Let's Learn About Accordions: The accordion must have been popular among the northern Europeans. Ellefson is a name of Norwegian origin and quite common in the Upper Midwest. That would include not only Wisconsin, but also North Dakota where America's most famous accordionist was born. His name was Lawrence Welk, and he died in 1992. It would be 'wonnerful' if he had an accordion on his headstone (but he doesn't). Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery, 2012.