Category Archives: Hanson

Jens Rasmussen and Ovidia Olesdatter Immigration – 1884

I found a database in Norway that allows you to search for people who were given permits to emmigrate to America.  I found my 2x-great-grandparents Jens Rasmussen and his wife Ovidia Olesdatter in the database.  Their daughter Olga Hanson Schmidt had said the couple were on their way to America three weeks after they got married, and she wasn’t far off.  They were married in Vikna on 12 Sept 1884 and left for American on 9 Oct 1884, so 27 days later!  Unfortunately the documents do not tell us which ship they took, but it does say it was one of the “Inman Line” leaving from Bergen, Norway.

JensRasmussen&OvidiaOlesdatter1884_enh

Portrait of Jens and Ovidia taken in Bergen, Norway, in 1884 just before their departure for America.

From Bergan, my grandparents would have taken a smaller steamer, either the “Oder” or the “Argo”, to Hull.  They would be in the UK three days before departing from Liverpool to New York.

Looking at NorwayHeritage.com, there is a list of ships that went to America from Norway in 1884.  In Olga’s recounting of our family history, she mentioned that the newlyweds stopped at Hull on the way to New York.  The ships from the Inman Line that did the run from Hull to Liverpool to New York in 1884 were these five:

“SS City of Berlin” – Arrived New York 1 Nov 1884
“SS City of Chester” – In Queenstown 10 Oct 1884, Arrived New York 18 Oct 1884
“SS City of Chicago” – In Queenstown 3 Oct 1884  – Left too early to be a candidate.
“SS City of Montreal” – Arrived New York 9 Nov 1884.
“SS City of Richmond” – Arrived New York 24 Oct 1884.

So there are four possible ships they could have been on:  “SS City of Berlin”, “SS City of Chester”, “SS City of Montreal”, and “SS City of Richmond”.  In Olga’s recounting of our family history Ovidia had said that the crossing took “two good weeks”.  So if they left 9 Oct, they would have arrived about 23 Oct.  That makes the “SS City of Richmond” the most likely candidate since it arrived on 24 Oct 1884.  The Chester only took 8 days to cross, and the “Berlin” and “Montreal” would have taken more than three weeks to cross since they arrived on 1 Nov 1884 and 9 Nov 1884 respectively.

Based on our family history, my guess is that they left aboard the “SS City of Richmond”, arriving in New York on 24 Oct 1884.

I’m attaching two images of the “City of Richmond”, one is a photograph taken in 1874.

CityofRichmondUnderSail CityofRichmond1874

Ovidia Olesdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885.  She was 18, he was 37.

Ovidia Olesdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885. She was 18, he was 37.


Rasmussen Family Marriage Records – 1884

I have been fortunate enough recently to have discovered dozens of birth, marriage, and burial documents for my family by searching in online and scanned census and parish records from the counties where they lived in Norway.   Tonight I wanted to see if I could find the original marriage record for my great-great-grandparents, Jens Rasmussen and Ovidia Olesdatter.

Ovidia’s obituary from 1956 states “She was married in [Norway] Sept. 14, 1884”.

Ovidia Olesdatter Hanson Obit, 1956

Ovidia Olesdatter Hanson Obit, 1956

Her daughter Olga Hanson Schmidt’s recollection was “While [Jens] had [a job secured in Wisconsin], he thought he’d better go to Norway and get married.  So he did.  His girlfriend lived in Bergen, as did his mother.  But, rather than go to Bergen directly, he first decided to go visit his three brothers who lived north in Rørvik [Rasmus, Andreas, & Hans].  One day [Ovidia] was out in the yard near the dairy and a young man came to borrow a tool for his brother.  A short time later, [Jens Rasmussen] brought the borrowed tool back and Ovidia was the only one there, so they talked.  She invited him to come to  a harvest party in the neighborhood and he accepted.  Three weeks later they were married in Rørvik and on their way to America.”

So, according to family lore, Jens was visiting his brothers in Rørvik [Vikna, Nærøy, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway] when he met Ovidia and got married to her.  I had already checked the parish records for the Rasmussen family and not seen the record there, so I started looking in the Nærøy records when I came across this record for Jens’ brother Rasmus Rasmussen getting married to Gjertrud Nilsdatter on 15 Aug 1884:

[Click on images to enlarge or download.]

Rasmussen Olsdatter Marriage, 1884

Rasmussen Olsdatter Marriage, 1884

12) 15 Aug 1884, Rasmus Rasmussen (Ryum Farm, b 1852, son of Rasmus Hansen Østreim, confirmed in Lindås in 1867 and 1873) and Gjertrud Nilsdatter (b 1856, daughter of Nils Sjundsen Østreim, confirmed in Lindås in 1870 and 1883), both from Lindås, were married. Witnesses: Hans Rasmussen Ryum and Jens Rasmussen Ryum.

So Jens had, in fact, come North to Vikna to attend the marriage of his brother, Rasmus, and was listed on the marriage record as a witness.  He was listed as Jens Rasmussen Ryum, not Jens Rasmussen Østreim.  We will get to that later.

I then turned the page, and at the top of the very next page was the record I had been searching for:

Rasmussen Nilsdatter Marriage, 1884

Rasmussen Nilsdatter Marriage, 1884

17) 12 Sept 1884, Jens Rasmussen Østreim from Ryum Farm, born Lindås in 1847, confirmed in Lindås in 1861, son of Rasmus Hansen, & Ovidia Kristina Zachariasdatter, born in Ryum in 1866, confirmed in Gaested in 1881, daughter of Ole Zachariasen, were married. Witnesses: Rasmus Østreim Ryum [groom’s brother] and Albert Olsen Ackvik [bride’s brother].

Ovidia Olesdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885.  She was 18, he was 37.

Ovidia Olesdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885. She was 18, he was 37.

This record offers us many interesting bits of information.  It confirms Jens as being from “Ryum Farm”, which means he wasn’t just visiting his brothers, but had been working on the farm with them.  His trade is listed as sømand [modern spelling: sjømann] or sailor.

It’s also worthwhile to note that Ryum Farm (also spelled Rjuum, and other ways) was the farm where Ovidia’s family lived.  In Norway the “farms” were more like townships.  Large pieces of land with many different families living on them.  Some farms like Østreim Farm or Hopland Farm had 5 or even 20 families living on them.  The Ryum farm was said to have been owned by the Gundbjorn family.

I’d be very interested to see if I can find a plat map of Norway from that time showing the location of the different farms.


Rasmussen Family in 1900 Norway Census

These are entries for the brothers of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen in the 1900 census of Norway. By this time the Rasmussen family had taken to using Østrem [the name of the farm they had lived on in Lindås] as the family name. They were living on Ryum farm (some family members then used the last name Ryum) on the island of Vikna, near the town of Rørvik, Norway.

The first entry is for Andreas Rasmussen Østrem.  You can see him listed as a farmer and fisherman, along with his wife Martine and three of their children.  “Randi Østrem” was probably not a family member, but someone who had also lived on Østrem farm with them and moved to Vikna.  Another son, Torleif, can be found in another census entry which I will show later.

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum
Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name                  Status   Married Occupation        Birth-year  Birthplace
Andreas Østrem        Head     M farmer & fisherman      1840        Lindaas 
Martine Østrem        Wife     M farmer's wife & housewife 1846      Lindaas 
Olaf Martinus Østrem  Son      U farmhand                1881        Vikten NT 
Henry Østrem          Son      U farmhand, fisherman     1883        Vikten NT 
Gustav Martens Østrem Son      U farmhand, fisherman     1889        Vikten NT 
Randi Østrem          tj       U maid                    1859        Vikten NT 
Paul Julius Johnsen   tj       U shepherd boy            1889        Vikten NT

The next entry is for Rasmus Rasmussen Østrem.  You can see Rasmus and his wife Gjertrud Nilsdatter along with five of their children and a farm hand.   The census does not show three other children who died young, all in 1892.  “Hanna Olina” listed here (other records show her as Nanna Oliva) died in 1909.  Another girl, Dagny Østrem, would be born in 1902:

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum
Number of persons in this domicile: 8

Name                    Status   Married Occupation            Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus Østrem           Head     M       farmer & fisherman    1852  Lindås
Gjertrud Østrem         Wife     M       farm wife & housework 1855  Lindås
Konrad Johan Østrem     Son      U       farmer's son          1891  Vikten NT 
Sigrid Marie Østrem     Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1893  Vikten NT 
Hanna Olina Østrem      Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1895  Vikten NT 
Ragna Geline Østrem     Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1897  Vikten NT 
Nelly Charlotte Østrem  Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1899  Vikten NT 
Edvard Kristian Kristiansen tj   U       shepherd boy          1888  Vikten NT

This entry is for the Rasmus Olai Hansen, who was the son of Hans Rasmussen Østrem, brother of the above two. You can see Rasmus and his wife Anna, along with his mother Gurine Martinusdatter. Torleif Østrem, listed with them, was the son Andreas Rasmussen Østrem (above).  The younger Hans Østrem seems to have been the son of Paul Nilssen (also listed), and had the last name because his parents had lived on Østrem farm prior to moving to Vikna.

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Lian
Number of persons in this domicile: 9

Name                    Status Married Occupation            Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus Olai Hanssen     Head   M       farmer                1866        Lindaas 
Anna Oline Wibe Hanssen Wife   M       farmer's wife & housework 1870    Vikten NT 
Eilert Jacobsen         tj     U       farmer's son & shepherd 1888      Vikten NT 
Torleif Østrem          fl     U       lodger                1899.02.07  Vikten NT 
Gurine Martine Østrem   Mother W       pensioner's widow     1842        Vikten NT 
Berge Paulsen           fl     M       lodger                1890        Vikten NT 
Paul Nicolai Nilssen    Head   M       lodger & fisherman    1869        Vikten NT 
Othelie Kathinka        Wife   M       lodger's wife, housework  1879    Vikten NT 
Hans Østrem             Son    U       lodger's son, no trade 1899.07.21 Vikten NT

Rasmussen Family in 1910 Norway Census

These are entries for the brothers of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen in the 1910 census of Norway.  By this time the Rasmussen family had taken to using Østrem [the name of the farm they had lived on in Lindås] as the family name.  They were living on Ryum farm (some family members then used the last name Ryum) on the island of Vikna, near the town of Rørvik, Norway.

The first entry is for the family of Rasmus Rasmussen (Østrem)

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum (gaard)

Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name              Status   Married Occupation  Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus R. Østrem  Head     M       Fisherman   20.11.1852  Lindaas 
Gjertrud Østrem   Wife     M       housewife   10.05.1856  Lindaas 
Konrad Østrem     Son      S       provided for by parents 11.02.1891 Lindaas
Sigrid Østrem     Daughter S       housemaid   11.07.1893  Lindaas 
Ragna Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    06.09.1897  Lindaas 
Nelly Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    31.08.1899  Lindaas 
Dagny Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    06.06.1902  Lindaas

Next is the record for the family of Andreas Rasmussen Østrem. Andreas had passed away and his wife Martine is listed as a Widow. Three of his sons are living on the farm.

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum (gaard)

Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name             Status   Married Occupation             Birth-year  Birthplace
Martine Østrem   Head     W       farm-worker, housewife 12.05.1847  Lindaas 
Olaf Østrem      Son      U       farm-worker, fisherman ??          Lindaas   
Torleif Østrem   Son      U       son                    07.02.1899  Lindaas 
Gustav Østrem    Son      U       supported by parents   23.01.1891  Lindaas 
Lotte Beniamins. tj       U       stableboy              24.11.1891  Lindaas 
Iver Randulfs.   el       U       farm-worker, fisherman 10.07.1893  Lindaas
Ole Ryum         el       U       farm-worker, fisherman 28.02.1878  Lindaas

And an entry for Rasmus Hansen Ostrem, son of the late Hans Rasmussen Ostrem:

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Lian (gaard)
Number of persons in this domicile: 5

Name              Status     Married Occupation         Birth       Birthplace
Rasmus H. Østrem  Head       M       farmer & fisherman 31.05.1867  Lindaas 
Anna Østrem       Wife       M       housewife          01.02.1869  Lindaas 
Hans Nils.        foster son U       foster son         21.08.1899  Lindaas 
Reidar Nils.      foster son U       foster son         13.05.1902  Lindaas 
Berge Nils.       el         U       fisherman          23.05.1891  Lindaas 

Rasmussen Family in 1865 Norway Census

A fantastic find today. This is the 1865 Census for Norway. Who knew there was such a thing? It shows the family of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen [John Hanson] living in Lindås, Hordaland, Norway. Lots of great detail here about Jens’ mother, brothers, and niece.

Hans Rasmussen was the eldest son of the family.  He is in the census with his wife Guri and his daughter Anna.  The rest of the people living with him are his brothers and sisters with the exception of Siri Andersdatter, who was their mother.  Jens’ father, Rasmus Hansen, had died by 1865.

Census year: 1865
Municipality: Lindås
Municipality number: 1263
Name of domicile: Østreim
Number of persons in this domicile: 9

Name                Status   Married Occupation    Birth year Place of birth
Hans Rasmussen	    Head     M	     Farmer        1840       Lindaas	
Guri Martinusdatter Wife     M                     1841       Lindaas	
Anna M. Hansdatter  Daughter U		           1860       Lindaas	
Gullak Rasmussen    Brother  U	     Farm lab.	   1851       Lindaas	
Rasmus Rasmussen    Brother  U	     Farm Lab.	   1853       Lindaas	
Sirina Rasmusdatter Sister   U	     Farm maid	   1854       Lindaas	
Andreas Rasmussen   Lodger   U	     Sailor	   1843       Lindaas	
Siri Andersdatter   Mother   W	     Farmer's wife 1816       Lindaas	
Ivar Rasmussen	    Brother  U                     1858       Lindaas	

My Grandfather Jens is in the same Census working as a laborer and living in the home of a Lasse A. Knudsen on the same farm:

Census year: 1865
Municipality: Lindås
Municipality number: 1263
Name of domicile: Østreim
Number of persons in this domicile: 6

Name                    Status   Married Occupation    Birth year Place of birth
Lasse A. Knudsen        Head     M	 Farmer        1833       Lindaas	
Britha Larsdatter       Wife     M                     1829       Lindaas	
Lars Lassesen           Son      U		       1864       Lindaas	
Ingeborg O. Lassedatter Daughter U	               1861       Lindaas	
Jens Rasmussen                   U	 Farm Lab.     1847       Lindaas	
Anna Johannesdatter              U	 Farm maid     1842       Lindaas	

Rasmussen Family Records from Norway

As I stated in another article, it seems that Norway is getting more of its parish records online.  I recently was able to find the birth and baptism record for my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen, a/k/a “John Hanson”.

Name:            Jens Rasmusen
Gender:          Male
Birth Date:      26 Jan 1847
Baptism Date:    31 Jan 1847
Baptism Place:   Lindaas, Hordaland, Norway
Father:          Rasmus Hansen
Mother:          Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073

I also found records for several siblings of the same family.

Name: 	        Hans Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	6 Jan 1840
Baptism Date: 	20 Jan 1840
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124587	
Name: 	        Andreas Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	11 Mar 1843
Baptism Date: 	12 Mar 1843
Baptism Place: 	Manger, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigrid Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124591

Another record for Andreas being baptized at home:

Name: 	Andreas Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	23 Feb 1843
Baptism Date: 	12 Mar 1843
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 	278073
Name: 	        Ole Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	8 Feb 1845
Baptism Date: 	16 Feb 1845
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Carl Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	20 Jun 1849
Baptism Date: 	1 Jul 1849
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Gullak Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	12 Jan 1851
Baptism Date: 	2 Feb 1851
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Rasmus Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	20 Nov 1852
Baptism Date: 	28 Nov 1852
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Iver Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	22 Jan 1858
Baptism Date: 	24 Jan 1858
Baptism Place: 	Austrheim,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigrid Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124589
Name: 	        [Stillborn Son] Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	12 Jul 1862
Birth Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Death Date: 	12 Jul 1862
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278074

This map shows the towns mentioned in the baptism records and their proximity to Bergen.  Austrheim to Manger is about 10 miles and Manger to Lindaas is about 8 miles.

Rasmussen Family Locations

Rasmussen Family Locations

My great-grandmother Olga Hanson Schmidt said that Jens came from a family of eleven children, ten boys and one girl [Sirina, who Olga called “Olivia” in her recounting of family history]. With these records we know of 10 of the eleven children. The 11th, I believe, is Peder Rasmussen, who I found in the 1871 census for Northumberland, England with his brother Gullak on board a ship called the “Thor”.  Apparently the census-taker visited the harbor, and the Rasmussen brothers were on board at the time.  Peder is listed as the ship’s carpenter:

1871 Census for Northumberland, England

1871 Census for Northumberland, England

Based on the information from the 1865 Norwegian Census I posted elsewhere, I also believe this is the birth/baptism record for Sigrid/Siri:

Name: 	Siri Andersen [Siri Hansen, Siri Andersdatter] 
Gender: 	Female
Baptism Date: 	17 Feb 1816
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Anders Hansen
Mother: 	Martha Nilsdatter
FHL Film Number: 	124586

Based on the other baptism records, I believe there is a good chance this is the baptism record for Jen’s father Rasmus Hansen:

Name: 	        Rasmus Hansen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	27 May 1816
Baptism Date: 	2 Jun 1816
Baptism Place: 	Manger, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Hans Johannesen
Mother: 	Jetlau Andersdatter
FHL Film Number: 124590

Jens Rasmussen “John Hanson” Passenger List – 1870

My great-great-grandfather John Hanson was born Jens Rasmussen near the seaport of Bergen, Norway on 26 Jan 1847.  The story of his life, as recounted by his daughter Olga Hanson Schmidt (my great-grandmother) was posted here.

Prior to marrying his wife, Ovidia Kristine Olesdatter (Olson), Jens was a sea-faring man.  As a teenager he worked as a seaman, first on smaller boats that carried freight from village to village, then on the large three-masted schooners which traveled the open ocean.  He traveled to China, to Africa, and crossed the Atlantic seven times visiting Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Valparaiso, and San Francisco.

Ovidia Olsdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885.  She was 18, he was 37.

Ovidia Olsdatter and Jens Rasmussen around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885. She was 18, he was 37.

Family legend says that he made a trip to America about 1872, visiting New Orleans and “jumping ship” there.  He got a job on a river boat up the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chien, then went up the Wisconsin River to Portage, to Stevens Point, and finally to Wausau, Wisconsin.  He fell in love with the place.  Years later when he decided to get married, he would bring his new bride back to Wausau.

Until now, I had always assumed that Jens had worked his way across the ocean as a crew-member of these vessels, and hadn’t really thought to look if I could find evidence of his travels.  Then, this week, I found a document that really surprised me:

Passenger List for the "Galathea", 1870

Passenger List for the “Galathea”, 1870

This is a passenger list for the “Galathea”, which left Bergen, Norway on 22 May 1870, and arrived in Quebec City, Canada on 10 Jul 1870, after a journey of 49 days.

The entry reads that Jens Rasmussen, aged 23 (born 1847), resident of Lindås, Norway, embarked at Bergen, Norway for passage to Quebec, Canada.  Everyone on the page is listed as a “Farmer”.  Jens was listed as a farm laborer in the 1865 census for Lindaas, Norway, so this voyage may have been among his first trips far away from home.  His port of arrival is listed as “Qwebeck”, which is an odd spelling to be sure.

Obviously the name, age, and Bergen are correct for my grandfather, but there are a few other bits of information that line up also.  Jens was born and baptized in Lindås, and his brother Rasmus Rasmussen Østrem (1852-1936) lived there until his death, so the town is right.  We know Jens was living in Lindås in 1865 as he can be found there in the census.  Additionally, my grandfather gave the year of his arrival in America as 1870 in the 1900 US Census, so I am nearly 100% sure this is the passenger list for one of his trips across the Atlantic.

According to NorwayHeritage.com, the “Galathea“, a three-masted sailing bark captained by L. Pettersen, was built at the Navy Shipyard in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1832.  She was first used by the Danish Navy as a corvette.  In 1862 she was bought by C. Mohr & son in Bergen, and had made a previous trip to Quebec in 1865.  On the trip carrying my grandfather, there were 281 passengers on board, including a woman who gave birth during the voyage.

SS Galathea

SS Galathea

There is an interesting account online from one of the Norwegian families who traveled to America aboard the Galathea in 1865, and it mentioned many details I hadn’t considered:

They are now ready to leave Norway. Their household goods have been sold.. The trunks and chests were packed with the only possessions they had in this world. Food for their entire journey had to be provided to last a period of three to four months. There were boxes or chests of bread and flatbrød – casks of salted fish – cod, herring and halibut–others with salt pork, beef and mutton; boxes of cheese, butter, flour, sugar, salt and all the other spices that would be needed. Then there were trunks of clothing, “America Chests” they were called. All the clothing, not only for the journey, but for all their needs until more could be made: axes, saws, planes and chisels, hoes and spades, bedding, thread, needles, yarn, medicine, innumerable articles needed to establish homes in the new land. Last, but not least, the Bible, the hymn book and a Book of Family Devotions.

Then there were the farewells to be said. The leave-taking of friends, near and dear, with the knowledge that they would never see them again, must have been an ordeal in itself. Saying goodbye to relatives and friends, turning, as it were, your back on the old and facing the new and unknown world, not knowing what joys and sorrows are in store–takes great courage!