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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

[#8733] Fattigvæsenet

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Gjest Patricia Carlsen Mikkelsen

My great-grandmother (Malene Andersdatter) was widowed in 1889. In the 1891 Census for Bergen, she is 40 years old. She is listed as 'Syarbeide' and 'Fattigvæsenet'. I know this means she was poor. She had three children, two sons -- ages 10 and 7, and a daughter aged 4. Can anyone tell me what kind of life she faced in Bergen at this time? What kind of assistance (if any) would she get from the government? When they were old enough, her two sons went to sea. But this still leaves several years when they were too young to work. How would she get by? I can't tell by the street address if this was a private home or special housing for the poor (Foswinckels Gade).I appreciate any information or insights...Hilsen, Patricia

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Gjest Jan Oldervoll

She was living in a private house in a working/lower midle class environment. She was able to work, but it would be difficult for a woman doing syarbeid (tayloring) for private people to earn enough to support a three children. It is difficult to say how much she would get from the municipality (not government). She would get according to need, and the definition of need would probably not be very high. But they would not be starving, I would say.

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