Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Biography Series -- Akoline Oleane Jakobsdatter Part II

My last blog post regarding my ggg-grandmother Akoline Oleane Jakobsdatter left off where I found out she was born in Sweden, in Tanum Parish--Göteborgs och Bohus län (Bohuslän).  She had also married my ggg-grandfather Samuel Andreasen, who was also from Tanum Parish in Sweden.  Of course, I right away wanted to take a trip into Swedish records, but I had never searched them before.  The other problem was I really needed a birth date for Akoline (or rather Oleane, as she seemed to be named in most records I was finding).

I had learned from my father's cousin in Norway that Akoline/Oleane had had three husbands, so I hoped that in finding more records belonging to her that one of them would have a birth date.  I assumed Akoline would have stayed in the same area after her first husband Samuel died and decided to search both the Glemmen and the Vestre Fredrikstad marriage records.  I calculated a death date for Samuel based on my father's recollection of his great-grandfather telling him his father had died when he was around four years old.  I then searched the marriage records, pretty much one name at a time, until I hit the names Oleane Jakobsdatter and Lauritz Andersen (a shoemaker), where it was noted both were born in Sweden.  Interestingly, they did not have a number next to their registration, and it looked as if the pastor had squeezed their names into the books as an afterthought.  I soon realized the marriage was a civil marriage that had been recorded in the parish book.  The civil marriage record number was noted by the pastor. 

As I looked at the names of Oleane and Lauritz Andersen, something looked familiar.  It finally struck me -- I had seen the combination of names before.  As you may recall, my last post stated that the 1900 census showed my great-great grandfather living in Moum Soendre Farm with his family and three people I did not recognize.  I don't know why the census-takers never recorded he was living with his mother, but I took a good look at that record and realized that the Lena Andersen listed had to be Oleane with her husband's surname, and there were two children listed with birth years and place of birth as well.  But Lauritz Andersen was not living with them, so I figured he was probably dead.  However, I had to find her children's birth records to prove my theory that Lena and Oleane were the same person.  I searched the Glemmen baptismal records (the same parish where Oleane's and Lauritz's marriage had been recorded) for children and found two, Harda and Hartvig.  They had both been baptized as older children, 10 and 8, respectively.  They each had godparents I recognized, and Oleane Jakobsdatter and Lauritz Andersen were named as the parents, so I knew I had the right people.  But why were these children baptized so late?  I was coming to realize that Oleane didn't quite do things as expected.  And now I also had a third variation of her name -- Lena.  Anyway, more details on her children's late baptisms will follow on another post; instead, I will focus on her Swedish roots and her arrival in Norway.

I now had a few records that tied together, and the marriage record for Akoline/Oleane had a birth date -- 17 February, 1850.  Sweden, here I come!  I researched a bit regarding finding records from Sweden and soon found out I had to pay a subscription to access these records with Genline.  I have since learned there is an "equivalent" site to the Digitalarkivet site of Norway (found here) that seems cheaper; I have used the latter site on a free trial, and it is very easy to use.  But back then, I only knew about Genline, which was not financially feasible for me at the time... so I did the next best thing -- I posted a request on the Swedish forums on  Amazingly, I received a response within an hour containing information from Oleane's birth record, her household examination record, and her emigration to Norway!

One interesting thing I learned was that my ggg-grandmother was named "Olleana" in her baptismal record, and there was no "Akoline" anywhere to be seen.  This still puzzles me; also, Akoline is a very unusual name, so it must have some meaning that she used it.  In any case, Oleane was born the 17th of February and baptized the 24th of February, 1850.  She was the illegitimate daughter of the farmhand maid Helena Magnusdotter (31 years old) who lived "under" Rungtung in that parish.  The record elaborates that Helena "lives with a soldier, Johan Jakob Ruth, but has a child from another."  Witnesses were Soldier Hvällberg from the croft under Kvarlös in that parish, Catharina Olsdotter in Kålstad in that parish and Anders Magnusson from the same place, and Carolina Olsdotter in Underslös in that parish.  Wow!  No one in Norway who knew some things about Akoline that had been passed down knew any of this!  Oleane used the names Johansdatter and Jakobsdatter, but Johan Jakob Ruth was not her father.  As was often the case with illegitimacy, the father's name was not given in the record, and I wonder if she ever knew it since she uses a surname derived from her non-biological father.  Household examination rolls show that Oleane grew up with Johan Jakob before leaving with her mother for Norway in 1863, and her mother and Johan Jakob did have other children together, although they never married.

Akoline/Oleane's baptismal record (click on picture to view)

On the 14th of December, 1863, thirteen-year-old Oleane and her mother Helena Magnusdotter crossed the border to a new life in Norway; they were headed to Sarpsborg.  I have since learned that during this period in the 1800's, Norway was "America" to many Swedes from the Bohuslän region, who flocked to the Fredrikstad area in search of work in the sawmills and stone-cutting quarries.  My father sent me a link to a site that tells the history behind a play in Norway called "The Barefoot Girl."  Apparently, Swedish girls walked the miles barefoot from Bohuslän, Sweden, into the Fredrikastad area because they did not want to wear out their shoes.  If this is true, then December may not have been the best month for Oleane and her mother to emigrate!

Emigration record for Oleane and her mother Helena Magnusdotter (click on picture to view)

On the next installment of Sunday Biography Series, Akoline/Oleane searches for her religion... and the truth behind her "third husband"...


  1. That is a very interesting life story about Oleane! You have really found a lot..!
    If you want some more good links, here are some: the two of them, you need to subscribe but the other two are free.
    ...or you can ask me ;o)
    Regards, Yvonne

  2. Astrid,
    I am a comparatively newbie to your "Of Trolls & Lemons," --- this morning a sat down and started to read this P.II. No, after a few words, I knew I had to start at the beginning, PtI. Along the way I was intrigued with other posts. Girl, you have a way with words and your research is amazing. Looking forward to more.

  3. Thank you for the advice and nice comments, ladies. It has been a fun journey learning about Swedish roots I never knew I had!