Hunting Ancestors

One of my interests is genealogy – looking back and tries to find my ancestors several generations back. When I was a kid I imagined having some ancestors i.e. in the USA, however, I never heard that anybody in my family had emigrated.

I started genealogy a couple of years ago (when younger you do not have time for that – “hunting” ancestors can be quite time-consuming 🙂 ). Just for fun, I put the name “Jørgensen” into the Dansk Demografisk Database which also contains a database with people who had emigrated. To my surprise among several Jørgensens’ also the name Peder Jørgensen appeared. He turned out to be my great-grandfather Lars Peter Jørgensen’s Brother.


Print from the Danish Demographic Database showing that Peder emigrated in 1893 with his wife Maren and their two small girls Maren Kirstine and Jørgine Ane Katrine – three and two years old.

That information gave me “blod på tanden” Danish expressing “really go for it”. The possibility to find some relatives that might be interested in contact with their remote Danish relatives – that could be really fun.

I had started using which revealed a lot of my Danish relative, however, not any of my American relatives. Therefore I also started using and got a lot of useful information about the fate of Peder and Maren. After some years in Audubon, Iowa – the family moved to Montana.

I nearly could not believe it when I got some “smart match” in my “MyHeritage” Jorgensen tree with Leah Jorgensen’s tree in the USA. My third cousin Leah “MyHeritage term” and I got “a bit” excited (normal Danish understatement – may be the understatement of the Year) when we discovered that we shared great-great grandfather Jørgen Didriksen born 1811 in Laastrup, Viborg County.

With this introduction, I here report on my further “hunt for ancestors”. In the beautiful cold spring sunshine week, I started the car and drove to some of the places where the ancestors were reported to have lived.

Map of places

Map of Denmark with marking of places where Didriksen/Jørgensen have lived.

I first drove to the small village Sønder Onsild, Randers County where the earliest known 6, 7 and 8 generations have lived. Maria thought this “hunt” for the ancestor would be too boring so I went on myself.

Sdr Onsild_edited-1

Detailed map of Sønder Onsild. My family lived here before there were any railway and highway. Sønder Onsild is close to the old town of Mariager with its magnificent Abbey Church.


Pictures from Sdr. Onsild. – The church – my ancestors were baptized and buried here as recorded in the church book, however, from this period 1750 to 1800 difficult to read. – The women door from the north site – these days access for all through the south side. – Several places in DK have a memorial of the reunification of the southern part of DK – also here in Sdr. Onsild. – The old black-smith – possible place where Jørgen Smed Didriksen (1741-1786, 6 generations) lived. The name “Smed” refers to his occupation as blacksmith.

Anne Nielsdater Søgaard (1738-1800, 6 generations) married to Jørgen Smed Didriksen was born at Ulstrup (see the map).

The sign of the area Ulstrup. – The time Ane Nielsdatter was born several farms – now only a few left.

An area north of Sdr. Onsild is called “Sparrehuse” and from information found at Onsild Lokalhistorie show that Jørgen Didriksen’s widow Anne Nielsdatter purchased a house in the area called “Solfredhuset”. She married Johan Lauritsen Smed and died here in 1800 and was buried at Sdr. Onsild churchyard.

I did not investigate this further  – a task for my next visit.

Didrik Jørgensen Smed (1775-1842, 5 generations) was only 9 years old when his father Jørgen Smed Didriksen died and in the census of 1786 he stayed with Peder Søegaard at Ulstrup as a farm boy. The next census in 1801 Didrich Jørgensen is registered working at Biilliit farm, Genstrup parish, Randers County. Later he settled and married in Laastrup, Viborg County.

In the nice sunshine, I went on and drove to the small village Laastrup close to the old town Viborg. More information on Viborg that once was the Capital of Jylland see the link.


A detailed map of Laastrup. – Laastrup church.

My homework was not done so I could try to track where Didrik Jørgensen had lived. I only looked around and inside the church.


The 15th September 1944 during the WW2 and the German occupation of Denmark an Avro Lancaster was shot down and crashed close to Laastrup. All seven airmen died and were later buried at Laastrup churchyard. As gratitude, the local people erected a memorial. A photo of the airmen and a look inside the church.

To make the story complete with the churches connected to the Jørgensen/Didriksen family I also include the map marked “Ullits – Farsø – Nyrup – Gislum”.

Nyrup Farsø

A detailed map of the border between Aalborg and Viborg Counties.


In order to make it more authentic, I found some old postcards. – Farsø church where Peder and Maren were married in April 1889. – Ullits church where Peder and Maren’s two girls Maren Kirstine and Jørgine Ane Katrine was baptized. – Gislum church on a postcard from 1914. Peder Jørgensen was born in Nyrup and baptized in Gislum church. Gislum church has also been center for a great deal of the Jørgensen family baptisms, marriages, and burials.

Nyrup 1914

For the philatelic interested is showing the other side of the postcard with Gislum church. The card is for my grandfather from his brother.















  1. […] In 1893 my great-grandfather (Lars Peter Jørgensen 1840-1899) youngest brother Peder (1858-1941) immigrated to US with the Family, wife Maren and their two small girls Maren Kirstine and Jørgine Ane Katrine, four and two years old, respectively. As a child I never heard that anybody in my family immigrated. This is a small story/essay – as I have no family stories – only records in archives – I imagine how they travelled from where they lived – first to Copenhagen and from there to New York. More information can be found in my earlier story “Hunting Ancestors“. […]


  2. […] Min tip-tip-oldefar Didrik Jørgensen med tilnavnet Smed er født 1775 i Sønder Onsild søn af byens smed Jørgen Smed Didriksen. Slægten fra Sønder Onsild vil blive omtalt i en senere historie. Historien her omhandler slægten i Låstrup. Min første “jagt” på forfædrene har jeg fortalt om i “Hunting Ancestors“. […]


  3. My brother who has WordPress name Poul Soren, copied one of your stories about Austrlian airmen, (We are Australian) and I have looked at some others of your posts. In this one I see you have some family history with the surname Jørgensen. I too have discovered that we have Danish ancestors named Jørgensen. My great grandfather , Poul Soren Jørgensen left for Australia in about 1851. He came from the island of Læsø. And I have discovered a cousin who now live in Aalborg who has done a lot a family history. Michael Corden

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