Welte Family History Research

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For over 40 years, I have been researching my family history. Now that I'm retired, I can devote more time and effort into more research, compilation, and organization of that work! Over the past 12 years, I have been very fortunate in teaching genealogy classes, along with my computer experience, at Blackhawk Technical College. I've also created a business - "Field of Genes" - a "Ride-N-Seek" experience to help other families find their own ancestors.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #5 Anton Hansen and His Daughter, Martha Antoinette Hansen

Anton Hansen



Martha Antoinette Hansen

Like father, like daughter. There is quite a resemblance between them, and I think they were both beautiful people who are a part of my family history. They are of Norwegian heritage and I can see that she looks a lot like him, but that she probably took after her mother around the eyebrows. It’s too bad that she did not know much about him because he died when she was about 3 ½ months old. His name was Anton Hansen.
Family legend was that he played violin in the Norway Symphony Orchestra. Then as the years went by, that story became quite diluted. After many years of research, the story was that he played piano. Little did I know, in reality, he worked in a factory and he probably contracted tuberculosis from his occupation which was listed on Martha’s baptism certificate as a “tredreier” meaning “wood turner” or lathe operator. He died young at 26 years of age.

According to Norwegian parish registers covering travel between cities in Norway, in August of 1888, he and his family relocated from Holt in the Aust-Agder area to Grønland Parish, Oslo. His family consisted of his wife, Anna, and twin daughters, Tordis and Petra, who had just turned 2 years old. His wife was about 7 months pregnant with my grandmother, Martha, who was born 3 Oct 1888, and she was baptized in Grønland Parish.
It must have been a very sad and trying time with young children, including a newborn, when Anton died in January of 1889. I can just imagine the stress that Anna was going through when this happened.

Two of her brothers had already immigrated to Escanaba, Michigan, so she decided to come and live with them. She traveled with her one remaining twin daughter, Tordis, and my grandmother, Martha, and they came through Ellis Island in August of 1892. Martha was almost 4 years old, so she didn’t have much memory of that life-changing trip. While she was alive, I never asked about any remembrances that her mother talked about, or her own, of that day.

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