Tag Archives: denmark

Grandma Patrick and the circus people

I’ve written about my Grandma Patrick’s place of birth before, but I only today learned about the owners of the inn during the time her parents worked there.

Rold Gammel Kro is a 3-star inn in the north of Denmark’s Jutland area. It is one of the oldest inns in Denmark, according to a website I happened upon today and a letter from my father’s cousin suggests the business could have been started as far back as the 1100s.

What I found so interesting is that, also according to the geocaching website in the paragraph above, a circus troupe stopped by the inn one year and asked for accommodations, but the owner would not let them stay, so the circus owner, Heinrich Miehe, went around and paid the debts of the inn’s owner and ended up owning the Rold Kro Inn the next year. It was Heinrich Miehe that my great-grandfather,  Christ Nielsen, worked for. Christ and his wife, Anne Marie were the innkeepers while the Miehes were on the road with their circus. Heinrich decided to stay and look after the inn in 1902. I wonder if that is why my grandma’s family decided to emigrate to the US. Or maybe he decided to take over the innkeeping duties because his employees were leaving.

Apparently, there is a circus museum near the inn that was part of the Miehe Circus winter training site.

According to the letter mentioned above, my grandmother’s sister, Antonie, mentioned the Miehe Circus. I’d never heard about until today. I wonder if Grandma Patrick told me about it and I just don’t remember.


Addendum to Found #1

Last night (during one of my “I can’t sleep episodes) my phone made its “You’ve got mail” sounds. I picked it up and checked who’d emailed me at 2:00 in the morning and found it was the innkeeper of Rold Gammel Kro — the inn I thought my grandmother may have been born in. Here is what he wrote:

Thank you for  mail,—  Yes that my inn,- I have been innkeeper here at Rold gl. Kro for 17 years.  For me it is very interesting to hear about this story.



Bent Klit Christensen

kromand ( innkeeper )

Found Items: 1. Grandma Patrick’s record of Baptism

My mom’s house is a treasure-trove of interesting things. She has stacks, drawers, closets, kneewalls and rooms filled with stuff. Photos, letters, trinkets, newspaper clippings, reel-to-reel videos, and cassette tapes are a few of the items waiting to be discovered in my mom’s house. Some people may consider her a hoarder. I think she’s a keeper of family history.

One of the items I found in a pile of old photographs at my mom’s house was the record of my paternal grandmother’s baptism. She was born in Denmark, so the text is in Danish. The paper is yellowed and old and the spidery handwriting is hard to read. I posted a scan of the baptism record on Facebook with a plea for help deciphering it. Barbara, a long-time friend, suggested that her daughter, whose next door neighbor is from Denmark, might be able to help so I sent Teri an email and attached the scan of the document.

Grandma Patrick's Record of Baptism
Grandma Patrick’s Record of Baptism

After several emails back and forth it was determined that it reads something like this:

Emilie Margrethe Marie Nielsen
Daughter of [kroferpayter] Kristian Nielsen and wife Ane Marie Sorensen(?)
from the city of Rold in the parish of Hindsted in the district of Aalborghus

Born 8 June 1895
baptized in a church 14 July same year

Recorded 13 Dec 1897

I still don’t know what the word or words are just before my great grandfather’s name is. He was an innkeeper and according to Teri’s neighbor kro means tavern or beer establishment. Perhaps the word has something to do with that because it begins with kro.

Here is a photo of the building where my grandmother was born. I’d always thought she’d meant this was the city where she was born — but apparently she was born in the building — which was (and still might be) an inn.