Spouse Brita Father John Cheely Mother Taaraand Flaatil
It is believed that Ole Johnson Cheely was born in Vinje, Telemark, Norway to John Sigurdsen Gislos and Taaraand Torjusen Flaatil. He was baptized there in 1839. The name 'Cheely' is most likely an American transliteration of 'Gislos', which was the name of the farm where his father worked and lived back in Vinje.
The 1865 Minnesota State Census records Ole living at Blooming Grove Township of Waseca County, MN with his wife Betsey and two children named Tillita and Sylvester.
The US Census of 1870 shows Ole working as a farmer at the age of 32 in Blooming Grove. Residing with him are his wife Betsy at age 34, a 7 year-old daughter Tullita, a 4 year-old daughter named Una, and a 1 year-old daughter named Sophia. Sylvester is not listed and is presumed to have passed away. Both Ole and his wife Betsy are listed as having been born in Norway, and the children in Minnesota. Ole lists the value of his farm at $2000, and his personal estate at $600.
By the time of the Minnesota State Census of 1875, Ole continues to work his farm at Blooming Grove. The ages of the family at this time were: Ole 36, Betsy 39, Tilda 12, Uni 9, Sophia 6, and an additional daughter named Hannah who was 3 years of age.
The US Census of 1880 taken at Blooming Grove, shows that Ole was still farming there at the age of 41 and Betsey was keeping house at 47. Matilda stayed home at 17 while her younger sisters Onne at 13, Sophia at 10, and Hannah at age 8 attended school. The Johnson's had also added another girl to their family named Hellen, who was 5 years-old.
In 1885, the Minnesota State Census declares that Ole at 46 and Betsey at 51 were still living at Blooming Grove with their three youngest daughters. Sophia was 16, Hannah was 14, and Hellen was 10 at this time.
Unfortunately, all records from the US Census of 1890 were lost in a fire.
By the time of the 1895 Minnesota State Census, Ole and Betsey remained in Waseca County, but had moved to the Township of Iosco. Ole, at the age of 58, declares that he has lived in Minnesota for 39 years, and in the current enumeration district for four years. This means that Ole probably moved his family from Blooming Grove to Iosco in 1891. Betsey declares herself to be 61 and their daughter Hannah 22. Hellen appears to be using the name 'Lana' at age 19. Also living with them is a 12 year old boy named Ole Chester.
The US Census of 1900 contains much information on Ole and his wife, who now used the name 'Brita'. They were still residing at Iosco Township in Waseca County, MN. Ole declares his birth to have occurred in Norway during October of 1837. Brita says that her birth took place in Norway during September of 1833. They had been married for 38 years at the time of the census. Brita had given birth to 6 children, 4 of whom still survived. Ole declares that he emigrated from Norway to the United States in 1850 and his wife Brita emigrated in 1855. Ole says that he owns his farm free and clear. While their daughters had all moved out of the home, 17 year-old farm laborer Ole 'Chestoff' remained living with them.
The 1905 Minnesota State Census shows Ole and 'Betzi' living in Iosco at 67 and 71 years respectively. Ole says that he has lived in Minnesota for 50 years. Betzi says that she has been in Minnesota for 45 years. They had lived in enumeration district no. 2 (Iosco, Waseca Co) for 13 years.
In every Census record, the family goes by the surname of Johnson. Only in the death and burial records do we find them using the name 'Cheely'.
The Children of Ole Johnson Cheely and Brita "Betsy" Cheely: 1. Tullita Matilda [b. ~1863] 2. Sylvester [b. ~1864] 3. Onne [b. ~1866] 4. Sophia [1869 - 1951] 5. Hannah [b. ~1872] 6. Hellen "Lana" [b. 1875]