Tombstone Tuesday – June 15, 2021 – Hans Henrik Andersen

Hans Henrik Andersen was born on September 26, 1856 in Tjome, Vestfold, Norway. He was the son of Andres Hansen and Olava Hansdattra. They lived in Grimstad, a small farm town on the island of Tjome which is located in the Oslo Fjord. Andres was a sailor. Andres and Olava had two children; Hans Henrik (1856) and Kristine (1860). In the 1865 Norwegian Census, Andres, Olava, Hans and Kristine are found in Grimstad. Andres Hansen died four short years later in 1869. I believe that he died at sea having been washed overboard during a storm. By the time of the 1875 Norwegian Census, many things have changed in Olava’s family with the loss of her husband and her daughter, Kristine. She has also remarried a man whose name is Kristin Jorgensen. Kristin, Olava and Hans are listed together in Grimstad in the 1875 census from Notteroy, Norway.

Ingeborg and Hans on their Wedding day in 1882

Han Henrik Andersen married Ingeborg Helene Jakobsen on February 7, 1882 in Notteroy, Vestfold, Norway. Hans and Ingaborg had three sons; Andres, (1883), Hans Jakob (1888), Haakon Ingwardo(1891). At this time in Tjome men were either sailors or farmers, they went to sea or stayed on land. Hans was a sailor. His early sailing days started in March of 1880 with a trip to America. I was able to obtain information thru the Tjome Historical Society about Hans Henrik sailing career. Listed below is a chart of his sailing trips. I can not be certain that this is a complete list but as you can see he sailed the world and it included at least seven trips across the Atlantic to America.

Date Embarked – Ship Name – Departing Port – Destination – Disembarked – Where

03.31.1880 – Rebekka – Svelvig – Amerika – 09.23.1880 – Drammen

10.13.1880 – Vashington – Tønsberg – Hamburg – 11.23.1880 – Tønsberg

04.16.1881 – Solo – Tønsberg – Amerika – 12.14.1881 – Tønsberg

03.30.1882 – Salo – Tønsberg – Amerika – 11.24.1882 – Shipwrecked

02.06.1883 – Thorsbjerg – Tønsberg – England – 01.14.1884 – Tønsberg

03.31.1884 – Harbels Anker – Tønsberg – Horjefjord – 08.21.1884 – Tønsberg

03.25.1885 – Nina – Tønsberg – Amerika – 04.??.1887 – Liverpool

06.28.1887 – Gorilla – Fredrikshald – England – 12.06.1887 – Tønsberg

04.13.1888 – Norway – Sandefjord – Amerika

03.04.1889 – Norway – Sandefjord – Amerika

06.08.1889 – Lillesand – C.J.Værn – Orlogs – 07.09.1889 – C.J.Værn (Navy harbour in Horten)

07.22.1889 – Winnipeg – Tønsberg – London

01.28.1891 – Entreforce – Tønsberg – Cardiff

06.23.1893 – Berthe Rød – Tønsberg – abroad – 02.12.1894 – Tønsberg

05.04.1894 – Lawrence – Tønsberg – abroad – 02.06.1895 – Greonck

03.21.1895 – Lawrence – Tønsberg – England – 08.20.1895 – Tjømø

03.28.1896 – Lawrence – Tønsberg America – 02.18.1897 – Tjømø

04.06.1898 – Familien – Chri(sti)ania abroad – 11.03.1898 – Chi(sti)ania (Oslo)

04.13.1899 – Høvding – Moss – abroad – 12.02.1899 – Moss

On September 18, 1894, twelve short years after they were married, Ingeborg Helene died suddenly leaving three sons to be cared for by their Grandmother, Olava Jorgansen while their father was at sea. Hans had set sail in May of 1894 and did not learn of his wife’s death until he returned the following February of 1895. On March 13 1898, Hans Henrik married Mathilde Kristine Zainer.

When Hans decided to no longer sail he returned to Tjome and bought a sailboat and started a tourist style Tour Company in the early days of the tourist industry on Tjome. He provided tours of the Oslo Fjord to tourist and summer residence of his seaside home town. He also conducted fishing excursions. Hans was “at home” on the water.

This is a photo of Hans and Mathilde Anderson. We can not be certain of the date of the photo but it is likely the mid to late 1930’s. Long after his working days were done Hans could be found almost daily in a small fishing boat, in the cove by his Mother’s small home.

Mathilde died on June 19, 1940, shortly after the Germans had invaded and occupied Norway. Hans befriended some of the German soldiers which initially angered many of the local people. Hans had hidden a radio from the Germans and since they had established a bit of trust with him, the German soldiers did not search his home. He kept his radio out of sight and he listened to it every night for news from the war front. In time, many of the local men would learn that Hans had a radio and come to his house to listen to the radio with him. I have been told that sometimes they would bring him alcohol so they could bribe him to listen other stations on his radio. Eventually, the Nazi’s discovered that Hans and the local men were listing to the radio each night and the Nazi’s confiscated the radio.

In letters to his son, Andrew ( born Andres, my Grandfather), Hans states that life on Tjome was not so bad during the war but one must remember that the Nazi’s opened and read all mail which was sent to other countries. Hans told his son that he must be very careful what he writes in his letters . This is the envelope from Hans’ letter to his son informing him that his wife, Mathilde, has died in 1940. As you can see the Germans opened it before sending it on to Andrew in America.

Hans survived the war but died on June 15, 1946. He was buried in the Tjome Kirke Cemetery with his wives.

Rest in Peace, Hans

Love, Jan

Hans Henrik Andersen was my Great Grandfather. I wish I had known him. The wonderful people of the Tjome Historical Society have helped me bring my Great Grandfather to life for his descendents. I appreciate all the help I received from Inger Zainer ( Great Niece of Hans thru his marriage to Mathilde.) and the Tjome Historical Society.

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