How do you know if there was love among your ancestors? I believe there was, lots of it, but unless you speak to them, how can you be sure? There are many kinds of love of course, and for this week I have chosen to write about Morten Sørensen. I don’t know if he had romantic love, although I’d like to think so, but as I learn about his life I feel sure he had love for family and community and that he was loved in return.
|Name: Morten Sørensen|
|Birth: 1797 – Skafterup, Fyrendal, Øster Flakkebjerg, Sorø|
|Marriage: 29/5/1818 – Kvislemark, Øster Flakkebjerg, Sorø|
|Spouse: Margrethe Jacobsdatter|
I am connected to Morten in two ways. He is brother to my 3rd great grandmother Maren Sørensdatter and he married a sister to my 2nd great grandmother Sidse Jacobsdatter, who I wrote about in week 4.
Sadly, Morten and Margrethe did not have any children of their own, but they were godparents to many children in their community. I checked the register of the local church in Fyrendal for the first ten years of their marriage, and found they were godparents to 35 children during that time. Usually it would be both of them but on a few occasions it was one or the other. In addition, Morten was godfather to all of Sidse’s 8 children in Holsteinborg and Margrethe held two of them, Jacob and Søren, over the christening font.
Those two boys ended up spending a lot of time with Morten and Margrethe. Jacob, my Great Grandfather, moved in with them when he was 11, according to the military register, and stayed ‘in place of a child’ per the 1860 census, until the day he married aged 30. Søren, being 17 years younger, also came to Morten and Margrethe at a young age and was equally described as being ‘in place of a child’.
When the time came to pass on the farm which Morten had inherited from his father Søren Wincentzen, Jacob was already married and settled on a different farm and it was only natural that the farm lease should go to Søren. Morten may have had a role to play at the christening where Søren was given the middle name of Vincent, same as Morten’s father and grandfather. This way the name Vincent stayed in the family and with the farm for many generations.
In a local newspaper from 1867 I found a notice where several high-ranking members of the community such as The Earl Holstein-Holsteinborg, Judges, Parliamentarians and Farmers including Morten were inviting the local community to a festival by the Holsteinborg castle. The proceeds were to benefit the true, needy people of Slesvig. In 1864 Denmark had lost the provinces of Slesvig-Holstein to Prussia in a devastating war.
Convinced that, in these for our homeland serious times, we feel a need to get together to support each other in the fight for Danishness and freedom, we invite men, women and children to a festival in Holsteinborg forest by Bisserup beach, Tuesday the 11th of June.
For many years, Morten held the honourable role of ‘Sognefoged’ – the country police officer working for the district courts. The person for this position was selected by the local council and had to be ‘one of the best suited, most honest and knowledgable farmers in the parish‘. Later Morten was made a ‘Knight of Dannebrog’, a royal order awarded for special deeds or conspicuous service to Denmark.