Anna Christine (Kristine) Petersen, b Dec-12-1888 in Flauenskjold, Denmark. A servant.

My GrF Joseph Conrad Kaiser b May 19, 1889 Chicago, Illinois married Anna on Dec. 1912 in Illinois. The info I found shows her last name was "Milling" when they married. I would love a copy of this certificate.

My question: I want to track down her other last (married ?) name: "Milling" perhaps mis spelled. Was she married in Denmark before immigrating or married in USA.?? Who was she married to? any children from that spouse?

Family story: "Chicago, Ill to South Dakota back to Chicago, Ill"

  • Hello, and welcome to G&FH.SE! I've added the link to the marriage record from the collection "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920" on FamilySearch.org.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 3:30

3 Answers 3


Image access

FYI - Access to the Cook County collections was removed in 2013, because of contract changes. The images I downloaded before that from the marriage collection were all marriage licenses, with little more information than the index.

Images for the "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920" collection can now be accessed by ordering the microfilm, ordering from Cook County or requesting a digital copy from the Family History Library. These options are more fully described under "Image Visibility"

Finding the "Milling" marriage

You apparently have her maiden name and birth date and place. Have you found her in U.S. census records, before and after 1912? What do these say about when she immigrated / naturalized / first married ? Can a timeline be developed as to whether she was already married when she arrived in the U.S. ? This information may help you find her passenger list. Have you checked for her and her family in Danish records? (Not my area of expertise, but others have had success with the online records, keeping in mind that many Danish surnames were patronymic).

  • FamilySearch Blog post Photo Duplication Services Discontinued "Online requests for photo duplication services of microfilm and books are no longer available. They were discontinued as of December 5th, 2014." The link to "Image Visibility" now redirects to the FamilySearch.org main page.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 19:13

First, you need to know if she was married before or after immigration.

Since you know the date of her second marriage in the US, you should look for US Census records around that time. My great grandfather was a Danish immigrant, and on the 1900 US census, there's a column indicating the year of immigration:

enter image description here

In his case, it says 1892. You can then search The Danish Emigrant Archive to see if records of a person with the same name leaving the country exist.

To use my great grandfather as an example, I was able to confirm that someone with his name left in 1892 by searching that database. It also says his destination was Detroit, Michigan. He lived in Michigan, so there's the double confirmation.

enter image description here

Note: My great grandfather had a drastic name change between Denmark and the US. "Lars Jørgen Vilhelm Mortensen" changed to "William Mortensen", how I figured that out is beyond the scope of this question. Knowing his Danish name was a prerequisite to use this database.

So, here's the good news! "Milling" is not a Danish surname, so it's very likely that you won't encounter the typical clutter of people with the same name if she was already a Milling when she left Denmark.

Since her last name is so uncommon for Denmark, the whole US-census-checking step is unnecessary in this particular case.

enter image description here

Simply searching "Milling, An" returns this. You can see if you do the math on the presentation date and age, you are within +/- 1 year of the birth date you have in your question. Also she is headed to Illinois where you know she married/lived in the US. Based on that, I suspect this is her record of departure from Denmark:

enter image description here

So, the "Anton Milling" record that came up is a coincidence, but I checked all "Millings" leaving Denmark in 1907 and they are the only two. Maybe they are connected? They both left Denmark to both go to Chicago the same year. Coincidence? Maybe. However, if you look at the birth locations for them, he is born a short distance south of Nørresundby where Anna was born. So I would make a note of this man and put it in my back pocket for later.

enter image description here

Now that you're equipped with her...

  1. Full name: "Anna Eleonora Kirstine Pedersen Milling"

  2. Birth town: Nørresundby, Nordjylland, Ålborg, Denmark

  3. Year of departure from Denmark: 1907

I would search for records around Ålborg/Nørresundby for more info.

Still not convinced this is her? Okay, so now that there's a sturdy hunch that she left Denmark as a Milling, let's look for a US census record to corroborate a 1907 immigration... I searched Familysearch.org for Anna Milling. There's a 1910 census from Illinois with a Danish woman named "Annie C Milling" - Americanization of names is extremely common. That census indicates an immigration year in the same manner as the 1900 US census for my great grandfather. Side note - this census says she is single.

Guess what? It says 1907. It also says she is 22 years old, which closely agrees with a 1887 birth date. It also appears to indicate that both of her parents were born in Denmark. - This is useful.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Okay, so now you have a double confirmation that the woman leaving Denmark in 1907 is her. To find her Danish records, you'll need to use the Danish version of her name. You seem to believe she was married twice, so let's fix the name:

"Anna Eleonora Kirstine Pedersen Milling" becomes "Anna Eleonora Kirstine Pedersen".

Another FamilySearch.org record search for this name without Milling yields an 1890 Danish Census for a Nørresundby-born "Ane Eleonora Kristine Pedersen" living in Ålborg, Denmark.

Ancestry.com yields an April 6, 1902 confirmation record that indicates her birth date is December 12, 1887 not 1888. (Also Ålborg)

enter image description here

Additionally, I found the actual birth/baptism record itself, which confirms the birth date of December 12, 1887 as well. That is actually an even closer match to the emigration record above in which my math yielded 1887 as her birth date.

Anyway, to keep it on topic, you want to know when she married the first time.

Unfortunately, that's where the paperwork dries up. One thing I can say, since we know her confirmation was in 1902 and she left Denmark as a Milling in 1907 the marriage happened between 1902 and 1907 since they did not typically get married prior to confirmation. I don't want to speculate about why she was single 3 years after leaving Denmark if she was married in 1907. Another option might be to seek a US divorce record between 1907 and 1910.

To summarize your questions:

  1. "I want to track down her other last name: "Milling" perhaps mis-spelled."

According to the emigration record, this is the correct spelling.

  1. "Was she married in Denmark before immigrating or married in USA?"

She appears to have emigrated (left) Denmark as a Milling, so if this is a married name, then she was married in Denmark between 1902 and 1907.

  1. "Who was she married to?"

I am unable to find any information to confirm

  1. "Any children from that spouse?"

Again, unable to confirm 100%. Probably not though because she wouldn't have left small children (<5 years old) in Denmark and have gone to the US alone and been single (per the 1910 census).

A final note of pure speculation. Anton Milling, who I stumbled across in the emigrant database has records of him passing through Vermont on the way to Chicago. The notes say he is going to meet his, "friend, Christen Petersen".

Passenger list

Manifest card

Could "Christen Petersen" be referring to "Anna Eleonora Kirstine Pedersen"? Maybe he was just her boyfriend? Maybe he was just a friend and they lied about being married to help her immigrate somehow? Another possibility is that he was some sort of legal guardian or adoptive father.

Remember, she left a few months before him, so that would add up that he would be on his way to her and not the other way around if they did know each other.

The passenger list from Vermont says "Friend Christen Petersen, 650 Clairemont (or Claremont) Ave." If you can confirm whether Anne lived at a 650 Clairemont (or similar) address, I think you can safely assume this man would be her first husband.

If you have doubts about Americanization of names. Remember, my great grandfather went from.

"Lars Jørgen Vilhelm Mortensen" to "William Mortensen".

He immigrated at the age of 24 and lived to be 84. Over those 60 years, only one lone us-based document used the name "Lars" after he left Denmark. Jørgen was to never be seen again, and Vilhelm was always written as William.

Good luck in your searches.

  • 1
    Ryan ! Geez THANK YOU for this fabulous research! I flashed through it to be about to say how I appreciate all this this work- your visuals sure make it easy and I relate to those web pages. Amazing work. Jan
    – Janland
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 20:52
  • Ryan- my niece and I are contemplating using a professional genealogist to glean possible stories connected with the various Scandinavian ancestral home places as she is a traveller and wants that experience- Ques: where would you suggest searching for one?
    – Janland
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 20:55
  • I think it just depends on what you want to do. You can find a lot of information on your own, but you just have to learn what tools to use. I'm fluent in German, and there are some similarities in Danish that have made it easier for me. I would be a good idea if you think you need someone who can read the language and has experience looking for Danish-style records. it definitely gets easier with practice, but there really isn't anything available to a pro that I don't think would also be available to you. Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 22:13
  • @Janland .ps. you're welcome. Don't forget to accept an answer on the question. Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 22:22
  • 1
    @Janland Please feel free to ask a new question about finding a professional genealogist.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 4:28

Danish emigration records can be a good way of tracking Danish emigrants, particularly where you haven't been able to find them entering the US or don't know which route they took to get there: http://www.emiarch.dk/search.php?l=en

Find her by searching for "Milling, Anna". She emigrated in 1907. Her full name is given as "Milling, Anna Eleonora Kirst. Pedersen", born Nr. Sundby (Nørresundby, near Flauenskjold), and she was heading to Illinois. She was single (shown by the "occupation" of Frøken).

While destination is not mentioned directly on the emigration database, given the same details it is relatively easy to spot her as "Anna K P Milling" on the Boston incoming passenger lists (link to record on familysearch). This shows her contact in the US as her father, Anton Milling, in Chicago - he had emigrated the same year and can be seen on the Denmark emigration database, although his shipping route went via Canada.

http://www.danishfamilysearch.dk/search It seems Anton Jensen Milling did not stay in the US - he can be seen here in both the 1901 and 1916 censuses, "divorced".

In Danish records, it's not unusual to see both a patronymic "Pedersen", "Jensen", and an additional surname (taken from the family farm, for example), used in one direction or another. What is a little strange here is the "Pedersen" - this usually would indicate that either her father was, e.g. Anton Pedersen, and she took the patronymic directly, or that his first name was "Peder" and she took "Pedersen", but "Anton Jensen Milling"

Examination of the parish records relating to her baptism and confirmation should help clear this confusion up.

  • 1
    Did some text get dropped out of your last full paragraph? There is no period after "Anton Jensen Milling" and there might be a missing word "not". I am not at all familiar with the Danish patronymics, so I'm a bit confused about what the search result from the Danish emigration book is telling us, so I can't follow your explanation of what form you expected her name to take, or the back-formation of her father's name from hers.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 19:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.