Are these Norwegian records for the same person? Aure and Borgund parishes

+2 votes

I'm trying to identify the father of Mads Larsen baptized 21 January 1776 at Aure, Møre og Romsdal, parents as Lars Engenhagens and Ingebor Oldsdatter. No 1 in last entry, left page.

The only other baptism in Aure I could find was for Iver Larsen 27 Dec 1772, which also only gave the father as Lars Engenhaug

Information in familysearch gave the father as Lars Nilsen, but that doesn't come from original records, so I don't know whether Nilsen is correct.

There are records from another parish for a marriage of Lars Nilsen to Ingebor Oldsdatter in 1798 in Borgund.  I think this is them in the 1801 Census.

There are baptisms for a Lars Nielsen in Borgund in the right time frame, but one conflicts with the birth of Iver, and the original records do not seem to name a mother.  The father's name I think is given as Lars Nielsen Hoffs. See second to last entry on right page: [ image]

My questions:

1) Am I correct that these are three separate men?

2) Is there information in the baptism for Mads Larsen that would help track down who his correct father is?

I've done several variations of searches for couples using just Lars & Ingeborg Oldsdatter.  But I'm quite new to the Norwegian archives and may be missing something quite obvious.  I feel lost without a confirmed patronym.

WikiTree profile: Lars Engesaug
in Genealogy Help by M Cole G2G6 Mach 4 (40.0k points)
edited by M Cole

If you look at the actual 1823 marriage record for Mads Larsen, you will note that he was a widower (enkemand). See, left-hand side, nr. 14. Thus, it might be useful to look for his first marriage to see whether it gives further information on his origin.

More generally, I find that for Norwegian research it is always helpful to look at the actual church-book pages at digitalarkivet and not to rely on the indexing, which often leaves out useful information.

Also, when linking to a Norwegian church-book page at digitalarkivet, I find that Norwegian researchers appreciate you using the "Quick Link" (which pops up on the right-hand side when you click on the link icon), as this allows you to move forward and backward in the church book to look for similar entries.

Okay great...I will look for another marriage.

Thanks, yes, I've been looking up the originals.  I think the links are mostly on the wife's profile.  There are some indexing errors in the the digitalarkivet indexed records also--so its always good to check the original document.

Thanks for the tip on the quick link.  I've been alternating back and forth.  I'll stick with the quick link from now on.

In fact, if you look at this page, right-hand side, very bottom (from the Aure church book for 1772-1819), you will see that on 9 July 1806 a "jæger" (i.e., "hunter", or what we today would call special forces infantry soldier) Mads Larsen Engsaug [or Enghaug] was married to maiden Elen Pedersd. Enge. The groom here must be the Mads Larsen born at Engehaug in 1776. Note that, in the 1801 census, Mads Larsen (#006), age 26, was a boy-servant (tjenestedreng) at Enge, while Elen Pedersdatter (#008) was a girl-servant (tjenestepige) there.

Ah excellent.  And his first born of his second marriage was named Ellen, so that all fits together.  I'm not sure where to look next, but at least that is a fuller picture of Mads.

Actually, I'm not yet convinced that they are the same Mads Larsen.

I've been trying to find out how the Mads Larsen who remarried in 1823 and died in 1830 acquired his farm at Gildnæss. I know he was already there in 1816, as he shows up as paying tax then for one-half of Gildnæss (see here).

I have now located a probate record from 4 August 1815 in which a Marith Andersdatter, age 50 (and thus born about 1765), married to Mads Larsen Jelnes, is one of the heirs to her uncle Ole Ingebritsen of Jelnes farm (for the probate, see here, left-hand side, 2nd column). This Ole Ingebritsen is indeed listed at Gildnes in Aure in the 1801 census (here).

Unfortunately, I have not yet located either a marriage or a death record for this Marit[h] Andersdatter.

At least I found Marit in the 1801 census - see #4 here. In this record she is 42 years old (that is, born ca. 1759), unmarried, and living as a maid-servant with [her sister] Eli Andersdatter and Eli's husband Peder Pedersen (who are also mentioned as heirs in Ole Ingebrigtsen's probate record) not too far from Gildnes.

This means that the marriage of Marit to Mads Larsen must have happened between early 1801 and mid-1815.

An, thank you.  I appreciate your help, not just for the substance, but its helping me learn.

Just so I'm clear, does this mean that Mads of Gildnæss. who married Barbro Pedersen, was first married to Marith Andersdatter.

Do you think that this is the same Mads Larsen, son of Lars Engehaug?

Yes, this does mean that the widower Mads of Gildsnæss who married Barbro Pedersdatter in 1823 was before that married to Marith Andersdatter of Gildsnæss.

I am not yet convinced that this is the same as the Mads Larsen born at Engehaug who married Elen Pedersdatter in 1806. There is nothing yet that ties this Mads Larsen to Gildsnæss.

What is still missing is the marriage record for Mads Larsen to Marit Andersdatter (sometime between 1801 and 1815). That might clear up where Mads came from (and if it says he was from Enge, and we can find a death record for Elen Pedersdatter that predates the marriage with Marit, then we could conclude that the two Mads Larsens are the same person). As it is, because the Gildsnæss farm was in Marit's family, Mads could have come from anywhere (that is, another parish). I have seen a number of cases in Norwegian records of this time where men married a significantly older woman who had tenancy of an attractive farm because the man otherwise would be landless - probably the case here, as Marit appears to have been significantly older than Mads.

Interesting.  I had noticed a few census records where women had married significantly younger men for their second marriage.  

I'm going through and adding the original records, and I did notice that in the bapitsm of Mad's daughter Elen, there was an Iver Larsen of of Høgseth in the other names (witness or godparent?).  I found him in the 1825 census in of Høgseth, and corresponding marriage record for him indicating that he was from Engehaug/saug. I don't know if that's enough to prove anything, but it certainly suggests a connection of Mads to Engehaug.

I think the case is actually a good one, though not yet fully proven.

I have finally figured out the geography we are dealing with. Gjelnæs is what is now known as Hjellnes, located here on a map of Norway. Høgseth is today's Høgset, essentially right across the embayment to the north (see here). And Enge is what is now known as Engan, on the same side of the embayment just north of Hjellnes (see here). I was fooled by the fact that they were not enumerated right after each other in the 1801 census ("Gildnes" is farm 26, while "Enge" is farm 101), but those actually are adjacent farms. And "Engehaug" simply means "hill above Enge" - this may be the place now known as Engsaga here.

So this does provide a good case for how Mads Larsen of Engehaug could have ended up at the neighboring farm of Gjeldnes. But it also means that the Iver Larsen in the baptismal record could have been just a neighbor rather than a childhood friend or even relative.

Having said that, the geography also means that this is located in what in the early 20th century was the municipality of Valsøyfjord. And there is a bygdebok (local genealogical compilation) for this municipality - Anders Todal, Gardtales i Valsøyfjord, published in 1963. I can't access it here from the U.S., but someone in Norway might be able to access it online (the Norwegian national library has a lot of stuff digitized that you can only access with a Norwegian IP address).

An, thanks for all your efforts.  I was able to find the marriage for Marith Andersdatter's sister's marriage and possibly her  death, but I don't know that add anything helpful.

Thank you for all your help.  Hopefully, I'll some day get access to the bygdebok.

The farm book states on p.211: "The next man at Engsaga was Lars Nilsson. He came there in 1763. His follower is called Ola Larsson, and he obtained the lease for the smallholding in 1791. Ola must surely be a son of Lars Nilsson. He was married to Maria Arntsdotter, and one thinks they had two children, Lars and Ingeborg. Sons of Lars Nilsson Engsag must surely also include: Nils Larsson, m. in 1793 to Lisbet Henriksdotter Litl-Sandnes, Ivar Larsson, m. in 1804 to Mali Kristensdotter Høgset, and Mads Larsson, m. in 1806. to Elen Pedersdotter Enge." There is not much more about Mads in this farm book.

1 Answer

+2 votes
Norwegian Pre-1800 genealogy can be very challenging, and I won't recommend it unless you're really, really dedicated. I've been at it for almost 25 years, and I still feel that I've barely scratched the surface. Names like Lars Nilsen and Ingeborg Olsdatter are extremely common, and can be found all over the place. They're the John Smiths and Mary Joneses of Norway.

I do hope that there's somebody here who is thoroughly familiar with the Borgund area.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (116k points)

I have finally figured out that we are talking about the Mads Larsen who from at least 1815 was living at what is now Hjellnes farm in Valsøyfjord. There is a bygdebok published in 1963 (Anders Todal, Gardtales i Valsøyfjord). I can't access it from the U.S., but would you be able to take a look at it and see what it says about Mads Larsen Hjellnes and his parentage? Thanks!

The farm book says on p. 248: "The next user of this part of Hjellnes was Mads Larsson. He took over in 1813. A probate after him was held in 1830. He left the widow Barbro Pedersdotter and the children Elen and Marie, both young when they became fatherless. In 1832 came a new user to the farm. He was Anders Pederson and married the widow, Barbro. [...] A probate with an auction was held after Barbro Pedersdotter Hjellnes in 1847. She and Anders Pederson had only one child, the daughter Inger."

Here is the actual probate after Mads Larsen from 1830:

It mentions the widow Barbroe Pedersdatter and the daughters Elen Madsdatter (6) and Marie Madsdatter (1). As guardians of the girls share were appointed, for Elen Peder Larsen Hogfelta? and for Marie Johannes Knudsen Walsøen. The guardians are important clues, as they were most likely relatives.

I'm uncertain about the farm name written after Peder Larsen's name, as it is hard to read. Johannes Knudsen Valsøy is mentioned in the farm book. He married Mildrid Jacobsdatter, and inherited a part of Valsøy from her father, Jacob Andersen.
I believe it says Joen Larsen Høgsedt
Roy, Thank you !!  

I guess this doesn't definitely answer the question about whether Mads Larsen of Engsaug and Hjellnes are the same person, there is lots of other useful information.  I really appreciate your looking that up.
> I believe it says Joen Larsen Høgsedt

Couldn't it be Iver Larsen Høgseth? That is actually the name mentioned in the farm book, and who Anders Todal believes to be a son of Lars Nilsson Engsag and brother of Mads.
It's hard to read, but it looks more like Iver than Joen. The final letter in particular looks a lot more like an r than an n. "Iver Larsen Høgseth" is a very likely interpretation IMO.
We know that Mads Larsson Engsag married Elen Pedersdotter Enge in 1806. We also know that a Mads Larsson took over Hjellnes in 1813. And we know that he was a widower when he married Barbro Pedersdatter in 1823. Mads Larsson Hjellnes' probate does not mention any children of his first marriage, so if they had any children they must have died young. The piece of the puzzle that we're missing is when did Elen Pedersdotter die? A farmer with land would not be single very long in those days, so I'd assume she would be dead in 1821-22. I've had no luck finding her...
> It's hard to read, but it looks more like Iver than Joen. The final letter in particular looks a lot more like an r than an n. "Iver Larsen Høgseth" is a very likely interpretation IMO.

It is also very obvious in the baptism protocol that the name of Elen's 2nd godparent is Iver Larsen Høgseth, so let's just put that question to rest.

Her godfather was appointed guardian of her inheritance after her father's death, no surprise. He was almost certainly also her uncle. But we still have no solid proof that Iver Høgseth and Mads Hjellnes are sons of Lars Olsen Engsag.

As a note, just let me say that I'm 99% certain that the connection here is solid. The fact that Mads names his firstborn daughter Elen would traditionally imply that his previous wife was named Elen...

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