Custom oarsman Ingvald Johan Hansen (1815-1888)

Hansen Ingvald redigert
Ingvald Johan Hansen

Ingvald was son of Karen Hansdatter Carlstad and Niels Hansen Brattlia, from Nordre Land in Oppland. Niels was a sargent in the army and he probably was a skilled reader and writer, so when he moved his family to Kristiania about 1810, he earned a job as a customs official.

Ingvald was the fifth of nine siblings. He worked in Customs as his father did, but he became an oarsman, though he had more challenging jobs at times. Ingvald was first married to Karen Oline Jansen and had four children with her; all girls. One of them was Hulda Marie who is my great-great-grandmother. Karen died of cholera in 1853. In 1855 Ingvald married Karen’s niece Birgitte Jansen. They had four children, three girls and a boy. I believe that Ingvald lived a more affluent life with his second wife. His three youngest daughters were educated as photographers. And his son took higher education in the law and also became an officer.

Skifte ingvald
List of belongings at the time of Ingvald Johan Hansen’s death. Sofa, easy chairs, chairs, rocking chairs and mirrors. In total 53 single or sets of belongings. The clip is from the probate record, you can find it on this link.

Ingvald bought at least three properties in Kristiania and rented them out, but had financial problems. His oldest children rented apartments of his and sometimes they did not pay. At the time of Ingvald’s death in 1889, the problems became apparent. The estate that Ingvald left after his death, went bankrupt. And it took a few years to sort it out. There was a lot of paperwork.

A few years ago I went to have a look at the file at the national archive; Riksarkivet. It gives a rich story of the way of life for the family. The file included mail from the solicitors, letters from the family and how they would pay their dues, receipts and documents of the money they owed. It is interesting to see what kind of  clothes, shoes, food and drink that they bought.  The file even included a small notebook from their grocer, itemizing what they had bought. And  it gives an insight into their economic situation in the time before Ingvald’s death.

The bankruptcy had big implications for the family. The four oldest children would not get any more financial help from their father. The only son emigrated to New Zealand and the youngest daughters started a photography studio in Moss, a small town close to Oslo.

You can read more about the Bratli (the last name they took) sisters that became photographers in the blogpost here.

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