Rev. Johannes Andreas Johannesen Bomstad

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Rev. Johannes Andreas Johannesen Bomstad's Geni Profile

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About Rev. Johannes Andreas Johannesen Bomstad

Our Lake Lillian Legacy

They came from Scandinavia to Lake Lillian, Minnesota

Lake Lillian was founded in May, 1864 on the shores of Lake Lillian in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, by Rev. Johannes Andreas Johannessen Bomstad, who led his family and religious colony of Troms Mindekirken dissenters (Apostolic Free Church members) from the northernmost edges of Scandinavia to America. During the next three decades, emigrants from other parts of Norway and Scandinavia arrived in the area of Lake Lillian to make their homes in a new land, and to pass on their Scandinavian heritage to their descendants. Many of these new settlers were from the parishes of Gagnef and Mockfjard, in Dalarna, Sweden. A handful were even of Sami descendancy. Now, almost one hundred and fifty years later, the descendants of these proud and adventurous people are looking backward toward their ancestry, in search of their family roots in Lake Lillian. This is their gathering place ...

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This site (Our Lake Lillian, Minnesota Legacy) is dedicated to the great granddaughters of Rev. Johannes Bomstad, Elphie Serone Nielson-Kettner and Eleanor Magdalena Nielson-Larson, and to my great-aunt (and cousin) Mrs. Gertrude (Olson) Nielson. Without their wealth of knowledge and history, this site would not be possible.

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Used with permission of

Rosalie Gayle Sundin


Fax: 801-504-4329

PLEASE NOTE: You are welcome to use the information found in my reports, however to do so you must cite my webpage and name as source, AND list the individual sources as noted in the reports.

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Our Lake Lillian, Minnesota Legacy

According to the book Tromsø City History (Norwegian: Tromsø by Histori) written by Nils Andreas Ytreberg (1896–1987) (published in Norwegian), during the mid-19th century, Balsfjord became the religious home of a group of "mindekirken" or "freechurch dissenters" who split from the state church parish in Tromsø. The mindekirken movement in the Troms region was led by the seminary student, Johannes Andreas Johannessen Bomstad (born at Balsfjord on 23 August 1821), who split from the state church at the age of 28, under the leadership of the first Norwegian mindekirken movement leader, Rev. Lammers from Oslo. In 1856, Bomstad and his original followers established their own church which they called the "Free Apostolic Christian Church" in Balsfjord.

"Rev. Bomstad" and his followers were said to have struggled and protested against the Tromsø state church minister and the Troms Bishop's religious rulings, eventually leading to a riot in the town of Tromsø, when state-church members yelled at Bomstad and his fellow dissenters to "go back to Kautokeino (A small village in the most northern districts of Norway)". In 1862, Bomstad led a group of "mindekirken colonists" to America, traveling first to Bergen, where they sailed in mid-May 1862 aboard the Sleipner, arriving at the inland port of Chicago, Illinois on 2 August 1862. Their voyage was also noteworthy as the first transatlantic voyage sailing directly from Europe to the port of Chicago (other previous transoceanic ships disembarked first at Quebec, Canada.) After arriving in Chicago, the mindekirken colonists traveled overland to the area of St. Peter, Minnesota, where they remained during the "Dakota War of 1862".

Rev. Bomstad left St. Peter traveling by mule to Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, where near the east bank of a lake (previously called "Lake Lillian"), he became the founding father of Lake Lillian, Minnesota in May 1864 (one hour ahead of the town's next settler, Mr. O.E. Hart, previously of New York). After staking his original claim, a month later on 3 June 1864, Rev. Bomstad led the rest of the colonists from St. Peter to their new settlement at Lake Lillian, where they built dugout shelters to live in that first year (on the site later occupied by the First M.E. Methodist Church of Lake Lillian.) A few months later he and his family finished building and moved into their log cabin home.

Birth Aug 23, 1821 baptism Aug 26, 1821 ---

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Rev. Johannes Andreas Johannesen Bomstad's Timeline

August 23, 1821
Bomstad, Nordkjos, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway
August 26, 1821
Tromsø, Troms, Norway
April 16, 1837
Bomstad, Nordkjos, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway
July 3, 1841
Bomstad, Balsford, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway

born at Bomsta Farm, Bjalsfjord, Troms, Norway

May 13, 1843
Bomstad, Nordkjos, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway
April 7, 1845
Bomstad, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway
October 6, 1847
Bomstad Farm, Nordkjosen, Balsfjord, Troms, Norge (Norway)

twin to Kristian Johannessen Bomsta

October 6, 1847
Bomstad, Nordkjos, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway
June 18, 1851
Bomstad, Nordkjos, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway