Friday, March 25, 2016

Frederick Adolph Olesen--A chip off the old block


     Sheesh, this Olesen family just doesn't yield.  The apple doesn't fall far from the father like son......

Prayer Book of
Ferdinande Weiss Olesen

     Fredrick Adolph Olesen (also Frederick) was born on March 4, 1875, Hartlepool, England to Christian Invart Olesen and Ferdinande Weiss.  Records seem to indicate that Christian was employed at Frederick's birth as a ship's chandler and the family was living on Scarbrough Street in West Hartlepool.  Perhaps they were housed with Ferdinande's widowed mother.  Fredrick's birth record is listed on the FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915, Registration Year: 1875, Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar, Registration district: Hartlepool, Inferred County: Durham, Volume: 10a, Page: 227.   It is also important to note that Fredrick was named for his maternal grandfather, Fredrick Heindrich Adolph  Weiss. And, that the spelling of Fredrick's name changed over the years to Frederick.

     Over the years, six siblings joined Frederick in the Olesen household--two sisters and four brothers.  Also over the years, the Olesen's moved from home to home in West Hartlepool, suffered financial setbacks and dealt daily with a father/husband who was, to say the least, very abusive and probably alcoholic.  (See Christian Invart Olesen on Flipside)

     I can remember back in 2003, when my brothers and I had the pleasure of actually spending time in West Hartlepool, England and meeting Hughes family members, that I asked one of the oldest if he knew what happened to Frederick Olesen.  His spin on the story was that Fred Olesen went to America.  At that time and up until a month ago, I had no idea where Frederick landed in life.  Two of his younger brothers died at young ages.  His mother, two sisters, Elizabeth and Emily and two brothers, Bill and Ernie, immigrated to the United States in the early 1900's. But, what about Fred??

     When his mother died in 1942, the obituary lists Fred, using his nickname, Best Olesen, as living in New Castle....that would be Newcastle in the UK, not New Castle, Pennsylvania ;-)  In 1946, in the obituary of his brother, Bill Olesen, Frederick is listed as living in West Hartlepool, England.  

     The 1891 United Kingdom census report lists Frederick, age sixteen, employed as a pottery laborer and living at 4 Bolton Street, Stranton, West Hartlepool, England. (1891 United Kingdom Census, Ref:RG12/4064  Folio:59)

     Once again, my UK friend Heather and her "free" subscription to an online newspaper archive began to shine some light on Frederick "Best" Olesen....who by the way....was certainly NOT the best of the Olesen bunch.  Yes, Best, seemed to have been a very attentive son, learning the behaviors of his father.  Nothing to be proud of.

Northern Daily Mail
West Hartlepool, England
Friday, August 17, 1894
page 3

    At the age of nineteen, Frederick was sentenced to two months of hard labor for assaulting his mother over her choice of the dinner menu one evening.  This article gives some insight into the two family members and their responses to the court. Ferdinande, that she was working and the wage earner following her husbands death. Frederick, who was not employed and apparently using his father's death, two years earlier, as a excuse.   Also, Frederick trying to push the blame of his abusive response to his mother on her, that she only called the police because she wanted him to be sent away. My response--smart Mom 

Northern Daily Mail
West Hartlepool, England
Saturday, April 23, 1898
page 8
     Theft at the age of twenty three and back to prison for stealing a bike.  Again, blaming his behavior on an employee at the cafe and a smart aleck reply to the judge.

     Recently I noticed that Frederick has a 1901 UK census enumeration, listed as a lodger along with a number of men of various ages in Throston an area within the Hartlepool, England area.  Once again, Heather to the rescue.  The census lists Frederick as a shipyard laborer, a lodger living at 221 Model Lodging House. (United Kingdom 1901 Census, Durham County, Hartlepool, Throston Parish, page 89)  Heather also sent me a link to an on line article regarding Model Lodging Houses.  Lodging Houses prior to the 1840's provided unsanitary, miserable lodging for many of the migrants who relocated to the UK during the industrial revolution.  By 1850, the Common Lodging House Act was enacted and encouraged a more healthy living environment for the lodgers.  Whether this goal was achieved is debatable; however the article goes on to state that many model lodging houses were opened throughout England. (

Northern Daily Mail
West Hartlepool, England
Friday, September 14, 1923
     This final newspaper article continues to show that Frederick lived a life a crime....some petty, some not.  At the age of forty eight he had already served time for twenty seven convictions.

     Nothing further on this bad seed in my family tree.  The two aforementioned obituaries show that he was still alive in 1946.  To date no death certificate has been found.

     I have often wondered what the reasoning behind my UK family immigrating to the US...perhaps for the Olesen' was to distance themselves from Frederick and the disreputable legacy of Christian Invart Olesen, husband and father. 

Also on Flipside:

1.  William Christian Olesen naturalization.  Frederick's brother
3.  Ferdinande Weiss Olesen Bible.  Frederick's mother.  Also Ferdinanda.  My paternal great great grandmother.
4,  Elizabeth Olesen Hughes.  Frederick's sister and my paternal great grandmother.  Search for blogs about her on Flipside search engine.
5.  Christian Invart Olesen, Frederick's father
6.  Emily Maud Olesen Richards Brown.  Frederick's sister

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2016, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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