Showing posts with label Karen Johannesen Christensen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karen Johannesen Christensen. Show all posts

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Christmas Surprise: The Danish Missionary

For Christmas this year, my husband had a print framed that I purchased many years ago and have been storing ever since. This picture is now on the wall of our living room. The Ovesens were carpenters before and after coming to America, so they would have been familiar with scenes such as this one.


The picture is an Arnold Friberg copy of a painting by the Danish Romantic painter, Christen Dalsgaard. The painting is called Mormoner på besøg hos en tømrer på landet [Mormons visit a country carpenter] (1856). The original is in the Danish National Gallery.

Copy of the picture from Wikipedia. Cross-posted at The Diary of Ove C. Oveson.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Family History Mystery: Who is the Man in This Tintype?

My father sent a picture of this image, which was in the Eva Overson Tanner collection:


This appears to be a tintype. My father notes that it is about 2 inches by 1.5 inches. Here is an image of another tintype from the 1860s in a similar frame:

 From www.flickr.com/photos/john-pa/325317259/.

Tintypes were an interesting technology. They were not made with tin, but were created by making a positive image on a sheet of blackened iron. Another name for a tintype is ferrotype.

There is a tintype in the following link that is presented in the same sort of case as our family tintype, and there is also some good information about identifying and caring for a tintype:
If I had to guess the subject of this family tintype, which I do, since there was no identification included with it,  I would say it is probably Jens Christensen, an ancestor in both the Tanner and Morgan lines. His style of dress looks more Danish than English or American.

Here is a picture of Jens' wife, Karen Johannesen. This image also appears to be a tintype, though it could also be a daguerreotype or ambrotype. This is scanned from Margaret Overson's book:


Here is a picture of Jens and Karen's daughter, Mary Christensen Oveson:


The next picture is of a younger Mary and her sister, Christine, and their adopted brother, Marinus, who, according to family legend, was the son of one of the two girls. The style of this picture is similar to the first tintype, and isn't it lovely, with both girls in their native Danish costumes?


Here is a picture of Marinus Christensen as an adult, the blacksmith of St. Johns, Arizona:


And the tintype again:


And Mary Oveson again:


I think there's a pretty clear family resemblance, especially between the tintype and the picture of Mary Christensen Oveson as an adult. Look at the broad forehead, the droopy eyelids, the wide nose, the wide mouth, the deep lines running down from the nose. (Is there an actual term for those lines?)

Here is a picture of Mary's son, Henry Overson:


There are those droopy eyelids again. (For lack of a better way to describe it.)

There are probably just two more options for a memento that was kept in the family for so many years. The first is not really an option: Jens' father, Christen C. Jensen, died in 1862, but during the time that the technology was available, he would have been older than the man in the image. And a tintype of him would have been kept by his wife, who died in 1896 in Brigham City, Utah.

The second alternate option is Mary Oveson's father-in-law Jens Ovesen. Here's his picture:


Although there may be a superficial resemblance between Jens Ovesen and the man in the tintype since the two were from the same rural corner of Denmark, I think they're clearly two different people. ("The noses are different," said my daughter.) (Apart from the droopy Christensen eyes and the nose, there is more of a resemblance between Henry Overson and his grandfather Jens Ovesen than to the Christensen family.)

So here, once again, is the mysterious tintype:


I think we can clearly label this picture "Probably Jens Christensen (1819 Denmark - 1866 Nebraska)." What do you think?

* * *

If this is a tintype of Jens Christensen, it would have been taken in Denmark, Hamburg, or America, slightly after the Christensens arrived there in 1866. It would have been a good thing that these family pictures were taken, because Jens and daughter Christine both died and were buried on the plains.

If this is a picture of Jens, it would have been kept by his wife, Karen, and then passed down to daughter Mary Oveson, and then to her son and daughter-in-law, Henry and Margaret Jarvis Overson (our family historian), and then to their daughter, Eva Overson Tanner, and then it remained, unlabeled, with her photos and family memorabilia.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jens Christensen and His Family

As my dad went through his aunt's genealogical papers, he found a copy of a history written by a woman named Lena Marie Hansen Pack. The history is called Kirsten's Courage and Tears: The Story of Kirsten and Anders Christian Christensen Jensen and Nicolena Christensen and Charles F. Nelson.


Jens Christensen and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen were from Denmark. As mentioned previously, their daughter Mary married Ove Oveson and Mary and Ove were my grandfather's great-grandparents. Jens and Karen's adopted son Marinus married Fanny Thomas. They were my grandmother's grandparents.

Anders was Jens Christensen's younger brother. Anders and Jens and their wives and children left Denmark and came to America in 1866 in the ship Kenilworth and traveled in the Scott company to Utah.

Lena Pack notes that Anders and Jens' father, Christen Jensen, had died in Denmark in 1862, and that their widowed mother, Christiane Christensen, came to America with her sons and accompanied Anders and his family to Brigham City, Utah, where she died over 30 years later.

This ship record shows a Christian Christensen who traveled with Jens, but the Kenilworth ship register notes that this person was a 59-year-old male farmer.



Unfortunately, when I copied this record off Ancestry.com, I did not know that the people listed in the bottom of the image were family members of Jens, so I do not have a copy of the entire family group, and I don't currently have an Ancestry membership to be able to look up this record. I'll try and look it up next time I have access.

Jens Christensen and one of his two daughters died on the plains.

His widow and two surviving children, Mary and Marinus, settled in Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah, where Mary married Ove Oveson. Mary's mother Karen lived with them until she died in 1874. Marinus was raised in the Overson family along with their twelve children, and accompanied them to settle in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Jens' brother Anders and his wife Kirsten took their children and Anders' widowed mother to Brigham City. New Family Search claims that Christiane Christensen died in Brigham City in 1865 or 1896, and Anders died in a farm accident in 1867, and all contact between the family in Brigham City and the family in Ephraim and later Arizona was lost until Lena Pack wrote Kirsten's Courage and Tears and tracked down Jens' family.

Kirsten's Courage and Tears has a number of touching stories. A copy is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Here is the catalog entry:
Anders Christian Christensen Jensen (1836-1867) married Kirstine Marie Pedersen in 1857. They became Mormon converts in 1864, and in 1866 immigrated from Denmark to Brigham City, Utah. Due to the change of Danish law regarding patronymics, he used both surnames (first Christensen and later Jensen). One of their daughters, Nicolena, married Charles Frederick Nelson (1853-1913) in 1875 and lived in Brigham City. Descendants of both families lived in Utah and elsewhere. Includes ancestors in various parishes in Århus, Hjørring and Viborg counties in Denmark. Includes Burt, Hansen, Roskelley and related families.
As a curiosity, the book tells an interesting story about Danish patronymics. Patronymics is a system for giving names. A Danish son would take his father's first name as his surname and add -sen to the end. A daughter would take her father's first name as her surname but add -datter to the end. Danish women did not take their husband's names when they married. This system started to change in the nineteenth century. Anders Christensen died when he was 30 years old. His wife lived for 50 years after that, and as was the custom in Denmark, she kept her father's name, Jensen (alternately Jensdatter). The family hereafter assumed that Jensen was the family name of her husband, which complicated their genealogical research.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morgan 12 & 13: Jens Christensen and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen

Some of the next ancestors in the Morgan line are Jens and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen. However, I will not be posting biographies here for the simple reason that they are also ancestors on the Tanner line and I have already posted a short biography of them and a note about their emigration to the United States.

Their daughter Mary Kjerstine Christensen married Ove Oveson and shared many of his adventures in Ephraim, Utah, and St. Johns, Arizona. They were my grandfather's great-grandparents.

Their adopted son Marinus Christensen married Fanny Thomas. They were my grandmother's grandparents.


Picture of Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee's Ferry from www.flickr.com/photos/7202153@N03/2477559604/. Lee's Ferry is where these pioneers would have crossed the Colorado River into the region of Arizona that would be their home and eventually, their final resting place.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Morgan 6 & 7: Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas Christensen

Marinus Christensen
b. 6 June 1863 Torslev, Hjørring, Denmark
m. 6 June 1883 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
d. 23 July 1927 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
b. 24 July 1927 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Wife: Frances Ann Thomas
Father: Jens Christensen; Mother: Karen Marie Johannesen

Frances Ann Thomas Christensen
b. 4 May 1864 Nephi, Juab, Utah
d. 17 August 1950 Flagstaff, Coconino, Arizona
b. 19 August 1950 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Husband: Marinus Christensen
Father: David Nathan Thomas; Mother: Adeline Springthorpe

For information on the early life of Marinus Christensen, read the entry in the Tanner section on Mary Kjersten Christensen and family. Mary married Ove C. Oveson. Her mother and adopted brother Marinus lived with her family.

Marinus continued to live with the family, moving with them to St. Johns, Arizona, in the summer of 1880, and was considered by neighbors as the oldest child, being generally called Oveson, until his marriage, when he took his proper name of Christensen.

Marinus and Frances Christensen.

Marinus Christensen was married to Frances Ann Thomas, daughter of David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe, June 6th 1883, at St. Johns, Arizona. She was born May 4th, 1864, at Nephi, Utah.

A page from the 1900 census of St. Johns, Apache, Arizona, showing the Christensen family. (Marinus was not born in Utah.)

David N. Thomas was a blacksmith by trade and owned a shop in St. Johns, where he died August 14th, 1888. His son, brother of Frances (Fanny) died there, too, and not long between the two deaths. Marinus Christensen took over the blacksmith shop and was caring for the mother (Adeline S. Thomas), but she decided to go to Utah, to do work in the Manti Temple. Not long after leaving St. Johns she was taken suddenly ill, and died, and was buried at Manti, April 6th, 1891.

(L to R) David, Marinus, Addie, Jessie, Frank, Fanny, Elmer.

Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas Christensen had the following children:
  • Adeline, born July 1, 1884, St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona. Married Andrew Smith Gibbons. Died 1975, age 91.
  • Anne, born July 26, 1886, St. Johns. Died 1887, age 1.
  • David Thomas, born August 2, 1888, St. Johns. Married Iness Jolley. Died 1949, age 61.
  • Marinus Elmer, born November 26, 1890, St. Johns. Married Hildegarde Garnatz. Died 1959, age 68.
  • Jessie, born June 13, 1893, St. Johns. Married Harold Morgan. Died 1980, age 86.
  • Francis Lee, born April 18, 1898, St. Johns. Married Nellie Vanetta. Died 1962, age 64.
  • Paul Anthon, born November 26, 1901, St. Johns, died May 9th, 1908, St. Johns. Cause: Children built a bonfire. Paul’s clothes caught fire. Burns and shock.
  • Joseph Laurence, born September 8, 1903, St. Johns. Married Susan Ellis. Died 1984, age 80.
The blacksmith shop. Marinus is standing on the right.

Marinus Christensen was a blacksmith all his life, and his shop was a place where the men of the town loved to gather and spend an idle hour. The blacksmith was always jolly and entertaining and his happy laughter was good to hear. He was a law enforcement officer many years, and was noted for his ability to deal with offenders, and his kindly yet firm stand for right. He was a leader in the Band, and also in the Sunday School Choir. He was Sunday School Superintendent in both Ward and Stake for many years, and dearly loved that work, and also the children. But the thing that he will be remembered by among the townspeople more than any other, was the Comic Recitations he used to give, and the Character parts he played in home theatricals. He was a splendid Comedian, and a great hit with his audiences.

Frances Christensen and children at Marinus' funeral.

He died at St. Johns, Arizona, July 23rd, 1927, and was buried there.

Frances Christensen, Jessie Morgan, Addie Gibbons.

His wife, Fanny, lived for many years after her husband’s death. She was in the Relief Society presidency for many years, and was one who was always on hand to help in sickness, take charge of making clothing and dressing and preparing the dead for burial. In those days we had no undertaker, and neighbors and friends attended to this work. The last few years of her life she visited among her children a part of the time, though she did not give up her home, and enjoyed to be alone there sometimes. She was visiting her children in Flagstaff when she had a paralytic stroke, from which she died August 17th, 1950 and was buried at St. Johns, Arizona.

[Note: the middle article seems to be from a Flagstaff paper rather than the Tribune, and why do two articles call her mother "Caroline"?]

Marinus Christensen and Frances Ann Thomas have a posterity of progressive and intelligent citizens, good neighbors and trustworthy friends.


From Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis And Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa, Ariz: M.J. Overson, 1957.

[Note, February 15, 2014: changed the spelling of Inez Jolley to Iness, at the request of her granddaughter Laurel Christensen.]

Picture of the horseshoes from www.flickr.com/photos/tombothetominator/2792049406/.

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…
Children:
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.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tanner 13: Mary Kjerstine Christensen Oveson

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
Husband:
Ove Christian Oveson
Father: Jens Christensen; Mother: Karen Marie Johannesen

26 JENS CHRISTENSEN
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

27 KAREN MARY 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

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…
Children:
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.