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Homestead Documents for Sven Gunderson Borgen

(Also known as Svend Gunderson and Swen Gunderson)

The Homestead Act of 1862, enacted during the Civil War, allowed any adult citizen, or intended citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. government to claim 160 acres of surveyed land from the federal government. Claimants were required to live at the homestead, build a home, and cultivate the land. After 5 years at the homestead, the original filer received a certificate of ownership for only a registration fee.

Location of the Sven Borgen/Gunder Swenson farm (#8 on map) which was part of the original Norway Lake Settlement.
Later, Sven's son Gunder Swenson, with his wife, Gemine, and their children, farmed the homestead.

Portion of the 1874 Kandiyohi County Plat Map. The Sven Borgen/Gunder Swenson homestead is located in Section 24 of the Norway Lake Township (later Arctander Township).

Application for the Homestead, dated December 7, 1863, St. Cloud MN Land Grant Office.

Receipt for first payment. $14.00, dated December 7, 1863.

December 7, 1863 statement from Sven Gunderson Borgen, swearing that he intends to become a United States citizen.

Final Proof has 2 witnesses attesting to the fact that Sven has lived on the homestead and improved the land.
Witnesses are his two sons-in-law, Christopher Hanson (Engen) and Thomas Osmundson. Dated May 28, 1869.

Affidavit from Sven Gunderson stating that he is now a citizen on the United States, dated May 28, 1869.

Citizenship document of Sven Gunderson Borgen.
Homesteaders were required to be American citizens prior to receiving the Homestead Certificate.

Final Receipt of payment of $2.00 for the homestead, dated May 28, 1869, St. Cloud MN Land Grant Office.

Certificate #241, granting Sven Gunderson Borgen his homestead.

Homestead in 1870:

The 1870 federal census for Monongalia County MN (later Kandiyohi County) includes agricultural records (acreage, value, livestock, crops and staples) which provide a glimpse of farm life. Statistics about the Borgen/Swenson farm, with information provided by Gunder Swenson, included the following:

  • 37 acres of improved land; 54 acres of woodland; and 250 acres of unimproved land.
  • value of the farm: $2000; machinery and farm implements: $270
  • 6 horses; 6 milch cows; 6 head of other cattle; 18 sheep; 3 pigs; value of livestock: $800
  • 215 bushels of Spring wheat; 175 bushels of oats; 100 bushels of barley

Sven and Margit Borgen

Gunder and Gemine Swenson

Orlynn Mankell's story about Gunder Swenson

Obituaries of Gunder and Gemine Swenson

Oscar and Minnie (Swenson) Mankell

Webmaster: Carolyn Mankell Sowinski
Last updated: February 15, 2015