Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All Jorgenson's are not Jorgen's Sons

Lena Jorgenson, my Great Great Grandmother from Denmark, was born in 1858.  Her birth year is pretty consistent throughout her records.  Her obituary didn't give her parents names, but she was survived by a "step-sister, Bertha Bentall of Chicago".  I can see not naming a "step" or "half" relative as such in an obituary even when it is a fact, but it would be unusual to find a full-blood relative listed as "step" or "half" when it is not true.

1880 soundex records showing a Jorgenson family with daughter Bertha in Will County, Illinois helped me find Lena's family.  Father Ole Jorgenson, wife Caroline and daughter Hannah were born in Denmark, son Peter, daughter Isabel, son Andrew and daughter Bertha were born in Illinois.  Another son, Walter, came after 1880.  According to his obituary, Ole Jorgenson married Caroline Peterson in 1860, but I believe I found their marriage record from Denmark online at familysearch.org which has their marriage date as November 2, 1866.  
Caroline's birth year was questionable from census records, but that marriage record gives her age then as 19, so I'm going with 1847 as her birth year.  That would make her age at Lena's birth only 11, so I don't believe she is her mother.

The Will Grundy Genealogy Society sent me some information years ago including a listing of the Peotone Cemetery showing members of the Jorgenson family buried there.  Both Ole and Caroline's tombstones give the wrong death year.  I know that because both of their obituaries were in the newspaper one year earlier than the death date on the tombstone.

My previous blog post was about trying to determine how Anna Loucks is a cousin...

At findagrave, I found Anna M. Loucks also buried in the Peotone Cemetery.  There was one other Loucks - Clifford, born just 15 years after Anna's birth, but don't believe those dates.

Census records for Anna Loucks in 1900 show her with her husband George, daughter Bernice, son Clifford, and Robert & Kate Jorgenson are "Boarders", both born in Denmark.  1910 confirms that Robert & Kate Jorgenson are Anna's parents.  Earlier census records show brothers Charles and John.  They were in Will County, Illinois as early as 1870.  So, were Robert and Ole brothers?  Wait.

Also in the 1870 census, it took a while for me to find Ole Jorgenson's family.  The census listing I've found that looks closest to correct has the family listed as JOHNSON.  The household includes Ole, Caroline, Olina, Johannah, Peter and a man named John Carstolm, age 50.  Is it an enumerator's mistake that the family name is JOHNSON?  Or is it that they went by that Norwegian naming practice I vaguely understand of using the father's first name with "son" for a surname?  Is John Carstolm the father of Ole JOHNSON?  But the name was Jorgenson on the marriage record, so I think the enumerator made a mistake.  At first, I thought maybe John Carstolm was Caroline's father, but wait.  

familysearch.org has Illinois, Cook County Deaths online.  Anna Loucks' death record is there, she died February 21, 1957.  Robert Jorgensen's death record is there, he died July 18, 1917 and was buried in Peotone.  And his father is listed as Jorgen PETERSON!  So it looks like Robert used the Jorgen-son naming pattern.  Interesting that Jorgen's last name is the same as Caroline's.

Looking for a death record for Ole Jorgenson I found one for "Olo" Jorgenson, buried in Peotone, but no father is given.  Then I searched for Caroline Jorgenson and found one with HER father listed as Jorgen Peterson.  Same as Robert's?  But I don't understand why her name isn't JORGENSDATTER.  Would two siblings use two different surname patterns?  Even on the marriage record from Denmark before they came to the US she used Peterson.  The birth date given here is March 14, 1855 which is very late to be the same person who married Ole Jorgenson in 1866, but the death date and burial information is correct, so I believe this death record is for Mrs. Ole Jorgenson.   

This all has me confused.  I'm sending off a request to IRAD to search for more records on these people.  John Carstolm has me very curious.  At this point, I'm thinking that Robert and Caroline are brother and sister, even though they used different last names.  And Anna Loucks is a cousin to the children of Caroline, but would not be a cousin to Lena Jorgenson (by blood anyway).  

Any thoughts on this are welcome!  Just leave a comment here.

No comments:

Post a Comment