Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tanner 13: Mary Kjerstine Christensen Oveson

b. 29 March 1846 Tolne Sogn, Hjørring, Denmark
d. 6 June 1922 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
b. June 1922 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Ove Christian Oveson
Father: Jens Christensen; Mother: Karen Marie Johannesen

b. 31 July 1819 Torslev, Hjørring, Denmark
c. 8 August 1819 Torslev, Hjørring, Denmark
m. 26 December 1845 Tolne, Hjørring, Denmark
d. 12 June 1866 Omaha, Nebraska
b. June 1866 Omaha, Nebraska
Wives: (1) Christine Huborn, (2)
Karen Mary Johannesen
Father: Christen C. Jensen; Mother: Christiane Christensen

b. 14 February 1821 Falget, Lendum, Hjørring, Denmark
c. 18 February 1821
d. 6 September 1878 Brigham City, Navajo, Arizona
b. September 1878 Brigham City, Navajo, Arizona
Husband: Jens Christensen
Father: Johannes Jensen; Mother: Maren Andersen

Mary’s father, Jens Christensen, was a well-to-do man in his native Denmark. He was a brickmaker, therefore employed men and had a thriving business. When he heard and accepted “Mormonism” so called, he had a similar desire as a majority of those early converts, to go to Utah and join the body of the Church.

The family consisted of the following:
Jens Christensen…
Karen Marie Johanneson…
Mary Kjerstine Christensen, born 29th March 1846, Tolne, Hjørring, Denmark
Christine Christensen, born 24th December 1847, Mydgal, Hjørring, Denmark
Marinus Christensen (adopted) born 6th June 1863, Toralev, Hjørring, Denmark

From the information I have, when the ship on which they had come from Denmark arrived at a United States port, the Emigrants were transferred to a boat and were taken up the Mississippi River. The outfitting place for the Saints to begin their journey across the Plains was at Omaha, Nebraska. By the time this Company reached that place, there was an epidemic of cholera in the camp, and Jens Christensen was stricken, died and was buried, without allowing his family to know of the condition, lest they, too, contract the dread disease.

[They were in the Andrew H. Scott 1866 Pioneer Company. Another member of the company was Andrew Jenson, later a church historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He kept a good diary for the trip which gives more details of Jens and Christine's deaths.

"Friday 10. Owing to a rainstorm we broke up our encampment late, and after traveling about 15 miles through a hilly and sparcely settled country, we encamped about sun-down. Jens Christensen (a brickmaker) called Teglbrander from Vendasyssel, Denmark, died today and was buried on the plain without coffin."

"Tues 28. In the forenoon we descended a very steep hill into a deep valley, known as "Deep Hollow" or "Ash Hollow," and after traveling a few miles further, we reached North Platte river. The junction of the two rivers North Platte and South Platt, some distance east of this point, makes the larger stream, Platte river, which again is a tributary of the Missouri. In the afternoon, we traveled 16 miles up the river, over a heavy and sandy road and encamped for the night near the river. We passed a number of wagons from which, during the night previous, the Indians had stolen all the animals, and the company traveling with the wagons were consequently unable to move till help could be sent. The Indians in this locality were said to be very hostile, and those of us who walked were instructed to keep near the wagons. A number of the emigrants were sick from eating wild berries in Ash Hollow, and a young lady from Vendsyssel conference died."]

Jens Christensen had reserved for himself sufficient means to make the trip and see the family to Utah, but his spare means had been loaned to people who were also emigrating, but were short of means, with the understanding that it would be repaid when needed, after they all arrived at their destination. His business affairs were not understood by his wife, neither did she know the parties to whom he had loaned money. And if papers had been made to show the debts, they did not come into her possession. Trouble and misfortune did not end with the death of the husband and father, but after they were part way along on their journey crossing the plains, the sister Christine was taken suddenly ill one night after the day’s travel, and died before morning, and had to be buried in a lonely grave by the wayside.

The widow and baby and daughter Mary, finished the journey to Utah, and were directed to Ephraim, Sanpete County, where they found friends and acquaintances, but soon found themselves without means to live upon, since the husband and father was gone, and the creditors did not reveal themselves. They never did receive any payment of the means loaned, and in time it was understood that the parties who had received it, never came to Utah, but remained in the East.

The two women went to work to support themselves, the mother as a helper in homes, the daughter as a seamstress. As a girl in Denmark, Mary had the misfortune to break her ankle, and when she was nearly well from the accident, fell and broke it again, and she was always lame thereafter, and it was hard for her to be on her feet much. She was therefore apprenticed as a seamstress in Denmark. She was excellent at making all kinds of clothing, including men’s hats, boys’ and even mens’ suits, besides all sorts of women’s clothing, and did many kinds of fancy stitchery—made flowers in wool, did beautiful embroidery work, drawing her own designs—also knitting and crochet work. She found employment readily, and her skill was so much in demand, that after her marriage, she never had to do washing or even housework or cooking—she always had women around who would do these things, if she would help them with her sewing or knitting, or show them how to do fancy work. Her life was thereby eased of much rough work, because of her art. She kept her eyesight up to the last, and some pieces of beautiful embroidery work after she was seventy-five. She died June 6th, 1922 at St. Johns, Arizona.

Karen Marie Johanneson Christensen, mother of Mary K. Oveson, and the son Marinus, went with the Ove C. Oveson family to Brigham City (now Winslow, Arizona), in 1876, and were members of their household, as mentioned in the sketch of Ove C. Oveson, until the mother’s death there September 8th, 1878.

Overson, Margaret Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: Privately printed, 1957. The photos are from her book. The one of the two sisters is probably Christine, Marinus, and Mary from left to right.

Jenson, Andrew, Journal, in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8 Oct. 1866, 2-14.