maria hansen black


BORN: 18 November 1840 at Egtvd, Vejle, Denmark

PARENTS: Anders or Andrew Hansen & Abelonne Knudsen

LEFT: 29 November 1855 Copenhagen, Denmark

ARRIVED: 16 Feb 1856 at New York Harbor on John J. Boyd Sailing Vessel

PIONEER: 20 September 1856 at Salt Lake with the Canute Peterson 2nd Oxen Wagon Company (15 years old)

MARRIED: 26 October 1856 to William Morley Black (3rd wife of six)

DIED: 09 March 1920 at Blanding, San Juan, Utah

                    ANNA MARIA HANSEN BLACK

By Cloe Truman Anderson

            Anna Maria Hansen was born the 18 November, l840 at Egtvd, Vejle, Denmark. She was the first child born to Andrew or Anders “B.” Hansen and Abelonne Knudsen Hansen. The L.D.S. missionaries in about l850 introduced her parents to the gospel. The family left Denmark to go to America when Maria was about l5 years old and Jorgen was l2. Andrew and Abelonne had been blessed with two sons and three daughters. Leaving behind one daughter Ann and one son who were stillborn.

The shipping list gives the names of the following family members who were on board the sailing vessel the John J. Boyd.


It could be assumed that two brothers, their wives and families set sail for Zion at the same time, aboard the John J Boyd.

On the twenty ninth of November 1855, four hundred and thirty seven Scandinavian Saints sailed from Copenhagen, Denmark, on board the steamship Loven, under the direction of Elder Canute Peterson, who was returning from his mission to Norway. After a pleasant voyage to Kiel, Germany the emigrants continued the journey by rail to Gluckstadt, Germany thence by steamer to Grimsby, England and thence by rail to Liverpool, England where the Scandinavian emigrants were joined by forty-two British and thirty Italian Saints, and went on board the sailing ship, John J. Boyd. A total of 512 Saints were on board. The price of passages on the Emerald Isle and the John J. Boyd were 45 shillings for adults, 35 shillings for children and 10 shillings for infants. Just before they sailed, Apostle Franklin D. Richards came on board and gave many encouraging remarks and bade farewell, after which they set sail and were soon lost from all sight of land.

            The Saints sang often and trusted in the Lord for safety. The captain of the ship became so angry that he forbade the Saints to sing. He was a very disagreeable man, as was the first mate who whipped the sailors and crew with a long black whip. On 11 January 1856 a ship near by was destroyed by the wind, and the ship rescued thirty seamen on it, but the first mate was very unkind to them. The weather was very unsettled and approximately sixty children and old folks died. Most of them died from an outbreak of measles. Anders and Ablonne’s son Jorgen was one of the children who died of the measles and was buried at sea. It was a great heartache for the family.

Many of the passengers became seasick. The voyage was not a pleasant one and the vessel was not equipped for so many people, they suffered many disadvantages. There were tiers of bunks all around the sides of the vessel and boxes in the center. They were compelled to eat off the boxes used to sit on. Two weeks after boarding the ship a terrific storm came up; it tossed the ship from side to side with the boxes sliding from one side of the ship to the other. This storm continued for almost two weeks. It split the masts, and all of the sails had to be taken down. The captain became so discouraged, with the terrible weather, their lack of good food, water and the illnesses that they were afflicted with, that he forbids anyone to sing or pray. Elder Peterson admonished the Saints to fast and pray in secret. They were blessed because of their faith and prayers and better weather prevailed. It was a great joy for them to leave the vessel and be able to walk again on solid ground. They arrived in New York Harbor, 16 February 1856 after a journey of eleven weeks and three days on very rough waters. After tarrying a few days at Castle Gardens, New York the journey was continued on the twenty-first or the twenty-second by rail via Dunkirk and Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois. The emigrants divided into three groups: one group of one hundred and fifty went to Burlington, Iowa; one group of about one hundred and fifty went to Alton, Illinois; and the third group with the Andrew Hansen family went to St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly after arriving in St. Louis, Abelonne gave birth to a baby girl. She was born 07 April 1856, and was named Christiane. Soon after her birth they continued their journey to Florence, Nebraska and joined the general emigration that crossing the plains via wagon train.

Elder Canute Peterson was their Captain and appointed an assistant captain for each ten wagons. They started their journey for Salt Lake City, 19 June 1856 the 10th company of eleven to travel in 1856. The first day’s journey was a hard one. Some of their oxen were wild and they did not know how to handle them and consequently did not make much headway the first day. It was very hot and the oxen became very tired, some traveling with their tongues hanging out. A few of the oxen got overheated and died. They were compelled to leave some of their supplies because there were fewer animals to pull the loads. In about two weeks they reached the unsettled Wild West, where they saw great herds of buffalo.

            One day there was a buffalo stampede and the oxen became frightened, running together, one outfit crashing into another. The women and children became frightened, some of the wagons were broken and a number of the party was injured and one man was killed, which caused a gloom to come into the group. He was buried in a coffin such as they could build. They then repaired their outfits and journeyed on. A few of the buffalo were killed and dressed for meat and divided among the company.

            Now and again the Indians were seen roaming from one side of the valley to the other and on occasions they would come to visit. In order to maintain a friendly feeling, they would oft times give them some of the supplies and provisions, such as they could spare. They were compelled to guard the oxen at all times when they were not traveling to prevent them from being driven away or stolen by the Indians. They were called together morning and night by the sound of a bugle to receive instructions. Sundays they had meetings and regular services were conducted adding much comfort and pleasure to the journey. Sometimes they had dances on the green grass and enjoyed themselves as best they could. During the days while journeying along, nearly all of them walked except those who were sick and the smaller children. They went along laughing and singing the songs and hymns of Zion.

Canute Peterson was a wise leader and captain for the company. When they arrived in Salt Lake City, it was said of the oxen of the company, that they were the fattest of all, which had yet crossed the plains. He traveled fast where there was little feed, then when they came to good grazing; they slowed down and sometimes stopped a day or two to let the oxen rest and eat.

They arrived in Salt Lake City, 20 September 1856 and on the entire journey of three months not more than a half dozen persons were seen outside of the company members. Upon their arrival in Salt Lake City, they spent a few days and were told that the Saints from Denmark were settling in Sanpete County over a hundred miles south of Salt Lake. Sanpete County was settled in 1850 and the community willingly helped the new immigrants with provisions and helped them get established in the area. They went south to Sanpete County and settled in Ephraim, Utah with the Saints from Scandinavia who had made the journey with them. Little is known of the living conditions and the trials that confronted them in the high mountain ranges and valleys of Sanpete County.

On the 26th of October, 1856 Maria married William Morley Black. She was 14 years younger; she married into polygamous family as Mr. Black already had two wives. The first was Margaret Ruth Banks, second was Amy Jane Washburn. They lived in Ephraim for several years. Anna’s oldest son and daughter were both in this community. They left Sanpete County in 1865 because the Prophet Brigham Young called them to go to Circle Valley in Piute County, to help build up a settlement there. They lived there for about four years where their next two children were born, Olive Myrtle and William. They were plagued with Indian harassment and problems all the time they were in the area, so they were instructed to move down to Beaver County. They lived there for a few years and were called to go to Washington County. Miller Snow and Harriet were both born in Washington, Washington County. The next nine years were spent in Kane County a short time in Glendale and about six years living the United Order in Orderville. David Patten Black was born in Glendale and Morley L. Black and Ablonna Black were both born in Orderville.

President Brigham Young sent Howard O. Spencer to preside over the United Order community. He was greatly beloved by the people, but in due time he was replaced by Thomas Chamberlain, he was very gifted in financial matters and led the community from poverty to comfort. They consecrated all of their property to the order, which meant that everything was held in common by the members of the community. William Morley Black, her husband, was secretary of the order as well as supervisor of the community kitchen; Maria was a midwife and helped with the birth of many babies while they lived in Orderville. Under the leadership of Brigham Young the United Order was successful and flourished, but the Prophet died in 1877 and many problems arose. No one seemed capable of solving the problems, and keeping the community together, so in 1884 they left the community and moved to Huntington, Utah, it was almost two hundred miles north and east of Orderville.

They lived in Huntington for four years, William worked in the gristmill in that community, but the Federal Marshall’s of the United States were looking for all the men who had more than one wife, to arrest them and put them in jail. William decided to leave the United States and go to Old Mexico where they were not pursued and hunted by the Federal Marshall’s. Leaving Huntington on the 13th of November 1888. He took Louisa and the youngest family with him; Maria and Marinda stayed in Huntington. In October of 1890 Miller S. Black, his brother with a group, took their mother, Maria Hansen and Marinda Thompson Black in two covered wagons and started for Old Mexico. It was a long, rough journey, there was hardly a trail to follow, but they reached Diaz, Mexico shortly before Christmas in 1890. They were tired and very discouraged for it was a hard, barren land that they had come to. They moved into a two roomed, Mexican adobe house with a dirt roof. A short time after they moved to Juarez, Mexico where William had work at a gristmill. They moved to a farm near Cave Valley, Mexico but the climate and weather conditions were not suitable for farming and moved to Pacheco, Mexico. She spent twenty-two years living in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Old Mexico under very harsh conditions. Most of the colonists were farmers or ranchers so the children all had to learn to work early in life.

In 1910 was the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, the colonists tried to remain neutral, but each faction of the warring nation would plunder and steal from the colonists. After two years of having their livestock and poultry stolen, their saddles, harnesses, weapons, wagons and everything they had that the rebels could use, was taken from them. On 28 July 1912 a messenger came just as Sabbath meeting was closing and gave them notice that the entire community must be ready to leave by Tuesday morning. Twenty-two wagons were loaded and started their journey back to the United States. They were put on train cars at Pearson, Texas and began their ride to El Paso, Texas. The U.S. Government under the direction of President William H. Taft appropriated $100,000. to be used in giving aid to the American refugees who were expelled from Mexico.

On August 10, 1912, William and Maria were furnished with a railroad pass to take them to Price, Utah. After a two-day train ride they arrived in Price to a welcoming committee of many of their children. They went to Huntington and stayed with Miller and his family for two and one half months. Then they went to Ferron and stayed with Isaac for six weeks and returned to Huntington and stayed with Martin for six weeks. They stayed the remainder of the winter and spring back at Isaac’s in Ferron. They visited in Richfield, Monroe and Redmond for a month and on the 1st of October 1913 they boarded the train at Price and reached Thompson, they rode the mail truck to Moab and went to Blanding via team and wagon. They lived with sons and daughters in that community and William died at the home of his daughter Tamer B, Young 21st of June 1915.

Maria lived with family members and reached her 79th birthday in 1919. She was a faithful wife and mother and knew sacrifice and hardship. She had lived in three countries, and spoke three languages. She died 09 March 1920 and was buried the next day. She, William, and Sarah Marinda are buried in the Blanding Cemetery. 

Listed below are her children. She had nine children and raised eight to adulthood.


Birth Date

Place of Birth

Death Date

Place of Death

Joseph Andrew

18 September 1861

Ephraim, Utah

20 Jan 1940

Boise, Idaho

Rachel Ann

08 March 1863

Ephraim, Utah

05 May 1906

Pacheco, Mexico

Olive Myrtle

20 July 1865

Circle Valley, Utah

19 October 1949

Blanding, Utah

William Sanford

10 October 1867

Circle Valley, Utah

02 February 1868

Miller Snow

27 February 1869

Washington, Utah

17 December 1953

Huntington, Utah


18 September 1871

Washington, Utah

04 March 1965

Salt Lake City, Utah

David Patten

10 February 1874

Glendale, Utah

Morley Larsen

24 October 1875

Orderville, Utah

06 September 1951

Blanding, Utah


06 April 1880

Orderville, Utah

22 July 1959



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