Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ragnhild Mikalsdatter Hornnes

Ragnhild Mikalsdatter Hornnes as a young woman, born 20 May 1863. Photo ca 1880s
[photo courtesy of Agnes Allpress]

Ragnhild was the first child born to Mikal Alfsen Roland-Hornnes and his second wife, Anne Gundersdatter Uleberg. It was traditional to name the first child after a deceased spouse and Mikal and Anne kept to that by naming her after Mikal’s first wife, Ragnhild Nottosdatter Hornnes. The picture was probably taken near the time she married Ola Johnson Stean-Birkeland in 1883 making her about 20 years old at the time.

[photo courtesy of Agnes Allpress]

During the first eight years or so of their married life Ragnhild and Ola moved from rented farm to rented farm until Ola bought Otrøybakken (Stean) in 1893. Otrøybakken was part of Birkeland. Birkeland had belonged to Ola’s family since 1610. He was known as Ola Stean-Birkeland. Ola was the son of John Eivenson Birkeland and Gunhild Jesdatter. He was born 23 May 1848 and died 5 February 1923. Ola and Ragnhild had seven children:*

1. Gunhild, 17 August 1885
2. Anne, 29 March 1888

3. Sigrid also known as Sadie, 1 October 1890
4. John, 31 October 1892

5. Marie, 5 December 1894
6. Ingeborg, 29 March 1898

7. Mikal, 26 June 1901

Three of these children, Anne, Sadie, and John left Norway never to return. Marie also left but she returned home to Norway because she was ill. She died shortly thereafter. Ingeborg never married. I do not have pictures of all the children but here are some that I do have.

Gunhild Stean, ca 1905
[photo courtesy of Odd Svanstrøm]

Gunhild married Hans Svanstrøm and had four sons

Family of Hans and Gunhild Svanstrøm, ca 1939
[photo courtesy of Odd Svanstrøm]
1. Knut
2. Odd

3. Tor

4. Alf

Anne Stean, ca 1910

Anne married Al Bensen. They had two daughters, Carmen and Hellen, and she was expecting twins when she died 20 August 1920.

Carmen (1915-2010) & Hellen Bensen (1918-2006), ca 1922
[photo courtesy of Agnes Allpress]

Sigrid or Sadie Stean, ca 1910

Sadie Stean married Herbert Solwold and had one son, Richard.

Richard Solwold, (1920-2001)

John Steen or Stean, ca 1910
[photo courtesy of Agnes Allpress]

John lived at least part of the time in Canada after leaving Norway. It is not known if he married and had a family.

Marie Stean, ca 1910
[photo courtesy of Odd Svanstrøm]

Ragnhild Mikalsdatter Hornnes as an older woman, ca 1930s (?)
[photo courtesy of Odd Svanstrøm]


* You can see that Ragnhild and Ola held to the traditional naming patterns. Their first daughter, Gunhild was named after Ola's mother, their second daughter, Anne, was named after Ragnhild's mother. The first son, John, was named after Ola's father while the second son, Mikal, was named after Ragnhild's father. Sigrid, Marie, and Ingeborg were most likely named after other relatives such as great-grandmothers, aunts, or sisters.

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