Niels Thomsen Bruun: A Loose End No More

Niels Thomsen Bruun is one of my loose ends, or I guess, was. As ancestors go, he isn’t all that far back in time as he is my 3X great grandfather and father of my Danish immigrant 2X great grandmother, Margrethe Bruun Jensen (aka Johnson).

I also know quite a bit about him, thanks to those fabulous Danish records. He was baptized on 22 January 1809 in Flade, Hjorring, Denmark, the son of Thomas Madsen Bruun and Margrethe Nielsdatter Nipper. His occupation was fisherman, which makes sense given that Flade is a parish on the coast of northern Denmark, just south of Frederikshavn and close to Bangsbostrand.

He married Ane Amalie Christensdatter Moller on 1 November 1842, also in Flade.

My 2X great grandmother, Margrethe, certainly appears to have been named for her paternal grandmother. She was baptized on 1 May 1843, one of those first babies who might come at any time.

Her only sibling, Peter, was baptized two years later on 13 April 1845.

Why then was Niels Thomsen Bruun a loose end? I cannot find any death record or burial entry for him in the parish records. I suspect his occupation – fisherman – might have something to do with that and he may have died at sea. Just speculation on my part, but when church records are available for the 1840s and he isn’t found in them, there must be a reason.

Niels’ wife, Amalie Christendatter Moller, married (2) Jens Marinus Hansen on 24 October 1847 and she was described as a widow.

If Amalie, as she was called, was a widow, and I have no reason to think she was not, given that she remarried in the same small parish, that narrowed the time frame of Niels Thomsen Bruun’s death to between July 1844 (if he died, say a day after Peter was conceived) and October 1847 when Amalie remarried.

Danish records are terrific and I checked FamilySearch for probate records. There is an index for probate files in Hjorring County and it is alphabetized by surname (I’ve found some Swedish indexes set up by FIRST! name.)

Look what I found:

Niels Thomsen Bruun, 1847 Probate
FamilySearch Film #7589228

By law, notice of someone’s death had to be reported to the proper authorities immediately. I wish the date that probate opened was more specific, but it was likely within a month or perhaps less of when Niels died.

I’m not sure why the probate didn’t close until four years later in 1851 and the record is short – only two pages (76 and 87).

The downside is that apparently this record is not available online. Nor did I see Hjorring probate court records online at the Danish National Archives.

I’m not curious enough to pay to obtain the record, but I am quite sure now that Niels Bruun died in 1847.

The index was easy to browse, so I looked for other Bruuns and found Niels’ parents, too:

Burial dates are recorded for Thomas and wife Margrethe – he died in 1835 and she survived him by 6 years. That is why Margrethe also has a probate file.

If and when I find the probate files online, I will post the images and transcribe the information in them. I do kind of wish they were online already!


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