Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ann Pyne, 1790-1858


Ann Pyne was christened on 17 September 1790 at Topsham, Devon, England. Her parents were James and Elizabeth Pyne. At the age of 20, she married John Parker Gourd on 3 May 1810, also at Topsham. A native Celtic settlement, Topsham became a Roman port in the 1st century AD. It was designated a town by royal charter in 1300, and is now officially a suburb of Exeter. St. Margaret's Church in Topsham, dates back to the 10th century. It has been reconstructed several times in its original location as granted in 937 by King Athelstan, who gave "a parcel of land, i.e. a manse, which the vulgar called Toppesham, to the monastery Church of St. Mary and St. Peter in Exeter, for the cure of his soul, to have in eternal freedom so long as the Christian Church shall endure." It is a very picturesque place.

The family moved around a bit before settling in Chudleigh. Elizabeth was born at Christow in 1811 and John Parker at Broad Clyst in 1814. Mary Ann, Ann Jane, William James, Emma Maria, and William Soper were all born at Chudleigh. This is the same Chudleigh of the previous post for the Sealy family. In spite of their moves, they were never more than twelve miles from their original home of Topsham. The 1841 census enumeration listed the family.
John Gourd, age 50, smith; Ann, age 50; Mary, age 20, milliner; Emma, age 15, James, age 15, William, age 10.
William, their youngest child, is our ancestor. In 1851, they were listed again. By that time, the children had all left home.
John Parker Gourd, head, married, age 62, blacksmith, born Liskeard, Cornwall; Ann, wife, married, age 60, born Topsham, Devon.
Ann died 12 October 1858 at Torquay, Devon, England. It was their farthest distance from home, about 24 miles, and on the coast. Torquay is situated in an area known as the English Riviera because of its beaches and mild climate. It is likely they moved there to live with their daughter, Emma, in their old age. Ann's husband was enumerated on the 1861 census.
Living at 92 Lower Union St with Thomas Duke, head, married, age 36, tailor master, born Chudleigh; Emma M. Duke, wife, age 34, born Chudleigh- John Gourd, father-in-law, widower, age 72, smith, Liskeard.

Again in 1871, John was living with his daughter. He spent 20 years without the company of his wife, Ann; and that is a very long time.
Living at 5 Morboro Road w/Emma Duke- John P. Gourd, blacksmith, lodger, age 82, born Liskeard.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Halvor Thoreson, "husmand" at Ottem


Halvor was born on 10 September 1843 at Ottem, Sunndal, More-Romsdal, Norway. He was christened on October 10th of the same year. He was the illegitimate child of Randi Pedersdatter Ottem and Thore Olsen Hagen. He was his father's third illegitimate child with different persons, and his mother's first.
Halvor married Randi Knudsdatter on 21 May 1865 at Sunndal, More-Romsdal, Norway. She was also an illegitimate child. Halvor did not own the farm Ottem himself, but lived at a place called Ottem-lokken, which belonged to Ottem, also sometimes called Aakerlokken. He was a "husmand" or a cottager. All of their children were born at the Ottem farm. Together they had a large family of 12 children. Several of them came to the United States where they took the Ottem surname. In 1900, Randi was a widow at Sunndal, so we know that he died before 1900.