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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

[#10583] American surnames - Thomassen

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

Five of my fathers aunts and uncles left for America between 1870 and 1885. They were born Nilsen/Nilsdatter in Drammen, Buskerud county - but sometime around 1870 they changed the family name to Thomassen, due to the new name practice.So probably they arrived in the new world with the surname Thomassen and Americanized it to Thomsen, Tomsen, Thompson or Tommesen (written on a photograph)My family album contains 12 photographs made in Chicago. Ill, so I presume they settled there. Their first names were: Thomas Christian born 1845, Maren born 1848, Netta born 1851, Thora born 1856 (returned to Norway) and Soren born 1866.The only departure I have found is Netta's. She left Christiania 12 July 1872 on ship 'Hero', pre-paid ticket to Chicago. Netta was married two times. Her second husband was Johannes Olstad, born in Norway 1837. Johannes and Nettie moved to Fargo, N.D, where Nettie died 1901. She bore nine children in her two marriages. I have traced her due to photos sent from Fargo.But the other three I have not found in the US censuses, mainly because of their adapted surnames.

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Gjest Laila N. Christiansen

I would say this is helpful information: (your query, found when searching the net:) - Thomas Christian Thomassen, born 01.10.1845- Maren Thomassen, born 09.03.1848- Netta Emilie Thomassen, born 13.01.1851.- Thora (Tilla) Thomassen, born 07.03.1853. Unmarried, returned to Drammen, Norway.- Soren Thomassen, born 21.07.1866, died in Chicago 1913. He ran a small sightseeing boat at the Lake.Have you tried to get an obituary for Netta? That might indicate the spelling of the name, and also maybe give the married name for Maren.Hopefully Roger T. from Illinois takes a look at this. If there are any possibilities to find your family in Illinois, Roger is the man! Laila

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

Thank you Laila for your interest and assistance. I have the necessary birth information however (the family bible and Drammen church books). The obituary for Netta does not mention Maren or her other sisters or brothers, only Nettie's birth in Norway, her children and so on.Hence I hope Roger T. will see this and perhaps supply information.Egil

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Gjest Laila N. Christiansen

Hi! I know you have the birth information, I found your query on the net.I think it is necessary to give as much info as possible when asking for help, that is why I put it out.Strange that Nettie's obit did not mention anything.... well. Maybe Soren could be found? Do you have any more info on him? LailaLaila

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Gjest Laila N. Christiansen

So, Egil, What do you think of this Søren? LenkeLaila

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

This was new information to me Laila. According to my old aunt in Drammen, Soren visited the family once after his emigration. It was interesting to see that he used the surname Tommesen. The same surname was written on a photo given to Tilla in Chicago.But there may be a possibility that he used an 'American' surname 'over there' and his 'Norwegian' family name when he embarked from Christiania. Who knows?I agree that it is helpful to give as much information as possible. I just shortened my first subject to make it more readable.As you wrote Soren ran a small sightseeing boat at the Lake. He was married and had two children, Roy and Ella. Photos in the album.Egil

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Gjest Roger  Thauland

About Soren, what is the source of the 1913 date? I cannot find him in the Cook death index. Do you have the exact date or an obit? I will see if the births of Roy/Ella are indexed. Roger. (i am at the FHC now)

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

The death of Soren 1913 was a verbal family information. Could be wrong, of course. I was told (many year ago) that they got a small inheritance from USA, and connected that with Soren. But Soren had children, and the old folks in Drammen could have mixed it up.Would it be of any help if I list the name and addresses of the Chicago photographers?

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Has Laila found them in the 1900/1910 census? Next week i could try Cook probate records...saw some Roys and Ellas under Thomas but not under the names listed so far. About when were they born and are they close in age to each other? Knowing that might help me pick them out in the index under Thomas/Thompson(many of these). But the census would be very helpful.... I found a marriage for Thomas, but the age was very wrong. I suspose you have looked thru the Ill marriage index online?

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

I have a dozen or more photographs including one of the family dog, but none are dated, and one only has a name written on: 'Carl Ludvig 17 months' So, one of them got a son, Carl Ludvig.The photos are of people of all ages, and I will guess they were taken 1880-1910. Not much help. Soren was born in 1866. Suppose his children were born around 1890-95.I have only seen the 1880 census for Norwegians living in Ill. Think I found Nettie married (first time) to a sailor James Baren. Since he was born in Norway, the name must have been Americanized. Her age and the name of the children matched with the information I have from N.D. They lived in 13 Cook, then.If you send me the page address for the Ill marriage index, I can do some homework.

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Gjest Kathy Bergan Schmidt

The Illinois marriage index can be found at [url="http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/cgi-bin/archives/marriage.s>Lenke It looks like there are some possibilities there, such as:THOMASEN, THOMAS & NELSON, CARRIE, COOK County, 03/24/1894THOMASEN, THOMAS & SAMUELSEN, MARIE, COOK County, 01/21/1888THOMASSEN, THOMAS & BOSTROM, AUGUSTA ANTONIA, COOK County, 10/02/1888THOMASSEN, THOMAS & BOSTRAN, AUGUSTA ANTONIA , COOK County, 10/02/1888 (same license number as one above, so no doubt the same marriage)THOMPSON, SOREN & JENSEN, JOHANNA, COOK County, 03/08/1888THOMPSON, THOMAS C & O'BRYAN, NETTIE A , COOK County, 04/07/1885THOMPSON, THOMAS C & HANSEN, MARIE, COOK County, 11/28/1885THOMPSON, THOMAS CHRISTIAN & MADISON, ANNA C, CARROLL County, 09/21/1899ANDERSEN, AUGUST & THOMASEN, MARIE, COOK County, 11/25/1885, (if Maren started using Marie as a first name – or the anglo clerk decided to change it for her)You can get the certificate numbers from the website if you think any of these might be possibilities.Carroll County, where there is a Thomas Christian Thompson, is in northwestern Illinois, and it would be possible that your relative moved out there. There is the online Carroll County Birth Index, 1877-1913 at

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Way to go Kathy! About the ages, i was not very clear- i meant the children Roy and Ella--is it clear which is older, or is it too close to call? I can look thru the index for the matching pattern to approx year and birth order. Of course, at that time many did not have these certs. I can see if my FHC has all those marriage films(Cook only likely). The Oct 1888 marriage is the one i found--both were 27 years of age. Perhaps Carroll has a lookup volunteer, try the site and usgenweb.

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Gjest Laila N. Christiansen

Hi Roger and everyone! (I knew you would come in to the discussion, Roger and Kathy!I have not found any of them in the censuses. The 1900-census I have is not soundex-indexed, and the 1910-census is not indexed at all. I did not find them in the 1920 census index either.I will just sit here for a while and see what comes up :o) Laila

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

Thank you for your assistance Kathy and Roger.I am sure Roy was son of Soren. Photos of them were taken at the same time and the same photographer. However, the photos of Ella are different in style, and she might be a daughter of Thomas or Maren as well.At that time normal marriage age in Norway was 25-30 year. If they followed that habit 'over there' Thomas Christian and Maren would have married around 1875, Nettie some years after (which she did) and Soren around 1890-95.With this in mind I have searched the marriage index (all variations of the family name). Seems to me that Thomas Thompson was the most common name in Illinois! Probably the clerk tranferred all similar names into Thompson. Still a few Thomasen has 'survived'.The most interesting to me was Thompson, Thomas (without C) & Andersen, Elise, Cook 09/11/1874, because of the marriage year and that one of my aunts was named Elise. Else, Thompson, Soren & Jensen, Johanna, Cook 03/08/1888 and Andersen, August & Thomasen, Marie, Cook 11/25/1885 were interesting (although the latter was a littlebit late)Furthermore, I found Netta's second marriage. Mrs Nettie Bjorn (shortened surname)& John O(lsen)Olstad; Cook 11/22/1882.

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Gjest Kathy Bergan Schmidt

I looked at a few Chicago City Directories yesterday, those for 1890, 1895, 1900, and 1910. I found one Soren in 1890. The listing said: Thomson Soren lab h. 214 Vine. Translated into full words that means Soren Thomson was a laborer who lived at 214 Vine. Laborer is an occupation I often see for recent immigrants. There were 4 Thomas Thomsons listed, an inspector in the water department, a laborer, musical instruments (probably a salesman), and a sailor, but they don't have the same address as Soren.And as you have noticed there are lots of Thompsons -- and many of them were named Thomas. So there was no way of telling of any of those Thomas Thompsons in later directories were your relative. There was a Thomas C Thompson, manager at 1893 Lincoln Av home 2729 N Robey in 1900, and I think that is a Norwegian neighborhood. The 1910 directory had this listing: Thompson Thos C Rev pastor Norwegian Luth ch h (home) 447 N 51st st (street or court -- it's hard to decipher the print). But how could there be a pastor in the family and the people in Norway not know it?Given that new alternative spelling to work with, I checked the marriage and death index again and found a listing for the death of a Maren Thomsen in Chicago on December 30, 1926. But if Maren had married, that can't be her.So just what was needed, another spelling variation to consider. . .

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

You are right Kathy in your conclusion. No pastor in the famlily. They were craftsmen. When the first generation died, the connection was broken because the next generation did not write Norwegian.When I browsed through the 'Norwegians living in Illnois according to the 1880 Census' the most interesting name to me was Thomas Thompson, awning maker, Cook county, with wife Thora and children Alwilda, Martin and Albis. The age of Thomas fit and the names Thora and Martin were used in my famliy. Coincidence? I did not find this couple on the Illnois marriage index, further I have no photos of a group of kids, only (6) single children. Difficult to tell whether they are boys or girls, they all wear long dresses. One of them named Carl Ludvig, however.If these photos are from around 1900-10, they might be grandchildren to Thomas C.I do not know whether Maren was married or not. But my grandfather inherited a small amount from USA, obviously one of them were unmarried.As far as I know, there are no Norwegian newspaper in Chicago any more. Else I could have sent å photo of a young couple from around 1900 and asked: 'Do you know them?'

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Hi- might have to enter this in small pieces, my isp and da seem unstable this am (illinois time!). Found the birth of a Carl Thompson, may 31, 1910 on 1288206, so ordered the film, we will see. Found August and Marie, c97946 on 1030151. He 24, she 33! but its Torgersen again, so i will ask Joel for the address and witness names.

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Continuing--found Soren, age 27, she age 29, c124628 on 1030171. a JP marriage. Found Thomas, c18035 on 1030089, a JP marriage, no info at all on 1874 licenses. (drat--or uff da?) I have more to lookup--including the birth of a Roy W. Thompson, mar 14, 1895. and i need to lookup those other Thomas marriages also. Still looking, Roger.

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Gjest Kathy Bergan Schmidt

I did some looking in the soundex for the 1900 census and came up with a few possibilities. For Thomas, there is a Thomas Thompson at 56 Cromwell in Chicago, born 16 Oct 1846 in Norway, both parents are Norwegian, 54 years old, immigrated 1880, in country 20 years, Alien (i.e., not a naturalized citizen), married 29 years, occupation can't be read because of notes written over it (there was a lot of that in the 1900 census), rents his home.Wife Mary, 48, born18 June 1852 in Norway, both parents Norwegian, married 29 years, mother of 6 children, 3 still living, immigrated 1880, 20 years in US.Children born in Illinois, Frank, 16, born 25 Nov 1884, Amelia, 9, born 6 July 1890. Have a boarder, Charles Heflinger, 28, from Germany living with them.This Thomas Thompson information is from the Census for Illinois, Cook, Chicago, enumeration district 492, sheet 9 (image 18 on Ancestry.com)I couldn't find a Soren Thompson, so I looked at all the first names that began with S and came up with a possibility: Sam Thompson, 33, born June 1866 in Norway, both parents Norwegian, married 4 years, immigrated 1883, in US 17 years, naturalized citizen, occupation sailor, rents his home.Wife Christina, 37, born in Norway Aug 1862, both parents Norwegian, married 4 years, mother of one child, one child living, immigrated in 1891, in US 9 years.Daughter Ella, 3, born in Illinois September 1896.This Sam Thompson information is from Chicago, enumeration district 510, sheet 8 (image 15)There are some other Thomas Thompsons who could be possibilities. But one problem with living 'in the country' is that we just have a telephone modem and downloading those census images takes forever. Midweek when up in Madison I'll have access to a faster connection and can check them out, if you like.

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

You are on the right way. The information about Sam Thompson is almost correct Kathy. If you go to the first notice from Laila (2), you will see that Soren was born 21 July 1866, ran a small sightseeing boat and he had a daughter Ella. Son Roy could have been born after 1900. Soren was on a visit back home in 1888, then alone and unmarried.Thomas C. was born 01/01/1845, hence the one you mentioned does not fit. A census listing the birth dates seems to be very helpful. Most interesting candidates to me are Thomas T. married to Elise 09/11/1874 (a pity with no info at the marriage licenses Roger) - and Thomas T. married to Thora around 1874.Carl Thompson born May 31, 1910 was interesting. Ought to be Carl Ludvig, however.I appreciate your efforts.

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Hi everyone, found no birth info for Ella. Found no 1913 data for Soren(sam). But found the marriage of Soren Thompson, c242406 on 1030258, Dec 11, 1895. So i ordered the film, we will see in a few weeks--unless someone beats me to it--which is very ok! (found a Sam who died 1905--so i ordered the film) Roger. (also found a 58 year old Marie Andersen, dead 1908, so i ordered the film--send peanut butter--hehe just kidding)

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Gjest Egil H Thomassen

I have searched the 1900 census for ND (a photocopied census) on net, and found info about Nettie Olstad and her family. Not able to find a similar net issue for Illnois. Seems to depend on an Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Any solutions or net-address for Illnois ?

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Gjest Kathy Bergan Schmidt

I don't think that there's anything like that for Illinois. One of the local county genealogical societies does have such census records posted, but only for their county. I think that it's DuPage county, but I don't think many other counties have done that yet. (Not enough money and/or expertise to do so!!)You're right about there not being a Norwegian-American paper in Chicago anymore, but I did think of an alternative way to getting your unknown pictures to part of the Norwegian-American coummunity in the Chicago area. Get addresses of local Sons of Norway lodges from the Sons of Norway website, send a plain-paper copy to the president and ask if they would show it at a meeting and see if anyone could identify it. The Norwegian National League of Chicago might also be a place that could help. I'm presently away from home and don't have the URLs handy, but you can get by using google or something like that.

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Gjest Roger Thauland

Hi-- found a possible Thora(d 1929), sent for film and obit. It might help if the names Alwilda, Albis and Milfred(?) where Americanized for me, and what was the full date of the 1880 census? I did not find the marriage either-might try Wisc online. I found Sam's who died in 1916/17/23/31/32. I might see if film is available for all--(wonder if 1913 was really 1923). Kathy--any luck with the 1900 and Thora's family? Roger.

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Gjest Kathy Bergan Schmidt

I’ve moved on to the 1910 census and found the following information that I think is your family.For Soren/Sam: Address: 5339 Wentworth Avenue Head of the Household: Sam Thompson, 44, born in Norway, emigrated 1884, naturalized citizen, married 13 years, carpenter, houses, rents his home.Wife Christine, 40, born in Norway, emigrated 1893, married 13 years, mother of 3 children, 2 living.Daughter Ella, 13, born in IllinoisSon Roy, 6, born in IllinoisNotation on record indicates that wife Christine was the one giving the information.This is from the 1910 US Census, Illinois, Cook, Chicago, Enumeration District 1315, family number 291 (found on image 27 on ancestry.com)And could this be Thomas? Address: 1123 Grand Head of the household: Thomas Thompson, 65, born in Norway, emigrated 1878, naturalized citizen, first marriage, married 32 years, carpenter, shop, rents his homeWife Mary, 61, born in Norway, emigrated 1878, first marriage, married 32 years, no answer given for how many children did she give birth to and how many were still living.Daughter Anna, 26, born in Illinois, clerk in mail order houseDaughter Ma???, 18 ?, born in Illinois, clerk in mail order houseRoomer Mable Morray, 21, born in Illinois, Italian parents, machine ?? In shoe factoryRoomer August Siverson, 44, Widower, Norwegian, emigrated 1903, alien (not a citizen), sailor on the lakes.And the notation here indicates that wife Mary gave the information.This is from the 1910 Census, Illinois, Cook, Chicago, enumeration district 794, family 48 (image 5 on ancestry.com)The year of emigration and number of years married are similar – is it possible that they married just before they emigrated? Or soon after arriving in the US?

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