|Vol. 2, No. 3 - September 2004
Joseph F. Buchanan
My Grandfather, Hans Hendrik Sorensen, was born September 30, 1825, at Orslev, Holbaek, Denmark. He and his family heard the Gospel for the first time in the winter of 1857, just shortly after it had been introduced in that county. At Christmas time the ice was broken with an ax so they could be baptized. They were living at the time at Shalau (Shagels), near the city of Copenhagen. In about 1860 they moved to Jutland (Jyland) thinking they could get away from persecution, but as the Church grew, persecution grew with it, so the Sorensen family endured much those first years.
Hans Hendrik Sorensen was ordained to the office of Elder and he worked and preached faithfully in his native land for many years. He was a stone cutter and mason by trade. In Denmark it was hard to get rock for building purposes, consequently he had to go into the woods and dig deep to find rock, or go in a boat out into the ocean and draw the rocks up out of the water.
In the year 1865 or 1866 the family was living about four miles from the city of Aarhus, close to the beautiful woods. The Elders came often to the Sorensen home and were always welcome. Finally the Elders prevailed on the family to move into the city of Aarhus and live at the Church headquarters there. This they did and grandmother kept house and cooked for the Elders faithfully and well for five years. Grandfather was faithful to his callings in the Church. The entire family enjoyed the sweet spirit of the Gospel, although some of the members had to leave home to work to help make a living for the family.
In the year 1868, Maria Sorensen, a daughter, emigrated to Utah, and in 1869 she married Peter Christensen, whose mother lived in Salina, Utah.
In the year 1870 [actually 23 June 1871], Grandmother Anne Marie Nielsen Sorensen and daughter Caroline Sophia [pictured to the right] and son Parley P. Sorensen emigrated to Utah. They came over on the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Grandmother hired out to do housework to help earn money so Grandfather and his son William (Anders Wilhelm), could come to America. In (about July) 1871 [actually 1872, see above] Hans Hendrik Sorensen and son William, reached Utah. It was a happy family reunion, but it carried a note of sadness, because son S. Peter Sorensen had not joined the Church and did not care to leave Denmark to come to Utah. During the first years that followed the immigration Grandfather Sorensen worked on the Salt Lake Temple at the trade he had learned so well in his native land, that of stonecutter.
Later the family moved to Richfield, Utah and grandfather built the old stone grist mill as well as several other buildings erected at that time. Then the family moved to Glenwood and he built two grist mills in that town. He also built the old Peterson home and many others of the fine old substantial stone homes of Glenwood.
Grandfather entered into the principle of plural marriage when he was quite advanced in years. His second wife was Matilda Torgersen. They raised a family of three girls and three boys.
Grandfather moved several times after leaving Glenwood: Aurora, Koosharem, Kings Meadow Utah and Bunkerville, Nevada. While living in Bunkerville he had a partial stroke. He served a term in jail for obeying the law of plural marriage, and it can truthfully be said that he died a martyr to his religion, as his death was caused by being subject to exposure and hardship while being held in prison.
Grandfather and his two wives were buried in Aurora, Utah.
[End of Anna Delilah Poole's history]
When Hans' children were grown he married again starting another family through plural marriage to Matilda (Evensen) Torgersen. He had six children in that family, the last one, Alma, born in 1891 when Hans was 66 years old. Hans died a year and a half later on April 6th 1893, the very day that the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated, a temple which benefited by Hans' stone cutting talents.
Even though he only lived to be 67, he suffered and accomplished much and left a great heritage for us to cherish and follow.
name age occupation from Jens Knudsen 26 Farmer Sloth Ane Sorensen 47 Munkebjerg Caroline Sophie Sorensen 11 Torbegom Peder Parley Sorensen 4 Molsgaard [Aarhus Conf. 23 Jun 1871, Emig.S.M.- film 025696] Hans Sorensen 46 Stone Cutter Aarhuus Anders Wilhelm Sorensen 17 Aarhuus [Aarhus Conf. 28 Jun 1872 on "Nevada", Emig.S.M.- film 025696] Jorgen Sorensen 56 Lab Kragerup (Hans' brother) Karen Sorensen 56 Sonderod Mette Marie Sorensen 18 Love [Copenhagen Conf. 30 Aug 1872 on "Minnesota", Emig.S.M.- film 025696]
Not much is available in the records before this time. I will continue to look for some more information, but do not expect to come up with much more. Here are the specific details of this family (I am including a family group sheet in the printed version of this newsletter that I am mailing out):
Niels Bendsen, b. abt 1740, of Stenmagle, Soro, Demnark Birthe Hansdatter, b. abt 1742, of Stenmagle, Soro, Denmark married before 1762, of Stenmagle, Soro, Denmark SON: Hans Nielsen, chr. 3 Jul 1762, Assentorp, Stenmagle, Soro, Denmark DAUGHTER: Anne Nielsen, chr. 20 Dec 1767, Assentorp, Stenmagle, Soro, DenmarkResearch Notes:
Film 0052558 (was GS 9768 pt 1) I found record for Anne, daughter of Niels Bendsen and Berthe Hansdatter 1768. It is listed as 4 Adv 1768 (The parish records begin the year 1768 (actually 1767) just before 4 Adv, which is the last Sunday before Christmas, 1967 which was Dec 20). I also found Hans, son of Niels Bendsen and Birthe HansD. born 3 July 1762 in Assentrop, Stenmagle.
I did not find any other children for Niels Bendsen and Birthe Hansdatter in the time span of the records which go from 1760 to 1780.
I searched burial records for the same time period (1760-1777) and no record of deaths of any of these were found.
No record of marriage was found for Niels Bendsen between 1760 and 1763, though he shows up as a witness in marriage 13 Apr 1764 for Karl Christen Jensen. [end of notes]