31 January 2011

Another Norwegian-American who might run for GOP nomination

Earlier this month I wrote about Republican politicians who are considered as possible candidates for GOP nomination in 2012. One of them was the Norwegian-American Senator John Thune (SD), whose grandfather Nikolai Gjelsvik came to the United States in 1906. According to Naustdal Sogelag (Naustdal Historical Society), Nikolai and his brother Mattias (Matthew) emigrated from Gjelsvik (in today's Askvoll municipality, Sogn og Fjordane) in Førdefjorden. I believe I have found the above-mentioned brothers in the emigrant protocol here. I haven't yet got the time to look for their registered christenings and confirmations, though.

In the blog article I joked that "Of course the world needs a President of Norwegian ancestry!" I didn't know by then that another possible candidate for GOP nomination, Michele Bachmann, is also of Norwegian ancestry. Congresswoman Bachmann is representing the 6th District of Minnesota. I didn't include her in my list of potential candidates, though - I guess I found her to be too right-wing to have much chance. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten wrote about her today, describing her as a ""Norwegian" challenger to Sarah Palin", yet another candidate linked to the Tea Party movement.

Bachmann has got some attention for her speech at an Iowan for Tax Relief event (see also here and here) where she told that "her ancestors did not come to this country for handouts, welfare and socialized medicine, but for mere opportunity". Oh well, there could have been different "pull and push" factors which made her ancestors to emigrate to the United States, and a homestead was probably one of them. Couldn't that be described as a "handout"?

Anyway, Michele Bachmann's maiden name was Amble, and some of her ancestry has been published at Rootsweb. Her great-great grandfather Nils Anfindsen Amble came from Sogndal in Western Norway. The information should be double-checked by using primary sources in Norway, though. Only references to the bygdebok (parish book) seem to have been given so far.

Postscript 1 February 2011 at 19:40: I have created two new discussion threads at the Norwegian Arkivverket's Users' forum:

Michele Bachman, née Amble: Topic 69. Created 1 February 2011.
John Thune: Topic 70. Created 1 February 2011.

Hopefully more information on their ancestry will be added eventually!

Updated on 3 February 2011 at 11.00 (typos corrected).


1 comment:

  1. Great point about the Homestead Act as a handout. I can't think of any socialist country in the world, no matter how generous its welfare state, that just gave away large tracts of land to anyone willing to settle it. Of course, Mrs. Bachmann recently said that the founding fathers of the USA abolished slavery...