A picture of our ancestor?

Pictures can appear in the strangest places. This might be one place where we don’t want to find one of our ancestors

The Norwegian Digital archives has a lot of information for us to search. This is both indexed information, but also quite a lot of scanned material.  Among the scanned material I came across the photos of criminals kept by the Oslo police precinct.

Like I said, this might not be the place we would want to find our ancestor. However, most of these people were imprisoned for petty crime. Some might be in dire need and stole some money to buy food or they stole the food. Some might have been drunk in a public place or gotten into a little fist fight.

If this is the only picture there is of our ancestor, it is worth taking a look. The albums are not indexed, so we will have to search page by page.

Most of these pictures have name, information about time and place of birth and the reason for imprisonment.

We know that Oslo is the capitol in Norway, situated down east in the county. If we have absolutley no reason to think that our ancestor at any time visited/lived in Oslo, there is no reason to spend time on this.

If you want to have a look, follow this link: “Forbryteralbum Oslo police precinct”

9 thoughts on “A picture of our ancestor?

  • November 7, 2017 at 6:19 pm
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    Most interesting! It does not apply to me but worth adding for others to study!

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    • November 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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      I was a bit reluctant to publish this, but none of these are hardcore murderers or rapists. We know many of our ancestors lived hard lifes and dire need may have lead even the best to take some liberties.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm
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    Love these pictures – but there are too many Ole Olsens!!! Thank you!

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    • November 9, 2017 at 1:33 am
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      Hello Barbara

      Great to hear from you! Yes there were quite a lof of Ole Olsens. A search on the Digital Archive show that there were 8,744 Ole Olsens in the census for 1900. 🙂

      Martin

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  • November 7, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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    Martin, Thanks for publishing these. I always enjoy old photos; it’s interesting to wonder about those pictured and what their lives might have been and how I might have fared in similar circumstances. If I moved up and down my family tree enough, someone there could be a cousin, however close or distant.

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    • November 9, 2017 at 1:25 am
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      Hello Tom

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for taking the time to comment. All the photos in the album have a story to tell. I believe you are right; We never know how we would act if powerty struck us.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2017 at 11:50 pm
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    I, too, think that it is good you published this. Criminals happen even in the best of families. And, like you say, some of them would have received a slap on the wrist these days.

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  • November 8, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Martin,

    Most interesting! The picture of the prison especially interested me. I have no reason to think any of my Norwegian ancestors spent time in a prison, but I know that one of my Norwegian-American ancestors did, from 1890 to 1895. The prison in Wisconsin that he was in probably looked similar to this one. He was serving a life sentence at hard labor, plus 3 days per year in solitary confinement, for murder. He and four others were convicted of lynching another Norwegian-American, the only instance in United States history of such a crime–many others were involved in the lynching, but the others got off with a small fine. A petition, signed by everyone on the jury, the prosecuting attorney, other officials, and many others, was sent to the governor, who pardoned them. I have a copy of the pardon, and many newspaper articles about the case. While they were guilty of the crime, the man they lynched was, in modern terms, criminally insane. There was no way, in a sparsely settled rural area, of dealing with a man who ran amok and caused chaos in the neighborhood, including attempted murder and severe domestic violence. His violence doesn’t excuse theirs, but the governor decreed that they’d served enough time.

    Some of the people who served time in Oslo in the 1880s appeared to be more than respectable, judging by their clothing, while others looked like they might well have been reduced to stealing to support their families.

    Even interesting to see the clothing of the era. Thanks for posting this!
    Doris

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    • November 9, 2017 at 1:26 am
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      Hello Doris.

      Thanks for visiting me blog and for commenting. You have a really interesting story. They truly lived different lives back in the 1800’s
      Martin

      Reply

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