Week 12 – 12

How to interpret the number 12?

Since I can go back 12 generations on my mother’s side, I chose to write about my 10th great grandfather and progenitor of the Øvli/Øuli Family.

Name: Mickel Øuli
Birth: About 1510 – Malling, Ning, Århus
Marriage: Date unknown – Malling, Ning, Århus
Spouse: Birgitte Ibsdatter
Death: About 1570 – Malling, Ning, Århus

I did not do my own research on Mickel Øuli. I would at best have been able to go back perhaps 8 generations following church records, but the extra ancestors are thanks to other members of the Family, who have freely and happily shared what they knew. Indeed, a book was published in 1917 titled Øvle-Slægten og dens Hjem by A Eriksen (The Øvle-Family and its Home) and I am drawing freely from Eriksen’s work.

Mickel Øuli and Birgitte Ibsdatter were parents to – Eske Michelsen Øuli, who was father to – Øffli Eskesen, who was father to – Peder Øvlisen, who was father to – Øvli Pedersen, who was father to – Eske Øvlisen, who was father to – Øvli Eskesen, who was father to – Anne Øvlisdatter, who was mother to – Jacob Nielsen, who was father to – Niels Jacobsen(my Great-Grandfather, who was father to – Maren Jacobsen, who was mother to – Nanna Rasmine Rasmussen, who was mother to – me.

To say I go back 12 generations to Mickel can be debated. If I go through my Great-Grandfather’s line it is 12 generations, but if I go through my Great-Grandmother’s line it turns out to be 13 generations.

But why stop there? There is strong evidence that the lesser ranked noble, Jes Pedersen, was a grandparent to either Mickel or Birgitte. This adds two generations, even though nobody has yet been able to name the middle generation as very few documents exist from the 1400s.

A parchment exists from 1463, witnessed by 24 of the oldest most respected parish men in Malling, stating that the land and everything relating to it, currently occupied by Jes Pedersen is his true inherited property. Two wax-seals are attached to this document, which is preserved in the Danish Archives in Copenhagen.

It is then reasonable to suggest that the property, Matrikel 14 in Malling and later named Veilgaard, belonged to Jes’ father and quite possibly 2-4 generations further back.

Enter Mickel Øuli. Michel requested that the above mentioned parchment be read at the District Court in in 1567, to prove that the same land belonged to him. He was relying on the fact that he or Birgitte’s relationship to Jes Pedersen was well known and undisputed.

Michel’s move was successful and the farm stayed in the family until 2012, when it was sold to outsiders.

Week 11 – Large Family

There are many large families in my tree, but I think Hans Peder Jensen beats everyone else. He was married twice and managed to father 18 children.

Name: Hans Peder Jensen
Birth: 28/4/1838 – Malling, Ning, Århus
Marriage: 21/5/1858 – Malling, Ning, Århus
Spouse: Anne Marie Hansen
Marriage: 22/4/1873 – Malling, Ning, Århus
Spouse: Jensine Hansen
Death: 5/6/1934 – Malling, Ning, Århus

Hans had been recruited as a soldier and was due to turn up at the 7th Battalion on 3o/5/1858. I can’t say if he did or didn’t turn up because I can’t follow his military career past this date. However, I have to wonder if that is why he married Anne Marie just 9 days before. She would have been 5 months pregnant with their first baby by then. Did he escape military service on those grounds? I don’t know, but I wonder.

Anne Marie gave birth to eight children, evenly spread between four girls and four boys.

1 – Jens Hansen Jensen, born Malling 25/9/1858 and died in Odder jail on 7/2/1899, aged 40. He married Kirsten Christensen in 1884, but I have not found any children from this marriage. The Odder church register notes that Jens died by hanging during a drunken stupor.

2 – Hans Jensen, born Malling 9/1/1860 and died Odense County 11/2/1935, aged 75. Hans married Karoline Marie Madsen Virkelund in 1887 and together had 6 children. It appears they were very specific with their choice of religion as all their children’s christenings and Hans’ funeral were held at the Fri Church in Bering.

3 – Maren Jensen, born Malling 19/5/1861 and died 14/1/1884, aged 22. A note in the church register states that she died at the Malling nursing home.

4 – Kirsten Jensen, born Malling 27/3/1864 and died in Århus hospital 26/8/1930, aged 66. Kirsten appear to have had a difficult life. In 1985 she became a single mum when she gave birth to Ane Marie Jensen. The church register states that the father is said to be bachelor and bricklayer Niels Kristian Nielsen. He was not present at the christening and they never married. The following year she married Christen Peter Christensen and had a child in 1887. Unfortunately the marriage did not last and they were divorced in 1891. Same year she had another child, this time the father is Peder Hansen and whilst he agreed for the baby to carry his name, they never married. Kirsten worked as a housekeeper for Christen Sørensen in Århus and in 1895 they married. He was 67 and she was 31 years old at the time. They had a daughter in 1896, but sadly Christen died in 1905. In the census of 1916 Kirsten is again married. This time with rag-trader and organ-grinder Johan Petersen who is disabled with a back injury. This marriage lasted to her death in 1930.

5 – Peder Christen Jensen, born Malling 3/8/1867. He was confirmed in the Beder church 3/10/1880 but I have not been able to trace his life past this date.

6 – Marie Pouline Jensen, born Malling 11/2/1868 and died 18 days later on 29/2/1868.

7 – Søren Jensen, born Malling 26/5/1870. He was confirmed in the Beder church on 20/4/1884 but I have not been able to trace his life past this date.

8 – Marie Pouline Jensen, born 25/5/1872 and died 30/10/1872 aged 5 months. Her mother died end of July that year when Marie Pauline was only 2 months old.

It must have been difficult for Hans to work and look after 6 children although the eldest was 14 by then and would have been able to help. It is therefore not surprising that he married Jensine Hansen 10 months later 22/4/1873. What is surprising, perhaps, is that Jensine was 3 months pregnant when they married. Jensine gave birth to 4 boys and 6 girls.

9 – Hans Peter Jensen, born Malling 14/10/1873 and died in Århus hospital 4/4/1961, aged 87. Hans Peter was a baker by trade, but never married.

10 – Ane Marie Jensen, born Malling 29/8/1875 and died in Kolt 3/5/1932, aged 56. Ane Marie married roof-thatcher, Rasmus Søren Rasmussen in 1897 and had 4 children.

11 – Johanne Jensen, born Malling 13/11/1877 and died 8/2/1882 aged 4.

12 – Marie Pouline Jensen, born 29/8/1880 and died 11/2/1919 in Viby, aged 38. She married Carl Sofus Pedersen and had 4 children. Marie Pouline’s youngest child was only 6 when she died.

13 – Johanne Jensen, born Malling 29/1/1883 and died in Odder 6/7/1958, aged 75. She was engaged to be married with Anton Steckhahn when he fell ill with tuberculosis and died. By that time she was pregnant with his daughter, who was born in 1901. Four years later Johanne marries blacksmith Jens Jacobsen Solgaard with whom she has 5 children. The marriage didn’t last, however, and they were divorced around 1916. Soon after she took up co-habitation with Rasmus Rasmussen Færgemann. They had 4 children between 1918 and 1926, however, they did not marry til 1932.

14 – Marius Jensen, born Malling 22/5/1887 and died Thisted 13/1/1934, aged 46. Marius became a farmer and milkmand near Thisted, where he also married local girl Dagmar Mikkelsen. They had 3 children.

15 – Niels Jensen, born Malling 7/11/1888 and died in Skåde 28/4/1951, aged 62. His became a smith, which best fits the English description of fitter and turner. In 1913 he married Gjertrud Kathrine Jensen, but he wasn’t happy with the ‘common’ name of Jensen and in 1915 he changed his family name to Lænø. Niels and Gjertrud had 4 children.

16 – Jensine Petrea Jensen, born Malling 27/1/1892 and died in Århus 1971, aged 78. Jensine fell pregnant in 1906 and gave birth to a daughter when she was still only 14 years old. The father’s name was never mentioned in the church’ christening register, which is unusual, and I have to wonder if she ever received any form of financial support. Five years later she marries Rasmus Jørgen Marinus Rasmussen with whom she has 3 children.

17 – Louise Kathrine Jensen, born Malling 23/3/1895 and died Viby 2/10/1971, aged 76. Louise married Arnold Marinus Sørensen Duun, who was a mechanic with DSB (Danish State Railway). Louise and Arnold had 4 children.

18 – Frederik Jensen, born Malling 2/6/1899 and died in Malling 28/10/1972, aged 73. Frederik was a painter by trade and in 1922 he married Anna Thykjær in Århus Cathedral. Frederik and Anna had 4 children.

There would be many more stories to tell about this family, I am sure, but I have run out of research time. I have counted Hans Peter had 47 grandchildren, but it is quite possible that there were more. Imagine how many great-grandchildren there are/were – my 4th cousins!

Week 10 – Bachelor Uncle

As my ‘Bachelor Uncle’ I have chosen Rasmus Peter Rasmussen, my mother’s cousin, whom I met as a child and therefore knew a little.

Name: Rasmus Peter Rasmussen
Birth: 7/10/1920 – Over-Fløjstrup, Beder, Ning, Århus
Death: 10/4/2002 – Over-Fløjstrup, Beder, Ning, Århus
Rasmus with his sister Helga – about 12 years old?

Farming was to become Rasmus’ livelihood. He was trained in farm management by his father from a very early age, and later took over the family farm of Toftegaard i Over-Fløjstrup.

Animals were perhaps his greatest love and he won many prizes over the years for his cows and their milk and butter production. Articles from Århus Stiftstidende of 1965 and 1970, mentions Rasmus because of his cows outstanding production of butter. Countrywide, in 1970/71, Rasmus had a cow among the top 33 cows, where she produced 8,155 litres of milk and 426 kg of butter. Those are amazing numbers.

Farming was not just about the animals. Cultivating sugar beets was a good money spinner, but the crop was very labour intensive. The small plants, whilst sowed in rows which were weeded by machine, the plants needed room to develop the large beets and therefore the individual rows needed thinning out to about 10-15 cm between each plant. This was backbreaking work and labour was hard to find.

Heros in the Beet-war in 1964

Above is a newspaper article which tells how Rasmus managed to find soldiers from Jydske Telegraf-regiment, who were willing to assist with the beet work. Payment was a rate of three Kroner per 200 meters covered plus lunch and transport. The top photo shows the soldiers with the hoeing implements instead of guns, and the other depicts them having lunch.

Rasmus did not have a housekeeper, but his mother lived on the farm till she died in 1977 and would have been of some assistance indoors. In addition he was very well liked in the neighbourhood and the local wives helped with hot meals from time to time.

His ‘fodermester‘ (special assistant to help with the animals) was a married man, who stayed with Rasmus for many years. In addition to the normal wages, Rasmus provided him and his family with a house nearby. This also meant that Rasmus had a woman to call upon, should help be needed in the house, such as feeding the extra manpower during busy times. I am sure she is the one serving the soldiers on the above photo.

Rasmus’ sister Helga, was only 15 months younger than him, so when her husband died in 1992, it seemed natural she would move back to the farm and help wherever she could. Unfortunately, Helga had health problems and their neighbours kept a sharp eye on them and ensured they had a hot meal from time to time.

Rasmus died on the 10th of April 2002 and, strangely, Helga died the day after on the 11th of April. A combined service was held for them at nearby Beder Church.