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 Jens Christian Anderson

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Jens Christian Anderson

  • Original Name Jens Christian
  • Birth 4 May 1821 Denmark
  • Death 15 Aug 1910 Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, USA
  • Burial Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, USA
  • Plot A.31.11.01
  • Memorial ID 113612

1910 Utah Death Certificate

Jens Christian Andersen: Originally the last name was "sen"
then evolved to "son" after coming to America, as did his children's.

Jens Christian Andersen was born 4 May 1821 in Hjorring, Denmark. He is the son of Anders Pederson and Karen Christensen. He married Margaret Christiansen Nielsen 8 April 1848. He was a shoemaker in Denmark. The Andersen family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1855, while living in Denmark. It was in April of 1857 the family was prepared to immigrate to the United States in an effort to gather with members of their faith, obtain increased civil rights and to provide life opportunities for their children. Jens, Margaret and four children (Lauritz Peter, Andrea, Boleta Christena and Josephina Brighamina)Andersen left Denmark, and boarded a mighty ship in Liverpool, England. The ship was called the Westmoreland was bound for Port Philadephia in the United States. The Andersens'joined with friends and fellow passengers on a train headed for Iowa. Upon arrival in Iowa the family prepared for handcart travel over the great plains to the Utah Territory. Jen's was the 7th Captain in the Christian Christiansen Handcart Company. The handcart company left Iowa 15 June 1857, pushing and pulling their covered handcart over the sandy, rocky terrain through sunshine and storms. The Christian Christiansen Company arrived weather-beaten, hungry and weary to a well defined foothill path leading to the Salt Lake Valley on the morning of 14 September 1857. Eventually, the Andersen family settled in "dug-out" homes in Manti and then to Moroni, UT. The family experienced the deprivations of poineer home life. Jens and the elders from the church helped each other build "real" homes in Spring City and later in Richfield, UT. Jens was a leader in the church and in the community. The Andersen family increased in number of sons and daughters. These children brought honor, hard-working ethics, loyalty and goodness to their new homeland.


Andrea Catherine Johanna Anderson was the oldest daughter born to Jens Christian Andersen and Margaret Christiansen Nielsen on November 14, 1851 in Hjorring, Denmark. Andrea had an older brother, Lauritz; a younger sister, Boleta Christena "Stena"; and baby sister, Josephine Brighamina Anderson.

Her father, Jens Christian Andersen was a tall Dane with a beard. He worked as a shoemaker in Denmark. Andrea's mother, Margaret (named after Queen Margaret I of Denmark) was an attractive petite woman, who sewed all of the family's clothes. She loved and cared for the children, cooked, kept house and took in of sewing. Each afternoon Margaret would go into the street market, searching for the "best catch" from the fishermen. The children would follow their mother as she did the marketing. They loved to hear the fishermen's whistles from afar---.

The elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught the family about the "Restored Gospel". Jens Christian and Margaret believed the words in the Bible were sacred. After hearing the gospel explained to them they accepted that God had placed a true prophet on the earth to fulfill the promises given in the Bible. The Andersen's had very little formal learning, but they read the Bible every morning. They were baptized in 1855, Hjorring, Denmark. When Andrea's parents joined the church they were resolute, fearless and of good courage!

The Andersen's worked extra jobs and saved money to immigrate to the United States and join with other church members in "gathering" to Zion. They packed warm clothes and gathered tiny keepsakes from their families (maybe sewn in the inside seams or hems of their clothing, so as not to be lost). Lauritz had a whistle, Andrea carried a small cloth doll mother had sewn for her, stuffed with hollyhock or sunflower seeds. The doll had waxed string tied to its hands, so that Andrea could wear the doll from her neck.

They left their home in Hjorring, Denmark on April 15, 1857. They traveled by train through Denmark to Copenhagen. Then in Copenhagen the family boarded a small vessel that took them to Grimsby, England. The family boarded a train in England that took them to Liverpool. They arrived in Liverpool, England a few days before the ship departure and had extra time to purchase items for the eight week ocean voyage.

The city of Liverpool was an amazing sight for the family to see! The city was filled with all kinds of shop keepers. Then at night time the family watched from the hotel window hundreds of tiny glowing lights that twinkled in the dark. They stayed in a hotel for at for one or two nights. Jen's purchased feather beds, food, personal items and spools of sewing thread in every color for Margaret. They strolled down to the docks in Liverpool to see if they could find any familiar faces.

They were jubilant to see the Scandinavian saints! They could hear their "brethren" playing familiar hymns with their fiddles, whistles and accordions. The sound of the hymns gave comfort and tears to the saints that were leaving home, maybe never to return! Jens and Margaret knew they would be starting a new life with many unknown challenges. They knew that a new life in America would give them spiritual support and "gather" with people of the same faith; and their children would be shielded from the bitter religious prejudice that had been spread about their faith. They left Denmark for religious freedom! Also, they would have the opportunity to own some land and a home in America; that would never been possible in Denmark in the 1850's. Their real hope was to sacrifice for a better life for their children, grandchildren and great grand children in "the light of the gospel", in a land free from monarchy.

On April 24, 1857 the Andersen Family saw the big steamship, The Westmoreland. Elder Matthias Cowley was the church leader assigned to organize the voyage. The sailors had set out huge wood planks leading from the dock to the full rigged Westmoreland ship. The captain was respectful towards the saints. He assigned sailors to help board the older passengers, women and children. The ship register showed the following: Jens Christian Andersen, age 35; Margreta, age 26; Lauritz Peter, age 7; Andrea Catherine J., age 5; Boletta Christena, age 3; and Josephine B.; age l, all from Denmark.

Elder Cowley was gentle and father-like as he greeted the saints. The families were allowed to stay on the ship over night the day before the Westmoreland would sail. Families with children and single women were assigned a section together. The single men were in another section on the ship. There was a bed space for father, mother and baby, Josephine. There was a sleeping space for Lauritz. And another place a for Andrea and "Stena" to share. Father and mother laid out the featherbeds and comforts for each family member. They made a cozy "little home" for the family, while on board the ship for the eight long weeks. The families were served something hot to drink and all the bread they could eat.

The Captain pulled on the horns! The sailors raised the ship's anchor yelling, "Heave-ho, and away we go!" A tug boat pulled the Westmoreland ship away from the dock on April 25, 1857 from England. The Andersens' were on a ship bound for Philadelpha in the United States! The family began the long journey over the great ocean. A small steamer pulled the ship out of the harbor and into the deep, dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The captain motioned and the big sails were hoisted, with the wind blowing into the sails. The sails on the Westmoreland billowed to full size in the wind. And, there on the front sail was displayed a large star. None of the other ships had a star on its sails. This star would guide the ship to America. The elders and all the saints on board the ship would quietly go to prayer meetings every morning, noon and at night. Andrea would kneel down for bed prayers, near to her mother's lap, and pray that Heavenly Father would watch over their ship and take them safely over the great waters. Then she would jump up and into her bed, holding her little cloth doll until she fell asleep.

It was always a happy time to see the Danish saints get up after lunch or dinner and start playing their fiddles and accordions to happy dance tunes. Then one by one the saints would get up and dance, tap or clap to the music. Father and Mother Andersen got up to dance. Andrea and the children starting tapping and clapping to the dance music, all in good fun. Many times in the prayer meetings those saints that could not understand the "Danish jibber" would comment and wonder if the Danes would ever learn English. But, when the Scandinavian musicians starting playing their fiddles; the single English speaking men would get up and start dancing with the pretty Danish girls. The captain and the sailors seemed to enjoy watching the good fun. Language didn't seem to matter when the people danced and enjoyed the music. It was then that the saints were free from homesickness and worries for a moment---.

After many long weeks at sea the family arrived in the Port of Philadelphia. Then their group went by train to Iowa. The family was assigned to the Christian Christiansen Company. The family stayed in Iowa until they had handcarts built. The Andersen's added a high, arched canvas cover over the handcart. The handcart would be used to haul food, clothing, provisions and the small children. The handcart company left Iowa on June 15, 1857. Andrea walked everyday across the plains! Lauritz walked, all but 2 days, across the plains. The children's feet were blistered and sore from walking in their shoes day after day. They walked over the sandy plains, over rocks and through streams of water until they had holes in their shoes. When the holes in their shoes had worn large enough; father re-soled their shoes and stretched the top leather. "Stena" and baby, Josephine rode in the handcart all the way to Salt Lake.

The Christian Christiansen Company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the morning of September 13, 1857! They came down the foothills that led to a well defined road, leading them to the city. These handcart travelers were gaunt, thin and with weathered skin. Their shoes were wore through to the soles, and their clothing was threadbare and torn. People ran out to greet them with fresh mountain water, not that brackish water they had been forced to drink along the way! The water tasted so good! It was peach time in Salt Lake and women with baskets were handing out fresh peaches to these hungry, travel worn pioneers. The peaches tasted like the sweetest fruit on earth!

After the long winter in the Salt Lake, the Andersens' left for "Little Denmark" in the Spring of 1858. Andrea, and her family traveled to Manti, Utah. Her father and the elders helped each other make a dug-out homes to start their settlement. Then in the following Spring of 1859, the family moved to Moroni, Utah. Again father and some of the other church members helped each other to make dug-out homes. Andrea's parents placed white sand on the floor of the dug-out home. Mother swept over the sand on the floor every day to keep it fresh. Sometimes, she placed small branches of greenery along the edges of the sand floor to make the place look pretty. The family lived that way for about a year. Then father built a good home for the family. Andrea and Lauritz were expected help with the harvest work outside. They would go out into the fields on the property and help take care of the crops. The older children attended a little school house in Manti. They used slates made from the shale rock taken from the big hill there.

Andrea's mother, Margaret was hard working woman! Even though, she had new babies in Utah; she still kept up with extra work and earned money. She sewed clothes for people. And, she made hundreds and hundreds of pounds of lye soap! This soap was good for washing clothes and taking out the dirt stains. When she had made a batch of the homemade soap, and it was ready to cut into large bars of soap. She would place the fresh bars of soap in a box. Then Laurits and Andrea would load the soap into the wagon and go out to the houses and sell the soap. Andrea thought that selling the soap and collecting money was the most fun thing she had ever done!

Jens worked at farming and helping other people build houses to earn money or he would trade skills with others. In the Fall of 1866 the Andersens' were called to settle the Sevier. It was hard living in Sevier because the Indians raided the settlers homes. They took their food, clothing and blankets and then drove all the of the settler's horses and cattle away. This was a frightening experience! So, the family moved back to Moroni and later they moved to Spring City, Utah.

Sources: Family Records: M. Margaret Munson (Waugaman), Andrea's daughter, (1886-1975). Living Oral Interviews: M. Margaret Munson (Waugaman), Andrea's daughter. By: Lida M. Waugaman (McPheeters) & Lucile Waugaman (Pruitt),1925-1955, Andrea's grand daughters. Story: My Mother, My Grandmother; By: Lida M. Waugaman (McPheeters) 1957. Family History Notes: By: Carol Ann McPheeters, 1957. Living Oral Interview: Boletta Christena "Stena" Anderson (Allred), Andrea's sister, By: Ione Cook (Nelson) Andrea's grand daughter, 1941. Mormon Immigrant Index, Ship Records, Westmoreland 1857. lds overland travel. com ; Christian Christiansen Company, Journal Notes, 1857.


Christian Andersen 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.

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.

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

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

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 was born on 4 April 1835 in Aastehede, Borglum, Hjorring, Denmark. She joined the Church after her stepmother's brother introduced her to the missionaries. 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.

(Posted from Cindy Eppich blog)

Page: 000186
Name: Jens Christian Andersen
Gender: male
Birth Date: 04 May 1821
Birth Place: Vester Bronderslev, Denmark
Parent1: Anders Pedersen
Parent2: Karen Christensen
Spouse: Margrethe Christensen Nielsen;Carolina Jensen
Marriage Date: 08 Apr 1848;Feb 1858
Marriage Place: Vester Bronderslev, DEN.;Salt Lake City, Utah
Departure Date: 18 Apr 1857 (on ship to Grimsby, England)
Departure Place: Copenhagen, Denmark of Liverpool, England
Travel Company: Wife - Margrethe a son - Lauritz two daughters- Andrea of Boletha A company of other Saints
Party: Seventh Handcart Co. (left Iowa 12 Jun 1857)
Trail: Iowa to Salt Lake City
Arrival Date: 15 Sep 1857
Arrival Place: Salt Lake City, Utah
Religion: LDS
Place Settled: Salt Lake, Moroni, Spring City, Salina, Koosharem
Occupation: Cobbler
Death Date: 15 Aug 1910
Death Place: Richfield, Utah
Burial Date: Aug 1910
Burial Place: Richfield, Utah
Sources: Family records of History of Jens Christian Andersen by Neal Torger Sen - Feb 1990
Sub Name: Valri Western
Sub Date: 31 Oct 1990
Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory.


1900 United States Federal Census
about Jens Christian Andersen
Name: Jens Christian Andersen
Home in 1900: Koosharem, Piute, Utah
Age: 79
Birth Date: May 1881 (1821 is correct)
Birthplace: Denmark
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1857
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Denmark
Mother's Birthplace: Denmark
Spouse's name: Margareta Andersen
Marriage Year: 1848
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 52

Household Members: Name Age
Jens Christian Andersen 79
Margareta Andersen 69

(Extraction error on birth date)

Children with Margaret:

Lauritz Peter Anderson
Andrea Cathrine Johanna Anderson Munson
Christena Boleta Anderson Allred
Josephina Brighamina Anderson Jensen
Hyrum Smith Anderson
James Christian Anderson
Heber Christian Anderson
Margaret Petraia Anderson Jensen
Orson Hyde Anderson
Albertina Wilhelmina Anderson Anderson

Children With Caroline:

Annie Meanie
Jens Christian Carlos
Erastus Snow Anderson
Diantha Matilda
Mary Ellen
Caroline 1861-1861
Annie Marie