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Kate Peterson

Help with probate document - Bergen 1828

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Kate Peterson



I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out this document and hoped somebody might be able to help me out.  I'm sorry this is rather long!  


Iver Ottesen was born in Opheim, Voss in 1783 of Odd Madsen Seim and Anna Pedersdatter Rekve and was confirmed in Wangs sogn in 1798.  He came to Bergen before 1801, found work in the trade houses (first Dramshusen, then Gildskoen), and was made a Borger in 1808.   He married Anna Margrethe Olsdatter in 1804 a few months after they had their first daughter out of wedlock.  They went on to have a total of 10 children, seven of them died in infancy.  Iver did well in business for a while and the family had a lot of prominent neighbors - but between 1812 and 1818 he was in court several times and might have had financial problems.  Anna Margrethe died in January 1824.  In 1826, Iver had a son out of wedlock with Marie Lude and died a few months later.  His probate was recorded in December 1828.    


At least three sons were still alive in 1828 - Otte Andreas and Johan from Iver's marriage to Anna Margrethe, and Marius from his relationship with Marie Lude.    (A daughter, Anna Lovise Margrethe, could also have survived if she is the "Margrethe Ottesen" or "Grethe Ottesen" mentioned in the probate).     Otte Andreas and Marius were named in the probate, but I could not find any mention of Johan even though he was must have been alive (he was confirmed in Domkirken in 1831).    


The biggest mystery of this family for me has always been the identity of Anna Margrethe's parents.    According to her death record she was born around 1780.  She is called by different names in various census and church records - most often Olsdatter but also Jørgensen, Hansdatter, and Jørgensdatter (in addition to Ottesen because the family had taken this as a surname).  I've scoured all the children's baptism records for clues to her identity but most of the baptism witnesses seem to be business contacts or neighbors of the family.   I can't find any record of her before the birth of her daughter in 1804.


Because Iver was a merchant (and appears to have died in debt) his probate seems to consist mostly of business debts being settled.  I've had a hard time sorting through it to figure out what's actually going on.   I recognize a lot of people in the probate as Bergen businessmen (Lexau, Helmers, Mohn, etc), but there are quite a few names I don't recognize, and I'm having a hard time figuring out which lists are business debts and which are beneficiaries of the will or perhaps employees/servants who are owed back wages.     


Iver had the following children:

1804 Henriette Margrethe (out of wedlock; died in infancy)

1807 Otte Olai (died in infancy)

1808 Otte Andreas (mentioned in probate in connection with St. Petersburg, no record after that)

1810 Anne Marie (died in infancy)

1812 Georg Olaj (died in infancy)

1813 Ole Johan (died in infancy)

1815 Johan (confirmed in Domkirken 1831, no record after that)

1817 Oluf Hagen (probably died in infancy)

1819 Anna Lovisa Margrethe (may have survived, could be "Margrethe/Grethe" mentioned in probate, possibly died unmarried in Haus in 1847)

1820  Peter Nicolai (died in infancy)

1826 Marius - son of Marie Lude - found in 1865/1875 censuses living in Nordland


Iver's other known relatives mentioned in the probate are his brother Claus Ottesen Eimstad and sister Martha.     Claus seems to be in charge of "Margrethe/Grethe" who could be Iver's youngest daughter.


Here are a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with:


1.  What is the overall situation?  Was Iver bankrupt when he died?  

2.  What is Otte Andreas doing in St. Petersburg?  Is this some kind of apprenticeship?   What is the name of the company he is with?  (It looks like "Joncelien & Drasch").  

3.  Where is Johan????

4.  Any clues at all about Anna Margrethe's family?

5.  Is there anywhere else I should be looking for answers?



I appreciate any help!



Endret av Kate Peterson
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