Dr. Kenneth S. Paulsen

Historian and Genealogist

 

Danish Families

Jens Bonde was a man who lived in 14th century Denmark. He was born about 1365 and died after 1400. Because church records were not kept before the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, the primary sources about people tend to land and court records. As a family, we are fortunate to be able to trace a line of ancestry back to the 14th century. The Viking period of Danish history had ended by the beginning of the 12th century. By the beginning of the 12th century Denmark had become a primarily Christian nation. Denmark began to coalesce into a nation-state. This genealogy follows the descendants of Jens Bonde from late Medieval period in the 14th century to the 21st century in the United States, nearly 650 years of family history.

Special thanks go to John Christian Dehn of Rødding, Denmark for his assistance.
Based on research of Peter Grishauge of Denmark.

 

Jensen (Kirkegaard)

The Paulsen family of Woburn, Massachusetts are descended from Hedevig/Helvig Kirstine Jensdatter (1806-1877) and first husband Iver Poulsen Kiekegaard (1802-1841).  The male line ancestry of Hedevig/Helvig Kirstine Jensdatter is highlighted here.  The patronymic surnames are Jensen / Jensdatter and Nielsen / Nielsdatter.  She was born at Bedsted parish, Thisted County, Denmark and lived her life in neighbouring Villerslev parish. She was first the wife of Iver Poulsen Kirkegaard who was the ancestor of the Paulsen family that emigrated from Denmark to the Woburn, Massachusetts. After Iver Poulsen died in 1841, Hedevig Jensdatter married later that same year Lars Christensen Kirkegaard. Lars Christensen was the father of the Danish composer Johannes Lauritzen/Larsen Kirkegaard. Johannes Kirkegaard wrote a song celebrating the return of Danish Slesvig (Schleswig) to Denmark following the First World War. While Johannes Kirkegaard was too young to fight in the Danish-Prussian War, his elder half brother Poul Iversen Kirkegaard (1837-1918), the father of the Paulsen children who came to the United States, fought in that war which is known as the Second Slesvig Krig (Schleswig War).

 

Paulsen (Kirkegaard)

The Paulsen family of Massachusetts originated in the Danish villages to Tved parish, Hillerslev district, Thisted County and Villerslev, Hassing district, Thisted County in northwestern Jutland.  The Paulsen family of Woburn, Massachusetts are descended from Poul Iversen Kirkegaard (1837-1918) and his wife Marie Heluise Thomsdatter (1839-1899).  The male line ancestry of Poul Iversen Kirkegaard is highlighted here.  The patronymic surnames are Poulsen, Iversen, and Christensen.  The furthest back that the male line can be traced is about 1700 to a man named Christen of whom nothing besides his first name is known.  The church records for the parish where Christen and his family lived only begin in 1757.  This genealogy also traces descendants of Christen in Denmark down to 1892 (the latest date the church records are available).  In 1887 Iver Poulsen Kirkegaard and two sisters immigrated to the United States and settled in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Over the next decade, his siblings also came to Woburn with their father Poul Iversen Kirkegaard arriving in 1899 after his wife died.  Upon immigration, Iver Poulsen Kirkegaard and his siblings dropped the 'farm name' and used the patronymic which was partially anglicized to Paulsen.

 

The Paulsen family of Woburn, Massachusetts are descended from Marie Heluise Thomsdatter (1839-1899) and her husband Poul Iversen Kirkegaard (1837-1918).  The male line ancestry of Marie Heluise Thomsdatter is highlighted here.  The patronymic surnames included in the family history are Andersen / Andersdatter, Laursen or Larsen / Larsdatter, and Thomsen / Thomsdatter.  While Marie Heluise Thomsdatter, her siblings, and her mother Dorthea Marie Nielsdatter (1803-1890) were born at Tved parish, her father Thomas Larsen Klit (1788-1874) was from Sejerslev parish, Morsø Nørre, Thisted County.  In Sejerslev parish, the family resided at Fægge Klit or Fæggeklit.  Because the family lived at Fæggeklit, the family was also known by that name.  The farm name at Fægge Klit (Fægge Sand Dune) was named after a spit of land at northern tip of the island of Mors. Legend indicates that Fæggeklit was the location of a story from which Shakespeare derived his play Hamlet.

Special thanks go to John Christian Dehn of Rødding, Denmark for his assistance.