What Happened to the Hanssons? Solve the Missing Ancestors Mystery

What happened to the Hanssons of Kent, Washington? Did you know John and Olea Hansson?

photo of John and Olea Hansson

Photo: John and Olea Hansson. Credit: Rev. Olav Berg Lyngmo.

They were both born around 1885-1900 and in 1948 they lived at 516 3rd Avenue South, Kent, Washington.

One of our GenealogyBank members living in Norway is trying to see what became of the Hanssons. Olea Hansson is related to her grandmother Hanna Mathiassen (1889-1955). They were both born in Gratangen Municipality, Ibestad parish in the county of Troms, Norway.

Let’s help out a fellow GenealogyBank member by trying to solve this missing ancestors mystery.

If you know more about this couple, please post a response in the comments section. Thanks for your help!

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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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10 thoughts on “What Happened to the Hanssons? Solve the Missing Ancestors Mystery

  1. Hello- I was wondering if they have looked into the Census for the time period involved??. Have they looked into Obits for the Kent,Washington Area or surrounding. If possible I can look at the USGenWeb for Washington State and see what I can find

  2. I will be in Federal Way Washington next week, a neighboring community of Kent. If they would like me to go to the local library and look for city directories, etc please email me at janetmarrs@hotmail.com with as many details as possible, children, other relatives, etc and I will spend time in King county researching for them

  3. Yes Brooks – if you have the time – please see what you can find out about them. The relative that is looking for them still lives in Norway – so it is difficult for them to use the online genealogical records here.

  4. Ancestry.com has the following:

    Olea C. Hanson died 11 August 1967 in Auburn, Washington (Auburn is south of Kent).

    John Hanson died 18 Mar 1953 in Renton, Washington (Renton is north of Kent).

    I would have to look at the obituary to see if these are the same people.

    I also found the 1920 and 1930 census for John & Olea Hanson living in North Dakota. (same people?)

    More information would help.

  5. Hey – that is fast. Thanks Team: this is great. I have alerted their relative in Norway so that they can follow along with this blog and your posts – and respond directly to each of you. Let’s see if we can help them find any ‘descendants’ of this couple. Good work! Thank you for helping.

  6. FYI Auburn used to be called Slaughter in 1800s. I would be more than willing to go up and walk some of the Cemeteries and take pictures if not already on find a grave.com. Let me know.

  7. I found the following information at ancestry.com. The couple fits the time period and the wife’s name matches. I suppose the J in the name could be John. It may be unrelated, but here is my information:
    Immigrated to US in 1875; married to Olea in 1880; he was born in Nov 1854 in Norway. Was living in Tomahawk, Lincoln, Wisconsin in 1900; Olea was born in Jul 1859 in Norway. By 1900 there were 4 children in the home: Oscar, Martha C., Etta and Margaret.

    In 1910 I found this same couple living in Boise, Ada, Idaho. There were only two children in the home, Martha C. and Margaret L.

    In 1920 they were still living in Boise and Martha C. was the only other person in their household.

    I don’t know if any of this information matches what is asked for, but without additional information about family members it is hard to know. Thought I would give this a try for the people researching. They could also look in city directories.

  8. If the Hanson family in North Dakota is the same, her parents are listed in the 1920 census as Jakob Simonson and Ana Simonson. Find-a-grave lists Jacob Simonson as born in 1843 and died in 1923 and Ana as born 1850 and died in 1932. The cemetery is in La Moure County where Olea Hanson born in Norway is cited in an earlier reply.

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