Christoffer's Baptism in Sande (1828)Christoffer Christensen was born on the Orhuus farm on 19 May 1828 in Sande, Vestfold, Norway to parents Christen Johnsen and Dorthe Olsdatter. He was baptized a month later on 22 Jun 1828 in the Sande Church.1
Christoffer's full name was Christoffer Christensen Orhuus. His name came from growing up on the Orhuus farm. His family lived on a small farm under the main Orhuus farm which was commonly written as Orhuus-ejet or eiet. It's at Orhuus on 09 Apr 1833, while Christoffer is just shy of 5 years old, that his father Christen dies.2
Confirmation Record for Christoffer (1843)After the death of Chrisoffer's father, his mother Dorthe remarried Christen Jensen Orebsly on 28 Dec 1835.3 It's at this point that the family moved to the Kvisle farm, which Christen Jensen owned.4, A Considering that we find Christoffer, now 15, being raised on the Kvisle farm in Sande on his confirmation record on 01 Oct 1843, we assume Christoffer spent the rest of his childhood here at Kvisle.
Christoffer's mother would die in 1851.5 At this point, Christoffer was most likely living on his own and working as a farmhand in Sande. The pay on the countryside for a farmhand was so poor that he just wound up working for clothes and other goods. With conditions as they were, there was nothing to keep Christoffer in Sande. So, he decided to move to the neighboring coastal village of Svelvik & Strommen and take up sailing instead. At this time (1853-1856) the Crimean War was creating a lot of shipping jobs, making living in the coastal shipping town more attractive than farm life.
Christoffer & Mathea's Marriage (1857)On 19 Nov 1857 Christoffer Christensen Orhuus married Mathea Gulliksdatter Loe on in Svelvik, Vestfold, Norway. After marriage the couple lived on the Myre farm.7
In 1859, Christopher had saved together enough money so he could buy Olaus Hellum’s house in Svelvik for $200 dollars. It was a small, yellow-painted one-story house with a kitchen, chimney, and a living room on one side and a long, narrow, yet small room on the other.8
Christoffer's Death & Burial (1878)By the 6th of April 1860, Christoffer had registered as a sailor. His first known stint at sea took place from 13 March 1863 through 17 September 1864 when he signed on with shipmaster N. Poulsen on the ship "Neptune", at the shipyard in Svelvik. The ship was destined for England. This is the first record we have related to Christoffer's sailing. (It's possible he sailed sooner, but it's not documented.)
In 1865 the family, consisted of Christopher, Mathea, 3 sons, and a lodger, who possibly sailed with Christoffer. They were living at farm 19a in Svelvik. Christoffer was working as a sailor and son Carl recalls “he was almost always at sea, often on long trips for 2 to 3 years. My father was an ordinary sailor (seaman, boatswain, and to some extent a sailmaker)... ".9
Christoffer Christensen died on 25 Oct 1878 at the age of 50. While working aboard the ship “Chatham” headed by ship captain Knudsen, Christoffer contracted yellow fever and never recovered. A telegram of Christopher's death was sent from Brest, France to the family parish priest. He was buried on 26 Oct 1878, the funeral was carried out by his Chatham shipmates on the Atlantic where his body was buried at sea.10
Christen Johnsen Stokke-eiet, 13 Jun 1790 - 09 Apr 1833
Dorthe Olsdatter Orhus, 1789 - 21 Dec 1851
Mathea Gulliksdatter Loe, 21 Mar 1831 - 06 Apr 1905
- Gustava Josephine Christoffersdatter, 11 Aug 1858 – 11 Dec 1860
- Cornelius Christoffersen, 16 Sep 1860 – 28 Sep 1927
- John Emmanuel Christoffersen, 04 May 1863 – 15 May 1928
- Ingvald Rudd Christoffersen, 22 Dec 1894 – 30 Apr 1926
- Carl Marinius Christoffersen, 07 Oct 1865 – Jun 1949
- Gustav Nikolai Christoffersen, 30 Aug 1870 – 05 Apr 1942
A Christen Jensen is listed as owning the "Qvisle" farm in Sande on the 1838 Land Register. Now known by Kvisle.
B The following research was done in the Norwegian State Archives in Kongsberg on the Hovedrulle [Sailor's Roll] for Drammen, July 29 2015 by researcher Jens Petter Nielsen:
Number 107: «Christopher Christensen», born May 19 1828 in Sande. Address Svelvik. Certificate date: April 6, 1860.
Signed on March 13 1863 with shipmaster N. Poulsen on the ship «Neptun» from Svelvik to England. Signed off September 17, 1864 in Drammen.
(Sjøinnrulleringen: Drammen innrulleringsdistrikt; Hovedrulle nr. 1 for Svelvik, fol. 54b-55a).
Number 107: «Kristoffer Kristensen», born May 19 1828 in Sande. Address: Svelvik. Certificate date: January 14, 1869.
Signed on March 11 1869 with the ship «Egidia» from Sarpsborg to Holland. Signed off December 17, 1869 in Sarpsborg.
Signed on January 17 1870 with the ship “Ørenskjold” from Christiania to England. Signed off January 17, 1870 in Svelvik.
Also mentioned Signed on January 17 1870 with the ship “Ørneskjold” from Christiania to Scotland. Signed off March 26, 1870 in Svelvik.
Signed on May 10 1870 with the ship “Croesko” from Drammen to London. Signed off January 3, 1871 in Svelvik.
Signed on March 25 1871 with the ship “Alpha” from Svelvik to Hartlepool. Signed off as ill on June 28, 1871 in Cronstadt.
Signed on July 5 1871 with the ship “Minerva” from Cronstadt to Dundee. Signed off (not mentioned).
Signed on September 19 1871 with the ship “Minerva” from Christiania to England. Signed off (not mentioned).
Signed on July 31 1873 with the ship “Normand” from Drammen to Scotland. Signed off September 18, 1873 in Christiania.
Signed on October 2 1873 with the ship”Sophie” from Drammen to Scotland. Signed off December 24, 1873 in Christiania.
Signed on March 14 1874 with the ship “Alma” from Christiania to Bologna. Signed off October 12, 1874 in Svelvik.
Signed on May 14 1875 with the ship “Franses” from Drammen to Leith. Signed off July 12, 1875 in Drammen.
Signed on September 3 1875 with the ship “Deodata” from Drammen to England. Signed off December 8, 1875 in Hamburg.
Signed on March 16 1876 with the ship “Alma” from Christiania to Scotland. Signed off September 16, 1876 in Christiania.
Signed on November 1 1876 with the ship “Chatam” from Svelvik abroad. He fell overboard on August 25, 1878. He was mentioned as a mate, but it’s not clear if he was a mate during the entire span of this certificate. (Do., nr. 3, fol. 43b-44a).