I poured my heart and soul into finding Johannes Jensen. Not only was Scandinavia my 30 year brick wall, but even when I crashed through to find the family in Copenhagen, Johannes’s story was still deeply buried. Without the hand holding and help of the Scandinavian staff, who welcomed me like an old friend each time I appeared in Salt Lake City, I don’t think I would ever have found him.
I have no pictures of Johannes as he died on 9 April 1865 in the small town of Saeby in Hjorring County, Denmark, 18 days shy of his 55th birthday. I doubt that he ever even had his picture taken.
In spite of the tough hand that life dealt to him, he grew up to be a respected citizen and provided his family with a stable home life, something that he never, ever had.
I have written prolifically about Johannes Jensen. The short version of his story is that he was given up for adoption. You’ll have to follow the links if you’d like to learn more about the energy and resources it took to uncover his origins and learn who his parents were. The 7-part series contain some of the very first posts I wrote in January and February of 2014.
I wasn’t content with finding Johannes’s family, I dearly wanted to walk where he walked and to see a glimpse of where he lived his life. We were lucky enough to take a transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam in the spring of 2014.
My husband knew I had ulterior motives – that was as close as I could get to Copenhagen and I wasn’t about to be so near and NOT continue on, so we flew to Copenhagen.
There, my curiosity was satisfied. These posts are about my journey around Copenhagen.
Johannes, it took decades plus another two years of countless hours reading hundreds of pages of records to find you , but I did.
Today, your family is thinking of you on the 206th anniversary of your birth.