Peder Andersen Birk was born in 1763 in the parish of S. Felding, Hammerum county. His father was a farmer and his uncle was the clergyman of S. Felding and Assing parish.Sonder Felding pictured on left and Assing Kirke pictured on the right.
As a very young man he came to serve as a
chicken-shepherd at Moeltrup estate in Timring parish, and was later hired as servant to the owner
of the estate; Master Rudolf Linde. Here he served for
3½ years and was since known as Peder Junker (Master=
At the age of 18 he was hired as a school-teacher, and served as such
several places; Vinding, Assing, Snebjerg, Fjelstervang and other places in the middle of
On 3/1 1787 he was engaged to the servant-girl Anne Cathrine Christensdatter (Pedersdatter), who served in Lustrup in Skarrild parish. Lights were lit in the church for the engaged couple, but the apparently somewhat unreliable fiance disappeared and the wedding had to be postponed. Skarrild kirke pictured here.
(or as he was commonly called; Peder Junker) had taken
a job as a school-teacher in Anst parish. In the
spring he went to
Early in 1788 Birk came back to Skarrild and asked the reverend Hegelahr to wed him to Anne Cathrine Christensdatter (Pedersdatter), who had given birth to a child shortly after their engagement. As the reason for his departure he stated poverty. The reverend took pity at the obvious poverty and performed the service without a fee. The couple stayed in Lustrup for 13 years, and bought a small property there. In the winter the man was usually the school-teacher at the nearby parishes.
about 1800 they moved from Lustrup to Bolkvig in Borris parish, and in
1811 Peder Andersen Birk
bought a farm; blacksmith-farm at Overby Gammelmark in S.
Felding Parish. Stream near township of Borris.
The School Master Became Prisoner
In the court documents of Hammerum shire there are notes from the interrogation where Peder Andersen Birk was accused of several things.
his first interrogation on
One night he snuck in to Farmer Poul Hartvigsen barn in Vesterbjerge and stole 4 Skeppe (an old measurement) rye. The farmer suspected Peder Andersen Birk, and together with two other men he approached him. Birk confessed and pleaded that he'd be free of charges. Poul Hartvigsen agreed, but demanded the rye back.
In both these cases Birk got off without any charges.
Now however the charge was forgery, and this came about at the request of one Frantz Baltzersen , a gypsy, who asked him to make a false engagement certificate.
the basis of this certificate Frantz Baltzersen was
Peder Andersen Birk was brought before the court loose and available by two men who had picked him up at (Overby) Gammelmark in S. Felding, where he resided.
In court he was presented with the engagement certificate which Frantz Baltzersen had used when he entered his second marriage. The charge was, that the accused Peder Andersen Birk had written this certificate, signed it with false names and stamped it with a false stamp.
During the interrogation the accused claimed that he didn't know Frantz Baltzersen very well. He had met him a few times in Ahler in Vorgod parish, and the last time he saw him was in his house where he stopped to ask for directions to Brande. In court was presented a note from Elbo Brusk shire extra court, where it became clear that Frantz Baltzersen had confessed to getting the certificate in question from the accused. Birk denied this adamantly. He had not written, signed or stamped the certificate, which he now saw for the first time.
The judge now encouraged the accused not to give false testimony. Everything pointed to his guilt, and by lying he would only hurt his own case, prolong his arrest and risk a harder sentence. After this reminder Birk confessed, and explained how the forgery had come about. One day early in September 1814 he came home and found Franz Baltzersen and a woman, Karen Jensdatter of Erritsoe near Frederecia , in his house. They both asked him manufacture a certificate of engagement, so that they could get married. Although they pleaded, the accused was not persuaded. They then left his house and stayed the night at inn-keeper Peder Mathiesen at Gaardsvig Mark, whose wife was Baltzers aunt.
The next day around they returned to the house of the accused, and he was now persuaded to write the certificate. Baltzersen had a work-book that was signed by vicar H.J.Hansen, and Birk confessed to have forged his name on the false certificate.
As truthful witnesses he had written down the names of two men whose writings he knew; Anders Persen, Store Ahle and Mikkel Nielsen of Abildtrup. Then he printet his personal sign on the paper; P. Birk.
The accused claimed not to know that Franz Balterzersen was already married to another woman (Sophie Jensdatter) in Kvï¿½rnberg, Dejbjerg parish, but he did know that he had wandered around the country with this woman, like gypsies, and bred children with her too. He also knew that the woman in question was still alive ï¿½ he received 7 Rigsdaler (a Danish current) in bills for his false document.
the interrogation the trial was postponed for 8 days.
judge decided at Peder Andersen Birk was to be put under observation at Gelleruplund and he was surrendered into the charge of two
men from Gellerup. It was their job to keep him safely
guarded. Peder Andersen Birk
was then put in jail, but though they were two, he still managed to escape and
wandered about in the country for 5 years as a beggar.
was arrested in Ringkøbing, in Holstebro and in AAbenraa, but he
succeeded in escaping every time. "He was not available" as it is said in a
court document from Hammerum shire court. His case was
put away for 3 years, but on
he was caught though, and he was taken to his hometown. August 17 1820 Peder Andersen Birk, also known as
Junker, was presented in court for the second time. For more than 5 years he has
wandered about, been to most parts of
His fraud was discovered, he was arrested and taken to Ringkøbing prison. From here he escaped the following day. A couple of months later he was arrested in Bjerre shire, north of Vejle. Here he was accused of fraud at a watch-shop. Because he was wanted in his hometown he was, under heavy guarding and with shackles on both hands and feet, brought to Hammerum shire. By evening they arrived at Klovborg, and here they spent the night.
The Flight from Klovborg and the Continuous Straying
14 days he wandered around in the
Viborg he wandered on south and arrived in
With grateful thanks to B Schmidt and L Laang.
"I just love the description of his behaviour. What an amazing fellow. !!!!" (Amanda)
Peder Pedersen Birk (born 1771)
The following information belongs also to B Schmidt and was translated by H Glad Fredrikstad, Norway.
It relates to the third child of Peder Pedersen Birk (born 1738) in Nederby and Apelone Pedersdatter Boedker (born 1737/8) sister to Inger Marie Pedersdatter Birk and Christian Peder Pedersen Birk ( my great great great grandfather)
Peder Pedersen Birk 1 marriage Tailor, school keeper, church singer and schoolteacher
*9/8 1771 in the school-/church keeper's house (the degn's house) in Nederby
baptised 11/8 1771 in
confirmed 15/4 1787 in
engaged to be married 4/2 1796 (he a tailor apprentice, she a widow)
married 1796 in Skelskoer church
Giertrud Maria Hansdatter 2 marriages 70 years old
* around 1761
+ 21/9 1831 in Egeslevmagle
buried 26/9 1831 in Egeslevmagle parish church yard.
Peder Pedersen Birk is mentioned as a tailor 4/2 1796 ; 4/6 1798 and
31/7 1798 as a school keeper in Egeslevmagle, as tailor in 1801 in Smidstrup,
23/11 1801 as school keeper, 7/2 1802 ï¿½ 5/9 1837 as church singer and schoolteacher in ->
->Egeslevmagle town: Egeslevmagle parish
he was in 1826 charged at Flakkebjerg police court of some late verbal injuries against
Peder Pedersen Birch and wife live in 1796 in Egeslevmagle, 1801 in Smidstrup and
23/11 1801 in Egeslevmagle: Egeslevmagle parishChildren:5 ( family name of Petersen all born in Agersoe)
One of the sites on the Danish island of Agersoe