Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who is Jorgen Seiner and what does he have to do with us?

Those are very good questions and now I will try to explain!

He is the brother of Han Henrik’s second wife, Mathilde. He is also the man who Ludvig would go to America with.  If he is not Ludvig's father, Jorgen would become his father in America! In an effort to try to determine who Ludvig’s parents are, it becomes necessary to take a very close look at Jorgen and Mary Seiner. So today we will do just that!

Jorgen  and Anton Seiner are brothers who arrived in New York on the ship Umbria from Liverpool, England in 1892.  I'll show you the cropped and close up version on the ship's passenger list.

A few changes seem to occur when Jorgen arrives in America.  It seems that he decides to Americanize his name and he become George Seiner.  This is not unusual.  Many immigrants choose to change their name or the spelling of it, in an effort to blend into American society.

 This is the Boston marriage record of Mary Fay and George Seiner(or Jorgen). This record indicated that they were married in Boston on July 30, 1896. This record also reveals that Mary’s Parents are Frank and Katie(Catherine) Fay. George/ Jorgen’s parents are listed as George and Marren Seiner.

I have found that Mary seems to cross the ocean between America and Norway at least four times. This is surprising to me because I would have thought that it cost a lot of money to do that! There is an arrival record to New York in June of 1899 (which will be refernced again later)and there is a Boston passenger list which shows Mary and her daughters in September 1899. I am wondering if the second record is a departure record rather than an arrival and it indicated when they returned to Norway. I also find the record from 1911 which shows Mary and the children when they arrive form Norway for the last time.….it seems that our records for arriving into America are better kept than those for leaving America!

Mabel C Seiner is born on October 4, 1896 in Boston Massachusetts. Her parents are listed as George and Mary Seiner in a Boston birth record. Lilly is born on February 4, 1898 in Norway and was baptized on the 13th of March in the Tjome Church with her parents listed as Jorgen Seiner and Mary Fay. In June of 1899, Mary and the girls leave Norway and returned to America. These records indicate that she is returning to her mother’s home in Boston. I suspect that Frank Fay, Mary’s father was ill or has died. Catherine Fay is listed as a widow in the 1900 Federal Census but that is not the only surprise in this record. The two daughters Mabel and Lilly are in America with their Grandmother in the 1900 census in Boston but their mother Mary is not listed.

Mary returns to Norway where she is recorded in the Norwegian 1900 Census with Jorgen and his family; his father Laurits age 65, his brother Laurits age 49, Jorgen age 35 and Mary age 26, are listed in one household where the elder Laurits is listed as the head of household and it appears that he is a widower. Anton age 33, his wife Pauline age 32, Alf who was born in America is age 6, Casper age 3 and Finn who is less than one year old, are listed in the next household. The two youngest children of Anton were born in Tjome so it appears that Anton has returned from America to Norway to live also. There are no children listed with Jorgen and Mary yet from later American Census records we will find that Anna, Jorgen and Mary’s third child, was born either in 1899 or 1900.

I have been combing through the baptism record in Tjome looking for Anna’s baptism record but I have not found it.  Could she have been born in America when Mary was home with her mother? Why is she missing from the Census records if she was born in 1899.  She must have been born after the census of 1900.  I have found Lillie Mathilde, Ludvig Buhring and John were born and baptized in Tjome, Norway. Mary and Jorgen are listed as parents for Lillie and John. We know that Ludvig’s parents are listed as Mathilde and Hans Andersen. This is the reason for my extensive search, as the most recent blog indicates.

I will keep looking for records for Anna and Gertrude…I did find a marriage record for Anna in America. She married an Olson and her name is listed as Georgie Anna Seiner…So is there a female version of the name Jorgen in Norwegian? If there is, that might help me find her.

So as usual, some questions now have answers and some answers have raised more questions. The search continues…Happy hunting!

Love, Jan

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who is Ludvig?

As you know from my most recent posts, this winter I have been working with newly found family member, Inger Zainer.  We have been researching our connection to Tjome, Norway. She has presented me with a mystery about a previously unknown family member.  Unknown to Inger until a friend of hers, Lars, found a baptism record and brought it to her attention.  Unknown to me because much of my Norwegian roots was unknown until this winter. The mystery is centered around a young boy whose name is Ludvig B├╝hring Andersen Zainer. 

That is right!  The record implies that Hans and Matilde had a son in 1902 and that this is the offical record of his birth and baptism. 
This record seems to suggest that Ludvig is the half brother to my Grandfather.  No where in my family records have I seen anything about Ludvig. This record is an official baptism/ birth record from the Tjome Church.

The mystery is that no one on either side of the ocean seemed to know that he existed.  There was never a reference to him by my grandfather Anders or his brother Haakon.  Nor did the Zainer family in Norway seem to know anything of him.  We are all caught by surprise.

And then we are even more surprised to learn that he left Norway with Mary,the wife of Jorgen Seiner for America in1911. He is listed with this family who came through Ellis Island. These two records answer very few questions and make me ask so many more.

“ Why would he go to America with his Uncle?”
“Why would Mathilde allow her only child to be taken to America with Jorgen and Mary.”
“Why did my Grandpa “Anders” not talk about his half brother?”
“Why did the Zainer’s not talk about him too?”

It’s our mystery to solve. I have my own personal thoughts on how this mystery will unravel.  I am doing some research through American records to see what answers we can find. Until the next blog.…Happy hunting!