Magnus and Ane
Marie Pedersen on their 50th Wedding Anniversary
b. 6 Sept 1825 in Lyngby,
Vendsyssel (Now Hjørring Co.) Denmark
d. 11 Aug 1909 in Harlan,
Shelby Co., IA
b. from marriage certificate - 2 Sept 1824 & probably correct
from funeral notice - 2 Oct 1824
from gravestone - 2 Nov 1824
d. 19 Nov 1902 in Harlan, Shelby Co., IA
Note: Both families were from the most northern counties in Denmark.
(MAGNUS PEDERSEN) FAMILY
From Wayne Christensen
An old penciled entry on
a letter in the possession of Aunt Anna indicates that Grandma Mary
Christensen's father's family tree of record is: PETER CHRISTENSEN,
Born 1796 and Died 1879, His children were : HANS PETERSEN, CHRIS
PETERSEN (lived past 80), MAGNUS PETERSEN, JOSEPH PETERSEN
(died young at about 30 years. He had lived in New York and gone back
to Denmark), VALENTINUS PETERSEN (Died in 1919 past 80 years.)
The record further states that CHRIS spent about three years
in Shelby County north of Magnus Petersen's home in District 4. Also
Valentinus has two (son's sons) in Racine by name of Valentine. One
is Magnus Valentine. (Note: Aunt Anna thinks that Valentinus had two
other sons named Joseph and Peter Valentinusen. Peter's son Christen
Valentinusen is a Danish painter-artist and presently lives in Copenhagen.)
The following data has been
extracted from the old Petersen family Bible and is considered accurate.
MAGNUS PETERSEN. Born
September 6, 1825, in the village of Lyngby, Vendsyssel County (now
Hjørring) Denmark. (This is the present village of Nr. Lyngby about
three miles north of Løkken.) Died in Shelby County, Iowa August 11,
1909. Married February 23, 1849 to:
ANNA MARIA CHRISTENSEN.
Born September 2, 1824, in the village of Lønstrup, Vendsyssel County,
Denmark. (This is the present village about 9 miles northeast of Løkken
right on the coast). Died in Shelby County Iowa, November 19, 1902.
Magnus and Anna's children are:
1. ELSE MARIE MAGNUSSEN.
Born January 4, 1850 in the village of Furreby, Vendsyssel County,
Denmark. (This is about one mile north of Løkken). Died October 17,
1923. Married September 7, 1872 to CHRISTEN JOHNSON. They had
the following children: MARTHA, TORIE, ELMER,
HULGA, CARL, CLARENCE and RAY.
2. PETRA ANNA MAGNUSSEN.
Born July 8, 1860, in the village of Furreby, Vendsyssel County,
Denmark. Died January 31, 1882. Married November 2, 1878 to LEWIS
JOHNSEN. They had two daughters before she died. One was PETRA
JOHNSON. Born January 4, 1882 and died 1940. She was an old maid
until she married a man by the name of ALWELL in the late 1930's.
3. MARIE MAGNUSSEN.
(Known as Mary Petersen). Born October 5, 1864, in the village of
Ingstrup, Vendsyssel County, Denmark. (This is about three or four
miles south of Løkken). Died May 21, 1946. Married April 2, 1884 to
ANDREW CHRISTENSEN. Born June 27, 1859. Died January 23, 1944.
For their children see the Andrew and Mary Christensen family records.
From Wayne Christensen
Magnus and Anna are buried
in the Cuppy's Grove Cemetery as are their three daughters. Magnus and
Anna's headstone is spelled Peterson. This is an error that was
made when the stone was cut. The name in the old family Bible is spelled
However there is an old family
legend that Mary Petersen's family had some Swedish blood back in the
line. Mary always denied this and in fact would get rather indignant
when her husband Andrew would tease her about it. Maybe this is spelled
"son" in memory of that blood. There is also an allegation
that some Irish blood has spilled over into this family. These items
have never been proven; however, if so it was several generations back
and at this time is "Cleansed".
All the children were born
in Denmark. Magnus Petersen lived near the sea and was a fisherman.
Legend indicates that his father was lost in a storm while fishing in
the North Sea and never returned. Magnus served in the Danish Army during
the Schleswig War. This was probably the first one in 1848-1850.
Magnus and Anna sold their
Danish possessions and immigrated to America between 1870-1872. They
were in their late forties. Mary Petersen was about six to eight years
old. Family legend indicates that Magnus moved his family to America
because he did not like his oldest daughter's Danish boyfriend. Magnus
was not a wealthy man; however, he was not a poor Danish immigrant.
He had enough money to buy about a section of land in Shelby County,
Iowa. Most of their land was 2 miles south of the present Cuppy's Grove
church. He rented more of his land out than he farmed. In addition he
sold some of the land and gave 80 acres to each daughter when they married.
Grandpa Petersen generally took life more easy than most Danes. Grandma
Mary said that her father didn't like winters and in later life he spent
most of the winter in the house in bed.
from Ethel Christensen
(Shutts) Swain 4/87
Many people have asked me,
"How come your family is Baptist, not Lutheran?" We really
do not know what influence led Magnus away from the State church. There
were many "evangelical" missionaries in Europe who were speaking
out for a free church in the middle nineteenth century.
Magnus began a Baptist congregation
in his home in Løkken. While the new congregation was holding worship
services, the local people used to try to disrupt the communicants by
running around the house, beating it with sticks, etc. New members were
baptized in a little pond close to the house. Our Lutheran cousins in
Denmark told Marlys on her visit there that "Magnus was a member
of a strange religious sect called the Dippers," (By the
way that is what the Anabaptists were called in Seventeenth Century
America where they also underwent some persecution.) I have seen the
house (now on the national heritage register) and the pond. It is a
charming scene, with ducks swimming in the water.
In the United States, Magnus
and Ane Marie soon joined the new Cuppy's Grove Church, founded in 1870.
The church centennial book does not give baptism dates. The old records
were too hard to read and no one knows the language any more, but their
names are early in the list. Anna and Petra are also listed. The first
church building was erected in 1876 and burned in 1889. The second building
also burned. A third one, now called Altamount, situated in a different
location on a hill close is an active American Baptist Church. The first
church was actually called Altamount, but the name was never used. The
village of Altamount, now extinct, at one time had a little post office.
Father was baptized, probably
around 1891. His friend, Claus Kjer, was baptized at the same time.
Ezra remembers Father saying that they had to break the ice for the
baptism and Claus thought it pretty cold! Father never remarked about
that. The baptism was, no doubt, in the Nishnabotna River.
Father taught a Sunday School
Class in the Cuppy's Grove Church. He had been a very interested youngster
in his Lutheran Catechism classes and he knew his Bible and his Lutheran
catechism, much of which he renounced, of course, after being a Baptist.
In Nebraska he became a member
of the newly organized Lime Grove Church, about eighteen miles from
us. We attended in the summer when we could. Rev. Bolvig, a Danish Baptist
minister was an interim pastor at Mankato, when we were there at the
college. When Jim appeared before the deacons, scared, of course, Rev.
Bolvig told the deacons, "His grandfather was a fine man whom I
knew years ago at Lime Grove. Any grandson of his has to be ready for
Most of the Christensen children
eventually joined other churches. Anna and I were the only ones who
remained Baptists for life. I married the son of an American Baptist
minister, and my second husband, too is a Baptist with a long family
heritage in that denomination. When the Danish Baptists dissolved, they
left one-half of their money to the mother church in Denmark and the
other half to the American Baptist Convention in the U. S. The Belgian
Congo mission was founded with early Danish Baptist missionaries, from
the United States.
Although the Christensen
children joined other churches, they still held to immersion. Ezra joined
the Allen Methodist by immersion in Isom's pond near Allen. Agnes joined
the Cedar Falls, M. E. church by immersion in the baptistry of the Christian
church. The Methodist minister was a bit on the heavy side and she heard
him and the Christian minister struggling to get him into the waterproof
clothes! Floyd La Favre, Agnes's husband, was immersed in a river. A
woman, with a wig, lost it during the ceremony and the minister quickly
grabbed it to keep it from floating down stream. Floyd also baptized
my Ronald in the Des Moines River, along with others. The U. B.'s did
both sprinkling and immersions.
When we went to Cedar Falls,
Father had me sent to the American-speaking church, much to the dismay
of the Danes. I see now what an insight that was, for that church was
where I met Hervey! Mother was baptized in the Cedar Falls Danish Baptist
church. They still used the Danish language for Sunday morning and prayer
What a wonderful heritage!
We are a family of many missionaries, preachers, and earnest local church
PRAISE THE LORD
FOR MAGNUS PEDERSEN, THAT FINE OLD FISHERMAN!
OF MAGNUS PEDERSEN
Originally published in the
Vaegteren (The Watchman) the national Danish Baptist newspaper,
Anna had saved this article and Aletha gave it to me several years ago.
The clipping was old and it was in poor condition besides being in the
old Danish script which is no longer used. A section of about six inches
long was torn off, so that I could not make much out of it. However,
it seems to be mostly religious "talk", characteristic of
proper obituaries of the time. I have tried to leave the flavor of the
old Danish and yet make sense of the text. For instance, I started with
the literal sense, "Friends of the people" when I might have
said, "Friends of the Danish Baptist community".
(Shutts) Swain, December 1985
Translation of Magnus Pedersen
Obituary Harlan, Iowa
To friends of the people!
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Revelations 14:13). Again
has an old pilgrim left us here in Harlan, namely Magnus Petersen, but
God called him from this earthly life to life eternal. I testify that
he was known by the brethren in this religious community for over thirty
years. The more I learned to know him, the more lovable and amiable
he became to me. His love of truth and joy bespeaks the fact that he
was born again and lived in faith of the Son of God: he was a good conversationalist
even after the body became weak. Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers;
for they shall be called the children of God (Matt. 5:9). He possessed
hope that reached beyond the grave, with a love for God's children,
yes, all mankind. (Romans 5).
(Here begins the torn section,
apparently dealing with religious ideas showing what a good Christian
man Magnus was, highly regarded for his Christian virtues. Ethel)
I have enjoyed many blessings
in this brother's company. His conversations were not frivolous, overstepping
Christian decorum. But there is another matter that I must write about.
As I think about this worthwhile life, these thoughts come to me. Our
elderly brother, Magnus Petersen, had a long-suffering life. He was
born in Denmark the sixth of September, 1825 and died in Harlan on the
eleventh of August, 1909. He was 83 years, 10 months and 5 days old.
In Denmark he earned his living by fishing. He began this when he was
a young boy, taken out by his father on the North Sea. That remained
his livelihood. In spite of hardships Magnus was master of his life
and took the helm in his own hands. He was able to inspire others with
enthusiasm when he narrated stories of the violent struggles he had
in his fishing vessel fighting the mighty billows. But he never forgot
to give God the credit for staying with him in the many storms when
the sea rolled over his head.
His wife died several years
ago from a broken hip, and since then he has lived with his eldest daughter
with whom he had it very good; he always praised her. God will bless
her in that she was careful and loving with her old father who needed
much care in the last days of his life.
Dear Father, bless his two
remaining daughters with your best blessings that they may cover themselves
under the Blood and be prepared to meet their parents on Resurrection
morning and so dwell in that home which has been prepared for all those
whom He loves. God's love to us is matchless and unparalleled; Jesus
lived and died to save us from eternal perdition.
O God, help the many blind
ones -- may they change and ask remission of sins before it becomes
R (?) C. Kjer
Note: Esther thinks the writer
is Claus Kjer, as there were no other Kjers around Harlan. Claus was
a neighbor of Andrew and Mary in Cuppy's Grove. Claus was baptized at
the same time Andrew was, Andrew and he were good friends and spent
many hours talking.
The reference above to Magnus's
daughters meant Else Marie (called by us Aunt Mary) and my mother also
Marie (She went by Mary also!). Petra, the other daughter, had died
Afterthought: Magnus is a
Latin derivative meaning great. Denmark is the oldest kingdom
in the world, dating from Gorm the Old (900 A. D.) to the present Queen
Margrethe II, in a direct line. Magnus the Good ruled from 1042
to 1047. Ethel.
This material was copied
from data gathered by Anna Christensen and given to Ethel by Mrs. Earl
Christensen. Anna's daughter-in-law Aletha has the original material.
"Magnus Petersen -
born in Lyngby in Vensyssel (this is the old name for Hjørring Co.)
Denmark. Sept. 6 - 1925. Died August 11 - 1909.
"Anne Marie Christensen
born in Lynstrup in Vensyssel, (north Jutland) Sept. 2 - 1824 Died
Nov. 19 - 1902
"To this union were
born three children namely -
1. Elsie Marie Magnussen
born Jan. 4 - 1850.
2, Petra Petersen born
July 8 - 1860.
3. Maria Peterson born
Oct. 5 - 1864. Died May 21 - 1946
"Elsie Marie Magnussen
married to Christen Johnsen Sept. 7, 1872 Died Oct 17, 1923.
"Marie Peterson married
to Andrew Christensen April 2, 1884 Died May 21 - 1946"
The following was on a separate
sheet; on the back in Anna's handwriting was the following: "Mother's
Great Grandfather -
PETER CHRISTENSEN born
1796 - Died 1879
HANS PETERSON (Look
up thru Stena)
CHRIS PETERSON past
MAGNUS - 83 yrs
JOSEPH - Died young
about 30 years
VALENTINUS - died 1919
past 80 years
Joseph had been in
New York but went back to Denmark
Chris spent about
3 years in Shelby County north of Magnus Peterson's home School
Valentinus has two
son's sons in Racine by the name of Valentinussen. One is Magnus
Ethel's note: I took a picture
of Valentinus' grave (died 1919) in Denmark with his grandson Christian
Valentinussen, the artist, standing by it. Christian V.'s father was
Peter, mother Elsa (Home in Lökken, Denmark: Father, Mother, Esther,
and I visited them in 1921. We also saw the two sons, Marius & Christian.
We also visited Joseph, another son of Valentinus. Mother and Lydia
visited the Racine relatives. I do not know them.
Came to America
Thoughts from David Reichlinger
Andrew came from a family
so poor that it was a struggle to get enough to eat. His reason for
coming to America was obvious. It is more difficult to imagine why Magnus
and his family came here. He owned a fishing boat in Denmark and was
relatively well-off. In fact, he managed to keep out of the military
by buying his exemption (apparently that was common back then) through
the sale of the family silver.
My speculation was that he
moved here because of his religion. A Baptist in Denmark had to be a
rare sight. He was a very devout man and helped organize his church
back in Denmark.
However, his move had nothing
to do with finances or religion. Apparently the main reason was to prevent
the marriage of his eldest daughter to a man of whom he didn't approve.
ODDS & ENDS THAT HAVE
OCCURRED TO ME also from Ethel (Shutts) Swain
By paying certain penalties
to the Danish government, some things could be overlooked. Magnus Pedersen's
father and mother sold the family heirloom silver to obtain money to
buy off the government so that Magnus would not have to do compulsory
Petra, Mother's second sister
married Lewis Johnson, quite a wealthy man. Father worked for him and
met Mother. Petra contracted diphtheria at the time of the birth of
her second child, also named Petra. Both baby and mother died. (Note
from R. J. Blum - the gravestones indicate the child was named Annie
who died in Jan 1882- the month Petra died - and that Annie was over
2 years old, so unless I've mixed gravestones from some other family,
it was the first daughter who died and the new baby Petra who survived.)
Grandma Petersen thought it would be just a perfect solution for Mother
to marry Uncle Louie. That way Louie would have a wife and little Petra
a mother. Mother would have none of it. She would have Andrew. My father
said, "Your parents will not accept me. I have no money."
According to my sister, also a Petra, Mother said, "Oh, they like
you." And then she added in telling this, "I lied."
This story has a final irony.
Lewis never remarried and "Cousin Petra" was reared by the
Petersen grandparents until she was old enough to go back to her father.
She married Mr. Alwell late in life and left no children and no will.
It was always one of our family jokes that she would probably leave
her money to her cat. Well, Aunt Else Marie Johnsen was married to Lewis'
brother, so they got 2/3 of the estate being doubly related, and Mother
got one-third -- $30,000!
MOTHER'S (ANNE MARIE CHRISTENDÄTTER) FAMILY
From Rowenna Joan Richards
Since Wayne Christensen had
worked on Mary's father's (Magnus Pedersen) side I spent part of my
time in the Salt Lake City Mormon Genealogical Library researching her
mother's (Anne Marie Christendätter Pedersen) side.
I found we have another
CHRISTEN (nicknamed "SATHOJ") JENSEN (aren't the Danish
names fun! A bit of perspective - a list of 29 male names and 21 female
names amounts to more than 95% of those in use before 1875). Here's
what I've found so far:
Father: CHRISTEN "SATHOJ"
JENSEN born about 1795 (he was 28 when married 2 Nov 1823 in Mårop
parish, Hjørring Co., Denmark)
Mother: MARIE PEDERSDÄTTER
born about 1793 (was 30 when married) died 4 Sept 1824 in Løngstrup
parish, Hjørring Co., Den.
Daughter: ANNE MARIE
CHRISTENSDÄTTER born 2 Sept 1824 in Løngstrup parish, Hjørring
The parish records note that
when the baby was born (2 Sept 1824) she was named "Anne"
at her home christening, (This family apparently was not Baptist). But
the mother died two days later, so at the church christening the baby
was renamed "Anne Marie" to honor her mother.
The marriage record of CHRISTEN
"SATHOJ" JENSEN and MARIE PEDERSDÄTTER also gives
her father's name as PEDER LARSEN and that he is from "Ruberg".
A NOTE WHICH
NEEDS FURTHER STUDY
Does this match anything
currently remembered? Rowenna Joan Blum
In 1981 when my grandmother
Petra Schram was visiting I noted this as a quote:
Her "mother Mary had
one brother Iaz? Niels? who lived in Kansas. He married a French woman
who had been married before and had a daughter. They thought Mary's
family too plain and never came to see her. They wrote letters containing
samples of fine cloth and telling of their fine clothes. (Iaz or Niels)
had fled Denmark when he had a girl pregnant and didn't want to marry
or take responsibility. Perhaps this is why he took another name and
didn't contact the family much."
In 1987 when I'm typing this
and have a lot of other information from family, I find no one else
has mentioned anything that might link to this bit of information (and
perhaps prove that I have the wrong connection) so it is just information
in limbo. rjb
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