Otto Olson (1858-1921)

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Otto Olson of Vanse
Olson-Otto barber 01a
Sex: Male
Birth: February 9, 1858 (1858-02-09) (158 years ago)
Farsund, Norway
Baptism: March 21, 1858
Vanse parish, Farsund, Norway
Death: April 12, 1921 (age 63)
95 years ago
Chicago, Illinois
Burial: Mount Olive Cemetery
Chicago, Illinois
Father: Ole Mattias Pedersen (1820-1914)
Mother: Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1864)
Siblings: Peder Matias Olsen (1851-?)
Sophia Marie Olsdatter (1852-?)
Teodor Johan Olsen (1852-?)
Josette Teresia Olsdatter (1855-?)
Lena Elaine Olson (1860-1938)
Salmine Sophia Severine Pedersen (1862-1914)
Spouse/Partner: Hannah E. Hansen (1864-1936)
Marriage: September 4, 1884 (age 26)
132 years ago
Chicago, Illinois
Children: Tille Olson (1885-1918)
Harry Oliver Olson (1887-1964)
Mabel Olson (1890-1971)
Norman Otto Olson (1895-1977)
Helen Olive Olson (1900-1970)
Olson-Otto death

Otto Olson (1858-1921) death certificate

Olson-Otto 01

Postcard from Otto Olson (1858-1921) in Chicago, Illinois to John Edward Winblad I (1856-1914) in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1908

Olson-Otto barber 01a

Otto Olson (1858-1921) circa 1900

Otto Olson (1858-1921) aka Ottan Olsen; aka Otto Olsen; Emigrated from Norway to Chicago, Illinois in 1877 and worked as a Barber (b. February 09, 1858, Vanse parish, Farsund, Vest-Agder, Norway - d. April 12, 1921, 465 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA)



Otto was christened under the name "Otan Olesen" in Vanse parish on March 21, 1858.


Death of motherEdit

Otto's mother, Thea, died at a young age and Ole raised the seven living children alone. Ole never remarried.

Farsund, NorwayEdit

The family was listed in the 1865 Norway Census living in Farsund.


Otto emigrated to the United States in 1877 and he lived in Chicago and worked as a barber. He may have appeared in the 1880 US Census living in Praire Farm, Barron County, Wisconsin, or this may be another Otto Olson.


On September 04, 1884, under the name "Ottan Olsen" he married Hannah E. Hansen (1864-1936) at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Chicago. Their marriage certificate was number "57254".



Otto was listed in the 1880-1890 Chicago City Directory as a barber, working or living at 183 Milwaukee Avenue.

Trip to NorwayEdit

In 1897 Otto was visiting his family in Norway. On August 20, 1897 he left from Kristiansand to return to Chicago and he was listed as a barber on the ship's manifest.

Chicago, IllinoisEdit

In 1900 Otto and Hannah were living at 167 Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago and appear in the 1900 United States Census.


Otto wrote a postcard to his sister, Salmine, and her husband John Winblad on December 25, 1908 and it read as follows: "Mr. John Winblad, 437 Wayne Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, We thank our God, that we're not homeless this Christmas, in snow and storm and slush. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your affectionate brother, Otto Olson". The postcard was postmarked from Chicago, Illinois. This postcard began the search for Otto's descendents.

Coal DealerEdit

In the 1910 Chicago City Directory Otto was listed as a coal dealer working at 452 North Union; and as a barber at 465 Milwaukee Avenue, while living at 465 Milwaukee Avenue for both entries. The coal business appears to have not lasted long.

Death of SisterEdit

His sister Salmine, died of a heart attack on December 18, 1914 while she was visiting Farsund.

Chicago, IllinoisEdit

In 1917 Otto was again listed in the Chicago City Directory as a barber living and working at 465 Milwaukee Avenue.


Otto died in 1921 of "chronic disease of the heart with chronic nephritis" while he was living at 465 Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. Otto's death certificate incorrectly lists his birth year as "1857". It is listed as 1858 in his baptism record at Vanse parish in Farsund, Norway.


He was buried in Mount Olive Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.


Hannah died on April 24, 1936 and was buried next to him on April 27, 1936.


Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) on September 25, 2003: "The hunt for Otto began with the translation of the postcard from the collection of Maria Elizabeth Winblad II (1895-1987). David Kettlewell from the Internet translated it for me from Norwegian. It read "from your affectionate brother, Otto Olson" and it was addressed to "Mr. John Winblad" who was Salmine's husband and it was postmarked in Chicago, Illinois. I posted the translation on the Internet and someone wrote to me that they looked up Otto's marriage certificate to Hannah Hansen. I was skeptical. Then he looked up the death certificate and sure enough, it said "born in Farsund, Norway to Ole Pedersen". Next I found Otto and Hannah in the 1900 United States Census and that gave the children's names and then they were found in the Social Security Death Index. The Internet man got the obituary for me for Harry Olson, the son, and it mentioned the other siblings and a sister, Mabel who married a Clay. I looked up Mabel Clay in the Social Security Death Index and it listed the town she died as Rockford, Illinois. There were 38 Clays in Rockford and I chose one to call: "David George Clay" and he was the correct one. I called on September 25, 2003 which was my birthday."


There are four extant lines descending from Otto: Tille; Mabel; Norman; and Helen. Otto also had a sister, Lena living in Chicago, but the families drifted apart after Otto's death, so that by 2003 only Hazel Wintrone (1916- ) remembered the Jensen side of the family in Chicago. On June 19, 2004, Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) visited Dorothy Lozinski (1920- ) in Chicago. Dorothy is a grand-daughter of Otto. Otto had two cousins that came over from Farsund: Jakob E. Willumsen (1853-1928) who settled in Minnesota; and Inga Pedersen (1885-1927) who married Emil Schneider (c1880-1955) and lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jacob Willumsen left his children behind in the US and returned to Norway after his wife died. There is a photo of him and one of his barber shop, but they may have been lost when they were send out to be used in a family video.

External linksEdit



Otto Olson (1858-1921)'s ancestors in three generations
Otto Olson (1858-1921) Father:
Ole Mathias Pedersen (1822-1914)
Paternal Grandfather:
Peder Andreas Hansen (1790-1849) of Log
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Hans Hansen (1749-1798) of Log
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Pernille Helene Pedersdatter (1762-?) of Meberg
Paternal Grandmother:
Maren Sophia Olsdatter (1791-1868) of Gullestad
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Ole Svensen (1762-1819) of Øye Øvre
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anne Olsdatter (1762-1851) of Eigeland
Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1864)
Maternal Grandfather:
Torsten Christophersen (1786-aft1825) of Vetteland
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Kristoffer Mikkelssen (1744-1826) of Hustoft
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Giertrud Gardsdatter (1752-1841) of Heigrestad
Maternal Grandmother:
Johanne Jacobsdatter (1795-?) of Lindtjørn
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Jakob Gunnarsen (1764-1838) of Lindtjørn
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Gitlou Tollaksdatter (1773-1808) of Lindtjørn

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