Benthe Marie Meyer's Ancestors

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We wish to thank Åse for sharing the research done by genealogist Kaare Hasselberge, with us. 

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Bent Jensen Meyer was baptized on November 6, 1717, in Nykirken, Bergen, Hordaland County, Norway. He was the only child of Jens Hansen Meyer and Bente Magnus. Bent was named for his mother who died six days after his birth. He was six years old when his father remarried, so he was probably raised by his stepmother Anne Malene Michaelsdatter Olrich. This is probably how Bent came to know his bride to be, as she was his stepmother’s niece. Bent married Petrikke Pedersdatter Møller about 1746.

When Bent was 14 years-old, in 1730, he inherited his maternal grandfather, Christian Magnus’ estate. If he ever received any of this legacy or if his father used it, is not known. (See the probate image in his grandfather's bio below.) It is believed he was a merchant on Kvalvåg in Austevoll who was in debt to Henrik Nielsen. He took out new loans from the widow of Henrich Meyer in Bergen. At auction in 1753, three years after his death, his farm, Kvalvågen, went to Albert H. Meyer, who it is said, was not related to Bent. Bent Jensen Meyer died about 1750 probably on Kvalvåg.


Petrikke Pedersdatter Møller was baptized on July 31, 1717, in the Nykirken parish of Bergen in Hordaland County, Norway. She was the last known child of four born to Peder Møller and Maren Anne Olrich. Petrikke was born almost two months after her father's death and was named in honor of him. In her father’s probate record, Berent Olrich is designated as her guardian. Her mother remarried when Petrikke was just over 2 years old, but died a year and a half later. In her mother’s probate record, her guardian is designated as Bent Ulrich. He was probably the same person, Petrikke’s uncle, her mother’s brother who lived in West Bakholmen in Austevoll.

In 1746, Petrikke married Bent Jensen Meyer and they had at least three children – Christian Magnus on August 20, 1747; Peter Møller on March 10, 1749; and ancestor Benthe. According to the Kirkebok (Church Book) for Preston, Sund nr. 4 1749-1769, the youngest two children were baptized on the dates shown in Sund, Hordaland County, the part that is now Austevoll. There isn’t documented proof for the son Christian, but most researchers include him as a child. It is not known when or where Petrikke Pedersdatter Møller died. It is interesting to note that both Petrikke and her husband Bent lost a parent as an infant. Another interesting fact is that Petrikke’s aunt, on her mother’s side, Anne Malene Michaelsdatter Olrich was the second wife of Petrikke’s father-in-law, ancestor Jens Hansen Meyer prior to Petrikke’s marriage to his son Bent Jensen Meyer. This would make her six first cousins also her half brothers and sisters-in-law!

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Jens Hansen Meyer was baptized on October 9, 1684, in the Kvinnherad Parish in Hordaland County, Norway, the eldest of three known children born to parents Hans Jensen Meyer and Cathrine Borcherding. The church book for the Kvinnherad Parish lists his residence at birth as Lustueit. He grew up and became a skipper and merchant.

Jens married Bente Christensdatter Magnus in 1716. She died after one year of marriage, leaving Jens with an infant child, ancestor Bent Jensen Meyer. It is believed he moved to Austrvoll in Hordaland County and remarried. His second wife was 22 year-old Anne Malene Michaelsdatter Olrich, who 40 year-old Jens married in 1723. (She was the sister to ancestor Maren Anne Olrich who married Peder Møller.) Anne Malene gave birth to at least four, possibly five children – Michel Ulrich born between 1724-29; Henrich Grandorf between 1727-30; Bente between 1729-1731; Anne Marlene between 1730-32; and some say a son named Jens born about 1734. Unfortunately, baptism records can’t be found to support these children, but other records seem to indicate these children are correct. Anne Malene died leaving Jens with small children so he married again. It is thought that Jens moved his family from Austrvoll to Bergen. His third wife, Kistine Jensdatter Ustrup was 19 years-old on June 28, 1736, when she married Jens in the Korskirken (Church of the Cross) Parish in Bergen. (Some researchers say her name was Anne Catharine Utrup, but records say it was Kistine.) Jens was 53 years-old and she was the same age as her new husband’s oldest son, ancestor Bent. They had five additional children – a son Johan Bernt Barth born on May 26, 1737; a daughter Kirsten born on April 9, 1739; Anne Margrette baptized on November 26, 1746 in the Korskirken Parish; a son Christen baptized in the Nykirken Parish on May 11, 1749; and Lucia Margrete, baptized on October 25, 1750 in the Nykirken Parish. It is known that he owned a house in 1747 on Nordnes, which is a peninsula and neighborhood in the city centre of Bergen. The Digitalarkivet Borgerskap i Bergen 1600-1751 tells us that on September 20, 1747 he registered as a Citizen of Bergen with the occupation as skipper.

He moved back to Austevoll prior to his death, as Jens Hansen Meyer died and was buried on May 27, 1769, in the Østervold (the old name of Austevoll) Parish there. His age at burial was recorded as 86 years-old in the Hordaland County, Sund Parish Church Register which also states his residence as Meyer.


Bente Magnus was born about 1687 the second of seven known children born to Margrethe Andersdatter Rasch and Christian Magnus. (Although records for her birth have not been found, her parents are confirmed by probate records.) Her mother died when she was only 10 years-old and her father remarried.

Bente married Jens Hansen Meyer in 1716 and gave birth to ancestor Bent Jensen a year later. Unfortunately, she died either during childbirth or very soon afterward, as six days after the birth on November 12, 1717 she was buried in the Nykirken Parish of Bergen in Hordaland County, Norway.

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Peder Møller was born about 1668 to unknown parents. He was a merchant in Bergen in Hordaland County, Norway. He married Boel Povelsdatter and they had four children, all baptized on the dates shown in the Nykirken parish – Hindrich on March 7, 1702; Peter on November 4, 1703; Barbra on October 8, 1705; and Benjamin on May 15, 1708. Peder’s wife Boel died soon after the last birth. Left with four young children, Peder married Maren Anne Olrich in 1710 and they had another four children together. Peder Møller died while his wife, Maren, was still pregnant. He was buried on June 4, 1717, in the Nykirken Parish of Bergen. His probate record lists only two of his children from his first marriage. The two oldest Hindrich and Peter were not mentioned. They would have been 15 and 14 years old. Either they were too old to inherit or they died before their father. All of his children with Maren were mentioned and their guardianship was given to Maren’s brother, Berent Olrich in West Bakholmen in Austevoll. (Mouse over and click the image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)


Maren Anne Michelsdatter Olrich was born about 1691 in what is today Austevoll, the second of five known children of Michael Olrich Berendsen and his wife Maren Bentsdatter Sandbech. Maren married Peder Møller, who had four young children, in 1710 and they had at least one additional son and three daughters all baptized on the dates shown in the Nykirken Parish of Bergen in Hordaland County, Norway – son Michel Ulrich on March 8, 1712; Bol Pedersen on October 15, 1713; Maren Pedersen on January 10, 1715; and ancestor Petrikke. Maren’s husband died less than two months before the birth of their last child, so she named the baby in honor of her husband Peder.

Maren was left with eight children under the age of 15. On September 24, 1719, Maren Ulrich was betrothed to Adolph Røper in the Nykirken Parish, and married him there two weeks later on October 11th.Seven months later Maren gave birth to a daughter, Else, who was baptized on May 29, 1720 in the Nykirken Parish.

Some researchers say Maren died in November of that year, but a death record for her name can’t be found to support this. There are, however, two Probate Transcriptions for Bergen 1675-1852, from Sollied records for her name dated by year only-1720 and 1721. The later one has Adolph Roper listed on the Remarks line. These records relate to probate images found on the Digitalarkivet Sollieds Skifteavskrifter for Bergen 1675-1852 site. The shorter earlier image is dated November 20, 1720, the longer later one is dated August 9, 1721. So Maren died on or prior to November 20, 1720. In the Death and Burial Records for Nykirken Parish, there is an image dated October 18, 1720, which is difficult to read, but clearly states the name of Adolph Roper and what looks like Micalsdatr. This could be Maren’s death record. These probate images tell of the inheritance and guardianship of not only her children, but two of the children, Benjamin and Barbra, from her deceased husband, Peder’s first marriage. This implies that Maren raised these children along with her own. Each child received an inheritance. The probate papers tell us how much they received and what happened to each child. The translation is difficult to understand, but it looks as if Maren’s infant daughter Else, died fours weeks after she did. Bendt Ulrich, their mother’s eldest brother, was assigned the guardianship of all of the children on November 20th, but just 10 days later, on November 30th, it looks like the children were split up: 15 year-old Barbra, 12 year-old Benjamin, and 3½ year-old Petrikke stayed with Bendt Ulrich; 6 year-old Maren went to another of her mother’s brothers, Michael, who was 25 years-old; it seems as if 9 year-old Michael and 7 year-old Boel, went to their uncle Henrich Gransdorf, who was Maren's sister Angenetha's husband. The translation here is very confusing, so this may be incorrect. (Mouse over and click on image left to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

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Hans Jensen Meyer was born about 1635 in what is today Rothenburg, Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis, Sachsen, Germany, to unknown parents. The Digitalarkivet Borgerskap i Bergen 1600-1751 tells us that on January 29, 1662, Hans Mejer, who was born in Rotenburg in Bremen, registered as a citizen of Bergen in Hordaland County, Norway. That same year, Hans was listed as a Borger in Bergen. There is a Nykirken Parish marriage record for a Hans Jensen Meyer who married Anna Tygesdatter on November 22, 1674, that very well could be our Hans. His wife Anna died and was buried in Nykirken on December 27, 1676.

Hans married the much younger Cathrine Borcherding and they had at least five children born in Bergen, plus two unnamed children, who died at birth on June 17, 1689, and January 28, 1690, in Bergen. See his wife’s bio for details on the known surviving children.

Some time after his last known child was born in Bergen, Hans apparently moved his family to Austevoll in Hordaland County as he died there in 1715. (Austevoll, once called Østervold, consists of 667 islands off the west coast of West Norway.)


Cathrine Borcherding was born to unknown parents, about 1664 possibly in Bremen, Germany, as the name Borcherding is said to come from there. This surname is also written Borch Erling.Cathrine married the much older Hans Jensen Meyer and they had at least five surviving children – ancestor Jens Hansen; Ane Marie baptized on November 1, 1698, in the Kvinnherad Parish; Cathrina Hansen, who was baptized on October 6, 1704, in the Nykirken Parish; a daughter Kristen; and a son Jan, both birth dates are unknown.She is listed as a witness/sponsor to a baby being baptized on December 16, 1704 in the Nykirken Parish, just two months after her own child was baptized there. The family apparently moved to Austevoll sometime prior to 1715, where her husband died that year. Cathrine eventually moved back to Bergen, as that is where she died in 1731. The Digitalarkivet Sollieds Skifteavskrifter for Bergen 1675-1852 probate record includes the name of her husband as Hans Jensen (Meyer), so we know she did not remarry. We get the names of her surviving children from this probate record image which is dated September 9, 1731. It also includes the names of the husbands of her daughters. (Mouse over and click on image to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

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Christian Magnus was born sometime in the 1650s possibly in Bergen, Hordaland, Norway, to father Heinrich Magnus and his third or fourth wife. Some researchers say she was Maren Christine Munthe, others say she was named Bente. There isn’t a record of his birth, so the date is uncertain, but other records seem to indicate early 1650’s to be correct. His father had children from former and possibly later marriages, so he was raised with several half brothers and sisters.

What we do know for sure is that he married Margrethe Andersdatter Rasch, probably around 1680 and they had at least seven children. Margrethe died in 1697 and he married Catharina Simons. They probably had children, but their names are not known. It is interesting to note that records can be found in the name of Christian Magnus junior. There is a Citizens in 1301 Bergen 1600-1751 record for a Christen Magnus dated February 19, 1739 which states that he was a merchant, born in Bergen. Researchers have said he was “stated to be the customs house in Bergen.” This very well could be our Christian’s son.

There are several probate/burial records where his name appears. Three of them are definitely our Christian because they all mention his daughter ancestor Bente Christensdatter Magnus. The first two are probate records which deal with his first wife, ancestor Margrethe’s death in 1697 and the third is the probate record of his second wife Catharina which is dated April 27, 1730. But this one seems to imply that both Christian and Catharina were dead by April 27, 1730. These probate records only mention the children he had with Margrethe. The 1730 record simply states that “His heir all adult except” for the son of his daughter Bente, Bent Jensen Meyer. There are also two Probate Transcriptions for Bergen 1675-1852, from Sollied text records, one for Christian and one for Catharina, that simply say 1730-no month or day. Then there are two Nykirken Parish church burial records with his name for April of 1730. One is for April 3rd the other for the 21st. Unfortunately, not many words are readable or translatable, so it’s hard to know what was recorded, but the first entry seems to say his wife. The fourth record is for a Nykirken Parish church burial on March 31, 1747 for Christen Magnus, which lists his residence as “at the Custom House P. K. pm. 12.” If this is our Christian, he lived close to 100 years old, which is why this is probably his son. This researcher believes Christian Magnus died on April 21, 1730, a few weeks after his second wife’s death. (Mouse over and click on the probate images to enlarge in a new window/tab.)


Margrethe Andersdatter Rasch was born about 1643 in Norway. Her ancestry is very uncertain. From the Digitalarkivet Sollieds skifteavskrifter for Bergen 1675-1852 probate records we know she married Christian Magnus and had seven children in Bergen – Henich born about 1684; ancestor Bente; son Troen was born about 1691; daughter Abel about 1688; daughter Riborg about 1690; Anne Marie about 1693; and Giertrud about 1694. These children’s names and calculated dates of birth come from Margrethe’s probate record which is dated September 22, 1697. On this original record she is referred to as Christian Magnuses wife. In another handwriting and in red ink, someone added her actual name and underlined Christian’s name.

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Michael Berendsen Olrich was born about 1650 in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, one of four known children of parents Berend Oelrichs and his wife whose surname was Mikkelsdatter, given name unknown. Michael came to Norway as a child with his parents.

Michael was a merchant and innkeeper at Austre Bakholmen in Austevoll who inherited his business from his maternal grandfather Mikkel of Bakholmen, surname unknown. His job as a merchant included the salting and exporting of fish, which he sold so he could buy and deliver grain to the fish farmers. He married (some say she was his maternal cousin) Maren Bendsdatter Sandbeck about 1687 and they had at least five children together. Once married, Michael had control of Maren’s estates in Eastern Bagholmen and Hisken, where Michael built up more businesses. He bought Hiskjo on Hiskholmen in 1690, and built up more businesses there: a tavern, inn and a trading post, along with houses, but he didn’t live there. Because of Michael’s efforts on the island, trade picked up considerably and communities were established. Wikipedia today says, “People have lived on Hiskjo for several hundred years. The guest house can be traced back to the 1700s. From that time and up through the 1800s was the genus Olrich who owned the place.

On June 7, 1697 he was listed as a citizen of Bergen who lived in Bagholmen and was born in Lübeck. On the 1701 Census of the Southern Bergenshus County there is a 40 year-old Michel Olrich, a husmann (cottager), living with his two sons Bendt, 12 and Michel, 4 in the Storøen Parish on a farm called Øster Bagholm. No females are listed, but there are four other young men in their 20's working on this farm. The ages fit our Michael and his sons, so this probably is him. By 1701 he owned many other properties and ran businesses, so this farm may just be his home. (Mouse over map left.) Although the southern part of Austevoll, the blue area, is shown in the Storøen Parish, Austre Bakholmen is north and in the Austevoll Parish. His name is also listed on the 1704 Naval Census for Hordaland County in Østevold, which is the old name of Austevoll.

Michael worked hard up until his death in 1710 at Austre Bakholmen, in Austevoll, at the age of 60. His land and business holdings were left to his wife.


Maren Bentsdatter Sandbech was born about 1660, one of five known children of parents Bent Michelson Sandbech and Anna Andersdatter Brose. Some researchers say she was born in East Bakholmen in Austevoll, others say it was in Sønstabø, on Bømlo Island. In about 1687 she married Michael Olrich and they had at least five children – son Bendt on December 27, 1688 who married Anne Marie Magnus, daughter of ancestors Christian Magnus and Margrethe Andersdatter Rasch; ancestor Maren; Michael about 1696; daughter Agnethe, Agnete or Angenetha in 1698; and Anne Magdalene on February 24, 1701, who married ancestor Jens Hansen Meyer, as his second wife.

After her husband died, she inherited all the businesses and worked them with the help of her son Michael. Researchers place Maren’s death in 1720, 1729 and 1731 in Bakholmen, Austevoll. The 1720 date is based on the businesses transferred to her son Michael, as he inherited everything. Unless she signed them over to him prior to her death, this is probably when she died. The other dates are based on family stories. No record of her burial can be found, but it interesting to note that on March 14, 1720, her son Michael baptized his daughter and named her Maren.

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