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The Life and Times
of George Hansen
An American’s View of Schleswig
Daryl D Hansen
An American’s view of Schleswig
Based on the
Family Tree of George Hansen
Battle of Dybbøl
Area of Flensborg, Rens, and
Lille Jyndevad
Tour of Terkelsbøl
Ten Generations
Family in Denmark
Family in America
Johnson family
Odds and Ends
© Copyright August 8 2016
Daryl D Hansen
Some years ago, I visited Stanley Hansen, at his home just outside the city
limits of Boulder, Colorado. He showed me a copy he had of a book about
his grandfather, George Hansen, who had emigrated to this country from
In those days, record keeping in the U.S. was scarce, or, in many cases did
not exist, so family records, if you are interested in your ancestry, are quite
hard to come by, for the years when many families came here from
different part of Scandinavia.
As an example, I point out the case of Knud Andersen, who lived just
nine miles south of Minden, Nebraska, and only a mile from our farm,. I
am sure that my Dad told me one time that Knud was my Mother’s cousin.
Now, I have been doing ancestry searches for several years, and I have
spent a lot of time looking for Knud in the records, because I want to
know the connection, yet, for all that effort, I have never found a single
record to show me, just which branch of the Andersen family from which
Knud came.
I tell you these things just to show that George Hansen was unique among
all the homesteaders that came to live in southern Nebraska, for he was the
only one I have heard of, who made a detailed record of the early history
of his family, and wrote it in letters for his relatives. His son, Henry, put
those letters in a book, along with other family records.. Stanley loaned
me that book, and I made a copy of it.
Here is the
photo I took
of Stanley
and Mary
Ann Hansen,
the last time
I saw them
The book made by Henry Hansen may be considered crude, by
today’s standards, just pages typed on a very old style
typewriter, and punched to fit in a three ring binder. However,
I would be hard put to think of any book with such a wealth of
information, for it contains not only the life history of a man,
who grew up in Denmark, and settled to raise a family in
America, but it is a history of the Danish families that George
was a part of, with dates and locations, in great detail.
Ever since the day I first read that book, it has sparked an
interest in me, to find out more about his family, and the places
mentioned. Now, in this book, it is my goal to show some of
those places and people to any of my relatives that may have an
interest in Denmark, and our ancestors that came from there.
To that end, I will often insert a quote from the “Family Tree of
George Hansen”
My grandfather on my fathers side had a two horse farm
in the little village of Lille Jyndevad in Burkal parish,
Tønder county in the Duchy of Slesvig, Denmark. His name
was Hans Jacobsen and his wife’s name was Botilla. -
George Hansen
George tells us that Lille Jyndevad was located, at that time, in
the “Duchy of Slesvig” so, I wondered for years about just
where or what “Slesvig” was, and could not find it on any maps
I had.
There are two people in our church, that I tend to think of, as a
“Danish couple.” Actually, I do not think that she is, but I am
pretty sure about him, because she said so, and I think she is the
boss in that family. Anyway, he is a nice old guy, and I asked
him about Schleswig, and he did not know anything about it,
even though he agreed that he was from Denmark.
So, after years of wondering about it, I finally decided that I
would have to ‘bite the bullet’ and actually do some research
on Denmark. I will have to Google it, and see what I can find
Eider - River Germany
The Eider is the longest river in the German state of Schleswig-
Holstein. The river starts near Bordesholm and reaches the
southwestern outskirts of Kiel on the shores of the Baltic Sea,
but flows to the west, ending in the North Sea. -Wikipedia
Here is the narrow ‘waist’ of Jutland, and Google has kindly
marked the location of the Eider River, which begins near Kiel,
and flows across this area, to empty into the North Sea.
Denmark is very flat, and the Eider began quite close to the
Baltic Sea, so they dug a canal to make the connection, and
now boats can sail all the way across, from the Baltic Sea to the
North Sea. Everything to the south of the Eider has always
been Holstein, The area to the north of the Eider River is the
duchy of Schleswig, and its ownership has often been in
dispute, with several wars fought over it.
Notice that the yellow line across Jutland, just slightly higher
up, is the present border between Denmark and Germany, by
The village of Hojst, and the village of Rensborg were quite near to Lille
Jyndevad, and Flensburg is fifteen miles away..
Flensburg -
Blick auf die
Altstadt By
Dampflokomotive 'Adler' beim 'Dampf-Rundum 2003'
in Flensburg By © Matze
Here is the narrow ‘waist’ of Jutland, the area that George
Hansen roamed when he was a boy, from the marshy lowlands
at the left on the coast of the North Sea, to the fiord country on
the right, where boat traffic came into Flensborg from the Baltic
Sea. Notice the yellow line, right below the town of Rens,
which is the present border between Germany, at bottom, and
Denmark at top.
Flensburg is at the end of a fiord, so we might assume that the
mail came in from Copenhagen by boat, and Hans Hojst may
have picked it up there, and delivered it on his way back
home. We have to wonder if he might have lost the mail
contract, when the railroad starting running out of Flensburg
(previous page). Schleswieg is the entire area above and
below the yellow line, but we know that George Hansen was
in German territory, when he was a kid, from things that he
said. However, that yellow line that separates Denmark from
Germany has changed, several times. Some of the towns in
this area have Deutsch schools, meaning they teach primarily
in German, and some have Dansk schools, meaning they
teach primarily in Danish, although much of the population
can speak both languages.
— George Hansen
Now, I am always interested in ancestry, and especially in the
ancestors of people I know,or am related to, but right away I am
asking, “Where is that exactly?” I thought a little research
might be in order, so I went to Google earth, and typed in Lille
Jyndevad in the search box.
Just like that, we can see the little village of Lille Jyndevad.
Now, I have to add a little information. This is in an area of
Southern Jutland, that George called Slesvig, but that is usually
spelled Schleswieg, and it is a part of Jutland that was sometimes
Danish, sometimes German, as a result of wars and treaties.
This shows the proximity of Lille Jyndevad to Rens and
Stade. It is four miles from Lille to Rens, on the highway
called “Gænsevevej”. To explain the highway names, we see
that the road from Rens going south is Pebersmarkvej, (the
road to Pebersmark) while the road from Rens going east is
called Flensborgvej, or, the road to Flensborg. But the road
north is called Burkal -kirkevej. Go figure. I am sure that a
‘kirke’ is a church, so this may be the ‘road to church.’
- George Hansen
We will have to go a little closer, so we can get a good look.
First we will go to Lille Jyndevad
Lille Jyndevad is a small village with only a couple streets
other than the highway. You can count the houses on your
fingers, only a few houses, but they are very nice, and very
well kept
We can begin our tour here, at the intersection of two main
highways, in Lille Jyndevad. From here, we can go west, and
it is about four miles to Rens. The yellow line you see here is
not a physical line on the road.It is a virtual line, showing the
path the Google car was on, when it took the images we see.
A classic Danish style house in Lille Jyndevad
Bus stop in Lille Jyndevad. Take the bus, leave the driving to us
This is basically, a farming community. Here is the farm at the
southern end of town.
If we take the
road north
towards Store
Jyndevad, we see
the headquarters
of a large farm
operation. Lots
of buildings.
Scenes from Lille
Jyndevad,about 2009
Hans “Hojst” Jacobsen
B-2 Sep 1759
D-25 Jan 1834
Botilla Vinum Christensen
B- 22 Oct 1764
D- 8 Aug 1848
Cornelius Hansen
B-1 Jul 1798
D-2 Jul 1885
Jacob “Hans” Hansen
B- 24 Apr 1790
D- 8 Sep 1840
Chresten Hansen
B-8 Jan 1792
D- 13 Dec 1870
Peter Hansen
B- 4 May 1801
D- 4 Feb 1847
Andreas Hansen
B- 4 Nov 1803
D- 26 Jan 1888
Elsabe Hansen
B- 22 Jan 1796
D- 17 Dec 1853
Here are the six children of Hans and Botilla Jacobsen.
They were all born in Lille Jyndevad, which is in Burkal
Parish, in Tonder County, in the Duchy of Schlesvig, in the
south part of Jutland, Denmark.
Henceforth, we will show these people with a large * to
indicate they are the first generation from Hans and Botilla.
Peter Hansen
B- 4 May 1801
D- 4 Feb 1847
Anna Catharina Paulsen
B- 16 May 1806
D- 8 Mar 1881
The family of Peter Hansen, skrædder
Botilla Hansen
B- 1 Oct 1829
Christian Paulsen
B- 11 Apr 1831
Hans Hansen
B- 5 Apr 1833
Kierstine Hansen
B- 12 Sep 1835
D- 14 Sep 1835
Peter Christian Hansen
B- 7 Mar 1837
D- 14 Apr 1838
Kierstine Maria Hansen
B- 23 Aug 1841
Johann Christian Bahr
B- 5 May 1820
Hans Henrik
B- 18 May 1834
Hans “Hojst” Jacobsen
B-2 Sep 1759
D-25 Jan 1834
Botilla Vinum Christensen
B- 22 Oct 1764
D- 8 Aug 1848
Hans “Hojst” Jacobsen
B-2 Sep 1759
D-25 Jan 1834
Botilla Vinum Christensen
B- 22 Oct 1764
D- 8 Aug 1848
Jacob “Hans” Hansen
B- 24 Apr 1790
D- 8 Sep 1840
Maria Botilla Thomsen
B- 23 Nov 1797
Hans Friedrich Hansen
B- 9 May 1823
D- 17 Oct 1852
Johanna Cathrina Hansen
B- 23 Mar 1826
Botilla Hansen
B- 8 Jan 1832
D- 2 Jun 1833
Christine Hermansen
B- 24 Jan 1821
The family of Jacob Hansen
known to George Hansen, as “Uncle Hans”
Hans “Hojst” Jacobsen
B-2 Sep 1759
D-25 Jan 1834
Botilla Vinum Christensen
B- 22 Oct 1764
D- 8 Aug 1848
Andreas Hansen
B- 4 Nov 1803
D- 26 Jan 1888
Anne Thomsen
B- 19 Mar 1811
D- 1 Mar 1856
Metta Catharina Hansen
B- 2 Aug 1837
Hans Hansen, postbud
B- 25 May 1849
D- 28 Dec 1928
The family of Andreas Hansen
My uncle Andreas Hansen and his wife Ann had a
two cows farm in the village of Uge about 5
english miles east of Terkelsbøl. They had two
children, Cathrina and Hans, whom I know both
well as I came to Uge very often to visit them.
Hans was of my own age, and Cathrina was some
years older. They were excellent people. Hans was
working in the railroad hotel in Tinglev when I
went to America in 1875.
- George Hansen
Since George Hansen went often to Uge, I thought perhaps we
should go there and look around, also.
The little squares are photos people have taken and planted in
Below- here is the photo from the center of town. A ‘kirke’ is
a church, and a ‘klokketarn’ is like a clock tower, I guess.
Ved Uge kirke, klokketårn By Papkassen
Ved Uge kirke By Papkassen
Nice big church for a small town like Uge.
However, I thought I might take a tour to Uge, for my own
Here is my first view of Uge, from across the field.
Highway 42 is the Aabenravej or the road to Aabenraa.
Here we see the turnoff into town, and I wanted to go there,
but I could not. I can only go where the yellow line goes,
and it does not go into Uge.
Looks like a nice little village. All I can do is take a couple
pictures, as I go by.
Cornelius Hansen
B-1 Jul 1798
D-2 Jul 1885
Maren Oesten
B- 1808
D- 16 Dec 1844
Jacob “Hans” Hansen
B- 17 Oct 1835
D-14 Jan 1915
Jes Andresen Hansen
B- 28 Aug 1838
D- 10 Mar 1895
Cornelius Hansen
B-1 Jul 1798
D-2 Jul 1885
George Hansen
B- 20 Mar 1849
D- 24 Jan 1940
Thomas Hansen
B- 1 Feb 1846
D- 14 Jan 1910
Cornelius Hansen
B- 26 Aug 1855
D- 2 Sep 1876
Maria Cathrina Hansen
B- 27 Sep 1851
D- 154 Apr 1914
Anna Maria Nissan
B- 22 Feb 1814
D- 9 Aug 1863
Cornelius Hansen
B-1 Jul 1798
D-2 Jul 1885
Anna Margaretha
B- 1795
D- 5 Jul 1834
Andreas Hansen
B- 7 Sep 1841
D- 7 Nov 1929
Johanne Margaretha Hansen
B- 23 Nov 1844
D- 27 Dec 1
Tüche Peter Hansen
B- 12 Dec 1827
D- 2 Jun 1904
Hans Hansen
B- 4 Aug 1829
D- 2 Mar 1833
Hans Peter Hansen
B- 31 Oct 1831
D- 7 Mar 1833
The three families of
Cornelius Hansen,of
Terkelsbol, Denmark
Chresten Hansen settled with his family in Rens, at the left,
while Cornelius raised his kids in Terkelsbol, at the top. To
get there we would have to find our way around to pick up
highway 401. When I look closely at this map, I seem to see a
path running southward from about where Cornelius’s farm
was, that goes past the village of Kravlund, and I remember
the story that George told.
George Hansen
Tsk, tsk, obviously she knew they were in violation of the
child labor laws. You had to be six years old, to go to work,
but George was not.
The farm of Cornelius Hansen, where George Hansen was
raised, is probably the one on the left, above.
George Hansen could show the lady the path to Kravlund, so,
could I find the path? Sure, from the farm of Cornelius, just go
down the old path, which is kind of like a back road, not paved,
and turn right when you get to the Kravlundvej, that is, the
‘road to Kravlund.’
Now, more about the childhood of George Hansen.
As my brothers, Andreas and Thomas, from 1854 or a
little before that time were hired out to herd cattle in
summer, and only came home to school during winter
months, so I had to attend to our cows in the summer
time; but my folks would generally hire me out to
Klausen in Heds for a short time in the Spring, as they
had a lot of sheep in Heds and old Beck the shepherd
had to stay in the fold during that time, they had a dog
of the kind that we now call German Police dogs, but in
reality they are German Shepherd dogs. I know I was
not very big when I first started herding those sheep, for
I remember one day it was raining hard and as I
couldn’t see my father’s house from there, so I stood
there in the rain squalling and blubbering, “I will never
get home anymore.” - George Hansen
Tough times, when little kids had to work like that.
The village of Heds is about 2 1/2 English miles
northwest of Terkelsbøl. The main part of it is one large
farm consisting of three ordinary farms that had been
bought by an old government official who was like a
county clerk and judge. The two offices were combined.
His name was Klausen and he had embezzled enough
government money to pay for the Heds property. For
this crime he was sentenced to the penitentiary for a
number of years.The law in those days allowed him to
keep the property. The law also allowed him to hire
another man as a substitute to serve his time in the
penitentiary. The criminal only had to go to the
penitentiary one day a year and wear the prison uniform
for that day. - George Hansen
These are. most likely, the farms of old Klausen, who
embezzled the money he used to buy them. Only three miles
from George’s house, but a ling way, for a little kid like
So, if we go up highway401, just 2 and ½ miles from
Terkelsbol, we see Heds, but all that is there really, are a
couple of farms.
The road going back past this farm is paved, most likely
because there was a large distillery on the property at that time,
with laborors that came from Kuhr Hessen, in Germany.
Now, more from George Hansen
After harvest time I would be sent to Heds to herd 80 or 90
geese out onto the stubble field. It went alright until the
Klausen’s thought that I might as well take about a dozen ducks
along with the geese. The ducks would not keep company with
the geese. It made it a hard job to keep the flock together. A
couple of days later they sent four turkeys along with the geese
and the ducks. By the time I got them down to the stubble field
the turkeys took to their wings and flew back to the spruce
grove that was planted all around the buildings. As I was
running I landed in the Tanners hole full of soft mud about two
feet deep and I was up to my hips in mud. I commenced to cry
and one of those men from Kurhessen came running to help me
and pulled me out of the hole. He spoke german to me and of
course I only understood part of what he said.
The Germans have the same word for pants that the Danes
have for socks “hosen”. He said, “Du musst die hosen
ausziehen” which I understood as, “you must pull your socks
off.” What he meant was pant, but I was crying and told him
no, my mother says I must not go barefooted here. The German
laid me down and pulled off my pants and socks and went in
the house and brought out a skirt that he got from one of the
girls and put me in it while he went and washed and dried my
clothes. I got well acquainted with this old German. My father
called him Johan Kuhrhessen.
Notice that George’s father, Cornelius, called the old
German -”Johan from Kuhr Hessen.” People from outside the
area, were known not by last names, but by the town they came
My father was digging mergel (fertilizer) for Christian
Klausen of Heds for quite a number of years and old Johan
came to our house often. In 1874 I met old Johan Kuhrhessen in
Kiel. He was a very old man and he did not remember me or
my brother Thomas until we spoke with him. He died there in
Kiel that summer.
In the year of 1864 the Prussians with 100,000 men armed with
breechloading rifles and canons, and the Austrians with 30,000
men invaded our country and drove the Danish army composed
of about 14,000 men with old mussel loading rifles out of
Schleswig-Holstein. -George Hansen
The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict as
a result of the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It began on 1
February 1864, when Prussian forces crossed the border into
Denmark fought Prussia and Austria. Like the First Schleswig
War (1848–51), it was fought for control of the duchies of
Holstein and Lauenburg due to the succession disputes
concerning them when the Danish king died without an heir
acceptable to the German Confederation. Decisive controversy
arose due to the passing of the November Constitution, which
integrated the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom in
violation of the London Protocol.
The Treaty of Vienna was a peace treaty signed on 30 October
1864 in Vienna between the Austrian Empire, the Kingdom of
Prussia, and the Kingdom of Denmark. The treaty ended the
Second War of Schleswig. Based on the terms of the treaty,
Prussia would administer Schleswig and Austria would
administer Holstein. Disputes over the administration of the
two provinces would lead to the Austro-Prussian War in 1866.
Notes by Dennis Hansen
You may not be interested in the battles that were fought
over the ownership of Schlesvig, but I include these things in
this book, to show why so many men left Denmark at that time,
and emigrated to America. Many felt like they were being
forced out of their homes, by poverty, and by unfavorable rules
and demands placed upon them by what ever governing faction
happened to be in control at the time.
George gives us an example of how tough it could be, when he
was called up for duty in the Danish army. It was necessary for
him to first go to Ringkobing for his physical. At that time he
was working in the Paper Factory in Christiansdol. After work
on Saturday, he took the train to Wayens, but got there after the
bus had already left for Ribe, and so he walked to Ribe, getting
there about 2 A.M. Sunday morning, but the bus had already
left there that he had hoped to catch to Ringkobing. So, what
could he do? He walked to Ringkobing, getting there by his
appointed time of 8 A.M. on Monday morning. He walked for
about 36 hours, and covered a distance of 96 miles. That is the
same as walking from the north end of Denver to the south end
of Colorado Springs.
The rest of the time in the summer I attended our cows and
sometimes the neighbors cows. I would also run errands for
people from our town to neighboring towns. Sometimes I would
go as far as Tønder which was 13 miles away, and to Flensburg
which was 15 miles away. In 1857 I was hired out to heard
cattle for Rasmus Christensen in Terkelsbøl for 3 1/2 daler for
the season. From 1858-1862 I was herding cattle for Johan
Skjøtt in Duborg, a village about 2 1/2 miles southwest of
Terkelsbøl. I received 11 daler for the season, which was from
the middle of April to the middle of November. I was going to
school 5 1/2 days a week the rest of the year. -George Hansen
As part of the treaty in paragraph No. 19 it provided that the
Danish young men had six years to choose whether they would
be German subjects or remain Danish subjects. It was for this
reason when I took out my citizenship papers in 1880 in
Rockford, Illinois I renounced my allegiance to Denmark and
not to Germany, although at the time I was born, my birth place
was under Prussia.
I left my home in Tinglev Parish November 1, 1868. It was
after I had gone before the Prussian district bailiff and made my
declaration for Denmark. I was ordered to be out of Prussian
territory within 48 hours. -George Hansen
Very nice yard in Lille Jyndevad
Of course, it did not look like this, back when Hans Jacobsen
and his family were here.
Even where George Hansen grew up , in Terkelsbel, they did
not even have enough to eat, so they rented their kids out,
because they could not afford to feed them. George was rented
out to herd the neighbors geese, and only when he was big
enough to take the neighbors’s cattle to far pasture, then he was
paid two dollars for the season.