Tuesday, July 12, 2011



Elsig home in Denmark
Dear Beth and Harvey Halvorson,

It was a great pleasure and for great mutual joy, when your lovely and nice daughter came to visit us this summer (1972) together with her three friends.  Even though the language could cause some problems, it was a nice experience for our little family.  Before George Peterson approximately 12 years ago searched for his family through the local newspapers, my knowledge to our family on the other side of the oceans was poor.  My mother, Marie Elsig – born 1877 – dead 1969 knew something from her Aunt Ane Marie Andersen born – Olsen- married Konrad Andersen.  They lived at the farm “Lille Gronheden” and were neighbors to Per (Peder) Halvorsen’s farm.  Ane Marie Andersen was my grandfather Knud Olsen’s sister and they were both children of Maren Halvorsen sister to J. Halvorsen- married to Ole Knudsen.  Ole Knudsen I think came from Sindal County.  I have heard that Per Halvorsen’s father or grandfather was from Norge (Norway)? And that the family Halvorsen should have relatives whereabouts Aalbaek? Do you Harvey know anything about this? 

Knud and  Maren Halvorsen Elsig
I have an old clothes shrine (Chest) which was left in the home in which I was born located Knaeverhede when the Halvorsens emigrated.  The shrine has the following subscription:  MCDFH 1845.  Can you tell me the names these letters symbolize?  The relatives here in Denmark was very strong living and many of them had a long life.  Not my mother’s parents though, there is only one left. 

I took over the farm were I was born in 1948 and was the forth generation there, but due to circumstances I had to sell.  Our only child- a son Henrik (Kenneth) is not a farmer.  The profit of farming was poor in the 60s, hard to get good labor and it was expensive too.  Financially we are in good shape.  I got a good price and now work as a slaughter at a factory with 200 employees.  We have inflation here as everywhere else in the world.  Once we were a farmers country but not anymore.  We have a lot of industry but know (no) raw materials ourselves.  We have almost always had a stable political environment changing between liberalism and socialism.  At the last election in 1973 it changed though, as we got something like a “Polsk Rigsdag” with many small parties represented. 

I in 1875, as the two brothers traveled to New Zealand, our country was poor.  This was due to the war against Germany in 1848-49-50 and then there was the sad defeat in 1864 as we lost south of Jutland- Fortunately we got some back in 1920 (Northern Schlesvig).  This emigration was planned by the Mormons- was perhaps one collective journey led by the missionaries-  people did not understand in the old Danish society and perhaps do not understand it today as well.  Most Danes today have a very liberal- perhaps to liberal- relationship to their religion.  We have a government church which most are born and baptized to join as babies and stay members until death, without any further thoughts.  It is the Lutheran Protestant holy church. 

Peder Halvorsen's war-chest
I have knowledge to a family (Larsen) who at this time went to the Mormons, sold everything,  they had approximately 8- 9 kids.  They went to Utah, but the father and all the children came back after a couple of years whereas the mother stayed, and it was not nice words he had to say about the mother and particularly the Mormons.  I knew one of the children- Alfred Larsen.  He came back 16 years old.  They came from a farm called "“Lille Skaerpinge"”i Hornby County here in Vendsyssel.  He is dead now.  I do not write on this to bad mouth the Mormons down, but only to tell what was on the peoples minds on this matter. 

It looks like North Europe is in a period with mild winters.  The last three years, we have not had any snow of significance.  We now have spring and everything is turning green, the northern light nights are on their way, and the wonder of nature is repeating itself again, and you think of God who let this wonder happen every year.  I hope now that your translator is able to translate my letter.  If he or she is born in Denmark this should be no problem, but as a second generation Dane it can be a problem to make sense of the Danish language.  I wish you, Harvey and your wife would stop by Denmark.  E.g. I could have traveled to the US, but it will probably not be before I am retired.  Then I will be 67, now I am 59 and my wife is 57 years old.  Perhaps I would be able to find the money for a trip now, but lets see.  Your daughter writes that she will come and visit us and we look forward to that.  She tells us that our English is good, but it is hard to express yourself properly in a foreign language.  Very often I have to get help from the dictionary.  I was very lazy as a school kid and did not read enough.  To make up for this I have for the last 10 years taken lessons in English as an adult and last winter in German as well.  I will also like to let Vivian know that she express herself very clearly and in terms easy to understand, so I do not have many difficulties reading and understanding her letters and then of course I have the dictionary.  I subscribe the America News Week Time and follow to some extent the American Society.  Especially the Watergate Scandal, Nikon’s dilemma a.s.o.  Most people in this country know that the President has mad a bad mistake.  It is an eternal American thing but Europe is not without any interest in, who is the president, who is the President of USA.  The distances is not that large any more- geographically. 

Dear family Halverson I hope that you will get something out of my long letter. 

With sincere regards from my family and me   Love

Knud Olsen Elsig

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