Last month, in my post Two Danish Postcards + Cdvs I wrote about a grouping of Danish-themed photographs I found on Vancouver Island. One of them was a Hjorth family from Aarsdale, Bornholm, Denmark. Since then I contacted The Bornholm Genealogy and Local History Society (Bornholms Slægts- og Lokalhistoriske Forening) in Rønne, Bornholm to see if they might be able to assist. I received an email from Philip Kofoed, who has been compiling biographical information about all of Bornholm's early photographers, as well as examples of their photographic works on his website called Fotografer på Bornholm.
Philip contacted the former director of Bornholm's museum, who had a look and provided us with an address of the building in the photograph: 'Strandvejen 2.' The building appeared in a book about historic houses in the fishing village Aarsdale called "'Historiske huse i Aarsdale fiskeleje," Nationalmuseet, 1980. Philip told me that the photographer of my Hjorth picture is, without a doubt, Valdemar Myhre. The local history society in Svaneke (near Aarsdale) holds a copy of the exact postcard in their database. Valdemar Myhre died in 1916 after suffering a debilitating stroke two years earlier, which ended his photography career. So, we can deduce that the photograph was taken sometime before 1914.
In the 1906 Folktælling (Census) for Ibsker, Bornholm I didn't find anyone with the single surname Hjorth in Aarsdale Fiskerleje, but I did find two families of Hjorth Hansens, living close to each other. These two families also appear in the 1911 census (see #1 & #2 below). Philip Kofoed tells me it wasn't unusual for a family to drop the most common surname if they used two surnames, such Hjorth Hansen.
1911 Folktælling, Bornholm, Ibsker Sogn, Aarsdale Possibility #1
1) Jens Andreas Hjorth Hansen, male, born 14/3/1875, Ibsker Sogn, Father, Fisherman
2) Augusta Katrina Hansen, female, born 12/9/1872, Ibsker Sogn, Mother
3) Dagney Hjorth Hansen, female, born 5/6/1899, Ibsker Sogn, Child
4) Anker J. Hjorth Hansen, male, born 12/6/1902, Ibsker Sogn, Child
5) Jens Edvard Hjorth Hansen, male, born 18/6/1905, Ibsker Sogn, Child
6) Ester Hjorth Hansen, female, born 25/4/1909, Ibsker Sogn, Child
6) Sine Hansen, female, born 15/4/1830, Ibsker Sogn, Grandmother
1911 Folktælling, Bornholm, Ibsker Sogn, Aarsdale, Possibility #2 (see above)
1) Sinius (?) Hjorth Hansen, male, born 2/5/1863, Ibsker Sogn, Father, Fisherman
2) Hansine Elisabeth Hansen, female, born 16/2/1868, Ibsker Sogn, Mother
3) Vilhelm Andreas Hansen, male, born 19/9/1891, Ibsker Sogn, Child
4) Hans Chr. Jakob Hansen, male, born 18/7/1894, Ibsker Sogn, Child
5) Sofie Catherine Hansen, female, born 21/6/1896, Ibsker Sogn, Child
6) Thorvald Georg Hansen, female, born 15/9/1898, Ibsker Sogn, Child
7) Christian Edvard Hansen, male, born 6/1/1900, Ibsker Sogn, Child
8) Karl Sigfred Hansen, male, born 14/7/1905, Ibsker Sogn, Child
9) Andreas Hjorth Hansen, male, born 24/3/1910, Ibsker, Sogn, Child
1911 Folktælling, Bornholm, Ibsker Sogn, Aarsdale, Possibility #3
Chr. Magnus Hjorth Hansen, born 6/9/1857, Ibsker sogn, fisherman
Juliane Maria Hansen, born 22/10/1859, Ibsker sogn, Mother
Chr. Jakob Julius Hansen, born 18/6/1890, Ibsker sogn, fisherman
Jakob Einar Hansen, born 2/9/1894, Ibsker sogn, fisherman
There was a fourth Hjorth Hansen family, but I am not going to include them here since their family had only girls and no boys.
UPDATE: Today, I received another email from Philip Kofoed. He had obtained copies of the pages from the book "'Historiske huse i Aarsdale Fiskerleje.," Nationalmuseet, 1980. The photograph from the book was identical to mine. I've translated the caption on the photograph from Danish: "The four boys standing outside their birthplace are grandchildren of the owner who built the house, and the smallest of them, Andreas, later took over the house after his father. Photo ca. 1910 according to Holger Boyer."
With that one bit of information, the name of the youngest child, I think might be able to figure out which family these boys belonged to. Originally, I had thought the eldest person in the photograph was the father, but the book tells us they are all "boys" who were grandchildren of the owner who built the house in 1863/64. If the 1911 census is correct, then the photo was probably taken a little bit later than 1910, probably in 1911 or 1912. The challenge now is to correctly identify the boys. The youngest two are probably correct. The two older boys are more difficult. The question that arises in my mind is, if this is indeed the correct Hjorth family, where are the other children? Away for the day? Out working?
|Left to Right: (Tentative identification) Vilhelm or Hans Hjorth, Andreas Hjorth, Christian or Torvald Hjorth, Karl Sigfred Hjorth|