Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jens Poulsen, Sidse Larsdatter, and their children

Jens Poulsen and Sidse (Larsdatter) Poulsen were my great-great-great-grandparents. Their daughter Caroline (Jensen) Gotsche was my great-great-grandmother, and her son Elmer Gotsche was my great-grandfather.

Jens Poulsen
born May 7, 1825 in Nordrup, Denmark
died September 1, 1903 in Racine, Wisconsin

Sidse (Larsdatter) Poulsen
born October 28, 1828 in Sorterup, Denmark
died June 5, 1894 in Racine, Wisconsin

Jens Poulsen was born to Poul Nielsen and Mariane Henriette (Lund) Nielsen in the small town of Nordrup on the island of Zealand in Denmark. Sidse Larsdatter was born in the nearby town of Sorterup to Lars Hansen and Sidse (Hansdatter) Hansen. Their last names followed the traditional Danish naming system: the first name of the father plus -sen (son) or -datter (daughter). Jens and Sidse were married on Apr. 15, 1856 in Sorterup and continued to live there until they decided to leave their home in Denmark and move to the United States. Besides the five children born to the couple, they adopted one child, Ane Sophie Nielsen, and served as foster parents for a girl named Trine Marie Christensen. Jens, Sidse, their children, and two of their future children-in-law arrived in New York City on May 16, 1882. They traveled to Racine, Wisconsin, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Jens and Sidse are buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine.

Their six children:
  1. Mariane (Jensen) Nelson (1857-1952)
  2. Nels Jensen (1858-1924)
  3. Maren Sofie “Sophie” (Poulsen) Jensen (1865-1936)
  4. Caroline Mary (Jensen) Gotsche (1867-1926)
  5. Laura Kathrine Margrethe (Jensen) Thompson (1870-????)
  6. Ane Sophie “Sophie” (Nielsen) Matson (1879-1952)

Mariane Jensen Nelson Racine Wisconsin
Mariane (Jensen) Nelson in 1943.
1. Mariane (Jensen) Nelson
born January 10, 1857 in Finderup, Denmark
died November 17, 1952 in Racine, Wisconsin

Mariane grew up in Denmark, where she met her husband, Jens Christian “James” Nelson. In Denmark, she worked as a weaver, while James was a servant. James traveled with Mariane and her family when they moved to Racine in 1882, and they married there on Sept. 8, 1883. Mariane and James had six children: William, Louis, Carl, Edward, Leland, and Cecelia. James died in Racine on Jan. 11, 1894, and Mariane continued to live in Racine until her death in 1952. Mariane and James are buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine with Mariane's parents.

2. Nels Jensen
born April 11, 1858 in Finderup, Denmark
died January 2, 1924 in Racine, Wisconsin

Nels grew up in Denmark, where he worked as a house carpenter. He met his wife, Rasmine Frederikke “Rikke” Andersen, in Denmark and she traveled with Nels' family when they moved to Racine. Nels and Rikke married on Sept. 29, 1883 in Racine. They had five children: George, Alma, Arthur, Sadie, and Helen. Nels worked as a boat builder in Racine and Lake Geneva, and also lived for a time in Muskegon, Michigan. Rikke worked as a domestic for Judge John Winslow in Racine. Nels died in 1924, and Rikke died on Sept. 1, 1956 in Walnut Creek, California. Both are buried at Graceland Cemetery in Racine, along with two of their children.

3. Maren Sofie “Sophie” (Poulsen) Jensen
born October 13, 1865 in Sorterup, Denmark
died December 20, 1936 in Clarks Grove, Minnesota

Sophie - the name she chose to use in the United States - was born in Denmark and moved to the United States with the rest of her family. Sophie moved to Clarks Grove, Minnesota, where she married Anton Thomas Jensen on March 1, 1889. Before her marriage, she used Poulsen as her last name, unlike her siblings, who used Jensen. Sophie and Anton farmed in the town of Bath, Minnesota, and had six children: Louis, Jennie, Henrietta, Mary, Effie, and Emyline. Sophie died in 1936, and Anton died on March 19, 1941 in Clarks Grove. They are buried at the Clarks Grove Baptist Cemetery.

4. Caroline Mary (Jensen) Gotsche
born January 5, 1867 in Sorterup, Denmark
died July 5, 1926 in Racine, Wisconsin

Caroline grew up in Denmark, where she worked as a servant. She arrived in Racine with her parents and siblings in 1882. She married Christian Gotsche, who was also a Danish immigrant, on Apr. 12, 1890 in Racine. Christian worked as a blacksmith and they had six children: Elmer, Martha, Irving, Florence, Paul, and an unnamed infant. They lived on 12th Street until 1917 or 1918, when they moved to Quincy Avenue. At the time of Christian's naturalization in 1914, he was described as five feet and four inches tall, weighing 143 pounds, with gray hair and gray eyes. Christian died on May 19, 1925 in Racine and Caroline died the next year. Christian and Caroline were buried next to four of their children at Mound Cemetery in Racine.

5. Laura Kathrine Margrethe (Jensen) Thompson
born April 8, 1870 in Sorterup, Denmark
died ???? in Racine, Wisconsin

Laura came to Racine with the rest of her family. She married Jacob Thompson and they lived on a farm on Four Mile Road. Unfortunately, I haven't found any other information about her.

6. Ane Sophie “Sophie” (Nielsen) Matson
born January 24, 1879 in Nordrup, Denmark
died May 18, 1952 in Racine, Wisconsin

Ane Sophie Nielsen was born to Kristian Nielsen and Ane Kirstine Kristensen. Her birth parents were unmarried, and Sophie was adopted by Jens and Sidse Poulsen. Sophie came to Racine in 1882, and she married Mat Borlund Matson there on Nov. 20, 1897. Mat worked as a light inspector, though he was nearly blind. He was known as “the blind lamplighter” and both a poem and a city park were named after him. The Matson family ran a grocery store on Racine's north side at the corner of Douglas Avenue and North Street. Sophie and Mat had twelve children: Edna, Laura, Rudolph, Jeanette, Alvin, Mabel, Bernice, Alvin, Edward, Mat Jr., Raymond, and LaVerne. Mat died in Racine on March 12, 1951 and Sophie died the next year. Both are buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine with many of their children.

Ane Sophie Nielsen Jensen Mat Borlund Matson Mound Cemetery Racine Wisconsin
Matson family graves at Mound Cemetery.

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