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Slow down!

24 Sep 2011

I’ve been going through some of this genealogy research a little too fast, I think. For instance, I’d lost track of the fact that I found several Denmark censuses in which a Peder HANSEN appears as a child, in the right area and with the right age to be Hans’s father. Needs better proof of course but if so, then I’ve found all four of Hans’s grandparents.

And then I noticed this. Did I mention the Hans Frederik HANSEN I found in the 1880 census? He’s the right age to be my Hans, and has the right birthplace. But he’s a “tjenestefolk” (Google Translate renders that as “servant”) in a household with no evident relatives, so it was hard to know what to think:

(There’s another family in the same house, not shown here.) Tonight I looked at that again and said “!!”

Here are all the people living in North East, Dutchess County, NY whose birthplace was Denmark according to the 1892 New York state census:

  • Peter HANSEN
  • Annie HOFFBECK
  • Hans MADSON
  • Louis PETERSON
  • Sophia PETERSON
  • Mary WILMS

And not in the 1892 census (or the 1900), but nevertheless living in Dutchess County from about 1888 according to three sources, were Peter C HOFFBECK and wife Christine Marie SORENSEN.

Compare surnames? Of the 7 in the 1892 census plus SORENSEN, comparing to the 7 in the Niels JØRGENSEN household, 4 are the same.

And yet none of the first names match.

What the heck’s going on here? Granted, HANSEN, MADSEN, PEDERSEN, and SØRENSEN are not exactly the most unusual surnames in Denmark. But I can’t dismiss this as coincidence, not just yet…

Oh, and it appears Peter HOFFBECK and Marie SORENSEN, Hans HANSEN, and Louis PETERSON all immigrated in 1888. (MADSON came over around 1890, and for Peter HANSEN I don’t know; he could have been 1888 too.)

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