Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - A Cross-Country Mystery

Over the past few weeks, I've shared Danish resources and research hints from my own experiences. They really have grand records, those Danes! [Post #8]

I will leave you with a peek at a marriage record that is a mystery as well. I have been able to document a considerable amount of information on my husband's ancestral family through his great-grandfather, Knud Rasmus Knudsen of Aarhus. I won't bore you with all the research details, but suffice it to say that I found an equal lineage for his great-grandmother and Knud's wife, Karen Kristine Nielsen. Karen was born in a small village called Spjellerup, nowhere near Aarhus.

I know that Knud and Karen came to Chicago in 1891, but still had no marriage record in Chicago and none in Aarhus. Once I found Karen's family records in Spjellerup, I decided an "exhaustive search" in that village was necessary. I searched all the marriage book pages from about 1888-1891. As I was about to bail on the effort, on the second to last record of the very last page, here: Praesto, Fakse, Spjellerup 1844-1891, p 85-86

I found this:

Marriage books are divided in two columns, with the groom on the left and the bride on the right. This record reads:
Ungkarl (bachelor) Knud Rasmus Knudsen, 25 aars (years), Aarhus 
Pige (girl) Karen Kristine Nielsen, 21 aars, Lille Spjellerup
Not much detail, but this is definitely the couple. The marriage date was 8 January 1891. But check out this map of Denmark. Aarhus is circled in red, with Tulstrup at the arrow. Karen's home is circled in blue.
Google map of Denmark
What jumps out at me is HUH? Like many citizens in the 1800's, no matter what country, people stayed pretty close to home. Sure, some ventured to the big cities, but for the most part, families stayed put. So how? when? and mostly why did Knud end up on the island of Zealand, getting married in a little village on the other side of the country?

Genealogy never ends, does it?

Thank you for following along on my Danish research adventure. I hope you learned something, and I wish you all Danish ancestors to find, because, boy do they have great records!

Here is a link to my family tree and the Knudsen and Nielsen research.

© 2013 Sally Knudsen