Logo Our Family Tree Branch: Virginia Sholin Smallwood family tree Virginia Sholin Smallwood family tree
Christen Nielsen + Anne Jensdatter
Rasmus Larsen + Anne Cathrine Andersdatter
Friedrich Wilhelm John + Catharina Friderica Schneider
Johan David Reiersen + Dorothea Wahl
Johan Gotfred John17 OCT 1817 -- 1 NOV 1868avatar
Caroline Emilie Reiersen
Caroline Emilie Reiher
28 JUL 1818 -- 30 DEC 1860avatar
Marriage28 APR 187619
married by A. F. Hitchcock, associated with the Congregational Church

RasmusJensen 1875_c

Rasmus2 3 4 5 6 9 14 15 Jensen2 3 4 5 6 9 14 15

Birth17 AUG 18522 3 4 5 6 9 14 15
Christen17 AUG 1852
from Denmark
Age 24; Sheep raiser at Bridgeville4
with wife, son and brother & in the ranch next to 1st cousin, Herman C. Hemming
Age 35; stock raiser at Yager Creek6
Reside11 JUN 1892
Residebef 1893
Religionaft 1893salvationist
age 43; 5' 7", Fair skin, gray eyes & brown hair; born Denmark; naturalized 20 Mar 18785
Resideaft 1898
gold miner
Left California for the Skagway gold rush with his youngest son, Edward
age 77, widowed, head of household; living with son, Edward
a miner at Beach Line, Nome, age 72
Reside8 OCT 1929
Livign at 55 Lipidge Street (home of his daughter, Nellie (Jensen) Sholin
Reside19409 15  
55 Lapidge St; household of his son-in-law, Charles Sholin9 15
Death30 MAY 1942
Aged: 89.8 years

Ramus left Denmark in 1871. He first went to Humboldt County in California, where he worked on a ranch in the mountains for three years. He seems to have come to Humboldt County because of his first cousin, Hemming Christian Hansen, known in America as Herman Christian Hanson.

This first cousin had gone to California in the 1850s and had settled first at Bald Hills and then at Yager Creek, California, where in the 1880 census, he was found living just two houses apart from Rasmus Jensen's household (see below). Perhaps the ranch where Rasmus had worked when he first came to America was that of his Uncle Herman C. Hanson.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The icon for the 1880 census goes to the data page of of Rasmus's first cousin, Herman Hanson.  Click on the original document to see both Herman Hanson's family (at the bottom), but also that of Rasmus Jensen (just above Herman Hanson's household). For some reason, at the present time, I cannot access the data page for Rasmus Jensen.

Rasmus then sent for a sister and brother. The sister must have been Sophie, and the brother was Chris. After leaving the mountains, either before or after his sister and brother came to America, he worked in Eureka for eighteen months making shingle bolts. It ws there that he met and married his wife, Emma. She was working at Fay's Mill at the time.

He and Emma rented a mountain ranch for three years. Their first child, Charles, was born, but he died within a few months. They were living at Yager Creek in 1880, when they were enumerated there with "Alford" (Alfred) and with Rasmus' brother, Christian Jensen.

That year, the household where Rasmus, Emma, Alfred and Christian were enumerated was number #28. In household #30, shown on the same page, was Herman C. Hanson with his wife and Children. The men of both families worked as sheep raisers. The Jensen brothers and Herman C. Hanson were first cousins, all of them grandsons of Christen Nielsen and Anne Jensdatter. Both families came from Fanefjord on the island of Møn (Moen), in the county of Præsto, Denmark.

After that, Ramus bought a stock ranch in the mountains at Bridgeville, Humboldt County, about fifteen miles away from the nearest wagon road, and forty miles from civilization. That's when his formerly healthy wife's heath began to fail. After suffering about seven years, she was unable to walk or even stand. About eleven years after the onset of her health troubles, she died. Just the winter before her death in the spring, the worst blizzard for as long as people could remember engulfed Humboldt County. Rasmus had mortgaged the place to buy the livestock - sheep, cattle and horses. All the sheep, which were six miles up the river, died in the cold. At the time, Rasmus was laid up at home with terrible rheumatism. It was very difficult just to take care of the cattle and horses at home. The mortgage came due and Rasmus could not pay so he lost the ranch.

After Emma's death, the children were sent to live with relatives until Rasmus could again take care of them. Two years later, they were back together, living in a house on Little California Street in Eureka. They ran a hog ranch and lived from hand to mouth. After awhile, they moved to the Russ Claim, where they made shingle bolts.

The 1880 census for Yager Creek, Humboldt, California shows Rasmus and his household:

Jansen [sic], Rasmus, age 27, married, a sheep raiser, born in Denmark to parents both born in Denmark.

___Emma, 30, wife, married, keeping house, born in Denmark to parents both born in Denmark

___Alford [sic], 3, son, born in California to parents both born in Denmark

___Christian, 25, brother, single, works on ranch, born in Denmark to parents both born in Denmark.

Peterson, Peter, 23, single, works on ranch, born in Denmark to parents both born in Denmark.

On this same census page, is the family of Herman Hanson. This man was born Herman Christian Hansen, and he was a first cousin of Rasmus Jensen (son of Rasmus' paternal aunt, Chiristiane Christensdatter, who married Hans Jørgen Hemmingsen). This cousin had come to America in 1854, and apparently Rasmus' family had kept up on where he had gone. Both Herman Hanson and Rasmus Jensen raised sheep on their ranches.

 Rasmus' son, George, kept a journal, and on 16 July 1913, he wrote a short autobiography, which also covers something of his known forebears, including Rasmus. This is from a transcription by Alice (Jensen) Fox, kindly sent to this author from Art Jensen, pages 50-59:

"Father (Rasmus Jensen) was a man with ambition. A violent temper, a great user of tobacco, but not a heavy drinker. He had begun life bitterly in Denmark. His folks (Jens Peter Jensen: In the summer he worked as roof thatcher and in the winter as a weaver) were extremely poor and it often fell to his lot to ask for bread upon the public streets when a boy. But, he had determination, left Denmark very young, came to America and then sent for his father, mother, three sisters and a brother. For years he worked in the saw mills on Humboldt Bay and at building small boats. Then he met my mother who was cooking in Fay's Mills, married her and took up a 1400 acre ranch above Bridgeville later. He tried hard to make things go and succeeded well till the winter of 1891-92 which was extremely hard and severe. The previous summer he had mortgaged the land to buy 1300 head of sheep. They all died during the winter and we went broke."

"Mother's condition continually grew worse and an operation became necessary. Old Sheriff Brown--God bless him--saw the situation, paid the money out of his own pocket and sent her to the King's Daughter's Home San Francisco, where she was operated upon and died June 1892.

"This event snapped my father's mode of life--he became converted through The Salvation Army. He was determined to pay his debts which amounted to about $5,000. For many years, he lived in Eureka, raising hogs, making shingle bolts, till finally on Oct 20, 1898, he, with my youngest brother set sail for Alaska. They are still at Nome where they have several claims and are doing fairly well."

On page 55, George expanded a bit on his father during the time at the house above Bridgeville before his mother died:

"The home life was not what it should have been. There were too many rough men around. Father was very hospitable. Every night anywhere from one to a dozen stopped at the house. always--they played at cards and used no restraint on language. The stove (which replaced the fireplace in the living room) was always a sight from tobacco spit.

Continuing on pages 58 and 61:

"When about 8 [years old] a school was opened on Eaton's place on the Mad River about five miles away. To this we went horseback for one term when the hard winter scattered us."

"Sister went to live with my uncles Pete Johnson in Eureka, Alfred with Chris Jensen in Eureka, I with Uncle Frank Johnsons at Yager near Hydesville--now Carlotta. Edward stayed with father.

[Pete Johnson was married to Rasmus's sister, Sophie; Chris Jensen was Rasmus' brother; and Frank Johnson, no relation to Pete, was the husband of Rasmus' sister, Marie.]

"For two years I stayed with uncles going to school and helping on the farm. I gained the lively name 'Lazy Jensen' in that school Cutterback District. This was because often i stood in dead though without knowing what happened around me. These were real dreams and often lasted hours if not aroused. I would think clear through anything that I was interested in.

"My uncle and Aunt Mary were lovely to me. It was there that I learned of my mother's death. A neighbor carelessly hollored it over the front fence to my uncle and I overheard! His words were clothed so as to hide the meaning from me but I understood and my heart sank and the tears came. mother had stopped there when on the way to the city. It was the last time I saw her.

"After this I went to Eureka to live with my own folks. We were all assembled once again in a little home on Little California Street. We went to school irregularly. This was when we ran the hog ranch. Often Alfred and I drove to town fro swill for the pigs. It did not seem humiliating then and I believe had a good effect on us both. We attended the half-way-house school.

"Then we moved to the Russ Claim where we made shingle bolts. I did most of the cooking now for sister had gone to stay with the Merrills. It was during these two or more years that I was afflicted with appendicitis--a spell every three weeks or so. My sickness prior to this had been a severe attack of pneumonia at Yager, another on Cal. St. We moved three times on the Russ Claim. Then father went to Alaska [with son, Edward, in 1898], and I lived with Alfred for a number of months on the Russ Claim. Often I was sick and went to stay with the Merrills when I felt a spell coming on. They were very good to us all."

[This story continues in the notes for George Charles Jensen.]

The story of Rasmus' Christian conversion was told in the Salvation Army's periodical, "The War Cry." It was called, "In the Gold Fields, the Conversion of Sergeant Jensen." It was published shortly after he left with his son, Eddie, for Skagway in 1898. A year later, the story was published again wtih an addendum. The republication was done shortly after July 1901. Both were obviously ghost-written because Rasmus' letter back home was in a completely different style. In the letter, it was obvious that he had a thick Danish accent, which came through in his spelling. The War Cry stories were in perfect, and very flowery, English.

Nevertheless, they relate his story. The addendum says he was still "saved," and that he had moved to Cape Nome. Because of a broken arm, he had not been able to do any work for awhile, for which he was thankful, since so many men had gone out and had frozen to death.

Rasmus and his son, Edward, spent close to forty years in Nome, Alaska, searching for the fortune that always seemed to allude them.

EmmaEmilieJohn1876 c

Emma Emelie4 5 7 John4 5 7

Birth11 MAR 18504 5
Christen28 APR 1850
Officiant: Jens Nielsen, Priest at Trinitatis Church, 1858-1883
with husband & son
Residebef 28 JUN 1892
Death28 JUN 1892
Grave29 JUN 1892
Aged: 42.3 years
Emma Emilie John came to America before April 1876, when she
married Rasmus Jensen, also a recent Danish immigrant, on 29 April 1876 in Eureka, Humboldt Co., California.

Emma's son, George Charles Jensen, wrote a short autobiography in his journal, all of which was transcribed by Alice [Jensen] Fox, and kindly sent to me by Art Jensen. The following is from that transcription, pages 47-51:

"I was born on Oct 25, 1882, thirteen miles above Bridgeville, Humboldt County, California. The house was one of six rooms, clapboards, unpainted, lined and papered with newspaper, located on Van Duzen River.

"With every portion of this house there is some vivid memory. Now and then it comes back with renewed force.

"But the one room which lives in my mind continually and which is unchangable [sic], is the sitting room. Especially one corner of this room is dear, for it was there, throughout all my childhood, that my mother sat, unable to walk a step--rheumatism. She used there to teach us Bible lessons. Of these I remember but two, the Lord's Prayer and the story of ten lepers who were healed -- only one returned to render thanks.

"Mother's fingers were all twisted out of shape--as were her limbs. For years she suffered tortures with a tumor of the stomach. Through it all there lived a serene patience--from her seat. She managed the affairs of the house, not very efficiently of course. I know and have long known how her heart must of often ached when she knew her inability to rear her children as she would desire. and the annoyance we four have caused her! She tried a long whip, especially to bring me to time, for I was extremely stubborn. Often I have sat four and five hours pouting because I had to sweep the floor: mad at myself because I could not find any way of blaming others for my plight. this resulted from an unconquered spirit a bit spoiled by a petting grandmother (Carrie Jensen). She was a good mother and did the best she could, but home was never really home because of her inability and suffering...

"Mother's condition continually grew worse and an operation became necessary. Old Sheriff Brown--God bless him--saw the situation, paid the money out of his own pocket and sent her to the King's Daughter's Home San Francisco, where she was operated unpon and died June, 1892..."

It is also interesting to note that, though they were certainly Danes, having lived in Denmark for several generations, most of Emma's ancestors were ethnic Germans.

ChildrenFirst NameBirth DtDeath DtBirth PlaceSpouses

Charles Robert 

19 APR 187710 SEP 1877  CA  

Alfred Jens Peter 

28 OCT 187816 OCT 1954  CA, Humboldt Co, Bridgeville Louise Mary Ida Kricke 

Nellie Emelie 

2 OCT 188029 DEC 1950  CA, Humboldt Co, Bridgeville Charles "Charlie" Sholin 

George Charles 

25 OCT 188210 OCT 1956  CA, Humboldt Co, Bridgeville Myrtle Agnes Hendee 

John Edward "Ed" 

25 AUG 1884abt 1944  CA, Humboldt Co  
Pics & Attach-
  • R Jensen 13 cc
  • Rasmus&Emma
    Thomas James McGillcorps officer (pastor)
    1. Other: Letter to Nellie (Jensen) Sholin from Thomas J. McGill, 9 Aug 1946; describes the relationship of the McGills to Rasmus Jensen, etc.;
    Laura Sophia Aikenhead1898-1900corps officer (pastor)
    1. Other: Letter to Nellie (Jensen) Sholin from Thomas J. McGill, 9 Aug 1946; describes the relationship of the McGills to Rasmus Jensen, etc.;
    To suggest changes to these records, login & edit by clicking the names above, & your suggested changes will be saved for the record moderator to review.
    1. Findagrave
    2. FamilySearch California Great Registers, 1866-1910
    3. FamilySearch California Great Registers, 1866-1910
    4. FamilySearch California Great Registers, 1866-1910
    5. FamilySearch California Great Registers, 1866-1910
    6. FamilySearch California Great Registers, 1866-1910
    7. FamilySearch Rasmus Jensen, Denmark Church Records (birth)
    8. FamilySearch United States Census, 1880
    9. FamilySearch United States Census, 1940
    10. FamilySearch United States Census, 1940
    11. Census: CA, Humboldt Co, Yager Creek. 1880 U. S. Census for Yager Creek, Humboldt, CA;
    12. Census: AK, Nome Co, Cape Nome. 1910 Census for Cape Nome, Alaska;
    13. Census: AK. 1920 census for Alaska;
    14. Census: AK, Nome Co, Cape Nome. 1930 census for Cape Nome, Second Judicial Dsitrict, Alaska Territory;
    15. Census: CA, San Francisco Co, San Francisco. 1940..,,;
    16. Other: Fanefjord; Den Danske Folkekirke; Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Batch #C223184, 1839-1887, film #50568;
    17. Website:Jens P. Christensen; 1860 Denmark Census;
    18. Email: Report from Lars Pedersen, email to V. Smallwood;
    19. Marriage Sources:
      FamilySearch California, County Marriages, 1850-1952
    1. Findagrave Emma Emilie Jensen
    2. FamilySearch Emma Emilie John, Denmark Baptisms
    3. FamilySearch Johan Eldred [sic; should be Gotfred] John, 1860 Denmark Census
    4. Census: CA, Humboldt Co, Yager Creek. 1880 U. S. Census for Yager Creek, Humboldt, CA;
    5. Census: Denmark. Danish Census, 1860, DDD_Johan_Gotfred_John_1860.jpg; courtesy of Ingelise Jannniche;
    6. Other: Trinitatis Church Parish records, København, Skokkelund, Trinitatis, Denmark, courtesy of Lars Pedersen, extract #012-2-006-K08-03-A;
    7. Other: Obituary of Emma Jensen, Ferndale Enterprise, 8 Jul 1892, back page;
    8. Marriage Sources:
      FamilySearch California, County Marriages, 1850-1952
    Virginia Sholin SmallwoodVirginia Sholin SmallwoodModerator

    Subscribe Me
    Virginia Sholin SmallwoodVirginia Sholin SmallwoodModerator

    Subscribe Me
    5-21-2011 09:14 PM
    5-21-2011 09:16 PM
    10-12-2020 07:06 PM
    8-12-2018 12:13 PM
    Login or Email:

    Don't have a login? Register!
    Why register?I forgot my login....