I am trying to put together an amusing video post of the Larson family reunion 1957. Technical difficulties. In the meantime, these posts on Samuel Jorgensen get pretty technical themselves. The excitement to me is, I am looking at the penstrokes of scribes 250 years in the past, and their consideration of my ancestors to the 7th and 8th generations. The essential info will be in the tree at the beginning, if you bail after that, I won’t be offended.
As my research proceeds forward into the past :), some basic assumptions become necessary. The records no longer corroborate each other as to the patronyms (father-names) and residential names of the principals. After studying many pages of these ancient churchbooks, I have settled on the following assumption for accepting a probable match:
1) The probability of duplicate given names of a married couple (e.g. Ole and Marit) are quite low, even though both names are very common; that is, if one in ten males are named Ole, and one in ten females Marit, then the probability of an Ole-Marit marriage is only 1 in 100.
2) There was very little movement between parishes (especially among the huusman class). Indeed, a passport from the priest or the sheriff was required just to travel outside your parish(!)
3) On the other hand, there seems to be a lot of movement between farms within a parish, whether at marriage, or job change or any life change. This generally resulted in a change of the residential surname, so that e.g. Peder Olsen Skarsmoen and Anne Tostensdatter Sveebak, married in 1805, are probably the same Peder and Anne Glømegarden who parented Marit Pedersdatter in 1820. There are no other Peder and Anne in the parish who are the approximate correct age, like within 20 years or more. And it is not plausible that this Peder and Anne moved out of the parish, and another Peder and Anne moved in, during that interim.
4) Age of actors, in the rare instances it was recorded, is unreliable within 5-10 years. Anecdotally, people just “didn’t remember their age.”