THE JENSEN FAMILY, COPENHAGEN, 1897
What we know about this picture is all based on the remarks of Esther Franck as they were jotted down as she responded to questions about it through the years when she visited the U.S. She was 2 or 3 years old when she posed with the group and it must be assumed that at least some of what she herself knew about the picture was hearsay from her elders. To further complicate things, Esther's memory was evidently shaky: the three sets of notes we have are contradictory with respect to some of the people.
The picture was presumably taken on the occasion of a funeral, probably that of the mother of Charles, Catherine, Sophie, etc., but possibly of their father. Esther said that Charles was not in the picture because he went to see his mother (who was being waked?). However, we know that Charles was living in America in 1897. Did he return to Copenhagen for this funeral? Possibly, but we have no information to support that idea. If he was there, it is difficult to imagine him not being present for the family picture. By the same token we can assume that the paterfamilias was already deceased, as was Sophie Jensen Madsen's husband.
Analysis of this picture is further complicated by the fact that the children and spouses did not necessarily stand next to each other. The five adult men all stood in the back row, the two boys in the front row right, the three youngest girls clustered about Catherine Jensen Franck, front, left. In the back row, right, the two Freds stood together, sharing also their manual occupations of carpenter and blacksmith.
It is also difficult to distinguish common facial features that might add confidence to otherwise doubtful identifications. Many of the faces appear to have dark rings under the eyes, especially apparent in Waldemar, front row, right. These are probably what we call today
allergic shinerswhich we can easily associate with the universal use of coal for heat and energy in the Copenhagen of 1897.
As nearly as we can figure it out the people in the picture are:
FRONT ROW: (l. to r.)
. Mary Franck, daughter of 2;
. Catherine Jensen Franck,(c1870?-1936);
. Ella, daughter of Uncle "Frederick" (Jensen?);
. Esther Franck,(1896-1993?) about 2 years old;
. Sophie Jensen Madsen, Charles's oldest sister;
. Pauline Jensen, daughter of Frederick Jensen;
. Emelia Jensen, daughter of Frederick Jensen;
. Evan Lundt, son of Hana Jensen Lund;
. Doris Lundt, daughter of Hana;
. Waldemar Jensen, son of Lars, came to US, had 2 daughters.
. Alexandra (Maidenname?), wife of Frederick Jensen, mother of Ella and Emelia.
BACK ROWS: (l. to r.)
. Alma Jensen, daughter of 14;
. Lars Jensen, father of Waldemar, went to US as young man, was injured, returned to Denmark, didn't work;
. Hans Christian Jensen, dance teacher, didn't work, divorced wife, ran away;
. Hana Jensen Lund;
. Noname Lund, Hana's husband;
. Oda Lund, daughter of 15 and 16;
. Gudrun Jensen, daughter of Hans (14);
. Frederick Jensen, carpenter;
. Frederick Wilhelm Franck, a blacksmith, made safes and vaults;