|Vol. 7, No. 1 - March 2011
Joseph F. Buchanan
Ane Pedersen Andersen Lovell passed away on 28 July 1920 at the stately age of 96. Ane was her name, except she and her parents pronounced it "Anna", with the first A spoken like an "ah." That was because of her Danish heritage. In the funeral notice that appeared in the Millard County Chronicle about two weeks later, 1 it was reported that the speakers "spoke of her noble character and a well spent life." In the Newsletter issue written four years ago (Vol. 3, No. 3; April 2007), I gave details of her later life, after becoming part of the Lovell family. There is another part of her "well spent life" that hasn't received as much attention. It is a remarkable story.
Ane was born in Aarslev (or Årslev) near Sønderup in Sorø county, Denmark on the 8th of March, 1824. This community is on the island of Sjaelland (the island where Copenhagen is on the eastern shore). Aarslev is found towards the western side of the island, near (about 5 kilometers north of) the large city of Slagelse. She was christened at her home the next day, March 9th as recorded in the church in Sønderup. 2 To put this date into perspective, this was 6 months after the prophet Joseph Smith was first visited by the Angel Moroni, over across the Atlantic in upper New York state.
Ane was the third of six children born to Peder Jorgensen and Kirsten Hansen. In the 1834 census, 3 Peder is listed with his entire family, and described as an independent farmer. This census recording shortly preceded a difficult time for the family because later that year, Peder died 4 and less than a year after that, on July 5, 1835, Kirsten also died, 5 leaving Ane and her brothers and sisters as orphans. Ane was barely 11 years old at the time. Her oldest sister, Marie would be 15 years old the next day. According to the wonderful history of Ane, written by Maureen and Glen Widdison (found in the Ane Anderson descendants book 6), Ane "was placed in the home of one of her uncles." The identity of this uncle is not specified. Further in the biography, it is said that her uncle "was a stern hard working man." The story continues: "He raised a great number of pigs which he slaughtered and shipped to market. Ane was required to work long hard hours along with the rest of the family. One night after a tiring day of butchering, she was given the job of holding a light while the pork was packed and loaded. It was tiresome and very cold as the night wind blew in from across the wintry north sea. Her body was not too well protected with clothing, so that when the loading was finally finished, at a very late hour, Ane was chilled through and through. She developed a very bad cold and was very ill for quite a length of time. During this illness she lost her hearing to a great extent. She remained partially deaf for the rest of her life." 7
Undoubtedly, Ane struggled with her life as a teenager in this kind of environment. It is uncertain when she moved, but by the time she married, she was in Svendstrup, in the Taarnborg (Tårnborg) parish. She and Jens Andersen were married on Dec. 1, 1846 in Taarnborg, Sorø, Denmark, 8 most likely in the church shown as the plus sign on the map (labelled Taarnborg K).
Svendstrup is very near the western coast of Sjaelland, near the port city of Korsør. This was about 12 kilometers WSW of Slagelse, or about 18 kilometers (11 miles) from her birthplace in Sønderup. Neither Ane nor her new husband Jens were from this particular area, so it is uncertain what brought them here. Their first child, Anders Peder, was born here, christened in Taarnborg on March 5, 1848. 9 The date of birth listed for him is December 8, 1847. Among the witnesses at his christening are two of Ane's siblings, Hans Pedersen, who was two years older, and Maren, one year younger than Ane. Maren was listed as from Sønderup, where the family originated. Hans listed as from Svendstrup. In the census record for Taarnborg in 1850, Jens is listed as a wheelwright (Hjulmand).
Change was happening in Denmark at this time. In 1848, just a few months after the birth of their first child, the king of their country, Frederik VII declared that he "renounced his absolute right," making way for a constitutional monarchy. During the following year, an assembly of people drafted a constitution for the country, which was ratified and put into effect. King Frederik VII signed the constitution on June 5, 1849. Among the provisions of the constitution was the guarantee of freedom of religion. 10 At about the same time, in the fall conference of 1849 (Oct. 6,7) Brigham Young called missionaries to go to Denmark 11 (among other places). These two missionaries arrived in Copenhagen the following year.
There are a few interesting facts about this missionary beginning. First, even though there was now a constitution in place guaranteeing freedom of religion, society did not really understand it and many of the authorities were not inclined to enforce it. Society moves slowly in making such drastic changes. Second, because of previous conditions of the state-controlled religion (Lutheranism), priests had the exclusive right to distribute the Bible in Danish. 12 Therefore, as missionaries began to preach, they found that they had to first teach the Bible to the people, since they did not have bibles in their homes. The Book of Mormon was translated and soon became available. Also, the missionaries were very busy in printing other materials that were used in teaching the restored Gospel. A third fact of significance was that the overwhelming majority of those serving as missionaries in Denmark were local people who had just barely joined the church themselves. 13 Therefore, missionary work was certainly a challenge.
We don't know exactly when Ane and Jens first heard the Gospel message. One record seems to place the date within a few months. Their second child, Christian, was born in Vemmelev in 1853, on Feb. 19th. A record is found 14 in the local parish records of his birth, but his name was not entered and the christening date was not recorded. Instead, there is a comment that says, roughly, "the parents gone (or lost) to the Mormons." Ane was baptized on April 14, 1853. Jens was baptized later in the year, in November. Their son, Anders Peter, in his autobiography reports all this in a couple of sentences: "In 1853 three Mormon Missionaries came to our home where we received them gladly and embraced the Gospel. Soon father sacrificed home and business and emigrated to America with his family." 15
The work of the missionaries spread rapidly after their start in 1850 despite the opposition from the clergy and authorities. In 1850, there were 139 Danish people baptized into the church. By the end of 1853, the total local membership was 1,703 (besides 602 who had emigrated to Deseret and about 100 who were excommunicated). 16 By the end of 1852, just prior to when Ane and Jens were first taught, there were 150 local Danes who served as missionaries. At the time there were only 8 Elders who had been sent from America.
The local people were not very friendly to the new converts. There were mobs who attacked the members and missionaries. Baptisms were often performed at night or in secret, so as to not attract attention. 17 There was even a young man who had joined the church who was stabbed to death shortly afterward. 18 This was one condition that encouraged recent converts to emigrate. Also, in the sermons in the meetings, members were strongly encouraged to emigrate to America, to Zion.
Starting in 1852, the local church leadership established a cooperative fund to help these converts emigrate. 19 Also helping this fund was an infusion of money from the Church's Perpetual Emigration Fund. A large group of Danish saints left Copenhagen at the end of 1853. Ane, Jens and their family were part of that group. It is interesting to note that Jens had been a baptized member less than two months at the time they left. They also had their young baby Christian, less than a year old as they started on this dangerous journey.
Jens and Ane's family were among the 301 souls who departed from Copenhagen on Dec. 22, 1853, aboard the steamship Slesvig. According to the report, "A large concourse of people had assembled at the wharf in Copenhagen to witness the departure of the 'Mormons,' and a great deal of bitterness and hard feelings were manifested." Evidence of these "hard feelings" are found in the account of Elder Peter O. Hansen (of the mission leadership) on his way "walking back to the mission office ... was followed by a mob who knocked him down and beat him considerably about the head." 20 Elder Hansen was the first missionary to arrive in Denmark in 1850, being among those called in the October 1849 General Conference. He lost a lot of blood because of the encounter, but was not otherwise seriously injured.
The group reached Liverpool, England safely on Dec. 28th. That part of the trip across the North Sea was usually the most treacherous part of the journey from Denmark to America. One report of that journey gives some detail: "The vessel was not large, but the billows on the sea were, and so we got rocked considerably and many were seasick." 21 After their arrival, a few German Saints were added to the group, bringing the total to 333 saints. This larger group left the port of Liverpool, England on the ship Jessie Munn on Jan. 3, 1854.
The Jessie Munn sailed mostly south of west to get into the favorable, warmer trade winds. They received their rations of food once a week, mainly uncooked food (e.g. peas, rice, salt, etc.) and salted beef. There were two kitchens, one with a chef for the crew and the other for the passengers "where an Irish cook held sway, abusing nearly every person who needed something cooked." 22 Other than some days of dead calm, the voyage progressed well and after getting a good view of Cuba as they passed by, they arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi and into New Orleans on Feb. 20, 1854. Up to this point there had been twelve deaths, two adults and 10 children. Ane and her family survived to journey without incident. Anders Peter gave the following account of this voyage: "We left Copenhagen, Denmark, 22 Dec 1853 and crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the ship, 'Jesse Munn', and arrived at New Orleans 16 Feb 1854. We were on the water 8 weeks. As the ship passed the West Indian Islands everyone looked eagerly to see the green landscape of the Islands. After traveling up the Mississippi River some of the people died with Yellow Fever and Cholera." 23
In New Orleans, the leaders of the group made contract for transportation up the rivers to St. Louis, Missouri where they arrived on March 11th. There they stayed while wagons and supplies were gathered for the overland journey. Unfortunately, during their stay in Missouri, a serious outbreak of cholera hit and a large number of the people died. Almost 200 lost their lives. 24 (Note: There are a number of journals available to document the voyage and the subsequent journey across the plains. 25)
As Ane and her family left for the west, they were part of the Hans Peter Olsen company. 26 The company left Westport, Missouri on June 15, 1854, now almost 6 months after they left their home port in Denmark. This company consisted of about 550 individuals and 69 wagons. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 5, 1854. Anders Peter's account of the wagon trail went as follows: "We arrived in Kansas City, Missouri and stayed one month, then we crossed the plains in Hans Peter Olsen's Company. During the journey part of father's wagon making tools were thrown away to lighten the load. He carried a shotgun with which he killed animals and birds for food. We arrived in Salt Lake City, 4 Oct 1854." 27
Their total journey so far had lasted about eight months. This is significant considering she had not been a member of the church more than about 8 months when they left Denmark, Jens much less than that, and Christian had spent most of his infant life traveling the difficult path. Anders Peter was 7 at years end. Now as they had arrived in Zion, they still weren't at the end of their journey, though. When Brigham Young found out that Jens was a wheelwright, he was asked to take his family and continue on to Fillmore, where they needed his skills. 28 We don't know when they finally arrived in Fillmore, but it was likely before the end of the year. They were first housed in the one of the small rooms of the Old Fort in Fillmore. Anders Peter described this last leg of their journey and their start in Fillmore: "After a few days stay there. President Brigham Young asked father if he had a trade. Father replied that he was a wagon maker, a wheelwright by trade. President Young said, 'They need you at Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah'. So we went to Fillmore with Bishop Bartholomew, the first bishop in Fillmore. Father built a frame house for us in the east part of Fillmore in the Old Fort under the hill near the Lovell and Carling homes. He worked at furniture making, building house and wagon repairing." 29
Jens was not well when they arrived in Fillmore. Apparently, his condition did not improve. A new child was born to Ane and Jens in Fillmore the next October, on the third. They named him Joseph Smith Andersen. Maureen Widdison describes these developments in her life: "When the baby was only 18 days old on 21 October 1855, his father passed away, leaving the mother and her three small sons unable to speak or understand a word of English. The two older boys had no shoes to wear that winter. Bishop Noah Bartholomew asked one of Ane's close neighbors, John Lovell, to watch out for this Danish sister and her family and see that they were taken care of. " Anders Peter offered some more details "Father died of an intestinal disease, (possibly appendicitis) on 21 October 1855 and was buried on 24 October 1855. This left mother without support and with three small boys, myself, Christian, and Joseph Smith who was 18 days old. We were the only Scandinavian family in Fillmore and being unable to speak the English language, mother passed through experiences which were calculated to test her faith to the utmost. Through all this she remained faithful to the church all the years to follow. The burden of the young widow was lightened a great deal through the kindness shown her by the good friends of the family, Lewis Brunson with the aid of the Lovells, Carlings, Melvilles, and other families assisting her." 30
John Lovell, who was called upon to watch over this family, sought permission to marry Ane as his plural wife. They were married (time only) in the Endowment House on April 4, 1857. At the same time, John stood proxy for Jens as Ane and Jens were sealed for eternity. John now took care of Ane and her young family. This was to be the beginning of a new life for them all, with the challenges brought by their frontier life.
As Anders Peter mentioned, Ane went through tremendous affliction up to this point in her life and yet remained true to the Gospel through it and for the rest of her life. She is truly an example to us, her descendants: an example of being valiant to the Truth despite adversity.
The rest of the story of Ane's life can be found in the family Newsletter published in April 2007 (Eddie Jacobson/Sarah Anderson Genealogy Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 3; April 2007).
The Danish parish and census records referenced in this article are from services now provided, free of charge, from the Danish government. They have scanned and made parish and census records available. This is a boon for genealogical researchers. The website is http://www.sa.dk/ao/ and is generally in Danish, as you might expect. Some of the pages have English translation, but most do not. To find records, look for "Kirkebøger" (church books) or "Folketaellinger" (census). When you get into the next page, click on the "Søg i ..." button to begin the search. You will need to choose Amt (county), Herred (district) and Sogn (parish), but the county and parish are sufficient (you don't need click on Herred). In the case of Sønderup, the county is Sorø and the parish is Sønderup. [Note that the slash-o (ø) sorts at the end of the alphabet.] For census records, click "Vælg årgang" to get to the years list. Then choose "Vælg Stedbetegnelse." In the census records used in this article, I chose: "Landsogn" to get to the list of counties and the individual parishes. For census records, once you have selected the location, you will need to click on the "Hent oplysninger" button. After you get to either the census or parish records detail page, provided you have the proper Java installed on your computer, you will then be able to get to the images of the records. These are listed in the left panel. Each image is called "Opslag" and is simply numbered sequentially. Click on one or more of them and they will load (the indicator turns green). If you want to save an image to your computer, click on the Save icon in the upper left corner (save as .tif). So far, I have found that getting to the images page only works on Windows systems (not Macintosh) using Internet Explorer.
Also, for your reference: Fødte means births; Døbte means christenings; Døde means deaths; Begravelse means burials; and Copulerede, Viede and Trolovede all refer to marriages and betrothals.
1 Oak City Offerings
Millard County Chronicle, 12 Aug. 1920, page 1
Oak City's Oldest Citizen Passes On.
Funeral services were held July 30th for Mrs. Ann Lovell, who died July 28, at the home of her son, John E. Lovell, where she has been confined to her room for eight years.
The funeral was largely attended. The speakers were Anthony Stephenson and John Hunter of Holden, Jos. T. Finlinson of Leamington, Abel M. Roper and Jos. L. Anderson of this place, who spoke of her noble character and well spent life. Music was furnished by a mixed quartette. The deceased was born in Denmark, March 18, 1824. She emigrated to this country with her former husband, Mr. Anderson, who died in Fillmore soon after they arrived here. She later married John Lovell, Sr., and came here in 1868, being among the first to settle here.
She was the mother of nine children, four of whom survive. They are Peter and Jos. S. Anderson, and John E. and Brigham Lovell, all of this place. Her descendants numbered two hundred and sixty-six.
2 The parish records of Sønderup list her birth date as March 8, 1824. There are two different books where this is recorded, each a little different from the other, but both list March 8th. Her marriage record, from the parish of Taarnborg in 1846 (see footnote 8) also lists her birthdate as March 8, 1824. For the remainder of her life, in America, she is always listed as having the birthdate of March 18, 1824.
- Original record: Danish Archives Online (www.sa.dk/ao/), Sønderup Parish (Sogn), Sorø County (Amt) records beginning 1817, Opslag 96 (image number); page 57, right side of page.
- Another original record: Sønderup Sorø parish, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Ut, Film 052564, Item 2 page 119.
3 Danish Archives Online, Sønderup 1834 Census (Landsogn; Amt: Sorø, Sogn: Sønderup) Opslag 12, page number 225 on the census page.
4 Danish Archives Online, Sønderup parish records beginning 1817, Opslag 370; page 229, left side of the page.
5 Danish Archives Online, Sønderup parish records beginning 1817, Opslag 394; page 259.
6 The Descendants of Ane Pedersen Andersen Lovell, Compiled and edited by Glenn and Maurine Widdison, JMart Publishing, undated, probably 1971.
7 ibid, p 8
8 Danish Archives Online, Taarnborg, Sorø parish records beginning 1841, Opslag 158; page 314, entry 14.
- Another original record: Taarnborg Sorø parish, Family History Library, SLC, UT, Film 052391, Item 1 (Vol 25) p 310.
9 Danish Archives Online, Taarnborg, Sorø parish records beginning 1841, Opslag 26; page 50. He is listed as Anders Peder Jensen. This is a little different from the birthdate known later in life. He always listed his birthdate as Dec. 10, 1847.
10 Danish Mission History, a Masters Thesis," Brigham Young University, Marius A. Christensen, March 1966, pp 5-6:
"Under mild pressure from public opinion in Copenhagen, King Frederick VII proclaimed, in March 1848, that he had renounced his absolute right and considered himself a constitutional monarch. He stated that in the future his ministers would have the responsibility of the government. This significant revolution in Denmark was characterized by calm and dignity. ...
A short time after this revolution a Constituent Assembly, which also included a number of members selected by the King, was chosen by general election. A new Constitution was drafted and presented to this Assembly where a vote in favor carried by a large majority. On the fifth of June, 1849, Frederik VII signed the new Constitution.
This Constitution, known as the June Constitution, has continued in effect to the present time. It introduced some of the most far reaching concepts which the Danish society has ever known. It was, among other things, a guarantee for 'private and civic freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of assemble, freedom of the press and the inviolability of house and property.'"
11 ibid, p 13; Elder Erastus Snow and Elder Peter O. Hansen were sent to Denmark.
12 ibid, p 39:
"A provision had long ago given the priests of Denmark exclusive right to distribute the Bible in Danish. Elder Snow found a few honorable exceptions among the clergy, who favored religious freedom and the diffusion of scriptures, but "we sometimes may hunt whole neighborhoods over and not find a copy of the scriptures, except perhaps, in church, or with the priest." [quoting Erastus Snow, One Year in Scandinavia, Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1851. p 20]
13 ibid, p 75, 77:
"By the end of 1852, the force of local missionaries had increased to 150 of the Church membership of 1000." (p 75)
"For the first ten years of the Danish Mission, the local brethren did not merely dominate the scene, they were the scene. Some of them served five years before emigrating to America. During the first decade, Utah sent only 13 missionaries to Scandinavia, and six of these were Scandinavians who had joined the church in America. The early period saw very few American elders serving in Denmark." (p 77)
14 Danish Archives Online, Vemmelev, Sorø parish records beginning 1835, Opslag 49; page 94.
15 Widdison, p 13.
16 Danish Mission History, Appendix C:
"Year Elders from Zion Baptisms Emigration Excom. Total 1850 4 139 4 135 1851 3 476 65 547 1852 1 664 218 42 895 1853 1314 384 103 1703 1854 1 916 255 258 2069"17 ibid, p 41:
18 ibid, p 41.
19 ibid, p 110:
Economically these operations were conducted on a cooperative basis where the emigrants pooled their meager resources into an "Emigration Fund" held by the Church emigration agents in Copenhagen. In doing this they were able to obtain some degree of bargaining power.
20 History of the Scandinavian Mission, by Andrew Jenson, p 87-89, as quoted in Emigration Narratives, http://www.xmission.com/~nelsonb/enarrative.htm
21 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 9, Kate B. Carter, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, UT, 1966, Mads Frederick Theobald Christensen autobiography, p 395
22 ibid, p 396
23 Widdison, p 13.
24 Danish Mission History, p 110:
Other diseases [measles was first mentioned] which took a heavy toll of life were cholera and dysentery. The most tragically hit parties were those which left in January, 1854, aboard the ships Jesse Munn and the Benjamin Adams. Of this group of 678 emigrants 200 lost their lives, most of them from cholera while camped at Westport, Missouri.
27 Widdison, p 13.
28 ibid, p 9.
29 ibid, pp 13, 14.
30 ibid, p 14.