Another Trip to Salt Lake – Finding Jens Jensen Lundqvist

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I’ve been out of town. One of my stops was Roots Tech 2014 in Salt Lake City, which was fabulous. Equally fabulous was the time I got to spend in the FamilySearch library digging through Danish records. As with my past visits, I would not have made the progress I did without help from the wonderful Nordic staff who helped guide me through the old records, translating and suggesting new sources to check. However, I came up with some golden finds – I was able to pick up the likely family of Jens Jensen Lundqvist. Better yet, I found carpenter guild records of Helsingor, Frederiksborg from 1790 and actually found the entry explaining that the new apprentice-to-be was introduced to the guild.

So, how did this all come about? I started looking at the 1787 and 1801 Danish censuses to locate Jens Jensen Lundqvist. He married for the first time to Inger Andersdatter on 24 August 1801 in Helsingor. The Danish census was always taken on 1 February so Jens should be found in the area.

Anyone researching Danish roots should be aware of the Danish Archives website, It is free, has digital images of censuses, church records, some probates, and more being added all the time. A second site,, is a search engine for the census records, as Arkivalieronline gives the actual images which must be read page by page.

Using the Dansk Demografisk Database (the DDD or Danish Demographic Database), I found Jens Lindqvist in the household of Johan Hansen Lund, which turned out to be an important clue. Johan was a master carpenter. Besides his family members, he had several journeymen and apprentice carpenters also living with his family. One such journeyman was Jens Lindqvist.

Now, I couldn’t be sure that this Jens LINDQVIST, not LUNDQVIST, was the right man. However, the Lundqvist name is more Swedish than Danish and that surname occurs very rarely in the Frederiksborg vital records. Also, the age of this Jens matched the age of Jens Jensen Lundqvist.

Second, I had originally found Jens’ first marriage to Inger Andersdatter in 1801 on I had also looked at the original record in the digitized church register. However, while I have gotten quite adept at finding a name in these old records, I can’t read any of the accompanying text except to follow the pattern of the names of the groom, the bride, witnesses, the day the engagement was announced and the actual wedding date recorded on the side.

Jens Jensen Lundqvist’s name on the second line has a word crossed out and then there was another word written in that I could not read.  That is a most important word because it was the proof I needed that this man and Jens Lindqvist, the journeyman carpenter, were one and the same person. This important word was read and translated for me at the Family Search Library: snedker, which in English is a joiner or carpenter.

Here is the actual 1801 census image:


Jens Lindqvist is in the last household and is the third name down in that house.

After finding out that Jens Jensen Lunqvist was a carpenter, one of the volunteers told me about trade guild records that exist for some areas of Denmark. We checked the catalog and, sure enough, there were some from Helsingor that went back into the 1500’s! However, these films were in the “vault” off site because they are not often requested. I put in my request and the very next afternoon, they had arrived. It took a bit of reading and there are some gaps in the records, but I did find:


Jens Jensen is the last name on this page, which I have been told is basically his introduction to the guild as a new carpenter/joiner trainee.

I also found:


This second entry identifies him as an apprentice. Both guild records are dated 1790.

After my last post, I had said I would take a break from the Danish research, but I wanted to share my newest find as another piece of the Danish brick wall has come tumbling down. My next few posts will be short stories, but I promise to return to the Jensens because they are my continuing saga for the time being.

Part 7 – Questions Answered, More Created

The story is almost complete, but there are yet more surprises to come.

JohannesJensenDenKglFodsBirth27Apr1810 copy

Above is a not very good image of the birth register page proving that on 27 April 1810, two male babies were born there, one named Nikolaj and the second named Johannes. By the time I had gotten this far with the quest to find Johannes Jensen, all the ladies at the Scandinavian desk in Salt Lake were checking on my progress. Everyone agreed that the odds were strongly in my favor that this baby, Johannes, was my 3x great grandfather. All the pieces fit together and there were no pieces that didn’t fit. They particularly felt that the military list with the notation that the father’s name was not recorded when all the other men had their fathers’ names or a note that the father was deceased indicated that Johannes’ parents were unmarried at the time he was born.

My Danish researcher was fabulous (not inexpensive, but wonderful) as he followed up with my frantic overnight email asking if he could retrieve the mother’s record from the Copehagen archives before I left Salt Lake. The next day, I found the following:


Seven lines up from the bottom of the left image is another recording of the birth of Johannes on 27 April 1810. The right image is the other side of the ledger, but the page of the most interest is the one below.


The top half of the page pertains to Johannes. It states that when he was a few days old, he was given to the wife of master tanner Zinn. However, there is an additional notation made in 1820 – ten years after the birth – which is very unusual. It said that the mother, Kirsten Jorgensdatter, who was about 30 when she had Johannes (so about 40 in 1820), was currently residing with the child’s father, who agreed to provide a suit of clothes for him! It also gave the neighborhood where she lived which is in Vor Frelser Church parish.

I scurried off to read the marriage and death records for Vor Frelser. In it, I found that on 13 August 1824, Kirsten Jorgensdatter, aged 44, married Jens Jensen Lundqvist. You can bet that I did a great big happy dance! With the Danish patronymic system of a baby’s surname being the father’s given name + “sen” or “datter” attached, Johannes’ father would have been named Jens. There are no other Kirsten Jorgensdatters or Jorgensens in the parish at that time and her age exactly matches the “about” age given in the Fodselstiftelse record.  This record was not easy to read. My new found best friends at the Scandinavian help desk spent the better part of a day with overlapping workers all giving opinions about their deciphering of the hospital text. I could not have done this by myself.

It only took 34 years to unravel much of the story of the Johnson family who emigrated to Calais, Maine in 1883. I believe I know much more about Johannes’s parents than he ever did, but, even so, there are more questions to answer:

1. Only one Jens Jensen Lunqvist has been found in the indexed records on He appears to be one and the same man. Johannes was born on 27 April 1810. On 4 May 1810, Jens Jensen Lundqvist married his second wife, Anne Dorthea Gyse in Helsingor, Denmark. Did he know that Kirsten Jorgensdatter had just given birth to his son?

2. Master tanner Zinn was Carl Henrich Zinn who appears to be the Zinn buried at Skt. Peter’s Church on 31 August 1814 as his wife is referred to as the widow of tanner Zinn in another church record a short time later. It isn’t likely that his wife kept the child who was to be apprenticed when she was now a widow with her own children to feed. What happened to Johannes? He enlisted in the army one month before he turned 16. I believe he may have been sent to the orphanage when he was four years old. Another path to research.

3. Who are the parents of Kirsten Jorgensdatter? She was from a village near Slagelse in Soro County, as noted in the hospital record. There are several possible girls born in the right time frame to be my Kirsten.

I feel like I know Johannes Jensen a little more now. While the establishment’s expectations of marriage before children and having baptismal sponsors for your children didn’t seem to be important to Johannes, I think he used the unusually lengthy names he gave his children to give them the sense of belonging to a family that he never had.

In a couple of weeks, I will be heading to Roots Tech 2014 in Salt Lake City. Guess where every spare minute will be spent?

I will be posting many other stories about research successes that I’ve had. Some will take several posts to tell (although the Jensen story is, by far, the most complicated) while others will be shared in one post. I hope you will come back to read more about my genealogical adventures. I also hope that my experiences will help you to look at your own brick walls with new eyes.

Part 6 – Thinking Outside the Box to Assemble the Puzzle Pieces

I didn’t know it at the moment, but I was actually getting close to my goal of finding both Johannes’ date of birth and his parents’ names.

The big break came when the Danish researcher I hired in Copenhagen found the “10th Bataillon Stamlister for Underofficerer Beginning 20 Apr 1843 and Ending 7 October 1865.” Remember, the two military cards I found mentioned the 7th battalion on one and the 10th battalion on the other.

There was my Johannes Jensen, born 27 April 1810 in Copenhagen.! It gave the date he first enlisted, 30 March 1826, aged 15. It included the 14 September 1834 (probably re-enlistment) date I found on the other company list so I was sure this was the correct man. The one missing piece of information was his father’s name, which is often included on Danish military records.

The second big break came when found found Johannes Jensen on the “Regular Levying Rolls of Stilling, Skanderborg County, #63 Laegd.” (FHL film 40,135) Johanes was now 63-173-146. This particular list gave fathers’ names for all the other soldiers, but next to Johannes’ name it said “father not recorded.” Hmmm???

These discoveries happened over many months’ time. I continued to research Frits and his sisters in the Saeby church records and then started to ask questions outside the box.

Back in an earlier post, I commented how Frits had four given names in a time period when two were common and his sisters all had three given names. Yet, Johannes was just “Johannes” and his wife, Johanne Elisabeth, had the typical first and middle names. That was the first item that stuck in my mind as unusual.

Second, the Jensens had their children baptized (there were fines levied at the time for not baptizing children in a timely manner), but never had family or even apparent friends as sponsors.

Third, Copenhagen parish registers seem quite complete for the 1810 time period. I could not find a trace of anyone who could be my Johannes and his company military list, which named fathers of other soldiers, said his father was “not recorded.”

The fourth discovery really made me step back and look at the data that I had accumulated. In the early searches in Denmark, I had found baptismal records for all of Frits’s sisters, with the exception of Vilhelmine, who was living with him in 1880. The Saeby confirmation records solved that mystery, as they give the place of baptism for each child being confirmed. Vilhelmine was born in Copenhagen and baptized at the Fodselstiftelse, which I was told was the Unwed Mothers’ Hospital! Obtaining her records is a different story, but knowing that her parents were not married when she was born sent me back to Garnison and Trinitatis parishes where I had found other family records. I had not found a marriage record for Johannes and Johanne Elisabeth in Copenhagen, but I stopped looking at the end of 1840 and figured maybe they married in Sweden since she was born there. This time, I reread the baptismal records from 1840 to 1843, when daughter Emilie was baptized. On 8 May 1842, a stillborn child was noted in the records of Garnison Church as the child of Johanne Elisabeth Molin and “reputed father Johannes Jensen.” I then checked marriages there from 8 May 1842 to 18 May 1843, when Emilie’s baptism was recorded and her parents were married. On 31 August 1842, Johannes Jensen and Johanne Elisabeth Molin were married in Garnison Church! Discovering that Johannes and Johanne had two children before they married made me look at all these unusual pieces of information in a new way.

What if Johannes Jensen was also born when his parents were not married? Could he also have been born at the Fodselstiftelse??? The hospital records are divided into two parts because the mothers had the choice of anonymity or not and either keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption. The babies’ births are recorded with given names only in the birth registers. Each child has a corresponding code to identifying the mother and her file record. The Family History Library had the birth registers, but did not have the mothers’ records. That meant one more time having to hire a Danish researcher.  However, I could read the register for 27 April 1810 myself, which I did in Salt Lake City. The next post, Part 7, of this saga, will explain how the pieces came together.



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