My Grandparents

 – there are 4 of them Thrid generation

This time space spreads far, from the year 1859 to 1995, that is because my father was old when I was born and therefore his parents were born earlier than normal for this generation.

In this period there is a big difference between Denmark and Norway with consideration to development,

The first one that was born was my grandfather on my fathers side was in 1859. In this period there is a gap between the different societies. The nobles were upper class and absolutely rulers. After them came the rich businessmen, then the middle class and after them the working class whom lived in the cities. Then came the farmers and the lowest of them all the servants. The servants whom worked in the cities were more than the servants whom worked on the farms. This group were handled like slaves. The was a war in Denmark in 1864 with the Germans where the fall of Dybbøl was. It was mostly talked about on the Danish side.

In the country there were farmers and then there were farmers. It can be understood by this way, it was the size of the farms that decided the rank in society . Included in them were public officers such as the city bailiff, city treasurer and so forth and here were there two absolute “first people”, namely the minister whom was on the top and then the parish clerk – who was normally a school teacher- whom was number two, for the well-read people. Ordinary people were poor at reading and writing. Usually it was the owner of the farm that could read. Servants started working at the age of  8 or 9 so there was not time to go to school, only once a week when the minister or the parish clerk were to hear them in verses of hymns or catechism. There was a law that stated that one had to go to school to learn to read and write but it was first informed in 1890 – 1900 in the territories. There were many people on the farms and they supplied themselves. There was usually the owner, his wife, their children (usually from 6 to 10 children), cook, the girl whom milks the cows, farmershand  and the feed master. All of these people were feed of the farm with 25 acres of land and enough left over to sell on the markets in the town.

The first class lived mostly in the cities. The had their castles and manors which were looked after by a manager, or what they called bailiffs at that time. Many of these bailiffs were really nasty and often whipped people, placed them in a pillory and much more. This system stopped in the turn of the century. I believe that the last bailiff was in 1880. There were the rich merchants and the ship owners. They could sail out them selves and pick up their supplies and bring supplies out to other markets. The middle class were finer citizens, often related to the public officers or royalty, maybe way down in the generation, but not so long down that they couldn’t get jobs with rich. Workers were craftsman, some work for small wages and their work day was often 12 hours long. The craftsman often had trouble getting making ends meet, because the public officers were their customers and at that time they were heavy in debt. They lived on borrow money from the rich merchants. It often happen that they couldn’t borrow any more money and that way the others overtook their castles or manors.

I have spoken with my grandmother about her life. She witnessed the development of middle Norway. She told me about seeing her first car, when electricity came into their homes, when there came outhouses, the first airplane and much much more.  She said that she lived in a privilage century because she was allowed to witness these things. As she said “when I was a child, I ran to and from school, a distance of 6 kilometers over mountain tops. We didn’t have sock and shoes in the summer and in the winter we had wooden shoes. Leather shoes were an unknown luxury which the well off had. We had to run, because if we were late arriving to school or too late arriving home you’ll get a licking because we didn’t work hard enough”. She then said “Today people can’t even walk to the supermarket just 200 meter away, they drive there, their idol”.

Anders Peter Andersen. The picturs was taken around 1920. Click at the picture to inlarge.

My grandparnets on my father’s side I do not know much more. I have never known them because they had past away before I was born. My knowledge comes from what I have been told many years age, so I might not remember right, but that I do know/remember follows here.

My grandfather Anders Peter Andersen was a farmer, but didn’t own the farm, he just worked and live on an other farmers farm. When they came old they moved from Todbjerg to Hjortshøj, where they lived in a little attic apartment where there was no water and a toilet in the back yard. I was told that this bothered them because they both had arthritis and the cold apartment didn’t make it any better. The apartment was right across from the church in Hjortshøj and I had in 1985 seen the place. It was very old and worn down. I don’t know anything about my grandmother but she probably didn’t have it easy being poor and with twelve children.  The work days were long and hard for both of them. The must of really been loved by their children because in 1985 I visited their gravesite at Hjortshøj Cementary and it was still well kept.

    Karoline Jørgensdatter. The picture was taken around 1920. Click to inlarge.

 My grandmother Karoline Jørgensdatter, I have no information about her yet.


. Georg Wilhelm Fredrik Johansen. First photo taken around 1890 and the last before his death in 1960. Click here to inlarge.

My grandfather Georg Wilhelm Frederik Johansen was born in Nørrebro Copenhagen on the 22nd. September 1882 and died on the 19th. of July 1960 in Trondheim Norway. He was originally a sailor and at one time they docked in Levanger Norway and sailed without him because he didn’t meet the ship on time. He was and started working as a ironworker with new construction. He married Dagny Strøm and had 3 children with her, Dagmar, Torvald and Solveig.( It was Dagmar that overtook the “parentship” of mother’s first child and Solveig whom moved to Copenhagen.) Dagny Strøm died at an early age of 23. There after he meet my grandmother (on my mother’s side) Tordis Johansen whom he later married. Grandfather (on my mother’s side) became interested in Mormans and his family was baptised within a short time. Thereafter just about everyone on my mothers side were Mormans, also me but I dropped out of that faith. He was a wonderful person and even after several years later when I visited Trondheim on holiday, he remembered me, but not as myself but as Georg’s grandchild and I always heard how good and nice he had been.
  . Photo of them on their silver anniversary, beside thier marriage certificate



 Tordis Dahl at the age of 14, 25, 30, 50, 90 and 94

Tordis Dahl was born in 1896 on 24th. January in Åsen approx. 40 km. north of Trondheim. The house was a wooden hut with one room and a stall added on. Her parents were poor and supported themselves with odd jobs. Her father worked on different farms in the area, in factories and laying down railroad tracks for Stjørdals Railway. He travelled to USA in 1905 to create a better life for his family. He disappeared after arriving in America and no one heard anything more from him. Her mother moved to Levanger with her children and became a laundress to make ends meet. At the age of 10 my grandmother went to work on a farm. It was said that she was poorly treated, she worked from 5 in the morning way into the evening. She went to Gullberget School where she had it good there but after school she had to work hard. At an early age she met a farmers hand – as she said – the most quiet one she has ever seen. They got married where as she became mother for his 3 children. She delivered him 5 children, Holger, Mary (my mother), Gunnar, Reidar and Torleif.

She was a hard worker. She was always on the go, keeping house and if that wasn’t enough, she helped other families that need  help. She took the tram with a basket full of cooked potatoes and some other warm food to needy families. When she before the war got a real apartment with bath and toilet she was very happy and had more time to help the needy.  When she was 90 years old and I was there for a visit she had to go to Levanger 80 km. away to look after a couple of old ladies. To my question “how old they were?” so smiled and said that they were 70 and 72 years old and couldn’t do anything themselves so she had to helped them. She was there for a week and when she returned home she wasn’t even tired and was ready for the next job. Within the mormon church it was said that she was the helping committee. She lived to be 99 and she had always wished to be the first in the family to reach the age of 100, but that didn’t happen. She died tired and with lever cancer. Her body couldn’t any more. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I had found, in my research, a family member whom had lied to be 100 years and 3 days old in 1850. 

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