Ellen Hanson was born on June 6, 1806 in Copenhagen, Denmark to Ola Hanson and Bengta Anderson. Her family migrated to Sweden when Ellen was a young girl. In Sweden Ellen met and married Andrew Anderson. They had eight children. Ellen and her family were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1854. They were baptized in Denmark in 1855 and migrated to the United States, arriving in New York on February 1855. In 1857, while living in Burlington, Iowa, Ellen’s husband Andrew became ill and died. Before his death, a Brother Anderson “promised him that he would see his family go to Utah,” so Ellen worked to pay her way to Utah. Ellen and her young daughter Christina made the trek across the plains with a company led by Captain Brown. They arrived in Salt Lake City in September 1859. Ellen and her daughter settled in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Ellen later lived with her daughter Christina’s family until her death on March 25, 1890 in Fairview, Utah.
The collection is comprised of one folder that contains five typewritten pages titled “A Sketch of the Life of My Grand-Mother Ellen Hanson.” Ellen’s great-granddaughter Blenda Ottosen Christianson wrote the account on March 19, 1952. The account provides an overview of Ellen’s life, recording that Ellen migrated from Denmark to Sweden as a young girl, “sometime between the years of 1813 and 1814.” Ellen was raised in Sweden, and there she met and married her husband Andrew Anderson. In 1954, an LDS missionary taught her family, and the message “at once appealed to them, they accepted it and at once began to make preparations to go to Utah.” In December 1855 the family travelled to Liverpool, and onto New York. From New York they went to Iowa. Ellen’s husband died in 1857, and Ellen worked to save money to make the trip across the plains to Utah. Ellen and her daughter travelled with Captain Brown’s company and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 29, 1859. The account states that Ellen had eight children, but only mentions four, twins named Annie and Andrew, Ellen, and Christina. Ellen’s daughter Annie died as young adult, shortly after her marriage. Ellen lived with her daughter Christina in Mount Pleasant, Utah and worked very hard to support themselves. Ellen died on March 25, 1890 in Fairview, Utah.