Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sharing the Legacy of Family History

When my mom passed away I inherited all the family history stuff. Among this was a journal from my 3rd great grandfather Niels Hendrick Borreson (pronounced Burson). I've always wanted to somehow share this legacy with others, especially long-lost cousins, so recently I started a family tree website to do just that. I was able to scan the journal entries and a lot of the old photos and upload them to share. I hope that it will inspire my extended family to learn about their ancestors.

My mom's side of the family is rich in Utah pioneering/Mormon history. I knew the maternal side (the Borreson side) was, but with a little searching last night, I am coming to find out the paternal side was as well.

It's exciting, but at the same time humbling to be recording the names and dates of my ancestors. Often there were 8, 9, 10 or more children but several of those little ones were lost in the first few years. As a parent, it really touches me to think about how difficult life was back then.

I found a picture last night of Niels Borreson's house in Spring City Utah:

along with this short description:
"This house, one of the oldest stone houses in Spring City, was constructed of two-foot thick random rubble stone. Borresen, a miller and horticulturalist, was born in Denmark in 1826. He converted to the LDS church in Denmark and came to Utah in the late 1850s. He moved to Spring City in 1860 and had three wives. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk War and was imprisoned twice at the Territorial Prison in Sugarhouse for practicing polygamy. In 1994 a wood frame wing was added and the original house restored by Peter and Inge-Lise Goss."

I knew that this ancestor was a polygamist from my family history research. I didn't know that he went to prison for it however. He married two widows; one who's husband's death was listed as "died at sea - on way from Norway to United States". These women both had 3-4 children and then went on to have 3-4 more with Niels. He fathered his last child at the age of 62!

At any rate, I plan on publishing his journal entry here over the next few days. It's interesting, and someone may just be looking for information on this prolific Utah pioneer and I would love to share what I can.


LisAway said...

What a legacy! It's pretty amazing how different and how much more difficult life was back then. The things they went through! Your site is a great idea. I have a book about ancestors on my dad's side of the family and I really love it. I devoured it all after I got it for Christmas a few years ago. Just awesome.

Arya said...

How awesome! I love family history, it's wonderful to pass down the legacy of those who have passed on to future generations. It's always good to know where you come from because it can help you find where your going.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see what Borresons one encounters across the net! :) I had no idea that there were Borresons in Utah. My own family was originally from Nebraska, and I currently live in Los Angeles, but I've found Borresons in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Canada and Norway! Thanks for leaving this post up to find - Theodore Borreson