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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

[#8003] Seaman's records

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

I need advice. My bestefar, August Olai Adolf Andersen (f. 1884 i Bergen) was a seamen. But I cannot locate any Norwegian seamen's records. The last address I have for him is 1891 Bergen, when he was only 7 yo. On some American papers he filled out later, he stated that he was a seaman since 1902, and that he immigrated to the US in 1906. So, that is at least 4 years that he served as a seaman in Norway. I have written to the Statsarkivet i Bergen and also to Stavanger. They cannot find any record of him. But I realize that he could have traveled anywhere in Norway.What can I do now? Can anyone help me?Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Per Helge Seglsten

If you could give us his parent's name from the 1891 census, it would be easier to help you find him, for instance in the 1900 census.

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

Thank you for offering to look in the 1900 Census. Maybe you will see something I missed. I have looked in this file for his family many times without success. Someone suggested that they must have left Norway, but I know this is not true (except for August). I have parish records showing that his mother (Malene Andersen f. Andersdatter) died in Bergen in 1930. The probate records at that time, show that his sister (Thora Marie) was married and living in Bergen and his brother (Andreas Johan) was living in Oslo. Here is a link to the 1891 record.Lenke It shows August, his older brother, younger sister, and mother. His father died in 1889.I understand that the seamen's records are maintained in the archives according to the city where he was domiciled. Since I don't have this information, I don't know which regional archive to contact. I thought Bergen was the most logical, or maybe Stavanger. But I am told he is not in the seaman's rolls for either city. I also wrote to Kristiansand, but because I could not provide an address for him in this region, they would not even look for me. I will greatly appreciate any assistance or advice. I am running out of ideas.Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Odd Sande

I have read all your correpondance seaching your grandfathers family in Norway. In two years I have seached trace after my uncle Adolf Herman Andreassen. He was also a sailor, born in Bergen 1884 (21.jan.). He left the ship in New York 1908, and no one have heard from him later. He may have changed his surname to Andersen, or something like that. In my search in US I have tried many different variations. As you understand, I found many similarities betveen your grandfather and my uncle. I suppose you have got all informations about the family in Norway. Your grandfather is not in the emigrations records, but I found that your grandfathers brother, Andreas Johan Adolf emigrated in 1906 from Bergen as a 3rd engineer on a ship.Perhaps you can find more about him in the sailors records in Bergen? If you have good idea for my seach problem, I will appreciate that. Greetings Odd

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Gjest Tom Askerøi

Have you tried to write to Statsarkivet, Sjømannsseksjonen, at the same address as Riksarkivet? They have a lot of seamen's rolls from all over Norway going pretty far back. If you do so, they ask you to use snail mail, to give ALL THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE on the sailor, i e age, birth place, all names, when he emmigrated etc. and DON'T FORGET YOUR OWN (snail mail) ADDRESS they can reach you at.Good Luck...

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Gjest Tom Askerøi

For seamen after WW2 another good address is Pensjonstrygden for sjømenn, PO Box 8143 Dep., NO-0033 OSLO, NORWAY.The adress for Riksakrivet and Statsarkivet is, by the way: Folke Bernadottes vei 21, NO-0862 OSLO, NORWAY...

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Gjest Terje Sande

In the Ship lists from the 1900 census there is one August Olai Anderss. born 1884 in Bergen. He is on board the ship 'Erling Jarl' which was owned and operated from Trondheim. Try this link LenkeGreetings Terje

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

To Odd Sande -- Yes, I can appreciate your difficulties finding information about your uncle. It's quite possible his name got changed somehow. My grandfather was born August Olai Adolf Andersen, but when he came to America, he became Adolf Anderson... I have no idea why. When I found his birth records, finally, I understood why he was called 'Gus'!I want to tell you that last year, when I was searching for information at the US National Archives, I found a record for an Adolf Anderson, who was a seaman living in New York City, like my grandfather, and who was also born in 1884 in Bergen, Norway. But I can't remember which files these were. I will go through my papers, and if I can find any clues, I will post again to you.I have access to some parts of the US Census for 1920. I looked in New York City for another Adolf. But I could not find one who was the right age and who immigrated in 1908. The closest I could find was Adolf Anderson, 33 y.o., born in Norway, living as a roomer in Brooklyn NY, and working as a 'derrick man' on a boat. It said he immigrated in 1913, and was not naturalized as of the 1920 Census. Sorry I can not be more help to you,Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

To Tom Askerøi -- Thank you for your suggestion. In Nov 2001, I wrote a letter (by snail mail) to the Statsarkivet i Oslo, requesting my grandfather's seaman's records. But the address I had was different (Folke Bernadottes vei 21, Postboks 4015 Ullevaal Stadion, 0806 Oslo), and I did not send it to the attention of the Sjømannsseksjonen. Someone there forwarded my request to the Statsarkivet i Bergen, probably because I said that he was born in Bergen. The Statsarkivet i Bergen told me that they had no record of him in the seamen's rolls for Bergen or Stavanger.You said in your post that the Sjømannsseksjonen in Oslo has records for all over Norway. But so far, it seems like the people I have written to do not want to search other regions unless I can tell them he lived there. And I do not know where he lived after 1891. Please give me your advice -- do you think I should try to send the letter again, to the address you gave me? I will try anything! I appreciate your assistance.Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

To Terje Sande -- Thank you very much for looking in the 1900 Ships Crew List. I tried your link and looked at the record. It showed the name as 'August Anderss.'. Do you have access to more details for this file, that show the second name 'Olai'? This would help me very much! I have found two possibilities in this file -- the one you already mentioned and also this one:21508 11; Adolf Anders., m, ug, Dæksgut, f. 1884 Bergen, bosted Bergen, ship name-FirdaCan you tell me, what are a 'koksmat' and a 'dæksgut'? My grandfather would have been only 16 y.o. in 1900. So, I wonder what kind of position on a ship someone his age would get.Anyway, without any more details, I have no way to know if either of these records is for my grandfather. Is there somewhere I can write to find out? I appreciate your help!Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Tom Askerøi

I have not tried this writing to the Sjømannsseksjonen at Riksarkivet myself, but I got the message I gave you in a telephone with them today.Why? Just trying to help - I saw the problems the two of you had here, and knew (as I was working with it in the mid 70's) that there were a registre of seamen on norwegian ships for calculating their pension. But the institution that did this recording was closed down in the 80's (I think). So I took some calls to find out where the records are now. And ended up at Sjømannsseksjonen. They sounded very nice and willing to help, so I think you should give it another try...?Hope you find something.

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

To Tom Askerøi -- Thank you so much for your efforts! I am so grateful that you took the time to call them about my problem. Can you please tell me one thing -- do I address my letter to the Riksarkivet or Statsarkivet? Thank you again...Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Tom Askerøi

Sorry I confused you, but my first statement was correct: You write to Statsarkivet, Sjømannsseksjonen.

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Gjest Terje Sande

Sorry about the 'Olai' - it is not there on my screen either. It was a slip of the eye - if you search for names in the ship crew lists that starts with 'Aug' and are born in Bergen, the resultlist has an 'August Olai' on the line above your possible August. I have not access to anything not here in the digital archive.A 'Dæksgut' is a starting position on a ship so typical for a 16 year old seaman. I honestly do not know what a 'koksmat' is, but looking at the positions of the persons above and below him on the list, I think the whole title should be 'kokksmatros' meaning someone who helped the cook prepare the food. Someone will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong. Risking another mistake - I think Erling Jarl was one of the ships in the 'Hurtigrute' line going between Bergen and Kirkenes in the north of Norway with goods and passengers.I'm sorry but I have no way of findig out which of these persons that could be your grandfather or suggest how you best could obtain such confirmation. I did however look at his birth record here in the digital archive and found a small deviation from the information in your first notice. In the church record his name is 'August Adolf Olai'.Beste hilsen Terje

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

To Terje Sande -- It's OK about the 'slip'. I was hoping you had information beyond what appears on the Digitalarkivet. As for my grandfather's name, it has gone through so many changes. According to his father's family bible, which I just found last year, he was born August Olai Adolf Andersen. I realize that the baptism records in Bergen have switched his second and third names. However, I think the bible is correct, because his older brother also has 'Adolf' as his third name. After he emigrated to the U.S., on all official documents, he was simply Adolf Anderson. But everyone called him 'Gus' (short for August?). The only reason I knew about the other names was that my grandmother told me (when I was a little girl) that his full name was Adolf August Olai Anderson (yet another variation!).So, I wonder if he preferred Adolf over August, since he took this as his first name when he came to America. This is also a reason why I think I should also consider the seaman's record for Adolf Anders., dæksgut on the Firda.If you don't mind, I have a few more questions -- you said the Erling Jarl operated out of Trondheim. If a seaman was working on this ship, does that mean he was 'domiciled' in Trondheim? If so, perhaps I should also write to see if my grandfather was on the seaman's rolls for this region. I see that the Firda operated from 'N.B. Amt'. Can you tell me what this means? Also, what do the terms 'Undersått' and 'Trossamf.' mean?Sorry for all the questions! Thank you very much for your responses.Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Terje Hatvik

To Patricia:The position 'Dæksgut'['dekksgutt' in modern norwegian] on any ship in the norwegian Merchant fleet(or 'dekksgutt' in modern norwegian) should most likely be translated into 'Seaman apprentice'; i.e the apprentice of the senior seamen on board, such as a 'Matros' (Sailor) or a 'Båtsmann' (the Boatswain).The position/assignment 'Koksmat/koksmait' is a norwegian adaption of the english title or expression 'Cooks mate'; which of course means the 'mate' of the Cook.Or to be more precise: The apprentice and/or assistant of the actual Cook on board.Let me add that not only is this expression, 'Koksmait/Cooks mate'; still in daily use in the Norwegian Navy today. Moreover, the specific position itself still exists today on board of these military vessels.However; the terms, names and actual meanings of the miscellanous positions in any nations' Naval Fleet may differ sligthly from those of their respective Merchant Fleet.Furthermore; if the vessel in question was a somewhat larger ship then there would normally also be someone holding a leading position ABOVE the Cook, known as the 'Stuert'; which - as you perhaps already have guessed - equals a 'Naval Steward' or 'Chief Steward' in English.The Hierarcy in a Naval kitchen thus has the Chief Steward on top and the 'Cooks mate' at the very bottom.I presume that being an apprentice on board any naval vessel in the nineteenth century would be anything but easy for young men/women, but surely extremely useful/essential for anyone dreaming of launching a future career in the Fleet.Hopefully you'll find this explanation satisfactory.Kind regards, Terje

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

Terje -- Thank you again for this very useful information! Eventually, my grandfather became Chief Engineer in the US Merchant Marine. So, I am wondering if he would have started out helping the ship's cook or as seaman's apprentice. But maybe this is not important. Maybe he would take whatever position he could get, and it sounds like both of these jobs might be likely for a 16 y.o. boy. Do you agree?Thanks again!Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Terje Hatvik

With reference to your last: Yes, I do agree.Without further knowledge in this particular case I do presume that the general conditions for employment was not too easygoing in Norway around 1900, so a young man/boy had to grab whatever he was offered and then stick to it - or, be unemployed and take the risk of staying poor.Your grandfather certainly didn't choose the latter option -.The abbreviation 'N.B' stands for 'Nordre Bergenhus' which is todays name for the county of 'Sogn og[and] Fjordane'. This county consists of so-and-so many municipalities, all of them can be found on these sites. By the way, 'Firda' is an ancient name for the regions in this county currently called 'Fjordane' [the Firths, hence Firda]. Today we normally divide this region in two sub-divisions/districts; 'Nordfjord' and 'Sunnfjord'; i.e. North- and SouthFirth.As an experienced researcher and frequent visitor to this forum, you have of course already detected a lot of similarities between English and Norwegian, for example when it comes to names.This is not only due to being of same linguistic origin, but also - as previously shown with the term 'Koksmait' - that norwegians sometimes makes adaptions or/and deviations of english expressions; and vice versa. Another example to illustrate my point: norwegian 'Maskinist' isn't too far off from the term 'Machinist'. The title 'Maskinsjef' must be translated 'Chief Engineer', but then again; an engine is undisputably a machine.All the best in your continued efforts to reveal more details about your grandfathers origin- and doings. The way ahead is hopefully more encouraging than enduring, so pls. persevere.Regards, Terje

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

Terje -- Once again, I thank you. I will persevere, but the going is difficult. I have a big gap in his life that I cannot seem to fill. One minute, it is 1891 and he is a 7 y.o. boy in Bergen. The next time I know of his whereabouts is 1910, he has already come to America and is working on a US Army Mine Planter off the coast of Virginia. So much happened to him in the meantime, but it's just a big question-mark! I can't even find his family in the 1900 Census for Norway. I am sure his mother and sister were living in Bergen, but can only assume their household was omitted for some reason. It is very frustrating!Regarding N.B. Amt, I believe I read that Sogn og Fjordane is served by the Statsarkivet i Bergen. An archivist there has already told me August is not in the seaman's rolls for Bergen. So, if he was a dæksgut on the Firda, he is not listed. I will write to the Statsarkivet for Trondheim and see if he is on the rolls there. He must be listed somewhere!Thank you for your good wishes and kind assistance,Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Terje Sande

Just discovered that you had two small questions that were not reponded to.'Undersått' here menas nationality and 'Trossamf.' means religious affiliation.Firda was a steamship going between Nordre Bergenhus and Bergen probably passing trough the area where Malene came from. If that is the right ship I can get pictures etc. for you if you are interested.What happend to the older brother Andreas? There is one Andreas Anders. born 1882 in Bergen that is a 'Stuert' in the 1900 ship crew list. May explain why August started as a cookmate.Beste hilsen Terje

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

Hello again, Terje (Sande)!Thank you for the translation. I don't have any way to confirm if that was my grandfather on the Firda. I wrote to the Statsarkivet i Bergen, requesting his seaman's records. I thought it was the most logical place for him to be domiciled, since he was born there and his mother lived there. But an archivist told me there is no sign of him on the seamen's rolls. If I find out later that he was on this ship, I will post back here and let you know. Do you visit this forum regularly? I don't want you to go to any trouble, as long as I am not sure about the ship.As for Andreas Johan Adolf Andersen, I know a little bit. I have seen the emigration record, showing that he traveled to America in 1906. I must assume he did not stay there. In 1903, he married Stina Francisca Hansen in Bergen. They had four children in Bergen from 1903-1911. An archivist told me that in the 1912 Census, he was still living in Bergen with his family. His profession at that time was listed as 'Maskinist', so August followed in his older brother's footsteps!. By the time Malene died in 1930, Andreas had moved to Oslo.When the new file of country-wide death records came out on the Digitalarkivet last year, I found one of his children there. Using this information, I was able to locate my second cousin (the grandson of Andreas), living near Oslo. I sent an email, and he replied that I had the right person. He said he would write more to me later. But he never did. So, I guess he is either very busy or not interested in communicating. I am sad about this, but it can't be helped.I found several possible matches for Andreas in the Ship's list for 1900. Johan Andreas, f. 1879 in Bergen, Letmatros on the Eros Andreas, f. 1880 in Bergen, Fyrbøder on the Hero Andreas, f. 1881 in Bergen, Fyrbøder on the Mount Vernon Andreas, f. !! in Bergen, 2den maskin on the Agnes Andreas, f. 1882 in Bergen, Stuert on the Helios (the one you found)I am pretty sure that Andreas was a seaman as his permanent career. I know that he visited my grandfather in New York at least once in the early 1930s. My mother said that he 'dropped in' unexpectedly, so I assume he was on a ship that happened to be in port there. According to my mother, he did not speak any English. They found a neighbor to translate (my grandfather was away at sea at the time).I just keep looking, but the more recent information (after 1900) is hard to come by....Thank you again for your help.Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

These entries did not post the way I typed them. I realized, after it posted, that it was impossible to read. Hopefully, this is more clear. Possible matches for Andreas in the Ship's list for 1900.Johan Andreas, f. 1879 in Bergen, Letmatros on the ErosAndreas, f. 1880 in Bergen, Fyrbøder on the HeroAndreas, f. 1881 in Bergen, Fyrbøder on the Mount VernonAndreas, f. !! in Bergen, 2den maskin on the AgnesAndreas, f. 1882 in Bergen, Stuert on the Helios (the one you found)Sorry about that!Hilsen, Patricia

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