Yippee! Not only did I figure out who Hans Peder Nielsen’s parents were finally, but today I figured out his wife’s lineage after close to 8 long years!! That gives me 29 out of my 32 2x great-grandparents’ info… Just 3 left to figure out to have my first 62 direct ancestors or 4 generations nailed down.
My 2x great-grandma’s American records list her as Maren Sophie Jensen in almost every single one, but her wedding record listed her as Maren Sophie Nelson. I have always just thought they accidentally transposed her Jensen last name with her future husband’s, Nielsen/Nelson. Yet, every time I looked for anyone born in 1849 in Denmark with the name Maren / Maren Sophie, the only one I could find was Maren Sophie Nielsen.
So, I went over to the Danish archives and looked up the original birth record. Maren Sophie Nielsen/Nielsdatter was born on the exact day/year as my 2x g-grandmother! And her father is listed as Niels Jensen. Aha!
I’m pretty sure I know what happened. When Niels brought his family to America in 1869, it looks like he changed his kids’ official last name to Jensen rather than him as the father having Jensen and the kids all being Nielsen or Nielsdatter because of the way Danish people used patronymics each generation instead. Maren arrived a bit later in 1871. When she got married in 1873, the document showed the Nielsen/Nelson name. Then, for official records after that, she said she was a Jensen. Thank goodness for that one record with the original name! (And the fact they came from a very low-population area in Denmark.) 😉
Finally finding her family has let me trace her line now back to the late 1700s in Denmark so far! How cool is that?
Now I just need to see if I can trace her mother further back. Our female-line mtDNA (H15b) is fairly rare and sources I’ve come across say it comes from possibly Sweden. My DNA reports say I have about 28% Swedish ancestry, so I’d love to see if I can get far enough back to find a direct female Swedish ancestor.