Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tanner 28: Joseph George DeFriez

Joseph George DeFriez
b. 5 July 1821 London, London, England
m. 19 October 1842 Christ’s Church, London, England
d. 29 August 1887 London, Middlesex, England
Wife: Mary Ann Godfrey
Father: Joseph DeFriez; Mother: Sarah Harrington

Dr. Joseph George DeFriez was born in East London, 5 Beatty St. Commercial Road, England, July 5th, 1821. He was the oldest child of Joseph DeFriez and Sarah Harrington. His parents must have been well-to-do and thrifty people, as Joseph George was well educated, and they raised eleven children to maturity, and all seem to have married well.

Joseph George DeFriez and Mary Anne Godfrey were married at Christs' Church, Middlesex, England, October 19th, 1842.

He was a noted Medical Doctor, Surgeon, and Accoucher, having the following letters: M.D., F.R.C.S., & L.S.A. of England. In addition, he maintained a private practice, and was a parish doctor, and a dearly loved family physician. Also, he was a high-ranking Mason. These professional and social activities were the means of maintaining a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

He was successful financially, and gave his children the best in educational opportunities according to their class.

Dr. DeFriez was a lover of sports—especially boating and fishing—and in those outings was accompanied by his children, thereby cementing the love and understanding between them.

After he was fifty years of age his happy, successful life was disrupted and practically broken up because of religious differences arising between himself and members of his family.

Three of his sons, one daughter, and his wife joined the unpopular sect known as “Mormons,” rightly named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when his opposition and authority failed to induce them to recant, his bitterness and that of many of their friends, became so intense that it virtually amounted to persecution; therefore, to save further dissensions, and in the full belief that their course was right and justified, when Dr. DeFriez was away from home, one son, one daughter and his wife, quietly and unannounced, left England and sailed for America, and Utah. The other two sons went at different times.

This was a terrible blow—his authority defied, his dignity wounded, his social standing shattered, his home broken, his loved ones gone. He never seems to have regained his former prestige, but his life became lonely and morose. He refused to associate with the friends of his wife or children, or his wife’s kindred. He must have suffered greatly, and finally concluded he was not entirely right in the course he had taken, ‘tho’ he still considered himself wronged.

Several years after his wife’s departure, she received a book from her husband, entitled, “A Wife’s Duty.” On the fly-leaf he had written, “I will forgive you for all, if you will only bring my baby back to me,” and signed. But it was too late, his “baby” was married and had a home and children.

On the 29th of August, 1887, Dr. DeFriez attended a Masonic Banquet, and on returning home, complained of feeling ill. In less than two hours, he had passed away. Nothing is known in this country as to the cause of his death.

Overson, Margaret Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: 1957, ii:34–35.

Tanner 26: Jens Christensen

New Information on the Life and Death of Jens Christensen, Brickmaker

The Mormon Overland Pioneer Travel information and Ancestral File information on Jens Christensen was not accurate. It took a few tries to get the information corrected, but now better information on this family is available in the pioneer database.

Information in the family’s genealogy (Margaret Overson book, Ancestral File) also did not agree with the primary sources (Ove Overson and Andrew Jenson).

Proposed Revisions to the Genealogy
Jens’ Current Death Information: 12 June 1866 Omaha, Nebraska
Jens’ Revised Death Information: 10 August 1866 Outside Wyoming, Nebraska*

Christine Death Information: 28 August 1866 On the plains, Nebraska

*Wyoming (now Nebraska City), Nebraska is about 50 miles south of Omaha. I would like to update this information in New Family Search, but I have not learned yet whether it was in Holt or Otoe County at the time. [10.24.10 It was Otoe County.]

What Margaret Overson Says

At Ephraim [Ove Oveson] worked, saved and prospered. Two years after his arrival a young girl whom he had known before leaving Denmark, Mary K. Christensen and her mother came to town. She had buried her father at Omaha and her sister on the plains, and they had lost their means, or rather, her father had loaned it to help other emigrants, and at his death the mother knew nothing about his business affairs. Now they were in a strange land without home, a provider, or means, although among many of their own people.

What the New York Passenger Lists Say

Name: Jens Christensen
Arrival Date: 16 Jul 1866
Estimated birth year: abt 1819
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Port of Departure: Hamburg, Germany
Destination: United States of America
Place of Origin: Denmark
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Danish
Ship Name: Kenilworth
Port of Arrival: New York

Kenilworth Ships Register. See lines 10-15 for Jens, Karen, Maren (Mary), Christen, and Marinus.

(By the way, who is “Christian Christensen” who traveled to Utah with this family? The age is not right for it being Jens’ brother or father.)

What Ove Overson Says

15 August 1859 I was Babtised by Elder Lars Peter Christensan and confirmed by Hans C S Hogsted as a Member of the Church of Jesus Crist of L.D. Saint in Taars Branch Vensyssel Conference Danmark.………
On the 27 Of Jan. 1861 ther was district meeting in my Fathers House, Elder C. A. Madson from Utah, was ther, and in the Evning my Father, Mother & Sister was Babtised … I was ordaned an Elder and sat apart as President of Taars Branch by J C A Viby in Vensyssel Conference.………
January 1867
Noting Particular our Naten was on gard by Bishop Edvard, the Soldorer wood Heart him if the coud get hol of Him Workt in town and a trip acros the River and got my Heffer hom on the 29 had a conversation with Mery Kjerstine Christenson (she is a datier og Jens Christensen Brickmaker fom Denmark she com from Denmark Last fall.
February 1867
Workt in Town an tendet, Miting & Danses and some sport in this month Mary Kjerstine Christensen & I was Promised
March 1867
Arbeedet [worked] in Town 1 Day I prepared to get Mariet to Mary Kjerstine on the 6 of March, the 6 com but the Bishop Knud Peterson vill have os go to Salt Lake City to the Indowment House To get mariet which we consented to due but Bishop Peterson com and we had a good Supper and sattisfied the Boys by given them Beear & Kigs.
This Week I plasterd & Whed Wast my House and Mowed ther, til den (I have boarded with my Parence til Den). We, Mary Kjerstine, Her Mother Karen Marie an a Boy Marinur (Karen Marie’s Hosbon & one Girl 19 year Chrestine Dide on the Planes.) & Myself moved to my House eller workt in Town for veges the 24...
May 1867
Tusday the 7 of May, Sevees Dorias, his entendet Wife Marie, I & Mery Kjerstine, my entendet Wife and Karen Marie my Wife’s Mother. (Her Hosban & one Dattr Dide on the Planes) we had some truple that Day Braked Dobeltre teier ran of & Kamped in Fountain Green that night the 8 went tru the Kannon and to Spring lakville, 9 tru Payson, Spannis Fort, Springville, Provo, American Fort to point of Mountain and Kamped. 10 to Salt Lake City. stoppet, at Franson——the 11 May 1867 went tru the Indowrnent House and had over Indowment and Mery Kjerstine Christianson and I was Mariet and her Sister Christine Christensen was Sealed to me as my Wife. (Oveson, Ove Christian, Journal 1860-1920, item 13, 23-24. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

What the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868, Records Said

Christensen, Jens
Birth Date: Unknown
Death Date: 10 Aug. 1866
Gender: Male
Age: Unknown
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)
Pioneer Information: brickmaker from Vendsyssel, Denmark; died en route 10 Aug.,15791,4018-1-33363,00.html

1866 Andrew H. Scott Company
Departure: 8-9 August 1866
Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 8 October 1866
Company Information:
About 300 individuals and 49 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Wyoming, Nebraska (the west bank of the Missouri River about 40 miles south of Omaha) [Only 45 members of the company are listed by name.]

What the Overland Trail Information Says Now

Christensen, Jens
Birth Date: 31 July 1819
Death Date: 10 Aug. 1866
Gender: Male
Age: 47
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)
Pioneer Information: brickmaker from Vendsyssel, Denmark; died en route

Christensen, Marie Karen Johannesen
Birth Date: 14 Feb. 1821
Death Date: 6 Sep. 1878
Gender: Female
Age: 45
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)

Christensen, Mary Kjirstine
Birth Date: 29 Mar. 1846
Death Date: 6 June 1922
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)

Christensen, Christine
Birth Date: 24 Dec. 1847
Death Date: 30 Aug. 1866
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)
Pioneer Information: She died en route.

Christensen, Marinus
Birth Date: 6 June 1863
Death Date: 23 July 1927
Gender: Male
Age: 3
Company: Andrew H. Scott Company (1866)

What Andrew Jenson Says

(Andrew Jenson was a fellow traveler on the wagon train and later Assistant Church Historian)

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 emcamped for the might 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.

The Trail Excerpt from Andrew Jenson’s Biography

(The entire link is fairly short and worth reading.)

(The Jenson family took the same route to Salt Lake City as the Christensen family.)

Their journey took them to Copenhagen, to Kiel, and then to Hamburg where they boarded the Kenilworth for the voyage to America on May 19th. Two other ships left Hamburg a few days later, the Humboldt and Cavour, also loaded with Scandinavian converts headed for Zion. A total of 1,213 Scandinavian converts left Hamburg on these three ships.

Unlike many of the ships going from Germany to America, the Kenilworth took the route north around Scotland and then headed west. The passage took nearly two months during which time 16 people died in Andrew’s group, seven couples were married, and two children were born. After landing in New York City Andrew’s group went by steam ship to New Haven, Connecticut, and then by train to Montreal and on to St. Joseph, Missouri. After spending two hot and humid days on a steamboat their group landed in Wyoming, Nebraska, the church’s staging place for immigrants to Utah.

The Jensens left Wyoming on August 8th in a wagon train captained by Andrew H. Scott. Their trek west involved experiences similar to those of tens of thousands of others who passed over this portion of the Oregon Trail. They were hungry part of the way, endured an early snowstorm at South Pass, and barely avoided the cholera that decimated groups that followed them. On October 7th they entered Salt Lake Valley.

The picture of the Danish farm is from creative commons with all uses allowed with attribution The photo of the Nebraska prairie is also from creative commons with all uses allowed with attribution

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tanner 26 & 27: Jens and Karen Johannesen Christensen

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

27 Karen Marie Johannesen 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

This is the biography from Margaret Overson. I will follow it up with a second post with some more information about the family.

Mary’s father, Jens Christensen, was a well-to-do man in his native Denmark. He was a brick-maker, 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, DenmarkFrom 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,

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.

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: 1957.

(Marinus continued to live with Ove and Mary. He married Frances Thomas and he and Frances were Granny's grandparents.)