To the many descendants of David, Serena, and Julia Jensen, the compilers of this book say thanks. Without the help of many of you and your encouragement, the compiling of this record would have been impossible.
The compilers of this record wish to recognize the efforts of David C. Jensen, Grandson of David C. And son of Antone for the fine compilation of the record, “The Passing Years”. This is available through the BYU Genealogy Loan Library on microfilm. The compilers of this work were able to view it through the Genealogical facilities at Ricks College. Also much ofthe life histories of David, Serena and Julia was taken from the writings of Hyrum D. Jensen, as well as the history of Norway. The other information was taken from the histories submitted by the family members.
To Zola Jensen, daughter of Wilford and Georgia Maughan Jensen, also the youngest grandchild of David and Julia, goes most of the credit for compiling this record. She spent the summer of 1969 typing letters pleading for information and assembling the information and pictures when they came. (Heber receives special credit for supervising, planning and arranging for this book to be published. He has spent many hours on this project, his help was much appreciated.)
To those who will read this record please feel a just deal of pride in your ancestry. After reading the histories of the 14 children who grew to maturity, I felt a surge of gratitude for having been permitted to come to earth through such noble parentage. It is interesting to note, that none of the first generation from David were Bishops, the second generation had many as the record of missionary and church service shows. The compilers did not attempt to compile the church service for the ladies, but feel it would be equally as impressive as for the men. (Taken from Hyrum D. Jensen’s history)
Great Grandmother Anne Christensen Sorensen, better known as Anne Englesrud lived on the little farm she owned in what is known as Breke Marisdal situated in the northern part of the city of Oslo, Norway. Her father was Christian Gulbrandsen and her mother was Barbra Eriksen. She married Sorn Hansen about 1820, who died when he was but 40 years of age leaving her with the following children to care for: Anne Christina Sorensen Petersen, our grandmother born 4 October 1821; Bertha Marie Sorensen, born 1 December 1823; Hans Sorensen, born 8 September 1825; Ingeborg Christina Sorensen, born 28 July 1829; Petra Jacobina Sorensen, December 1841; Brent Sorensen, date of birth not known; Christian Sorensen, date of birth not known; Ferdinand Marillius Sorensen, born May 1839. The little farm consisted of about 25 acres which was not large enough to support a family of that size. So she was compelled to seek other means of support. Near where she lived was one of the largest saw mills in that part of Norway. As the butcher shops of her time as well as now days used saw dust to cover the floors of their shops, she found employment hauling saw
dust to the city and selling it to the shopkeepers. I am told by those who knew her that she had a little yellow pony and a small four wheeled wagon. With these she made a trip to the city each day with the saw dust. I have many times visited the market place where she disposed of most of her sawdust, and have also held open air meetings at the same place where we would have from three to five hundred people out to listen to the message we had to deliver to them. It was while she was in the city delivering one of these loads of sawdust that she heard the great uproar about the strange people that came to the city called Mormons. The little history that I have of the introduction of the gospel into the city of Oslo states that it was opposed by the
It seems from all that we know of the matter that she must have come in contact with some of the elders almost as soon as they came to the city. The Gospel was first introduced into the little sea coast town Riser, situated on the southwest of Norway. It was some years after that before the elders reached the city of Oslo. Great Grandmother was baptized into the church on the 2 March 1857, and it is quite reasonable to believe that she had investigated for some time before her baptism. She had before this time remarried a man by the name of Jens Jensen who worked at the mill where she got her sawdust; but he was a drunkard who never joined the church. (Wilford Jensen, son of David and Julia) My mother had told me how her grandmother
for whom we are speaking was miraculously saved, her life was spared when she was a child about between eleven and twelve years old. She was sent by her mother over a mountain or hill (they called it a mountain and it probably was a mountain in Norway), on Christmas Eve to bring home a certain kind of vegetable. I’ve forgotten what it was now, but anyway it was something special for Christmas and she was sent over there and I suppose the distance was farther or the path was harder to walk as I’ve forgotten the details on why. But this child which we must remember was my great grandmother was coming back over the mountain. Something happened and she was detained and spent the night out in the mountains on that Christmas Eve. Norway is a very cold country. It has a long and hard winter and short days. In fact they very seldom see any light there during the Christmas season only artificial. She laid by the side of the trail all night and when they picked her up, the way family history records it, she was almost like a wax image, she was frozen so badly. Her life must have been spared for special reasons to bring the gospel to her children and her descendants because she was the one who joined the church first and from then on she preached the gospel to everyone who would listen to her. She became very well versed, she was a well-read woman and well educated for the time she lived.
Mother repeated so many times that according to data that they had that that was one of the miracles of that time, her being brought back to life after they thought that she was entirely dead when they picked her up on the trail.
So I thought that would be a good thing for the family to know because all of mother’s children and all her descendants as long as time goes on will all head back to this one woman and how miraculously her life was saved and how she later compensated for that through her diligence in the Gospel and how she lived it and taught it to her posterity and to all others who would listen to her, after she received it. I’ll just take you back to where my mother was getting ready to leave to go to the boat to come to America. Grandmother of course impressed on her mind how she wanted her to come and how lonesome and what a longing she would have for her after she was gone because she lived just the same as her own child would with her grandmother from the time she was three till she was twelve years. When her grandmother (my great grandmother) followed her out that morning as she left to go and join them at the boat, she could still see her waving the white handkerchief as she went over the hill, out of sight, walking down toward the city of Christiana and the last words that her grandmother said were, “Well, Julia, I won’t see you again in this life. I’ll be waiting for you when you come over on the other side.” (Hyrum Jensen, son of David and Serena) By Great Grandmother joining the church brought Grandmother in contact with the elders. She soon became converted and was baptized on 1 February 1861. One of Grandmother’s brothers joined the church, I am not sure whether it was Hans or Christian, but I think it was Hans. He was the foreman of one of the largest nail
factories in Norway and had a very fine family. However they all opposed his joining the church. When he would go to the meetings at night, his wife would lock the door and keep him out all night. When I visited him on my second mission, he told me that he knew that the gospel was true. Yet he had to stop going to the meetings to save breaking up his family. His wife was a German by birth. His children were all dark complected, had very dark eyes, and were very good looking. Some of the children came to America. One of the daughters resides in Oslo and two live in Tistendalen Halden.
I have the photograph of the home of Great Grandmother’s and also of Grandmother’s. I also have the photograph of the house where Grandfather Simon Simonsen Petersen lived after Grandmother left him and came to America. Here Margaret stood to determine where Grandfather dropped dead as he was going out to the milk wagon to drive it to town. I was told by a man, who was a very good friend of Grandfather’s, that Grandfather sat and cried for hours at a time after Grandmother and all of the children came to America. The children were as follows: Berthe Serena Petersen (our dear mother), Peter Olavs Petersen, Hans Augusta
Petersen, Christina Elvin Petersen, Julia Konstance Petersen (Aunt Julia), Hendrick Emil Petersen, Gensina Antana Petersen, Anettie Othellie (Aunt Nettie), and Charles Ferdenant Petersen.
Now just a little more about Great Grandmother. After she joined the church, she preached the gospel wherever she went, and to anyone that would stop and listen to her. The man who owned the sawmill was named Gulbrandsen. Every time she came to the mill, she would preach Mormonism to him. At first he would be very angry with her, but that did not make any difference. Finally he began to think of some of the things that she told him, began to investigate the gospel, and soon became converted. He sold his mill and came to Utah. When she was down in the city delivering her sawdust on the market place, there was no one who
escaped her. She would preach Mormonism to everybody until the police came, put her into the wagon, and drove her out of town.
Father, David Jensen, was born in Toten which is situated in the central part of Norway. It is about one hundred and fifty miles a little west and north of Oslo. Toten is one of the richest farming districts in that country. Father’s father was a miller by trade. He operated a small water power mill on the river that runs through the central part of what is called East and West Toten. That is how Father learned the trade. As you know Father worked a great deal in the flour mill that was owned and operated by Jim Haworth on Cub River north of Franklin. Father’s mother was a very large woman, tall and stately, and I have talked with many people of Toten about Guline Grotten, as that was the name of the place or house that she lived in after grandfather died. Grandfather was sixty-four years old when he married Grandmother, and she was thirty seven. He had been married and raised a large family. His first wife was Dorthe Gudmundsen Johannsen. Father’s seven half sisters were as follows: Marie, Agnethe, Johanne, Guline, Hellene, Elline and one unknown. Grandmother had a child before her marriage to grandfather who was given the name of Ole Olsen. As the records show, his father’s name was Ole Olsen. Grandfather and Grandmother had three children. They were David Jensen, Johannes Jensen, who only lived a few hours, and Anton Jensen who went down to Oslo. Anton worked on the docks unloading and loading ships and remained there until his death. He never married as far as we know. Antone went to see him when he was on his mission, and he is the only one
out of the family that saw him. I suppose that Anton went down to Oslo the same time that Father did. They had an uncle living down there by the name of Ole Olsen, a brother of Grandmother. That is the way Father became acquainted with mother, for his uncle bought a place near where Great Grandmother lived. Since Grandfather Simon Petersen came from the same part of the country as Father and his uncle did, they may have known each other when they came to the city. But, be that as it may, we know that Father and Mother were married in Oslo in 1859.
Now as stated above, Great Grandmother joined the church in 1857 and Grandmother in 1861. From this we know that Mother was well acquainted with the gospel before her marriage to Father. As you know, I have already made mention of the fact that some of Mother’s brothers and sisters joined the church. They later withdrew from active participation but were never excommunicated. The fact is that Mother wanted to go to the meetings that were held by the missionaries, but Father would not let her do so. After the death of our oldest brother Sigvard Julius on 31 December 1861, Father for the first time began to think serious about the hereafter. Mother who was heart broken over the death of her child, tried to get Father in contact with the
missionaries so that he might understand more about his mission here in life. Thus he would understand these circumstances and do all he could to help mother forget her troubles. As you know from what has been told to us before during this time of trouble they were going by the place where the elders were holding meetings. They heard the saints singing the hymn “O, My Father”, and stopped and listened. It was then they heard something that touched their hearts for the hymn speaks of our pre-existent state as well as of our life here in mortality and the hereafter. They decided to go in and hear what these missionaries had to say. When they came out from that meeting, they had a new conception of life. They were told that they had existed as spirits
before they came to a tabernacle in the flesh. They also learned what their mission was to be and what was required of them if they wanted to see the child they were mourning the loss of in the hereafter. They were told that he was not dead, but had just passed on to another sphere of action; and that Mother would have the privilege of rearing her child to maturity in the hereafter.
This must have brought joy and gladness to the heart of our dear mother. She had not only received a better understanding of this life, but also of the life hereafter. It was her privilege of having the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ explained in it’s fullness and it’s simplicity. I want you, after reading this, to set down and sing the hymn that was the cause of bringing our father and mother into the church. Not only of bringing them into the church, but that hymn was the cause of them coming to this goodly land, where we have had the privilege of
being born under the new and everlasting covenant, and from our infancy have been taught the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Had we been born in the land of our forefathers, there is no telling what we might have had to pass through, and what we might have done.