Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not All Norwegians Used the Patronymic Naming System - His Father's Name was Martin not Hans

As is so often the case, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! In my case, my knowledge caused me to make a serious error in my genealogy file. Since I posted my tree on, that error has been compounded when others either copied my tree or appended it to theirs.

While I found the error, and corrected it several years ago, I wanted explain my error with a written summary. This will be added to my tree on ancestry in the hope that others will see it and correct their information.

When I began searching for my great-grandfather's birth record in Norway, I was looking for Adolf Hansen. When I finally found the christening record, I discovered his name was actually Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen. The record was difficult to read in places and I do not read Norwegian. Since every one knows that the Norwegians use the Patronymic naming system, I assumed the 
father's name was Hans and so I entered Hans Hansen as the father of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen.

As I continued my research, I found several hints that I should go back to that christening record and look at it again. The first hint was found in Adolf’s first marriage record. On 12 December 1877, Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen married Dorette Christensen in Grønland Parish, in Oslo, Norway.  Their marriage record[i] clearly states that Johannes Adolf Hansen’s father is Martin Hansen. Dorette’s father is Daniel Kristensen.

record of the marriage of Johannes Adolf Hansen marriage to Dorette Kristensen
The entry for Johannes and Dorette is the third from the bottom.   

record of the death of  Dorette Hansen
Dorette died[ii] on 4 July 1887 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Aagot Dorette.  Aagot was the seventh child born to Adolph and Dorette during the ten years of their marriage.

record of the marriage of Adolf to Nathalie Egeburg

Johannes Adolf, as he was then known, married[iii] Nathalie Bull Egeberg at Garnison Menighet in Oslo on 2 Feb 1889. Once again, his father’s name was shown to be Martin Hansen.

Now that I had seen Martin listed twice as the father of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen, it was time to revisit the birth record of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen and see what new information could be learned.

birth record of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen
Johannes Adolf Waldemar was born[iv] 11 October 1852 and christened at Aker, Akershus, Oslo, Norway on 26 December 1852. He was the illegitimate son of Johanne Sophie Johannessen and Martin Hansen. Martin appears to be in the military but I haven’t yet determined Johanne Sophie’s occupation.  Sponsors at the christening were Johanne Marie Johannessen, Martha Marie Andersdatter, Adolf Anderssen and Julius Johnssen.

[i] SAO, Grønland prestekontor Kirkebøker, F/Fa/L0005: Parish register (official) no. 5, 1869-1880, p. 311    Quick link: accessed 23 Oct 2017
[ii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 300
[iii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 238
[iv] SAO, Aker prestekontor kirkebøker, F/L0019: Parish register (official) no. 19, 1842-1852, p. 395

All images and records are located online at the Norwegian Digitalarkivet correct as of 26 Oct 2017