30 September 2010

From von Gegerfelt to Shetelig

Gry Sofie Shetelig, a grand niece of Queen Sonja of Norway, was married to Joakim Jensen Fuglerud at Frogner kirke (church), Oslo, last Saturday, 25 September 2010. Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha Louise attended the ceremony.

The bride was escorted to the altar by her brother, Kaare Andreas Shetelig, who works as a lawyer at Riksadvokaten (the Office of Public Prosecutions). Kaare's son Harald Fredrik was a page boy, while the bride's first cousin Dagny Carina Swanström read the scriptures. Vicar Paul Nome conducted the service.

Gry Shetelig, b. 1980, is the granddaughter of the late Gry Henriksen, née Haraldsen (1924-1970), an elder sister of Queen Sonja. The Queen's sister was first married to the Swedish-born engineer Rune V. Swanström (1917-1967) and had two children by him - Ian, who is Gry Shetelig's mother, and Dag Swanstrøm. After the divorce from Rune V. Swanström, Gry got married to Gunnar Henriksen (1922-2002). They also had two children together.

Interestingly enough, the bride doesn't only have a royal connection as described above, but is also a cognatic descendant of the Swedish noble family von Gegerfelt (Adliga ätten/Noble family no. 861):
  • Axel von Gegerfelt (1839-1913), m2. Augusta Josefina Larsson (1862-1926)
  • Nanny von Gegerfelt (b. 30 October 1890, d. 6 September 1953), m. 10 December 1914 Ernst Eric Valdemar Swanström (b. 31 December 1884, d. 2 December 1959)
  • Rune Valdemar Swanström (b. 20 November 1917, d. 20 May 1967), m. Ris kirke (church), Oslo 11 October 1946 (div. 195...) Gry Haraldsen (b. 16 january 1924, d. 21 April 1970)
  • Ian Sissel Swanstrøm (b. 1947), m. 1973 Harald Fredrik Shetelig (b. 13 September 1942, d. 25 November 1981)
  • Kaare Andreas Shetelig (b. 1976), m. 2006 Marte Brunvoll (b. 1978); and Gry Sofie Shetelig (b. 1980), m. 2010 Joakim Jensen Fuglerud (b. 1981).
The Swanström family grave at Kvibergs kyrkogård, grave no. 003-00036. The photo was taken during a visit to the cemetery in August 2008.

Gry Shetelig's grandfather Rune Valdemar Swanström is interred at Kvibergs kyrkogård (cemetery) in Gothenburg. Interred in the same grave is also his mother Nanny, while his father Eric Swanström seems to have been buried somewhere else, as although the inscription at the front says "Eric Swanström Familjegrav", his previously inscribed name above the name of his first wife has been deleted. He married for the second time in 1954 Dagmar Elinora Stedfeldt (1901-1976), who is interred at Västra kyrkogården, Gothenburg.

Sources and references

Updated on Friday 1 October 2010 at 0805 (typo corrected); 11 May 2011 (photo replaced by an identical photo, with different document name).

22 September 2010

Countess Aagot von Ostheim, née Midling

A few days ago when I was reorganising some folders on my PC, I rediscovered a file about the Norwegian-born Aagot (Susanne) Midling, who in 1918 married Count Herman von Ostheim, a former Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The file contained copies of two entries I had made in the genealogy newsgroup no.fritid.slektsforsking.etterlysning as far back as 2003. My intention had been to go to the National Archives (Riksarkivet) at Kringsjå in Oslo in order to check out Aagot Midling's birth records - the scanned versions of the churchbooks (digitised parish registers) were not yet available at the time - but obviously I forgot all about it and moved on to other projects instead.

The starting point for my newsgroup entry in 2003 was an article I had found in Aftenposten 15 August 1918 No. 407, which covered the marriage between the said Count Herman von Ostheim and Aagot Susanne Midling. Ms. Midling lived in Stgockholm at the time, but was born in Norway. The article said - here in my English translation - that "Miss Midling is the daughter of a former Drammensian, Director Midling, who for many years ago moved from Norway and by his outstanding ability had captured a leading position in the Swedish wood pulp industry. He had in his time the highest salary in Sweden, as his total annual salary was as much as 150.000 (Swedish) kroner, which in those days was a "fenomenal amount" considering a salary".

Herman, the Count von Ostheim was born as Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1886-1964), as the oldest son of Prince Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1853-1924) and Princess Gerta, née Princess of Isenburg-Büdingen (1863-1945), but renounced his succession rights on 2 August 1909 - and got the title Count von Ostheim instead - in connection with his first marriage to the actress Wanda Paola Lottero. Herman and Wanda got divorced already in 1911. In An Online Gotha. Saxony one could read at the time I wrote the newsgroup article that Aagot Midling was born in "Louvig, Norway 3 Mar 1886" ("Louvig" later corrected to Larvik) and died in Paris on 16 October 1931. The couple, who married in Heidelberg, Germany on 4 August 1918, had one son, Count Alexander-Kyrill (1922-1943), which means that the Ostheim line has died out.

The birth record of Aagot Midling can easily be found in the the churchbook of Larvik, 1886 (Langestrand in Larvik, Parish register (official) no. II 4 (1884-1902) and Langestrand in Larvik, Parish register copy no. II 3 (1867-1899) - see the first image). The birth record tells that Aagot was born in Larvik on 3 March 1886 and christened on 1 May the same year. Her parents were kontorsjef ("office manager" or "head clerk") Anton Oscar Ring Midling, b. 1846, and Anna Christine Knudsen, b. 1856.

Sponsors at the christening were Mrs. Bernhardine Christine Knudsen, Miss Anne Josefine Midling, Miss Anne Sophie Kjøsterud, overretssagfører (a historical title that could be translated into appeal court attorney) Zacharias Backer, kjøbmand (shopkeeper) Nils Rosenberg, kjøbmand Axel William Knudsen and kjøbmand L. Kippax Newall. The first-mentioned parish register (see the second image) tells that the family moved to Sundsvall in Sweden in 1891.

It is possibly a little mystery that the future Countess von Ostheim is only listed with the given name Aagot, while several online genealogies present her with the name Suzanne/Susanne Aagot (see examples 1, 2 or 3). Normally I would in such circumstances have checked other genealogical resources in Norway, for instance the census of 1900, the confirmation entry or marriage records, but as the family moved to Sweden in 1891, that possibility is ruled out. I wonder if there are any primary sources in Sweden that could tell more about the name Susanne?

Anyway, Aagot's father Anton Oscar can easily be found in the census of 1865, when he was registered as living at the farm Gravdahl in Askøy outside Bergen, working as an assistant clerk for Consul Konow. His birth entry (Bergen county, Domkirken, Parish register (official) no. B 2 (1841-1851)) tells that he was born in Bergen on 14 October 1846 as the son of Wilhelm Christian Midling and Gustava Dorthea, née Forsberg. According to one reply I got in 2003, Wilhelm Christian was the son of Claus Miedling and Inga Catrina Andreasdatter Lind, and the Midling family seems to come from Bremen in Germany originally).

After Countess Aagot's death in 1931, Count Herman married for the third time the New York-born Isabel Nielson (1895-1981). I am not sure where Herman and Isabel are buried - in London, perhaps? I have found Aagot's last resting place, though. Afther her death in 1931, her body was transported back to Stockholm where she was interred on 29 January 1932 at Norra begravningsplatsen (cemetery). She was later joined by her son Alexander-Kyrill, cf. the Stockholm burial records, Hittagraven.stockholm.se. A woman named Anna Charlotta Midling - perhaps a sister of Aagot - is also buried at the same place. Interestingly enough, Aagot is listed in the cemetery register as "Suzanne von Ostheim".

Updated on Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 23.30 (concerning Aagot's cemetery record).

Postscript 5 October 2010 at 21.00: After having read the most relevant parts of Margit Rogne's genealogical work Slekten Hübert fra Kristiansand med opplysninger om flere inngiftede slekter (Kristiansand, 1974) as well as having skimmed through Anna Midling's autobiography Från två fosterland 1856-1931 (Stockholm, 1931), it appears that the Aftenposten article quoted from above contains a funny error. The newspaper referred to Aagot Midling as "frøken" ("miss"), which is stretching the truth a bit too far, as she was married from 1905 to 1915 Lieutenant Seve Axell and had two children by him!

The above-mentioned "Anna Charlotte Midling", who was interred at Norra begravningsplatsen in 1939, is most likely identical with Anna Christine Midling, née Knudsen, who died in 1937. Oscar Midling on the other hand was buried at Hudiksvall kyrkogård in 1910, where also their son Einar (1888-1892) and Anna's brother Axel Wilhelm are interred. In the family grave at Norra cemetery in Stockholm also Anna's mother Bernhardine Christine Knudsen, née Hübert, d. 1919, has found her last resting place.

I will come back with more details on Countess Aagot von Ostheim and her family in a later blog article.

Postscript updated on Thursday 5 October 2010 at 21.40 (typo corrected!).


17 September 2010

The angel school circus continues, part III

Yet another article in Views and News from Norway (16 September 2010): Princess and her husband draw flak.

Updated on Friday 17 September 2010 at 0900 (typo corrected).


16 September 2010

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern has died

Schwäbische Zeitung reported today, 16 September 2010, that Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, head of the House of Hohenzollern(-Sigmaringen), had died earlier the same day, 86 years old. The headship has been inherited by his eldest son, Prince Karl Friedrich, b. 1952.

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Joseph Maria Manuel Georg Meinrad Fidelis Benedikt Michael Hubert, who according to the Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels was "Fürst von Hohenzollern, Burggraf von Nürnberg, Graf zu Sigmaringen u. Veringen, Graf zu Berg, Herr zu Haigerloch u. Wehstein usw.", was born at Umkirch Palace on 3 February 1924 as the eldest son of Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern (1891-1965) and Princess Margarete, née Princess of Saxony (1900-1962). The prince married in 1951 Princess Margarita of Leiningen (1932-1996), daughter of Prince Karl of Leiningen (1898-1946) and Princess Marie, née Grand Princess of Russia (1907-1951), and had 3 sons by her - Karl Friedrich, Albrecht and Ferdinand, as well as 9 grandchildren.

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was for many years in charge of Unternehmensgruppe Fürst von Hohenzollern, a large business enterprise which is among others involved in construction and carpentry, forestry, tourism and investment. The enterprise has 3000 employees and an annual turnover of 600 Million Euros.

The funeral service will take place in Hedinger Kirche (Church) in Sigmaringen on Thursday 23 September followed by interment in the family crypt. A condolence protocol will be available at Sigmaringen Palace on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st of September.

Sources and references

15 September 2010

Crown Prince Haakon defends his sister (The angel school circus continues, part II)

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended a youth conference in Drammen today. The Crown Prince surprised the audience and the media by indirectly commenting on his sister Princess Märtha Louise' last media performances, telling how caring and genuinely concerned she was with taking care of other people. Of course. Has anyone doubted this? He added, though, in Views and News from Norway's translation, that "I won't go into more details about that, because you know what I am talking about." He later added that he and his sister "look different on things" and had somewhat different views (VG Nett 15 September 2010). Once again the Crown Prince gives comments to the media without really saying anything at all.

Princess Märtha Louise had a press conference today, and of course she claimed that her comments to Stavanger Aftenblad (6 September 2010) about contacts with the dead were taken out of context and accused the press of bullying. Yes, it happens quite often that people are misquoted in the media, but still she should have learnt by now to think twice before speaking. She can't be surprised that her rather controversial activities are creating such an interest. Her beliefs have become more and more problematic constitutionally speaking, due to her position as 4th in line of succession to the Norwegian throne. But as we have seen many times before, the storm will blow itself out eventually, and most likely nothing will come out of it. It will not be the last time we hear about the "angel school" circus, though.

The angel school circus continues, part I.


Celebrations in Serbia

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on 21 September 2010. They were married in London on 21 September 1985.

In connection with the upcoming anniversary the couple has given an interview to the magazine Gloria. The interview, which in English translation is titled "All the secrets of our marriage", was published at the Official Website of the Serbian Monarchy on 13 September 2010. The original interview can be found here.

In advance I would like to wish the happy couple all the best for their big day!


The angel school circus continues

The discussions about Princess Märtha Louise' private business and her so-called "angel school" continues...

Views and News from Norway published the following article yesterday, 14 September 2010:

Princess upsets Norway's bishops

A recent poll shows that as many as 30.7 % thinks Princess Märtha Louise should give up her title because of her commercial activities, which includes her angel school and her work with "cultural dissemination/mediation". Author Tor Bomann-Larsen on the other hand thinks that the debate should focus on the princess' place in the line of succession, cf. his comments to VG Nett yesterday.

Princess Märtha Louise is expected to answer questions from the press later today.

I have commented on Princess Märtha's "angel school" at the newsgroup alt.talk.royalty back in 2007:
  • Re: "Princess [Märtha Louise] claims clairvoyant powers, aims to share them" (alt.talk.royalty 13 August 2007)
  • Re: "Princess [Märtha Louise] claims clairvoyant powers, aims to share them" (alt.talk.royalty 14 August 2007)
Updated on Wednesday 15 september 2010 at 18.00 (silly spelling mistake corrected), last time on Friday 17 September 2010 at 0900 (typo corrected).


11 September 2010

Bernadotteättlingar - The Bernadotte Descendants

Earlier this week I received my copy of Ted Rosvall's updated edition of Bernadotteättlingar (The Bernadotte Descendants). I have really looked forward to this book, as it is a valuable addition to my genealogy library, and is a "must buy" for anyone with a serious interest in royal genealogy. It will be the standard work on Bernadotte genealogy for years to come. I have helped out with some information for the book and I am also mentioned in the book's preface, so this will not be an ordinary book review, rather a book presentation with some added comments.

The first edition of Bernadotteättlingar was published in 1992. The new edition is an expanded version published in A4 format and is richly illustrated. The language is Swedish and English. Ted Rosvall has not only listed all the known descendants of King Carl XIV (III) Johan of Sweden and Norway, but has also tried to include genealogical information about the parents and grandparents of all the people who have married into the Bernadotte family as well as ancestry tables (so-called Seize Quartiers) of selected consorts to various Bernadotte descendants, including the ancestors of Prince Daniel (Prince Olof Daniel Westling Bernadotte). The updated information in this book is quite impressive, as even the marriage of Prince Nicholaos of Greece and Denmark and Tatiana Blatnik on 25 August 2010 has found its rightful place in the book!

Getting all the information about the reigning and former reigning royal and princely families can be challenging enough, but even more impressive is all the details about all the commoners who descend from the Bernadotte royal family. It is wonderful to read about the Rydings, the Nilerts and the Duysans to mention a few examples.

Rosvall has also included details about the newly discovered illegitimate branch of the Bernadottes, i.e. Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg's daughter Jeanne by the actress Lillie Ericson. The story was originally published in the Swedish magazine Fokus on 12 September 2008. Folke Bernadotte acknowledged the paternity among others when he approved the adoption of Jennie by the Norwegian-born Carl Matthiessen in 1926. There are of course many stories about Bernadotte kings and other descendants having children out of wedlock. Ted Rosvall would have had an impossible task if all the stories about King Carl XV (IV)'s nightly activities during visits to Norway had been proven to be true! Staffan Skott in his book Alla dessa Bernadotter (1996) mentions several children King Oscar II is claimed to have fathered by other women than his wife. But evidence is the key word here. You cannot list illegitimate descendants in a book such as this if the child has not been acknowledged by the father or without other evidence to back up the claim.

Knowing from my own experiene with publishing genealogy, it is impossible not to make mistakes in a large work like Bernadotteättlingar. For instance is the surname of Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner's former son-in-law Tom Folke Beckman spelt with one 'n', not two. I am not going to dwell on this, as the few mistakes are minor details. The most important thing is that the book is here! A great source of information about the Bernadottes! However, I find it a bit annoying that I might be indirectly responsible for the mistake about the year Crown Princess Mette-Marit's parents Sven Høiby and Marit Tjessem married. It was in 1959, not 1958. I used Anette Gilje's book Sven O. Høiby. Et portrett (2007) as a starting point for my research. The author writes that Sven was 21 when he got married (he was born on 14 November 1936). Chapter 3 in the said book is also named Familieliv og arbeidskarriere (1958-1981) ("Family life and working career (1958-1981)"). I spent quite some time at the National Library in Oslo going through Stavanger Aftenblad on microfilm, but obviously I was checking the wrong year. I learnt too late that Mette-Marit's oldest brother Espen Bjarte Høiby was born on 17 August 1959, which would have given me a clue about which period I should have concentrated on (I knew the birth year, but not the date). Anyway, the information from Marit Tjessem came too late to be included in in the book. She and Sven Høiby married at Sola kirke (church) on Friday 20 March 1959.

Conclusion: Go and buy the book! See also my earlier blog article about Bernadotteättlingar.

The book costs SEK 295 + P&P and can be ordered from Rosvall Royal Books by contacting Ted Rosvall at royalbooks [at] telia.com. The website of RRB is http://rosvallroyalbooks.wordpress.com/, which will hopefully be updated soon. Members of the genealogical societies DIS Norge and Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening can buy the book for NOK 250 + P&P. You can find more information about how to purchase the book here.

The Bernadotte family, 1888. See my website to learn who is who in the picture above.

Updated on Sunday 12 September 2010 at 22.15 (typo corrected); Thursday 28 October 2010 at 15.20 (another typo corrected).


Ian Donald Cameron (King William IV descendant): Obituary in The Daily Telegraph

Ian Donald Cameron, father of Prime Minister David Cameron and a descendant of King William IV, died on 7 September 2010, 77 years old. His obituary was published in The Daily Telegraph on 8 September 2010.

Cameron was a descendant of King William IV and Dorothy Bland, known as "Jordan" through their daughter Elizabeth:
  • Elizabeth FitzClarence (1801-1856), m. 1821 William George Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll (1801-1846)
  • Lady Agnes Hay (1829-1869), m. 1856 James Duff (1814-1879), 5th Earl of Fife
  • Lady Agnes Duff (1849-1925), m3. 1882 Sir Alfred Cooper (1838-1908)
  • Stephanie Agnes Cooper (1883-1918), m1. 1903 Arthur Levita (1865-1910)
  • Enid Agnes Maud Levita (1908-1993), m1. 1930 Ewen Donald Cameron (d. 1958)

10 September 2010

Elephant statues donated by King Chulalongkorn of Siam

This bronze elephant statue is placed outside the National Museum in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was a gift from King Chulalongkorn of Siam in 1871. Photo (scanned) taken in 2004.

The bronze elephant statue placed outside the Parliament House was given to the Government of Singapore by King Chulalongkorn soon after his visit to Singapore in 1871. The statue was earlier placed in front of the Victoria Memorial Hall. Photo (scanned) taken in 2004 (by Harald Lislevand). I bought my first (and still present) digital pocket camera in Singapore, but obviously after the photo presented above was taken.

King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam visited Indonesia and Singapore in 1871 and as a token of his gratitude he gave each country a bronze elephant statue. The king toured Europe in 1897 and again in 1907, and on the last trip he visited among others Denmark and Norway. I don't think that the king left behind an elephant statue in Norway, but did he give similar statues to any other European countries he visited? Please leave behind a comment or send me an e-mail if you have any information on the matter!


The King Chulalongkorn of Siam statue, Brevik, Porsgrunn, Norway

In early August 2010 I made a short stop in the locality of Brevik in Porsgrunn municipality (county of Telemark) to see the new King Chulalongkorn of Siam statue, which had been officially unveiled by his great-great grandchild Princess Soamsawali of Thailand on Saturday 31 July 2010.

The statue was initiated by Brevik Historielag (Brevik Historical Society) and The Royal Thai Embassy to Oslo in memory of King Chulalongkorn's visit to Brevik in 1907.