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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #49 & 50—Johan Larsen and Sara Möllersdatter

My third great-grandfather Johan Larsen was born March 22, 1824 on the island of Alstahaug in Nordland, Norway, just south of the Arctic Circle. His parents Lars Hemingsen and Jonelle Jonsdatter had him baptized in the Herøy i Alstahaug parish some time later.

When he was twenty-one years old, Johan married Sara Andrine Möllersdatter in the same parish on the nearby island of Slapøen on July 19, 1845. Sara was the daughter of Möller Zacariasen. Much older than Johan, Sara had been born about 1814 on the Berfjorden farm in the Alstahaug Municipality.

The couple set up housekeeping at Slapøen and began their family:

  1. Johana Maria, born at Slapøen on September 25, 1845,
  2. Bergitta Susanna, born at Slapøen on September 8, 1848,
  3. Karen Marie, born at Titternes farm in Dønnes on April 7, 1851 (my great-great grandmother),
  4. Ludvig Edvart, born at Næsna in Dønnes on May 17, 1855,
  5. Anne Margrete Kristine, born at Skeidsøen farm in Dønnes on March 12 1859,
  6. Mortine Lovise, born at Skeidsøen farm in Dønnes on June 19, 1863.

As he raised his family, Johan became a small landholder at Skeidsøen, and he worked sometimes as a fisherman. Perhaps during the fishing season that ran from January to May each year, he traveled with the other men from his area to the rich Lofoten fishing grounds north of Dønnes to earn some extra cash.

On March 6, 1876, shortly before his 52nd birthday, Johan died in a fishing accident. His death is recorded not in his home parish in Dønnes, but further north in Lofoten. He must have gone there to fish that season. Many of the deaths recorded on the same page of the Vågan parish register in Lofoten note a death at sea, so perhaps that is how Johan died, too. It seems the boats lost many men that fishing season.

Johan was buried later that month on March 25, 1876 in the Vågan parish of Lofoten.

Sara remained at Dønnes to live out the remainder of her life. She passed away on August 1, 1880 when she was about 66 years old. She was buried in the Herøy I Herøy parish.


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