(9) plat, section 32 yields only two 40's that would be a match. That would be the NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of sec 32 or the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of sec 32. Hopefully some time will be available this summer to do some looking around on these properties. I'm not sure what is to be found 156 year after it was built. Also need to check 1916 plat available in Perry Historical Center in the Perry Lutheran Church..

Children Born at that domicile:
Guri (Julia) February 7, 1853 (2)

1854~(b) Nils and Berit sold above property and purchased 80 acres near the town of Highland in Iowa county, Wisconsin. They later added 40 adjoining acres for a total of 120 acres. "He cleared part of the land and built some buildings."(2) Berit is presumed buried in the area of that farm home (2). This property is legally described as follows; SW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 19 and NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 30 and SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 30 all in Highland township of Iowa County, WI. This is based on one document (11) and needs further research. (Author's concern is whether or not this is "our Nels Knutson. and that there is only one source for the specific location information. I do think it's highly unlikely this isn't our Nels as the property is in close proximity to the Otter Creek Church where other sources say he attended.)

Children Born at that domicile:
Sena, July 20 1854 (2)
Knute, 1856~ (2)
Ole K., September 23, 1958 (2)
Andrew, October 4, 1864 (2)

Other events:

Andrew Hageset, Nils brother died while serving in Nils place in the civil war.
Berit dies of pneumonia, summer 1865 (2)
Marit cares for children and later becomes Nils second wife(1)(2) in 1866(3)

Discrepencies - Although it is commonly believed that Nils stayed on this farm until around 1866, there is a warranty deed signed by Nels and "Betsy" Knutson to Ole Hanson on April 5, 1864. It is not recorded however until May 4, 1869, five years later. Furthermore, the "Real Estate Assesment Roll" for the Town of Highland shows the SW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Sec 19 of Highland Township is assessed to Nels Knutson from years 1861 through 1866. The above mentioned warranty deed and Real Estate Assesment rolls were included in a packet along with a picture of a farmstead as referenced in (11)

1866~(c) {1867~ indicated by "Our Heritage"(6)(f)} Nils and Marit move to rented farm near Martinsville, Grant Co. Wisconsin(2)

1866~(d) {1868-69~ by above logic} Nils and Marit move to Annaton(2)

Other events:
Nils worked as a carpenter-wagon maker at Annaton(2)

1867~(e) {1870-71~ (6)(g)} Nils and Marit purchase farm in Wolf Hollow, Clifton township, Grant County, Wisconsin. (3) Lived there for 25 years (stated differently in (6) (1) A post card from Knud Hogeset in Forward is addressed to Nils in Martinsville in 1883. The now ghost town of Martinsville is a short distance from Wolf Hollow and probably would have been the post office used.

Children born at domicile: all ref (2)

Ann Marie, January 29, 1867 {May have been born at rented farm in Martinsville
As outlined in (6)}
* Gina, April 28, 1868
* Ben, February 9, 1869 (died same day)
* Gustav, February 9, 1869 (died April 12, 1869)
Eddie Olaf, March 22, 1870 {May have been born at Annoton (6)(g)}
Gilbert Martinius, March 22, 1872
Peter, November 18, 1873
Carl William, June 18, 1875
Bennie Julius, April 16, 1877
Anton Sherman, February 26, 1879
Martha Sophea, December 13, 1880
* Mentioned on bottom of page 69 of Ranum Roots (2)

Other events:
Knute dies in barn raising incident at age 18 in 1874~(4)
Farm sold in 1892 to Martin Knuteson (3)
1892 Sold Farm to Martin Knuteson (3) (6) indicates 20 years after purchase farm was sold to Martin Knutson who was brother to Knute Knutson that married Ann Marie Ranum. This farm consisted of 120 acres located as follows; "the east half of the SE corner (80 acres) and the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 (40 acres) of Section 20 of Clifton County. This parcle is shown owned by "N Knutson" on the platt of Clifton Township, Grant county Wisconsin dated 1877 (map and date provided by Kim Majors through the Knut Knutson Skrindsrud and Guri Nilsdatter Hageseth decendants facebook group 03/09/2012.) The sale of the house to Martin Knutson is cited on page 190 of (10)

Note a: This date inferred by mention in obituary(1) of living there 25 years and selling date also mentioned in obituary(1)

1892 ~ 1895 Lived on rented farms but not clear whether they were in the Annaton or Daleyville area ("After renting two different farms in the area"(3)) It is this authors educated guess that they were in the Daleyville area. (6) seems to verify the rental of two farms in the Daleyville area.

1892, November 28 - Nils and Marit purchase farm east of Daleyville (2)(3). Farm was in Perry township, Dane County, Wisconin and was 60 acres (3). May not have lived on the farm until 1895 but abstract shows this for purchase date. This date conflicts with all other sources but must be true as it is recorded in the abstract as such.


a. Date is inferred by mention of birth of Julia (2)
b. Date inferred by statement "after a year or so" par. 1, page 6 of Ranum Roots (2)
c. Date not certain. Mention of "After living there for about 10 years Nels and family moved to a rented farm near Martinsville", paragraph 6, page 6 of Ranum Roots (2) would indicate a date of 1864 but this would be before Berits' death. Paragraph 4 of page 6 of Ranum Roots (2) seems to clearly indicate that Berit was buried on the farm at Highland. This would indicate the latest possible date of move at fall of 1865. This would however mean that Nils and Marit moved to Martinsville before they were wed and very shortly after Berits death. This author sees that as unlikely and prefers a later date.
d. Date inferred by statement "after a year at Annaton" in notes on Nels on (3) seems to indicate a stay of about a year at Annaton
e. Date inferred by statement in Nils obituary(1) that they lived there for 25 years and in Notes on Nils (3) that the property was sold in 1892. Hence 1892-25=1867
f. "Our Heritage" by Ray Ranum indicates they lived on the rented farm in Martinsville at the time Ann Marie was born (January 29, 1867).


1. Obituary of Nils as posted on by Roger Knutson

2. Ranum Roots by Bennie A. Ranum Dated June 1, 1981

3. Note on "Nels" "Knutson" Ranum posted on

4. Note on Knute posted on by Roger Knutson

5. The book "The Historic Perry Norwegian Settlement"

6. "Our Heritage" by Ray D Ranum written in 1969

7.) 1862 plat of Perry township

8.) 1873 plat of Perry township

9.) 1922 plat of Perry township

10.) "Knut and Betsey Knutson" by Roger Knutson

11.) Packet of information including older photocopies of Warranty Deed, Real Estate Assessment Rolls, and photograph of farmstead. These documents were in an envelope addressed to Ben Ranum and was post dated 1965. It's not clear if this envelope was originally used for these documents however. More research is necessary on these items.

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