Maria Lukretia von Boeselger, an ancestor to a lot of people in Eidanger, settled in Norway about 1650. In all former sources the custom officer Peder Jacobsen are referred to as the male ancestor of the same families.
But he is not!
When Mari settled in Eidanger, she brought with her at least two almost grown up daughters. Their father was Sebastian Heussler, the first husband to Maria.
Who was Mari Lukretia von Boeelager?
She was, as stated in the article about her, daughter of Wolfgang (Wolf) von Boeselager and Anna von Kerssenbrock. She was the youngest of five children, three girls and two boys, and had probably a difficult uprise. Her mother died early, we do not know exactly when, but Maria were - together with her two year elder sister - sent away to her aunt Salome von Brockdorff. This happened probably in her early teens. In 1618, the 30 years war broke out, and the surroundings in Schleswig-Holstein became an area of war.
This war was a war of religions, protestants versus chatolics. The von Boeselager family were divided, mothers and daughters being protestants, father and sons catholics!
The period from 1625-1629 is called the imperial war. The name refers to the fact that the German emperor Ferdinand battled against the Danish-Norvegian emperor ChrisitanIV. There was a lot of civilian casualties, and the soldiers went outrageous. This was mainly due to the fact that the catholic army led by general Wallenstein consisted of soldiers (24 000) who were paid in the right to
Maria Lukretia grew up under these circumstances. Together with her aunt, the two sisters moved (or fled) at the end of the 20-s to Luebeck. Due to the considerable increase in population, it got very expensive to live in Luebeck. It is told that the population increased with 50% during this imperial war.
So, the three women left Luebeck and settled first in Ratzeburg, and then in 1631 in Oldesloe, all the time in Schleswig-Holstein. They stayed in Oldesloe, and after aunt Salome dead in 1636 the two sisters were soon married, Maria Lukretia with Sebastian Heussler in 1637. What did Sebastian Heussler do during the 30-years war?
He was a mercenary.
He was born in 1581 in Nuernberg as son of the book-printer Leonhard Heussler. As a young man he worked together with his father as a printer. In 1603 he started his own company, together with an increasing interest in fencing.
In 1607 he left the printing business, and became a "Freifechter", i.e. someone who teaches fencing, often travelling to new places, and with a feather in their hat as a token of their occupation. Shortly after the war broke out, Sebastian becomes a mercenary.
He is so dedicated to the art of fencing that he publlishes a book called "Neue Kuestlich fechtbuck".
It is published for the first time in 1615, and later in several editions. It consists of 43 lessons in the noble art of fencing.
He also wrote a book about flags and banners, color-sergeant was a rather important military grade and task. He named the book "Neu Kuestlich Fahnenbuehlein"
We do not know on which side Sebastian were in the first part of the 30 years war. There were mercenaries on both sides, and officers as well as privates could change side. But from 1626, Sebastian was in the service of the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV. At first he was a major in the regiment of Joachim Hoenecken, later n the regiment of Baden-Durlach. In 1628, he entered the position as major and company commander at Bergenhus castle in Bergen, Norway. In 1628, the first regular Norwegian army was founded. It was necessarily then with advice and guidance from experienced officers and even privates. He replaced Daniel von Bochwolt as the first Major of the regiment, and achieved a salary of 200 "speciedaler" per year. His company consisted of (in theory) 325 soldiers and officers, mainly from Nordhordland and Voss. It turned out to be difficult to muster this army, and a few years went by before they were operative. Then Sebastian had - in thr mrantime- returned to Denmark.
This is an excerpt from his job description as stated in "Skrifter udgivne av Videnskabs-selskabet i Christiania 1905": (very old spelling)
"He should with his lieutenant, except from the seedtime, with the utmost diligence his conscripted soldiers muster, drill and execute in wartime with the right to use their weapon, in order to keep them ready for battle, everyone in their correct place, submit to the sound of the drums, not to let them run, but solely seek their enemy in their battle order, and on the deployment area, without saber cuts, beating or strictness while he with his petty officers with modesty and kindness the soldiers associate".
He stayed in Bergen for a little more than a year. Why he came to Norway, we do not know. Likewise, there are no records of him visiting Porsgrunn. But he was an officer in the army of King Christian IV, the Danish king who visited Norway quite often. He visited Skien as early as in 1613, and also in 1635. Maybe Sebastian took part and told his wife about the beautiful fiords in the area?
How Maria Lukretia and Sebastian met, we do not know. We know that they got married in Oldesloe in 1637, then Sebastian was enrolled in the regiment of Christian Pentz. At that time, at least one of their daughters were born, maybe two. We also know that they moved to Copenhgen shortly after this, and also that they stayed a while in the little town called Kleve in Germany.
They have probably met in Schleswig Holstein around 1630, Sebastian being an officer in the Danish army, and Maria Lukretia as a young (and probably pretty) protestant with an appetite for life after growing up in difficult surroundings. So when our sources tells us that she was considered an outcast in the family, it might as well has been the other way round. It would probably need a certain boldness to carry a child as a single mother and then afterwards marry the father being 28 years older than herself,
No-one in the family Von Boeselager were invited to the wedding. But they were in touch, as late as in May 1639,two years after the wedding, Sebastian writes to his father-in-law to justify himself(?): "So I have serve my masters well, twice I have been a major and twice captain of the cavalry. I have also led several companies with foot-soldiers and been in the service of several potentates, from whom I have received nothing but honor and glory afterwards".
(Translated from German)
But the von Boeselagers were not particularly interested neither in Maria nor in Sebastian, and the sources related to their life in Denmark and Germany seems to vanish with the information about Maria left in Copenhagen as a widow in 1647.
The name Boeselager appears for the first time in an announcement about country peace declared by the archbishop Dietrich von Magdeburg on the 12. April 1363. Henning von Boeselager is normally considered to be the male ancestor of the family, born about 1400.
The branch of Marias mother (von Kerssenbrock) is possible to follow at least to around 1250, first under the name of Breide.
The many generations would be to much to describe in this article. But there is a curiosity that deserves to be mentioned. About 10 members of the von Boeselager family took part in World War II, needless to say on the German side. The most famous of thes were Philipp Freiherr Von Boeselager. As a 25 years old cavalry officer he took part in operation Valkyrie, the plot to kill Hitler led by Claus Von Stauffenberg. Von Boeselager were not arrested, and he became the longest living member of this plot. He wrote the book "Valkyrie"
When the Second World War broke out, Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, then 25-years-old, fought enthusiastically for Germany as a cavalry officer. But after discovering Nazi crimes, von Boeselager's patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of conspirators who plotted to kill Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. In this elegant but unflinching memoir, von Boeselager gives voice to the spirit of the small but determined band of men who took a stand against the Third Reich in what culminatinng in the failed "Valkyrie" plot - one of the most fascinating near misses of twentieth-century history.(A book description from Amazon.com)
Peder Jacobsen, leading Maria to Hvalen, was as mentioned a custom officer at Langesund custom office. He was situated at Brevik, the nearby village, from 1655-1661. How he met Maria has to be speculation. Maybe he visited Copenhagen as part of his work, maybe Maria had heard about this beautiful region, and that she - in one way or another - seeked happiness.
However, you need courage and determination to leave for a foreign country, even more when you travel with children. Whether she arrived in 1647, or she stayed in Copenhagen until she married Peder early in 1650 we do not know,
What we do know is that she soon became wealthy, possibly with a heritage from her family. The farms Oevald, Flogstad and Aas were all belonging to her, and her grandchild Sophie will soon take over Oevald as a christening gift from her aristocratic grandmother.
-Friedrich von Klocke: Die Familie
von Boeselager, M?nster 1977
-Osv. I. Melbye: Tollere gjennom 300
-Frankfurter Allgemeine 01.05.2008
-?Skrifter udgivne av
Videnskabs-selskabet i Christiania 1905? (archive.org) og (books.google.com)
-Meyer Freifechter Guild
-Lars Roar Langslet: Christian IV,