Biography of Anna Johansen Dahle
Colaborador: MargieW Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Anna Johansen Dahle 1804-1864
By Janice C. Tenney
At the age of eighteen, Anna Johansen became the wife of Hans Hansen on July 6, 1822, the marriage occurring on her family’s farm in Tveitane, Kvinnherad, Hordaland, Norway. (1) Hans was almost fifteen years older than Anna.
As the eldest son, Hans had inherited the family farm which was named Lille-Dale, or Little Valley. (2) It was located in southwestern Norway about 80 miles southeast of the port of Bergen. Because only three percent of land in Norway is arable, the farms are not divided among the heirs at the death of the owner, but are passed intact to one of the next generation. Usually the eldest son inherits the farm. Such was the case with Anna’s husband, Hans, who inherited the farm ten years before their marriage. (3)
During the early part of the nineteenth century the Scandinavian countries began to encourage their people to select a surname that would be passed down through the generations. Prior to that time most Norwegians had used the patronymic system of surnames by adding son/sen or dotter/datter to the end of the father’s given name. Because the farms had names and had been in certain families for many years, some people took the name of their farm for their surname. (4) Such was the case with Hans Hansen and his brothers who at different times added all or part of their farm name to their surname. (5) This was also true for Anna Johansen whose family added the name of their farm, Tveitane, to their names.
Anna, born on her family farm of Tvietane in Hatlestrand, Kvinnherad, Hordaland, Norway, was a daughter of Johans Steinsen and Mette Torkildsen. (6) Her birth occurred on January 21, 1804. (7) She was the oldest daughter in a family of twelve siblings. (8)
Hordaland is one of nineteen counties in Norway. Within Hordaland County there are 33 districts or municipalities. (9) Both the Dahle and the Tveitane farms were in the Kvinnherad district, one in the Olve Parish and the other in the neighboring parish of Haltestrand. (10)
Six children were born to Anna and Hans: Kari Hansen Dahle (1827), Hans Hansen Dahle (1830), Johannes Hansen Dahle (1833), Mette Hansen Dahle (1836), John Hansen Dahle (1837), and Helge Hansen Dahle (1842). (11)
Sadly, after twenty-nine years of marriage, Anna’s husband, Hans, died in 1851, leaving Anna, age 48, a widow. It was just a few years later that her three youngest sons, who were fishermen, met Mormon missionaries on board their fishing boat when the brothers provided passage for them either to or from Norway. (12) Because of the gospel message from these missionaries, each of these sons was eventually baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, beginning with Johannes in April of 1858. (13)
Anna’s baptismal date following on February 9, 1861, is recorded in the Trondheim LDS Church records, where her name is written as Anna Johanes Dahle. Some discrepancy existed over Anna’s baptism into the Church, and consequently more than one proxy baptism has been performed for her. The journal history of the Lille-Dahle farm mentions that the sons of Hans Hansen Dahle who had joined the LDS Church “convinced their old mother to go over to Mormonism and baptized her up in the Dahle River.” (14) Her sons, Johannes and John, are also listed in the Trondheim LDS Church records, and Anna and John have an additional notation by their names, “emigrated 1862.” (15)
.Joining her three younger sons in 1862 when they emigrated from Norway to America, Anna left behind her oldest child, her married daughter, Kari Dahle Helgesen, and her oldest son, Hans, who inherited the farm. She also left behind the graves of her husband, Hans, and her daughter, Mette, who died when an infant. The four Dahles joined other immigrant converts aboard the ship, Electric, which sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for America in April of 1862. (17) In the Ship's log Anna's name is spelled "Ane Dahle" and her age is listed at 58 (17). The ship arrived in New York Harbor on June 5, 1862 and the immigrants disembarked at Castle Garden the next day. (18)
From New York the Dahles traveled westward by train. There seemed to be an agreement among those emigrating that “the European trains were better” than those in the U.S. (19) This group of immigrants arrived at the time of the Civil War and “and the railroad companies were not…particular…[as to the type] of cars they furnished.” (20) The travelers changed trains several times, but in all they considered their trip a “pleasant journey.” (21) The last leg of this part of their trip was on a steamboat up the Missouri River to Florence, Nebraska, where they arrived on June 19, 1862. (22)
The summer of 1862 saw the largest group of Mormon emigrants yet to be headed for Utah. (23) The logistics of providing for, organizing, and moving such a large group was challenging for Church leaders. Before sufficient tents were available, the travelers lived on the open prairie, which “was something unknown to…people coming from Europe.” (24) Amidst the rigors of camping among such a large group, the people were surprised by the weather. One pioneer wrote, “A terrible hurricane followed by thunder and lightning surprised us…[causing] damage to wagons and…people.”(25)
Anna endured all these new experiences—sleeping on the ground, lack of privacy, and all the inconvenience of being surrounded by so many people. It was a month before Anna, her sons, Helge and Johannes, and Johannnes’ wife, Marta, were on their way with the James S. Brown wagon train in the latter part of July. (26) Anna’s other son, John, and his wife, Janetta, had begun their plains trek earlier with the Joseph Horne Company where they were listed among the members of that company by their patronymic surname of Hansen. (27) Their departure from Florence marked the beginning of the most difficult part of their journey.
When she started her hike across the plains, Anna was 58. Of the 200 members listed, whose ages are recorded in the James S. Brown Company, 3% were 58 years or older. One pioneer leader indicated that “all able-bodied men and women had to walk, [and] mostly nearly all [did].” It was reported that the women rode in the wagons only across the larger rivers, but like the men they would wade across the smaller streams.(28)
This pioneer company arrived in Salt Lake Valley in early October of 1862, more than two months after leaving Florence. When the immigrants from this company approached the city, Brigham Young and Bishop Hunter came out to meet and welcome them. (29) From Salt Lake City the Dahles moved northward to Sessions (now Bountiful, Utah), and a short time later moved still farther north to Logan, Cache, Utah. (30) There Anna lived with her son, John, and his wife, Janetta B. Ingmann, whom he had married in New York just a day after reaching America. (31) While John and Janetta continued to live in Logan, other family members scattered northward with Anna’s son, Johannes Hansen, and his family moving to Clarkston, Utah, in 1864. (32) Later her son, Helge, went to Salmon, Idaho, where he purchased property. (33) He later married Gertrude Miller, but they had no children. (34)
Only two years after arriving in Utah, Anna Johansen Dahle died in Logan on November 15, 1864. (35) She was buried in the Logan City Cemetery in an unmarked grave.(36) However, her living descendants (c.1990) have since provided a thoughtful headstone replete with genealogical information for the gravesite.
Eric N. Dahle, compiler of the book about the Dahle families, praises Anna, the mother of the Dahle men who joined the church in Norway.
[She led a] noble life…. Could she have known that she would
become, very literally, the mother of thousands (at present) and tens
of thousands as the years pass? Could she have predicted that the
example and training she gave her children would be passed on to so
many people? On Memorial Day especially, and at other times as
well, we ought to remember her. (37)
1. Havnelid, p. 218
2. Dahle, Eric N. 14. The Dahle farm was known variously as Vetle-dale
or Lille-dale, both 'vetle’ and ‘lille’ meaning ‘little’ in Norwegian.
3. Havnelid, p. 118
5. Various records show the surname to be Hansen, Hansen Lille-Dahle,
Lille-Dahle, Vetle-Dahle, or just Dahle and in many instances with different
6. Kvinnherad Parish Register, p. 152.
7. Havnelid, p. 218
8. “Ancestral File v4.19.”FamilySearch. Entry for Mette TORKILDSEN
11. “Ancestral File v4.19.”FamilySearch. Entry for Anna JOHANSEN.
12. Dahle, Eric N., p. 18.
13. Dahle, Eric N., p. 19
14. Dahle, Hans Samuelson, p.15
15. Trondheim Conference (Norway)
16. “Mormon Migration.” A Compilation of General Voyage Notes
22. “Mormon Migration.” A Compilation of General Voyage Notes
23. Larsen. 31-36
26. “Mormon Pioneer Overland travel 1847-1868.” (James S. Brown Company,
1862). Various dates are given for the departure and arrival of the wagon
27. “Mormon Pioneer Overland travel 1847-1868. (Joseph Horne Company)
28. Weibye. In “Mormon Pioneer Overland travel 1848-1868.” (Christian A.
30. Dahle, Hans Garrett. Family Records
31. Log of the ship "Electric", June 8, 1862. The move to Logan was probably
made because that’s where Janetta’s sister, Laura Ingmann Mikkelsen, was
32. Dahle, Eric N. 25
34. Ibid. 19
35. “Ancestral File v4.19.”FamilySearch. Entry for Anna JOHANSEN
36. Dahle, Eric N. 17
“Ancestral File v4.19,” FamilySearch. Entry for Anna JOHANSEN. 21 August 2012.
“Ancestral File v4.19,” FamilySearch. Entry for Mette TORKILDSEN. 21 August 2012.
Dahle, Eric N. DAHLE: The Johannes and John Dahle Families, Fruitland, Idaho: Strange Printing Service, 1987.
Dahle, Hans Garrett. Interview and perusal of Family Records. Ca February 1954.
Dahle, Hans Samuelson. Partial translation of the Journal of the Lille-Dahle Farm History. In Dahle, Eric N. 15.
Havnelid. Anders. Kvinnherad, Vol. 2: utgjevar Kvinnherad Bygdeboknemnd, 1972, c1987.
“Hordaland.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 30 April 2012. May 2012.
Hougaard, John Hansen. “Autobiography and Journal.” In “Mormon Migration.” Electric, 1862.
Kvinnherad Parish Register (official) nr.A4 (1778-1811). Hordaland County. Chronological list 1804.
8 November 2005. 2 June 2012.
Larsen, Oluf Christian. “Autobiography.” In Mormon Migration. Electric, 1862.
Log of the ship Electric, June 8, 1862. In “Manuscript Histories of the Scandinavian Mission.”
Loosle, Marvin. “RE: Anna’s info.” Message to Janice Tenney. August 18, 2012. E-mail.
“Manuscript Histories of the Scandinavian Mission.” Salt Lake City Church History Library. Film # CRmh9332 V. 10.
“Mormon Migration.” [Enter name Ane Dahle],Hamburg to New York on the Electric, 18 April 1862-5 June 1862. A Compilation of General Voyage Notes and Passenger List.
“Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868.” (James S. Brown Company, 1862) (Joseph Horne Company, 1862). Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 2006. 13 March 2006. [Enter names Joneta Hansen and Anna Dahle.]
Pfaff, Judith. “Nordic Names.” Nordic Names Wiki. 2004-2012. 1 May 2012.
Ratcliffe, James. “Reminiscences and diary.” 11-13. Trail Excerpt in “Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868.” (James S. Brown Company, 1862).
Trondheim Conference (Norway). “Record of Members. 1850-1950.” Salt Lake City Family History Library Film #18332.
Weibye, Jens C. A. “Journal” In “Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868.” (Christian A. Madsen Company, 1862).