En udvandrerhistorie

See below   

I årene mellem 1864 og 1914 var der omkring 300.000 mennesker, der udvandrede fra Danmark, primært til USA, men også til f.eks. Canada, Argentina og New Zealand. Der svarede til knap 10% af Danmarks befolkning på den tid. Årsagen var manglende muligheder for uddannelse eller arbejde. Derfor er der i næsten alle familier i Danmark nogle, der i den periode skabte sig eksistensmuligheder i andre lande. Men vilkårene var ofte vanskelige, og der måtte kæmpes hårdt.

Thorkilds oldeforældre Marie og Jesper Nielsen fik i alt 9 børn, hvoraf de tre ældste, Maren, Jens Elisius og Niels, udvandrede til New Zealand. Det er lykkedes os at sammenstykke udvandrerhistorien gennem oplysninger fra min mormor Emilie Therp, som var gift med en af de 9 søskende, Karl Nielsen. Hun har sammen med min fætter Birger Kjærsgaard Nielsen søgt oplysninger i bl.a Landsarkivet i Viborg. Men i dag er mange kirkebøger mv. lagt på “Nettet” og vi kan derfor finde mange oplysninger ad den vej. Desuden har vi via slægtsforskningssiden Geni.com og denne hjemmeside fået kontakt til den del af familien, der som efterkommere er nulevende på New Zealand. Det betyder, at der nu tegner sig et billede af et levet liv og skæbne.

Maren Nielsen er født den 17/3 1871 og døbt i Barrit Kirke. Det tyder på at hun ”kom ud at tjene”, for vi kan ikke i kirkebogen se, at hun er blevet konfirmeret i Barrit Kirke, som familien ellers tilhørte.
Jens Elisius Nielsen er født den 28/2 1873 og døbt i Barrit Kirke.
Niels Nielsen er født den 16/10 1874 og døbt i Barrit Kirke.

De to drenge var kammerater med en nabosøn Niels Peter Nielsen, der er født den 7/3 1871 og døbt i Barrit Kirke, hvor han også blev konfirmeret i 1885. I kirkebogen står der følgende ”dom” over hans kundskaber og opførsel: mg – meget god.

De tre drenge besluttede at udvandre. Men nu er kilderne en smule usikre. Vi kan i Udvandrerarkivet.dk  se, at den 18-årige Niels Peter, angivet som landmand, udrejste 2/11 1889 med destinationen Napier, en by på østsiden af Nordøen på New Zealand. Alle data i Udvandrerarkivet.dk er afskrevet af frivillige, og det understreges på siden, at der kan være tale om fejl i afskriften. Det har vi faktisk et eksempel her, for Barut Mam skal være Barrit Mark.

Men vi har ikke kunnet finde de to brødre i det arkiv. Der er notater i familien, som tyder på, at de rejste ud til et familiemedlem, sandsynligvis Marie Nielsens søster Gyda Marie Christiansen (født. Jensen) der i forvejen var udrejst sammen med sin familie. Nogle notater tyder på, at de tre er fulgtes ad, – men det er mere sandsynligt, at de er udrejst senere, for de var kun 16 og 17 år, da Niels Peter rejser. I de New Zealandske arkiver findes Jens Elisius’s statsborgergodkendelse dateret 25/4 1896, hvor det oplyses at han i 5 år har boet i New Zealand. Det må betyde, at han er ankommet i 1891, altså da han er ca. 18 år. Det tyder på, at Niels Nielsen som 21-årig er fulgt efter i 1895, for i hans dødsattest fra 1914 står der, at han har boet i New Zealand i 19 år.

Gyda Marie Jensen var blevet gift med Søren Christiansen, og de var udvandret i 1874. De fik seks børn, hvoraf Christina Hansine blev gift med Jens Elisius. (Se familieoversigt)

Under alle omstændigheder var Maren og Niels Peter blevet forelskede, måske oven i købet forlovede. Men de måtte tage afsked, og ni måneder senere, den 20/7 1890 fødte hun en dreng, som ved dåben i Barrit Kirke den 26/10 1890 fik navnet Peter Nielsen-Vold. I dåbsnotatet i kirkebogen står der: “ugift fruentimmer …udlagt barnefader er ungkarl Niels Peter Nielsen, som er udvandret til Australien“. Præsten har næppe kendt meget til geografien der ”down under”. Et lille fint træk er, at både Marens fader Jesper og Niels Peters far Peter står faddere til den lille, og der er derfor ingen tvivl om, at de begge har taget barnet til sig som deres barnebarn. Barnet er jo også opkaldt efter sin farfar (Niels Peters far) som skikken ofte var. Marens far Jesper og Niels Peters far Peter var ud over at være naboer også kolleger som landpostbude ved Barrit Station.

Det siges, og kan tidsmæssigt i forhold til ovennævnte godt passe, at det er Marens bror Jens Elisius, der fortæller nyheden til Niels Peter, som straks vil have Maren og barnet ud til sig. Det sker dog først et par år senere, og i Udvandrerarkivet.dk  kan vi se, at den nu 23-årige Maren, angivet som frue, rejser den 28/10 1893 med destinationen New Plymouth, der ligger på vestsiden af Nordøen på New Zealand.

 

Ifølge oplysninger fra familien på New Zealand ankom hun med dampskibet “Rimutaka” hen under jul 1893 til Wellington, som ligger på sydspidsen af Nordøen, og hvor de blev gift 3/1 1894. Rejsen derud med Peter på godt 3 år har altså varet mellem 1½ og 2 måneder.

De bosatte sig i Makeretu på Nordøen, hvor de drev en farm. Her fødte Maren yderligere ni børn. Her er alle nævnt:
Peter Nielsen-Vold (20/7 1890 – 30/4 1950)
Jaspar Nielsen (22/3 1895 – 1/2 1933)
Charles Elisius Nielsen (9/9 1896 – 8/10 1911)
Georg Victor Nielsen (25/5 1898 – 15/7 1970)
Annie Cathrine Maria Nielsen (14/7 1900 – 8/7 1973)
Frank Andrew (Andy) Nielsen (15/7 1901 – 23/5 1961)
Muriel Evelyn Nielsen (28/3 1903 – 15/1 1998)
Otto Richard Nielsen (1/4 1905 – 6/8 1972)
Agnes Nielsen (19/12 1906 – 9/9 1986)
Toby Marinus Nielsen (12/8 1908 – 28/1 1981)

Billedet til højre er taget omkring 1904, og viser fra venstre: Niels Peter Nielsen, Jaspar Nielsen, Frank Andrew Nielsen, Annie Cathrine Maria Nielsen, Peter Nielsen-Vold, Maren Nielsen, Evelyn Muriel Nielsen, Charles Elisius Nielsen, George Victor Nielsen.

Da Toby blev født, døde Maren i barselsseng den 12/8 1908. Det fortælles, at der var lang afstand til læge og jordemoder, og Marens bror Jens Elisius kørte med hestespand så hurtigt, at den ene hest døde deraf. Alligevel nåede han det ikke. Maren blev begravet på kirkegården i Makaretu.
Det betød, at Niels Peter stod tilbage med en børneflok på 10 fra 0 år til 18 år. Niels Peter Nielsen døde i 1941 og blev også begravet i Makaretu.

     Link til Google Streetview.

Jens Elisius Nielsen var som nævnt udvandret i ca. 1891 som 18-årig og blev den 28/2 1900 gift med sin kusine Christina Hansine Christiansen. På tidspunktet for Marens død var de barnløse, og tog derfor den nyfødte Toby til sig. De fik senere, i 1922, en datter Agnes, kendt som “Girlie” født i 1922. Agnes blev senere gift med Douglas Haig Coventry i 1942, og fik tre børn bl.a. en datter Joy Coventry. Jens Elisius døde i 1933, Christina døde i 1945 og de er begge begravet i Te Kuiti, New Zealand. Læs mere på siden “Et anesammenfald”

Niels Nielsen var sandsynligvis udvandret som 21-årig i ca. 1895 til sin bror Jens Elisius. Vi ved ikke meget om ham, han har arbejdet sammen med Jens Elisius, men også andre steder. Vi har et postkort, som han omkring århundredeskiftet sendte til sin bror Karl (min morfar) som tyder på, at han arbejdede ved anlæggelsen af jernbanen på Nordøen. Han døde 1/8 1914 af en hjernesvulst, og blev begravet på samme kirkegård som sin søster Maren. Vi ved i øvrigt ikke meget om ham ud over, at han aldrig blev gift. I familien opbevares hans dødsattest og hans testamente, hvori han efterlader sine ejendele til Jens Elisius.

Vi ved, at de to brødre havde meget med hinanden at gøre, og også, at de flyttede en del rundt. Vi må prøve at få nogle af stederne indtegnet på et kort. Der er i New Zealand udgivet en bog, “Waitanguru, the great transformation” af Stan Fredericksen. Han har medtaget den tidlige Nielsen-historie, fortalt af Molly Nielsen, gift med Toby, som var Maren og Niels Peters yngste søn, og som blev adopteret af Jens Elisius og Christina Hansine. Se historien her. Den Peter, der nævnes heri er Peter Nielsen-Vold, Maren og Niels Peters ældste søn.

Familien på New Zealand er vokset siden, som det vil fremgå af oversigten over efterkommere af Jesper og Marie Nielsen (Se slægtslisten).

Nedenstående billeder har vi fået fra New Zealand af Marens oldebarn James og hans kone Joanne:
Maren → Peter Nielsen-Vold → Barbara → James.
James er gift med Joanne og har tre børn: Zelandia, Hamish, Angela.
Det er Joanne, der er meget optaget af slægtsforskning.

   

An emigration story

In the years between 1864 and 1914 about 300,000 people emigrated from Denmark, primarily to the United States, but also to, for example, Canada, Argentina and New Zealand. That corresponded to just under 10% of Denmark’s population at that time. The reason was lack of opportunities for education or work. Therefore, in almost all families in Denmark, some people created opportunities for existence in other countries during that period. But the conditions were often difficult and they had to fight hard for existence.

Thorkild’s Great Grandparents Marie and Jesper Nielsen had 9 children in all, the three elders, Maren, Jens Elisius and Niels emigrated to New Zealand. We have succeeded in merging the emigrant story through information from my grandmother Emilie Therp, married to one of the 9 siblings, Karl Nielsen. She has, together with my cousin Birger Kjærsgaard Nielsen, sought information in the National Archives in Viborg. But today many Church records etc. are placed on the Internet and therefore we can find a lot of information that way. In addition, via the genealogy page Geni.com, we have got contact to the part of the family who are descendants in New Zealand. This means that now a picture of a living life and destiny is showing up.

Maren Nielsen was born 17/3 1871 and baptized in Barrit Church. It indicates that she “went out to work” because we can not see in the Church records that she has been confirmed in Barrit Church, which the family belonged to.
Jens Elisius Nielsen was born 28/2 1873 and baptized in Barrit Church.
Niels Nielsen was born 16/10 1874 and baptized in Barrit Church.

The two boys were comrades with a neighbour’s son Niels Peter Nielsen, born on 7/3 1871 and baptized in Barrit Church, where he also was confirmed in 1885. In the Church record, there are the following “judgements” about his knowledge and behaviour: mg – very good.

The three boys decided to emigrate. But now the sources are a bit uncertain. In Udvandrerarkivet.dk we can see that 18-year-old Niels Peter, designated as a farmer, travelled on 2/11 1889 to Napier, a town on the eastern side of the North Island on New Zealand. All data in Udvandrerarkivet.dk are copied by volunteers, and it is emphasized on the page that there may be errors in the transcript. We actually have an example here, because Barut Mam should be Barrit Mark.

But we have not been able to find the two brothers in that archive. There are notes in the family that indicate that they were traveling to a family member, probably Marie Nielsen’s sister Gyda Marie Christiansen (born Jensen) who had already travelled out there with her family. Some notes indicate that the three brothers followed together – but it is more likely that they went later, because they were only 16 and 17 years old when Niels Peter travelled. In the New Zealand archives, Jens Elisius’s citizen’s permit is dated 25/4 1896, announcing that he has lived in New Zealand 5 years. It shows that he arrived in 1891, when he was about 18 years old. This means that Niels Nielsen, 21, was followed in 1895, because in his death certificate from 1914, it is mentioned that he has lived in New Zealand for 19 years.

Gyda Marie Jensen had married Søren Christiansen and they emigrated in 1874. They had six children, of whom Christina Hansine married Jens Elisius. (See link)

In any case, Maren and Niels Peter had fallen in love, maybe even engaged. But they had to say goodbye, and nine months later, on 20/7 1890, she gave birth to a boy, who was baptized at Barrit Church 26/10 1890, and got the name of Peter Nielsen Vold. The baptismal note in the church records says: “Unmarried young girl Maren Nielsen… The father is postman Jesper Nielsen living in Breth Mark (the place). As the child’s father is pointed out bachelor Niels Peter Nielsen, emigrated to Australia“. The priest has hardly known much about the geography there “down under”. One little fine detail is that both fathers, Marens father Jesper and Niels Peter’s father Peter are baptize witnesses to the little child, and therefore no doubt that they both received the child as their grandchild. The child is also named after his grandfather (Niels Peter’s father) as the custom often was. Maren‘s father Jesper and Niels Peter’s father Peter were, in addition to being neighbours, also colleagues as postmen at Barrit Station.

It is said, and can in relation to what is mentioned above, that it was Maren’s brother Jens Elisius, who told the news to Niels Peter, who wanted immediately to have Maren and the child. However, only a couple of years later, and in Udvandrerarkivet.dk we see that the now 23-year-old Maren, designated as a wife, travelled 28/10 1893 to the destination New Plymouth, located on the west side of the North Island in New Zealand.

According to information from our New Zealand family, she arrived with the steamship “Rimutaka” during Christmas 1893 to Wellington, located at the southern tip of the North Island, where they got married 3/1 1894. Her journey with 3-year-old Peter lasted between 1½ and 2 months.

They settled in Makeretu on the North Island, where running a farm. Here Maren gave birth to nine more children. They are all mentioned next to the image above.

When Toby was born, Maren died in maternity bed on 12/8 1908. It is said that there was a long distance to the doctor and midwife, and Maren’s brother Jens Elisius drove with a couple of horses so fast that one horse died. Nevertheless, he did not reach it. Maren was buried in the cemetery in Makaretu. This meant that Niels Peter was left with 10 children aged from 0 to 18 years. Niels Peter Nielsen died in 1941 and was also buried in Makaretu. – Link to Google Streetview above, and see more here.

As mentioned, Jens Elisius Nielsen emigrated in approx. 1891 at the age of 18 and was married 28/2 1900 to his cousin Christina Hansine Christiansen. At the time of Maren’s death, they were childless and therefore adopted the newborn Toby. They later got a daughter Agnes in 1922, known as “Girlie”. Agnes later married Douglas Haig Coventry in 1942 and got three children, among others. a daughter Joy Coventry. Jens Elisius died in 1933, Christina died in 1945 and they are both buried in Te Kuiti, New Zealand. (More information in link 5)

Niels Nielsen probably emigrated as 21 year old approx. 1895 to his brother Jens Elisius. We do not know much about him. He has worked with Jens Elisius, but also elsewhere. We have a postcard, which he sent to his brother Karl (my grandfather) around the turn of the century, indicating that he was working on the construction of the railroad in the North Island. He died 1/8 1914 of a brain tumour and was buried in the same cemetery as his sister Maren. We do not know much about him besides he never married. In his family, his death certificate and his will are kept in which he leaves his belongings to Jens Elisius.

We know that the two brothers had a lot to do together and also that they moved a lot. We will try to get some of the places on a map. New Zealand has published a book, “Waitanguru, the great transformation” of Stan Fredericksen. He has included the early Nielsen story, narrated by Molly Nielsen, married to Toby, who was Maren and Niels Peter’s youngest son, adopted by Jens Elisius and Christina Hansine. See the story here. The Peter mentioned herein is Peter Nielsen Vold, Maren and Niels Peter’s oldest son.

The New Zealand family has grown since, as seen in the list of descendants of Jesper and Marie Nielsen (See the family list).

The eight pictures are from New Zealand by Maren’s grandson James and his wife Joanne:
Maren → Peter Nielsen-Vold → Barbara → James.
James is married to Joanne and has three children: Zelandia, Hamish, Angela.
It is Joanne, who is very busy with genealogy.

(Opdateret 5/11 2018)