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Jacob Madsen (Christensen)

Birthplace: Store Brondum Parish, Aalborg, Denmark
Death: Died in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Place of Burial: Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Christen Madsen and Anne Madsen
Husband of Dorothea Kirstine Madsen
Father of Christen Madsen; Hans Jacob Madson; Annie Madsen Salisbury; Christian Jacobsen Madsen; Niels Madsen and 5 others
Brother of Niels Christensen; Jens Christensen and Christen Christensen
Half brother of Inger Christensdatter; Anne Christensdatter; Niels Christensen; Mads Christensen; Johanne Marie Christensdatter and 2 others

Occupation: gaardmand (farmer)
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Jacob Madsen

According to the Book, Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, Volume 1, Jacob Madsen (Jacob Christensen), was born December 18, 1805, Store Brondum, Aalborg, Denmark. His parents were Christen Madsen and Anne Nielsen Madsen. Jacob married Dorothea Christine Jensen, April 16, 1838, in Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark. She was the daughter of Hans and Anne Jensen. Jacob and Dorothea arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley, September 13, 1857, with the Mathias Crowley Company. Jacob passed away June 10, 1879, Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. He was known as Jacob Christensen in Denmark, following the patronymic system. His own children, while living in Denmark, followed the same system and went by the surname of Jacobsen. Upon arriving in the Valley, they all took the name of their paternal grandfather, Madsen.

Jacob and Dorothea heard the gospel and were baptized in 1855 in Denmark. They wanted to join the saints in the valley. They left their home and, after spending the winter of 1856-57 in Hurup, Als, Denmark, they left Denmark. Jacob and his family sailed from Liverpool, England, April 15, 1857, aboard the ship "Westmoreland" and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1857. They are listed on the ship's roster as follows:

Jacob Christianson, age 50, Farmer

Dorothea Christianson, age 39, wife

Hans Christianson, age 18, Farmer

Annie Christianson, age 6

Neils Christianson, age 2

Eliza Christianson, age 7

Anton P. Christianson, age 4

Inger, infant

Franklin, infant

Their son, Christian Madsen, born in Denmark in 1844, came to America in 1853 with friends of the family. They were given $500 to care for him in the new world until his parents could sell all of their worldly possessions and have enough money to take their entire family to America.

Travel conditions were so terrible on the way to Iowa that Jacob and Dorothea lost an infant son, Franklin during the trip. The balance of the way to the valley was difficult and heart rending. They arrived at the time of the coming of Johnston's army, so after several days, they were sent south with the other saints.

They remained in Nephi for the rest of the years 1857-58, and then moved to Ogden. Around 1863 they moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, where at the age of 73, Jacob passed away. His children stayed in the Bloomington area for at least 20 years or more, with some relocating to Safford, Arizona, in 1883 with other family members and in-laws.

Jacob and Dorothea's children were:

Christen, born June 19, 1838, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark, died in Denmark as a child

Hans, born January 30, 1840, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Anna, born May 22, 1842, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Christian, born November 14, 1844, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Niels, born December 4, 1846, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Eliza, b. April 22, 1849, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Anton Peter, born June 16, 1851, Skibsted, Aalborg, Demark

Inger Marie, born June 24, 1854, Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark

Franklin, born December 1, 1856, Hurup, Als, Denmark. Died enroute to the Valley as an infant.

Jacob, born January 5, 1860, Ogden, Utah

Submitted by: Thais DeGrey


His headstone reads, "True to his trust. Honest and pure. A Father indeed and a friend to the poor."

Biographical Summary:

"...Jacob Madson (1805-1879) and his family sailed from Liverpool, England April 25, 1857, aboard the ship "Westmoreland" and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 31, 1857. They are listed on the ship's roster as follows:

  • Jacob Christianson, age 50, farmer
  • Dorothea Christianson, age 39, wife
  • Hans Christianson, age 18, farmer
  • Annie Christianson, age 6
  • Neils Christianson, age 2
  • Eliza Christianson, age 7
  • Anton P. Christianson, age 4
  • Inger, infant
  • Franklin, infant

SOURCE: Unknown

Mormon Pioneer:

1857 (p. 120-122) On Friday, April 18, 1857, a company of emigrating Saints, numbering 536 souls, bound for Utah, sailed from Copenhagen on the steamer "L. N. Hvidt," in charge of Elder Hector C. Haight, who accompanied the emigrants to England. Among the emigrants was the late Simon Peter Eggertsen of Provo, Utah. After a successful voyage the ship arrived at Grimsby, England, April 21st in the afternoon, thence the journey was continued the following day by rail to Liverpool, where the emigrants, "together with four returning Utah Elders from Great Britain, went on board the ship "Westmoreland" and sailed from Liverpool, April 25th. In the evening of the 24th, while the ship still lay at anchor in the River Mersey, five young couples were married, namely: Carl C. A. Christensen and Eliza Haarby, Johan F. F. Dorius and Karen Fransen, Carl C. N Dorius and Ellen G. Rolfsen, Lauritz Larsen and Anne M. Thomsen and Jacob Bastian and Gertrud Petersen.

Matthias Cowley was appointed by the presidency in Liverpool to take charge of the company, with Henry Lunt and Ola N. Liljenquist as his counselors. The Saints were divided into four districts under the presidency of Elders George W. Thurston, Lorenzo D. Rudd, Chr. G. Larsen and Carl C. N. Dorius. The following discipline or order was observed during the voyage: The emigrants went to bed between 9 and 10 o'clock in the evening and arose about 5 o'clock in the morning. Prayers were held morning and evening, and, as far as possible, also at noon.

The Sundays were occupied with fasting, prayers and preaching. Schools were also organized in each district for the purpose of giving the Scandinavian Saints instructions in English. A musical company was organized and the Saints frequently enjoyed themselves in the dance and other innocent diversions.

Splendid health as a rule existed among the emigrants and only two small children and an old man (82 years of age) died during the voyage. A child was born May 3, 1857, which was named Decan Westmoreland, after the captain and the ship. After a successful voyage, which lasted 36 days, the company arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1857. Here they were received by Elder Angus M. Cannon, who, during the absence of President John Taylor, acted as emigration agent. He made the necessary arrangements for the journey of the company through the States.

On the 2nd of June, the emigrants continued by rail from Philadelphia, and, traveling via Baltimore and Wheeling, they arrived safely in Iowa City, Iowa, July 9, 1857. This place was the outfitting point for the Saints who crossed the Plains in 1857 the same as in 1856. During the railroad journey, a Brother Hammer from Bornholm and three children died. About the 15th of June, a part of the company commenced the journey toward the Valley from Iowa City with an ox-train, under the captaincy of Elder Matthias Cowley, while another fraction of the company, about the same time, commenced the journey across the Plains with handcarts under the leadership of Elder James P. Park.

Several of the emigrants who had not sufficient means to continue the journey to the Valley that year, remained in the States for the purpose of earning money with which to continue the journey later. The ox-train, which consisted of 198 souls, 31 wagons, 122 oxen and 28 cows, arrived at Florence, Nebraska, July 2,1857, in pretty good health; but when the handcart company reached that place the following day a number of the handcart emigrants were sick, owing to the change of food and climate, and also because of over-exertion.

Consequently, a council was called for the purpose of considering their condition, and, after some discussion, it was decided by unanimous vote that the company should continue the journey at once and that all who were not strong enough to stand the journey should remain behind, so as not to become a burden to the company.

The ox-train rolled out of Florence, July 6th, and the handcart company, which consisted of 330 souls, with 68 handcarts, 3 wagons and 10 mules, continued the journey from Florence, July 7th, under the leadership of Elder Chr. Christiansen, who returned home from a mission to the Western States. Both companies arrived safe and well in Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 13, 1857.

The second division of the season's emigration from Scandinavia, consisting of 286 souls, sailed from Copenhagen, May 20, 1857, en route for Utah. The company arrived at Liverpool, England, on the 24th, being accompanied that far by Pres. Hector C. Haight. Together with a large number of emigrating Saints from the British Mission, the Scandinavian emigrants sailed from Liverpool, on the ship "Tuscarora," early on the morning of May 30, 1857, under the leadership of Richard Harper. After a pleasant voyage of about five weeks, the "Tuscarora" arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1857.

From that city the journey was continued by railroad westward to Burlington, Iowa, from which place the emigrants scattered in their endeavors to find employment and earn means wherewith to continue their journey to Utah as soon as possible. At the April conference held at St. Louis, Missouri, that year, it was decided that the Scandinavian Saints who were stopping temporarily in the states, should be advised to move from St. Louis, Missouri, and Alton, Illinois, to Omaha and Florence, Nebraska, which places at that time were being built up with great energy, and the brethren stood a good chance to fine remunerative employment there until they could travel further west.

This move was carried out almost immediately, and in a remarkable short time all the Scandinavians had left Missouri and Iowa for Nebraska. About the same time a number of temporary settlements were founded by the Saints west of Florence or the route to Utah, according to instructions from President Brigham Young. After the departure of the two companies of emigrants, the Elders who were left in the different Scandinavian conferences continued their missionary labors with renewed zeal and soon new converts took the places of the many who had emigrated to Zion.

SOURCE: Scandinavian Mission 1852-1868 immigration notes from excerpts of the History of the Scandinavian Mission, by Andrew Jenson.

Mormon Pioneers of the Overland Trail:

  • Christensen, Jacob
  • Birth Date: 18 Dec. 1805
  • Death Date: 10 June 1879
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 51
  • Company: Unidentified Companies (1857)
  1. Christensen, Dorthea Christen Jensen (40)
  2. Christensen, Jacob (51)
  3. Madsen, Annie (15)
  4. Madsen, Anton Peter (6)
  5. Madsen, Eliza (8)
  6. Madsen, Franklin (infant)
  7. Madsen, Hans (17)
  8. Madsen, Marie Inger (3)

Pioneer Information:

Evidence from emigration and genealogical records proves the Christensen family traveled to Utah in 1857.

NOTE: Per written records from the daughter of Christian Madsen, son of Jacob (Christensen) Madsen:

Christian, born in Denmark in 1844, did not come to America with his family in 1857, but rather came earlier in 1853, when he was only 9 years old, along with friends of the Madsen family who were immigrating America at that time. Some of the diary of Christian's daughter can be found on her profile page, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney, born 1869 in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, and died in 1953, Simi Valley, California, and buried in Safford, Arizona. Dortha said the reason Jacob Madsen and his wife Dorthea could not come to America sooner than 1857 was because they were trying to dispose of their worldly possessions before leaving Denmark.

NOTE: The following is from a record on written by Thais Carlson DeGrey, a 2nd great granddaughter-in-law, in 1996, which was edited, and the last two paragraphs submitted by Marilyn Bateman Weber. It was shared on on 4/4/2013 by someone named Candace

Jacob met and fell in love with a young lady by the name of Dorothea Kirstine Hansen. They were married the 16th of April 1838 in Skibsted, Aalborg, Denmark. A total of ten children were born to them. Eight of these children were born to them while living at Rostrup, Aalborg, Denmark. They were: Christen: born July 19, 1938; Hans: born January 30 1840; Anna: born May 22, 1842; Christen: born November 14, 1844; Niels: born December 4, 1846; Eliza: born April 22, 1849; Anton Peter: born June 16, 1851; Inger Marie: born June 24, 1854. Their children followed in the patronymic naming system while residing in Denmark. They took their father's first name of Jacob and added a "son" to it making their last name Jacobsen. After they arrived in Utah they all changed their name to Madsen which was their paternal grandfather's name. Their last son, Jacob, was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1860.

Jacob and Dorothea heard the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preached in their native land and they were baptized on the 25th of September 1855. A desire was planted in their hearts to join the Saints in Utah so they left their farm and stayed in Hurup, Als, Denmark during the winter of 1856-57 in preparation for their emigration to Zion. Another son was born here on December 1, 1856, and was named Franklin.

In the spring, Jacob and Dorothea and their family boarded the L. N. Hvidt steamer in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 18, 1857, along with a company of 536 emigrating Saints bound for Utah. The L. N. Hvidt arrived at Grimsby, England, on April 21, 1857, in the afternoon and the journey was continued by rail for Liverpool the next morning at 6 o'clock a.m. Jacob and his family left with the 100th company of Saints to cross the ocean on the Westmoreland April 25, 1857, with 540 fellow Saints and 4 returning missionaries from Great Britain. Mathias Cowley was one of the returning missionaries and he was appointed President of the company with counselors Henry Lunt and Ola N. Liljenquist. Their berths were in the steerage room which housed all the Scandinavian Saints. Jacob and his family were on the ocean 36 days before arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on May 31, 1857.

On the 2nd of June, Jacob and Dorothea and their children continued their journey westward by rail from Philadelphia through Baltimore and Wheeling and finally arriving at the end of the RR line in Iowa City on June 9, 1857. They had traveled 8 days and 7 nights to Iowa, a distance of 1500 miles. This train ride had been very treacherous, uncomfortable and difficult with many unforeseen problems. The different train stations and railroad lines were not connected together and there was no transportation between stations for them except by foot.

Sometimes Jacob and Dorothea and their family and fellow Saints had to change trains late in the evening walking the distance between stations. All of this was done in total darkness since they had no lights. One evening they were turned out of the railroad cars and told to wait until the next day for another train. There was no shelter there and it rained all night with mud and rain flowing down the nearby hillside. Shelter was finally provided for them when the door of the freight building was opened the next morning. They were then escorted to some eating house for breakfast and were fed.

The railroad cars they had traveled in were rough cars or cattle cars. Sometimes a seat was available or just a space on the floor to sit and other times standing up was required with hardly any room to even lean against a structure. The conditions were so physically demanding and uncomfortable that one elderly man and three children died. One of those children was Jacob's and Dorothea's beloved Franklin. Leaving the baby behind was very difficult for the grieving couple but their faith in the Lord took them westward to the promised valley.

When Jacob and his family arrived in Iowa City, which was the western terminus of the railroad and the outfitting point for the Saints who crossed the Plains in 1857, they received the oxen and wagon they had purchased in Denmark. They left about the 15th of June in the Mathias Cowley ox-team wagon train with 198 other Saints, 31 wagons and 122 oxen and 28 cows. They arrived in Florence, Nebraska on July 2nd, rested for four days and left for the Salt Lake valley on July 6, 1857.

The trip across the Plains for Jacob and his family and fellow travelers was full of the usual physical hardships plus great fear and unusual anxiety. The President of the United States had sent Johnson's Army out to Utah to wipe out the Mormons. This Army traveled across the Plains the same time as Jacob and his family did. They were traveling parallel and across the river from the Mathias Cowley ox-team Company and the Christian Christiansen handcart Company.

Jacob and his fellow Saints wondered what would happen to them and the Saints in Utah. Their faith made them go on. They also encountered strange men called Indians and a plague of grasshoppers. The insects infested the prairies and ate all the grass that the animals needed. When the insects swarmed they completely blackened the sky for days and the sound produced by their wings resembled that of the passage of a train of cars on a railroad when standing two or three hundred yards from the track.

On the 13th of September 1857, a Sunday, Jacob and Dorothea and their family walked into the City of Saints with feelings of thanksgiving and grand expectations. After they reached the Great Salt Lake valley they camped on the north side of the city where they remained for three or four days. Because of the great danger and threat of the U.S. Federal Army, Brigham Young sent them and all the other Saints down into southern Utah for safety.

Jacob and Dorothea stayed the winter of 1857-58 in Spanish Fork, Utah. The following summer Dorothea's oldest daughter Anna met a nice young man at a gathering of young folks in Nephi, Utah. He took a fancy to her and after a quick courtship Anna agreed to be David Salisbury's wife, and they were married on the 9th of September 1858 in Nephi, Juab, Utah.

Peace was declared between Utah and the United States and the people were safe to return to Northern Utah. Jacob and Dorothea then moved to Ogden, Utah. Another son was born to Dorothea and Jacob while they were living in Ogden. Jacob Madsen was born the 6th of January 1860. Jacob and Dorothea took out their endowments and were sealed for time and all eternity on January 18, 1865, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Their home in Ogden was where 12th Street is now on what they called the bottoms. There was a good section of meadow land where numerous willows grew. Inger Marie often spoke to her children of the time when the Saints got scurvy because of lack of sugar in their diet and they were saved from severe suffering by stripping off the sugar growing on the willows. It would hang down like long icicles during the morning before the sun got hot. The people would gather it and powder it by rubbing it between their hands. This only lasted until they could get sugar cane started. This was as wonderful as when manna was supplied to the children of Israel.

In 1864 Jacob and Dorothea moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. There they established a permanent home having lived and died in this same home. Here Jacob showed the same thrift he had in Denmark. In a very short time he had a fine home, herds of sheep, a good herd of milk cow, pigs, and chickens. In their home were a spinning wheel and a loom for both wool and carpets. They had the first stove and sewing machine in Bloomington.

Although they had money when they came to America they loaned it to friends and Saints to immigrate to Zion until they had no cash to use. Dorothea's father was a tailor and she learned the trade from him. From their sheep she would take the raw wool, spin and weave it and make the men's suits. She also learned to be a good seamstress. At the age of 73, Jacob passed away on June 10, 1879, and was buried in the Bloomington City Cemetery. His beloved Dorothea passed away on March 5, 1891, and was buried by his side. The inscription on Jacob's tombstone reads:

True to his trust,

Honest and Pure,

A Father indeed,

And a friend to the poor.

The inscription on Dorothea's headstone reads:

We've said goodbye to mother dear,

She's gone to dwell above.

She left a noble record here,

But took with her our love.

view all 15

Jacob Madsen's Timeline

December 18, 1805
Store Brondum Parish, Aalborg, Denmark
January 26, 1806
Brøndum, Rostrup, North Denmark Region, Denmark
April 16, 1838
Age 32
Skibsted, North Denmark Region, Denmark
July 19, 1838
Age 32
Aalborg, Denmark
January 30, 1840
Age 34
Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Danmark
May 22, 1842
Age 36
Rostrup Parish, Ålborg, Denmark
November 14, 1844
Age 38
Rostrup, Aalborg, Jutland, Denmark
December 4, 1846
Age 40
Rostrup, Denmark
April 22, 1849
Age 43
Rostrup, Aalborg, Nordjylland, Danmark
June 16, 1852
Age 46
Aalborg, Nordjylland, Denmark