Sunday, 17 January 2010
Having identified my great grandfather's brother Ole Thorsen in the family albums and found him in the emigration protocols, I have been able to "paste together" his history. He was born on the island of Langøy outside Kragerø on the southcoast of Norway on June 25th 1865 (I will write about his parents in a blog later on), number five in a family of six children. His father was a miner and the family means must have been restricted, so all children started work immediately after confirmation. The boys all went to sea, and so did Ole. 16 years old he started his career as deckshand on the sailing vessel Aurora of Kragerø (noted in the English census of King's Lynn, April 3rd, 1881).
Feb. 2nd 1883 he left Norway for New York together with his younger sister Anne Marie, his elder sister Marit Mikkelsen (who had already been once to the US), and her three childre Sofie, Johan and Victor. He apparently did not stay long in New York, but settled in Boston - in October 1891 he left Norway after a visit and is registered as "American" with destination Boston. He was still a sailor.
Shortly after this, however, he settled down, changed his name to Thompson and became a house painter in Cambridge, Mass. In 1895 he married a beautiful Irish immigrant named Julia, and in 1900 they lived in 1112 Washington street, Cambridge. Before 1910, however, he bought a house in 79 Norfolk Street, and ran his house painting business from there. The couple had four children, Theodore Palmer (born May 20th, 1903), Edna C. (born May 16th, 1905), Olive Elisabeth (born July 17th, 1908) and John (born 1914).
I have not been able to find out when he died, but it must have been after 1930 (he is listed in the 1930 Census). Perhaps some of the geneabloggers can help me?