I write this post to my brothers and sisters. Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, I was looking in the office for something interesting to read, and I came across a book entitled "The Knud Nelson Family." I have a brief memory of Katie showing me this book in her kitchen several years ago. How it came to be in my possession, I do not know, but that's beside the point.
This book is an amazing compelation of information about our dad's ancestors that I have never known. I thought you might be amazed, like me, at the information and the testimonies in this book.
Knud Nelson and his wife Karen left Denmark in 1852 after nearly two years of conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They came to America and migrated to Utah. Three of their daughters married the same man. His name was Goudy Hogan.
I want to share a portion of Goudy's diary with you.
"Upon landing in America, we went to Chicago where we stayed a short time and then went to a farming section near Ottawa, Lasalle County, Illinois. Next we moved to Lee County, Iowa. It was here that Elder Goodman Howcus, A Norwegian missionary from Illinois, brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to our family in 1843. He stayed about two weeks and baptized my father and mother and neighbors and organized a branch of the church there. I had frequently gone with my father to Nauvoo to meeting and back the same day on foot to hear the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith and others speak with great power. I was then 14 years old, but I was very anxious to go to the meeting and listen to what the servants of the Lord had to say. On one occastion when I went with my father to Nauvoo to a meeting on April 6th, the same year of the martyrdom, while they held meeting in the grove not far from the Temple, a very large congregation was gathered. A few other boys and I climbed up on some boards behind the stand that was temporary where we could hear every word that was said. I was sitting so close behind the Prophet that I nearly touched his clothes. I had not been long in the Church and was somewhat superstitious and took particular notice of his manner of dress and actions. I remember that he had on a light colored linen coat with a small hole in each elbow of his coat sleeves. I remember thinking that he was not a proud man and that his very noble expression inspired me with confidence and faith that he was a prophet of the Lord. I also remember that while one man was preaching, the Prophet asked the elder to stop speaking for a moment. Joseph the Prophet rose from his seat and said in a loud voice owing to the large congregation that was assembled, that he wished some of those young men on the outside of the congregation that were making disturbances by talking loud to the young ladies would not do so, but wait and go to their homes and speak to them by consent of their parents. The speaker continued his discourse, and after a while the Prophet walked down from the stand through the alley to the further side of hte congregation where the disturbance was. Although the alley was densely crowded with people standing up, the way opened up so that he walked through and back without any hindrance, where it would have been impossible for any other man to do so. Such was the respect the people had for Joseph Smith, and you can see he was not above acting in the capacity of a deacon when it was really necessary. There were no more disturbances in the meeting. During the meeting he said that North and South America would become Mt. Zion and that the constitution would hang on a single untwisted thread and the Latter-Day Saints would save it. I well remember June 27, 1844. I was sixteen years old. Some of the neighbor boys and I were out in the road gathering wild strawberries when the report came that the prophet Joseph Smith had been killed. I left the crowd and went away and wept like a child. My father and I went up to Nauvoo and all the city was in deep mourning."
This man, Goudy Hogan, is our great-great-great grandfather. He married three sisters. The third sister he married was named Ann. She had nine children. Four died in infancy, but five lived, and it would surprise you to see how much we look like them. We have the same jaw-lines and cheekbones. One of her sons was named Alma. Alma married a woman named Rachael, and they had a daughter named Diana. Diana is our great-grandmother and married a man named Alex McGee Christensen, who I think looks a lot like dad. Rachel and Alex had "Dewey" Christensen, our father's father.
So, to make a long story short, our family tree looks like this (all of these couples had several children, so I am just listing our direct ancestors):
Knud Nelson and Karen Nelson are our great-great-great-great grandparents.
Goudy and Ann Hogan are our great-great-great grandparents.
Alma and Rachael Hogan are our great-great grandparents.
Diana and Alex are our great grandparents.
Margaret and "Dewey" are our grandparents.
Joseph and Wendy, our beloved parents.
Because of certain aspects of our family history, I have never really cared to find out much about our ancestors, at least until yesterday. I wish I had found this book before I came home. We could have all learned about some of our ancestors and looked at the pictures together. I just thought you might want to know, as I do, that we are descendants of some amazing people.
Love to you all!
4 years ago