Around 1930, my grandfather – Harald Hansen (1874-1943) (married to Anna Ronneberg-Hansen (1883-1975)) purchased an automobile without possessing a drivers license. This problem was solved by asking any of his four children to step in as a driver – whenever he felt like a drive in his car.
Consequently, one day Harald Hansen was out driving with his father and one of his sons as driver. Their car collided with another car near their home in Oslo. Although there were only minor scratches on the vehicles, the tradition at that time was to call the police to make a report. The policeman first asked the name of the driver. “I am Harald Hansen” he said. “OK, who is the passenger in the front seat?” asked the policeman. “I am Lieutenant Colonel Harald Hansen” answered the owner of the vehicle. “And who is the person in the back seat?” asked the policeman again. “I am Colonel Hansen” he answered. The policeman could not believe this, and had them all come down to the station to identify themselves.
After this incident, the children of Anna and Harald changed their names to Ronneberg-Hansen instead of Hansen. Later, in 1939, the name Hansen was officially dropped according to a document by The Royal Norwegian Justice Department. Since my father – Jens – now carried the family name – Ronneberg, I myself am honored with the same name.