22 August 2011

Time for Crown Prince Sayyid Muhammad to go home?

We have heard for quite some time now that the days of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya are numbered, and following the developments in the last few days, with the rebels now taking control over most parts of the capital Tripoli, we seem to getting closer and closer to a de facto change of government. At last!

The chairman of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Muhammed Abdul Jalil, is expected to become the Libyan nation's new leader, at least until elections are held.

The head of the former Libyan Royal Family, Crown Prince Sayyid Muhammad, b. 1962, a grand-nephew of King Idris (1889-1951-1969-1983), lives in exile in London. As soon as the rebels have taken absolute control over Tripoli and the security situation is solved, the Crown Prince is expected to return to his homeland. It is in my opinion little chance of a restoration, and it is unclear what kind of role the Crown Prince will be able to play, but at least he finally gets the opportunity to come home again. The Crown Prince has figured in the media from time to time this year. After my last blog article on Libya in March 2011, he has created an official website, http://mohammedelsenussi.org/, but unfortunately he hasn't been able to update it regularly.

Another website worth mentioning is 24 Dec 1951. The name of the website refers to the day when the United Libyan Monarchy was proclaimed. It has proven too difficult to find out who is behind the website, but it contains lots of interesting historical information about the monarchy and the Senussi dynasty.

There are many members of the Sanussi family who are already involved or will be taking part one way or another in the construction of a (hopefully) democratic Libya. I have already mentioned the Crown Prince as well as Sayyid Ahmad Mindas al-Sanussi, who is or at least was a member of the above-mentioned Transitional National Council. Yet another member is Prince Muhammed Hilal, who wrote a piece for The Washington Post on 17 March 2011, soon after his return to Libya after 41 years in exile. He is by the newspaper described as a grand-nephew of King Idris, but I believe there must be a mix-up with the Crown Prince. According to both The Royal Ark and Genealogical Gleanings the relationship seems to be more distant, unless there is a cognatic connection that I haven't figured out yet.

For the main line of the Sanussi family, see The Royal Ark, page 6.


17 August 2011

Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway starts school

Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, the youngest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, will have his first school day tomorrow, Thursday 18 August 2011. The prince is to attend Jansløkka primary school in Asker, the same school which his elder sister Princess Ingrid Alexandra goes to. His half-brother Marius Borg Høiby was also a pupil at Jansløkka until 2010.

Views and News of Norway has today written a little piece, Youngest prince starts school, about Sverre Magnus' big day.

According to the Norwegian Royal Court, Prince Sverre Magnus will be followed to school on Tuesday by his parents as well as his grandmother, Queen Sonja. It could very well be that the other grandmother, Marit Tjessem, will also come along, but she would naturally enough not be included in such a press release.

Postscript 18 August 2011 (20:05): For the record Marit Tjessem was not present when Prince Sverre Magnus had his first school day at Jansløkka in Asker today. See photos and videos at Budstikka.no and VG Nett.


Sweden: Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel to become parents in March 2012

The Royal Court in Stockholm published earlier today, 17 August 2011, the following announcement:
Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are happy to announce that The Crown Princess is expecting their first child.

The birth is expected to take place in March of 2012. No changes in the schedule of The Crown Princess's public engagements are planned during the fall of 2011.
In the Swedish version of the announcement we are also told that the Crown Princess is doing well.

Prince Daniel said to Aftonbladet today: - Vi är jättelyckliga och glada förstås, men vi tar en dag i taget. ("- We are very happy and pleased of course, but we take one day at a time.")

For some reason also the King of Norway, who is busy these days with the regatta H.M. Kongens Serieseilaser, was asked to comment the pregnancy news today (VG Nett): - Dette er kjempehyggelige nyheter! This is wonderful news! He declined to offer the Swedish couple some advice on the way, though.

The speculations about a name for the future heir has of course already started, and according to the betting company Unibet Gustav and Oscar are - as of now - in the lead among the male names, while Desireé seems to be the safest bet if the royal couple gets a girl. Betsson has Gustav on first place, while Oscar comes close behind. Personally I would love a future King Oscar! I haven't really thought so much about a girl's name yet, but can surely give some thoughts on it later on.

Crown Princess Victoria will, by the way, visit Norway on Sunday 21 August to attend the National Memorial Ceremony for 22 July 2011, which will take place in Oslo Spektrum. Together with her husband Prince Daniel she will return to Norway already on Thursday 25 August to attend the church service in Oslo Domkirke (Cathedral) on the occasion of the Norwegian Crown Prince couple's 10th anniversary.


16 August 2011

The Rove and Amundsen connection

In my article About notable Norwegian-Americans ... and Karl Rove published on Sunday 14 August, I wrote that "I have been told by a distant Norwegian relative of the late Louis C. Rove that also the explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) of South Pole 1911 fame descended from the same Rove family, but I have not got the details on exactly how he was related to the line mentioned above. As far as I understand it, and this must be taken with some reservation, it is not from Andreas Rove, so the connection must be further back."

When I was told about the Rove-Amundsen connection a couple of years ago, I didn't get too many details, so there was a good reason why I stressed that the information should be taken with some reservation. Yes, the Rove and Amundsen families are related, but Rove is not a common denominator in the agnatic line. The starting point is the Botne farm, also at Hvaler.

According to the booklet Vadholmslekten, part I, pp. 40-41, written by Tom S. Vadholm, the Rove and Amundsen lines descend from Jens Torchelsen Edholmen (b. appr. 1665) and Marthe Andersdatter Botne (b. appr. 1670)

The explorer Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen descend from Jens and Marthe through their daughter Kirsten Jensdatter Botne, b. 1707:

Kirsten Jensdatter Botne, b. 1707, m. (her first cousin) Niels Andersen Søndre Kile b. 1695 --> Oliana Nielsdatter Søndre Kile b. 1733 --> Anne Jonsdatter Søndre Kile b. 1762 --> Anne Kristine Jensdatter Gravning b. 1783 --> Jens Engebreth Amundsen b. 1820 --> Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (1872-1928).

The Rove line descends from another daughter, Mari Jensdatter Botne, b. 1709:

Mari Jensdatter Botne 1709, m. Ole Christophersen Botne-Havna b. 1715 --> Jacob Olsen Sandø Nordre brug b. 1738 --> Mari Jacobsdatter Sandø Nordre brug b. 1779 --> Andrias (Anders) Jacob Johannessen Rove b. 1800 (moved with his parents to Halden) --> Severin Marinius Rove b. 1830 (Halden) --> Olaf Julius Rove b. 1864 (emigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin) --> Louis C. Rove Sr. (1895-1967) --> Louis C. Rove Jr. (1928-2004).

As told earlier Louis Jr. adopted Karl Christian Rove when he married his mother Rega Wood. The short outline above shows that Roald Amundsen was a fifth cousin to Olaf Julius Rove (1864-1940).


14 August 2011

About notable Norwegian-Americans ... and Karl Rove

Towards the end of my vacation in July this year the website Side3.no, owned by the media company Mediehuset Nettavisen, which also owns the first Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen, published a survey of notable Norwegian-Americans. The article of 25 July 2011 was titled "Her er norsk-amerikanerne" ("Here are the Norwegian-Americans"). Such surveys are rather "timeless", so I am not too bothered about the fact that I haven't found the time to comment on it until now, more than two weeks later. There are of course plenty of such lists on the Internet, including Wikipedia and the Norwegian-American Hall of Fame, but the topic is well worth revisiting.

Side3.no's article lists among others several top politicians, including former Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale (I was, by the way, pleased to get the opportunity to shake hands with the latter during his visit to Oslo in 2009) as well as Governors Knute Nelson and Earl Warren (the latter was also a chief justice), models and celebrities such as CariDee English and Paris Hilton, actors (Dynasty soap star Linda Evans, James Arness, Marilyn Monroe and Renee Zellweger), Academy Awards winners (James Cagney and Jennifer Connelly), musicians Matt Sorum and Tom Waits, sports stars like Knut Rockne and Sonny Jurgensen, etc.

The list is almost endless. It is of course a discussion on its own who should be regarded as "notable" and who should not, but it is as interesting to note the many rather well-known persons who were not mentioned. The road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was born Gunderson, is one example. Comments to the article (go to the bottom of the website) mention among others Atlanta Thrashers ice hockey player Justin Byfuglien, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010 (go here for a discussion about his ancestry) and actress Kirsten Vangsness of "Criminal Minds". I'd like to add my grandmother Torborg Hoelseth's first cousin Bjorn Egeli (1900-1984), a notable artist (all his five children - Peter, Cedric, Bjorn James, Mary Lois and Carolyn - and at least four grandchildren - Lisa Egeli, Arthur Bjorn Egeli, Anastasia Egeli Deppe and Ingrid Egeli McGuckian - have followed in his path) who originally came from Horten in Vestfold, but whose Egeli/Ekeli family originates from Haukeli in Vinje, Telemark.

The GOP presidential candidate Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as well as Senator John Thune are not mentioned. Senator Thune decided in February this year not to run for president in 2012, so his omission from the list might be understood, but it is rather strange that the journalist has forgotten about Bachmann. I don't think she will be nominated for the Republicans - I am rather certain that it will either be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney or Texas Governor Rick Perry - but Bachmann has certainly made a name for herself. Despite my doubts about her winning chances, she is a strong candidate and will certainly win a decent number of delegates. I have earlier promised to write something about her ancestry, and hope to get more time to do more research in the winter. In the meantime you can read George Gooding's article on the subject (see also his report written in English). I have earlier opened a discussion about her at the genealogy forum at Digitalarkivet. Concerning John Thune, I have got some more details from one of his Norwegian third cousins and hope to come back with more details later.

But one name stands out in the survey of politicians among the notable Norwegian-Americans: Karl Rove, the political consultant (and brilliant election strategist) who served as President George W. Bush's Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff from February 2001 until August 2007. Rove, who was born in Colorado in 1950 but grew up in Nevada, is a Norwegian-American by adoption only. So does he really belong to such a list? Well, it depends on what definition you want to use.

According to Karl Rove's autobiography Courage and Consequence. My Life as a Conservative in the Fight (2010), which I still have only read the first chapter of, Louis Claude Rove Jr. (1928-2004), who originally came from Wisconsin, adopted Karl and his older brother Eric, when he married their mother Reba, née Wood (1929-1981). Karl learned about the truth only after his parents were divorced in 1970. He has met his biological father, whose name has not been revealed (but is not relevant to this story), but neither were interested in having any further contact.

One could perhaps use a "cultural definition", but from the little I have read about Rove in interviews as well as the first chapter of the said autobiography, he doesn't strike me as having been brought up in a particular Norwegian-American "Fargo"-like environment (those who have seen the movie "Fargo" know what I mean) with lefse and lutefisk on the dinner table. I could be wrong, of course, and it would be interesting to get Rove to comment on this one day, but as of now that is the impression I have got.

But it is evident that Karl Rove clearly identifies himself as a Norwegian-American. Throughout the book he refers to Louis C. Rove as "my father", has often made a point of his Norwegian connection in interviews and speeches and according to VG Nett (16 May 2003) he had a portrait of his great grandfather (i.e. Louis Rove's grandfather) Olaf Julius Rove on the wall in his White House office and he has also visitied Norway together with his stepfather. So I guess it is not totally wrong to include Karl Rove in such a list of notable Norwegian-Americans, but it should still have been mentioned that the connection goes through his stepfather. One should of course not rule out the possibility that Rove could have Norwegian ancestry somehow through his mother's parents Robert G. and Elsie Wood or through his biological father, but as Rove doesn't mention it himself, it is a long shot.

So, what exactly is Louis C. Rove's Norwegian connection? Rove descends from the farm with the same name at Kirkeøy in Hvaler in the Norwegian county of Østfold. You can find a photo of the farm in Fredriksstad Blad's article "Det startet på Rove" ("It started at Rove") published on 5 November 2005. In the national census of 1865 one can find the Rove ancestor Andreas Johannessen Rove living in Frederikshald (today Halden) together with among others his wife Magdalene Jonsdatter, his son watchmaker Severin M. and daughter-in-law Gunhilde (Azora), née Olsen/Olsdatter, and several grandchildren. One of them was Olaf Julius Herman Emil Rove, b. 15 April 1864 and christened as late as 23 April 1865 (see no. 34). He emigrated 22 years old to Wisconsin in the United States where he married the Swedish-born Emma, b. 1863, and had at least 2 sons, Louis C. Rode (1895-1967) and Olaf N. Rode (1898-1980). My sources are several US censuses found at Ancestry.com, SSDI etc. Louis was the father of the previously mentioned Louis C. Rove, Jr., the stepfather of Karl Rove. I am sure I could have found more details if I had done a more thorough research, but this will do for now.

I have been told by a distant Norwegian relative of the late Louis C. Rove that also the explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) of South Pole 1911 fame descended from the same Rove family, but I have not got the details on exactly how he was related to the line mentioned above. As far as I understand it, and this must be taken with some reservation, it is not from Andreas Rove, so the connection must be further back. That is of course a topic I could get back to another time.

Updated on Monday 15 August 2011 at 08.25 (minor text addition, typos corrected), last time on Friday 7 December 2012 at 11:10 (typo corrected).


8 August 2011

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2011

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2011 arrived in my mailbox while I was on vacation for three weeks in July. After I had I returned to Oslo I wrote 3 new blog articles (1, 2 and 3), but then got too busy to follow up until now. In other words, my traditional presentation of the contents of Royalty Digest Quarterly comes a bit late this time, but as they say, better late than never.

To start with the photo on the front cover, it shows Princess Clémentine of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, née d'Orléans (1817-1917), with her daughter-in-law Queen Marie Louise of the Bulgarians (1870-1899) and grandson (later King) Boris (1894-1918-1943) in 1895.

Following the Editor's Corner the historian Trond Norén Isaksen opens the ball with his article Young Ingrid. Queen Ingrid of Denmark's early years in Sweden.

The periodical's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat returns with yet another family album, this time Saxe-Coburg and the Saalfeld and Kohary branch is covered. The presentation of the branch could perhaps have been expanded a bit, but the portraits and other photos - 85 in all - are certainly worth a look. In addition you get 2 pages with family tables.

The third article, More Than Just a Tutor, written by the author Coryne Hall, deals with the German-Swiss Marc-Ferdinand Thormeyer (1858-1944), who served as a tutor to the children of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.

As promised at the Royalty Weekend in Ticehurst, East Sussex, in April this year, Charlotte Zeepvat's excellent lecture titled Diddo, Arnold .. and the URGE was to be converted into an article in the RDQ, and in the current issue we are treated with Part 1: Diddo goes to Austria. The article is based on letters the British governess Edith Greer ("Diddo" sent home from Schloss Sonnberg in Austria, where she worked for Archduke Anton of Austria ("the Urge") and his wife Ileana, née Princess of Romania ("Arnold"). A wonderful article, and I am already looking forward to the second part in the next issue.

Zeepvat's third contribution this time is her review of the book Honour and Fidelity. The Russian Dukes of Leuchtenberg by Zoia Belyakova (St. Petersburg: Logos Publishers, 2010). I bought the book at the Royalty Weekend back in April, but have still not found the time to read it.

The column The World Wide Web of Royalty gives the latest news of the royal and princely families, while on the 2nd last page we get a presentation of Diana Mandache's forthcoming publication Dearest Missy. The Letters of Marie Alexandrovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, Duchess of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and of her daughter, Marie, Crown Princess of Romania. The first part covering the period 1879-1900 will be published by Rosvall Royal Books in September 2011.

Royalty Digest Quarterly is published by Roosvall Royal Books, which can be contacted by e-mail royalbooks[at]telia.com.

See earler presentations of RDQ here.