#52ancestors: Longevity

Here is my contribution to the #52ancestors challenge. This week the theme is Longevity

This week I want to introduce you to my 2G-Grandfather Markus Olsen Moldenes.

He was born november 20. 1833 on the cotter’s place Moldeneset by the small town of Molde on the north-west coast of Norway.His parents were Ole Pederson and Mette Maria Pedersdotter. Markus was the youngest of 6 siblings.

Moldeneset Photo: Birkeland/Kirkhorn. Presented with permission from Romsdalmuseet

Molde had at that time a small merchants fleet and Markus’ father was an Able seaman. Markus did also go to sea at young age. In the main seaman register 18461)SAT, Sjøinnrulleringen – Trondhjemske distrikt, 01/L0330, 1846-1860, p. upaginert
Quick link: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/ru20100923630217
it is recorded that he served as an Able seaman on the ship Thessen sailing to England.

Mainstreet Molde ca 1900, Photo Tom Kent (Public domain)

In 1864 he appears in Ålesund2)SAT, Ministerialprotokoller, klokkerbøker og fødselsregistre – Møre og Romsdal, 529/L0452: Ministerialbok nr. 529A02, 1864-1871, s. 169
Brukslenke for sidevisning: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/kb20050727010320
, a town somewhat to the south of Molde. Nov 15 1864 he marries3)SAT, Ministerialprotokoller, klokkerbøker og fødselsregistre – Møre og Romsdal, 529/L0452: Ministerialbok nr. 529A02, 1864-1871, s. 104
Brukslenke for sidevisning: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/kb20050727010260
Nicoline Marie Knutsdatter Buholmstrand born Feb 7 1845. He seems  to leave sea for good and start his second career as a ship carpenter. He also start another career…as a father.

Markus Olsen Moldenes
Nicoline Marie Knutsdotter Buholmstrand

Nicoline and Markus’s children did send their parents a number of letters and postcards after they left home. This is the source for the most of the information I got about them.

Nicoline and Markus’ first child Olufine was born in 1865. Of her I know nothing. Around the turn of the century I believe she spent some time in Oslo, the capital of Norway. I have been wondering whatever became of her. It is kind of strange that she is not mentioned in any letters/postcards. She was a witness to my grandfather Martin’s baptism in 1901.

Louise was born in 1868. She did never marry and lived with her parents in Ålesund. She ran the household for her father after her mother passed away.

Johanne was born Nov. 22. 1869 in Ålesund, Norway. She married Jacob Gabrielsen, born May 23 1864 in Tromsø, Norway. They stayed for a while in Blyth, England before they moved to Seattle, WA. USA. Johanne and Jacob had two daughters: Clara, born Oct. 30. 1903 in Blyth England, and Minnie, born Sept. 15. 1909 in South Shields, England. Clara passed away in 1983. Minnie died in the fall of 1998 in Portland, Oregon. Thanks to friends I have made on the Internet, I have been able to find Johanne and Jacobs descendants. .

Karoline Elise, my great-grandmother, was born Jan. 11th 1872. she married Bård Gerhard Eidhammer and settled in Vestnes, Romsdal. At the time of Karolines birth Markus must have been at the peak of his career as a ship carpenter. It is reported that he and a partner built a sailwessel “Tjuren” to be used in the fisheries
on the Norwegian banks. The man who ordered the boat was one K. Bjørseth, who was a prospering merchant in Ålesund at that time. It is interesting to note that Bjørseth, along with several other prominent citizens of the town, are listed in the church records, as witnesses to Karolines baptism. Karoline and Bård had three children Martin, born 1901 (my grandfather), Hilda born 1903.(She lived in Oslo), and Alf, born 1905. Alf emigrated to USA when he was 18 years old. He spent the rest of his life there. He, his wife Lilly and son Roy lived first in Brooklyn, later on Staten Island.

Herman was born Dec 17th 1873. I believe he went to sea. I have no concrete information on Herman except from the fact that he visited family in Seattle, Wa in 1907. Oluf wrote in a letter “Herman came up to see us last week-end” Herman supposedly changed his last name to Gordon and made a living being a proffesional boxer.

Anna Pauline was born Dec. 26th 1875. She was married to goldsmith Jens Thoresen. Anna died in 1904. They had no children. Thoresen remarried.

Oluf Mathildus was born Nov 6th 1877. I believe he went to sea. He moved around and worked as a carpenter before he settled in Seatlle, WA. He died Jul 4th 1965. He was married to Karen, born 1883 in Ålesund. She died 1964 in Seattle WA. They had, as far as I know, no children.

Ludvika Margrete was born Sep 27th. 1879. As I thought I had found all Markus’ children Ludvika suddenly appeared in the church records of Ålesund
(Don’t get me wrong: I realize that she must have been there all the time). Ludvika passed away in 1883 four years old.

Mindor  was born in 1883. I have not been able to find any records on him. I know he traveled with his brothers in the USA. Aug 28 1907 he was in Seattle,WA.
He was a fisher and was lost at sea in 1909.

Martin Mathildus born 1885. He was usually called Mathildus or Thildus. He went to sea before and went ashore in the USA and traveled along with his brothers Oluf and Mindor. They took various jobs. All of them seems to have been trained in carpentry as they often worked at shipyards. Mathildus settled in Seattle where he married Betzy. They had one son: Clarence who married Helen. Mathildus died Sep. 30th 1963. Betzy (also born 1885) died in 1962. As far as I know Clarence and Helen had no children.

Norman was born 1888 and died 1890.

Norvald was born 1890 and died 1894.

Throughout these years Markus experienced several ups and downs. The vessel he built in 1872 seems to be the only one he built from keel to top mast, but he had a repairyard. He also worked at several shipyards in Ålesund.4)Kjell Skorgevik: Om skip og skipsverft, om engler, navn og torg i Ålesund, samt Aalesunds museums årsmeldinger for 1987, 1988, 1989 og 1990 | forlag = Aalesunds museum | url = http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-nb_digibok_2014022008181 | side =39.

In 1901 Markus was a witness at the baptism of my grandfather Martin’s baptism.

Markus’ wife Nicoline died Okt 29 1903.

 

Torvgaden, Ålesund. Photo: Kind permission from Sunnmøre Museum

In 1904 he had to fly from his home as it burned in the big city fire. Markus lived in the street “Torvgaden/Torvgaten” I have not been able to determine if his house is on this picture. Note the chimney at the end of the street. We’ll use it for reference in the next picture.

On January 23. 1904 Ålesund was ravaged by a big fire.  It spread rapidly and destroyed almost the whole city centre, built mostly of wood like the majority of Norwegian towns at the time.

Photo: Kind permission from Sunnmøre Museum

All the houses in Torvgaden was destroyed by the fire. Markus then went back to Molde and lived for some time in the home of his nephew (Who ironically was the the fire chief of Molde). A large rescue operation was set in motion. The German emperor Wilhelm II had been a frequent visitor to the area and expressed a personal concern for the plight of the population. A lot of the international aid was on his initiative. The street that was named Torvgaden was renamed Emperor Willhelm’s street in the “new Ålesund”

Already the next year Markus is back in Ålesund, working at “Steinvågen Skibsverft” (Ship yard). The insurance sum for his house in Torvgaden was 5540 Norwegian Kroner.  After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time. It was compulsory to use stone in the city center. This being an expensive material Markus decided to put his insurance money into a large wooden home in Steinvågveien 46 a little outside the city center. The house is still there.

At the census in 1910, Louise and Mathildus are the only children of Markus who still live at home.

In 1916 Markus sells his home in Steinvågveien46. It seems like he and daughter Louise moved to Sundgata 3 in Ålesund.

Markus dies January 31 1929 at the age of 95.

This is how Ålesund looks today from the viewpoint Aksla

  

 

 

 

 

 

References   [ + ]

1.SAT, Sjøinnrulleringen – Trondhjemske distrikt, 01/L0330, 1846-1860, p. upaginert
Quick link: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/ru20100923630217
2.SAT, Ministerialprotokoller, klokkerbøker og fødselsregistre – Møre og Romsdal, 529/L0452: Ministerialbok nr. 529A02, 1864-1871, s. 169
Brukslenke for sidevisning: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/kb20050727010320
3.SAT, Ministerialprotokoller, klokkerbøker og fødselsregistre – Møre og Romsdal, 529/L0452: Ministerialbok nr. 529A02, 1864-1871, s. 104
Brukslenke for sidevisning: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/kb20050727010260
4.Kjell Skorgevik: Om skip og skipsverft, om engler, navn og torg i Ålesund, samt Aalesunds museums årsmeldinger for 1987, 1988, 1989 og 1990 | forlag = Aalesunds museum | url = http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-nb_digibok_2014022008181 | side =39

2 thoughts on “#52ancestors: Longevity

  • January 22, 2018 at 10:59 pm
    Permalink

    What an amazing story – such hardships and resilience. Marcus’ face shows much warmth and wisdom and tells a thousand stories. Thank you.

    Reply
    • January 23, 2018 at 6:17 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you Des! I do like the face of Markus Olsen, that is probably because my grandfather Martin looked so much like him.

      Reply

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