The Correspondence of
Bradley Wogsland and Jewelie Randall

2005 -

This is a series of emails begun by Jewelie Randall in August of 2005 after discovering - unfortunately, the emails Brad sent back that first summer were only preserved when Jewelie left them in her replies.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 1:33 am

I have a bit of wogsland info not listed on your site, if you're interested, reply here.

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.
--Margaret Cho


I am quite interested, as I have no idea who you are. Please tell me more.


Bradley Wogsland
UT Physics & Astronomy Dept.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 1:08 pm

My mothers birthname is Carmen Gratias, her mothers birthname is Mary Ellen Glenn, her mother is Mabel Wogsland.
I have some dates and more info but this is who I am.

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.
--Margaret Cho


So you are my 4th cousin. Mabel's father was Ole Martin Wogsland, who was the brother of Carl Oscar Wogsland, my great great grandfather. My grandfather had information (just names - mispelled) down to your mother, but no further. Yes, I would love to add information about your part of the family to Firstoff, could you tell the full names and birth/death dates of your mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I have no dates on this part of the family, but here are the names I know from my grandfather's files:

Elra & Mabel Glenn's children: Bonnie Jean, Mary Ellen, Raymond, Roy, Eunice, Kristine, & Connie

Minton & Mary Ellen Gratias' children: Lonnie & Carmen

That is all the information I have. Whatever you can add in terms of dates and full names would be great. As you probably know from looking at my website, I am interested in more than just that though. I would like to record the stories of those people's lives. I would also like any pictures you can send. Genealogy is, of course, a massive undertaking, so I will understand if you don't have time for all that. If nothing else, start with yourself and work your way back.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Bradley Wogsland
UT Physics & Astronomy Dept.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 0:38 am

I am glad to have connected here is some info in no particular order:

I believe that Christine (mabel and elra's child) died as a child, perhaps even as a baby, I can't remember. Roy and Ray were twins. I believe all of the siblings have passed. My maternal grandmother Mary Ellen Glenn married Virgil Gratias sometime around 1942. I've never heard the names Minton or Lonnie. Who are they supposed to be?
I know a lot about Mary we were very close, she died in 1992 or 1993. I have many pictures of her and her siblings and children. Her husband when she had Butch was named Luthner, I don't know his first name.
She was married perhaps more times than we know and Virgil came to their marriage with several children. Kenneth Gratias, Beverly Hewitt, Karen Hilde and Arlys Bradseric. Ken and Bev are still living and I believe they are both in Washington state.
Mary had a son Larry "Butch" from a previous marriage, he is still living in Washington and married to Nancy Gratias since the early 70's, I was the flower girl, must've been 1974. I can ask them if you'd like. He has 4 step children with her.
My mother Carmen Anita Gratias was born January 12, 1946 in Spooner Wisconsin at home in a tarpaper shack. She died in St Helens Hospital Chehalis Washington May 22, 1981 of cancer. She died named Carmen Gleason. Buried in the Napavine cemetery as are lots of our people. She married Benny Gilbert Andrew Alvin Randall (my dad) in 1965 I think. My brother Larry-Lawrence Lewis Randall was born April 16, 1967, I was born 2-27-69.
Benny "Ben" was born Christmas day 1940. He's been married 3 times and has 4 step children.

Mabel Wogsland
born in Tomahawk Wisconsin May 3, 1889 or 1899
died Sacramento California April 5, 1959

Elra Glenn
born in Tomahawk as well, Feb 8, 1897
died Joliet Illinois September 4, 1969

I am particularly interested in my ancestress named below, Oletta Solum Wogsland.
Based on the info on your website Ole Martin Wogsland married "Norwegian immigrant Oletta Christina Solum, widow of a fellow named Iverson with whom she had a daughter, Lilly. Together Ole and Oletta had nine children"

Oletta WOGSLAND *Birth Date:* 21 Mar 1875 *Death Date:* May 1963 *Social Security Number:* 397-03-1643 *State or Territory Where Number Was Issued:* Wisconsin *Actual Death Residence:* Wisconsin
She lived 88 years and had her 1st child with Ole at 18. I wonder about the fellow Iverson.

From our oral history I know that Oletta came to the US from Oslo all by herself when she was 13 years old. I wonder about the years between. If you have any leads I would love to hear. I understand she remained in the Lutheran Church In Wisconsin (Tomahwk area) till she was very old. I had a clipping from a 1958 paper but I can't find it anymore, I'll keep looking.

The name my Grandma has in her book for Lilly, Mabels daughter is Lilliy Sparks.
The other last names for those Children are Gena Brum and Inez and Margaret both are listed as Styza, I wonder if they married brothers. The next section down, I imagine it is the next generation are the first names: Elsie, Kate, Elra, Hanford and another seperate section: Joe, Felix, Edward.
The page is marked: Mom's family

I have a wedding photo of Mabel and Elra but I'm not sure I want to remove it from the frame to get a better picture. For now I will send a crude version of it in the frame.

below is weird obsessesive info gathered online that may or may not make sense:

Julius Solum

Born: 1875

First Name: Nils
Middle Name: Henrik
Last Name: Solum

RePEc Short-ID: pso27


ANDREW E. SOLUM (SIGDAL)Mr. Solum was born in Sigdal, Norway, April 23, 1875, son of Erik Kristopherson Solum and Aase Andersdatter Aasgaard.

What does the Solum name mean? Last Name: Solum

1. Norwegian: habitational name from any of ten or more farmsteads, mostly in southeastern Norway, named in Old Norse as /S�lheimr/Solheim ). (see

WOGSLAND Mattie 23 Feb 1874 02 Aug 1903 Gone But Not Forgotten" -
Wife of Carl WOGSLAND Edna I 04 May 1902 03 Mar 1903

The name Ezra Galusha died in Canada 1965 is written in the book, I have no idea who this is, do you?

What possessed you to take on this enormous task?
I am so fascinated by it all and appreciate your work.

I'll stop now, I know I have more info but I don't want to overwhelm any more than I already have.
I hope I at least answered your questions.


This is the photo Jewelie attached of her grandmother:

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 0:46 am

So cousin I see you have a blog and I must say that I like a lot of the same movies as you and also that my brother, Larry, is list obsessed and will love it that a far distant cousin has his top 100 movies on line and public, he is not online, not his cuppa tea, but I will print it out for him.
dumb and dumber? really?

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.
--Margaret Cho

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 11:32 am

Thanks for adding the information.
I will try to be more systematic rather than da da esque in my details this time

additions and clarifications:
1. Mary Ellen Glenn born 1921 died 1996 (my mistake)
2. carmen was their only child together
3. Butch was born in 1940
4. the photo of mabel and elra does not show up on my screen
5. the ancestor that I am obsessed with finding info about is Oletta Wogsland
6. thanks for linking my website
7. my additions to our family line are a husband andrew james seubert born 12-18-68 we married in june of 1999 after 10 and a half years together with our girls as the flower girls
8. and 2 children kaliska magnolia sweetwater b. 9-25-92 and athena lily sweetwater b. 3-4-96 (made up last name)


jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.
--Margaret Cho


I've updated the webpage with this info.

A few questions:
1. What is the meaning/genesis of the name Sweetwater?
2. Do you have a middle name?

My grandfather's correspondence with Inez Styza (Oletta's daughter) should be up on the webpage in a few days. Unfortunately Inez was more interested in recording descendents than tracking down ancestors, although the information about Oletta being married to Iverson first comes from one of these letters, so being from her daughter I would consider that fairly ironclad (I attached the letter in question).


Bradley Wogsland
UT Physics & Astronomy Dept.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 1:38 pm


After reading the letters from Inez I see how confusing this must be to transcribe. On the pages that are together it's arranged very oddly. I think where she wrote "lonnie" for Mary Glenns son is that her old fashioned penmanship is misleading I would have read it that way as well, I believe she was writing "larrie" which is what he was called as a boy. Notice the R in carmen below as well. Also the birthdate is correct.

Is Inez still living? I searched online and in Milwaukee WI there is a listing for a Jack Styza which could be Inezs' son.
*Styza* Jack R

- 7.6 miles SW - 9050 W Waterford sq S, Milwaukee, 53228 - (414)
541-2888 What is the etiquette for contact?
There must be someone alive who knows Olettas maiden name and more of her story...

My middle name is Ellen after my maternal grandmother.
The name Sweetwater was chosen because we couldn't decide which name to give them, it just came to us. In the same way their first and middle names came, it was actually easier than that.

My daughter has informed me that in the 7th grade (which she is entering) there is a required genealogy project. Cool.

Thanks for all the correspondence.

ps my husbands father is a physicist. he chose to do the teaching thing and is now retired. but still obsessed with physics.

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

fortune favors the brave

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:39 pm

Hey there,
I have found an interesting bit of writings online that I am curious about
and does this:
Hallvard on Vr�lstad who died before 1341
(from the link above)
mean that Hallvard was a worker of/on vralstad not a family member/owner I am confused by the information, will you check it out and give me your take on it?

another thing I am trying to bring to clarity;
so this guy was born on Vraalstd gaard in 1510 and his father had Sandvik gaard given to him by his father in 1515 and so does that end the name of vralstd and if so why doesn't the sandvik name now belong to them?
or does it?

and another link:
these people seem to be of a place not of "our" family, what do you think?

This is a link to coordinates of vralstad:
maybe this is boring to you, but I thought it might be interesting to you as well.
and wouldn't this be a nice place to have roots to?

I know this is not a cohesive e-mail, but neither is the world of geneaology.
I appreciate any feedback you might have.

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Monday, July 3, 2006 1:57 pm

here is another link
it looks to me as if our families became linked around 1600 and her tree goes back a little farther.
a little more info from the anderson family site, about tobjorn (above) *Liv Anundsdatter* b. 1588 Holtan, Sauherad, Telemark NOR. Sigrid Bjornsdatter ma(1) b/4 1612, does this mean married before 1612? if she was born in 1612 as I thought at first there would be a huge age difference answer to this below
this page is not available any more but the info on the other site is:
*LivTorbj�rnsdatter of Vr�lstad* b. abt 1618 Vr�lstad, Drangedal, Telemark NOR.

*Kari Torbj�rnsdatter of Vr�lstad* b. abt 1620 T�rdal /Vr�lstad Drangedal, Telemark NOR; d. 1659/60 Finno, Drangedal, Telemark NOR. this person I don't see on your site at all except there is an ancestor in her line, I'm assuming, about 80 years later

Sigrid Bj�rnsdatter
b. 1600, d. 1668

Appears on charts:
Pedigree for John Petter Langeland

Sigrid Bj�rnsdatter was born in 1600 at T�rdal, TM.^1 She married Torbj�rn J�rgensen Vraalstad , son of J�rgen Torvildson and Aslaug Torbj�rnsdotter Roaldstad .^2 Sigrid Bj�rnsdatter died in 1668 at Vr�lstad, T�rdal, TM.^2,3

Children of Sigrid Bj�rnsdatter and Torbj�rn J�rgensen Vraalstad :
Tor Torbj�rnsen (living)
Liv Torbj�rnsdatter Vraalstad *+* (1630)
Bj�rn Torbj�rnsen Bustrak *+* (1635 - 1701)
Aslaug Torbj�rnsdatter *+* (1643 - 1699)

1. [S19] Unknown author, /�yvind Bang/.
2. [S10] Unknown author, /Mormonerne/.
3. [S32] Olav Sannes, /Bygdeboka Drangedal med T�rdal/, s 692.


most interesting to me is that it goes back another 100 years


I hope this is interesting to you
take care,

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:12 pm

Hi Jewelie,

How did your camp go? We just moved across the country to CA, so I have a good excuse for my slow response.


This is really cryptic chart, but the site seems to be really well researched. I do not have the time to go through it all now but their information seems to be based entirely on primary sources - my sources are all secondary from the 19th and 20th centuries brought together by Melvin Voxland, but supposedly compiled from contemporary church records. See

I really need to digitize his book so you can see all the info, but this site on Hallvard seems much better researched.

> another thing I am trying to bring to clarity;
> so this guy was born on Vraalstd gaard in 1510 and his father had
> Sandvik gaard given to him by his father in 1515 and so does that
> end
> the name of vralstd and if so why doesn't the sandvik name now
> belong to
> them?
> or does it?

Norwegian nomenclature back then was very different from now. Usually just two names were used, like I would be Bradley Jamesson because my dad is named James. Likewise, my daughter would be Alora Bradleysdatter. The other name like Vraalstad or Vaagsland was just the name of the farm they lived on, whether as owners or hired hands. So if a guy moved this third name would change. It really wasn't until the 20th century that last names started to be used to follow patrimony over multiple generations. There are people in Norway who use the name Vaagsland today, but this doesn't necessarily imply that we are biologically related. In another decade or two genetic testing out to be cheap enough to be able to definitively answer such questions. However, other Scandinavian countries Iceland and Denmark have sequenced the genes of large parts of the population, so Norway may decide to do this as well. Unfortunately for genealogical research (but fortunately for privacy) this data is blinded, but there may be a sunset on the blinding like there is with census data.

> and another link:
> these people seem to be of a place not of "our" family, what do you
> think?

I don't know. They may be at least distantly related. There were so many groups that migrated at different times.

> This is a link to coordinates of vralstad:

If I remember correctly, Vaagsland is up the valley on that map. I'm also working with a Norwegian from Bergen now, and he says they are all still peasants down in Telemark.

> and wouldn't this be a nice place to have roots to?

It looks like this sandy creek was in Sweden anyway, but it would still be nice...

> I know this is not a cohesive e-mail, but neither is the world of
> geneaology.

Amen. It seems also to be a summer activity. I have also been contacted by two other relatives who discovered, one of whom is your great-grandmother Mabel's nephew. His name is Arnold Wogsland (


Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:21 pm

Camp is still happening, it's a blast and very exhausting. thanks for your reply.
where did you move to?

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:30:33

We now reside in Sunnyvale, which is on the peninsula south of San Francisco. I'm out here to work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator for a year. Cool stuph. Glad your camp has turned out be such a hit. It'd be fun to meet you and your fam sometime if you venture south.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006 7:20 pm

Actually, we are heading south at the end of the month. We'd love to stop by.
We're driving slowly and staying in SF from aug 1-4 and heading south to go to Winchester Mystery House* *and camping in San Jose or near there. Are you in town then? Maybe we can have a picnic.
How old are your girls? Mine are 10 & 13.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 8:31 am

My girls are both 8, and they really enjoyed the Winchester Mystery House when they went yesterday. That thing is huge! We'll be around then and there are plenty of parks nearby with ample picnic area. Give us a call when you get in the area and we'll try to figure a day/time that works out.


Nov 11, 2006 5:39 PM

Hey there,
I got a call a week or so ago from a relative who lives in california, who knows you and says he has info on Oletta. He's had a hard time getting e-mails to me for some reason and he called but I was at the lumber yard so couldn't talk and now don't know how to reach him or even his name. Does any of this ring a bell? Maybe his name was Arnold? I'd like to try to e-mail him if possible. Can you can help?

We had a blast hanging out with your family this summer. Are you guys still in Cali?
I hope you're all well

Nov 11, 2006 5:57 PM

Hiya Jewelie,

His name is Arnold Wogsland and his email address is and I think his phone number is (916) 435-9517 (from Yahoo people). He sends email with the messages as a Microsoft works doc with the extension .wpd which is readable by MSWord, Open Office, etc - but some computers don't automatically recognize it. Arnold lives in Rocklin, a suburb of Sacramento, and actually worked with my aunt at the DoD back in the 80s. I am planning to meet him later this month.

He is actually more closely related to you than me:

We are still in Cali and busy as ever.


Nov 11, 2006 8:55 PM

I have been on your site obsessively and see that I left out one of my dad's many names: Lewis. His full name is Benny Gilbert Lewis Andrew Alvin Randall. If possible I'd love to have a better pic of Andy online. He's not super photogenic.
I am writing to Arnold now. say hi to the fam for us

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Attached was the following picture:

Nov 11, 2006 9:08 PM

I guess I sent the other e-mail too soon. Here is info on Grandpa Virgil that is missing from the site: U.S. Social Security Death Index *1.* Virgil GRATIAS - U.S. Social Security Death Index Birth: 23 Jun 1913 State Where Number was Issued: Wisconsin Death: 13 Dec 2003
another clarification: Uncle Butch is a Gratias, although his father was Luthner, He must have taken Virgil's name when my Grandma re-married. I know you're busy and I have no need to have things updated soon, I just do this genealogy stuff in fits and starts and thought I'd send what I have. thanks

jewelie randall
io herbal alchemy

Nov 12, 2006 4:04 PM

I'd be happy to put a new picture of Andy up, but the one you sent me only includes 1/2 his head.



Last Modified: 18 Nov 2006 by Bradley James Wogsland.