JAMES Family history
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Berg, Smith and Ramstad Families, Norway to Minnesota



Theodore Berg - Oliva Hammer

Theodore Berg emigrated from Norway to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, around 1879 or 1880. It is believed that Theodore was good friends with Ludvig Hammer prior to their travels to America. There also were many cousins and other relatives of each man living in the Fergus Falls area. Local history of the area reports that the population is predominately Norwegian.

Theodore Berg married Oliva Hammer in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in April, 1886.


Children of Theodore Berg and Oliva Hammer

Sometime between 1890 and 1893, Theodore and Oliva died. Their children were taken in by Oliva's relatives; Edwin went to live with his aunt, Inger Hammer Ramstad, also in Duluth, while Alma lived first with her aunt, Carrie Hammer Wicklem, in Duluth, then shortly after with her uncle, Ludvig Hammer and his wife, Gina, in Minneapolis.

Edwin F Ramstad, formerly Edwin F Berg

After his parents died, Ed Berg went to live with his Aunt Inga and Inga's husband, Louie Ramstad. Inga was Oliva Hammer's sister. The Ramstad's lived in Duluth.

1900 census ed berg age 13
1900 US Census - Louis Ramstad, 25; Inga Ramstad, 29; Lillian Ramstad, 2; Ed Berg, 13.


As Ed Berg grew toward adulthood, he took on the surname Ramstad, the same name as his aunt and uncle, Inga and Louie Ramstad. Note in the census, shown below, Ed is still listed as "nephew" while showing the surname Ramstad.

1910 Census Ed Ramstad age 23
1910 US Census - Louis Ramstad, 45; Inga, 40; Lillian F, age 12; Beatrice A, age 8; Edwin Ramstad, 23


Throughout his life Ed was a construction contractor, in business first with his uncle, Louie Ramstad, and later with Robert Mitchell. Robert Mitchell was the second husband of Ed' aunt, Carrie Hammer Wicklem Mitchell. Ed also was in business by himself as a construction contractor at different times during his career.

In 1914 Ed married Ethel Marie Margaret Smith, the daughter of Peter Smith and Amanda Carlson Smith.

1914 wedding photo Ed Ramstad Ethel Smith
1914 Wedding of Ed Ramstad and Ethel Smith, Duluth, MN

Ed and Ethel Ramstad had two daughters, Dorothy Allison Ramstad, born in 1917, and Lois Mae Ramstad, born in 1925. Dorothy Ramstad married Thomas M James in August, 1940, in Duluth, MN; Lois married David Hom, also in Duluth, after the end of WWII.

1920 Census Ed Ramstad age 31
1920 US Census - Ed Ramstad, age 31; Ethel Ramstad, 26; Dorothy Ramstad, 2.


1930 Census Ed Ramstad age 41
1930 US Census - Ed Ramstad, 41; Ethel, 35; Dorothy, 12; Lois, age 5.


Ed and Ethel lived their entire married life in Duluth. Ethel died April 24, 1959. Ed passed away June 23, 1968. Both are buried in Duluth.

       Ed Ramstad Obit 1968                       Ethel Ramstad Obit 1959

Ed Ramstad stone    Ethel Ramstad stone
Gravestones for Ed and Ethel Ramstad, Oneota Cemetery, Duluth, MN



Alma B Berg, sister of Edwin F (Berg) Ramstad

Alma was born March 8, 1889, the second child of Theodore Berg and Oliva Hammer Berg

Alma Berg Marriage Certificate

         Alma Berg Scherrer gravestone

         James Scherrer gravestone



Alma Lives with her Aunt Carrie, is on her own, then lives with her Uncle Ludvig

Sometime between 1891 and 1893, Theodore and Oliva Berg died. Their children were taken in by Oliva's relatives; As stated earlier, Edwin went to live with his aunt, Inger Hammer Ramstad, in Duluth. Alma went to live first with her aunt Carrie, wife of Louis Wicklem, in Duluth.

carrie hammer wicklem 1895

1895 MN census-Alma Berg, age 6, living with Louis Wicklem 29, Carrie Hammer Wicklem 19, Rubie Wicklem 10 months and her uncle, John Hammer 29


In the 1900 US Census for Minnesota we found ten year old Alma Berg living in the Home for Children and Aged Women, an orphanage in Minneapolis. It is unknown at this time how long Alma resided here. This move may have been due to the death of Louis Wicklem in April 1897 coupled with Carrie Hammer Wicklem having a young daughter (Ruby Wicklem). In the 1900 Census Carrie Wicklem and her daughter Ruby are shown living in Duluth with Carrie's Mother, Anna Hammer. Carrie was employed as a laundress. Without other relatives willing or able to take Alma in, this orphanage could have been either a short visit or a long stay. At this point we do not know how long Alma was a resident here.

Home of Children and Aged Women

1900 US Census for Minneapolis showing the name of the orphanage in which Alma lived.

Alma B Berg 1900 Census listing at the orphanage
1900 US Census for Minneapolis showing Alma Berg, 10 and single, living at the Home for Childred and Aged Women.



Ludvig and Gina Hammer take in Alma Berg in Minneapolis

Sometime between Mid-1900 and 1905, Alma left the orphanage and went to live with her uncle, Ludvig Hammer, and his wife, Gina H (Grimseth) Hammer, residing at 3610 Vincent Street. She continued to live with them thru the death of both Ludvig in 1929 and Gina in 1933. Alma continued to live at the same address after the death of Gina. Alma married James Scherrer in 1941.

Ludvig and Gina moved to Minneapolis in 1890. Gina's father, Johan, died in 1890 and is buried in Minneapolis. In the 1895 Minnesota census you can see Ludvig and Gina living at 1506 4th Street, along with Gina's mother, Anna Grimseth. Anna worked at a confectionery, while Ludvig's job is listed as a clerk in a hardware store.

1895 MN census for Ludvig Hammer
1895 Minnesota census showing Ludvig 34, Gina 35 and Anna Grimseth, age 54. It also shows Ludvig has lived in the same area for 5 years, and in Minnesota for 16 years.


gina grimseth 1880 age 19
1880 US Census showing Gina Grimseth at home with her parents, Johan and Anna, in Dane Prairie Township, south-east of Fergus Falls, in Ottertail County, Minnesota.


gina at age 24
1885 MN Census showing Gina Grimseth, age 24, living at home with her parents in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.


Anna Grimseth passed away in 1898 and is buried in Minneapolis, next to her husband, Johan.

         johan grimseth gravestone                      anna grimseth gravestone
Gravestones of Johan and Anna Grimseth.






Alma Berg is now living with her uncle Ludvig and aunt Gina Hammer, in Minneapolis

alma berg 1905 Minnesota census
1905 MN census-Alma Berg, age 15, living with Ludvig Hammer and his wife, Gina. Ludvig 42, Gina H. Hammer 44. This census listed Ludvig as a Hardware Clerk, Alma as a student.


ludvig and alma 1910
1910 US Census for Minneapolis showing Ludvig Hammer, 49, Gina H Hammer 50 and Alma Berg, 21 and single, living at 3610 Vincent Avenue.

1910 ludvia and alma jobs
1910 US Census showing Ludvig's occupation as Hardware Store Clerk, Alma's occupation as a Demonstrator for the Gas Light Company.


1920 ludvig and alma
1920 US Census for Minneapolis showing Ludvig Hammer, age 58, Ludvig's wife, Gina, age 59 and their niece, Alma Berg, age 29. They lived at 3610 Vincent avenue.

Ludvig and Alma occupations in 1920
1920 US Census showing occupation for Ludvig Hammer as a Merchant in Retail Hardware, and for Alma Berg as a public school teacher.


gina and alma 1930
1930 US Census for Minneapolis showing Ludvig Hammer's widow, Gina, age 69, and Alma Berg, niece, age 40, living at 3610 Vincent Avenue.


alma berg 1940 census
1940 US Census showing Alma Berg living by herself, working as a public school teacher.

james scherrer 1940 census
1940 US Census showing James Scherrer, a lodger, who worked as a WPA laborer on a WPA street construction project


Ludvig died Nov 23, 1929. Gina died October 29. 1933. Both are buried in Minneapolis, near the graves of Gina's mother and father in Lkewood Cemetery. There is also a monument with both the Hammer and the Grimseth names.

             Hammer monument
              Cemetery monument for Ludvig and Gina Hammer, and the Grimseth family.

             ludvig gravestone
              Ludvig Hammer gravestone, 7-11-1861 to 11-23-1929, Minneapolis.

             gina gravestone
              Gina Helena Hammer gravestone, 7-4-1860 to 10-29-1933, Minneapolis.







Inger (Inga) Hammer Ramstad

Inger Hammer married Lars H. "Louie" Ramstad in Duluth, Minnesota, February 1, 1890. He was 26, she was 19. Both Louie and Inger became US citizens in 1896.

Inger Hammer Ramstad was born in Norway in June 1870. She passed away on Dec 28, 1962, at age 93.

1910 Census Ed Ramstad age 23
1910 US Census - Louis Ramstad, 45; Inga, 40; Lillian F, age 12; Beatrice A, age 8; Edwin Ramstad, 23


1920 Census Louie Ramstad
1920 US Census - Shows Louis and Inga and their two daughters living in Long Beach, California, on west Ocean Avenue. Louie, 55; Inga, 50; Lillian, age 22 and Beatrice, age 18.

1920 Census louie Ramstad
1920 US Census - Shows Louis Ramstad's profession as a housing contractor.


1930 Census louie Ramstad
1930 US Census, showing Louie, 67, Inga, 60, and daughter Beatrice, 28, back living in Duluth.

1930 Census louie Ramstad job
1930 US Census showing Louie Ramstad's profession as a Contractor performing excavating and brick laying.


1940 Census Louie Ramstad
1940 US Census showing Louie, 76, and Inga, 70, retired and living in Duluth.


Inger Ramstad Obit 1962

Louie Ramstad was born in October, 1874, in Norway. Louie died Dec 24, 1944 at age 81.

Louie Ramstad Obit 1944

Louie Ramstad stone    Inga Ramstad stone
Gravestones for Louie and Inga Ramstad, Oneota Cemetery, Duluth, MN





Children of Louie and Inger Hammer

Inger and Louie Ramstad had one son of their own, but he died very shortly after his birth. In addition to raising their nephew, Edwin Ramstad, they also had a daughter Lillian, born in December, 1898.

1930 Census lillian Ramstad
1930 US Census showing Lillian and Orson Lee and their daughter Nancy, age 2, living in St.Louis, Missouri

1930 Orson Lee job
1930 US Census showing Orson Lee's profession.



1940 Census lillian Ramstad
1940 US Census showing Orson and Lillian Lee and daughter Nancy, age 12, living in St. Louis, Missouri.


A second daughter, Beatrice Ada, was born in 1902.

1940 Census beatrice Ramstad
1940 US Census for Pueblo, Colorado, showing Louie and Beatrice Nelson, and their son, John, age 2.

1940 Louis Nelson job
1940 US Census with Louie Nelson shown as the owner of a Milk Plant



Louis Nelson died Dec 29, 1975, in Pueblo, Colorado.

Louis Nelson Obit 1975-1    Louis Nelson Obit 1975-2

Beatrice passed away on March 10. 1987 at age 85, also in Pueblo, Colorado.

Beatrice Ramstad Nelson Obit 1987

Monument for Beatrice and Louis Nelson, Roselawn Cemetery, Pueblo, Colorado.

         Louis and Beatrice monument

beatrice Nelson inscription     louis Nelson inscription
Monument inspriptions for Beatrice (Ramstad) and Louis Nelson, Roselawn Cemetery, Pueblo, Colorado






Peter Smith and Amanda Carlson Smith, Parents of Ethel Ramstad

Peter Smith was originally from Denmark, arriving in the US in 1878; His surname originally was Schmidt, changing to Smith after he had lived in America. Peter became a US citizen in 1896. Peter died Oct. 21, 1934, Duluth, MN.

Amanda Carlson came to America from Sweden in 1886. She died April 16, 1926, in Duluth, MN.

Amanda Smith Obit 1926    Peter Smith Obit 1934


Peter and Amanda, along with their two daughters, Ethel and Elfva, were living in San Francisco during the 1906 Earthquake.

Children of Peter and Amanda Smith