In early 1839, when Rasmus was almost 12, one of his younger sisters, Karn Serine Pedersdottar, died at about 2 1/2 months old.
Rasmus married Anna Pedersdottar Sandvig (or Dahl?) (1830-abt 1915) sometime around 1850 when Rasmus was about 23. They had at least 8 children:
- Rakel Karine Fister (1851-1873), an opera singer who died of consumption.
- Peder Fister (1856-1860)
- Peder "Per"R Fister (1857-1913), a farmer and fisherman who stayed in Norway
- Peder Olaus Fister (1859-1861)
- Peder Olaus Fister (born 1861), a seaman
- Berdines Rasmussen Fister (1864-1934), my great grandfather
- Falentin "Frank' R Fister (1867-1938), who came to Illinois at the same time as Berdines
- Ivar J Fister (1874-1926), who also came to Illinois originally but then settled down as a farmer in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Rasmus, 38, and his family appear in the 1865 Census ("Folketelling") in Sandvik, Hjelmeland Parish, Rogaland, Norway. He is listed as a "Husmand med Jord":
A "husmand" or "cotter" provided farm labor without owning the farm or having a lease. A "husmand med jord" was a renter who also had a small plot of land where he might grow a few crops or maintain some livestock of his own. The husmand's duties to the land owner always came before any responsibilities related to his own pursuits. Some renters also learned a trade - lumberman, blacksmith, even tailoring - and used the additional income to purchase a few comforts, or saved in order to purchase a farm or, in later years, establish themselves in America. http://www.hadelandlag.org/resources/resbasics.htmRasmus and his family were in the same place ten years later in the 1875 Folketelling, and he was still a husmand med Jord.
Rasmus died in Sandvik the following year, May 6, 1876, age 48.
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