Ole Loren Christiansen

Which Christiansen?

I have this photo sitting on my desk at work.  It is a little 2×3 inch picture inside a soldered silver metallic frame.  It belonged to my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas (1898 – 1987).  It came from the collection of photos left to her by her mother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

My first impressions of the picture remind me of Lillian’s brother, Arthur Christiansen Coley (1921 – 2004).  But for his age, the clothing are the wrong time frame.  But because of the family resemblance I can see in Uncle Art, I know this man is related to me.

Since the picture belonged to Martha, I have often wondered if this is a picture of her father, Olle Christiansen (1853 – 1900).  But the hat, tie, shirt, and suspenders don’t match for a person who passed away in 1900.

Since he looks like Uncle Art, but the person in the photo has to be greying and older by the 1930’s, then I believe this is one of Marth’a brothers.  I know very little about the brothers.  Martha had three brothers: Henry Owen Christiansen (1887 – 1932), Roy Christin Christiansen (1892 – 1892), and Ole Loren Christiansen (1898 – 1977).  Since Roy died as a baby, I know it isn’t him.

That leaves me to Henry Owen and Ole Loren.  Henry Owen and Martha seem to have done very little to keep in contact.  Not a single letter, post card, or photograph that we can tell document anything in communication.  Plus he died in 1932, so the photo above had to predate that date.  I am not a great teller of fashion styles and changes, but I believe the above photo’s clothing would date during the 1930s into the 1940s.  As such, I believe this photo is of Ole Loren.

I have one photo of Ole Loren.  Don’t you think they are close enough in features that they could be the same.  However, I do not know if Henry Owen looked like him.

Sister, Ole Loren, Florence?

I don’t even know which sister of Loren’s is on the left.  From other photos and correspondence I very much believe this is Rhoda.  With the letters and cards between the two, it is very likely this photo was provided to Martha by her.  The photo only says “Sister, Loren, and wife” on the back.  Ole Loren, who I believe went by Loren, probably to differentiate him from his father, only had two wives that I am aware.  Sara Strong (1900 – ?) who he married in 1918 and Florence Knapp (1898 – ?) who he married in 1926.  I don’t know what happened to Sara, there appears to have been a divorce.  For the time of this photo, Florence is likely his wife.  I can tell the sister on the left is a sibling to Martha and Loren, I just don’t know which one.

Henry Owen Christiansen appears to have died in Tillamook County, Oregon.  On his service registration in 1918 he is living in Northport, Stevens, Washington with a wife of Anna Wilda Christiansen.  I believe she is Anna Wilda Hooser from Texas.  They appear to have had children named Mary, Madison, Gerald, Henry Jr, and John.  Quite a bit more research to properly piece the family together.

Ole Loren Christiansen appears to have died in Oakland, Alameda, California.  I believe two children were born to Sara, Ruth and Robert, and two to Florence, Lorraine, and Lucille.  Lorraine and Lucille may have been twins, both born the same year.

Without more photos to compare, I don’t believe I will pin point these individuals while in mortality.  But at least I have narrowed down the family relationships.  If anyone has more information on Ole Loren Christiansen or Henry Owen Christiansen, I am very much interested in any clues or leads you can provide.

At any rate, people often ask me about the little frame on my desk.  All I usually say is it is my Great Great Grandmother’s brother, I don’t know which one.  Most don’t say anything about that, but a number of commented on how intriguing the picture is.  I agree, some day I will learn more on Loren and Henry and hopefully can provide an update.

 

Advertisements

1961 Coley Film

I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960’s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in.  He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family.  He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.

On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah.  This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral.  I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother’s funeral in 1961.

He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.

The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994

The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church.  I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake).  I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.

The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest.  Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.

We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings.  On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art.  On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.

In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white.  The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.

A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.

Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south.  These are the individuals:
Wilford Coley
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Art Coley
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Hannah Thomson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time

Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.

The video is below.  Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.

If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it.  I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much.  After all, this was taken 40 years ago!  Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.

For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral.  Martha died on the 14th of August 1961.  I also include the other two journals we have for her.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal

Boy with Top

1020

This is one of those photos that will captivate you.  You can stare at it and wonder who this little boy is, who did he become, what became of his life?

This photo came from the collection of Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).  While I cannot be certain who the photo is, I believe it is Clair Charles Anderson (1902 – 1956).  Clair is Marth’a nephew through Martha’s sister, Walborg Christiansen Anderson (18775 – 1951).  I don’t know much about his life.  Perhaps some day.

"Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley"

“Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley”

Here is a picture of Clair’s brother, LeGrand Clive Anderson (1914 – 1973).

LeGrand Clive Anderson

LeGrand Clive Anderson

Haunting Eyes

1043

I was thinking of this little girl the other day.  Her eyes and smile are hauntingly familiar to me.  I know she is full blood family, I just wish I knew for certain who.

This photo was one in the collection of my Great Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

I am convinced this little child, I don’t know if male or female but assume female, is likely one of Martha’s own children.  I just don’t have baby pictures of her children though so I cannot tell for certain.  But I do seriously wonder if this is not my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas.  I do have this picture to compare.

Baby Lillian Coley

Baby Lillian Coley

You can view all the other unknown photos I have from Martha’s photo album here.

Logan revisited

Later this year will be our 10 year anniversary.  Ten years since we were married in the Logan LDS Temple in Cache County, Utah.  Since we were down with the kids in Logan for a reunion, we made a stop.

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

The day turned out to be beautiful despite being the middle of October.  Other than the angle of the sun, you might never have known it was October.

We took a picture in one of the doorways that we also took pictures 10 years ago.  Time flies.

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Of course I have heard multiple comments on my neon toes!  Thank you to my in-laws for making me push my boundaries and wear toed shoes.

On the way home I asked the kids their favorite part of the trip.  The quick response for both was the temple.

I have always felt a strong family connection to the Logan Temple.

John Nuffer and Eva Greiner, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 123 years ago in 1892.  They were married 25 July 1867 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wuerttemberg.  You can read of them here.

Olle Christiansen and Constance Jorgensen, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 122 years ago in 1893.  They were married in 1874 in Norway (and have yet to find the exact date and location).

John Wanner and Anna Schmid, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 117 years ago in 1898.  They were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Boblingen, Wuerttemberg.  Read more about them at this link.

John Wanner and Regina Nuffer, my 2nd great grandparents were married and sealed here 117 years ago on 31 August 1898.  Read of them with this click.

Herbert Coley and Martha Christiansen, my 2nd great grandparents were sealed here 115 years ago in 1900.  They were married 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.

Joseph Jonas and Lillian Coley, my great grandparents were married and sealed here 99 years ago on 6 September 1916.  Read more of their marriage here.

Paul Ross and Amanda Hemsley, us, were married and sealed here 10 years ago on 20 December 2005.

This is just the sealing ordinances.  This does not include endowments, baptisms, or second washings and anointings for my ancestors.  I received my own endowment here with my father on 1 September 1998.  Who knows what future ordinances for my family may take place in Logan.

All I know, I miss the days of attending the Logan temple.  I miss learning in the House of the Lord for Stake instruction.  I miss the fill the temple sessions where we would work in the temple all night long.  I miss going to the temple with roommates.  I miss doing endowment sessions on a regular basis with my wife, we often feel guilty leaving our kids with others for that long (and the drive).

One thing I know, and I hope my family history work proves this, I know the temple blessings are real.  I see them in my life and feel them on a regular basis.  I am grateful for my ancestors who went before and provided an example of what, and what not, to do.

Aliza kept asking if she could go inside the temple.  I told her she would have to wait until she was at least 12.  I am glad Aliza and Hiram also feel the draw to the temple.  Hopefully those covenants are already beginning to find the way into their little hearts.  Great promises and responsibilities come from the temple.  That is my testimony.

Constance Josephine Eliza Jorgensen Christiansen

As if the name is not enough in and of itself!  She is my Great Great Great Grandmother and since we stopped at her grave in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon this past week, I thought it fitting to write about her.

Constance was born 23 April 1857 in Drammen, Buskerud, Norway to Olaves Jorgensen and Hanna Mathea Christensen.  According to the 1875 Norwegian Census, her name was Konstanse Elise Olavesen, but when she immigrated to the United States she was given her father’s last name, Jorgensen.  Actually according to the 1875 Norwegian Census, however correct it is, the last name is Jørgensen, but Americans don’t use that extra letter in our alphabet, so it dropped to the regular ‘o’.  I don’t know where she picked up the Josephine, if she ever really did.

She married Ole Christiansen about 1874, I have yet to find that date and location.  The two of them immigrated in 1889 through New York, New York, New York.  However, they both took the long way to America.  Walborg and Martha, their daughters, were born in Fredrikstad, Ostfold, Norway in 1875 and 1879 respectively.  Martha is my Great Great Grandmother.  Eivelda and Constance was born in 1881 and 1883 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  Then Henry was born back in Fredrikstad in 1887!  Then, the remaining six children were all born in Cache County, Utah starting in 1890.

Her parents later emigrated and lived nearby in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  Two of her sisters, Matilda and Amanda, also emigrated and lived in Cache Valley.

Constance Jorgensen Christiansen

Constance Jorgensen Christiansen (heads up, there is argument this might be Constance Christiansen Clawson/Huff, trying to get other photos to compare)

Her husband Ole passed away 27 February 1900 in Richmond, Cache, Utah and is buried there.  She passed away 10 December 1932 in Portland while staying with her daughter Jennie.  She had stayed for some time with Jennie as she was listed as living with her on the 1930 census.  I don’t even know what she died of for certain.  I was told at one point she stepped off a trolley in Portland, slipped and hit her head, and she later died from those injuries, but I cannot confirm that lore.

I knew she is buried was Multnomah Park Cemetery in Portland and while driving through made it a point to stop and visit her grave this past Wednesday.  I knew she had passed away and was buried there, I am not aware of another single relative in the entire cemetery.  Not that the cemetery is that large.  But I knew she was there, that she has an empty grave in Richmond so the circumstances were such that her body was not brought home for burial beside her husband.

2015-04-01 17.42.11

It struck me how solitary her grave is.  She does have two daughters buried or interred in Portland, but neither of them are in this cemetery.

2015-04-01 17.42.41

It even took me a while just to find it, it is near one of the roadways in the cemetery.

I cannot help but think of how far away she is from her parents and husband, even though she does have two daughters at least in Portland.  But for some reason her location disturbs me.  I don’t know why, I obviously had nothing to do with the decision 80+ years ago to bury her in Oregon.  Any person who might have known is long gone.  A death certificate might tell me more about her death, but not the reasons for her burial in Multnomah Park.  Some things we will likely never know in this life.

Coley-Rogers Wedding

William and Mary Rogers are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Hannah Maria Rogers to Stephen Coley, son of James and Letitia Coley.  They were married 3 October 1852 in Halesowen, England.

This family has limited information, but since we stumbled upon a picture recently, I thought I would make it available.  Hopefully some other photos of the family will appear.  Another appeared, it is posted below.  A darker picture, but closer.  Hopefully I can get the whole thing at some point with the clearer resolution.

Light photo of Stephen

Stephen was the third child born to Letitia Willetts and James Coley on 28 January 1830 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England.  James, as far as I can tell was a hired man, but we do not know anything more.  The family stayed in Lutley and by the age of 21 Stephen was working as a servant for the widow Ann Page as a farm laborer on her farm.  Stephen continued working as a farm laborer until he took a job in the Iron Works of Haley Green by 1871.  The 1881 census lists him as a mender, we do not know what kind. When he shows up on the 1900 Census in Syracuse, Davis, Utah he is a day laborer.

Darker photo of Stephen

Darker photo of Stephen

Hannah was the first child born to Mary Harris and William Rogers on 4 June 1832 in Romsley, Worcestershire, England.  Some of the census records show Lutley too.  This family we know little about as a whole.  Mary died in 1859 and Roger in 1862.  We do not know his occupation or even where the family and other children end up.  The name is too common and tracking down siblings to this point has been unsuccessful.  The family lived near enough Romsley to be married there and each of the children christened there.  The only reason we know anything more about Hannah is because she left her own record with her posterity and church.

We have records of 7 children born to Stephen and Hannah Coley.

William Coley born 19 October 1854 in Hasbury, Worcestershire, England.  William married Sylvia James 19 Aug 1877 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England.  We do not know anything more about this family.

Charles N Coley born January 1857 in Hasbury, England.  Charles married an Ann and had 7 children we know of.

Martha Ann Coley born 18 August 1860 in Haley Green, Worcestershire, England.  She married Theophilus France, and more is written of them at that link.

Arthur Coley born 17 January 1862 in Lutley and married an Elizah Willett.  We know nothing more about him.

Herbert Coley born 12 February 1864 in Lutley and married Martha Christiansen 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  This are my Great Great Grandparents and I will write more of them later.

George Harry Coley born 16 April 1868 in Lutley and married Caroline Wilson, and more is written of them at that link.

Francis Henry Coley born 8 October 1871 in Lutley and died 10 July 1893.  We do not know where, but that is the date passed down by the family.

While the family lived in Lutley, Mormons came to the community.  We do not know the conversion story, but Martha joined 23 August 1867, Herbert 1 June 1881, George 22 August 1881, and Frank 2 June 1882.  The call to gather to Utah was strong enough that these four children decided to make the venture.  We do not know if Stephen and Hannah came begrudgingly or not, but they accompanied the children on their journey.

The family boarded the RMS Wisconsin in Liverpool.  They arrived 23 October 1890 in New York City, New York.  Stephen traveled with Hannah, daughter Martha, niece Letitia Lea Willetts, one of Letitia’s daughters Clara,  and an unknown Frank and Mary.  We don’t know who these last two children are, but they traveled with the company.  The confusing thing is that Clara is listed as a Coley, yet her mother Letitia is a Willetts.  We believe it is this same Frank who shows up in the 1900 Census living in the Martha France household where he is listed as a step-son to Theophilus.  Therefore, it appears this Frank is Martha’s child, but we have no record of his birth, father, or where he ended up after the 1900 census.  Mary may be the daughter of Charles Coley, but the age is two years off, and she disappeared once they arrived in Utah, so we do not know.

Martha married in Logan, Cache, Utah on 4 November 1891.  Interestingly, Hannah was baptized a Mormon that same day.  Martha was sealed to Theophilus in the Logan Temple.  It is likely that Hannah attended to the temple the same day and was baptized in the font of the temple.  (They used to allow convert and children of record baptisms in the temple font)  Stephen was baptized 5 January 1892, we do not know the location.

Stephen and Hannah were both endowed on the 12 October 1892 in the Logan Temple.  They were sealed to each other the same day.  George married 23 November 1892 and his parents likely attended.

Hannah died 22 October 1894 in Franklin, Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho.  I don’t believe they were living outside of Lewiston so she was probably visiting or died there for some other reason (Lewiston and Franklin are only a few miles apart).  She was buried two days later, 24 October 1894 in Lewiston.

By the time the 1910 Census rolls around, Stephen is staying with Edwin Paice, step-son of his niece Letitia Lea Willetts who had remarried to William Paice.  Edwin lived next door to William and Letitia.  The photo above was likely taken between the death of his wife his own death 19 years later.  I am guessing somewhere after 1900, which year would put him about 70, since I guess he looks like he is in his 70’s.

Stephen died at home in Lewiston 22 October 1913 (same day as his wife) and was buried two days later, 24 October 1913 in Lewiston.