The following is from a privately published family genealogy pedigree called "Fynske Bondeslægter", researched by Martin Skovbo, published in Odense, 1917:
Jørgen Hansen, the eldest of Hans and Susanna's children was much like his father, the one among his siblings who made himself most widely known. Though in a completely different manner than his father, as he involved himself in public affairs and the justice system, where as his father wrote on things of the heart.
When the family farm had to be passed over to strangers, Jørgen Hansen looked for employment as a farm-hand and worked as such for 17 years, during which period he had just three different employers. A grandson of Jørgen Hansen, the free-school teacher Thomas Jørgensen Nørrelund, has written down notes about his relative and especially Jørgen Hansen, which I will share with you here:
My grandfather, Jørgen Hansen was born in Brenderup, where his father Hans Jørgensen was a farmer, and as was the custom for farmer's sons at that time he went to work as a farmhand, in his case for Pastor Balslev in Hårslev parish. In 1814 he went to Båring, where he worked for AndersJ ørgensen's widow Karen Sørensdatter at Stervbogård, the most easterly farm in Båring. Later he would marry her.
My grandmother Karen Sørensdatter was born in Båring, she was influenced by the Christian movement based in Kristiansfeldt, and her daughter Sanne in turn also became deeply influenced; to the extent that she wished to have become one of the so called "Christian Sisters" of Kristiansfeldt - probably because she did not get to marry the man she had wished for. It is doubtful that my grandfather was involved with the Kristiansfeldt movement, but I do not doubt he had a Christian outlook. A paper from 1829 on which he has written Gruntvig's poem: "Most wonderful of everything on Earth", bears witness to this, as well I found among his belongings a monthly magazine about "Christianity and History". Also he was an ardent spokesman for "Freedom" in his day; his contemporaries, who experienced the new age of "Freedom" with him, told about my grandfather's and his neighbour Mads Hansen's enthusiasm for the New Constitution's promise for the future, unfortunately neither of them lived long enough to see those promises fulfilled, as they both died in 1841.
According the times my grandfather was a very enlightened man, partly on account of his long employment with Pastor Balslev in Hårslev; as we will later see it was also due to his acquaintance with a certain student from Skovsgård named Frederiksen. When my grandfather was managing the farm of Karen Sørensdatter, who later became his wife, he claimed that the farm was private property and not beholden to Kærsgård, as claimed by that farm's owner. In the resulting proceedings it is ruled that Stervbogård had ceased to be crown-property in 1719, except for the "Herlighedsright" (Glory-right) which still belonged to the estate-farm of Kærsgård. The court case, evidently undertaken by Jørgen Hansen himself, was won and the "Herlighedsright" bought from Kærsgård for the sum of 5,000 Rbd. (It must be pointed out that this was a time of money-crisis when a "daler" dwindled to the value of just one "mark".)
At that time it was also the custom of taking a tenth of the farmer's harvest as dues. When a farmer was ready to bring his grain home from the field, he had to send for the "tenth-taker" to take every tenth sheaf of wheat; and thus it happened once that Jørgen Hansen had let the tenth-taker know the day on which he was going to drive home his wheat-harvest, but no tenth-taker came, so he removed every tenth sheaf himself and had his farm-hand drive the sheaves over to the tenth-taker.
Jørgen Hansen for many years was the chairman for the municipal parish and had the admiration and confidence of the whole parish. He was at all, heavily-built man, and in a wall in my old family-farm his handprint in the clay (from 1835) shows that his hands must have been of above average size. His wife Karen Sørensdatter survived him for four years and died in 1845; from her first marriage she had a son, Jørgen Andersen, living his life in Vedelshave. This concludes Thomas Jørgensen Nørrelund's notes on his grandfather.
The following is meant to both look further into the court-case fought over the ownership of the farm Stervbogård, in Båring, and to show what peasant farmers (bonde) of that time had to contend with when taking over a farm; as the practice of "bondage" was still in place under a variety of forms. It will also testify to the juridicial talents of Jørgen Hansen, and also give insight into the belongings of a farm of the early 1800s.
* * * *
The Case of Jørgen Hansen of Baaring
The Squire Wedell von Heinen of Kærsgaard
In the Year 1813, December 27th
Thirty days after the passing of the old Anders Jørgensen of Holsegaard, Baaring, the above Jørgen Hansen, together with two witnesses: councilchairman Niels Sørensen, Baaring, and Mads Hansen, Asperup, met with the appointed Official from Kærsgaard: Niels Hesselholdt, in order to conduct the inheritance-proceedings between the widow Karen Sørensdatter and her son with the deceased, the 6-1/2 year old Jørgen, residing at home with his mother. At the proceedings were the widow and her guardian Mads Sørensen, a farmer from Broe; also as guardian for the underaged son was his father's brother, Peder Jørgensen, from Ore parish.
The following is the inventory of the farm-belongings from the above inheritance-proceedings, with their value in Royal Dollars (in descending value: Rigsdaler [Rdr.], Mark [Mk.], Skilling [Sk.], Pfennig):
- In the bedroom:
- 1 oak table, footed and painted blue, 1 Rdr.; 6 chairs, 2 Rdr.; 2 brass candlesticks, 1 Rdr.; 1 shotgun, 3 Rdr.; 1 iron-stove, 10 Rdr.; 1iron-drawer, 1 Mark; 1 small mirror, 8 Skilling; some books, 3 Rdr.; 1 bed and bedding, 30 Rdr.; 1 bureau-closet, 1 Rdr.; 1 bed and bedding, 20Rdr.
- In the common-room:
- 1 encased clock, 12 Rdr.; 1 oak-table with cabinet, 4 Mk.; 2 oak-tableswith benches, 3 Mk.; 4 shelves, 2 Rdr.; some benches, 2 Rdr.; 2 ironpans, 2 Rdr.; 1 brass iron, 1 Mk.; 1 tea-kettle, 5 Rdr.; 1 brass iron 2Rdr.; 1 pigeon roost, 3 Mk.; 1 measuring cup and 1 fire-pot, 1 Mk., 8Sk.; 1 four pound Bismer scale and 1 three-legged stool, 2 Rdr.; 1 mortar with pestle, 3 Rdr.; 2 clay-mugs, 4 Mk.; 1 iron-grill, 1 Mk.; 1iron-gripper, 8 Sk.; 1 hammer and iron, 2 Mk.; 4 bottles and 2 glasses, 3Mk.; 3 old Jylland black-clay pots, 3 Mk.; 4 iron pots, 4 Rdr.; 1 brass bedpan and 1 beer-funnel, 1 Rdr., 3 Mk.
- In the living-room:
- 1 ash table, with foot, 3 Rdr.; 2 ash benches, 1 Rdr.; 1 keg, 4 Mk.; 2pounds of iron, 6 Rdr.; 1 clothes-bureau, 3 Rdr., 3 Mk.; 1 bureau, 1Rdr.; 2 tin plates, 3 Rdr.; 1 fire-pot and 4 clay dishes, 1 Rdr.; 2 chairs, 3 Mk.; 1 lace-making board, 8 Sk.
- In the guest-hall:
- 1 small pine table, 1 Rdr.; 4 chairs, 2 Rdr.; 1 chest (of the deceased, with his clothes), 15 Rdr.; 1 blue-painted oak chest and a bed, 40 Rdr.; 1 pine chest (half sized), 2 Rdr.; 3 sets of flax sheets, 6 Rdr.; 1 tray with 4 glasses, 2 Mk.; 1 oak storage-chest, 10 Rdr.; 2 tableclothes with 6 napkins, 7 Rdr.; 1 tablecloth, 2 Rdr.; 4 sets of flax sheets, 7 Rdr.; 1 pine clothes-bureau, 4 Rdr.; 1 pound of flax, 4 Rdr.; 1/2 pound of hemp, 3 Rdr.; 6 tableclothes, 3 Rdr.; 82 "allen" (a measurement) of linen coth, 4 Rdr., 4 Mk.; 1 length of linen (20 allen), 3 Rdr., 2 Mk.; 1 small table, 2 Mk.; 1 small mirror, 1 Rdr.; 1 bed with curtains, 45 Rdr.
- In the maid's chamber:
- 1 bed, 10 Rdr.
- In the beer-room:
- 3 ox-heads (oxehoveder), 6 Rdr.; 1 steel sieve, 2 Rdr.; 1 hair-sieve, 3Mk.; 1 chest with some scrap iron, 3 Rdr.; 6 beer kegs, 8 Rdr.; 1 salt-trough, 6 Rdr.; 2 measures (fierdenger) of butter, 40 Rdr.; 12 pounds of tallow, 6 Rdr.
- In the milk-room:
- 2 kegs of beer, 2 Rdr., 4 Mk.; 1 hand-kettle and 1 brass sieve, 1 Rdr., 4Mk.; 28 sieve-jars (at 1 Mk. 8 Sk. each), 7 Rdr.; 1 cream-jar and 1/2anchor, 4 Rdr.; 11 shelves, 2 Rdr.; 2 flax pounders, 1 Mk.; 1 brasskettle, 6 Rdr.
- In the brewing-house:
- 1 brewing kettle, 50 Rdr.; 3 brewing vessels, 10 Rdr.; 2 kegs, 3 Mk.; 4 beer "legeler", 1 Rdr., 4 Mk.; 1 glass-lantern, 2 Mk.; 3 pail-stands, 4Rdr.; 1 trough, 4 Rdr.; 12 wheat-sacks, 6 Rdr.; 3 grinders, 4 Rdr., 3Mk.; 2 pail with iron handles, 2 Rdr.; 2 wooden vessels 1 Rdr., 2 Mk.; 1hand-grinder, 3 Rdr.; 4 sieve-jars and 1 "strippe", 1 Rdr.; 3 milkcontainers, 2 Rdr.; 5 sacks of wheat in the loft, 2 Rdr.; 4 barrels, 4Mk.; 3 peat-pails, 3 Mk.; 5 sieve-jars, 1 Rdr., 2 Mk.; 2 yarn-wings, 1Mk.; 3 barrels and 1 press, 1 Rdr.; timber for 2 wagons, 14 Rdr.; 2 flax-"brøder" and 2 "skagefoder", 1 Rdr.; 3 sets of sheets, 7 Rdr.
- In the farm-yard:
- 1 grinding-stone, 1 Rdr.; 1 watering-trough, 2 Rdr.; 1 rinsing-trough andvessel, and 1 pig-trough, 1 Rdr.; 1 carrying-tub and 1 wheel-barrow, 2 Mk.
- In the barn:
- 14 cows, 550 Rdr.; 10 sheep, 20 Rdr.; 1 foal, 15 Rdr.; 2 pigs, 8 Rdr.; 2wheel-barrows, 2 Rdr.; 1 carriage, 50 Rdr.; 1 milk-wagon, 10 Rdr.; 2 chopping-chests with knives, 7 Rdr.;
- In the guest-room:
- 2 beds, 20 Rdr.
- In the chop-house:
- chopping gear, 18 Rdr.; 2 sets of "stavtøi", 5 Rdr.
Total value of contents: 1,243 Rdr.
Next comes a debtor's document from July 10, 1811 where in Peder Larsen of Skovhøjerup was shown to owe 385 Rbd. to the above, this was duly noted; as was also the debt of Peder Hiæresen, of Baaring, in the sum of 70 Rbd.
The widow and her guardian produced a letter written to her deceased husband, as well as two documents of access to ownership of the farm from the deceased Military-Advisor Wedell; on account of these three documents, the widow insisted that her deceased husband had the right to own the farm-buildings, and that she therefore reserved her legal right of inheriting, together with her son, all of the property mentioned in the probate documents.
The Court of Inheritance Proceedings requested that the widow and her guardian make a copy of the above documents and to be responsible for the safekeeping of them; the court-case was postponed until further notice. "Datum ut supra."
Signed by: Hesselholdt. The guardian for the son: Peder Jørgensen. Karen Sørensdatter (med ført Pen). Guardian: Mads Sørensen. Witnesses: Mads Hansen and Niels Sørensen.
On August 26, 1814 the officials for the Inheritance-Proceedings, including the executor Thaarup, arrived in Asperup parish in order to carry on the proceedings. The widow Karen Sørensdatter and her guardian Mads Sørensen from Broe were in attendance with copies of the legal documents, based on which the widow insisted she had a right to have the farm-buildings, livestock, and equipment be included as part of her deceased husband's assets. Especially as all these rights were included in an old legal document, now presented to proceedings, dated May 1,1773. This document was the result of the probate heirings after the death of Peder Sørensen, the preceading occupant of Sterbvogaard. The new guardian for the young son, Hans Hansen of Baaring, vouched for the widow's claims.
Thaarup presented a document, dated December 5, 1773, where in the deceased Anders Jørgensen had signed his name to be responsible for the livestock, by which Thaarup claimed that said livestock rightfully belonged to the crown.
In accordance with a Resolution made on June 8, 1787, the presiding Judge, the Justice of the Peace Sommer of Middelfart, was requested to attend this inheritance proceeding and pass the final judgement. Witnesses were Mads Hansen, bailiff of Asperup, and Niels Sørensen, of Baaring. Judge Sommer then called the widow and her guardian to the stand and questioned them as to the truth of the entries into the inheritance-documents. He then enquired if there was any further evidence to be entered; neither parties had anything further to add.
The executor Thaarup drew attention back to the previously mentioned document in which the deceased Anders Jørgensen had pledged his allegiance; which prompted the widow and her guardian to insist that Thaarup document the alleged right of the owner of Holsegaard, the Military-Advisor Wedell, had over Stervbogaard. As requested Thaarup submitted the original deed, which had been drawn up on June 11, 1745 by Chancellor Bruun for Hans Bryde, whose widow later married Wedell. At the time that document had been drawn up the farm had belonged to a Lars Hansen. Since neither party had any further requests the case was postponed until further notice. The Judge took possession of the documents and requested copies of the documents.
The following month, September 25, 1814, the proceedings were re-opened. The executor Thaarup for Holsegaard, together with the witnesses Niels Sørensen of Baaring, and Mads Hansen of Asperup. Also present was Karen Sørensdatter, with her guardian and soon-to-be husband Jørgen Hansen of Baaring. Also present was the guardian for her son: farm-owner Anders Ipsen of Kierbye. The presiding Justice was Judge Sommer.
Judge Sommer deemed it necessary to obtain declarations from the widow, her guardian and her son's guardian as to the extent of their claims upon Stervbogaard, the declaration reads as follows: "In accordance with the probate-proceedings of December 27, 1813 the Stervbo widow and heirs claimed right of ownership to the farm and its buildings, livestock, inventory, etc.; furthermore to the adjoining lands in town, fields, woods and bog, and 'all the Glory' which according to law belong to a peasant's self-owned farm - and that consequently the owner of Holsegaard was not entitled to any part of Sterbogaard other than what 'the Glory' of same was estimated at and which would amount to a quarter of the totalworth of the farm."
Judge Sommer adjourned, ordering the participants to provide informationon their presumed rights in accordance with the decree of May 7, 1723; which set down what conditions had to be met for a farm to be released from under the estate of His Royal Majesty.
On December 22, 1814 the probate hearing continued with the presentation of a statement written by Jørgen Hansen, guardian (and now husband) for Karen Sørensdatter. Which reads as follows:
To the Honourable Justice of the Peace for Town and County, Judge Sommer.
By entering into marriage with the widow of Anders Jørgensen of Baaring, I have been bestowed ownership of his farm in Baaring. Since your Honour will be pronouncing you verdict in the case between the owner of Holsgaard and myself I take the liberty to put forth the following point sweighing in my favour:
From the documents pertaining to this case we can learn that the farm and adjoining lands were sold in an auction in 1719 to the mayor of Odense, the now deceased Andreas von Bergen. Later the property was occupied by several different inhabitants, but none owned the land, only paid a set yearly rent. With the mayor, from time-to-time augmenting his rights by reducing the lawful rights of the inhabitants. During the various probate hearings and in several documents pertaining to the case, it has been noted that the farm was only 'house-ownership' with the land belonging to the estate-owners. When you look into this matter from all angles though, it does not seem probable that the estate-owners had such vast rights to the land that I and my family are owners of only the buildings. Please take the following into consideration:
- The deed issued by the Court for Baag-Vends counties on May 3, 1741 -and,
- The deed issued on March 23, 1786 to the now deceased Anders Jørgensen,
first then you will realize that the Property in question was considered and transferred as a Farmer's self-owned farm, by which it no doubt is understood to entail more than just ownership of the house or building salone. Mayor Andreas von Bergen, who bought the Property in question from the crown acquired right to the farm with its adjacent lands, which is clearly shown in the deed issued, as well as in the "Husbond Hold" document of July 13, 1719, even if this document contains references to bondage to the Crown, it is unmistakably proves that the Mayor already had purchased the "Glory-right" formerly belonging to His Royal Majesty.
If any of the proabate proceedings would be shown to have been executed in an illegal manner by the Stervbo estate bailiff, it would hardly result in a lasting advantage for above estate. The legislation aimed to protect the interests of the peasants according the ordinance of May 7,1723, shows clearly how to interpret the Royal Deeds issued on the former Crown-owned farms, and what rights these Deeds bestowed upon the buyer(namely the so-called Glory-right) etc., and what rights, on the otherhand, were due to the occupant.
On account of all the above arguments, as well as on the nature of this case and the governing legislation, I hereby respectfully insist and expect,
that the farm now occupied by me, as well as all the adjoining lands - nothing excepted - shall be deemed to be my property; and contrary to this,
only the so-called Glory-right shall be awarded to the respective owners of Holsegaard (re: the Ordinance of May 1723). Thus I submit this case -
pertaining the welfare of my Family - to the lawfullywise decision of Your Honour, at the same time respectfully minding my legal rights regarding
Baaring, December 22, 1814.
Faithfully yours, Jørgen Hansen
The above written statement was submitted to the probate proceedings on the deceased Anders Jørgensen of Båring on December 22, 1814. Signed: H.Sommer.
None of the parties had any information asked for at the previous probateproceeding, but Jørgen Hansen and Peder Jørgensen declared that:
1) The occupant and user of the here disputed farm always had felled trees in the adjoining forst without interference from the owner;
2) The occupant and user of the farm likewise always had the right to have their pigs in the woods eating beech-nuts without paying any duty;
3) The farm never previously had to deliver work other than that of free will - and that the ordinance of 1792 did not change this in any measurable way.
The bailiff, manager Thaarup, in reply to above declarations and the written statement, referred to his earlier testimony and denied everything put forth by Jørgen Hansen. Since none of the parties had anything further to submit regarding the above case, the verdict stated reads as follows:
Although it might seem like Stervbogaard was considered - in the tenantagreement issued by former war councillor Wedell on December 5, 1773 to the now deceased Anders Jørgensen - as entirely Holsegaard estateproperty with exclusive claim to the peasant-farm Stervbogaard, except to the actual buildings, it still is brought to bear true, according the lease-documents issued by His Royal Majesty to the occupants of the farm(copies of same documents from the years 1741-86) as well as the deed issued by Mr. Bruun to Mr. Bryde of Holsegaard also bears witness to the fact that above Stervbogaard is a peasant self-owned farm, or such a farm to which the peasant has far greater reaching claims than to merely the buildings, namely as well to parts of the adjoining land in fields and also in the forest; these claims being further substantiated this day, not only by the declaration submitted re the ordinance of 1723, which proclaims user-right of the woods for the occupying peasant, but also according to the submitted deed documents, which show that the lievestockas well as all intentory - nothing excepted - have been included in the estate in case of the death of the occupying peasant, "thus according to the above facts we herewith deem that the claim submitted by the Stervboewidow and her second husband Jørgen Hansen, as well as by the guardian for the under-age heir of Anders Jørgensen is sound and valid, and therefore the farm of the deceased Anders Jørgensen, namely Sterbogaardin Baaring, must - with its buildings, livestock, and inventory, as well as its adjoining lands, be included in the value of the estate of the deceased; the only deduction being the amount that the Holsegaard estate owner righfully may claim as his "Glory-right". We must point out that bailiff Thaarup was never instructed to negotiate in above dispute and given no authority to do so.
After the reading of above verdict, the clerk of the court handed theinheritance protocl over to bailiff Thaarup. Signed: H. Sommer.
On behalf of the estate's attorney, bailiff Thaarup received the inheritance protocol with the documents pertaining to the proceedings - he reserved the rights of the estate-attorney against above verdict, where upon the day's proceedings were finished. Signed: Thaarup. Witnesses: Niels Hesselholdt and Niels Sørensen.
On July 6, 1819 the estate proceedings were recommenced at Stervbogaard by the bailiff Thaarup I the presence of the witnesses, chief-councilor Niels Sørensen of Baaring, and Mads Hansen of Asperup. The widow's second husband Jørgen Hansen and the guardian for the father-less boy, Peder Jørgensen from Pikkehuus, were also present.
The bailiff for the estate-attorney submitted a copy of the judgement of May 29 by the Royal City and Land Court between the opposing parties in the Stervbogaard dispute, and after having perused above document, Jørgen Hansen and Peder Jørgensen requested that they be handed over the copy of the Judgement in order to bring it to the Highest Court of the Land - also a request for a postponement of four weeks, which was granted. Thus the proceedings wer again halted. The case never proceeded to the Highest Court of the Land, so we must assume that the parties came to an understanding amongst themselves, whereby Wedell von Heinen only laid claim to his lawful "Glory-right".
Already by August 1, 1816 Jørgen Hansen had purchased the excusive right to Stervbogaard (the "Glory-right") from the Wedell estate, and on January 3, 1817 he received the deed to his farm, wherein the former owner, Wedell, pledges to hand over the property free of anyones claims by the following June 11. However this was not to be the end of the ordeal - other matters came into play re the case of the farm. Two years passed and still Wedell von Heinen had not freed the claims on the farm, in October of 1819 a mortgage of 9,650 Rbd. still remained; Jørgen Hansen summoned Wedell to a negotiation in the case, but he failed to show up, claiming he had more important business to attend to! So the proceedings ended as follows:
The Party had been summoned, however neither Wedell nor anyone on his behalf turned up, even though they waited for more than one hour. Therefore the attorney for the case wished to proceed without Wedell, and the Court did not dare to postpone the proceedings, as the summoned Party was aware of the annulment of any postponement, and thus the following verdict was handed down that same day. Signed: C.E. Kümmel, Constable.
* * * *
Case No. 38, 1819,
Farmer Jørgen Hansen of Baaring
Squire Wedell von Heinen.
Farm-owner Jørgen Hansen of Baaring is taking Squire Wedell von Heinen of Kiersgaard to court in order for him to honour his pledge in the Deed here submitted, wherein the defendant promised to free Jørgen Hansen's farm of all claims, and this pledge to be fulfilled promptly; also the defendant must pay all expenses for the court case, as well as be fined for causing unnecessary delay. Jørgen Hansen further more deplores the fact that the defendant failed to appear in person at the Reconciliationproceedings.
Since the defendant did not appear in court therefore the verdict was arrived at in the following manner: "When referring to the ordinance in the deed of June 11, 1817, the farm was clearly free of all claims, and therefore the mortgage issued against it should be null and void; thus the defendant must honour his pledge and submit to judgement, not being present to object to the charges. The defendant must henceforth pay the expenses for the court case: 10 Silver Rigsdaler; as well as the fine for causing unnecessary delay: another 10 Rbd. in silver.
The Court Decrees:
The defendant Squire Wedell von Heinen must, under the daily fine of 5Rbd. in silver to be given to the poor fund in Brænderup parish, and within four weeks after the proclamation of this verdict, free Jørgen Hansen's farm from all claims brought forth by the defendant; furthermore the defendant must within the same time period pay all expenses for above court case in the sum of 10 Royal bank crowns in silver, the law properly proclaimed and to be obeyed in Vends county court on November 15, 1819.Signed: C.E. Kümmel.
In the year 1820, on the third of January this verdict was legally announced in the precense of estate manager Brændholdt in the absence of the Squire Wedell von Heinen - of which he will be informed immediately on his return home. Sworn by our previous oath: Hans Nielsen, Peder Hansen.
The above mentioned Peder Hansen is Jørgen Hansen's brother, a farm-owner in Fyllested and bailiff for Brenderup parish.
* * * *
The Testimonium of Jørgen Hansen:
The following testimonium, despite its pompous style, gives us important details regarding the life and times of Jørgen Hansen, his contemporaries, and his influence upon them. Eulogy by A. Kilchow.
The dearly beloved and departed to God in Heaven, farm-owner and parish bailiff Jørgen Hansen of Baaring, whose earthly remains we have just tearfully lowered into yonder grave - was born on November 14, 1779 in Brænderup parish and where he first saw the light. He had a happy childhood where of he often spoke with great joy; he also remembered his parents with love and heartfelt gratitude. They were brave and God-fearing peasants, who raised their children, three sons and four daughters, to honour and obey the word of the Lord, and the Lord God was gracious to them: they never wanted the Bread of Life. During his childhood our dearly departed diligently attended church and school, and duly instructed on the road to virtue and bliss he was at age 15 confirmed in Brænderup Church by Pastor Brown.
It was God's all-loving plan to test him very early with adversity: already at 12 years of age he became a motherless child, and then at age 16 he was fatherless as well; when 19 years old he had to leave his home, which now has completely vanished. With God in his heart he went without trepidation into the world to earn his own living; and for 17 years he worked as a farm-labourer, during which time he only changed jobs three times, and was mostly on good terms with his employers.
Still well into his old age he like to tell of those years; he was especially fond of the five years spent with the scholar Frederichsen, owner of Skousgaard, this man considered Jørgen Hansen more like a friend and brother than a servant, and from him Jørgen Hansen - who had inborn talents - gathered much knowledge and a philosophy of life that later made him stand out among his peers.
As the years went by and the daring hopes and dreams of youth vanished, life bared its reality and his heart began to long for a home of its veryown. In 1814, at 36 years of age, he luckily found what he had been searching for: Karen Sørensdatter, the honourable widow of farm-owner Anders Jørgensen of Baaring. God blessed this marriage with two children: a son and a daughter; and he brought up a step-son as well. He sought to instill in them an unshakeable confidence in heavenly Providence. He himself was profoundly religious in nature and very well acquainted with the Bible - a book he paid his deepest respect and sought comfort in after workday's end, whenever spirits flagged and during hardships as well.
He was an extremely knowledgeable farmer, and worked diligently to improve the operations of his farm in spite of the inopportune financial conditions of the times; he never lost courage and was extremely well respected by his community. His fight against old customs (i.e. the tenth takings) and his work towards housing for the peasants, who did not own any land, brought on some enemies, but he had confidence that truth and right would prevale, and so it did.
Both his intellect and spirit were clear and youthful, and stayed intact through out his last years. He was touched by the movements roused in the populace by the coronation of the new king; and at the time of the latest election he voted for Professor Lang; and spoke fervently defending his position, which managed to stop a motion - circulated by some men in one of the neighbouring parishes - which was as equally bad for the government as for the people, but which sadly had gained momentum. This is yet another example of his courage to speak out for his beliefs.
Of course Jørgen Hansen had his short-comings, but who will cast the first stone? He had a warm and generous heart, always open to the poor and needy around him. After feeling slightly unwell for about 3 weeks, this still vigorous man died very suddenly at 4 o'clock in the morning on November 26, at the age of 62 years. His wife lost in him the best husband and his children the most loving father. Blessed be his memory!