Yesterday’s post explained Danish laegdsrullers or military levying rolls and their use. I hope it wasn’t too confusing to follow. The rolls themselves aren’t the easiest records to navigate, but they are definitely worth the time and energy.
Now for the rest of Johannes Jensen’s story. Being a career soldier, he attained the rank of sergeant, a minor officer, but an officer nonetheless. That helped immensely in this research.
First, FHL Film #0041,960, part of Card Index of Army Officers of Denmark 1757-1860 yielded two candidates to be my Johannes:
The card on the left is for Johannes Jensen (born Copenhagen), “Tamb,” short for “Drummer.” He was assigned to the 7th Battalion with some volume and page numbers. The final notes say he was a drummer, he retired to Saeby on either 24 or 29 September 1851 and that he worked as “arrestforvarer,” taking care of the prison.
The card on the left shows Johannes Jensen, born 1810, Copenhagen assigned to the 10th Batallion as “spillemand” or fiddler, followed by volumes and page numbers.
Both of these cards could refer to the same man as the data was culled from different batallion lists covering a span of years. I still had no levying number, but I had enough to search through battalion records.
FHL Films #0042,169 and #0042,170, which contained records of the 7th Batallion from 1834-1860. There was one Johannes Jensen found in the 1834 list of the 1st Jydske Infantry Regiment. This Johannes had last been in Skanderborg County (although it was written as what looked like “Skandby” and I didn’t know where that was), but he had a levying number! His laegdsruller number was 63-27-4, and although he was recorded as born in Copenhagen, his age and height were not recorded on the list. An assignment, transfer or re- enlistment date was shown as 14 September 1834.
1834 Batallion List
His name appears towards the bottom of the list. Those above all had ages and heights recorded. Three of the last five names – Johannes was fifth from the bottom – had ages listed, but no heights and their assignment dates were all September through November 1834. They apparently were the newcomers and only basic data was filled in about them on this list. This particular roll gave fathers’ names for the other soldiers. For Johannes, it said the father’s name was not recorded. Not deceased, as some others were noted, but “not recorded.” Hmmm???
The next document was found on FHL film #0040,135, the Regular Levying Rolls of Stilling, Skanderborg County, #63 Laegd. Johannes is the second entry on the list and his levying number was now 63-173-146.
Next, I hired a researcher in Copenhagen to try to find Johannes’s actually military file in the Danish Archives. The first attempt brought only a big bill with a couple of Johannes Jensens who were way too old or way too young to be mine. The second try brought two pages from the 10th Bataillon Stamlister for Underofficerer Beginning 20 April 1843 and Ending 7 October 1865. Johannes Jensen, born 27 April 1810 in Copenhagen was listed! It gave the date he first enlisted, 30 March 1826, aged 15. It included the 14 September 1834 enrollment date found on the other company list so I was sure this was the correct man. However, his father was not named on the document.
I now had Johannes Jensen, born 27 April 1810 in Copenhagen, but, oddly, his father’s name is “not recorded” on the military registers. My Danish researcher offered an opinion about that oddity and the staff in the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake concurred. Johannes was born out of wedlock. However, he still would have been baptized – it was the law. No baptismal record had been found.
I have already told the story of Johannes’ birth in the Den Kongelige Fødselsstiftelse, the Royal Hospital for Unwed Mothers. The discovery of his birth record there would not have been possible without this march through the Danish military records. Not an easy march by any means, but I now know why there was never any trace of Johannes’s family among the records of his own family.