Tag Archives: mtDNA

Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting (1789-1843) of Norway, Giertrud Nielsdtr (1737-1774+) of Denmark and Me; So Close Yet So Far Away!

What do Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting, Giertrud Nielsdtr and I have in common? We are all a”0″ mtDNA match. Giertrud is my earliest proven ancestor in my all female line. Marta’s descendant, who lives in the U.S. like me, and I are exact mtDNA matches. Until the results of the mtDNA test, we had not known each other.

Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting is her earliest known ancestor in her mtDNA (mother’s mother’s mother, etc.) line.

For my first foray into Norwegian records, I think I’ve done quite well, but Marta Maria is a brick wall that others also seem to have found.

According to her marriage record, Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting was bornc1787-1789, based on preliminary research.

First entry, top left
National Archives of Norway

She married Jon Svendsen on 22 March 1816 in Haa, Rogaland, Norway, which is about 100 km or 68 miles away.

For future reference, note the tip of Denmark in the bottom right corner and the city of Frederikshavn, which is the area where Giertrud Nielsdtr lived. More on that in a bit.

Browsing the church registers of Norway is much like searching those of Denmark and Sweden, so it didn’t take me long to locate this family.

Jon Svendsen was baptized on 18 April 1790, Haa, Rogaland, Norway and died 10 July 1866, Reiestad, Rogaland, Norway. Marta Maria Johannesdatter Skretting (Skretting is likely a farm.) was baptized 10 October 1788, Eigersund, Rogaland, Norway.

Their daughter Maria, earliest known ancestor of my mtDNA match was baptized on 29 March 1831 in nearby Varhaug, Norway.

My interest is only in the female lines, so I continued the hunt for more about Marta Maria Johannesdatter. Her parents are Johannes Pedersen and Maren Ericsdatter, who married on 9 October 1787 in Haa, Rogaland, Norway. They were the parents of six children that I’ve found so far and Marta Maria is the firstborn in the family.

Johannes Pedersen is noted in the marriage record as being of Gjermestad, not far away, while Maren is from Haa. Unfortunately, their ages aren’t noted.

There is only one Maren Ericsdatter in Rogaland, who appears to be of an age to be Johannes’s wife. It is a small stretch because this Maren was baptized on 1 January 1751 in Finnoy, Rogaland, Norway, once again not far from the other villages in this story. Johannes’ and Maren’s last child was baptized on 17 August 1800, which would put Maren’s age at 49. Not impossible, but not common either.

IF this is the correct Maren, this family line continues for a couple more generations in Finnoy and then the church records end. This Maren apparently married Hermann Jonson Jelsa on 4 July 1779 in Finnoy. They had four children – Anna, Erik, Jacob and Eivin – and then Hermann died in 1785.

There is no conflict with Maren who married Johannes Pedersen because they married on 9 October 1787, which would be a reasonable mourning period.

I’ve looked at some, but not all of the primary records found in the church registers on the National Archives of Norway website; those I’ve read match online tree information on FamilySearch, so I am going to make the tentative assumption that the family groupings are correct.

If so, Maria Jonsdatter (born 1831), who emigrated to the United States, has the following maternal line, which would be an mtDNA match with me:

Maria Jonsdatter, bapt. 29 March 1831, born Varhaug, Norway
Marta Maria Johansdatter, bapt. 10 October 1788, Eigersund, Norway = Jon Svendsen
Maren Ericsdatter, bapt. 1 January 1751, Finnoy, Norway = Johannes Pedersen
Mari Maren Osmundsdatter Kingestad, bapt. 1721, Finnoy, Norway = Eric Jacobsen
Karen Danielsdatter, bapt. 8 May 1681, Finnoy, Norway = Osmund Andersson Kingestad
Maria Jacobsdatter Naerland, born c1648 = Daniel Halvardson Vestbo

The family appears to be squarely situated in Finnoy, Norway for the three earliest generations and my Danish connection, Giertrud Nielsdtr is near Frederikshavn, Denmark.

By boat, these places are not far apart.

Giertrud Nielsdtr was likely born in the 1728-1735 range of years. The problem is that her father, Niels, is called Niels Aastedmand, or “man of Aasted.” Aasted is a parish right next to Flade.

That makes it pretty much impossible to determine who her mother and father were. However, the point is really moot because church registers in that area only go back to the late 1600s. It isn’t likely that I could take Giertrud’s maternal line back more than one generation to her own mother, assuming I could figure out who her parents were.

I’ve read that exact mtDNA matches have about a 50% chance of finding the common ancestor within five generations. In my case, Giertrud Nielsdtr is my 6X great grandmother, who lived eight generations before me and I believe that my match might be in her 20s. Maria Jonsdatter is probably her 3X great grandmother, making Maria Jacobsdatter Naerland her 8X great grandmother. She and I unfortunately are part of that other 50%.

Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting, Giertrud Nielsdtr and I are so close, yet so very far away and I don’t see any solution forthcoming as to that one elusive female ancestor who links the three of us together with her mtDNA.





mtDNA Exact Match Update

My 2017 Christmas present was an mtDNA test, which thrilled me. I was even more excited to get the results, which included an exact match with a woman who I didn’t know and certainly wasn’t a close relative.

Lady X, as I’ll call her, is the great granddaughter of Maria Jonsdatter, born 31 March 1828 in Rogaland, Norway. Family information placed her in Stavanger, and while she did apparently live there for a while, she was born outside the town in Varhaug.

I was initially happy to see that Rogaland church registers dated back to c1680 and can be viewed for free on the website of The National Archives of Norway.  There is even a link for English on the home page.

However, what I found was somewhat limited. I do have one more generation back, though!

Maria Jonsdatter was the child of Jon Svendsen and Marthe Maria Johannesdatter (Skretting?). Jon was born 18 April 1790 and died in Reiestad, Rogaland, Norway on 10 July 1866. Marthe was born about 1787 and died on 10 November 1843. They married on 22 March 1816.

Children, all born in Rogaland:

  1. Johannes, born 24 April 1816, Tjemsland
  2. Jonas, born 18 July 1820, Brekko; married Elen Kirstine Eliasdtr, 22 May 1849, Klepp
  3. Magdalena, born 1 March 1818
  4. Sven, born 12 January 1823; died 27 December 1841
  5. Maria, born 31 March 1828 – immigrated to the U.S.
  6. Jon, born 18 December 1826
  7. Marta Maria, born 29 March 1831; married Oliver Aslakson Rodvelt, 16 October 1854

After Marthe Maria died, Jon married (2) Anna Kirstina Bendixdtr, 15 April 1845. She was born 30 January 1811; died 3 September 1860.  They had one child, Johanna, born 4 November 1848, Reiestad; married Ole-Johannes Gabriel Rosland, 18 April 1882, Klepp.

I also found the baptismal record for Jon Svendsen, but have not found any clue of a baptismal record, parents or siblings for Marthe Maria Johannesdatter. A lengthy thread on the discussion forum of the Norwegian National Archives dealt with Marthe Maria and her origins, but while her marriage record says she was from the parish of Hjelmeland, she was not found there in the 1801 census. Baptismal records for that parish begin a few years after her estimated birth year. It’s very possible that her family might not have lived there until soon before her marriage.

I did find a confirmation record of Marthe Maria Johannesdtr in Haa parish in 1807. She was 19 years old, but her name is just part of a list of those confirmed. No parents’ names are given.

Confirmed in 1807
Source: National Archives of Norway

I did come across one tantalizing entry in the 1801 census in the parish of Klepp, a bit to the north of Haa, but still quite close by:

Johannes Olsen & Karen Hendrichsdtr & Family 1801, Klepp
Source: National Archives of Norway

Here we have:

Johannes Olsen, 53
Karen Hendrichsdtr, 44
Torchild, 20
Marthe, 14
Karen, 13; died 1812, aged 24
Sidsel, 11
Lisbeth, 8
(Johannes, born 31 May 1795; died 1795, Klepp)

Anne (Johanna), 3 (born 5 March 1797, Klepp)
Hendrich, 2 (born 20 February 1799, Klepp)

No one in this family is enumerated with a middle name, but Marthe, aged 14, would have been born in 1787, which matches the age of Marthe Maria, who died in 1843. Klepp is in the same general area as Haa, Varhaug, etc. and Marthe Maria’s son, Jonas, actually married in Klepp.

There is no baptismal record found for Lisbeth, who would have been born c1793, so the family moved into Klepp parish between 1793 and May of 1795, when Johannes was born.

This leaves me with a possible Karen Hendriksdatter as the mother of Marthe Maria Johannesdatter. Karen was born c1757, the daughter of Hendrik, but that doesn’t get me very far.  It looks like I’ve run out of church records in that area.

So much for hoping that the Norwegian records will bring me back to Denmark.

Now for my line:

Linda Anne Sabo = me
Doris Priscilla Adams
Hazel Ethel Coleman
Anna Elisabeth Jensen, born 1872, Copenhagen
Margarethe Bruun, born 1 May 1843, Flade, Hjorring, Denmark
Ana Amalie Christensdatter Moller, born 10 January 1823, Flade
Marie Katrine Jensdatter, born 6 October 1799, Flade
Ane Christensdatter, born 11 February 1758, Flade
Giertrud Nielsdatter, born c1723-1740 (based on youngest age and oldest to marry and give birth between 1756 and 1767)

Giertrud married Christen Christen Donbech on 28 October 1756 in Flade, Hjorring, Denmark. He was born c1734, so Giertrud was likely born no earlier than 1730 and no later than 1739.

However, her marriage record records her father as Niels Aestermand, a man of Aester, which is the parish next to Flade.

I’ve seen baptismal dates for Giertrud in 1737, but have read the records for a number of parishes and she isn’t found in any of them in the 1730s.

It’s very frustrating to be so tantalizingly close to finding my mtDNA match’s and my common ancestor.

Yes, I fully realize that our common ancestor could be much earlier than this, but I was hoping that church records might fill in the gap in the 1700s.