Ole Larson's Folks

I must humbly apologize to Ragnhild Kjorstad, whom I earlier accused of erring in her work on the ancestry of our 2nd great-grandfather, Lars Poulsen. In a later post, though, I allowed for the possibility that Svend Poulsen Lillegard had two sons named Poul Svendsen. This is a rare occurence, but not unheard of. In preparation for our imminent Norway trip, I established contact with an official of Fron Historielag named Pål Kjorstad, who happens to be the son of the aforenamed Ragnhild. Within hours of my question, Pål came up with documentation that set the record straight. Pål even remarked that this situation is not terribly rare in Norway, where tradition held that the first son should be named after the paternal grandfather, and the second son after the maternal. So, if both grandfathers were named Poul — you get it.

Svend Poulsen Lillegaard (1702-1756) and Marit Poulsdtr. b. Harildstad had these five children, and possibly others. Daughters: Kari, Tore and Anne. Sons: Poul and Poul.

Another document Pål found was a skifte, roughly equivalent to “probate,” following the death of Poul Svendsen Flaate in late 1797. It names Lars Poulsen, then 3-1/2 years old, as one of the heirs. Even more interesting, it names several previously unknown siblings of his. Here is his name in context: (the full document can be seen at arkivverket)

SkifteThe entire family is as follows, teased out from this document and other sources by Pål Kjorstad:

Poul Svendsen Lillegaard (one of the two brothers so named) bought the Flaate farm  27 June 1776, was first married to Kari Iversdtr Skaaden (my neighbour farm when I was young). With Kari he had 2 children: Svend, born before 1774 and Marit born 1775. (These 2 fit exactly with their grandparents name at Lillegaard. Poul married 2. with Mari(e) Pedersdtr. and had 7 children with her: Hans(1783), Ole (1785), Peder (1787), Poul (1791), Lars (1793), Kari (1789) and Anne (1796).

All nine children received (very paltry) inheritances, so they must have been living in 1798. The six sons each received about one percent of the auction price of the farm, while each of the three daughters received about half that amount. By the 1801 census, only Poul, Lars, and Anne were counted with their widowed mother, Mari Pedersdatter, at Flaate. I found the names of a couple others who were servants on nearby farms. The rest of them must have moved away, too.

This puts several generations of ancestors back on Lars Paulson’s branch of my family tree, along with some “brand-new” 2nd and 3rd great-grand-uncles and aunts.

A Slender Thread
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