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Emigrerte fra Porsgrunn/Skien 1864

Kristinn Hegna

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Jeg lurer på om noen kunne tenke seg å hjelpe meg med denne henvendelsen som jeg har fått fra moren til en venninne i USA. Hun spør:


"I need to know if there is any information on Thorsten (Thomas) Wierson from Porsgrunn and his wife Inger (Emma) Hanson or maybe it's Hansdatter. She was from Skien. His birthdate is 24 May 1834 and her b-d is 28 March 1846. They were married before they came to America. Maybe you can even find the date?"


Jeg har lett litt etter døpte, konfirmerte, gifte, utflyttede og emigranter uten å finne noe. I dag presiserte hun: "I don't know where else Thorsten and Ingeborg (correct spelling I think) lived. I know Thorsten was a sailor and lived in different places. Ingeborg was from a poor family and I'm not sure where she may have lived. I do know that they emmigrated to America in 1864. When they got to North America they sailed over the Great Lakes and landed first of all in Manistee, Michigan where their first daughter was born in 1865. Then the went on to Chicago and finally to Wisconsin."


Kjenner noen til noen Torstein Iversen(?) født 24.5.1834 eller Inger/Ingeborg Hansdatter født 28.3.1846 fra Porsgrunn/Skiensområdet? Sannsynligvis gift i området ca 1862-64 (hvis hennes fødselsår er riktig) og emmigrert til USA 1864.


Setter stor pris på hjelp, og særlig glad for svar på engelsk hvis det er mulig. Dermed kan min mors venninne lese svarene også :-)


På forhånd takk.

Med vennlig hilsen Kristinn Hegna

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Norway Baptisms, 1634-1927 for Inger Tollefsdatter


Name: Inger Tollefsdatter

Gender: Female

Baptism/Christening Date: 10 May 1846

Baptism/Christening Place: HOLLA, TELEMARK, NORWAY

Birth Date: 28 Mar 1846

Birth Place:

Death Date:

Name Note:


Father's Name: Tollef Hansen

Father's Birthplace:

Father's Age:

Mother's Name: Kari Larsdr

Mother's Birthplace:

Mother's Age:

Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C42574-2

System Origin: Norway-VR

Source Film Number: 126941

Reference Number: 2:1VRT1RK

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Det stemmer ikke helt med denne Torsten - men kan jo gjerne være en "kandidat":

Kildeinformasjon: Telemark fylke, Gjerpen, Ministerialbok nr. 6 (1829-1834), Fødte og døpte 1834, side 89.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=1366&idx_id=1366&uid=ny&idx_side=-103

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20051011010666.jpg

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The latter link reads Torsten, born 24th of april 1834, bapt 19th of october 1834 in Gjerpen Church, Telemark. Son of Anders Wiersen Myrer under Engrov [Myrer is a smaller farm under the bigger farm Engrov] og kone [and wife] Elen Berthea Halvorsdatter. Among the witnesses is a woman called Anne Wiersdatter Eidanger, possibly an aunt of Torsten? I think he's possibly more than a candidate - Wierson is a pretty rare name. In fact I thought it might have been an americanisation of Iversen...!


And here is the parish records showing Inger's baptism

Kildeinformasjon: Telemark fylke, Holla, Ministerialbok nr. 4 (1830-1848), Fødte og døpte 1846, side 151.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=7911&idx_id=7911&idx_listetype=dp&idx_kjonn=&uid=ny&idx_side=-152

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20061208050154.jpg


It is not unlikely that this is the one we're looking for, although it is her father that is called Hansen, while her name would be Tollefsdatter. The name of the farm is Kaasa (kåsa= pronounced "kawsa"), witch usually is a name for a small farm or summer farm in Telemark.


Thank you both, Hanne Line and Arne, for these two clues. If we could find the marriage, we could get a proof of whether these two individuals are the ones we're looking for.



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Torsten Andersen is his name at the confirmation:


Kildeinformasjon: Telemark fylke, Gjerpen, Ministerialbok nr. 7A (1834-1857), Konfirmerte 1850, side 193.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=7796&idx_id=7796&idx_listetype=kf&idx_kjonn=&uid=ny&idx_side=-34

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20061128090208.jpg


He's no 13 on the list (left page). His father is called Anders Viersen, living at Enggrav/Enggrov farm.

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Thank you Kari!


The first link is a 1835 local census for Gjerpen in 1835. It says

Plads u. Engrav. [small farm under Engrav farm]

Anders Wiersen, g., huusmand, snedker, 48 [Anders Wiersen was a carpenter and a small scale farmer, not owning his own farm]

Elen Halvorsdatter, g., 36 [his wife]

Halvor Andersen, 11 [son]

Gunhild Maria Andersdatter, 9 [daughter]

Wilhelm Andersen, 6 [son]

Hanne Andersdatter, 4 [daughter]

Torsten Andersen, 1 ½ [son]


The second link is a 1845 census:


Plads [small farm, not self owned] at Engrav:


Anders Viersen, Huusmand, g., 58

Elen Halvorsd., g., 46

Vilhelm Andersen, s., 17

Thorsten Andersen, s., 12

Aaste Andersd., d., 8

Hanna Andersd., d., 3


So Torsten had four elder siblings and two younger siblings.

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Thank you again, Arne! What you have found shows that Torsten and Inger was not married in Norway. It would be interesting to know whether they met each other in the US or before they left Norway...!


The second link you provided shows the Viersen-family and descendants of Torsten's older sisters. The oldest sister moved across the county border to Brunlanes, in Vestfold. The second sister lived in Breivik, married to a carpenter.


Arne, do you have a link to the 1880-census? Was their first daughter born before they were married (1865?)

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Tusen takk, Arne. Dette var fint!



The family in 1880, living in Clinton, Vernon, Wisconsin:


Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace

Torsten WEIRSON Self M Male W 46 NOR Farmer NOR NOR

Ema WEIRSON Wife M Female W 34 NOR Housework NOR NOR

Ellen WEIRSON Dau S Female W 14 MI Housework NOR NOR

Charles WEIRSON Son S Male W 12 WI At School NOR NOR

Carry WEIRSON Dau S Female W 6 WI At School NOR NOR

Anna WEIRSON Dau S Female W 2 WI At Home NOR NOR

Albert WEIRSON Son S Male W 4M WI At Home NOR NOR



I've tried to find Inger Tollefsdatter in Holla/Holden, but I can't find her confirmation nor recods of her or her family moving from Holla.


Ancestors of the Inger Tollefsdatter Hanne Line linked to initially is here http://www.holla-og-lundeslekt.org/slekt/showAncestors.do?IId=47167 but we can't be sure about this Inger being the one who married Torsten...? What we would need was a marriage certificate stating the father's name.


This Tollef Hansen (Inger's father) worked at the iron works at Ulefos, it seems.

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I think this may be Torsten Wiersen's sister Hanna.




If she was 3 years in the 1845 census, she should be 23 in the 1865 census. And she is born in Gjerpen (which is an area in Skien). So I think this might be her. In 1865 she's working as a maid in the Bjerke-family.


I also think that this family is Torsten's oldest brother Halvor




His age fits with the 1835 census, and he is also born in Gjerpen. He lives with his family in Breivik, which is across the river/fjord from Porsgrunn.

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Arne, Kari og Hanne Line,


Tusen takk til alle tre for hjelpen! Vi tror vi har funnet de riktige personene, selvom den endelige bekreftelsen gjenstår.


I've been asked by Karen, my friend's mum, to let you know how grateful she is for all your help! She writes:


Hi Kristinn -- WOW!~! How can I ever thank you for the information that you helped me discover on Torsten and Ingeborg. Thank the people who helped to locate them for me. THANKS SO VERY MUCH!! I really appreciate all of your efforts.


Med vennlig hilsen

Kristinn Hegna, Oslo og

Karen McGarigle, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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I've found new traces of Inger. She was confirmed in Solum church April 7. 1861 (no 6)

Source: Telemark fylke, Solum, Ministerialbok nr. I 7 (1856-1864), Konfirmerte 1861, page 176.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=1413&idx_id=1413&idx_listetype=kf&idx_kjonn=&uid=ny&idx_side=-33

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20051005030554.jpg


Her place of residence is "Helgen" (which is in/near Holla). Her knowledge of the bible was "good" and she had a vaccination against smallpox in 1851, it also says.


And finally: Inger Tollefsdatter DID emigrate to America! On this page there is a list of people moving out from the parish. Down in the right hand corner, it says:


"No 23, March 19. 1864: Ingeborg Tollefsdtr [incomprehensible], f. [born] 28/3 1846. America"


Source: Telemark fylke, Solum, Ministerialbok nr. I 7 (1856-1864), Inn- og utflyttede 1864, side 433.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=1413&idx_id=1413&idx_listetype=fl&idx_kjonn=&uid=ny&idx_side=-30

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20051005030747.jpg



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Inger Tollefsdaatter had a sister called Berthe, born in Holla Aug 7. 1849. Unfortunately, she died only 20 weeks old. Her father is called Tollef Hansen Kaaset here, which means that they lived on the "kås" (small side farm) of a bigger farm. In the fifth column it says "Kaaset under nedre Kolle" [the kås under lower Kolle].


No 61 on this list in the parish register:


Source: Telemark fylke, Holla, Ministerialbok nr. 5 (1849-1860), Døde og begravede 1850, page 316.

Permanent sidelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:kb_read?idx_kildeid=1376&idx_id=1376&idx_listetype=bg&idx_kjonn=&uid=ny&idx_side=-7

Permanent bildelenke: http://www.arkivverket.no/URN:NBN:no-a1450-kb20051007040661.jpg



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  • 4 weeks later...



Dette var artig. Jeg er etterkommer av Anders Viarsen og Ellen Berthea Halvorsdatters eldste datter Anne Helene. f.1821 i Gjerpen i Tlm. hun giftet seg i 1846 i Brunlanes med Ole Christoffersen Manvig.

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