Christen Olsen

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Christen Olsen (Jensen)

Birthplace: Hasseris, Aalborg Budolfi Sogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
Death: Died in Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah Territory, United States
Place of Burial: Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jens Olesen and Ane Kirstine Christensdatter
Husband of Anne Olsen
Father of Mette Kirstine Christensdatter; Karen Marie Olsen; Christina Wight; Nicoline Hullena Petersen; James Christian Olsen, Sr. and 8 others
Brother of Ole Jensen; Else Marie Jensdatter and Mette Olsdatter

Occupation: Husmand
Managed by: Erik Nørring Christiansen
Last Updated:

About Christen Olsen


Christen J. Olsen, formerly Christen Jensen under the old Danish patronymics, was the son of Jens and Anne Kirstine Olesen. He was born August 1, 1803 in the village of Hasseris, then as today a suburb of Aalborg City. His was the life of tilling the fertile soil of the peninsula, the same land that his ancestors had tilled for many generations. The city of Aalborg which is located in the county of Aalborg, elegantly sits on the "Limfjorden" or the Lim Fjord. Christen's paternal grandfather had crossed that fjord coming to Aalborg from Hjørring county. No reason is known as to why he would have come to Aalborg City, but it was most likely to seek better employment and raise his family in better circumstances. Aalborg, as today, was a bustling port city and has been such since the dawnings of viking history.

Christen worked on his fathers farm until he met and married Annie Nielsen, a young woman from that same area. They purchased a farm of their own also in Hasseris, where their children were born. Here, they raised a family of two boys and six girls. They were hard working people and because of their labors were counted among the well-to-do at that time.

The Message

Sometime in the fall of 1850, George P. Dykes was sent to the city of Aalborg where he commenced his missionary labors. Soon after a branch was organized. He had great success in Norre Sundby, a little town just across the fjord from Aalborg city. The Baptists had just organized a branch there and with the help of the Lord, Elder Dykes was successful in converting their leader and the whole congregation with many others from Aalborg.

The Spirit and the power of the Lord rested mightily on the people there and soon the persecution began. However, the Church grew even with greater vigor.

In the fall of 1851, the family of Christen J. Olsen was impressed with this new religion. A miraculous event took place that brought this family into the Gospel. Annie Nielsen Olsen, Christen J.'s wife, was on her way to Aalborg when she was visited by a personage on the road standing clothed in brilliant white. He asked her if she would receive religion and she answered, no she would not. And he then replied, "What will you answer me on the day of judgment?" And she stopped to consider this most sobering question. It rang deep in her ears and continued to sound, until she finally told him that she would receive religion. He then led her to the city of Aalborg and took her to the Mormon hall.

This was the spiritual turning point of Annie's life. Something had taken place that she would never forget. She told her family about the new religion but it was not well received by her husband and grown daughters, especially her oldest Mette Kirstine. She continued to read the scriptures and pray until her faith and prayers won her family over. She had been converted to the church for some time but waited to be baptized with her family. She and her husband entered the waters of baptism on March 5, 1851 being baptized by Hans Peter Jensen and confirmed by George P. Dykes.

Mette Kirstine was baptized April 20, 1851; Caroline was baptized on May 11, 1851, Christine on May 25, 1851 and Jens and Nicoline were baptized on November 6, 1852.

Christen Jensen Olsen was soon influential in helping many come to a knowledge of the truth. During the summer of 1851, meetings were held at the home in Hasseris. Here the towns people gathered to the new religion. They filled the house and the garden as well where the principles of the Gospel were explained. They did not find much success in Aalborg's district of Hasseris. At that time, the Christen J. Olsen family were the only ones to embrace the gospel. Christen J. was soon made a local elder in the branch and was sent on a mission in Denmark. The family then moved into the chapel and Annie was appointed as janitor of the building. The girls were hired out as servants and were working in the various parts of the city. James and Christine were working in Sunstengaard in Norre Tranders.

After his mission, Christen J. decided to send some of his children to Zion. He was going to send Christine and James but later decided to send only James. He left for America just 14 years old on the John E. Forsgren company.

Departure to Hardships

The Aalborg branch records state that Christen Jensen Olsen left for America on December 2, 1853, but according to the history of Ivy Fuller, it was on the 15th. The three oldest girls stayed behind with their grandparents, until they too, left for America. Only James would ever return to their beautiful homeland.

From Aalborg, Christen J. sailed to Copenhagen where they were joined with hundreds of other Saints bound for America. They were from all parts of Scandinavia. They spent Christmas on the rough waters of the North Sea and landed at Hull, England, continuing on the Liverpool.

Once in Liverpool, they were placed on the sailing vessel, Jessie Munns and on January 3, 1854, they began their long and tedious journey across the great Atlantic. Very different indeed, was their journey than traveling in the luxurious steamers of today. After being tossed about at the mercy of the wind and the waves for many weary weeks, they finally came in sight of land on the shores of Cuba and a "shout rang through the old ship as they drew near enough to see the vegetation of the land."

They traveled on north through the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi to the famed city of New Orleans. Here they disembarked on February 15th or 16th and went through customs. They later went up the river on a steamer. The beauty of the bayou soon turned to death with an outbreak of cholera. Many a time, the steamer was forced to touch shore and bury some of its passengers in the sandy banks or on sand bars in the great river. Even when the Saints reached St. Louis, the disease continued to plague them and Mette Kirstine would later die because of this disease in their company, as the girls trekked across the U.S. to join their parents and brother James in Utah.

Christen J. and his family then went on to Kansas City where they awaited the wagons and oxen that they needed for their journey across the plains. Finally, everything was ready and they began their journey of over 1500 miles of wasteland, unbridged streams and trackless prairies until they finally struck the Old Mormon Trail at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and then followed it into the Salt Lake Valley. There were constant deaths along the way and left behind were silent markers blazing the trail for a coming body of Saints.

All along the way a double guard was kept on the watch for Indians which were a constant source of trouble but by this precaution, serious trouble was avoided. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on October 1, 1854 (some records give October 5th).

The family was met by their son James in Salt Lake City who took them to Brigham City. Those who came in this group were the parents and Elsie Marie and Niels Christian.

Once in Liverpool

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Christen Olsen's Timeline

August 1, 1803
Aalborg Budolfi Sogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
September 25, 1803
Fleskum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
February 3, 1830
Age 26
Aalborg Budolfi Landsogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
May 27, 1832
Age 28
Aalborg Budolfi Landsogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
May 27, 1832
Age 28
Hasseris, Aalborg, Buldolfi, Denmark
August 13, 1834
Age 31
April 16, 1836
Age 32
March 27, 1839
Age 35
Aalborg Budolfi Landsogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark
February 26, 1841
Age 37
Aalborg Budolfi Landsogn, Hornum, Aalborg Amt, Denmark