The biographies of Thoralf Skolem focus on his scientific achievements. I could not find any data regarding whether he was an only child or had siblings.


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Thoralf Albert Skolem (1887 - 1963) had several siblings, but they were 10-15 years older than him. At some time before 1900, Thoralf and his parents relocated from Sandsvær near Kongsberg to Kristiania (now Oslo). The siblings were born in the 1870s and had left the home by then. Hence they are not present when Thoralf's mathematical interests start growing.

On the siblings: Two brothers (Helge and Svein) had long military careers. A third brother (Anund) was a sailor, and appears to have died young. Another brother (Thoralf) died before Thoralf Albert was born, while a sister (Magna Sofie) outlived all her siblings and died at the age of 96.

It might be of interest to notice that in Kristiania/Oslo, Thoralf lived at the same address as his parents until they died, his mother Olette in 1914 and his father Even in 1928. Not until 1927 did Thoralf marry.

Edit: The information above was pieced together from various documents available at Digital Archives, which is part of the Norwegian National Archives. In particular, the 1875 and the 1891 censuses for Sandsvær and the 1900 and the 1923 censuses for Kristiania were used, as well as church books giving information on baptisms, marriages and deaths. (For a mathematical biography of Skolem, see the 8 page long biographical sketch by Jens Erik Fenstad in Skolem's Selected Works in Logic.)

  • $\begingroup$ Could you post a reference for these claims? Thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @user1868607 I have added the resources that I used. $\endgroup$
    – Per Manne
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 20:25

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