Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen (Christendatter) was born 26 December 1833 at Erae, Jutland, Denmark to Christian Andersen and Ann Katherine Peterson (Pedersdatter). 
Note: In Denmark, the last names used to come from their father’s first name. Christine was born Christine Christendatter, meaning Christine, daughter of Christen. Her brother’s last name would be Christensen, meaning son of Christen. Often when the Danish emigrated, they would change their names to their father’s last name. So, Christine’s name after coming to America is Christine Andersen.

Another note: Christine in Danish is pronounced Christina.
The family joined the LDS church while in Denmark.  Christine was baptized on 12 February 1854 in Erae, Jutland, Denmark.

In January 1855, the family crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the ship “James Nesmith” with more than 400 Scandinavian saints, arriving in New Orleans on 23 Feb 1855.
Page from passenger list of the "James Nesmith" with Christine and her siblings.
(Her parents were on the previous page.)

Passenger list, enlarged and cropped.

The company made their way up the Mississippi River to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then on to Mormon Grove, Atchison, Kansas. The family remained there for the year and Christine and one sister obtained house work during the winter of 1855-56.  During this winter, Christine’s parents both became sick at died in Mormon Grove.
Christine joined the Willie Handcart Company, were see became well acquainted with the Mortensen family who had a son her age named Anders. The company arrived in Salt Lake City on 9 November 1856. Soon after, the Mortensens continued to Parowan, Utah and Christine remained in Salt Lake for 3 or 4 months.

She them made her way to Parowan and became reacquainted with Anders. The couple was married on 22 August 1857 in Parowan. They traveled to Salt Lake to the Endowment House in October of 1861 where they received their Endowments and were sealed to each other.

She was 5’6” tall with deep blue eyes and dark chestnut braids wreathing her head.

In their log cabin, the only light they had was the fire, so they had to keep the fire “alive” because they had no matches. If the coals went out they would have to borrow coals from a neighbor. Christine would save the fat from the butchered sheep, render it to tallow, and then dip a piece of yarn into the hot tallow again and again to make simple candles. She would also wash wool, card it smooth and spin it into thread. She shared her skills with other women in the community.

Anders and Christine had 11 children. Peter, Ephraim, Anders, O’Lena, Sarah Ann, Mary, Emma, Tomena, Ammon and Alma.

1870 Census showing Anders & Christine and their children in Parowan.
It says that Christine's occupation is "House Keeper."

When Anders was almost 32, he married a second wife, Wilhelmina Ipson, also from Denmark. The couple had 4 children and the two families lived together happily.


1880 Census, showing Anders & Christine in Parowan.
Christine's occupation is "Keeping House."

1880 Census, enlarged and cropped.
Anders died suddenly in 1884. The next year, the boys sold the family property in Parowan and moved to Colorado to help settle the San Luis Valley. Shortly after, Wilhelmina died and her 4 children went to live with Christine and her son, Anders.

The family lived in the San Luis Valley for 11 years. Due to health problems, O’Lena and her husband William moved back to Parowan and her son Anders moved his family to Mesa, Arizona. Christine went to live with Anders and his family.

1910 Census, showing Christine under her son
Anders's household in Mesa, AZ.

1910 Census, enlarged and cropped.

She died in Mesa on 11 June 1910 at the age of 76.

Her son, Anders, wrote: "She was a loving mother full of faith, and hope, and sure of an eternal reward. She was quiet, and unassuming, but had a wonderful character, a living monument of faith filled with a divine testimony of the restored Priesthood, and Gospel which had enlightened the world. Her memory will never die."

Her grand-daughter Cora Morris Rowley wrote, “Grandmother Christina was the sweetest, kindest person one could ever hope to meet. She always worked hard, but never lost her wonderful disposition.”

Click HERE to see Christine's headstone on Find-A-Grave.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Anders Jorgen Mortensen

Anders Jorgen Mortensen was born on 21 September 1833 in Haarbolle, Fanefjord, Denmark. He was the third son of Peder and Helena Sandersen Mortensen.

In Denmark, Anders learned coopering and farming from his father. In 1855, Anders and his family joined the LDS Church. Anders was baptized on 13 June 1855 in Haarbolle.

 On 4 May 1856 the family sailed on the ship Thornton which arrived in New York City on 14 June 1856.  (I found Anders's parents on the Thornton passenger list, but not Anders. When I was able to look through the scanned photos of the actual list (below) I found that Anders and his siblings were listed under the last name Petersen. SO, you can find Anders on the Thornton passengar list under Anders J. Petersen. Then I read that he was born Anders Jorgen Pedersen because his dad's name was Peder and that's how they did it in Denmark, but when they got to America, they changed their last names to Mortensen to then have the same name as their father, as was tradition in the US. *phew*)

At this time Anders was almost 22 years old. In Iowa City (a place chosen by the church to equipped the Saints who were getting ready to cross the plains), Anders met Christine Andersen. (Note: on FamilySearch it says that her name is Christine Christendatter, but it is the same person. Danish names are tricky and I haven't figured it out yet.)  Christine was also from Denmark and was waiting for another handcart company to form so she too could travel to Salt Lake City. Both her parents had passed away in Mormon Grove, Kansas while waiting to cross the plains. Their friendship grew as they pulled handcarts side by side in the Willie Handcart Company. 


The Mortensen family had enough money for a wagon and an ox team, but was advised to use the handcarts instead. Although Anders’s father Peder was a cripple, they took the advice of their leaders and joined the handcart company. Because handcarts were less expensive, the family “loaned” money to three people to enable them to make the trip.

One day, Anders was searching for lost oxen. (Story from handcart co.) He found himself in the midst of a large gathering of Indians. He bravely made signs to explain why he was there. One of the Indian women gave him two of the buffalo ribs she was roasting. He was so hungry and said that it was the sweetest morsel he had ever tasted.

The Willie Handcart Company arrived in Salt Lake City on 9 November 1856. After a short stay in Salt Lake, Anders and his family made their way to Parowan, Utah. They arrived on 1 December 1856. His father bought property and his sons built a two-room adobe home.

The next spring, Anders bought a home and lot right next to his father’s property. The following fall, Anders and Christine married. The ceremony took place in Parowan on 22 August 1857 and was performed by the Stake President, William H. Dane.  They were sealed at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, UT on 2 October 1861.

Anders and two of his brothers worked together, purchasing 40 acres of land to farm and using the coopering skills they learned in Denmark to make a living. The family also kept a few sheep for wool.

Anders became a US citizen on 11 March 1861.

Anders and Christine had 11 children. One of which was O’LenaChristina Mortensen.

1870 Census showing Anders and his family in Parowan, UT. 
It's hard to read but it says that Anders's occupation is "cooper."

When Anders was almost 32, he married a second wife, Wilhelmina Ipson, also from Denmark. The couple had 4 children and the two families lived together happily.

1880 Census. Anders and family still in Parowan, UT.
Now Anders's occupation is "farmer."

Anders was a member of the territorial militia, took his turn standing guard when there was trouble with Indians, and one of his callings was serving on the high council of the Parowan Stake.

Anders died suddenly on 13 October 1884 at the age of 51. His son, Anders, quarried a sandstone slab from the Parowan hills and paid to have it shaped and smoothed into a headstone for his father’s grave.

Anders had light red-brown hair and blue eyes.

Click HERE to see his headstone on Find-A-Grave.
Click HERE to read a history of the Mortensen family written by another descendent of Anders.