Hans Christian Gulbrandsen was born in Fenstad, Akershus, Nes Herred, Norway, on October 27, 18362. His father was Gulbrand Heriksen (1802-1887); his mother was Gudbjor Kristoffersdatter (1813-1911), both born in Norway. Hans Christian grew up in Norway. A carpenter, he specialized in stairways and some furniture. He married Sophia Maren Johannesson at the town of Fenstad on September 29, 18653. Sophia was born in Christiania, now incorporated into Oslo, Norway.
In 1867, Hans Christian and Sophia with their daughter, Hilda, came to the United States. The point of embarkation and the landing in America is not known. Settling in Chicago, they remained there for four years. Family oral tradition says Hans lost some of his carpenter tools in the Chicago fire of 1871. Hans and his brother Gunerius came to Buena Vista County, Iowa, in 1871 to homestead, Hans with 160 acres and Gunerius with 60 acres. Hans built a house and then returned to Chicago to bring the rest of his family to Iowa. By this time he and his wife had two children, Hilda age four and Gyda age one. According to family tradition, they traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, where brother Gunerius met them with a horse and wagon for the trip back to Buena Vista County, a distance of about 70 miles.
Hans and Sophia were the parents of five daughters and one son: Hilda (Mrs. George M. Bell), Gyda (Mrs. R. J. Johnson, Ella (Mrs. Zoma Coombs), Mary (Mrs. Charles M. Coombs) and Carl Gehart Gulbrandsen.
Hans and Sophia retired from the farm in 1904 and moved to Alta, Iowa. Hans Christian died on February 1, 1907, at the age of 70 years. Sophia died on February 3, 1911, at the age of 80 years. They are buried in the Scandinavian Cemetery just north and west of Alta. The brother Gunerius and his wife Mathea are also buried in this cemetery.
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