Jens Hansen – Turning the Tide

Jens Hansenoroe

Young Jens felt alone on the Oro Isle;
alone as a boy could be.
His mother and brother were taken in death,
his father was gone, so you see

His grandmother’s sister took him into her fold,
but the fold was too cold for his care.
He attended the school, he attended the church,
he bided his time while there.

From the shores of his island he could see cross the fjord
through the mouth to the north of the bay.
The island grew smaller as the tide rolled in,
as he sat on the shore each day

Then when old enough to be his own man,
he set out to follow his dream.
A sailor he made in the navy of Dane
turning tide on the life that had been.

On ship he was agile, trustworthy and strong;
he climbed the rope latter and mast,
Unfurling the sails, catching wind round the world,
turning tide on his difficult past.

One day with the wind in his light brown hair,
he returned from the open sea;
and cast his blue eyes on a beautiful sight.
and married sweet Else Marie.

(by Ken Hardman based on the following references) #AncestorClips

References:
(1) Hansen, Ray, Jens Hansen, as given in The Hansen & Gulbrandsen Family History, compiled by Jana Greenhalgh, Dona Losee, and Ray Hansen
(2) Hansen, Shannan, Denmark to Zion: The Immigration of Jens and Else Hansen, 29 Nov. 2000

(3) Photo of Oro island from google.com

Authors Note: Jens Hansen is a great-grandfather of my wife, Joan Losee Hardman. I find strength in his example of moving from limited opportunity to great potential. I picture him in a lowly church pew looking upward to God, from a small island in the Isel fjord to the wide open seas as a seaman, from the decks of clipper ships to the heights of their derricks unfurling sails to unveil the horizons, and on and on upward to the potential of God’s plan for him as evidenced by the rest of his history. I’m pleased that my children and grand-children can look up to their ancestor, Jens Hansen as one who positively Turned the Tide.

Advertisements
Posted in Hansen | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hans Sorensen – Modest in Heart and ‘Sole’

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 6.42.33 PMIn 1847, on the north shore of Zealand, as Danish citizens fought for “freedom of press, and religion,”1 fourteen-year old Hans Sorensen finished school and entered apprenticeship. That same year his mother and grandmother died. In 1849 the monarch gave in and the people won their desired freedoms.2 With a feeling of opportunity, Hans studied with a demanding shoemaker, and using local materials he became skilled at constructing shoes and saddles with maple pegs and strong flax thread.1 He was among the “industrious, peaceable, and skillful,”3 of his people. At age 20 his brother and father died4 but he continued his trade and service to his community. Nine years later, he married Maren Kristine Hansdatter also of his Parish and opened a shoe-shop in the nearby town of Tisvilde.1 The 1864 conflict with Prussia and Austria pulled him away from his work and bride as he was drafted in the 2nd battle of Schleswig-Holstein.1 He survived the painful war but Denmark lost significant portions of the country.2 Religious freedom was crossing the country as were the Mormon missionaries. As predicted by a Latter-day Saint leader, the war served to, “awaken the indifferent and the careless to a sense of their situation, and thus [brought] many into the Church…”3 Hans attended a Latter-day Saint meeting, “was impressed with their message… investigated…the doctrine, and was satisfied he had found the Pearl of Great Price.”1 #Ancestorclips

(1) Sorensen, George H, Hans Sorensen, as compiled in Hardman Biographies, Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin, Dec. 2009
(2) Wikipedia.org
(3) Christensen, Marius A. History of the Danish Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints, A Thesis, BYU, March 1966
(4) FamilySearch.org (photo of Hans Sorensen, and other information)
(5) Painting from Vejby in Nordsjaelland by Johan Thomas Lundbye, 1843, commons.wikimedia.org

Author Note:
Hans Sorensen is my great-great grandfather. I sense from him a patient, day-by-day determined character who followed his heart even in the face of loss. In his youth, he lost his grand-parents, parents, and a brother. As a new groom, he was taken from his wife for war. As a seeker of truth, he lost his friends and extended family. Yet, the choices later in life demonstrate that he built upon the strong character of his youth. He followed his heart. He worked hard, built a family, and became a blessing to his posterity and his ancestry by his faithfulness to God. Truly he lived the commandment to ‘honor thy father and thy mother’ (Exodus 20:12) including ancestors by the life he lived. As one in his family tree, I can draw from the seeds of patient character and diligence inherited from Hans Sorensen.

Posted in Sorensen | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walter Pitts Griffin – Gunpoint

WalterPittsGriffinOpportunity was slim in Newton Utah in 1899. Walter and Eliza Caroline journeyed by steam locomotive from Newton to Indian Valley Idaho, anxious for promising, “cheap and plentiful” land further north. A “lawless element…infested the railroad,” so, “mother and the two baby boys rode in a passenger car” while Walter guarded the family’s possessions in a box car. Aroused from the continuous clickety-clack, he heard galloping horses and rough voices outside the train. An instant later, rough fingers wrapped around the end of the box car door. “Get out o’ here,” he yelled. The door opened a few inches with a slow screech. The Griffin “livestock” stirred, “penned-off at one end,” of the car. Their furniture and [belongings] were at the other end, and their heavy “machinery, wagon and food…were…near the doorway.” No stranger to guns and outdoors, he had learned hunting and defense from his frontiersman father. Walter grabbed his Colt .45 from beside his books and lantern. He stood, shoulders back, chin high, and aimed. A “tough” face looked in. Walter pulled back the hammer; the click filled the car. He “tighten[ed] his finger on the trigger.” The intruder “read the message in his eyes,” muttered, then backed out and “dropped off” the train. The family made it safely to Indian Valley, prospered “handsomely” for ten years then returned to Utah due to concern over “raising their family in this relatively untamed country.” Moving from “a prosperous…ranch” in Idaho to a “alkali-infested lake shore [in Utah] brought years of toil and struggle. However, [Walter] tackled it resolutely, often stating that, ‘hard work and perseverance could overcome any obstacle.’” #AncestorClips

Author Note: Not knowing for certain what type of gun Walter owned, the author used the model most popular at the time. A few other details were added without explicit basis including “galloping horses,” “rough fingers,” and “Get out o’ here.” All else is based on the primary reference (1) and related scenarios.

Dlw_railroad_wagon_1900

Train Image Caption: Train History, Image of Delaware box car. “A Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroadwagon at a level crossing, circa 1900.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rail_transport_in_the_United_States)

References:

  1. Geraldine G. Griffin, The Family of John Griffin and Ruth Keep, June 1988, adapted from account by Henry LeGrand Griffin (primary reference)
  2. Revolver, “Although originally made for the United States Army, the Model 1873 was widely distributed and popular with civilians, ranchers, lawmen, and outlaws” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver)
Posted in Griffin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Halvorine Halvorsen Gulbrandsen – Only a Bowl of Rice on Christmas Eve

Halvorine HalversonIt was Christmas of 1909 just before my dad was to come home [from his two-year mission.] We were down to board floors and paper curtains [having sold the furniture piece by piece.] We had large five-gallon lard cans to sit on; a stove, table, and a bed that we all slept in. We sat in bed and sang Christmas carols until…it was time to go to sleep. We only had a bowl of rice that night for our dinner… We went to sleep hoping…for Santa to come. I woke up to the sound of crying. I went into the other room and found Mama crying. I asked what the matter was. She said…she was so grateful and happy to her Heavenly Father, and told me to go back to bed so Santa could come. I…was wakened again by her sobs. I went to sleep the third time and woke up at 7:30 am with mother still crying. As we all came out of the bedroom she made us kneel in prayer before we could see our toys. I will never forget the prayer my mother offered, thanking the Lord for his goodness to us. We then went out on the porch; there was a doll and dishes for the girls, a tool box for the boys and a small decorated Christmas Tree and a basket of food… We danced around the tree and sang and went to bed that night with our hearts full of happiness and our stomachs full of good food. Brother Alma Winn was our Santa and he had eight children of his own… My mother had cried and prayed all that night. Her prayers were answered… How grateful I am for the faith of my mother and grateful…that we five little ones weren’t forgotten by a “Santa” who had been inspired to come and help us in time of need.

(By Lillian Gulbrandsen Carlisle, edited by Kenneth R. Hardman, Source: The Hansen & Gulbrandsen Family History – Ancestors & Descendants of Edna Violet Gulbrandsen & Harvey Ralph Hansen, Compiled by: Jana Greenhalgh, Dona Losee, Ray Hansen, pg. 85-87, photo from family files) #AncestorClips

Posted in Gulbrandsen, Halvorsen | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ole Gulbrandsen – “Finger Prints” all over the Church

Ole GulbrandsenWith all hopes of emigration from Norway to Zion, Ole’s father died leaving a widow and nine children. Fighting despair with faith, the whole family was gathered in the Rocky Mountains within six years. During his youth in Utah, Ole worked as a laborer, miner, hotel mechanic, then railroad foreman. In 1899, he married Halvorine Halvorsen, also of Norway. Nine years later, on a Saturday night, a knock came at their home. Ole excused himself from the dinner table, then returned and invited Halvorine to join the conversation with the Bishop. “All children listened at the door.” Ole had received a call to serve a mission in Norway. “After some discussion, Halvorine said, ‘Ole, accept this calling. I am sure the Lord will provide. If it hadn’t been for the missionaries, we wouldn’t be here today…’ Ole quit his job [and] mortgaged the home,” but funds were scarce. How could he go, an associate asked? Ole said, “The call has come to me… God will open up ways…” Ole fulfilled his mission, returned as a fine leader. In numerous church positions he enjoyed a “rich portion of the Holy Spirit of God.” He and his counselors “awakened and brought into activity many of the men who had become inactive.” As a mechanic, he could “fix anything.” Ole became Temple foreman, and chief engineer for church buildings in Salt Lake City. The Presiding Bishopric of the church said, “Ole was the ‘guardian angel’ of all the Church buildings…” “As you look at the Temple, as you go through the ins and outs of these buildings, you see [Ole’s] fingerprints everywhere…I glory in the steadfastness of this man…”

(By Kenneth R. Hardman, Ref: The Hansen & Gulbrandsen Family History – Ancestors & Descendants of Edna Violet Gulbrandsen & Harvey Ralph Hansen, Compiled by: Jana Greenhalgh, Dona Losee, Ray Hansen, pg. 67, photo from Jana Greenhalgh) #AncestorClips

 

 

Posted in Gulbrandsen | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Andrew and Hannah – A Hard and Happy Life

AndrewHannahAnderson“Hannah gave Andrew to understand that her husband had to be worthy to take her to the temple. So he set about preparing himself…” At last the happy day arrived. He borrowed a team and sleigh and they drove from St. John, Idaho to Logan, Utah. Living near their extended family, “they had good land, flowing wells, excellent horses and fat cattle.” On urgings from “a sharp real estate salesman,” the large group sold-out and went to Canada to start a ranch with their “100 head of cattle and 14 sheep camps.” It was the coldest winter on record and, “they lost most of the herd.” In the spring, with much sorrow and homesickness, Andrew and Hannah returned to Idaho to homestead 160 acres at “the head of the Big Malad River.” The high sagebrush indicated good soil but required “long, tiresome work” to clear the land. In the summer, they lived in a log cabin; in the winter they lived in St. John where their five children attended school. In later years, he broke his ankle and also had a stroke but remained cheerful. Hannah learned to drive when he no longer could. When grandchildren, Ferril and Rex, came to visit, Hannah drove them around town to show them off. Before his death, Andrew said, “It is my advice to all young people to read and learn all they can about this wonderful church we have and never turn down an opportunity to labor in this great work that we as Latter-day Saints have accepted.” Andrew died on his 80th birthday. Hannah said, “We had a happy married life. We never had a quarrel… I am thankful I had such a good man and such good children.”

(By Kenneth R. Hardman, based on Losee, Ferril A., South, Betty, The Anderson and Josephson Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lars Anderson and Anna Andersdotter, Lars Charles and Anna Isaacson Josephson, 1999, pages 57-65, photo from same reference) #AncestorClips

Posted in Anderson, Josephson | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Lars Anderson – Losing it All, Finding Better

Andrew_AndersonIn 1869, Andrew’s mother died before his 1st birthday. His father, Lars Anderson, with baby Andrew, made the trip from Sweden to Utah in just 30 days, on steamship and railroad. Andrew was left in the care of Lar’s sister, in St. Johns, Idaho, while Lars took work 150 miles south in the Utah Bingham mines. By 8 years of age Andrew was driving oxen and working the cornfields in Idaho. For the next 8 years, Andrew lived with or near his father in Utah who took him to his first store and bought him clothing and a suit. In Utah, Andrew earned meager wages herding sheep and cattle and working in the mines. He attended school for six months and learned to read the Bible. At age 17 he returned to Idaho continuing sheep herding. At age 23, his sick father asked him to come back to Utah. Shortly after Andrews arrival, Lars died of miner’s consumption, and Andrew paid for the burial. Andrew joined the LDS church at age 25 and had $800 from successful sheep herding. He was called to serve a mission, but declined indicating that “those better off should go,” wishing later, “that he had accepted the call.” Instead, he spent the $800 on more sheep, and he took a bank loan for horses and equipment. In a major spring snowstorm, after “the sheep were sheared and had lambs by their sides,” he lost them all in four feet of snow. He honorably reported to the bank, whereupon they took all his assets except for one saddle horse. Broke, and broken hearted, he returned to Idaho, obtained work shearing sheep, started over, and met the girl who would take him to the next level.

(By Kenneth R. Hardman, based on Losee, Ferril A., South, Betty, The Anderson and Josephson Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lars Anderson and Anna Andersdotter, Lars Charles and Anna Isaacson Josephson, 1999, pages 14, 53-55, photo from family files) #AncestorClips

Posted in Anderson | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment