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 Carl M. Brinck “C.B.” Christensen

Carl M. Brinck “C.B.” Christensen

Birth
Denmark
Death 5 May 1937 (aged 76)
Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Burial West Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Memorial ID 120765939 · View Source
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Christensen Family History

Carl Marinus Brinck Christensen was born October 10, 1860 in Aalborg, Nordjylland [North Jutland], Denmark and christened June 30, 1861 in Aalborg's St. Budolfi (Lutheran) Cathedral. He died May 5, 1937 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Carl M. B. Christensen's funeral service was held May 7, 1937 in the Danish Lutheran Church on the corner of Prince Albert Street and East 19th Avenue in Vancouver and he is buried in Capilano View Cemetery, 1490 Third Street, West Vancouver, B. C., Canada.

Carl M. B. Christensen (Oct 10, 1860 – May 5, 1937) lived with his parents, Niels Christensen (? – before 1880) and Nielsine Kirstine Brinck (chr Aug 26, 1830 – after 1890), his older brother Jorgen Christian Christensen (Sept 15, 1858 – after 1925) and his younger brother Rudolph Marius Engelbreth Christensen (circa 1865 – after 1880), at 30 Vestergade [Westerners Street], Kobstad parish, in the Fleskum district of Aalborg, Denmark.

Other family researchers have indicated that Niels Christensen (? – before 1880) was a master tailor. Perhaps Carl Christensen and his father Niels Christensen were descendants of Christen Christensen (c1746 - ?), a master button maker, and his wife Maren Nielsdatter (c1742 - ?) who lived at the same address in 1787.

Certainly Carl Christensen's mother's family was well known in Aalborg for generations. Nielsine Kirstine Brinck (1830 – after1890)'s parents were Jorgen Engelbret Brinck (c1781 – aft1850) and Kirstine Marie Krogh (c1805 – aft1850). Jorgen Engelbret Brinck (c1781 – aft1850) was born in Aalborg. He was headmaster of a private school in Kobstad parish, and likely related to an early Aalborg Lutheran bishop named Brinck and to an Aalborg alderman of similar Engelbretsen Brinck name. Kirstine Marie Krogh (c1805 –aft1850) was born in Bedsted, 90 kilometres west of Aalborg.

Census records show that Carl Christensen's mother's family lived on Kattesund [Healthy Cats] Street, in Kobstad parish, Fleskum district, Aalborg, Denmark. Church records of St. Budolfi Cathedral in Aalborg list christening and marriage dates for family members.

Emigration records in the Danish State Archives indicate that Carl Christensen, Master of Arts (Law), departed Copenhagen in 1883 to travel by an indirect route to New York City, USA for the purpose of settling in the United States.

I expect that Carl Christensen was greeted upon arrival in New York by the famous Pastor Rasmus Andersen (1848-1930). Influenced by his maternal grandfather, by Rev. Andersen, or by other Danish emigrants, Carl M. B. Christensen decided not to practice law in America but to continue west to the new Danish-American community at Elk Horne, Shelby County, Iowa, USA, to teach in the local hosjskole [Danish school].


By all accounts, Carl Christensen was a gentle, compassionate, educated man dedicated to fostering the ideals of modern Danish arts and culture in all his young charges. I am sure Carl Christensen was passionately devoted to advancing the aims of the Danish Brotherhood in North America throughout his life. But as a young man he may have been too liberal a humanist to be entirely comfortable with established church doctrine and for a time he even termed himself an Agnostic before renewing his faith later in life. In 1894 the Elk Horn Hojskole was sold to the Danish Lutheran Church for use as a seminary and college. Carl Christensen left for Denmark. He returned to the United States in December 1895, authored a book on Georg Brandes (published 1896) and emigrated to Canada in 1898, the same year his book "Fra Amerikas Kultur Et Aandslivs Historie" ["A Spiritual Life Story From American Culture"] was published by O. W. Lunds.

Carl M. B. Christensen (1860 – 1937) became a leading light in Danish-Canadian communities in British Columbia, first on Vancouver Island at Cape Scott, Holberg and Quatsino, and later in Vancouver, B. C. on the mainland. He was a schoolteacher, (and Justice of the Peace, and Marriage Commissioner while at Cape Scott), an active member and President of the Danish Brotherhood (Lodge 328), and worked tirelessly for good causes right up until his death.

I don't believe that Carl Christensen ever married. According to Ruth Botel, while Mr. Christensen was trying to establish a school in 1899 for the Danish Community at Cape Scott, he adopted William Christensen (circa April 1891 – October 17, 1903) "to bring the enrolment up to the necessary number for opening the new school". Carl grew very attached to his likeable son and was heartbroken when the boy was hurt, age 12, making a birthday gift for his adoptive father, and died one week after the anniversary. William is buried on the Christensen property with a large marker inscribed in part "The sun went down / While it was yet day". The entire community mourned the boy's death and sympathized with his father's grief.

Within a year of William Christensen's death, Carl Christensen learned of another young boy who needed a father's care. In 1904 he adopted first Ivor John Christensen [aka Johan Ivor Bergstrom] (Feb 25, 1894 – Apr 5, 1975) and then Ivor's younger brother Henry Christensen [aka Sven Henry Bergstrom] (Feb 6, 1896 – Feb 14, 1973), who had been treated badly by foster parents.

The two boys were among the six children of Johan [aka John] Gabriel Bergstrom (Feb 5, 1862 – Dec 15, 1921) and Jenny Antonia Elvira Allberg (June 30, 1864 - ?). In 1904 the Bergstrom family hoped to emigrate to Canada, where Mr. Bergstrom could recoup the family fortune. Unfortunately the attempt failed. Within weeks of their arrival, John Bergstrom abandoned his four oldest children in Nelson, B.C., and his wife and two youngest children in Sweden, taking the train to Spokane, Washington, USA alone. With admirable fortitude, Mrs. Bergstrom and the oldest child Viola Gabriella Bergstrom (Mar 24, 1887 – Nov 15, 1971) found work, but ultimately Canadian child services stepped in to find homes for the two boys with Mr. Christensen, and a foster home with a doctor's family in Vancouver, B.C. for Elsa Katarina Bergstrom (July 25, 1892 – Nov 10, 1972). It would be almost 10 years before Mrs. Bergstrom and the youngest children could join the others in Canada and the United States.
Carl M. B. Christensen raised the two boys, Ivor Christensen and Henry Christensen, in the small communities of northern Vancouver Island, where he taught school. As they grew older, Mr. Christensen paid for their training: Ivor in cabinet-making and Henry in office procedure.

Finally, Carl Christensen adopted a fourth child, Fred Christensen (Sept 1901 - ?).

Ivor Christensen became a carpenter. He emigrated to the United States from Victoria, B.C. in 1912 and was living in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917 when he enlisted in the American Army 16th Company D Engineers to fight in World War I. Younger brother Henry Christensen was already serving in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force 15th Brigade, having given up clerical work in Victoria to enlist the year before. The brothers met while serving in France, a picture commemorates the occasion.

After the war Henry Christensen was the first of the brothers to marry. He married Doris Lillian Bingham (Feb 5, 1900 - ?) in London in 1919 and brought her to Canada with him. They lived first in the soldiers' settlement at Lister [near Creston], B.C. Their son Carleton Bruin Christenson (July 2, 1920 – Aug 20, 1983) was born at Camp Lister. Ivor Christensen came to visit and met and married his wife, Helen Violet Weston (June 19, 1902 – Mar 24, 1987), on April 16, 1921 at Camp Lister, too.

Unfortunately, the settlement did not prosper and the young couples had to look elsewhere for better conditions. In October 1921, Henry's wife Doris took her young son to visit her parents in England. Their daughter Joan B. Christensen (1922 – 2009) was born in London, England. Mrs. Christensen and the two children did not return until December 1923, meeting Henry in Vancouver, B.C. to start a new life. Sadly their marriage did not last. Henry Christensen and Doris Lillian Bingham were divorced, and she married John Cecil Harford Webb (1891 - ?) in Vancouver on April 23, 1927. Leaving Joan with Henry Christensen, Doris and her new husband took Bruin to England and later Australia. In Australia, Doris Bingham was to marry a third time, to David Henry Joseph Jarvis (Dec 29, 1901 – Jan 24, 1981). Henry Christensen (Feb 6, 1896 – Feb 14, 1973) never remarried, but his children and grandchildren were a source of great pride and happiness for himself and his father Carl Christensen throughout their lives.

Ivor John Christensen and his wife Helen Violet Weston remained happily married. The two older children were born in Canada as their parents moved from Camp Lister to Vancouver, B.C. In 1923 the family emigrated to the United States, residing in Seattle, King County, Washington State. Their youngest child, a son, was born there. Their living descendants also reflect so very well upon Carl Christensen and the entire family.

On November 9, 1929 in Quatsino, B.C. Fred Christensen married Mary Ann Canut (c1900 - ?). She was of First Nations ancestry, the daughter of Tom Canut and Julia Jamy, and widow of Yetsomhouse. They brought up a son Norman Christensen (Oct 30, 1928 – Feb 24, 1966).

On a day set aside to commemorate Carl Marinus Brinck Christensen (Oct 10, 1860 – May 5, 1937), the true celebration is in his living legacy of an extraordinary family.


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  • Created by: Janelle C
  • Added: 24 Nov 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 120765939
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Carl M. Brinck “C.B.” Christensen (10 Oct 1860–5 May 1937), Find A Grave Memorial no. 120765939, citing Capilano View Cemetery, West Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Janelle C (contributor 48228532) .