Category Archives: Bruun

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!


Thomas Madsen Bruun & Margrethe Nielsdatter of Flade, Hjorring, Denmark

Flade, Hjorring, Denmark appears to have been the longtime home to my Bruun family.

NOTE: All events took place in Flade, unless stated otherwise.

Thomas Madsen Bruun was baptized 17 September 1783. He was the son of Mads Thomsen Bruun and Marie Sophie Sorensdatter.

Thomas married Margrethe Nielsdatter on 22 October 1808.

Margrethe Nielsdatter was baptized on 25 May 1783 and was the daughter of Niels Pedersen Nipper and Maren Larsdatter.

Oddly, I haven’t found much of anything about this family aside from the baptismal records.


1. Niels Thomsen, baptized 22 January 1809; died 1845-1847; married Ane Amalie Christensdatter Moller, 1 November 1842
2. Mads Christian, baptized 13 January 1811; married Karen Marie Jensdatter, c1834. They had one known son, Jens Christian, born 1836. This family has not been found in the 1850 census. Mads might have died before then with Karen remarrying and Jense being enumerated under his stepfather’s name.
3. Peder, baptized 19 April 1813
4. Maren, baptized 9 October 1814
5. Jens, baptized 17 August 1817; died 4 January 1855
6. Catrine Petrine, baptized 22 March 1819
7. Johanne Marie, baptized 30 March 1825

I can take the Bruun family back one more generation:

Mads Thomsen Bruun  was baptized 5 June 1747, Raabjerg, Hjorring, Denmark and died 1 January 1817 in Flade. He was the son of Thomas Christensen Bruun and Ane Nielsdatter. Mads married Marie Sophie Sorensdatter on 11 December 1782, also in Flade. Marie Sophie was baptized on 25 November 1753, Flade and was the daughter of Soren Ammorsen.

The family information was found in the 1801 census of Denmark found on


  1. Thomas Madsen Bruun, baptized 17 September 1783; died 15 December 1835. He married Margrethe Nielsdatter on 22 October 1808. All events took place in Flade.
  2. Soren, baptized 20 January 1788, Flade; died after 1801
  3. Jens, born 1791; died after 1801
  4. Anders, baptized 2 December 1792, Flade; died after 1801
  5. Ane Marie, baptized 10 February 1799, Flade; died after 1801

I would love to make contact with Bruun family descendants. Margrethe and Frits Jensen, who became Johnson, were the immigrant generation and settled in Fort Fairfield and Calais, Maine.

My grandmother, Hazel, knew Frits, her grandfather, but Margrethe died 11 years before Hazel was born.

My line of descent:

1. Thomas Christensen Bruun = Anne Nielsdatter
2. Mads Thomsen Bruun = Marie Sophie Sorensdatter
3. Thomas Madsen Bruun = Margrethe Nielsdatter
4. Niels Thomsen Bruun = Ane amalie Christensdatter Moller
5. Margrethe Bruun = Frits Wille Oscar Emil Jensen
6. Anna Elisabeth Jensen = Hartwell Thomas Coleman
7. Hazel Ethel Coleman = Vernon Tarbox Adams
8. Doris Priscilla Adams = George Michael Sabo
9. Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – Me!



Niels Thomsen Bruun (1809-c1845), Flade, Hjorring, Denmark & Ane Amalie Christensdatter Moller

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written about the Danish branch of my family tree so today’s post is about my 4X great grandparents, Niels Thomsen Bruun and Ana Amalie Christensdatter Muller.

This part of my Danish family lived in what today is part of the Frederikshavn suburbs, just to the south of the city.

Frederikshavn and Flade are slightly southwest of Gothenburg, Sweden, just across the water.

I often wondered how my 2X great grandparents met, as Frits Wille Oscar Emil Jensen was born and raised in Copenhagen and his wife, Margrethe Bruun was from Frederikshavn.

Once I learned the Frits’ military career father, Johannes Jensen, retired and moved the family to Saeby – which can be seen at the very bottom of the Frederikshavn & Bangobostrand map, I understood. At that point they lived in close by neighborhoods.

The life story of Niels Thomsen Bruun is short. He was baptized on 22 January 1809 in Flade, Hjorring, Denmark, the son of Thomas Madsen Bruun and Margrethe Nielsdatter.

Living in a coastal village, most made their livelihoods at sea and Niels was no exception. He was a boat captain and, I imagine, worked a fishing boat.

Niels married Ana Amalie Christensdatter Moller on 1 November 1842, also in Flade. She was the daughter of Christen Andersen Moller and Marie Katrine Jensdatter and was baptized on 10 January 1823, again in Flade.

They had two children:

1. Margrethe, baptized 1 May 1843, Flade, Hjorring, Denmark; died 10 November 1890, Calais, Washington, Maine; married Frits Wille Oscar Emil Jensen, 12 October 1866, Flade, Hjorring, Denmark
2. Peter, baptized 13 April 1845, Flade, Hjorring, Denmark; married Lovise Christine Sofie Jensen, c1879. They were living in Reberbangsgade, Aalborg, Denmark in 1880. Also in the home were Peter’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

1880 Census, Source: MyHeritage

1890 Census, Source: MyHeritage


Niels promptly disappears from Flade records and, although I’ve looked more than once to make sure I didn’t miss it, no burial record has been found for him.

Given that he was a mariner, I suspect that he died at sea.

On 24 October 1847, in Flade, widow Ana Amalie Christensdatter Moller married (2) Jens Marinus Hansen, born 19 January 1815 in Budolfi, Aalborg, Denmark.

Margrethe and Peter had four half siblings, the first three born in Flade:

1. Niels Christian Hansen, baptized 13 September 1848; died after 1860
2. Bolette Marie Hansen, baptized 17 August 1851; married Jens Frederik Alfred Borentzen, 5 May 1876, Skt. Hans and St. Olai, Hjorring, Denmark.
3. Julie Hansine Amalie Hansen, baptized 28 June 1853; married Julius Emil Petersen, 12 March 1882, Skt. Jakobs Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Ernest Alfred Hansen, baptized 18 September 1859, Voer, Dronninglund, Hjorring, Denmark; died March 1934, Fresno, California; married Anna Christensen, 22 May 1896, Marshall County, Iowa

The blended family is all enumerated as the Hansen family in the 1855 census of Flade:

Source: MyHeritage

By 1860, they had moved to Voer, Dronninglund, still in Hjorring County:

Source: MyHeritage

Ernest Hansen eventually immigrated to the United States and is found in the 1908 California Great Register.

Source: Family Search

He was living in Fresno and, more importantly, the voting register notes that he was naturalized in Marshall County, Iowa District Court on 29 May 1892!

A further look at Ernest Alfred Hansen turned up the following information:

Anna Christensen Hansen was born c1871 in Denmark and died 14 May 1934 in Fresno, Fresno, California, surviving Earnest by only two months, as he died in Fresno in March 1934.

Earnest and Anna had two children:

1. Christian C., born 23 March 1897, Iowa; died 24 March 1954, Santa Cruz, California. He married Angeline Sawyer. She was born 18 September 1896, California and died 5 October 1979, Santa Cruz, California. They had two children – Jean Elizabeth, born 12 November 1920, California; died 1 December 1965, Santa Clara, California; married Mr. Bull and Robert Chris, born 11 May 1922, California; died 27 April 2000.
2. Eulia Margaret, born 2 August 1899, Marshall County, Iowa; died May 1978, Fresno, California; married John William Coughlin. He was born 21 August 1900, New York, New York; died 23 August 1971, Fresno, California. They had one daughter, Dorothy Ann, born 8 June 1925, Fresno, California. Dorothy married (1) Mr. Wilson (2) Louis A. Freitas, 1 January 1949, Santa Cruz, California.

Next, I’ll share information about Niels Thomsen Bruun’s parents and siblings.