| || Notes for MADS BJORNSON LITSHEIM:|
Mads was raised in a large family of three brothers and four sisters. The second oldest, Mads graduated from a teacher's college in Voss in 1868 and was a teacher there until 1881.He taught at Lone Leidalskredsen.He then may have taught in Christiana (Oslo) until emigrating to America about 1886, at age 39.
Mads and Anna were married 1877 in Voss and their two sons were born there.It is unknown exactly why Mads left Norway, but others of that time emigrated due the promise of land and opportunity in America and more than 1000 persons left Voss for America over a five year period, from 1883 to 1888.
Some farmers, many of whom might have been relatives from the area, had left Voss as early at 1839 and helped establish the first Norwegian settlement near Madison, WI.A history of the area describes its importance in becoming the first capital of the Wisconsin territory, and from 1850 through the civil war, the population mushroomed.
It is unknown exactly when and how Mads traveled but he later sent for to Anna and the boys, who followed him there late in 1888. They lived in Koshkonong Prairie, WI and he taught at three schools run by Pastor Gunstein Krostu, according to a 1930 book by K.A. Rene, "Historie om udvandringer fra Voss. " The family is thought to have later moved to the Holden Parish area of Minnesota for a while, where he continued his religious teaching and also was a newspaper and book agent.
The Norway census of 1900 shows Mads staying with his youngest sister Ranveig and brother-in -law Sjur Knutsen Gjerstad on the Gjerstad farm in Voss.His mother and two unmarried sisters were all living there as well as Sjur's parents.The parents' names were Knut Sjur Sjursen (83) and Ragnhilde Odsdatter(79).The reason for his stay in Norway at that time is not known.
By this time he used the surname"Litsheim", which he used in America, and it is believed that the farm name Litsheim, is a derivative of the ancient family farm in Norway called "Lissheim".He gave his home as Minnesota, USA, and profession as "farmer".If Anna accompanied him to Norway, she must have been visiting elsewhere, as she is not shown on the census with Mads, nor has she been located in Minnesota.
Anna died in 1912, leaving Mads a widower at age 65.He is thought to have died in Wisconsin in 1926, age 79,and is buried there.