Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Peder Thorsen

It is finally time for the last of the Thorsen children, my great grandfather Peder Thorsen. He was the third of Thor and Ingeborg's children, born on Megrund in Espedalen, Oppland, April 11th, 1858 and christened in Svatsum, Gausdal, on May 30th of the same year. The family moved south to Telemark, to Langøy, in the mid 1860's and Peder was confirmed in Bamble church on October 13th 1872. The following year he went to sea, working as deckshand on the sailing vessel Alia (a barque), sailing on the Baltic and the North Sea. This was the first of a long line of ships which took him all over the world. He returned to Kragerø in January 1878 to sit his sailor's exam. He also got married on August 16th to a girl from the neighbouring town Risør, Ingeborg Torjesdatter. In 1878/79 he completed his education, obtaining official papers as a mate. He then went on to sail as 2nd and 1st mate, and later captain of several ships, handling cargo and trade both on England, Canada, the West Indies and South America.
Peder and Ingeborg had eight children, but only one child survived. The first two children were twin girls born in November 1878. The next six, three girls and three boys, lived only one day, and one of the twin girls, Klara Thorine, died two days before her fifth birthday. Thus the only child to survive childhood was Marie Josephine, my grandmother.
The photo of Peder and his wife Ingeborg is taken in Antwerp, probably in December 1891. At that time Peder was captain of the ship Thorgny and was able to bring Ingeborg along on one of his trips. The child Marie at that time stayed with her grandmother in Risør.
Ingeborg died quite early, probably in 1918, but Peder lived to be an old man. He died in Kragerø on March 21st, 1939.

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