Anna and Eilif

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Anna Marie and Eilif Andersen


Eilif was the son of Jenny Aagot and Otto Rudolf Andersen.


Eilif was born in "Christiania Fødselsstiftelse" in Oslo 17. February 1886. Fødselsstiftelsen was founded by the following reasons:

The purpose of "Fødselsstiftelsen" was a.o. to obtain the unmarried and poor pregnant women, midwifery, nursing and supervision. It was there that Jenny Aagot gave birth to Eilif when she was 20 years old. She traveled to Oslo to give birth because she was unmarried; it was unmarried and poor women from all over the Eastern part of Norway who came to Fødselsstiftelsen to give birth. Jenny Aagot lost her mother (Elsebeth) when she was 2 months pregnant with Eilif, and the house was sold at a forced auction. Jenny Aagot was thus on bare ground when her mother died, and had no home and close relatives that could assist her in the birth. She subsisted herself perhaps as "tjenestepige" (servant), like many of the women who gave birth at Christiania Fødselsstiftelse. Why she and Rudolf didn't marry before April 1886, we don't know.

From church records. Father was "unmarried blacksmith Rudolf Andersen"; the mother was "Pige Jenny Jacobsen". Godparents were Pige Margit Jacobsen and Rachel Aniksdal (?). The latter is unknown.
…..Margit Ovidia Jacobsen was Jenny's cousin; daughter of Jenny's uncle, 'skibsfører' Anders Jacobsen. Jenny and Margaret grew both up on the Østre Halsen, was at the same age, and were confirmed at the same time (5/10-1879). They were close friends – considering that Margaret went along with Jenny Aagot to Oslo for the birth. Margit married in 1899 and moved to Drammen. 


Eilif's confirmation 22. april 1900

Eilif fortalte til Østlands-Posten 24. mars 1965 litt om oppveksten sin «Minner fra gamle dagers Larvik».


Skiensfjordens Mechanical technical school, where Eilif was a student. Eilif is in the middle row, no. 6 from the left (click to see larger image).



After completing Technical School, Eilif traveled to South Africa (5. July 1905) to work at the diamond mines in Kimberley.
"It was a journey with many inconvenience, can you believe. It was in 1905 shortly after the union with Sweden was broken. Boer war had finished for a couple of years ago. My uncle Johan Detre Jacobsen and Magnus Martinsen traveled to Africa in 1903.

I was 18-19 years old at the time pesting on my aunt who was Irish by birth that she could be writing to uncle to get me a job down there, he was in Kimberley the diamond city. Finally it was settled that I could make the trip. The trip cost a lot of money according to the time, I borrowed 450 kr in Larvik savings Bank, the journey cost 350 kr from Larvik to Captovn, very cheap present day. There was a scheduled boat from Larvik to Nevcastel Vilson Linien on Thursday evening."

Read more of his own travel description here.

Postkort fra Eilif til Anna:


It has been told that Eilif was in South Africa for 4 years, when he received a letter from fiancé Anna who solicited him strongly to come home. He then returned to Norway, and they were married 23.10.1909.

After his stay in South Africa, Eilif changed to shipbuilding. He borrowed money and founded A/S Fram's Skibsbyggeri in 1917. He was the manager. 'Fram' built two composite ships, "MS Østfjell"(620 tonnes, 145,6 foot, 320 hp) and "MS Bjørnø"(500 tons, 26,6 foot width), both were completed in 1919. Østfjell was sold to Tønsberg, and converted to a barge in 1926. The construction of the Bjørnø was done at the mission of Bugge Olsen AS, and later sold to Germany. It went down under World War II. Read more here.


Locations of Fram and the smie of Eilif and Rudolf. Original photo from 1917 (from Per Nyhus, "Larvik før og nå«).

Postcard message from Eilif to Anna


Bridal photo of Eilif and Anna. Click to see the larger size. 

However, the shipp building went bankrupt after a few years, and Eilif lost everything he had invested, and the house which he had recently purchased, Griffenfeldtsgate 18 (see map here), was pledged. See excerpts from the pledge documents of Larvik here. Eilif then had 6 minor children to provide for. They had been through a difficult time, and even worse after the bankruptcy, with debt and without income. "Had it not been for their Christian faith, they had not come so well through this difficult times." (Egil Rudsta Andersen).

Eilif owned a patent (no 39674) together with his father Rudolf. It was probably Eilif's idea, but he lost the ownership when he went bankrupt. The patent was about the exploitation of combustion gas, which could reduce the consumption of coal and wood. Click on the chart to see the patent.


Eilif fikk forholdsvis snart tilbud om å reise til sjøs. Men han kunne ikke tenke seg det, og takket nei. Etter en innsats fra Anna, endte det med at en annen reiste til sjøs, mens Eilif overtok vedkommendes jobb hos Alfr. Andersen. Etter en tid, fikk Eilif jobben med å avvikle en rørleggerbedrift som Alfr. Andersen hadde overtatt som konkursbo. Det viste seg, under denne jobben, at det var behov for å fortsette driften av rørleggerforretningen, og Larvik Rørhandel ble dermed stiftet. Eilif ble leder av bedriften. Det var ikke lite arbeid med å legge inn vannklosetter i hjemmene. Men dette arbeidet hadde også sine motstandere. Se mer om pudrett here

He continued in Larvik Rørhandel until 1946/47, when his sons Egil and Erling established their own company – Larvik Varme & Sanitær. Eilif didn't want to be a competitor with his sons, and began, therefore, as employee in Larvik Varme & Sanitatær. His eldest daughter, Jenny, also began in the the company, and worked in the office.


The house in Griffenfeldtsgt. 18, Larvik (see map here)


Eilif bought Griffenfeldtsgate 18 in June 1918. It was pledged in 1925 when he went bankrupt. 

To supplement his finances, Eilif rented out a small part of the house o the grocery store (Kooperativen). The entrance was on the wall without windows (see image to the right). Later, they started their own grocery store here. Anna, Jenny and Ingjerd was a regular fixture in the shop for many years.

Jeg mener å huske at bestefar Eilif fortalte meg at han ble kristen ved forkynnelsen til den kjente lekpredikanten Albert Lunde på Larvik Bedehus. I Store norske Leksikon står dette om Albert Lunde: Albert Lunde var en av Nordens fremste predikanter. Han reiste til USA i 1895, ble grepet av en vekkelse representert ved blant andre Dwight Lyman Moody. Fra 1901 virket han som fri reisepredikant i Norge, og ble landskjent gjennom den vekkelsen som ble fremkalt av hans møter i Kristiania i 1905–1906.

Eilif was very active in Larvik bedehus (chapel), and in the bedehus documents the following is to read:



       Sunday school in Larvik bedehus in 1932.



Eilif's New Testament w/notes



 Letter from grandfather Eilif – dictated to Ingjerd (drawing by Helge Fevang)


Eilifs liv ble selvsagt  – i større eller mindre grad – påvirket av  de ytre omstendigheter, både lokale og globale. Han opplevde flere verdensomspennende kriser, bl. a. to verdenskriger, en influensapandemi og en økonomisk depresjon.


Eilif had humor, and enjoyed a good story. A story I heard he told multiple times: There was two police constables who found a binge drunk man lying in Schleppegrells street. But none of them knew how to write the street name; it ended, therefore, that they dragged him over to Bugges street before they wrote the report.

Another favorite story was about the guy who had been told by her mother to go to the bakery and buy wort bread. But he stumbled at the doorstep, and forgot about it. He bought wheat bread instead.




< go to Gusta and Hans Jørgen


Anna Marie b. Thorsen


Anna Thorsen was born 25/3-1887 on Thorstrand, Larvik. She grew up in straitened circumstances, when her mother became a widow with 3 young children. See more about her here. But by the joint efforts they managed to get through the difficult time. She married Eilif Andersen 23/10-1909.


Anna was confirmed 6. October 1901

Anna was involved both of avholdssak and Christian activity and work among alcoholics. Only 20 years old she was in Hvite Bånd 17 days after the local association was founded 23. march 1906. She was the leader of Larvik Hvite Bånd in more than 20 years. Hvite bånd is part of The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) that was among the first organizations of women devoted to social reform with a program that "linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity." It plays an influential role in the temperance movement. Anna had her reasons for joining Hvite Bånd in the experiences in the family. It is said that the maternal grandfather Erik struggled with alcohol problems. She was also involved in founding the Finnmarksmisjonens work in Larvik in 1909; this was dedicated to activity in the county of Finnmark (far north).


Here, she explains from the trip to the 29. landsstevne in the Hvite bånd.

  Anna also had responsibility for the grocery shop.

Anna and Eilif enjoyed to traveling around in Norway by car. Here she tells about a trip to Stavanger. She had the care of the sailors and sent them gifts; here you can read the letters of gratitude.


Anna and Eilif had 6 children; Jenny, Hans, Egil, Ingjerd, Erling and Liv.


The family Andersen; Eilif, Liv, Anna, Erling and Ingjerd in the fronte; Egil, Hans and Jenny in the back row. Click on the picture to see larger size.





Letter to Anna from her father Hans Jørgen


Postcards from the maternal grandmother Anna


Anna, Eilif and Hans (?) in the living room in Griffenfeldtsgate; to the right is a camera that belonged to Anna.

Anna and Eilif with the kids Ingjerd, Liv, Jenny, Egil, Erling and Hans.


Diamond-bride and groom (60 years marriage) Andersen in 1969


Anna Maries liv ble selvsagt påvirket av de ytre omstendighetene, både lokale og globale. Hun opplevde flere verdensomspennende kriser, bl. a. to verdenskriger, en influensapandemi og en økonomisk depresjon. Influensapandemien, også kalt spanskesyken, hadde svært høy dødelighet og smittet anslagsvis 500 millioner mennesker – rundt en fjerdedel av verdens befolkning. Antallet døde er anslått til mellom 17 og 50 millioner, og kanskje så høyt som 100 millioner, noe som gjør den til en av de verste pandemier i historien. Det antas at det i Norge omkom 13 000–15 000 mennesker av spanskesyken. Pandemien Covid-19 (2019-2022) tok 4300 liv, noe som betyr at det prosentvis omkom seks ganger så mange under spanskesyken som under Covid-19, når en tar hensyn til veksten i folketallet.