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.

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