Thursday, December 11, 2014

Maybe I'll Keep Looking a Little More

"Metal Detecting" photo by Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias from Coruña, España
via Wikimedia Commons

Just when I'm ready to give up, I continue to come across one more tidbit of information about my Myren ancestors in Norway.  It is just enough to keep me looking in hopes of finding still more about the family before I leave those digitized records accessed through the Digital Archives of Norway.

In the past week, I located the following records in the Digital Archives.  I used baptism record indexes from to locate the correct year in the scanned clergical records on the Digital Archives, then followed the chronological entries until I found the full record.  All three were found in the same record, Ministerialbok (Ministers' Book) #5 for Lesja Parish, Oppland, Norway.  It was worth finding the full record in order to gain as much information as possible on these three events.
  • Marriage record of my 3GreatUncle Jorgen Andersen to Guri Knudsdatter on 30 Oct 1834
  • Marriage record of my 3GreatUncle Amund Andersen to Ragnild Lansdatter on 1 Nov 1834
  • Confirmation record of my 3GreatAunt Marit Andersdatter on 10 Oct 1830
The record I was most excited to find was the death and burial record for my 3GreatGrandfather Anders Pettersen.(1)  Prior to finding this record, I had found him listed in the birth, confirmation, and marriage records of his children.  I also knew that he not listed in the 1865 census of Norway, one of the primary censuses available through the Digital Archives.This suggested that Anders (senior) had probably died before the 1865 census was enumerated.

Locating this death record as, once again, like looking for a needle in a haystack.  This time I selected a clergical record that covered the likely period in which his death would have occurred.   In this case, I started with the Lesja Klokkerbok (clerk's book) for 1842-1871, hoping Anders would have been alive in 1842.  I started looking at all the death records, beginning with 1832.  There in the 1844 records, I found the information I was seeking about my 3GreatGrandfather Anders Pettersen.

Death / Burial record for Anders Pettersen
Lesja Klokkerbok, 1832-1871

That one line for entry 2 provided me with the following information:
  • Anders Pettersen died on 22 Feb 1844.
  • He was buried on 11 Mar 1844 [in Lesja].
  • He was living in the Myren farm area at the time of his death.
  • He was 74 when he died (and therefore was born about 1770).
  • He died of old age (according to the ditto marks for entry 1).

A few days later, I was able to solve another Myren family mystery. has a lot of searchable international detabases including five databases from Norway.  I have used these a number of times in order to have a starting point for locating the digitized records available through the Digital Archives of Norway.  

The mystery concerned birth and christening dates for my 3GreatGrandfather Peter Andersen Myren.  There were two entries for a birth/christening record for Peter Andersen, son of Anders Petersen and Marit Jorgensdatter.  One listed a birth date of 4 Feb 1798, the other a birth date of 12 Dec 1799.  I wanted to know which was the correct entry and also why there were two similar entries.

By going page by page through the Lesja Minister Book 3, I located three entries that seemed to tell the story of Peter Andersen.(2)  The first entry, outlined below in blue, was the Christening record for Peter Anderson, son of Anders Petersen of the Myren farm area and Marit Jorgensdatter, born 4 Feb 1798 and christened on 14 March 1798.  Witnesses to the christening included my 4 GGrandfather Peter Petersen of Myren and my 5 GreatAunt Sigri Petersdatter of Myren.

Christening Record for Peter Andersen, born 4 Feb 1798

The second entry below, also outlined in blue, was the burial record for a Peter Andersen of Myren farm.  The numbers 1 and 2 in the short entry are in the place where the age of the deceased was generally written in the burial record.  According to this Peter would have been a year and two months at the time of his death or burial.  Looking back at his christening record, young Peter would have been a year and three months old at the time.  For personal clarity, I'm now referring to the birth recorded above and this death record as being for "Peter 1" Andersen.

Burial Record for Peter Andersen of Myren, 19 May 1799

Apparently at the time of Peter 1's death, his mother Marit Jorgensdatter was pregnant with another child.  This child was born 12 Dec 1799, almost seven months following the dead of Peter 1.  This new baby was also named Peter.  Through my family research, I've found it was not that unusual in the 1800s to name a baby after an older sibling who had previous died; these seems to be the circumstance here.

This Peter, whom I'm calling "Peter 2", is the Peter Andersen who was my 2GreatGrandfather, the Peter who had three sons leave Norway and emigrate to America.  The birth and christening record for "Peter 2" is outlined below in green.  I wish I had a Norwegian magic wand I could wave to translate the words circled in orange.  The first word is "first born" but I have no idea what the second word it but wonder if it meant deceased, died, or something like that.  Among the witnesses at this christening were some familiar names, those of my 4GGrandfather Peter Petersen Myren and of his sister Sigri, also of Myren.  I finally had an answer for finding two different birth dates in the same FamilySearch database.

Christening Record for Peter Andersen, b 12 Dec 1799

It is the little things like finding these records that keep me studying those digitized Norwegian records with Google Translate open and my vocabulary chest sheets close at hand..  No telling what else I might find if I just keep looking long enough.

(1)  Oppland (Lesjaskog, Lesja, Norway), Klokkerbok no. 4 (1842-1871) , Dead and Buried 1842-1845, p. 80, entry 1844-2, Anders Pettersen Myren; digital images, Digital Archives of Norway: accessed 2 Dec 2014
(2) Oppland Parish (Lesja, Norway), Lesja Minister Book 3 (1777-1819), Chronological Lists, 1798-1800, Peter Anderson; digital images, Digital Archives of Norway: accessed 7 Dec 2014.

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