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Shon Story

This is the part of the website that adds the personality.  We want to hear about the specifics of family members.


  Bjarne finds the connection between our families,  or shall we say "Welcome to the family".

Hi Shon

Today I was at the archives and tried to solve the puzzle. In stead of writing it all in text, I have attached a drawing, showing the relation between my wife and you. I have not found full proof of all relations, but the indications are strong.

As I mentioned in a previous mail, Maren Simonsdatter had an illegitimate child Niels Christian Nielsen in 1820 in Fovlum, the father not mentioned. Niels Nielsen Birgaard was a witness at the christening. Today I found out that half a year later Maren was married to the son of Niels Nielsen Birgaard, also named Niels Nielsen. This guy some years before had an illegimate child, as shown on my drawing. But this time he married the mother. I don't know yet what happened to the couple later on.

When Andreas Nielsen Bjerregaard in 1856 was christened, Eleonora Nielsdatter, from Bjerregaard in Foulum, was a witness, this also indicating a family relation.

Furthermore I have discovered (I believe) where Niels Niels Birgaard was born: In Aarestrup, 20 miles east of Foulum. A part of that village still bears the name Bjerregaarde, and did even back in 1519. Aarestrup is only three miles from Rebild Bakker, that might be familiar to you. If not, I can tell you that it is a national park where the Danish American Society every year has a festival on 4 July. See a tourist brochure: http://www.aalborg-tourist.dk/media/rebild_magasin_2002(1).pdf

Shon, I would very much like a copy of what information you have received from the Historical Society in Foulum on the Bjerregaard farm, since we have a Bjerggaard-family reunion in two weeks, and I promised to present my genealogical findings. Could you possibly scan a copy for me, as I understand you received snail mail from the archive in Foulum. Also I would like to mention you and your homepage.


Bjarne Damsgaard Nordvad 47 DK-2860 Søborg Copenhagen

ps. If you would like to see my family tree, look at: http://www.geocities.com/bjarne_damsgaard/ks1/ks.htm Almost all of my ancestors lived northwest of Foulum, on the island Mors and in Thy, west of Mors.

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(Click on picture square to veiw)

Bjarne still sees the connection between our families,  and updates us on the danish documents.

The translation of Dansk Slaegtsgaardsforening is Danish Association of Family Farms.  See http://www.slaegtsgaardsforeningen.dk/ , there is a single page in the English language. To become a member you have to prove that the family for at least three generations have been owners of the farm.

The document 'Farm Doc 2.jpg' is the approval (Godkendt 31. august 1957) by the association. This document lists the succession of related owners of Bjerregaard in Fovlum as well as spouses and their parents. E.g. it reads for Anders Nielsen (Bjerregaard): 'Born in Fovlum 25/1 1814, son to Niels Nielsen (Bjerregaard) and Else Nielsdatter, [he] received from the mother, against 400 dollars [yes, the currency in those days were called Rigsbanksdaler or State Bank Dollars, the name was adopted by your country] and life pension 22/11 1844, admission (1/12 1844) to the farm, became a mormon and emigrated 1857 with his family to Utah in USA. Married 13/12 1839 in Fovlum to Bodil Kirstine Thomasdatter, born in Stistrup, Fovlum parish, 8/10 1817, daughter to Thomas Thomsen and Kiersten Motensdatter'.

Farm Doc 1.jpg is the census data from Bjerregaard. Two times before 1834 (in 1801 and 1787) the census records must have shown names not blood related to the ones mentioned in the document.  The hand written documents are data given by the applicant before membership was approved.

Farm Doc 5.jpg is a specification of who in 1957 owned the land that was the original Bjerregaard, as well as the value and size of each piece of land. The two forms are the same data once again, apparently split up into two separate farms. If you compare to the maps I sent you in my first mail, you will now find two adjacent farms.  It seems that two farms, before they were taken over by the inhabitants, before app. 1800, was owned by two estates,  Gunderupgaard and Bjørnsholm.

I am still convinced that you and my wife are related.  I tried to find out where the old Niels Nielsen Bjerrgaard came from.  I first thought that he was the son to Niels Pedersen Bjerregaard and Anne Nielsdatter in Aarestrup parish, born 26 Oct . 1762.

But the documents you sent me indicate that he was the son to Niels Sørensen Bjerregaard and Anne Nielsdatter in Tandrup, Strandby parish, christened 16 May 1762.

Since then, I have found the latter birth in Tandrup at the archive, as well as his marriage to his first wife, Magrethe Pedersdatter 30 oct 1790 in Bjørnsholm parish. The ancestors of Niels Nielsen Bjerregaard on the hand written table I have sent you earlier, are not the correct ones.



I have received three e-mails through the website from Bjarne in Denmark.

Hi Shon

My wifes name is Karen Bjerggaard, she is a descendant of a Niels Christian Nielsen, born in 1820 in Fovlum, Aalborg county. His mother was unmarried, I have not found his fathers name. But I believe his mother stayed at the farm Bjerregaard at the time, since the only male witness to his christening was Niels Birgaard of Foulum. Niels Christian Nielsen had a son named Andreas Nielsen Bjerregaard, he might have his last name from Niels Birgaard of Foulum.

So you and my wife are probably not related by blood, only by name.

I managed to find a past and a present map of Fovlum, showing the farm Bjerregaard on one of the maps.

I you want to try for yourself, go to www.kms.dk , select 'Mest til fritid', 'Danmark før og nu', then pressing 'Danmark før og nu'.

Sometimes this site is closed, once you get it right, navigating this page is extremly tedious, since I have found the search facilities not functioning. You have to click the Denmark map, and then navigate in the zoom image. You got to have a good map next to you to find a specific location.


Bjarne Damsgaard



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