Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Half and a Half


  Back in the day, when my Mother was still alive, we frequently shared a glass or two of wine.    At the end of the evening, as we were winding down, Mom would so often say, "I'll just take a half and a half."  Whether it was wine, a cocktail or a beer, her comment would immediately signal that she would have a half a glass before calling it a night.  The terminology continues on almost two decades since her passing and even her grandson will occasionally use it.

     This week I decided to clean out some of my old emails and happened upon a number of them between my UK friend, Heather and I from 2016.  She had found a UK newspaper website that was free for a month and had been busy plugging my Hartlepool surnames into the search engine.  Heather always finds the best genealogical websites in the UK and Europe.  She has, over the years been so valuable to me in knocking down my brick walls.  Most recently she assisted me with connecting with a Danish Family Tree website which opened up my entire Olesen line.  Wowee!  

     Most of the scans Heather had sent me were already downloaded into my computer; however, I had forgotten about several of them and frankly, had not read those I had forgotten about.  There was one, which will be featured here, that I now have found the time to read and had a good chuckle while doing so.

     The newspaper article deals with a police court case in West Hartlepool, England in 1895 and my paternal great grandfather, John George Hughes.  John would have been twenty-two and it was two years before he married my paternal great grandmother, Elizabeth Ferdinande Olesen.

    The article examines a drunk and disorderly case involving a man, Adam Guthrie, and a police officer, P.C. George Edward Lawless.  Just a little chuckle here--imagine a policeman with the surname Lawless. LOL  Guthrie became violent, pulled a pocket knife and fought Lawless, cutting him in the scuffle.  To the paternal great grandfather, John George Hughes. 
      You can click on the newspaper article above to read my transcription.  Apparently my paternal great grandfather was a pretty humorous fellow as the folks in the courtroom laughed at his testimony--twice.  What gave me a chuckle was his calling Guthrie's condition half and half.  A little different meaning than my Mom's, having one last drink, glass half full.  Instead, John George meant that Guthrie was half and half drunk because he could still walk a straight line.  Well, maybe Mom meant the same thing, one last small drink, but not enough to be tanked.

Second newspaper article on this police court case, A Half and a Half Revisited

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.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chinese Tea Brick

     I love tea.  Must be a genetic thing transferred from my British ancestors.  I have fond memories of evening tea time, before bed, whenever I stayed overnight at my paternal grandparents.  Grams would bring out the tea tray with some luscious homemade pastry along with a brown ceramic teapot and the cups and saucers.  Pop Pop and Great Grandma Hughes (both born in England) Grams and I would take our tea while watching TV.....but I digress....This Christmas my sister-in-law, re-gifted me a brick of Chinese tea.  Very curious.  Enclosed was the original gift card from her sister and brother-in-law stating that they had purchased it from an antique dealer.  Some of the bricks were whole and some were cut into smaller blocks. 

     The back of the brick shows sixteen smaller bricks with lines that could be cut.  I'm glad the whole was purchased and it is now a welcome chachki in my house ;-)  The original holiday note mentioned that the antique dealer told the purchasers that tea was sent from the Orient to America in bricks back in the "fur trade" days.  WOW!  Could this brick be that old?  I was immediately thrown into a need to know frame of mind. 

     One website, Interesting History of Chinese Tea Bricks, was very useful, giving me the history and use of tea bricks.  

     “Tea bricks are blocks of whole or finely ground black tea, green tea or post fermented tea leaves that have been packed in molds and pressed into block form.  This was the most commonly produced and used form of tea in ancient China prior to the Ming Dynasty.

     Although tea bricks are less commonly produced in modern times, many post fermented teas such as pu-erh, are still commonly found in bricks, discs and other pressed forms.  Tea bricks can be made into beverages or eaten as food and were also used in the past as a form of currency.

     To produce a tea brick, ground or whole tea is first steamed, then placed into one of the number of types of press and compressed into a solid form.  Such presses may leave an intended imprint on the tea such as an artistic design or simply the pattern of the cloth with which the tea was pressed.  Many powdered tea bricks are moistened with rice water in pressing to assure that the tea powder sticks together.  The pressed blocks of tea are then left to dry in storage until a suitable degree of moisture has evaporated.”

     The website also educated me to the use of tea bricks as currency in may area in Asia.  Tea was quite valuable in bricks because it could be used as money, eaten or brewed for medicinal purposes.
     The next website I wandered onto was an auction of a tea brick which looked the same as mine. The estimated value was between $500-$1000.00.  Although the winning bid was $475.00, excitement was beginning to mount.  Perhaps not Ming Dynasty, but still worthy.

     Many of the Internet sites I Googled did have a photo of my tea brick, even Wikipedia, which identified it as, a brick of Hubei mi zhuan cha, made powdered black tea".  Likenesses of my tea brick seem to be a featured example on many websites.  Could that mean that numerous collectors have a tea brick like mine in their collections?  Does that make mine less valuable?  The answer to those questions came when I read Ken Bressett's article entitled, Tea Money of China.  Towards the end of the article, along with a photo of "my" Chinese tea brick, I found this paragraph:

   “In the period 1975 to 1985 molds for this design were used in the Peoples Republic of China to produce ore tea bricks for sale as novelty items and tea and for drinking.  These bricks were packaged and sold in grocery stores both in the United States and Europe at the cost of about $12 to $16 each.  The main difference between these and the originals made in the 1930’s is the quality of tea and it’s still fresh odor  There is one other subtle point that helps in making a positive identification.  The original bricks have a seven-character Chinese legend at the bottom of the front design while the modern bricks have eight characters.

    That information certainly popped by tea brick bubble.  Counting the Chinese characters at the bottom of my tea, eight.  Long story short, my Chinese tea brick was made perhaps 40 years ago and certainly will not lead me to an easy retirement.  On the Flipside, it is an unusual piece and will be proudly displayed in my family room.  Plus when visitors have any questions, I will be able to actually have some answers.

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.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Christian Invart Olesen--Finale--Maybe

     A final wrap on my paternal great great grandfather, Christian Invart Olesen, at least until some new document comes to light.  Thanks to Susanne S. Skaaning I now have documentation to fill in some  of the empty blanks in Christian's life in Denmark.

Birth Record provided by Susanne Skaaning
Haurvig, Holmsland Kilt, Hind, Ringkobing, Denmark
Nysogn Kontraministerialbog 1839-1847 FKVDJTA, AO 14_

     In Denmark, he was born Kristian which is Christian.  On the census he appears as Christian.  My great great grandfather was born on April 23, 1842 in Haurvig, Holmsland Kilt, Hind, Ringkobing, Denmark.  He was the second child of Ole Christensen, a farmer and fisherman, and Lisbeth Laustdatter.  Listing him with his middle name, Ingvard, has helped to identify him both in Denmark and in England.  The middle name was his maternal grandfather's first name, Ingvard Sorensen.

1845 Denmark Census
Hovvig, Nysogn, Hind,, Ringkobing, Denmark

     I have found it unusual that he was only enumerated with his father and mother on Denmark census reports once during his life in Denmark--and that was when he was one year old.  What happened?  Where was he? 

Confirmation Record for Kristian Ingvardt Olesen
Sonder Bork Church
Sonder Bork Kontraministerialbog 1846-1864 FKVDJTA, A0 46

     A recently located  record Susanne found of my paternal great great grandfather in Denmark is a Confirmation at Sonder Bork Church in 1859.  Of interest on this document is Henrik Olesen, Kristian's older brother, who was also confirmed at Sonder Bork Church in 1897.  His name is number four on the document and Kritian's name is at the bottom.  At the time of his confirmation, Kristian/Christian, age seventeen, was living with his uncle (his mother's brother), Niels Soren Laustsen, a farmer.

     To date the only other piece of the Denmark paper trail is a census report from 1860.  Listed as Christian Ingvart Olesen, he is enumerated with a family in Nymindega, Ribe, Denmark.  The family does not appear to be related to Christian.  My paternal great great grandfather is listed as a servant in the house and the house father's occupation is a tradesman.  Perhaps Christian was also an apprentice to the head of the household.

     Certainly census reports are a brief snapshot into someones life.  Perhaps he was living with his parents between census reports.  And yet, the immigration report that has recently come to light shows that he immigrated to England from Ribe, Denmark.  Was he living there from 1860 to his emigration in 1869 or 1870?  Both Susanne and I have searched through Danish emigration records and have not been able to locate Christian leaving Denmark.  Perhaps this description of Danish emigration found on My Danish provides some insight.

Emigration from 1868-1914
On May 1., 1868—after a series of unfortunate incidents of ticket fraud etc.—the Danish authorities passed a strict law to protect the emigrants. The ticket agents now had to deposit a larger sum of money at the police to cover any demands for compensation. Also sub-agents had to be registered at the police and every ticket sold had to be validated at the local police office. Furthermore there now was a limit on how many emigrants a ship could carry and how much food should be aboard the ships.
The law meant that the Commissioner of the Copenhagen Police after 1868 systematically registered any person who emigrated from a Danish port using a Danish ticket agent; both those who left directly from Copenhagen or other Danish ports and those who left indirectly, i.e. via an English port. These registers—recording emigrants year-by-year and arranged alphabetically by their surname—end at 1940 and 1935 respectively. Although these registers comprises the vast majority of Danish emigrants they do NOT cover those emigrants who bought their tickets outside Denmark or those who—for some reason—didn''t buy a ticket at all (e.g. sailors jumbing ship). The registers are available for research on microfishe at most Danish archives and mayor libraries, but for the years 1868-1908 they are also made available for online search at the Danish Emigration Archive.
      I have not been able to locate the term"jumbing ship" or maybe it is "jumping ship"; however, the fact that sailors on the ship did not seem to require a ticket could provide a reason there is not an emigration record for my great great grandfather.  Christian's English records list his occupation as a shop owner dealing with shipping goods and as a ship's steward.  Perhaps one reason there are few Danish records for him is that he was already involved with the occupation of sailor or fisherman as a young man and was not present for census enumeration. 

     I do love maps ;-)  This one shows the three areas that I now have documentation of Christian Ingvart Olesen as having lived while in Denmark.  

Additional blogs on Christian Invart Olesen are on Flipside.  There is a search engine to locate more information about him.

Christian Invart Olesen on Timetoast Timelines.

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.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ole Christensen and Lisbeth Laustdatter --My Paternal 3x Great Grandparents

     Of all the difficulties I have encountered researching my Olesen line I have to list the language barrier at the top while searching for names has been close behind--the change in surnames during the later part of the 1800's in Denmark, my great great grandfather listing his father with Olesen as his surname on a UK document along with Lonne entered as a middle name (or an identifying name), Kristian/Christian, Ingvard/Ingvart, Geesh!  However, when all is said and done and countless hours of comparing and contrasting the research, I do believe that I have found the Denmark branch of my Olesen Family Tree.  And I'm sticking to it.

     Before I begin listing and organizing my Olesen line in Denmark, I must give a huge THANK YOU to Susanne S. Skaaning, the administrator of a genealogical website in Denmark where I have found so much additional information and documentation.  I was able to locate census reports on line and put together a sketchy family chart.  Susanne provided actual dates and tied up many loose ends regarding the variety of names and surnames I was finding in the Danish and English documents.

Ole Christensen--My Paternal Great Great Great Grandfather

Birth Record of Ole Christensen provided by Susanne S. Skanning
Nysogn Kontraministerialbog 1816-1825 FKVDJTA, AO 21, 7

     Ole Christensen, vulgo Lonne (Lonne is comparable to a nickname here in the US--known as Lonne), was born on March 1, 1820 at Haurvig, Holmsland Kilt, Hind, Rinkobing, Denmark.  He was the son of Kristin Nielsen and Ane Kirstine Olesdatter, who were not married.  Ane Kirstine's father was named Ole Christensen.  Whether my 3x great grandfather was named for his maternal grandfather or the surname was taken from his biological father is unknown.  

1834 Denmark Census listing Ole Christensen living with his maternal uncle

      Ane Kirstine and her young son, Ole have eluded me when searching for them in the Danish census from his birth until I find him in the 1834 census as the fourteen year old adopted, foster child of his maternal uncle, Hendrik/Henrich Olesen, vulgo Lonne, and his wife, Ane Kirstine Christensdatter.  

     Ole's mother, Ane Kirstine Olesdatter married an older widower, Ingvart Sorensen on January 7, 1832.  Ingvart is listed on census reports as a farmer and an attorney.  Her husband died eleven years later.  The couple made their home in Bork, Norre Home, Ringkobing, Denmark.  

Google image photo of a piece of land in Haurvig

     My 3x great grandfather lived with his maternal uncle until is uncles death in 1864.  His Aunt Ane Kirstine Christendatter died in 1842 when Ole was twenty-two.  The records indicate that his Uncle and Aunt had three children who were all deceased by 1842.  Ole was the only child to live in the house once he was adopted.  Hendrik was a farmer and a fisherman and owned substantial property in Haurvig, Holmsland Kilt, Hind, Ringkobing.  Ole probably spent his days as a youth and teen working alongside his uncle, learning the trades of farming and fishing.

Marriage Record for Ole Christensen and Lisbeth Laustdatter
Provided by Susanne S. Skaaning
Sonder. Bork Kontraministerialbog 1827-1845 FKVDJTA, AO 58, 1
      On October 15, 1842 Ole married Lisbeth Laustdatter, daughter of  Laust Svenningsen and Marie Ingvardsdatter at Sonder Bork Church.  The translation of the marriage document is as follows:

          Bachelor of Haurvig, New parish
          Ole Christensen born March 1, 1820

          The girl Lisbeth Laustdatter of S. Bork
          Laust Svenningsen's daughter, 22 1/2 years

          Hans Salon
          Laust Svenningsen, both of Sonder Bork

     The couples first child, Henrik Olesen was born on April 18, 1843.  Their second child, another son and my great great grandfather, Christian Ingvart Olesen, was born on August 23, 1844.  Two months later on September 25, 1844 Hendrik had a retirement contract drawn up and Ole, at the age of twenty four took over his foster fathers/maternal uncles farm.  The only condition was that Ole was to pay his uncles funeral expenses.  Hendrik continued to live with Ole and his family until his death on June 3, 1864 at age eighty one.

Map outlining the life of Ole Christensen 
     Ole, like his uncle and foster father, was a farmer (gardmand) and a fisherman (fisker).  The family continued to grow with the addition of six children:  Niels Laurdis Olesen born on November 28, 1846, Anne Kirstine Olesen born on January 10, 1850, Marie Olesen born on January 10, 1850, Svenning Iver Olesen born on September 20, 1852, Kirstine Olesen born on April 12, 1856 and Marie Elisabeth Olesen born on May 11, 1859.

As I was searching through the Denmark census reports I noticed that my great great grandfather was only enumerated with his biological family once, in 1845 at the age of one.  Did they "farm" him out to another family?  Was he a troublesome child?  To date I have only been able to find him again on the 1860 census at age sixteen living with the family of Niels Jensen in Ribe County and he appears to be employed as a servant or farm boy.

     From the census reports Ole and his family were enumerated in various places in Ringkobing County throughout the years from 1845 until his death in 1870.  i do not know if Ole owned owned property in the additional towns he has been enumerated in other than Haurvig.  

Death Record for Ole Christensen provided  by Susanne S. Skaaning
Holmsland Klit Kontraministerialbog 1869-1892 FKVD, AO 135, 7 
     Ole committed suicide at age fifty by hanging on August 25, 1870 at his farm in Haurvig.  Was he a depressive personality?  Did he have a painful or debilitating illness?  We will never know.  On August 30, 1870 Ole was buried at Haurvig Church Cemetery, Holmsland Kilt, Hind Ringkobing.

Lisbeth Laustdatter--My Paternal Great Great Great Grandmother
Lisbeth Laustdatter Birth Record provided by Susanne S. Skaaning
Sonder Bork Kontraministerialbog 1815-1826 FKVDJTA, AO 20_5

     My paternal 3x great grandmother, Lisbeth/Elisabeth Laustdatter, was born on April 22, 1820 at  Sonder,Bork, Norre Horne, Ringkobin, Denmark.  Her parents were Laust Svenningsen, a farmer, and Marie Ingvardsdatter.  

Sonder Bork, Norre Horne, Ringkobing, Denmark

     The family made their home, as listed on the 1834 Denmark census, in Sonder Bork, Norre Horne, Ringkobin, Denmark. 

     To the marriage of Laust and Marie the following children were born; Ingvart Laustsen, Lisbeth Laustdatter, Kristen Marie Laustdatter, Svenning Laustsen,  Followig Marie's death in 1825, Laust married his deceased wife's sister, Kiersten Ingvardsdatter.  To this marriage three children were born;  Marie Laustsdatter, Niels Soren Laustsen. (who died at nine months) and another son named Niels Soren Laustsen.

     Of great interest to me was that Ingvart Sorensen and Ane Kristen Olesdatter (the mother of my 3x great grandfather, Ole Christensen and future husband of Lisbeth Laustdatter) lived in the same town as Lisbeth Laustdatter--Sonder Bork.  I have wondered if Ole stayed in touch with his biological mother and  this could provide an insight that he did.  Visiting his mother could have provided him the opportunity to meet his future wife.

Sonder Bork Kirke, Norre Horne

     As mentioned above, Lisbeth Laustdatter and Ole Christnesen married on October 15, 1842 in a ceremony at  Sonder Bork Kirke, Norre Horne, Ringobin, Denmark.  A copy of the marriage record is shown in Ole's information.  Googling around the net, I did find a picture of the kirke (church).  From additional information on Susanne's family tree, it appears that Elisabeth's parents were also married in this church and both are buried in the church cemetery.  I was not able to locate either of them using the website search engine; however, Susanne does have references listed for these events.

     As I slowly make my way through the names of both groups of families, I am beginning to see where the various Danish family names evolved.  This is true for my great great grandfather, Christian Ingvart Olesen.  Ingvard was the first name of his mother's father, Christian's maternal grandfather.  

     I should mention here that Lisbeth is documented with several variations to her name.  Her forename has been shown as Lisbeth, Elisabeth, Elisebeth, Lisbet and Elisbet.  Her surname is no different; Laustdatter, Lauridsdatter, Lauridsen, Lauritsen. Laursen and Lavridsen.  Those of us who work with census reports know that name spellings can vary depending on the enumerator and many of the above variations have been found on the Danish census over the years.  

     From the census reports, Lisbeth grew up in a family having three different women as the mother figure.  Her biological mother, Marie Ingvardatter, died at age 34, one month after delivering her fourth child.  No cause of death is listed.  Lisbeth would have been age five when her mother died.  Her father married second, her mother's younger sister, Kiersten Ingvardatter, Lisbeth's maternal aunt.  At age twenty nine, during child birth, Kiersten died.  Lisbeth would have been age ten.  Several months following the death, Laust married Maren Jensdatter, his junior by over ten years.  It is with her father, Laust and her step mother Maren, that Lisbeth is enumerated on the 1834 Denmark census. 

     I imagine that Lisbeth spent her days, while living in her father's house, cooking, cleaning and taking care of her brothers and sisters.  I do not know if she had any schooling or if she was able to write her name.  She was taught to be a housewife and I am certain that her days were extremely busy as a married woman as she had eight children in her family with Ole.  Her children, at least the boys were literate as I have seen as adults that they were able to write their names.

     There is no way of knowing Lisbeth's thoughts and what her life was like.  It does appear that one of her sons, my great great grandfather, was estranged from the family.  What caused the separation, and as a mother, was Lisbeth in agreement with the decision?  In the early 1870's she emotionally had to deal with the suicide hanging of her husband and at the same time, two of her son's emigrating from Denmark.  Svenning Iver Olesen immigrated to the United States arriving on March 25, 1870 and my great great grandfather, Christian Invart Olesen, arrived in England in 1871.    

Lisbeth Laustdatter Death Record provided by Susanne S. Skaaning
 Holmsland Klit Kontraministerialbog 1892-1908 FKVD, AO 228_2

     Lisbeth died at age seventy eight on February 20, 1899 at Haurvig, Holmslnd Kilt, Hind, Ringkobing, Denmark.  Perhaps she was still living on her husband's inherited farm.  She was buried beside her husband at Haurvig Church Cemetery.  


  Peace is everywhere on earth our Lord
 Saar in the words of faith.  So we have  faith then will
   With peace we enter into a world of salvaion of God

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.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Major Breakthrough on my Olesen Family Tree--Denmark Resources

     My brother, Ken, when he finds finally locates something he has been looking for on the Internet, will comment with a twinkle in his eye, "That Internet is gonna catch on."  Patience and tenacity paid off today and the Net finally caught on once again for me.  I am 99% sure that the family I have found to link my paternal great great grandfather, Christian Invart Olesen, is indeed HIS family. 

     All the downloads of numerous Danish census reports, trying every possible variety of name in the Denmark search engines, looking at maps of Denmark from the 1850-1900's and plugging in Danish words into translation search engines I was able to put together a sketchy family chart--still many questions regarding names and places, but a family chart none the less. 

Haurvig Kirke, Hind Herrid, Ringkobing County, Denmark

     While looking at my paternal 3x great grandmother's death certificate, I noticed that there was a cemetery in Denmark where she was least that is what I thought the foreign words meant.  Simply googling Haurvig Cemetery and up it came with, wait for this......a search engine. 

Niels Laurdis Olesen and his wife, Jensine Nielsen
      I immediately put Olesen in and up came the brother of my paternal great great grandfather.  Holy Toledo!! 

     Next came the search for Christensen and I held my breath.  There were many; however, down at the end of the list was one for Ole Christensen.  Again, I held my breath waiting for the computer to bring up the listing.  And there he was buried along side my paternal 3x great grandmother, Elisabeth Laustdatter/Lauridsen.  God Bless the genealogists who worked on this cemetery and posted it on line.

     Continuing ever onward and using my new best friend Google ;-)  I searched for my great great grandfather changing his middle name to Ingvard which is what I had found on the 1845 Denmark census.  Up came a website with the name and it was from Denmark.  The name matched; however not the date of birth.  What did match was this fellow's father, Henrik Olesen and Henrik's father, Ole Christensen.  EUREKA. 

     It was an easy jump to Ole Christensen and his children.  My great great grandfather is listed as Kristian Ingvard Olesen on this website with little information other than birth, confirmation and an 1844 census (which I have not found to date).  Kristian is listed as Christian in the 1845 census.  Again googling Kristian, I found that in Denmark is is Christian.  

     I have emailed the owner of this family tree and hope to hear back.  Hopefully the language difference will not be an issue for her.  In my travels overseas, I have found that most countries are multilingual and English is widely spoken and understood.  Fingers crossed.

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.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser