Week 19 – Nurture

How do you pick someone from a long list that fits this topic? It is hard, as so many over time either nurtured a family or they were nurtured by one special person in their life. My choice was made easier due to an email I received from my 2nd cousin. It contained stories about Johanne Kirstine Elmose, told by her grand-daughter.

Name: Johanne Kirstine Elmose
Birth: 26/5/1902 – Starup, Malling, Ning, Århus
Marriage: 12/12/1941 – Risskov, Hasle, Århus
Spouse: Ingemann Jensen
Death: 1998 – Malling, Ning, Århus

Johanne, my 2nd cousin once removed, and a member of the Øvle-clan, was quite frail as a child. This may be the reason that she became interested in music to the extent that as a young girl she attended the Music Conservatory. This love of classical music stayed with her throughout life.

Music was not Johanne’s only love. Cooking also fascinated her. This interest, once she was fully trained as a chef, took her to many interesting places.

Hjort-Kokholms Hotel in Kandestederne

One of these was Kokholm’s Hotel in Kandestederne. This hotel is situated at the beach on the west coast of Skagen, about 15-20 km from Jutland’s most northerly point. Another was a large estate in Eastern Sealand.

Anneberg – situated near Nykøbing Sjælland in the northern part of Sealand.

Later she worked at Anneberg in Northern Sealand. She obviously liked traveling and seeing different places. Her adventurous spirit took her on a trip to England where she worked at a large Estate.

By 1939 Johanne had reached a career pinnacle. She was working in a management position at the d’Angleterre Hotel, Copenhagen. For those who do not know this hotel I can say that it is a ‘Five Star Superior’ rated hotel, the only one in Denmark. It was established in the mid 1700s and is situated in the centre of Copenhagen with only a minute’s walk to ‘The colourful Nyhavn, The Royal Theatre, Kings Garden and Strøget‘ (from D’Angleterre Website). The restaurant, where Johanne would have worked as a chef, is now Michelin-starred.

d’Angleterre Hotel

My information tells me she had lost interest in this career by mid 1940, and I also suspect it had something to do with the German occupation on the 9th of April 1940. The German High Command chose the Hotel d’Angleterre as its residential headquarters and placed guards at the main entrance. The Danes were not happy about this and started to boycott the hotel. I think this would have been another reason for Johanne’s decision to leave.

In the summer of 1940 she became a housekeeper at Aldrup Andelsmejeri (co-op dairy-works). The manager, Ingemann Jensen, had recently lost his wife and was suddenly alone with three young girls aged 3, 5 and 9. He was in a lot of trouble, but it didn’t take long for Johanne to straighten out the house and family.

Aldrup Mejeri

Johannes granddaughter tells the story about how her mother and siblings were hanging out of the attic window the day Johanne arrived. As she stepped down from the bus they noted she was a very smart woman wearing both hat and gloves.

Love blossomed, and Johanne and Ingemann were married at the end of 1941. Another daughter Kirsten arrived the following year, and this is where the nurturing comes in. Johanne always loved and treated the four girls exactly the same even though only the youngest was her biological daughter.

Johannes was religious and apart from her music interest she also read a lot, keeping up with the news as well as the latest in literature. She was a very busy woman because in addition to looking after the house and family she was a fantastic cook, says her granddaughter. Somehow, she also found time to knit and sew for the family.

Ingemann died in 1973, but Johanne lived for a further 25 years and died aged 96. Whilst her body was tired towards the end, her mind remained sharp.

Week 18 – Road trip

Recently, when visiting Denmark, I was lucky enough to meet up with cousins I had never known about or met before I started genealogy. Some of these 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins took me on road trips to several family farms where our ancestors were either born or lived. The difficult decision to make is this: Which farm and family member should I write about this week?

Name: Hans Jensen
Birth: 3/9/1866 – Stubberup, Ørslev, Vester Flakkebjerg, Sorø
Marriage: 14/4/1897 – Hårslev, Vester Flakkebjerg, Sorø
Spouse: Ane Kirstine Olsen
Death: 12/12/1945 – Stubberup, Ørslev, Vester Flakkebjerg, Sorø

Hans Jensen is my Grand-uncle, who along with my Grandmother and their other siblings, were born on the farm known as Glænøvej 31, Stubberup.

Glænøvej 31, Stubberup

The farm has been in the family since 1828, however, the above buildings are from around 1890. There was a fire in Stubberup in June 1887, where most of the farms in town burnt down.

The story goes like this: – One of the men in town wanted to shoot a magpie sitting on the roof of a straw-thatched out-building. He had a front-loading gun, which was filled with gun-powder and paper. Unfortunately, he didn’t hit the magpie but instead set fire to the roof. There was a strong easterly wind that day and the fire quickly spread to surrounding farms and houses.

Only a ‘Navneklud’ (Sampler) and a bench was saved from the old farm.

Sampler embroidered by my Great Grandmother Ane Margrethe Hansdatter
Bench saved from the old farm before it burned down.

The Language department of the University of Copenhagen had begun a study on dialects in 1911. Both world wars had probably put limitations on the research, but in 1945 the department contacted Hans Jensen to see if he would contribute to their study. A recording of him telling a story about his grandfather and the local vicar resulted:

Yes, I will tell a little story about my grandfather and the vicar in Ørslev. The vicar in Ørslev was a very clever farmer, and a man who was very interested in keeping things in order. It was around 1828. And back then the vicars were in most cases a spokesperson for the farmers – in a lot of cases. And then my grandfather had a couple of cows that had escaped one day and the vicar sent his farm-hand out to get them. Next the vicar sent a message to my grandfather that he could come and get them and it would cost this much – I don’t know what the price was. My grandfather went up to the vicar, collected his cows and paid the price. But then it was only a couple of days later (little chuckle) when two of the vicar’s cows and a bull came onto my grandfather’s land. My grandfather rounded them up and sent a message to the vicar that he could collect his cattle from him. The vicar came with his farm-hand to take the animals home and asked my grandfather how much he owed him. My grandfather said he wanted what he had previously paid the vicar and then he would be happy. That is not fair for you, Hans Olsen, you have a right to this much as a bull is double the fee. My grandfather said that he just wanted as much as he had paid the vicar and he would be satisfied. The vicar found this was very reasonable and he had high regard for my grandfather from that day.

Recording of Hans Jensen’s story. Description says ‘father’ but it was his ‘grandfather’.

The story was saved onto an unusual form of medium. It is like an LP record, but it has to be played from the inside out. Traditional record players can’t do that. Luckily Hans’ great grandson Jens Arnth Jensen with the help of a friend found a method to play the record and save the story onto a modern medium. Last year I had the pleasure of listening to this recording. For me, it was interesting to realise that Hans’ dialect was not very different to the one my aunt spoke when I was growing up.

Hans Jensen