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


  1. Anna/Georgie...Georgiana Seiner is my great grandmother and I knew her until she passed away in the early 1980's. I saw all the crossings, and the occasions they are listed as US citizens and other times Norwegian. The family story is she was born in Norway, but I'm not so sure now. My maternal grandmother is her eldest child. She was fathered by a man named Albert Andersen, but I have no record of that other than what my grandmother was told when she was 13yoa. In census records, you will see my maternal grandmother as Elsie Olson. She never knew her biological father and believed John Olson to be her father until she was 13. She has younger siblings, Clarence Olson, Eleanor Olson and Florence Olson. Florence is the only living and is in Lee County, Florida near where I live. John Olson was a Swedish immigrant that stowed away on a ship. Incidentally, Clarence Olson became my paternal step grandfather in later years.

    The family story of Annie's father and uncle were that they were employed in some capacity with the ship lines. I've heard they were captains, but have no proof. Until I just found your blog, I did not know of their names. I'd love to see the records you have. So would my mother. I have a picture of Annie and John Olson that was taken in 1967. They lived in Sicklerville, NJ at the time and had a small farm. The picture is in front of their Christmas tree.

  2. Oh, the other story involved plans to travel on the Titanic that were changed for one reason or the other. The last crossing I see occurred before the 1912 tragedy....99 years ago just the other day. I think that story may have been refuted now.

  3. Fred Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. We have been traveling for a few days and I am playing catch up upon my return. I would love to see the photos and compare notes with you. Will gladly share what I have. Please contact me at stitchinfox@yahoo.com so we can share. Jan


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