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Niels Jensen and "Unlawful Cohabitation"

My ancestor's legal troubles with polygamy in Utah in the 19th century


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Utah Territory


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Utah Territory

My great great grandfather, Niels Hansen Jensen, lived in Utah in the 19th century and had two wives. My great great grandmother, Nicolena Rolfsen, was his first wife. He married her in 1868. Together they had one daughter, who died in infancy. In 1884, Niels took Sarah Fechser as his second wife. According to family history, it was Brigham Young himself who suggested that Niels take another wife, due in part to the fact that Niels and Nicolena were childless (see 

Also according to the same family history, Niels was sent on a mission to Denmark after the second married, apparently in an effort to escape the federal agents who were cracking down on plural marriages. 

1887 Case

Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah Territory

Page 1
7 images
The accompanying images document the 1887 case brought against Niels. His wives were subpoenaed.

1890 Case

Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete, Territory of Utah

Page 1
13 images
These images appear to document a later case also brought against him.

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