Friday, June 1, 2018

OLOF NILSSON ROSENLOF ~ Pioneer of the Month June 2018

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Additional information included with this history such as family group sheets, newspaper accounts, census material, Immigration records etc. can be found at the Relic Home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Niels Christian Nielsen and Maren Larsen Nielsen ~ Pioneers of the Month ~ May 2018

My husband, Peter Hafen has deep roots in Mt. Pleasant soil.  We can find six generations on the Nielsen side of the family all buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  We didn't have much information on the eldest, Niels Christian and his wife Maren Nielsen until just recently, we often wondered about them as no family records could be found. We know where their graves are located, but no history, no photographs have been found.  I recently found a few tips on and share them with those of you who might also be his descendents. If anyone out there can add more information, please let us know.

Niels Christian Nielsen was born 29 January 1805 in Brovst Hjerring Denmark to Niels Larsen and Ane Marie Hansdotter (or Nielsdotter)

Maren Larsen  was born 20 July 1803 in Hjerring Denmark to Lars Anderson and Ingeborg Poulsen

  We discovered that they actually came over at the same time that Andrew Madsen Sr. did on the John J. Boyd in 1855 which left Liverpool on December 5th. There were 508 persons aboard and 483 of them were from Scandinavia. Just prior to their leaving Liverpool Apostle Franklin D. Richards  came aboard the John J. Boyd and made some very encouraging remarks and bade them farewell.  Elder Knud (Canute) Peterson became the church leader of The John J. Boyd after filling a mission to Norway and Denmark.  He was later called as President of the Sanpete Stake.  He was a very kind, fatherly man and very watchful over his flock and ever ready and willing to give kind and good advice to those under his care.

The John J. Boyd 
It was a treacherous journey with bad storms.   Many became seasick. The ship was not equipped to hold as many passengers as there were. On December 19th a terrible storm came up and rocked the boat, tossing everyone from side to side and continued through Christmas Day, December 25th. Then on January 1st the storm was so terrific that one of the masts was split and had to be wrapped with chains. All the sails were taken down.

  "The winds blew so hard the crew could not control the ship, so the sails were lowered and the ship found its own way through the water. Winter weather upon the Atlantic was so severe that the ship lost all forward progress made in the first weeks of the voyage. We had headwinds most of the way. When we were about one-third of the way over we were driven all the way back to the coast of Ireland.

The  shipmaster was Captain Thomas AustinHe ran a well-ordered company.  Rules of conduct were established.  A trumpet called the immigrants to prayer morning and evening, and religious services were held in English, Danish, and Italian.   

 The average voyage from England to New York aboard a steamer was 13 days, while the average trek across the Atlantic via sailing ship was 37 days.  But the voyage on the John J. Boyd lasted 65 days, nearly one month longer than the average sailing ship crossing.

During the voyage, sixty-two people lost their lives. That’s the highest death toll of Mormon immigrants upon any vessel crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  Even the six-month voyage of the Brooklyn from New York to San Francisco in 1846 claimed only 10 lives.

The captain became so discouraged over the unsatisfactory conditions that he forbade any to sing or pray onboard the ship.  But this did not prevent them from fasting and praying in secret which was ordered by President Peterson, after which better weather prevailed.

At one time the captain said to President Peterson,  “If I hadn’t damned Mormons on board I would have been in New York six weeks ago.”  President Peterson said to him, “If you hadn’t Mormons on board, you would have been in hell six weeks ago.”

At one point during the   voyage a fire broke out, starting in the captain’s quarters and quickly spreading through the entire ship.  The fire burned through the floor and filled the ship with smoke.  The clouds of hot smoke nearly suffocated those who were resting in their quarters.  It was only after much work that the fire was successfully put out.  Some of the passengers and crew, fearing for their lives jumped overboard, and it was only after Knud Peterson assured the saints that they would put out the fire that panic ceased.  It was later revealed that Captain Austin had been drinking and kicked over a small stove in his quarters.  Precious personal cargo and provisions were lost in the accident all due to the Captain’s terrible addiction. (taken from "Voyage to America", by Hans Lorentz Dastrup.

Their ship the John J. Boyd came to  New York via Castle Garden.   The surname spelled "Neilson" on roster. The family came on the John J. Boyd in 1855. The family was: Niels age 50, Maren age 52, Anne Catherine age 18 and Karen age 16. The family was listed as Nilsen on board. They emigrated from Vensyssel District.  (notice no Niels Peter Nielsen was listed)

Canute Peterson Company (1856)

Canute Peterson

We also discovered that the Nielsens were with the Canute Petersen Company in 1856. The wife, Maren, daughter Anna Catherine and another daughter, Karen are listed on the ship manifest.  However, Peter's 5th great grandfather Niels Peter Nielsen, who was also a son was not listed.  Then when they reached Winter Quarters they were joined by another group of Saints coming from England and Scotland.  And with that group were Peter's third great grandparents, William and Mary Margaret Morrison from Scotland.   Now we find the lost son, Niels Peter Nielsen  listed with the Canute Petersen Company. They all arrived in Salt Lake City in September of 1856.

About 320 individuals and about 60 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Florence, Nebraska (now Omaha).

Company members arrived in the Salt Lake Valley from 16-23 September 1856. This makes Niels Christian 51 years of age and Maren 53 years of age.

The following comes from Mary Margaret Morrison's remembrances:

It would take too much time to enter into every detail that transpired during those intervals on our sad journey. Nevertheless in the spring of 1856 our faces still turning Zionward, we again commenced our journey from St. Louis, by way of Omaha, and from there crossing the plains by ox team. For six weeks we remained in camp at Omaha living in tents, waiting for the company to get ready. On the 26th of June, 1856 we commenced our journey across the plains. We were sixty wagons in all with Canute Petersen as Captain of our company. He was a wise and most efficient leader. During our journey our cattle stampeded five times. A young man from Denmark was run over and instantly killed, but otherwise there were no other accidents on the journey. On the 14th of July a herd of buffalo passed right through our camp. This surely was a great sight and as no accident occurred we were indeed very thankful for the preserving care which had been around us.

On the 23rd of September we arrived in Salt Lake City in good health and glad to meet many dear friends with whom we were acquainted .

 Following is from the Andrew Madsen account: 

CANUTE PETERSON'S [Petersen] COMPANY ARRIVED IN SALT LAKE CITY SEPTEMBER 16-21th, 1856, (Church Almanac 1997-98, page 172)] 

While we were getting fitted out a number of us secured labor erecting a wall around a farm, and in about three weeks were fitted out.Our outfit consisted of sixty wagons and two yoke of oxen, with six to ten persons to each wagon.
President Peterson was our Captain and appointed as assistant captain for each ten wagons. We started on our journey for Salt Lake City, June 19, 1856. The first day's journey was a hard one.Some of our oxen were wild and we did not know how to handle them and consequently did not make much headway the first day. The following day we made good headway. It was very hot and our oxen became very tired, traveling with their tongues out, some of them getting overheated and dying. 

We were compelled to leave some of our supplies, owing to our heavy loads and this was taken off and left.After a few  weeks journey we reached the unsettled wild west, where the buffaloes were grazining great herds.

One day there was a stampede and our oxen became frightened, rushing together, one outfit crashing into the other. The women and children became frightened, some of the wagons were broken and a few of our number were hurt and one man killed, which caused a gloom to pass over us. He was buried in a coffin such as we could prepare. We then repaired our outfits and journeyed on. A few of the buffalo were killed, dressed for beef and divided among our company.

Now and again the Indians were seen roaming from one side of the valley to the other and on occasions they would come to visit us. In order to maintain a friendly feeling, we would oft times give them some of our supplies and provisions such as we could spare. We were compelled to guard our oxen at all times when we were not traveling to prevent them from being driven away or stolen by the Indians. We were called together morning and night by the sound of a bugle to receive our instructions. Sundays, we had meetings and regular services were conducted, adding much comfort and pleasure to our journey.

 Sometimes we had dances on the green grass and enjoyed ourselves as best we could. During the days while journeying along, nearly all of us walked except those who were sick and the smaller children. We went along laughing and singing the songs and hymns of Zion. We arrived at Salt Lake City, September 20, 1856 and on the entire journey of three months not more than a half dozen persons were seen outside of our own company. . . .
Madsen, Andrew. Autobiography, pp.1-3. (CHL) 


The above journal entries and others can be found at:

We now find Niels Christian in the Mt. Pleasant History by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf:   "The following Mount Pleasant pioneers came with President Canute Petersen's company: William Morrison, Margaret Morri­son, Rasmus Frandsen, George Frandsen Sr., Karen Neilson, Erick Gunderson Sr., Christian Jensen, Karen Marie Petersen, Niels Jo­hansen, Annie Anderson, Jens C. Jensen, Marian Anderson, Peter Mogensen (Monsen), Dorothy M. C. Mogensen (Monsen), Jeppe Iverson, Caroline Christine Iverson, Annie Christensen Mortensen Scowgaard, Caroline Frandsen, Neils Christian Neilson, Mary Larsen Nielsen, Rasmus Hansen, Annie Marie Jorgensen randsen, and others. Also a number who located at Ephraim." p 43.

We also find that Niels Christian Nielsen  helped build the fort:
Second ten, West Line           Time spent        Teams                Wagons
Jorger F. Jorgensen, Captain… ……18
Niels C. Nielsen …….                      13                 6                       6
 p. 135

Niels Christian Nielsen is sometimes spelled Neilson  (with the e before the i) 
According to Family Search these are the children: 

However, Niels Peter, Karen and Ane Catherine are the only ones we can verify.

 Family Search has Ane Catherine's death date as 1855. (Someone needs to fill in the blanks there.) Karen married Jorgen Frandsen  19 December 1856.
Karen's death date is March 4, 1915 in Price, Carbon County, Utah.

Niels Peter Nielsen married Bertha Marie Jensen Aagaard. Family Search has their wedding date as April 27, 1890. However their first child was born in 1863. Niels Peter passed away September 2, 1911.

More information on Niels Peter and Bertha Marie can be found at:


Nothing more is known about Niels Christian and Maren other than they died in Mt. Pleasant.  

Niels Christian (23 March 1877) 

Maren (25 July 1882)


  • Sources

    • Genealogy and Family Pioneer History.  Mount Pleasant Historical Association

    • Ship Passenger and Manifest Lists/Mormon Migration

    • Thursday, March 1, 2018

      George Farnworth and Susanna Coates Farnworth ~ Pioneers of the Month , March 2018

      George Farnworth

      Birth:24 Jan 1818
      Landrethun, Lenord, Pas-de-Calais, France
      Death: July 11, 1903, Mt. Pleasant Utah

      Susannah COATES

      Birth: 10 Dec 1836
      Chesterfield, Derby, England
      Chr: 15 Feb 1837
      Chesterfield, Derby, England
      2 Nov 1898
      Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah
      Father: Joseph Coates
      Mother: Ann Dutton

      George was born in France, even though he was English. He father was in the English Army and stationed in France at the time of his birth. George had one younger brother, William Richard who was born in Ireland on July 3, 1820. His parents were Joseph and Margaret McBride Farnworth.

      Susannah was born in England, the daughter of Joseph and Anne Dutton Coates. She was one of fourteen children. Her brothers and sisters are; Charrlotte, James, George, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Everett, Joseph, John, Thomas and William (twins), Hyrum, Eliza Jane and Emaline Ann.

      George was a blacksmith by trade. He married Elizabeth Bustard on June 24, 1840. Elizabeth was born in Sheffield England.

      George and Elizabeth heard the Mormon missionaries and joined the church. They had one son, Earl in 1847. That same year, they set sail for America. They lived in St Louis, MO where Elizabeth and their son, Earl passed away in 1849.

      George then married another Elizabeth, Elizabeth Hitchins in 1850. Elizabeth was born in Glowschester, England. They did not have any children and on March 7, 1853, Elizabeth passed away in St. Louis.

      George came to Utah alone, arriving on July 18, 1853. He was baptized or re-baptized as was the custom back then, on October 30, 1853 in Salt Lake City. Here he met Susannah Coates. They were married on December 12, 1853 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, UT. In 1855, they moved to Battle Creek, UT or Pleasant Grove as it is now called. In 1856, they were called by Brigham Young to help settle a new town called Hambleton or Mt. Pleasant as it was commonly called. They were received with a hearty welcome and given their allotments of one city lot and 20 acres of land. George continued to work his trade of blacksmith. He was know to be “an excellent shoer” by many in the town. He helped keep the oxen and horses shod. George and Susannah had 13 children….

      Susanna Ellen
      Rosella Anne
      Eliza Jane
      Un-named twins who died at birth
      William R.

      In 1860 he was chosen to be on the committee for the 24th of July celebration. During the celebration George gave the two following quotes.

      “May the people of Mt. Pleasant, like the parts of a well-made machine, work together”

      “May Mt Pleasant be noted throughout the world for ingenuity and industry”

      George was very active in both civic and church. Many records are found in the Mt. Pleasant History book. He was a major in the Black Hawk War, sent out to track down Indians. He was one of the first Sunday School teachers in 1865. He was elected first City Recorder in 1868. He was ward choir director, Tithing Clerk and Bishop. Many times he was called to help pioneers coming to Utah. He had to deal so much with the disease Cholera. One trip so many parents died of Cholera, there were 53 children left for him to find homes for.

      George wrote a letter that was published in the Deseret News on March 3, 1871. He said that on an account of a very mild winter, fears of the scarcity of water during the coming summer for irrigation purposes have been very general throughout the Sanpete Valley. But all such fears have been dispelled by the abundance of snow which has fallen during the two or three weeks prior to the date of this letter.
      On February 22, 1861, George took a plural wife, Mary Jane Allen. They were married in Mt. Pleasant. George and Mary had eight children, John William, Charles Henry, Nephi, Brigham, George Heber, Mary Violet, Alfred Lorenzo and Susanna. The children from George and Susanna treated these children as their full brother and sisters. They called his plural wife, Aunt Mary.

      On August 2, 1884 George was set apart as Bishop of the Mt. Pleasant Ward. In 1890 he served on a committee for an old folk’s party.

      When the Manti Temple was completed George began doing for his kindred dead. One day on his was to the temple to do the last names he had, a wonderful thing happened. This is in his own words. This morning about 10:00 while traveling between Pigeon Hollow and Ephraim but the grave yard, I felt a very strange sensation, as I have never before experienced. Under this influence, I went along and as I looked ahead, it seemed that right in front of me there was a vast multitude of men. To the right and a little in front stood a large man, who would weight about 242 pounds. He waved his hand and said, “They are your kindred and we have been waiting for your temple to be finished. We want you to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. You have had the privilege of hearing the Gospel of the Son of God. We have not that great blessing.” Just then I looked at them and saw that they were all men and through it strange that there were no women. I tried to recognize some of them, but knew none. I was thinking, “how can I find out their names?” when it appeared that a voice by me said, “When that will be required, it will be made know.” Just then the tears were rolling down my cheeks and in the humility of my soul I shouted, “God help me. God being my helper, I will do all I can.” It seemed as if the whole host shouted as if one voice, “Amen”. I cried and cried aloud, while wiping my eyes and face. After I could control myself, I looked ahead and all had gone. When I got to Ephraim I felt so over come, I had to tie up my team and rest before I could go to Manti.

      When George arrived at the temple, the recorder handed him some sheets of names and said, “Brother Farnworth, these are for you.” The recorder was Moses Franklin Farnsworth. He had just received them from England. Some of the names went back to ancient times. He was their representative, to help them attain perfection. George and his family were faithful in performing the ordinances for them. There were 300-400 names on the list.

      George lived a full and productive life. He passed away July 11, 1903 and was buried in Mt. Pleasant.