Torkjel Mikalsen Hornnes, born 21 May 1871
Twins do seem to run in the family and Mikal Alfsen and Anne Gundersdatter had twins as their 5th (Torkjel) and 6th (Åsa) children. I’m not sure who was the eldest but Torkjel is usually listed first so perhaps he was however it could also be because he was a boy. In today’s society boys and girls tend to be equal but in 1871 I think the boys were held to be slightly more important than the girls.
Torkjel is mentioned in Lil Anna’s journal as the older brother who boarded the train when she returned home to Norway for the visit in 1907/1908.
In the 1900 census Torkjel is shown with his first wife, Gunhild Olsdatter Engestøl who was born 1873 and died 1904, and the first three of their 6 children, Olga Gustava, Anna Marie and Ellen Amalie. They were married in 1894 and are living and working on the farm Engestøl where Gunhild’s parents and her brother and his family also lived and worked. There were 15 full time and 2 temporary residents living on this farm in 1900.
I have some Xeroxed reproduced photos of most of the children. The quality is not very good but it does help to put faces with the names. All the photos are courtesy of Alf Georg Kjetså.
The children of Torkjel and Gunhild:
Olga Gustava born 1894, died 1906
Anna Marie, born 1896, left Norway for America in 1916 and died during the Spanish influenza 1918 pandemic.
Ellen Amalie, born 1898
Mikal Alfred born 25 May 1900 d. 1 October 1900. The cause of death is listed as Kikhoste [Whooping cough]. No picture. [A strange coincidence here as Torkjel’s younger brother John and his wife Lydia also had a son with this name who was born and died in 1900.]
Mally born 1901.
Karen, born 1904.
Gunhild died 5 May 1904. In 1907 Torkjel married the second time to Ingeborg Tveit who was born in Vegusdal 1887. Lil Anna was visiting Norway at the time of her brother’s second marriage and appears with her sister and brother-in-law, (Store) Anna and Osmund Gåseflå, in the wedding photo with Torkjel and Ingeborg.
Lil Anna, Osmund, Ingeborg, Torkjel, Store Anna, and an unidentified man, 1907
Sometime after 1900 Torkjel began working at the aluminum factory near Øvrebø and Vennesla. The 1910 census lists him as a under foreman or foreman at the factory.
The children of Torkjel and Ingeborg:
Olga born 1909 and died 1914, no picture
Mikal born 1911
I corresponded with Mikal's son, John Allan and his wife Bjørg for several years. I was very sorry to learn that John passed away about a year ago. He made the most beautiful hand-carved furniture and other items and I enjoyed hearing from him by letter and also the pictures he would send of his carvings. I am very glad that his wife continues to write to me.
Gunnar bon 1913
Olga born 1916
Anna (Lillemor) born 1919
Alf born 1921
Torkjel was living in Kiristiansand when he died in 24 June 1924.
Because the family lived near Øvrebø and I had these two postcard pictures I am including them here to provide a peek at what the countryside probably looked like in the late 1800s and early 1900s.