Much have been written about the three brothers, therefore my journey will begin one generation further, to their father, Ulrik Appeldorf.
The spelling of all names provided in this genealogy are based on baptism records and if not available, then the confirmation records.
Hans Henrik’s father was baptised as Ulrik Appeldorf at Seden Church on 15 December 1802. At the time, birth dates were not included in church records until around 1820. Most baptism occurred within the first three months after the child is born. However, when Ulrik married in 1853, he gave his date of birth as 15 December 1802.
Ulrik had three older siblings: Hans Frandsen baptised on 13 April 1801; Andreas baptised on 6 July 1798; and Ulrika Petronella baptised on 19 December 1796. In all instances, their father, Jakob, was listed as an engineer.
Jakob was also recorded as an engineer when he married Karen Frandsdatter on 19 February 1796. However, in the 1801 census, Jakob was listed as smallholder and schoolmaster. When Karen Frandsdatter died on 12 March 1853 at aged 90, she was listed as widow of a schoolteacher who died at Seden on 4 February 1831 aged 70.
Seden is now a suburb of Odense, the third largest city in Denmark and also the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author of literary fairytales. Back then, Seden was just a small village on the outskirt of the city.
Four months after her marriage to Ulrik, Maren Larsdatter gave birth to a son born on 5 March 1830. The son died six weeks later on 23 April 1830.
On 1 May 1830, Ulrik and Maren moved to the township of Skellerup, where Ulrik continued his work as a blacksmith. By then, he was a man with property as in 1835, he placed an advertisement in the local newspaper offering his small property with a newly built house for sale.
Then on 1 May 1838, Ulrik and his wife, Maren, and their two sons aged 5 and 2 moved to Hersnap at Hindholm (Dalby parish). It was here where Hans Henrich Appeldorf was born on 7 September 1839. He was baptised on 20 April 1840.
Hans’ middle name sounds very German as the Danish version is usually Henrik, but that’s the name he was given when he was baptised, and most likely taken after his maternal grandfather. Many years later, he would put his name down as Hans Henrik on his naturalisation application after he emigrated to Tasmania.
On the baptism record, Hans’ father, Ulrik, is listed as both smallholder and blacksmith.
Then a wind of change came in 1843, when Ulrik moved his family to Jutland. Until then, the family had moved within the confines of eastern Fyn, a small island wedged between the Danish peninsula of Jutland and the main island where the capital is situated.
Ulrik became a tenant farmer on a farm situated at Djursland. The farm was called Brejdablik and was part of the Katholm estate purchased by Adolph Wilhelm von Dinesen in 1839. Dinesen was a military officer and later grandfather to Karen Blixen, who became the renown author of Out of Africa.
Towards the late 1840s, a dark cloud descended on the family when Ulrik’s youngest son, Andreas, passed away at the age of two. Then Maren Larsdatter died on 18 January 1849 at the age of 39. And a year later, Ulrik’s second eldest son, Lars Hintzesen, died at aged 14.
After the death of three members of the same family, the surviving sons were Jacob Peter born at Skellerup on 26 January 1833, Hans Henrik born at Dalby on 7 September 1839 and Carl born born at Ålsø on 14 March 1843. All three would one day make their way to Tasmania (Note: Carl was simply Carl in both baptism and confirmation records. The middle name, Christopher or Christoffer, came much later).
Previously, in the 1845 census, Ulrik was a farmer residing with his wife, four sons and three servants. In the 1850 census, Ulrik was still a farmer residing with his sons, but as a widower without servants.
Shortly after the 1850 census was taken, Ulrik remarried to 29 year old Karen Denisdatter at the Ålsø Church. No further information could be found of the marriage.
On 3 October 1851, Ulrik quit farming altogether on the Katholm estate and moved to the nearby township of Ålsø. The next person to occupy Brejdablik, also from Fyn, bought the property outright. Within a few years, the new occupant began to experience financial hardship. This may be indicative as to why Ulrik left the farm, as noted in the previous census where he no longer had farm labourers to help him. There may be other reasons as well.
Three years after the 1850 census, Ulrik remarried to Petrea Sophie Kragh on 10 June 1853. The marriage took place at Ølsted Church on the outskirt of Denmark’s second largest city, Århus. Ulrik was 50 and Petrea was 34.
Petrea was the daughter of school teacher David Johan Kragh and Marie Hylleborg, born in the township of Glatved (Hoed parish) on 25 July 1819. She was a single mother with a son by the name of Johan David Marius Bøegh, who was born out of wedlock.
The child was born on 23 February 1847 and one of the witnesses to his baptism was Ulrik, which indicates that Ulrik and Petrea had known each other for quite some time.
From his marriage to Petrea Sophie Kragh, Ulrik fathered five children:
From 1853 onwards, Ulrik listed himself as a veterinarian. A few years later he and his family moved to Grenå, where he began to operate his practice in the old part of town on Nørregade no. 4. A picture of the original house can be seen at the following link.
The commentary next to the photo says the photo relates to an article that was published in a Danish family history magazine entitled: From Grenaa to Tasmania in 1871—An Immigrant’s Story by Ib Asmussen (issue no. 29 January 2004). The same article was also published in a yearbook called Grenaa and the Surrounding Region: Before and Now published in 2002 on page 92. Both webpages have contact details if anyone is interested (see Family History Magazine or Grenaa Yearbook).
In the 1880 census, both mother and daughter, Petrea and Ulrikke, aged 61 and 14, were still receiving poor relief. Davine Julie was residing nearby on Kannikestræde working as a seamstress.
 In undertaking Danish genealogy research, it is common to find an ancestor receiving poor relief (fattighjælp) from the poor services (fattigvæsenet) as can be observed from Ulrik’s last couple of years. In rural areas, poorhouses were usually old homesteads or a group of cottages, often with a husband and wife team as caretakers. Every town or community had a poorhouse, which served as a home for paupers who were fairly respectable, but were old and invalided, or had fallen on hard times. From the moment a person receives poor relief, he or she becomes a debtor to the community. However, in Ulrik’s case, as a person who had worked hard all his life, was entitled to be supported in old age. Of note are the Danish words, fattiglem or fattiglemmer, which in most dictionaries translate to pauper or paupers. However, the closest interpretation is ‘inmate of a poorhouse’ and does not carry the negative connotation as the word, pauper, in the English language i.e. lack of strength in character or general moral worth.
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