Frederik Wilhelm and Karen Margurdsen Moller

aka Caroline Miller

 

Frederik Wilhelm was born 2 May 1821 in Copenhagen Denmark.  I know very little of his life except that he followed in the profession of his father, Jorgen Peder Moller, who was a master tailor in Copenhagen.  I do not know when he met Karen.  She was born  16 Aug 1818 in Taars, Maribo, an island south of Copenhagen.  Her father was a farmer.  I don’t have a marriage date either. 

 

They must have lived in Copenhagen since this is where all the children were born.  Namely:  Hans, 1850, Emma Josephine, 1854, and Joseph, 1857.   Apparently there was another son and daughter who died as infants. 

 

Sometime after 1850 the family was introduced to the gospel.  From the family record it appears that Frederik joined about 1852 and Karen was baptized very soon after on 16 Jan 1853.  Each child was baptized into the church. 

 

Hans came to Utah in 1869 aboard the “Minnesota.”  This was a steamship.  He probably left Denmark about the 20th of August.   He departed from Liverpool, England on 25 Aug and arrived in New York, New York just 12 days later on 6 Sep.  The passenger list had Hans Jorgen Moller.  He was not connected to any family.  J.F. Hardie, the clerk for this group of immigrants wrote that the voyage was uneventful except that one sister had a child who only lived 2 days.  Hans was 19 when he made this trip with about 450 others.  From an account by Eliza Barnes (Briggs) who was in the same company we learn that as a 10 year old she thought the boat was terrible!  She commented on the tin cups and plates that were used aboard to prevent breakage!  She also noted that somewhere on their railroad journey they had to spend a couple days traveling via horse and wagon because the tracks had washed out.  She didn’t remember where they reboarded but they came to Ogden and she recalled lots of people at the depot.  Keep in mind that the Transcontinental Railroad had just connected in May of that same year and the line to Ogden would have been built after that so it would have been quite a novelty to meet incoming trains.  Brother Marius Ensign, who was in charge of the group recorded that they arrived in Ogden on 16 Sep 1869. 

 

The following year Karen and the 2 younger children, Emma and Joseph, sailed on the same steamer, “Minnesota” along with about 350 Scandinavian members.  Karen was listed as a widow so sometime between 1857 and 1870 Frederik had died.  Jesse Smith was in charge of the company.  He wrote that they left Denmark on 18 Jul and sailed aboard the “Milo” to Hull England.  That night they boarded a train in Hull and got to Liverpool the next morning.  A 7 year old girl had died on the train and was buried in Liverpool.  They boarded the “Minnesota” the morning of the 20th and set sail the same afternoon.  They had beautiful weather for the voyage and arrived in New York the morning of 1 Aug 1870.  They spent one night in New York and then hit the rails the next afternoon from Jersey City went to Philadelphia Station on to Pittsburgh where they spent the night in a boarding house.  The next morning they changed cars and found they were even more crowded and filthy than the prior cars.  A cranky station master started the train before everyone had boarded leaving some behind.  Brother Smith went to the office and explained the situation.  He and the remaining passengers were put on an express train that caught up to the others by noon.  They all reached Chicago at 8am 5 August.  Brother Smith telegraphed ahead and asked for more cars.  The heat, humidity and overcrowding was really miserable.  There was a railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi at Clinton.  From there they traveled until they reached the Missouri River.  They crossed on a steam ferry to Omaha.  They spent the night in some empty baggage cars.  Since it was Sunday they didn’t travel but were inundated with apostates and backsliders who tried in vain to convince anyone who would listen to remain there but they got no takers.  They arrived in Ogden on 10 Aug 1870.  The end of the line was Woods Cross.  Brother Smith wrote that the First Presidency greeted them when they reached Kaysville.  They came on board and shook the hands of the travelers.  He said that this was the largest train that had ever come to the city.  It comprised 11 passenger cars and 5 baggage cars.

 

Many Danish people Americanized their names or perhaps because they didn’t speak the language of this country someone else changed the spelling but at any rate the Moller name became Miller and Karen’s name became Caroline!

 

It would be interesting to know what happened next.  Did Hans meet his mom and siblings at Woods Cross?  Did they go to where he was?  We do know that Emma became a plural wife to Peter Hansen within a couple months of their entering the valley and she settled in the Honeyville area.  That story is entitled Peter Hansen and his Families.  Hans married a year or so later and his story follows.

 

I do not know much about Caroline Miller except to say that as far as I can tell, she never remarried and my research only finds her in Brigham City.  In the 1880 census I found a Caroline Muller age 62 working as a servant.  She died 31 Oct 1890.  We had been searching for her final resting place since there was no record of her in Brigham City Cemetery.  I was told that the Sexton’s office was broken into in the 1960’s and records were burned and destroyed.  After I found a record of her death confirmed in the Brigham City Second Ward records I decided to check with the state archives where I finally found her death listed on the Brigham City Sexton record at the state archives, but unfortunately, no grave location is given.  Since Hans and Georgina had buried several children in the Miller plot I can only guess that Hans would bury his mother there too.  At any rate no head stone was ever placed on her grave or a couple of the children.

 

This is most unfortunate.  I have spoken to the current Brigham City Sexton and she told me that she could see no reason why we couldn’t place a memorial stone in the Miller Family plot since there is space available and the last person buried there was in 1924 but before going ahead with it I have been trying to contact a live Miller descendent but so far have struck out!