Life Sketch of Malena Olsen Sorensen

Magdelena's daughter-in-law, Mary Jacobsen Sorensen wrote this sketch of her life.

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Magdelena Olsen SorensenMagdelena Olsen Sorensen & Husband

Magdelena Olsen was born March 21st, 1807 in the town of Fjenneslev, Sorø County [Amt.] Sjælland, Denmark. Her parents were farmers in good circumstances. At the age of twenty-three, Malena married Nicolai Sorensen. They went to the town of Haverup, Sorø Amt. and settled on a farm of sixty acres. She became the mother of twelve children, eight boys and four girls. Two boys died in that home.

In the year 1854, a Mormon Elder came to Haverup, and commenced holding meetings. Malena, with her husband and members of her family, attended the meetings, and became convinced that they had found the true Gospel. In 1855, Malena, husband and family were baptized. They were exceedingly happy in their new life.

In the spring of 1857 they sold their home and started for the valley. They all survived the long journey and arrived in Salt Lake City, September 13th, 1857. They first settled in Mill Creek, Salt Lake County. This was the time the Johnson Army was coming to set the Mormon’s right. The company she came with passed their big freight wagons on the plains. Malena, with her family went to Towd Town [Pond Town] (Salem) [in Utah County] and returned to Mill Creek the same summer. In 1859 the family moved to Mendon, Cache County. They were among the pioneers of that place.

She passed through the many hardships of those early times with patience and endurance. She obeyed every principle revealed from God, was kind to the poor, and with her husband, gave means to help others emigrate to Zion. She died as she had lived, true and faithful, March 30th, 1887. Her husband died the same day. They were laid in the same grave. The inscription on their tombstone reads, “Not dead, but resting from mortal strife. You’ve won the Victory, and passed to Life.1

Mary I. Sorensen


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1. Magdelena Olsen Sorensen, Life Sketch, Mary I. Sorensen, January 16, 1920. Unpublished Manuscript.

(Because there were three Mary Sorensen’s living in Mendon at the same time, it was the practice to give the husbands first initial as the distinguishing feature, to tell them apart. It would seem that this new addition to the names became real. I have documents, from the church that give Mary Jacobsen Sorensen, wife of Isaac Sorensen, name as Mary I. Sorensen. Even in my time with Hazel Sorensen’s, we used Hazel Fred, to tell the difference in the two of the same name, living at the same time.)