|Født :||11.12.1850||Sønder Damgren, Try, Torslev sogn (1)||Kilde|
|Døbt :||26.12.1850||Torslev kirke, Dronninglund Herred||Kilde|
|Alt.navn :||Andrew Jenson|
|Noter : Torslev s. kirkeb. 1844-1856 C71-3,1 side 52 no. 27|
født drengebarn, Andreas Christiansen, født den 11. december 1850, døbt i kirken den 26. december 1850
Forældre.: husmand Christian Jensen og Hustru Kirsten Andersdatter i Sønder Damgren
Faddere.: Mariane Christensdatter i Krogsdam - Christiane Andersdatter i Renden - P. C. Bertelse i Ørslev - Niels Christensen i Høi
FT-1860, no. 069, Dronninglund Herred, Torslev Sogn, Sønder Damgren
Christian Jensen, 34 , gift, født i Flade sogn, urmager
Kirsten Andersdatter, 39 , gift, født i Skæve sogn, hans kone
Jens Christian Jensen, 11, født i Torslev sogn, søn
Andreas Jensen, 10, født i Torslev sogn, søn
Andrew Jenson, one of Utah's most prolific historians, was born 11 December 1850 to Kirsten Andersen and Christian Jenson in the village of Damgren, Denmark. His parents joined the Mormon faith in 1854. After attending Danish schools and being taught at home by his parents until he was fourteen, Andrew worked for a year before the family emigrated to Utah in 1866. With their home established in Pleasant Grove, Andrew worked at various farm and manual labor tasks until 1873 when he returned to Denmark as a Mormon missionary.
After his return to Utah in 1875, he married Kirsten Marie Pedersen, who bore him four children before her death in 1887. On 10 December 1886 he married Emma Howell, who had immigrated to Utah from England with her mother and sister in 1885. She bore him three children. On 18 July 1888 he married Emma's sister, Bertha.
In 1876 he began a career that would span forty-two years as a translator, compiler, editor, and historian. His first undertaking was the compilation and translation of the history of Joseph Smith into the Danish language; this became the first foreign-language book published in Utah. He returned to Scandinavia again in 1879 as a missionary but spent most of his time as translator and assistant editor of Skandinaviens Stjerne, and upon the death of mission president Niels Wilhelmsen he became the acting president for six months until a new president arrived.
He returned to Utah in the fall of 1881 and continued his involvement in publishing and history. In 1886 he became a "partial" employee of the LDS Church with a monthly allowance of fifty dollars. One assignment, undertaken in 1888, involved an extensive trip to visit church historic sites in the east, where he conducted interviews and obtained important historical documents. He traveled the following year to various stakes and missions throughout the church to collect records and diaries for the Church Historian's office. This project eventually led to the writing of a manuscript history for each ward and stake. Jenson's valuable work was recognized with a raise of salary to one hundred dollars a month in 1891 and an appointment as a full-time Assistant Church Historian in 1897.
During his sixty-five-year career, Jenson authored 27 books, edited four historical periodicals, compiled 650 manuscript histories and indexes to manuscript histories, wrote more than 5,000 published biographical sketches, more than 2,000 newspaper articles, and gave an estimated 6,000 addresses and speeches on Mormon history throughout the world. He kept a personal diary from the age of thirteen until his death at the age of ninety-one. His reference works, including Church Chronology and the four-volume Biographical Encyclopedia, are still essential tools for Utah and Mormon historians. Perhaps his greatest disappointment was not to be named Church Historian upon the death of Anthon H. Lund in 1921. The position went to the twenty-five-year-old Joseph Fielding Smith, a former assistant to Jenson and son of the recently deceased LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith.
Despite his disappointment, he continued to serve faithfully the cause of Mormonism and its history until his death on 18 November 1941.
See: Andrew Jenson, Autobiography of Andrew Jenson (1938); and Davis Bitton and Leonard J. Arrington, Mormons and Their Historians (1988).
Allan Kent Powell
. . . . .
Andrew Jenson: Pioneer Historian and Traveler
by Dale W Adams (great-nephew), Park City, Utah, June 23, 2001
[Taken from Autobiography of Andrew Jensen, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1938]
Of the Danes who early joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Andrew Jenson left the largest historical footprint. During a career that spanned 65 years he authored more than two-dozen books, edited four historical journals, and compiled thousands of pages of biographical sketches and local histories.
Andrew was born in Damgren, Torslev Parish, Hjorring amt, Jutland, Denmark. His parents were Christen Jensen and Kirsten Andersen who were married on December 28, 1847. They had three sons: Jens born January 21, 1849, Andrew born on December 11, 1850, and Joseph Julius born January 9, 1862. Andrew candidly describes his family as coming from "…the poorer branch of the (Jensen) family as far as earthly possessions were concerned (p. 1)."
Prior to marriage his mother worked as a maid and his father toiled as a farm laborer.
In 1850, during the last year of a rebellion against the crown of Denmark, Andrew's father was drafted to build ramparts around the city of Fredericia. After the war Christen returned home to work on the farm Vestergaard where he severely sprained an ankle in 1851 that left him crippled for five years. As a result of this injury his foot was eventually amputated in 1867, a year after his family arrived in Utah. Because he could no longer do manual labor, Christian began to travel around the Danish countryside repairing clocks to support his family.
Four years after the first LDS missionaries arrived in Denmark Christen met missionaries who soon converted him and his family. Soon after baptism in 1854 Christen Jensen was called on a local mission [baptized 4 Dec 1854 in Flade]. In 1857 he presided over the Hormested Branch of the Vendsyssel Conference of the Church. Subsequently, he was made president of the Skjaeve Branch and shortly thereafter called on a mission to Læsø, an island in the Kattegat.
Initially people turned a deaf ear to his preaching. To make contacts, Christen began to repair clocks and casually slipped in discussion of his religion while doing repairs. Not wanting to run him out of their homes until their clocks were repaired, a number of clients were inadvertently exposed to his message, and a few invited him back to further discuss religious matters. Over the next several years Christian returned to Læsø a number of times and finally organized a small branch there with 12 members in 1859. He was the initial branch president and subsequently presided over other branches in Jerslev, Gjerum and Napstjert.
Because of his parents' faith, Andrew was raised in a religious family. He was also raised in a country with free schools, compulsory education for children between the age of 7 and 14, and the option for home schooling. Because the schoolmaster in the nearest village was a bitter anti-Mormon, Andrew's parents and LDS missionaries, for a time, were Andrew's main instructors. Their help, and a natural aptitude for learning, resulted in Andrew becoming well educated for the time, and ultimately expressing himself exceedingly well in both Danish and English. He was a quick learner and an avid reader all his life. Soon after leaving school Andrew was urged by missionaries to keep a journal, a prompting that led to a lifetime of journal writing and a passionate interest in history.
Because of his father's physical handicap, Andrew began to work for pay by herding sheep when he was only 11. Soon after graduating from school, at the age of 14, Andrew, "Having no desire to hire out for a pitiful annual salary to farmers … turned (his) attention to trading (p.11)." Initially he sold tin wares and other small articles needed by rural people. Later he made a significant amount of money selling German lithographs. Although only 15, he earned enough money by 1866 to help his family migrate to Utah. Except for his brother Jens who stayed behind to earn additional money, all of the family left for the United States on May 8, 1866. Their journey took them to Copenhagen, to Kiel, and then to Hamburg where they boarded the Kenilworth for the voyage to America on May 19th. Two other ships left Hamburg a few days later, the Humboldt and Cavour, also loaded with Scandinavian converts headed for Zion. A total of 1,213 Scandinavian converts left Hamburg on these three ships.
Unlike many of the ships going from Germany to America, the Kenilworth took the route north around Scotland and then headed west. The passage took nearly two month during which time 16 people died in Andrew's group, seven couples were married, and two children were born. After landing in New York City Andrew's group went by steam ship to New Haven, Connecticut, and then by train to Montreal and on to St. Joseph, Missouri. After spending two hot and humid days on a steamboat their group landed in Wyoming, Nebraska, the church's staging place for immigrants to Utah.
The Jensens left Wyoming on August 8th in a wagon train captained by Andrew H. Scott. Their trek west involved experiences similar to those of tens of thousands of others who passed over this portion of the Oregon Trail. They were hungry part of the way, endured an early snowstorm at South Pass, and barely avoided the cholera that decimated groups that followed them. On October 7th they entered Salt Lake Valley.
Many of the members of Andrew's group were scheduled to settle in Sanpete County. On their way there, however, they met old friends in Pleasant Grove who invited the family to stay while Christen continued on to Ephraim. After moving his family to Ephraim for a year or so, Indian threats forced the family to move back to Pleasant Grove. Later, members of the family would own small amounts of land in Ephraim, Richfield, and Pleasant Grove at various times.
Over the next 7 years Andrew lived the life of a footloose and fancy-free youth, sampling many of the occupations practiced at the time. He herded sheep and cattle, dabbled in farming, help build three railroads, worked in construction, and sold lithographs and maps. He likewise was a miner, worked in a smelter, clerked in stores, was a commercial fisherman, and purchased a wagon and oxen to do freighting. Andrew experienced a young man's dream by spending one summer helping to drive a large herd of cattle from Abilene, Kansas to northern Utah, suffering numerous stampedes in the doing. Along the way he perfected his English, saved money to help his brother come to Utah, purchased a few assets, and faithfully repaid his debt to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund.
Missions and Marriages
Andrew's life took a more serious turn when he was called on an LDS mission to Denmark in 1873. He spent a fruitful two years there, mostly in the Aalborg Conference. Soon after returning home he married his first wife, Kirsten Marie Pedersen, in Pleasant Grove on August 30, 1875.
Andrew started his publishing and historical career by translating a book on the life of Joseph Smith Jr. into Danish. He also helped edit a Danish newspaper that was published for a time in Salt Lake City.
Only four years after returning from his first mission, he was called to a second Danish mission in 1879. In addition to being president of the Copenhagen branch, Andrew also studied advanced Danish grammar, translated numerous church publications into Danish, and assisted in translating the Book of Mormon. When the mission president died suddenly, Andrew was the acting president of the Danish Mission for six months. After a highly productive two years in Denmark he returned to Pleasant Grove in late 1881.
Soon after returning home he relocated his family to Salt Lake City to pursue his printing and publishing career. His new and final home was located at what is now154 North and 2nd West. Over the next few years Andrew became involved in newspapers, writing historical papers for sale, and doing research in the Church Historical Office.
Andrew married his second wife Emma Howell in late 1886, shortly before his first wife died of tuberculosis. Soon after Emma's sister, Bertha Howell, became Andrew's third wife. His first two wives bore him 7 children.
A Life's Work
Over the next fifty years Andrew worked relentless collecting historical information. In 1886 he became a part-time employee of the Church's Historical Office and in 1897 received an appointment as Assistant Church Historian. If he had developed more diplomatic skills he might have been named the head historian. His work involved extensive travel around the Inter-mountain west, numerous trips within the United States, crossing the Atlantic Ocean 13 times and the Pacific Ocean four times, and circling the globe twice.
On a personal level, Andrew was a fervent supporter of his church, as was his father, and both entered plural marriage. Andrew's mother and his two brothers, Jens and Joseph, however, opposed polygamy. Jens and Joseph became members of the Reorganized Church and for a time Jens was the leader of the Josephites in Pleasant Grove where his mother lived. Joseph lived in Richfield, as did his father and his second wife. Despite this religious schism, Andrew maintained a close relationship with his brothers and succeeded in rebaptizing Joseph and his family late in life.
Until he died in 1941 Andrew lived a vigorous and full life. He was a passionate walker, had an excellent memory, traveled continually, assembled a major library, and bragged of hiking to the top of Mount Timpanogos at the age of 76. Late in life he relished arriving in ward meetings, unannounced, and striding to the podium to present greetings from the general authorities. His primary legacy is a trove of historical materials that are now primary documents used by many modern LDS historians.
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2003
|Christian Jensen||Kirsten Andersdatter|
|30.08.1875 - Kirsten Marie Pedersen||-|
|1886 - Emma Howell||-|
|- Bertha Howell||-|
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