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Meet our Relatives - Christopherson Branch

Sigurdur ‘Sig’ Thorsteinn Christopherson

Sigurdur ‘Sig’ Thorsteinn Christopherson, Known as Sig, was born on May 17, 1922 in Manitoba, Canada to a farming family of 9 children. In 1936 the family emigrated to San Francisco.

After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, ending in Germany after their surrender, Sig spent most of his life involved in the real estate and property development business.

LÖGBERG, FIMTUDAGINN 30. OKTÓBER, 1947
On October 5th, after the Morning Worship at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, S.F., two cousins were presented for baptism: Robert Glenn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Christopherson; and Keith Sig, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sig Christopherson. After the church service there was a baptismal party at Ted's home in Colma, where the families and friends spent a very 'pleasant afternoon. On this day, Bud Costello left by plane for Europe where Lilja (nee Christopherson) expects to join him some time next year.
http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=2204452

He spent the last 12 years of his life in Santa Rosa where he could be close to his children.

During the last 35 years he was deeply involved with the Hispanic community in the San Joaquin Valley working and advocating housing for the workers in the agriculture industry where he was affectionately known as Mexican Sigui. He became an authority on early California history and created an annual charity horseback ride to the Arroyo Cantua in the Three Rocks area [actually there is a fourth rock on the left

It was because of this dedication to intercultural cooperation that he was recently awarded the prestigious Leif Erikson Award for the year 2000. Sig was a passionate man and carried immense pride for his family, his Icelandic heritage, his work with the Hispanic community and for all of his dear friends. He loved people and people loved him

Information, stories on Sig welcomed.

Roy just completed transfer of a VHS tape in Hank's posession on Joaquin dubbed July 1935 which is 35 mins. long. Transfer to DVD for Roy and Hank.

Mentions Uncle Sig
L.A. Times
A Journey Into History By JACALYN THORNTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES July 09, 2000

FOR THE RECORD
Gold Rush writer--"The Robin Hood of El Dorado," a fictionalized account of Gold Rush-era bandit Joaquin Murieta, was written in 1932 by Walter Noble Burns. A July 9 Times story incorrectly identified the author. THREE ROCKS, Calif. - Later this month, 74-year-old Julian Orozco will don his traditional outfit, mount his horse and ride 70 dusty miles to pay homage to a Gold Rush-era Mexican folk hero who embodies Orozco's own immigrant experience. Orozco is one of the original horsemen who 20 years ago first made the three-day pilgrimage from Madera to this stark community. This year, he will be joined by more than 100 riders, including his son, Ignacio, and three of his grandchildren, on the annual journey across the sweltering west side of the San Joaquin Valley in search of the spirit of Joaquin Murieta.

"This is a tradition other Mexican families and we keep, something we feel proud of," Orozco said. Nearly 150 years after Murieta's death, the modern riders will saddle up July 27. They will ride for three days in heat that may top 100 degrees, stop overnight in Firebaugh and arrive at Our Lady of Lourdes Mission Church in Three Rocks. Hundreds of friends, family members and well-wishers will greet them at the church for a Saturday night fiesta. The next morning, Orozco and the others will eat breakfast, attend Mass and lead a 6.2-mile procession to Arroyo Cantua, the reputed site of the shootout that matched Murieta and his sidekick, Three-Finger Jack, against California rangers on July 25, 1853. Doves representing the men killed will be blessed, sprinkled with dust and released to symbolize the freedom of Murieta's spirit.

For thousands of Mexican Americans, the legend combines ethnic pride and Gold Rush history. For Latino people worldwide, Murieta stands for resistance to Anglo domination and colonial oppression. Orozco said he considers Murieta a Mexican American folk hero--a Robin Hood figure who came to this country to work in the gold mines but instead turned to crime in vengeance after white settlers robbed and beat him, raped his young wife and murdered his brother. When Orozco's friend, Sigurdur Christopherson, proposed the expedition two decades ago, Orozco immediately joined, never expecting it to generate such a following. "The first year, there were only three horsemen and one lady who said she was a great-grandniece of Murieta," said Orozco, a machinist who works the alfalfa fields near Mendota. After Jess Lopez, a former Madera County supervisor, and Los Charros Unidos de Madera, a group dedicated to preserving the traditions of the Mexican cowboy, got involved, the annual ride began to grow. This year Orozco expects about 200 people--half on horseback, half in cars carrying food and water--to ride in homage to Murieta and in honor of Christopherson, who died recently.

Every year the riders follow the route they believe Murieta took to his hideaway nestled against the coastal foothills near Three Rocks, about 50 miles southwest of Fresno. Whether Murieta actually hid out in Three Rocks or was shot at Arroyo Cantua is a matter of debate. A fictionalized account of his life was written in 1854 by a half-Cherokee newspaper and magazine writer, John Rollin Ridge, also known as Yellow Bird. Later writers embellished the tale. Ridge's novel and another written in 1932 by Chicago Tribune editor Walter Burns Noble are often cited as sources for later historical references. Internationally, the tale spread through translations. Poet Pablo Neruda wrote a play called "The Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta," and Ireneo Paz, mother of Mexican poet Octavio Paz, wrote a literary history of Murieta. Hollywood, of course, transformed Murieta into a dashing, romantic lead, most recently in "The Mask of Zorro." Professor Richard Griswold Del Castillo of San Diego State's department of Chicana and Chicano studies said the Murieta myth is significant to the Latino community on literary, historical and political levels. "For the Chicano movement, he is a legendary figure, a romantic figure, a political figure," Del Castillo said. "Joaquin Murieta would have been forgotten if not for the Chicano movement. His story echoes the struggle of a people today." To Orozco, Murieta was like many Mexicans who come to this country to work and support their families. They arrive expecting equality, he said, but often find discrimination.

During the three-day pilgrimage, the modern charros have much time and motivation to think about the abuse and heroism of Murieta. "We think about what he had to endure and what he stands for today," Orozco said. "He is a hero to us." Del Castillo, in a foreword to a 1999 edition of Ridge's "Joaquin Murieta," attempts to sort through the fact and fiction. Much remains unclear about Murieta, but what is known is that an outlaw named Joaquin Murieta lived in the 1850s and that state rangers were ordered to bring back his head. There were at least five bandits named Joaquin looting and robbing in California's Gold Rush days. A bandit named Three-Finger Jack--believed to be one of Murieta's gang--was shot by rangers. The rangers returned to Sacramento with the head of a bandit named Joaquin and the hand of Three-Finger Jack pickled in jars that were later displayed throughout the state. The head apparently was lost during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, although many people questioned whether the rangers had killed the right bandit. "This or other tracings of the facts will not damage the Murieta myth," Del Castillo wrote in his foreword. "His eyes flashing, his knife ever ready for a gringo's ribs, his gallantry beyond doubt, his horsemanship superb, and his aim unerring, Murieta will ride down the years as California's great Gold Rush legend. . . . Murieta remains the perfect Gold Rush manifestation of man's compulsion to construct a hero out of the best materials available." Source

Video_0002_sigvhs-1 is a video taken by Roy on his cell phone while visiting his three cousins [GF Kjartan and their GF John Christopherson] in 2009. In this VHS tape Sigurdur is interviewd regarding Joaquin Murieta and the ride to Arroyo Cantua. Sig also visits his GF's homestead'Ytranes' in Crescent Beach BC, and they visit the house Kay and Gudrun STONESON were married in, whereby, Roy confirms the address was once owned or rented by her father.

A 2011 article The Joaquin Division By Cynthia Moreno on The Ride splitting into three factions. BTH, they mispelled Sig's name, it is 'Sigurdur', not Sigurdor 'Mexican Sigui' Christopherson

Another reference mentioning Sig; 'La cabalgata de Murrieta' (The Ride of Murrieta) Source in Spanish.
Bad Google Translation: Through the Central Valley of California and during the last weekend of every July , a parade of Joaquin Murrieta is done , [19 ] [20 ] a pilgrimage which aims to commemorate the life of Murrieta . This tradition originated with the Canadian Icelandic origin called Sigurdur Christopherson . As he expected , he had a revelation that Cantua Creek , site of Murrieta was murdered , was a sacred place and that men killed there were special people suffer sent to teach and to heal the suffering of others. A year later, Christopherson and fifteen of his friends made ​​a first ride from Three Rocks to Arroyo Cantua . Over time, and despite the death of Canadian travel would become an annual tradition and lengthen more, getting to last three days and including more than eighty riders in a circuit of about 30 km . Source (forgot

Be VERY careful what Google Links on this subject one opens, esp. if in Spanish. Two had malware attempts!

Roy has digital copies from the Sig and brother Hank Christopherson Collections of Sig at this event, available to any "immediate family".

Sig T. Christopherson
son of Kjartan Christopherson
and Gudrun 'Stoneson'
Uncle of Roy Christopherson


SIBLINGS:
1. Lilja Beatrice CHRISTOPHERSON Costello
2. Kjartan Lorne Christopherson
3. Theodore Evan Christopherson
4. Caroline Ingibjorg CHRISTOPHERSON Clarke
5. Sigurdur ‘Sig’ Thorsteinn Christopherson
6. Henry Christopherson
7. Eileen Emily CHRISTOPHERSON ‘Christie’ Keller
8. Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Guðrún CHRISTOPHERSON Cartwright
9. William ‘Bill’ Halldor Christopherson


CHILDREN:
m1. Enid _________
1. Living Christopherson
  Living Christopherson
  Living Christopherson
  Living Christopherson
2. Living Christopherson


m2. _________________
3. Laura Christopherson
  Living Christopherson
  Living Christopherson
4. Living Christopherson

ALSO OF INTEREST
Sig & Lorne's WWII Slide Show
Christopherson Clan Page
Stoneson Clan

Sig Christopherson

Sig in the 1940's
awaiting family approval to post photo

World War II
Sig gave Hank, his brother a plastic bin filled with old family photos, some of his time during WWII and later with his horses. All four of Gudrun's sons served during the 1940's, as well as Donald Stoneson, and many cousins in Canada. They were in different locations, and Sig and Lorne met up in Germany when the Germans surrendered, according to Sig's notes on a large batch of photos of his tour of duty through France and Germany in 1945. Having no knowledge or even seeing his uncle after 1980, Roy is piecing together this tour based on his photos and locations. All the photos and documents have been scanned with each photo being cleaned and now reside in an archival photo album with Hank, as well as a Digital Frame he stuffed away.

Here is the current slideshow which will be replaced with a more complete one. Mostly Sig's tour in Europe.

The 100th
There are certain keywords and locations that seem to match the Route the 100th fought. It would seem Sig was a Sons of Bitche. Now before you think what you think, click on the links to understand the history during which these photos was taken. Roy shakes EVERY service persons hand and thanks them for serving, for without them,
or Sig's generation, we might not be speaking English, perhaps speaking German or Japanese.

While some photos are obvious or marked on their backs, most are not. One curious photo shows them in Pith Helmets which leads Roy to believe Sig went to Africa before Europe. This following link will open into a whole page tryng to match Sig's photos to a map of the 100th. Roy DOES NOT KNOW Sigs rank, nor Service Record,
the following is all conjecture! For a fact, Sig met his brother Ted in Austin, Texas, where Ted was training.

Map of Sig in Germany-100th Route
This is a work in progress! The task is daunting. Roy is creating a map trying to show where Sig 1. Trained, 2. Graduated, Route of the 100th through France and Germany based on photos Sig took and his written notes. Roy will be formatting the photo sequence here until ready to complete the MAP. The following text will be copied into the new Slide Show and is research. Anyone serve with Sig, email me.
Text in Times font is what was handwritten (H.W.) on photos. Photos will not be published here, will be in Slideshow.
UPDATEÆ May 27, 2013Æ Roy now believes he has all the details to put this together. There are many clues, more importantly, Sig wrote details on the back of many of the photos.
It shows how important that task is for future generations. I pulled all the stops out for Lorne / Sig´s SlideShow! Over 50 WWII Porpaganda posters, overhauled Route map...twice!

IMG_SCAN_3684 DESC: Sig in a doorway in a non-fitted uniform. Dated OCT 1. Perhaps after swearing in at ?.
1. Trained at ? Will ask hank to fill in the blanks.

IMG_SCAN_3699_Sig.Buddy DESC: 'Sig and buddy w? war? #'. Roy believes this is Sig in training at Fort Brag N.C., just before it was closed. The 100th completed training and this guy is a dead ringer for "Lt. Alfred G. Peiffer" shown here. Page 21 of 81 on the 100th. Note the uniform, Sig's uniform appears to be almost scruffy and non-fitting (training?) and the pose of his "buddy" and even the ivy growing in the background appears he is photographed with Alfred, maybe a trainer? THIS IS ALFRED! Compare the right leaf...IDENTICAL. Compare uniform emblems when possible. Only other Internet link goes to PDF of 1958 Indiana Newspaper matching Peiffer's name shows he is a MIssing POW in Korea, see Col. 2, Para 19 "First Lt. Alfred G. Peiffer, hus-band of Mrs. Fay A. Peiffer, 2348 Derry St., .Harrisburg" Source.
Pg 11 (online is 14/81) gives a description of him: "PG. 14 of 81: Lt. Alfred G. Peiffer, the former I and R platoon leader, entered the army at the age of fifteen from Manheim, Pennsylvania. In over 9 years in the army he has served with numerous outfits and has spent some time in the Hawiian Islands. In April, 1944 he came to the 100th division with the rank of staff sergeant. As platoon sergeant of the I and R he became T-Sgt. and was commisioned in the field on April of 1945. Lt. Peiffer joined the 63rd division in July, 1945. He holds the Bronze Star." source. Roy may have to change his nickname from Lone Wolf to Sam Spade.

2. IMG_SCAN_3678_SIZE DESC: They are in long coats and appears to be a graduation photo.
Photos are of the Eiffel Tower, The Republique Square and Statue, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arch.
Roy just noticed the Jeep bumpers show Infantry.

IMG_SCAN_3670 DESC: Sig posing in San Francisco with sister caroline in uniform probably before shipping out.

IMG_SCAN_3630 DESC: 100 Maybe 397I Right: HQ I0 [Note: 100th?, 397th?, HeadQuarters?

IMG_SCAN_3655_Sig on Tank DESC: Appears to have German Cross on turret. Then photographer and perhaps local boy in another photo.

IMG_SCAN_3667 Soldier posing with machine gun probably Special Patrol.

IMAGE_SCAN_3483 is a Class B Pass of Sigurdurs. Shows 3302nd Service Unit, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburg, PA, JAN 29, 1944..

PARIS
IMG_SCAN_3666_Square DESC: 'Place de la République'. This one shows the Square from the side an differs from the one directly in front of the statue.

GERMANY
IMG_SCAN_3663_BridgeOutOnRhine_Back DESC: Bridge possibly crossing the Rhine river in Germany is destroyed. Possible
Sig took these photos from a temporary bridge (pontoons?) to cross.

IMG_SCAN_3638 DESC: 'Lornes Lorne's jeep - and Lowell Reinhardt and I (Sig) at the top of Kaiserberg'.
NOTE: Jeep bumper: 12 AG, Center is a Star, Right: 970/48-3

IMG_SCAN_3691_May 1945_Back DESC: 'Howell and I (Sig) between Goppingen and Hohenst-aufen? - May 1945=' NOTE:
The Map will have more accurate names of the cities, since it is hard to read Sig's handwritting.

IMG_SCAN_3692_Back 'Howell and I on road between Goppingen and Hohenstaufen, Germany'

IMG_SCAN_3681_Back DESC: NOTE: Jeep bumper: 12 AG, Center is a Star, Right: 970/48-3
Siggi and I (Lorne?) Göppingen, Germany
1945
Lorne
Sig’s H.W.? Lorne (Counter Intelligence OSA) and
Associate with Sig May 10, 1945
2 days after German Surrender
WWII


IMG_SCAN_3689_Cic Fulda
CIC-FULDA ?
Sprechstuden (Consultation hours)
Monday and Friday


IMG_SCAN_3690_Cic Fulda DESC: 3 Soldiers in posing in front of building with German signage.
At Lornies (not Lomie) this must have been what Sig called uncle Lorne as the 'R' shows here.
"at Lornies [???? int?] Fulda Lorne was Chief agent

IMG_SCAN_3676 DESC: Sig in uniform/jacket with four bsdges, 1 cannot see, 2. Long rifle over Laurel [WWII 397th Infantry Regiment]
3. Ribbon Bar (B&W cannot verify for what) 4. Ribbon bar with single star. The Commander at Fort Bragg, Captain Alfred H. Weiler is wearing
Gun/laurel pin in link above.

IMG_SCAN_3696_Hersfeld DESC: Two soldiers, 1 in many (buddy) in a town with jeep passing. Photo developed in Hersfeld.

IMG_SCAN_3697_Hersfeld DESC: Possibly a citizen posing in front of Regimental Headquarters, Seventh Infantry 7' sign

IMG_SCAN_3700_Hersfeld DESC: Rusty, Bushey and I (Sig) in Hersfeld [This confirms city]

IMAGE_SCAN_3714 has Sig and Lorne posed on a roadway over looking a long valley and mountains (Alps?) in the distance.
Notes in Sigs own hand:
"May 1945 Lorne and I [Sig] Hohen? - Staufen? M Goppingen Germany. The war had been declared ended May 8-1945 German troops surrendered to their own officers. My Unit-the Intelligence & Recon platoon of the 397th Inf. (Infantry) Reg. (Regiment) - 100th Division lent me to the Counter Intelligence as guard + we went to Brenner Pass & Brenner Italy May 10, 1945"
NOTE: Roy thinks Unit was 100th Infantry Division Intelligence & Recon Platoon of 397th Infantry Division Headquarters consisted of five units G-2 Enemy Intelligence Brenner Pass (German: Brennerpass; Italian: Passo del Brennero) is a mountain pass through the Alps along the border between Italy and Austria, and is one of the principal passes of the Alps.

BRENNER PASS, Italy

The pass however was not more than a trackway for mule trains and carts until a carriage road was laid out in 1777 at the behest of Empress Maria Theresa. The Brenner Railway was completed in 1867 and is the only transalpine rail route without a major tunnel. Since the end of World War I in 1918, when international borders shifted, control of the pass has been shared between Italy and Austria. Until then, both sides of the pass had been within the Habsburg-ruled Austro-Hungarian Empire. During World War II, the German leader Adolf Hitler and the Italian leader Benito Mussolini met there to celebrate their Pact of Steel on 18 March 1940. The pass was a part of the ratlines for some Nazis after the German surrender in 1945. source wiki

European Theater of Operations
The 100th conducted campaigns in the Vosges Mountains, the Ardennes, Alsace-Lorraine, and the Rhineland.
First to land in North Africa in 1942 with their assault on Morocco. This was the beginning of a series of victories
during WWII that added ten more battle streamers to their colors. The 7th Infantry pushed onward from North Africa
through Italy and France to Germany, where the Cottonbalers capped their efforts by capturing Berchtesgaden,
Adolph Hitler’s mountain fortress.


The following online book has no city names on Sig's photos, yet a great description of the 100th training and tour of duty.
The Story of the 100th Infantry Division

Email to Bruce
Image 3924 shows a guy playing tennis with a shirt that says 4th BN or BM 397th INF

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-SS-Chronology/USA-SS-Chronology-5.html

It would be 'Bn', short for 'Battalion'.  Looks like he was in the 4th Batallion, 397th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division. 
His unit was a recon unit they called "The Battle Patrol"... I do not know if this is a common designation or used only for this unit.
A lot of that was up to the commanders. Probably, it would have officially been something like "1st Recon Platoon, 4th Battallion... etc etc
Bruce

Sig's Military Slideshow Album is now online (APR 2013) in the Protected Album Area.

UPDATE: Goes to show nobody reads this website.
The slideshow will be online by May 29th, 2013.

Sig Christopherson Obit
Sig passed away peacefully.
Grandfather of five.
Canada to a farming family of 9 children. In 1936 the family emigrated to San Francisco. After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, Sig spent most of his life involved in the real estate and property development business. He spent the last 12 years of his life in Santa Rosa where he could be close to his children. During the last 35 years he was deeply involved with the Hispanic community in the San Joaquin Valley working and advocating housing for the workers in the agriculture industry where he was affectionately known as Mexican Sigui. He became an authority on early California history and created an annual charity horseback ride to the Arroyo Cantua in the Three Rocks area. It was because of this dedication to intercultural cooperation that he was recently awarded the prestigious Leif Erikson Award for the year 2000. Sig was a passionate man and carried immense pride for his family, his Icelandic heritage, his work with the Hispanic community and for all of his dear friends. He loved people and people loved him. He will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. Family and friends may visit Thursday, 5-9 p.m. and are invited to attend the Funeral Service Friday, 12 noon at DUGGAN'S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City, CA. THE BUD DUGGAN FAMILY (650)756-4500 (415)587-4500Posted at Ancestry.com message boardhttp://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.california.counties.sonoma/1775/mb.ashx

Sig Christopherson Obit 2

CHRISTOPHERSON, Sigurdur T. Sig DOD 5/15/2000
††Replies: 0
CHRISTOPHERSON, Sigurdur T. Sig DOD 5/15/2000
Mary Gentry †(View posts) Posted: 17 May 2000 5:00AM
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: CHRISTOPHERSON, Costello, Cartwright, Keller, McLaughlin
from the 5/17/2000 Press Democrat
CHRISTOPHERSON, Sigurdur T. Sig Passed away peacefully on May 15, 2000 at San Francisco. Father of Laura, Ken, David and Keith Christopherson of Santa Rosa. Grandfather of five. Preceded in death by his sister Lilja Costello and brothers Ted and Lorne Christopherson. Survived by his sisters Dorothy Cartwright, Eileen Keller, Caroline McLaughlin and brothers Bill and Henry Christopherson. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends. Sig was born on May 17, 1922 in Manitoba, Canada to a farming family of 9 children. In 1936 the family emigrated to San Francisco. After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, Sig spent most of his life involved in the real estate and property development business. He spent the last 12 years of his life in Santa Rosa where he could be close to his children. During the last 35 years he was deeply involved with the Hispanic community in the San Joaquin Valley working and advocating housing for the workers in the agriculture industry where he was affectionately known as Mexican Sigui. He became an authority on early California history and created an annual charity horseback ride to the Arroyo Cantua in the Three Rocks area. It was because of this dedication to intercultural cooperation that he was recently awarded the prestigious Leif Erikson Award for the year 2000. Sig was a passionate man and carried immense pride for his family, his Icelandic heritage, his work with the Hispanic community and for all of his dear friends. He loved people and people loved him. He will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. Family and friends may visit Thursday, 5-9 p.m. and are invited to attend the Funeral Service Friday, 12 noon at DUGGAN'S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City, CA. THE BUD DUGGAN FAMILY (650)756-4500 (415)587-4500

Posted at Ancestry.com message board
http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.california.counties.sonoma/1775/mb.ashx