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 Norwegians in America
 "Princess Golden Shoes"
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 29/08/2020 :  22:01:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My husband and I have been working on a mystery for the past several weeks, in connection with a local history book for Suldal in Rogaland. I wonder if anyone could help us solve it.

A girl named Berta Gurina Gautesdotter Herabakka was born in Suldal, 17 January 1874, and baptized 1 March. https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/6351/32840/36 Her parents were Gaute Haavardsen (b. 1837) and Astrid Torstensdotter (b. 1832). She was confirmed in 1888 https://media.digitalarkivet.no/view/6352/32853/24

In the census for 1891, we find her still at home https://www.digitalarkivet.no/census/rural-residence/bf01052940000033

As the story goes, Berta moved to Stavanger and served in the Mauritz home at Sundtastykket. Her looks and pleasing personality led to her becoming engaged to Engelhardt B, who lived at Bergeland. The Bergelands and Berta emigrated, but we have not found out when or where they settled in the USA. On the crossing, Berta befriended a woman named Helga, a widow from Kristiania. When her relationship to Engelhardt and family became unpleasant, Berta broke her engagement and fled to Helga. Berta got a job at a café serving the upper ten. Here she met a wealthy doctor and married him two years later, after having been sent to a finishing school for a while. The bride was dressed in silk and diamonds. The husband did not have to work, so the couple went on a grand tour of Europe. But the husband died, and Berta returned to the US and settled down in her palace near Chicago. Berta was soon remarried to her husband's best friend, Dr. Tillison, who was an outstanding surgeon with his own clinic. He had 40 assistant doctors and 3 pharmacists.

Berta came back to visit family and friends in Norway in the early 1900s, bringing wonderful gifts, thus her nickname Princess Golden Shoes. She had at least one child, a son. In a letter preserved at a farm in Suldal, we learn that she was alive in 1923, but her son was in a psychiatric institution. At some point she moved to California, where it is said she died in the late 1920s or 1930s.

Berta is not mentioned in the church records for those moving out of Suldal, nor have we found her in Stavanger. We have not found her in the US censuses for 1900, 1910 or 1920, and all likely candidates that have turned up in our searches are soon proven to be someone else. So there seems to be no trace of her in America. We also wrote to the historical and genealogical societies in Chicago, without results. We received this from the genealogical society:
"In reply to your request to our Chicago Genealogical Society asking for information about a Berte Tillison or a "Dr.Tillison" in Chicago at an unknown date, I would tell you that a quick search of the Chicago City directories 1910 - 1917 and 1923, various "Whose Who in Chicago" listings for the period, and the Chicago telephone directories of the period did not turn up any mention of those names. There is a two volume listing of physicians who practiced in the United States who died prior to 1950 but I do not now have access to that set. If this "Dr. Tillison" was as important as you have heard, he probably would be mentioned there."

We have found two of Berta's brothers in US sources, however. Her brother Gaute G. Herrebakke (George G. Herbeck), b. 26 March 1870, died in Dane Co., WI, in 1946. Anothr brother, Håvard b. 1857 traveled with his family on the Caronia. ONe of his daughters was named Berta Herrebakke. She was born in 1901.

Those in Norway can access a newspaper article about Berta here https://www.nb.no/items/2ed266f0071f3e0e339fa90a280d7aec?page=0&searchText=Tillison
The original article was in "Vestlandet" in February 1910.

lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 29/08/2020 :  23:48:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Berta came back to visit family and friends in Norway in the early 1900s, bringing wonderful gifts, thus her nickname Princess Golden Shoes. She had at least one child, a son. In a letter preserved at a farm in Suldal, we learn that she was alive in 1923, but her son was in a psychiatric institution. At some point she moved to California, where it is said she died in the late 1920s or 1930s.


How about an emigration record when she returned to America from her visit to Norway in the 1900's

Edited by - lyndal40 on 29/08/2020 23:49:22
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:00:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This might be the brother in the 1940 Census in Wisconsin. He seems to have also lived in Illinois and been married a few times.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K7JX-2J4
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:23:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the record from Family Search! Certainly the right person. My husband has contact with the grandson of George Herbeck. Unfortunately, he knows nothing about the family. And we have not found any records of Berta's visit to Norway that is reported in the article...
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:25:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When Håvard emigrated to America he was going to his sister Mrs. H J Tillotson, Plaza, Chicago Illinois.

Name: Haavar Herrebakke
Arrival Date: 8 Jun 1905
Birth Date: abt 1857
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Norwegian
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
Port of Arrival: New York, New York, USA
Ship Name: Caronia

[url=https://postimages.org/][/url]
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:28:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if this is not her returning from her visit back to Norway

Name: Mrs H J Tillotson
Arrival Age: 29
Birth Date: abt 1874
Port of Departure: New York, New York, United States
Arrival Date: Apr 1903
Port of Arrival: Liverpool, England
Ports of Voyage: Queenstown, Ireland
Ship Name: Campania
Official Number: 102086
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:46:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ad from 1903:


Targeting Polish customers in 1907:


Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 00:57:09
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  00:48:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like our gal! How did you find her? Now we can get back to the Chicago Genealogical Society and hope they can find her supposedly famous husband!
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  01:06:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks! I think I found the marriage record: 1900 in Chicago. Bertha G Gardner. So her first husband's name must have been Gardner. And death information: Bertha G Tillotson, born abt 1873, died 16 May 1919 in San Bernadino, CA.
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  01:26:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Homer John TILLOTSON, MD (01 Feb 1857 Crown Point, Lake, IN - 03 Sep 1934 Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA)

m.1) on 20 May 1877 Penn Yan, Yates, New York to Halina Lillian KEENEY (c1858 Penn Yan, NY- 22 Jun 1910 Goham, Ontario, NY)
m.2) on 01 Oct 1900 to Bertha G. GARDNER (c1873 IL-1912 CA)
m.3) c1925 to Edith B. RHODES (06 Feb 1881 IA-24 Oct 1965 Los Angeles, CA)

Homer sent a letter to his brother Dr. A.G. Tillotson of Michigan city in 1919; telling that his wife had passed away.

Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 13:33:19
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  01:46:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bertha Tillotson
in the New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957
Name: Bertha Tillotson
Arrival Date: 30 Oct 1907
Birth Date: abt 1874
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Port of Arrival: New York, New York, USA
Ship Name: Carmania
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  01:49:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In this Census record she lists herself as single.

Bertha Gardner
in the 1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Bertha Gardner
Age: 26
Birth Date: Jan 1874
Birthplace: Norway
Home in 1900: Chicago Ward 11, Cook, Illinois
Ward of City: 11th
Street: Ashland Boul
House Number: 166
Sheet Number: 7
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation: 61
Family Number: 94
Race: White
Gender: Female
Immigration Year: 1892
Relation to Head of House: Boarder
Marital status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Norway
Mother's Birthplace: Norway
Years in US: 8
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Can Speak English: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Geo Bent 59
J T Bent 55
M Bent 29
J Bent 22
Bertha Gardner 26
James R Lane 40
Magnus Alexander 38

Edited by - lyndal40 on 30/08/2020 01:49:53
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  02:07:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Son Alvin George Tillotson, born in L.A.on 21 Sep 1911.
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  02:18:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Homer John Tillotson
in the Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current
Name: Homer John Tillotson
Gender: Male
Residence Place: 5817 Carlton Way .
Death Date: Abt 1934
Obituary Date: 5 Sep 1934
Obituary Place: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Spouse: Edith B. Tillotson
Child: Lola Barker
James Tillotson
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lyndal40
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
8167 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  02:36:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James A Tillotson
in the California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980
Name: James A Tillotson
Gender: Male
Event Type: Marriage
Marriage Date: 15 Mar 1943
Marriage Place: Unknown, California, USA
Spouse: Rozelle G Conlin

James A Tillotson
in the California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985
Name: James A Tillotson
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1912
Age: 51
Marriage Date: 16 Mar 1963
Marriage Place: Orange, California, USA
Spouse Name: Harriet L Miller
Spouse Age: 53

James A Tillotson
in the California, Divorce Index, 1966-1984
Name: James A Tillotson
Spouse Name: Harriet Miller
Location: Orange
Date: Oct 1966

Edited by - lyndal40 on 30/08/2020 02:40:00
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  11:41:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Homer John Tillotson had a clinic in L.A. already by March 1909:



Can they be found in LA in census-1910?

OCR from The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California, Wednesday, September 5, 1934:
TILLOTSON. Dr. Homer John Tillotson, late of 5817 Carlton Way. Hollywood, beloved husband of Edith B. Tillotson; father of Mrs. Lola Barker of San Diego; James Tillotson of Calipatria, Cal. . - . . Services Thursday at 11 a.m. .from the chapel of Ruppe Funeral Directors, 1239 South Hope street
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