Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My Great-great-grandmother

Last week, I wrote about my great-great grandfather. This week, meet his wife.

The Life of Anna Marie Sorenson Larson Lund
Early Utah Pioneer

Written by her grandchild (unknown)
Edited by Lorna Lund Collins
Anna Marie Sorenson Larson, the daughter of Lars Sorenson and Mette Marie Hansen, was born May 29, 1811, in Vinge, Skanderborg (orKandelborg), Denmark, in the countryside.

In 1836, she married Nicolai Hjorring Larson, with whom she had two children: a boy named Soren and a girl named Anna. According to the family story, they both drowned in 1844, along with their father. (They may have had another son, but the records of his life are unclear.)

When she met Paul Dedrich Soltoft Lund, the son of Nicholi Christian Lund and Mette Marie Ferelev, she was a widow with no children. After a time, they became engaged. They married on 12 August 1844.

The couple moved to Aalborg, Denmark, where they began their life together. Three sons were born to them: Lars (or Louis) Peter Nicolai, born 7 February 1845; Nicolai Christian, born 10 June 1847; and Marinus, born 7 May 1849. After they arrived in Spring City, Utah, their fourth son, Joseph Parley, was born on 7 February 1855.

Anna Marie was so short she could walk under the extended arms of her three oldest sons. Her youngest son was not as tall as his brothers. She was plump and wore mostly dark clothing with full skirts, which required several widths of fabric. Her eyes were blue and her hair light brown. She spoke English very well.

When the LDS Missionaries came to Denmark in 1850, she and Paul became interested in attending the meetings conducted by Elder Erastus Snow, George P. Dykes, John E. Forsgren, and Peter O. Hansen, who was a native of Denmark but was converted in America and returned to Denmark. While Elder Erastus Snow journeyed to Sweden, the other elders stayed in Denmark. Elder Snow returned to Denmark and joined the other elders to preach the new Gospel. Brother Peter O. Hansen went along as interpreter. They were well received by the people and made many converts in a short time.
On 27 Sep 1852 in Denmark, Peter and Anna Marie were accepted, baptized, and confirmed in the Church of Latter Day Saints. By this time there were nearly 600 members in Denmark.

Because Anna Marie was from the country and considered a peasant, she was not accepted by his family. The converts learned about America and were anxious to emigrate. Because of their decision, they were disowned by their families. In 1852, 300 converts made arrangements to leave for America. By the end of December, they prepared to say goodbye to their friends, homes, and loved ones.

The family sold and disposed of their property and packed their belongings and the food they would need for the journey. They boarded a small steamship, the Obetrit, with the other converts on 20 Dec 1852. After some delay, due to bad storms, they sailed for Copenhagen. They encountered more delays when they arrived in Copenhagen on 22 Dec 1852. They finally set sail for Kiel and arrived 24 Dec 1852. On Christmas Eve, they boarded the English sailing vessel Lion. On Christmas morning, they sailed for Hamburg, Germany. Upon reaching the North Sea, their progress was hindered by rough weather. On 26 Dec 1852, the ship was tossed in choppy, icy waters. The storm raged for twenty-four hours. Shipwreck threatened, so, many boxes and trunks were thrown overboard. Paul owned some blood stock cattle, and some of these were put over the side of the ship as well as three large chests of merchandise. The sailors almost gave up hope of survival. Many other ships were destroyed during this storm.

The passengers were sent down into the hold of the ship, and the hatches were closed. The hold was a large room with beds and bunks in rows along and against the walls. Here, the 300 passengers crowded together with little comfort.

As the waves rolled, high seas tipped the ship, and water ran down into the hatchway. The passengers were soaked in their beds. One woman had her baby wrapped in a very long piece of material to keep it warm. The baby fell onto the floor. As the ship tipped, the baby rolled across the floor, unwinding this material. By following the material, they located the baby, who was all right. The storm caused a disturbance among the people, with some screaming, crying, and praying.

Elder Forsgren, who was the captain of the company, did his best to quiet them by praying for peace and deliverance.

During this storm, waves swept over the deck, washing away part of the railing around the deck. When the storm ceased, ropes were tied around the deck to replace the broken railing.

When the passengers were allowed on deck, they saw broken barrels and boxes, and apples rolling all over the deck. The children were permitted to gather the apples and eat all they wanted.

The sailors said this was the worst storm they had ever experienced, and the Latter Day Saints had saved the ship.

At last, they landed at Hull, England, then traveled by rail to Liverpool. On New Year’s Eve, they boarded the English freighter ship, Forest Monarch, which would take them to New Orleans, Louisiana in America.

On 16 Jan 1953, they sailed from Liverpool in very nice weather. After a sixteen-day voyage, they encountered trade winds and made better progress.

The food onboard ship consisted of split peas, cooked in large boilers, and hardtack. The drinking water was stored in large barrels, tasted horrible, and smelled worse.

The captain of the company designated certain jobs to the men to keep order among the people.

On March 17,  the ship was tugged by a steamer into New Orleans. They took another steamer up the Mississippi River until they reached St, Louis. On 21 April 1853, the company divided. Elder Peter Munk took part a group of 120 persons, the Lund family included. They continued up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa. They went ashore to camp and prepare for the western journey. They purchased wagons, oxen, and provisions.
On 19 May 1853, they began the westward trek by ox team. Many hardships, terrible winds, lightning storms, and danger of attacking Indians threatened their journey.

During their emigration from Liverpool, eleven marriages, nine births, and twenty-six deaths, mostly elderly folks and small children, occurred. Every evening, prayer meetings were held. On Sundays, sermons and testimonies were given by the leaders and members of the company. These meetings gave the party encouragement and counsel.

In September, they arrived in Salt Lake and camped in central part of the city. They found plenty of green corn to eat. But some ate the corn uncooked and became ill.

After resting a few days, President Brigham Young ordered those who had come from cold climates to continue their journey to Sanpete County to assist those who had already arrived to make a success of the settlement.

After short stops along the way at Lehi, Pleasant Grove, Nephi, and Moroni, the Lund family and others arrived tired and happy at “Little Denmark” in Spring City. Others traveled to Fort Ephraim. The Lund family found several dear friends who once had lived in Denmark.

Paul had never farmed but discovered there was no other way to make a living. So, he built a one room house of logs with a cellar. Later on, he added two more rooms of adobe.

He then took up farm land west of town, where he raised corn, potatoes, and grain. He also raised cattle and sheep. The wool was washed and corded for quilts and clothing.

Not long after they arrived in Spring City, the Indians became troublesome, stealing anything of worth. Word was sent to President Brigham Young, and he replied, telling them to move to Fort Ephraim and stay till the problems were settled. While in Ephraim, another son, Joseph Parley, was born on 7 Feb 1855. When it was safe, they moved back to Spring City.

During the latter part of the Blackhawk War, Paul and his two elder sons, Lewis and Nicoli, helped herd the cattle to graze outside of town. They also joined as guards in the militia.
Paul and Anna Marie were baptized a second time in 1883. At this time, Paul was called on a mission to his native country, Denmark. Anna Marie, stayed in Spring City and took care of the family and crops.

As time went on, their sons worked with their father, and one-by-one, they came of age and married. Three sons raised large families. Lewis only had one son who lived to marry.

Anna Marie seemed to enjoy her family and home. She was an accomplished good cook. Her Danish vegetable soup was excellent. So was her pink pudding.

She had many Danish friends living close by who visited back and forth. In her later years, she sat for hours knitting and reading the Bible.

Her husband died 6 Jan 1902 in the old home in Spring City, the same house he’d built when they first came to America.

After her husband died, she only lived eleven months. She spent part of this time in Pleasant Grove, Utah, with her son, Lewis Peter, and daughter-in-law, Susan McArthur Lund. She became homesick and was taken back to her old home, where her son, Marinus, and children cared for her. She died peacefully, without suffering, on 1 February 1903, at the age of 92. She left a large family to honor her name.


  1. Very interesting story. We sure are spoiled with todays travel with comfort!

    1. We sure are! I can't see myself doing this very well.