Maria Hansdatter Olson was born in Norway to parents, Hans Mathiasen and Segri Andersdatter. She married Hans Christian Andersen on September 20, 1852 in Hole, Buskerud, Norway. Their first child was born in Norway. They emigrated from Norway to America in 1853. The family settled in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Maria gave birth to eleven more children in America. She was 68 at the time of her death.