Friday, April 10, 2009

Jens Christian Andersen and Caroline Jensen Andersen

Jens Christian Andersen

My great grandfather Andrew Anderson's father was Jens Christian Andersen who was born 4 May 1821 in Vesterhedegaard, Vester, Bronderslev, Hjorring, Denmark. Hjorring is in the northern-most county of Denmark. Jens' ancestors had lived in this area for at least four generations.

It is very difficult to write a few things about a person's life in just a few paragraphs--making sure to point out the most important details. What I would consider to be important possibly might not have been considered that to him. But I will try.

Jens met his first wife, Margrethe Nielsen when they were both farmer workers on the Hammelmose farm. They married in the Lutheran church in 1849. Jens became a shoemaker. Around 1855 they heard the Mormon missionaries and joined the LDS church 5 March 1855.

By 3 April 1857, they left Denmark to join the body of the Church in America. They traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark and on 18 April 1857 boarded a steamship which landed at Grimsby, England on the 21st.

Grimsby, England Railroad

Ship Westmoreland

From Grimsby they went by rail 400 miles to Liverpool, England. Here on 25 April 1857 they boarded the ship Westmoreland with a large group of Scandinavian saints and sailed to Philadelphia, USA. The party left Philadelphia and traveled eight days and nights to Iowa City, Iowa where each family received a handcart. On 12 June, 1857 they started west. This party suffered many deprivations as they were immigrants and not frontiersmen. On 13 September 1857 they arrived at the Salt Lake valley.

In the year 1858, Danish immigration was very much slowed because of the Utah war with the United States Government. But immigration began to boom again after the soldiers in Utah were called East to fight in the Civil War.

The Andersen family changed their name from Andersen to Anderson after coming to America. After arriving in Utah, they moved several times in the early years. Here is a list of those places:

  • Salt Lake City, 1857
  • Manti, Utah 1858
  • Monroe, Utah 1866
  • Salina, Utah 1866
  • Spring City, Utah
  • Salina, Utah 1871
  • Grass Valley, Sevier County, Utah 1874

Karen [Caroline] Jensen

Jens married in polygamy, my great, great grandmother, Karen [Caroline] Jensen in Brigham Young's office in Salt Lake City, Utah on 14 February 1858 and then moved to Manti, Utah. Caroline as born on 4 April 1835 in Aastehede, Borglum, Hjorring, Denmark. She joined the Church after her stepmother's brother, Jens Christian Andersen Weibye introduced her to the missionaries. Karen was baptized on 21 October 1855 by Lars Christian Geertsen. He had been baptized just the previous year. She traveled to America and then to Utah with the same group as Jens and Margrethe.

Margrethe and Caroline each had ten children with Jens. The two families lived on either side of Koosharem, Utah in Grass Valley. Family tradition has it that Caroline's home is where the Anderson children liked to play the most. Reportedly, Caroline was a small woman, loved by everyone because she was kind and friendly with a happy personality.

Caroline died in Koosharem 11 February 1900 and is buried in the Koosharem Cemetery. Jens and Margrethe later moved to Richfield where he died 15 August 1910. He and Margrethe are buried in the Richfield City Cemetery.


  1. Dear Cindy,
    Thank you for this very special page on MY great great grandparents, Jens Christian and Caroline Jensen Anderson (aka Andersen). I have been an avid genealogist and consultant for several years and had most of my Anderson genealogy from my aunt Joyce Harper and my grandmother, Hazel Anderson Taylor. Her father was Jens Christian Carolos Anderson and I remember him well when I was a very young child in Los Angeles. Again, thank you. You have provided some information that has helped me understand the polygamous aspects of the family.
    Sincerely, Dawna Taylor jones

  2. Hi Cindy,
    Great site. I am a descendant of Jens and Margrethe - Lauritz Peter Anderson who immigrated to Canada in 1902 - Verna Anderson (my grandmother) Thanks for your endeavors in documenting information on our ancestors.

    Delane Bro Calgary, AB, Canada