FMF Niels Peter Zacho Davidsen (b. 1852)
& Mary Henriette Petersen (b. 1850) FMM
Niels Peter Zacho Davidsen was born 27 May 1852. He was the son of Peder Davidsen and Erasmine Sacho in Them, Jylland. He came to Copenhagen from Them in 1871 and on 28 October 1876 married Mary Henriette Petersen, a 36-year old from Helsingør in northern Sjælland. The 1885 census has the couple living with six of their children together with a woman helper (tyende) and an apprentice (lærling) at Overgaden oven Vandet 10 in Christianshavn, a part of Copenhagen near the old harbour where Niels now lives. The building they occupied is in 2008 a very handsome building called Brøste’s Gaard and was built in 1785. Niels Peter’s occupation is given as mastercarpenter (snedkermester). The couples youngest child, (FM) Eras, however, was born the following year in Vridsløselille (Herstedvester parish), which would have been 10-15 kilometres west of Copenhagen; this strongly suggests that the family had moved. The 1906 census – twenty-one years later – has the couple living at Raadmandsgade 27, in Nørrebro (Copenhagen), with no children at home. The same census tells us that Mary Henriette came to Copenhagen in 1866 (she would have been 16 then) and that Niels Peter is a carpenter (snederker) and Mary Henriette a housewife. The owner of the house is given as Snedkeren F. Davidsen, which could be Niels Peter younger brother Frederik, (b. 1857 in Them) – but this is just speculation. Also living at the same address in 1906 is a Jens Davidsen, (b. April 20, 1866); he is an unmarried master carpenter (snedkermaester), and arrived from Them in 1880. Niels had a younger brother called Jens and that is likely who this is.
The married couple, Niels Peter and Mary Henriette, had seven children.
(1) Emilie Petrea Davidsen (b. June 28,1877, in Copenhagen) who married Peder Vilhelm Jelstrup. He was in the insurance business and they moved to Paris, where they begat several generations of French dentists. Emilie died March 22, 1959, presumably in Paris.
(2) Valdemar Peter Zacho Davidsen (Aug 17, 1878 in Copenhagen). He left Denmark for USA on Jan 2, 1905 and took his wife with him. She was from Thisted and had been born in 1879. Together they had eight children, the first two being born in Copenhagen but the third, Ellen Natalie Davidsen, was born on January 18, 1907 in Seattle (she is probably the cousin who visited us in Denmark in the early 1950’s). Valdemar Davidsen died in Seattle on Feb 24, 1950, where he had been in the furniture making business. (The Davidsen furniture business in Seattle was called the ‘V. Davidsen Furniture Manufacturing Co.’)
(3) David Johannes Davidsen (b. 1881)
(4) Theodor Kristian Davidsen born April 26, 1883 in Copenhagen and died October 28, 1961 in Seattle. He was also married. He likely went with his brother to Seattle in 1905, or followed shortly thereafter.
(5) Mary Henriette Davidsen was born May 15, 1883 in Copenhagen. She is obviously named after her mother. She married Jens Alfred Petersen who had been born in Copenhagen in 1884. The marriage ended in 1935. She does not appear to have emigrated to United States and was still living in 1969
(6) Axel Frederik Davidsen was born August 6, 1884 in Copenhagen and died in 1965, in Detroit, Michigan. He had been a painter and interior decorator in Detroit and Stanton, Michigan. He was married to Dusine Lassen (b. 1886) from Visby (in south-west Jutland) on August 22, 1912; but it is not clear whether the wedding was in Denmark or in America. Kjeld Valdemar Hansen relates that his father, (fb) Niels Valdemar Hansen, while on a business trip visited one of the Davidsens in Detroit in 1947; most likely it would have been his mb, Axel Frederik Davidsen. Kjeld also relates that the uncle in America sent packages with coffee, etc. to his family in Denmark in the years immediately following the war. Axel and Dusine had four daughters, the oldest one being Gladys (April 16, 1914 - Oct 25, 1966) whom I met on a trip with my parents through Detroit in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.
(7) (fm) Eras Cecilie Davidsen, b. 1886 in Herstedvester ; died Sept 20, 1950 in Gentofte.)
Of these seven children only Eras is born outside Copenhagen.
That three of his four sons having moved to the United States, and one of his daughters moved to France, might explain why Niels Peter and Henriette left for USA in 1908 when he was 56 years old and she about 58. In a letter from Seattle in May 1925 he advises that his postal address is
N. P. Zacho Davidsen
V. Davidsens Furniture M. F. G. Co.
15th Ave W & Emerson Str.
Seattle, Wash. USA.
The ‘V’ in the address may well stand for Valdemar, his son’s name; so Niels Peter may be in business with him. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods identifies the Davidsen Furniture Company building, located at 1634 15th Ave., as a historical site. They describe it as ‘early and remarkably intact vernacular warehouse’. It was built in 1912 and ‘It was a furniture factory and in the 1930s, a wholesale furniture warehouse.’
Niels Peter Zacho Davidsen eventually died in USA in 1940, at about the age of 88, having been predeceased by Mary Henriette on 22 Feb 1916 (also in USA) half a year shy of her 65th firstname.lastname@example.org