Saturday, July 9, 2011



Hans was the eldest of three sons of Ane Katrine Munch Andreasen and Niels Hansen, by true Patronymic naming Hans took his fathers given name and added a "sen" to it.  The three sons were "Nielsen's".  Hans Nielsen was born 12 November, 1827, his brothers Andreas was born 23 April, 1830 and Jens 17 November, 1832.  The three were born on a farm in the Herning Parish,  Hammerum District, Ringkobing County (formerly called Lundenaes).  The Parish was located in Central and Western Jutland, Hans said, "The Roaring of the ocean could be heard from there".  This would be the Skagerrak Sea (part of the North Seas) it must have been a wild sea, their home was quite a distance inland.  Hans was known as Hans Nielsen Herning.  Whether this was the name of the Herning farm or the Herning Parish name, I don't know.  Hans and Kisten had six children and they were all born in Denmark.  The children's name was Hansen, not Nielsen.   They added a sen to the fathers given name, Patronymics.  When the child we know as James Nielson was born it was as "Jens Hansen".  His father was written as "Hans Nielsen Herning" and his mother as Kirsten Marie Jensen.  To find Hans in the 1900 census look up Herning.  I have yet to see the Herning name written after Hans' children.  After coming to America the name was changed many times.  I have found the Nielsen, Nielson and Nelson names used by all the family.  I have been confused many times which family uses a "son" or a "sen".  Herning must have been important to their last child who went by Nelson because Christian Nelson's 2nd and 3rd child used "Herning"  as their middle name;  Hans Herning Nelson and Christian Herning Nelson.

On the 18 December, 1849 Hans Nielson Herning married Kisten (Kirsten) Maria Jensen Pelsen.  She was born 22 March 1823 at Nisset, Lemming District, Viborg County, Denmark.  The Pelsen name is a Farm Name is used by the family for at least five generations while they lived on the farm.  I haven't done any research on the Pelsen Farm, yet.  They also used the Patronymic naming of each child.  Stories written by May Nielson Jones and Anna Johanna Nielsen Brown tells us about most members of the family and their life in Denmark. 

May said,  "My Parents must have been spiritually minded or they would have been contented to remain in the land of their birth.  They sacrificed their all to come here to Zion where they could worship God and live their religion.  They showed obedience to the laws of the Gospel and taught their children to be prayerful, obedient to God and dependable."  

May said, "Grandfather was a Mormon convert with a lot of religious zeal.  "I can remember when the Danish Converts would meet at Grandfathers home and have Cottage Meetings, he would preach in Danish and expound his faith strongly.  He was a wonderful speaker.  He was a stone mason and a farmer.  "Grandmother, was an invalid with rheumatism and was bed ridden."  Read May's story, it tells how poor the family was in Denmark.     

Hans and Kisten's children lived during war time, the 1848-50 war and the 1863-64 war.  Denmark had won the first war but lost the second one, all of Denmark was occupied and ravaged by German soldiers.  Maren Catrina said,  “German (occupation) soldiers would come into their home, eat whatever they wanted and leave.”  There was no work, no food and no future, it was a terrible time to live in Denmark.  Hans was a farmer who owned no land, he made his living working for other farmers who did.  During hard times the poor peasant farmer did what he could to feed his family.  All of their children were hired out to these landlords except the two youngest.  All they had ever known was war and poverty.  This was when the Mormon Church came to them and gave them hope and a new future.  The missionaries told to come to America and help them build the City of Zion for their God and live as brothers and sisters. 

Notes that Matilda Nielsen Meeks kept in her dresser drawer we learn a little more about Hans and Kisten.  Mother’s father (Hans) was a rock mason.  Mother’s mother (Kisten) cut her own long brown hair and sold it to help pay her way on the ship to America.  She was converted to the Gospel three years after she arrived in Utah.  She was bed-fast with arthritis and had to be moved from the bed to the chair.  Grandma (Maren Catrina) had to bathe and wash her mother three times a week.  She did the washing for her mother and father, made bread, butter, and brewed beer for them.  They ate a cake they called sister cake with the beer.  They enjoyed their beer, coffee and cookies.  

MAREN CATRINA (HANSEN) NIELSEN, born in 20 May, 1850 in Denmark,  immigrated to America alone and without funds in about 1872 to help prepare a way for the rest of the family.  She married Hans Peter Nielsen, 27 October, 1873 in Salt Lake City.  He was born 31 March, 1845 at Kastrup, Denmark,   They resided in Richfield where all eight of their children were born to them.  Hans a carpenter and miller worked in the Grist mills in Glenwood and the Richfield area.  Later he built a mill on the Fremont River below Bicknell where they lived until he died in 1909.  Read the James Christen Nielsen Story for more details. 

ANNA JOHANNA (HANSEN) NIELSEN, born 11 February, 1853 in Denmark, immigrated to America with her mother and father in 1877.  She felt it was her duty to always care for her invalid mother.  She married Christian C. Brown 25 June, 1879 and resided in Richfield.  (Read her Stories for more about her and her family)  Christian escaped Denmark and emigrated to America as a son of Mr. Bruhn's family to avoid serving in the military during the 1863/64 war (he got the Brown name from Bruhn).  His wife, Dorthea and two children, Andrew and Sophie Marie followed him to America later.  They planed to meet in a New York City harbor, but the ship was quarantined for cholera and she couldn't find him when the ship finally docked.  So, she went on without him.  He followed and overtook her wagon train but found that she and a few other still had cholera and had been left in a log cabin somewhere along the trail.  Going back along the way and by chance he found the log house and spent a few days with her before she died.  Christian married at least two or three other women, Anna Johanna may have been his third or forth wife. 

NIELS HANSEN, born 16 May, 1855 in Denmark, died while immigrating to America in 1877.  He obtained work as a sailor.  While doing this he caught the fever and died.  He was buried at sea.   

JENS HANSEN, born 4 January, 1857, died June, 1860, buried in Denmark. 

JENS (JAMES) (HANSEN) NIELSON, born 18 October, 1860 in Denmark, immigrated in 1877.  Married Christena Marie Smith 13 December, 1879.  Read his stories for details. 

CHRISTIAN (HANSEN) NELSON, born 20 October, 1865 in Denmark, immigrated to America in 1877.  Married Louisa Mary Mead, died 19 March, 1935.  He was a miner and died in Bingham.   

Great grandfather James worked as a farm hand.  He had to clean barns, herd cows, feed and milk them three times a day.  he received very little compensation for his labor, mostly meals.

He remembers going to school at nine o'clock in the morning and staying all day in the winter and going from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the summer and working on the farm the rest of the day.  He kept this schedule until he was fourteen years old.  The family was very poor, and there was little time to play, They worked all the time. 

The three boys were the next ones to immigrate James was 17, Niels, 22, and Chris, 12.  Niels was lost at sea somehow.  No one seems to know the cause of death. 

The three were to stay with their sister Maren Catrina and her husband, Hans Peter Nielsen, who immigrated several years earlier and established a farm in Richfield, Utah Territory.  Later that year his father, mother and sister, Anna Johanna (Hannah), arrived in Richfield from Denmark.  Hannah cared for her sixty-five year old Mother who was bed-ridden with rheumatism.  It had taken the family many years to be united again. 

May also said,  "My Grandmother was a woman of very religious nature while deaf and alone to do for herself she made many great sacrifices for Temple work.  She was blessed with the determination and strength to carry on."  She received great joy and satisfaction in her labors.  Altho [sic] in poor circumstances she was blessed with enough for material needs and to do much work for her dead.  She forgot her sorrys [sic] and hardships while working in the Temple."  She was an invalid for 25 years.  May Nielson tells a story about her two Grandma's in the Jorgen Smith Story, read it.  Kisten Maria was the one who was deaf.  Christina Maria Smith was the one who was blind. 

Now we have another grandma called "Little Grandma" by the Christian Brown (Anna Johanna Nielsen) family.  They seem to be the only Nielsen family who still remembers her.  The 1900 Richfield Census lists Hans and Mary Ann Jensen Christensen as husband and wife and they had been married for 16 years (1884) while Kisten Marie was alive, making it a polygamist marriage.  Mary Ann was a mother of 12 from a previous marriage with two living children.  1900 records said she immigrated in 1882 but the 1910 records said it was 1871(?).  A Carl Christensen was also listed as a thirteen year old step-son who was born in Denmark and immigrated in 1894.  Janis Nilsson and her cousin, Lois Chidester Galloway have given me burial and funeral records as well as the death notice in the 17 February, 1917 in the Richfield Reaper.  Mary Ann was buried on the north side of Hans in an unmarked grave and Kisten Marie was buried south of Hans.  Crystal Magleby said they would put a temporary marker on it. 

Kisten Maria Pelsen Nielson died 5 September, 1895.  She was buried as Marie Nielson, born 22 March, 1823, died 5 September, 1895 in the Richfield Cemetery.  Hans Nielson died nine years later and buried along side his wife.  He was buried as Hans Nielsen, born in Denmark, born 12 November, 1827, died 6 November, 1907.     

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