Julius Jensen-Bak

Male 1856 - Abt 1921  (65 years)

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  • Name Julius Jensen-Bak 
    Born 4 Jun 1856  Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Fjellerad, Gunderup 
    Christened 2 Nov 1856  Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    _FSFTID 97S8-2YW 
    _UID DB8B82E0D345446FBBDAC3B9F8777D9C2C93 
    Died Abt 14 Aug 1921  Dunmora, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Buried 29 Aug 1921  Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7, 8
    Plot 640, Maryborough General Cemetery 
    Person ID I6354  Treefive
    Last Modified 15 Feb 2018 

    Father Jensen Bak,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Anna Dorothea Poulsen,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F2342  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Christina Helena Pohlmann,   b. Abt 1867, Kaltenkirchen, Schleswig Holstein, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1899, Marianna, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 32 years) 
    Married 18 Feb 1888  Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [9, 10, 11
    the Lutheran Church 
     1. Anna Carolina Amalia Jensen Bak,   b. 16 Nov 1888, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Mar 1960, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     2. Christina Helena Bak,   b. 6 Jul 1890, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Nov 1968, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     3. Julia Augusta Jensen Bak,   b. 27 Jun 1892, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1899, Maryana, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 7 years)
     4. Maria Elisabeth Bak,   b. 9 Oct 1893, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jul 1977, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     5. James Jensen Bak,   b. 2 Oct 1895, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1948, Chillagoe, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years)
     6. Nancy Annette Jensen Bak,   b. 27 Jun 1897, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 May 1972, Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F1985  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • Background to Julius Jensen Bak and his family

      Julius Jensen-Bak was Danish. In Denmark, until about 1850-1870, most ordinary people used patronymics instead of surnames. Patronymics are made from the Christian names of a person’s father, followed by “sen” (= son) or “datter” (= daughter). Thus, Jens’ (citizen) son Julius would be Julius Jensen.
      Patronymics were abolished by law in 1826. The authorities wanted people to use family surnames instead. However, the custom was continued by the Danish population and was dispensed with only slowly.

      Julius Jensen-Bak and Christina Helene Pohlmann married in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia in 1888. The key moment in the history of the family was the 1899 death by drowning of their daughter Julia Augusta at 7 years of age, at the same time as her mother.

      It appears that, following this tragedy, the children were farmed out to relatives in Queensland and N.S.W. This was a major family upheaval, the details of which have not been fully established.

      James settled in far north Queensland, so prima facie evidence would say he was placed with a Queensland family. It appears that Christina Helena also stayed in Queensland. Anna, Maria and Nancy all married in Sydney.

      Julius was known as “Jensen-Bak” and that appears to be his correct title. However, over the years the “Jensen” was usually presented as a second given name. This was certainly true with Australian Army records and other official records. However, Julius, his wife Christina and daughter Julia are all recorded as “Jensen” in the Maryborough burial register.

      Julius Jensen-Bak (1857-1921):

      According to family-based information held by John Goodwin, Julius was born in Denmark about 1860 in Fjellerad (Fjeldrad), Northern Jutland, Denmark or Tjellerach, Germany. Aalborg is the nearest large town to Fjellerad. It seems likely that the name of Tjellerach is a poor transcription of Fjellerad as no town named Tjellerach (either in Denmark or the old Prussian disputed Danish territories of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein) can be found. According to Wikipedia in Dec 2013, Fjellerad is a village in Himmerlandsbanken with 393 inhabitants (2013), 17 km south of Aalborg. The city is located in North Jutland and belongs to the municipality of Aalborg . Fjellerad is located in Gunderup parish.

      The search for Julius' origins in Denmark is difficult, and has considerable risk of error. There is only one Julius Jensen born about 1857 (the year commonly used on the few relevant family trees on the internet) in the Aalborg area with parents fitting the broad description of a father with the surname of Jensen-Bak and a mother named "Anne Dorothea". This family was found on www.familysearch.org. If this is the right family, Julius has 9 siblings, all with the surname Jensen except one whose full name is "Jensen Back". The father's surname varies - Jensen (5 times), Jensen Back (3) and Jensen Bach (2). The mother's surname is Paulsen except for the first born child (Jens Jensen in 1850) where she is name "Ane Dorthea Paulsdr", indicating that the patronymic system was still in use. To date, there is no corroborating evidence that this is the family where Julius Jensen-Bak belongs.

      The supposed family of Jens and Ane Dorthea is:

      Jens Jensen: born on 30 Apr 1850 in Denmark, baptised on 13 May 1850 at Gunderup in Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark;
      Maren Jensen: born on 12 Nov 1851 in Denmark, baptised on 26 Dec 1851 at Gunderup;
      Mariane Jensen: born on 15 Mar 1853 in Denmark,baptised on 25 Apr 1853 at Gunderup;
      Mariane Jensen: born on 7 May 1854 in Denmark, baptised on 10 Sep 1854 at Gunderup;
      Julius Jensen-Bak: born on 4 Jun 1856 at Fjellerad, Gunderup;
      Ane Caroline Jensen: born on 21 May 1858 in Denmark,baptised on 21 Nov 1858 at Gunderup;
      Jensen Back: born on 12 Apr 1860 at Gunderup, baptised on 12 Apr 1860 at Gunderup;
      Christian Jensen: born on 16 May 1861 in Denmark, baptised on 9 Jun 1861 at Gunderup;
      Niels Peter Jensen: born on 26 Apr 1863 in Denmark, baptised on 30 Oct 1864 at Gunderup;
      Nielsine Rasmine Jensen: born on 4 Feb 1865 in Denmark, baptised on 4 Feb 1866 at Gunderup.

      On 10 Sep 1878, Julius arrived at Hervey Bay, Queensland aboard the ship Hershel. Grouped with Julius Jensen (age 21) on the passenger list were three other Jensens - Kristian Peter (19), Niels Ch (19) and Christine (25). None of these three match the names of Julius's supposed siblings, although Christina could be the same person as Mariane born in 1854 (to avoid confusion with the Mariane born in 1853) and there is just enough time for twins to have been born (but no baptism registered) in 1859. The 4 Jensens were all single, according to the Maryborough rations register 1875-1884.

      A possible marriage for the Niels Ch [Christian] on the Herschel is to Jensine Marie Laurisen in 1882. Among the six children born to this couple, as recorded on the Queensland birth index, are daughters Pouline and Anna Dorthea. These could be named after Julius' mother Ana Dorthea Poulsen - perhaps she was Niels Christian's mother also?

      A possible marriage for the Kristian/Christian Peter on the Herschel is to Elizabeth Collett in 1887.
      None of their 12 children have names associated with Julius's family.

      Nothing is known of Christina Jensen, except that she was named in the Maryborough rations register as a passenger on the Herschel in 1878, so she may have lived in Maryborough.

      Ten years after arriving in Queensland, on 18 Feb 1888, Julius married Christina Pohlmann at the Lutheran Church in Maryborough, Queensland. Witnesses were William Bertram and Mary Pohlmann - possibly Christina's cousin, daughter of Jochim Pohlmann. From this marriage, six children were born between 1888 and 1897. He was working as a labourer when their daughter Maria Elisabeth was born in 1893.

      At the Police Court, Maryborough on 25 May 1888, the Municipal Inspector sued Julius Jensen for driving without lights and for refusing to give his name when demanded by the Inspector. Julius was fined £1, with £1 1s professional costs and 3s 6d costs of the Court on the first first offence, and £2 with £1 1s professional costs and 3s 6d costs of the Court for the second offence. The fines were to be paid within 3 days, or in default levy and distress. The magistrate stated that he would deal very severely with anyone who came before him in future for refusing to give their names when demanded by the Municipal Inspector.

      Julius placed a notice in the Maryborough Chronicle on 7 Jun 1895, advising that a social dance was to be held in the Scandinavian Hall on the same day. Refreshments would be available. Admission for gentlemen was 2s, ladies were to be admitted free.

      At the Police Court, Maryborough Chronicle, on the morning of 31 Dec 1896, Christian Jensen summoned her husband Julius Jensen, a wood carter, to find sureties to keep the peace towards her, as he had declared and threatened to break every bone in her body. Christina stated her own case, Julius retained counsel. after the evidence on both sides had been heard, the case was dismissed.

      On Friday 13 Aug 1897, Julius Jensen was summoned to the Maryborough Police Courtsummoned on a charge of wife and child desertion. A summons had been served on 10 Aug, and as he did not appear the Bench ordered that a warrant be issued for his arrest. He appeared at the Police Court later that day. His counsel satisfactorily explained his not appearing, after which an adjournment was granted until Saturday.
      On the following day at the Police Court, the adjourned case of wife desertion preferred by Christina Jensen was called. Counsel for the defendant informed the Bench that the complainant had written a letter asking that the case be withdrawn. The Police Magistrate granted the request.

      Maryborough Chronicle 23 Jun 1897 - case of wife desertion withdrawn

      The Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser of 10 Oct 1899 listed subscriptions given in aid of the Maryborough Hospital on Hospital Saturday. At Brennan's Corner, Julius Jensen gave £5 15s. 6d.

      Perhaps Julius had a premomition of disaster. For his wife Christina and their daughter Julia drowned on 17 Nov 1899 on the family property at Teebar Road, Marianna, resulting in the break up of the family soon after. It seems, on the death of his wife, Julius was unable to care for his children and the circumstances of his death in 1921 would indicate he had little on-going relationship with them.

      Court hearings in May 1900 show a sorry tale of neglect and child abuse by Julius, which led to the break up of the family.

      from the Maryborough Chronicle of Tues 15 May 1900:


      Annie Jensen (aged 12), Christina Jensen (10), James Jensen (5), and Mary Jensen (8) were before the Court as neglected children.
      Sergeant Clulow prosecuted, and the father of the children was present.

      Acting-Sergeant J. P. O’Brien, deposed:
      Know the children in Court; in consequence of a complaint accompanied Constable Costello to Jensen’s place at Marianna, on Sunday last; found three of the children at Pohlman’s place, over a mile away;
      Christina said....”My father beat me yesterday morning, and struck me on the head with his fist, knocking me down; he also struck me across the back with a hoe, and my arm and back are sore where he struck me; father said the next time he would knock my head off”; she further said, “on several occasions previous to this he knocked me down and kicked me with his boots;” she said she did not want to go back as she was frightened her father would beat her again.
      Annie complained of her father’s ill-treatment; she said that he stuffed a rag down her throat once and nearly choked her; she did not want to go back, being frightened that her father would beat her;
      Mrs Pohlman, at whose house he found the children, said that on several occasions when the children came to her place and complained of their father having beaten them she undressed them and found black marks on their backs and shoulders; on Sunday she found black marks on the arms of Christina; Christina further said that the scratches on her face were done by her father who caught her by the hair of the head, scratched her face, and threw her on the ground; Annie told him that her father beat the baby about a month ago with a cane and left black marks all over it; before leaving Pohlman’s, Jensen arrived in a cart with the youngest child; took possession of all the children;
      in explanation of the beating of his children Jensen said “I am not responsible at times; I know I beat them too severely sometimes”.
      Conclude from his saying that, and from my general knowledge of him for the past three years that he is not altogether right in his head.
      Went inside Jensen’s house; the clothing was poor, but it was clean; there were two beds in the house; there was only one old single blanket, and the rest of the clothing was old bags; there was not furniture in the house; the nearest place is three quarters of a mile off; Jensen has been in the Maryborough hospital; produce certificate from Dr Garde, which showed that Jensen was in the hospital in October, 1899, suffering from dementia, and was hardly in a fit condition at that time to have full charge of children; the mother of the children was dead, drowned on the 17th November last, with another child, in a waterhole at Marianna; there is no one else to look after the children but Jensen, and I don’t believe he is fit at time to look after them.

      By the Bench: The children on several occasions have had to leave home and seek shelter elsewhere, owing to the violence of the father.

      Jensen interjected that he had been too good to the children; a father could not have children without beating them; they would not do what he told them.

      Sergeant Clulow asked for an adjournment of the case until Wednesday for further evidence, and in the meantime the police would see that the children were properly card for.

      From the Maryborough Chronicle of Thu 17 May 1900:


      The four neglected Jensen children were again before the Court.
      Sergeant Clulow conducted the case, and the father of the children was in Court.
      Further evidence was called as follows:-
      Mary Pohlman deposed: Am a married woman, and live near Yengarie; know Jensen and his four children; about 11 o’clock last Sunday morning the two elder girls and a boy came to my place; Christina told me that her father had hammered her, and kicked her with his boots; examined her and found markes on her arm and back; her right cheek was slightly swollen and scratched; Annie told me that she was frightened her father might kill her; before this he beat the baby until she was black and blue; the children are frightened of him; don’t think he is a proper person to kook after the children as he cannot control his temper; wanted to take one of the children out of pity; other neighbours would do the same, only we are all afraid Jensen would bother us.

      By the P.M.; The children are fairly well dressed, and they look healthy, people give the children clothes.
      By Jensen; The children did not complain that you did not feel them.

      Mary Louisa Ellis deposed: Reside with my husband in Albert Street; know Jensen and his children; before November last the children were at my house; they had hardly any clothes on them; clothed the four girls, one of whom is since dead; my husband has a selection alongside Jensen; a man named Adams looks after fit; he has not complained of Jensen ill-treating his children but often hears them screaming; knew the deceased Mrs Jensen; she frequently complained to me that the father would not buy the children clothes; she told me that he would not give her food.
      The police called no further evidence.

      The P.M. said he would not deal with the children that day, and would remand them for some days to enable him to communicate with the Home Secretary.
      Sergeant Clulow thought it would be hardly safe to allow him to have the children back again, as he might have to be sent to the hospital at any time.

      The P.M. said some course would have to be taken for the protection of the children. He then explained to the father that the children would be kept until the Home Secretary had been communicated with. He was going to see what could be done, as he was fully convinced in his own mind, from the reports of the police and from cases which occurred here last November, that the father was not treating the children rightly. He felt he should not be doing right in allowing the children to go back. They would be kept at the expense of the State until the Home Secretary decided what was to be done with them.

      The case was then adjourned to allow the Home Secretary to be communicated with.

      Maria may have gone to live with relatives in NSW, possibly her mother's sister Marie Elisabeth and her husband John Ramage Campbell. The other four children, Anna, Christina, James and Nancy, were admitted to the Diamantina Orphanage in Brisbane on 20 Jul 1900. It appears that they did not live there, but boarded with various families:
      Anna - to Mrs Webb, later transferred to Mrs Affleck;
      Christina - to Mrs Hargreaves (note that Christina later took the name Hargreaves);
      James - to Mrs Pedersen; and
      Nancy - to Mrs Pedersen, later transferred to Mrs Mickelson.

      Marie Elisabeth is not with her siblings in the orphanage register, although she is one of the 4 "neglected children" in the court hearings - Nancy was not included in the court list. It is possible that Marie Elisabeth (Mary) left the family before the court hearings, even before the drowning. Her name in the "neglected children" list of 15 May 1900 could be an error - it is the only time she is referred to in any document, and her name should be third on the list, not last, based on her age. Perhaps the name "Nancy" was mis-read as "Mary", and the age adjusted to fit Mary.

      Julius' occupation was given as shoemaker and farmer - perhaps he had been a shoemaker in Denmark.

      The children were all discharged by the orphanage on 23 Jul 1903, the register does not say where they lived after that.

      Their discharge may be related to a warrant for Julius's arrest for non-payment of maintenance of his children. The Queensland Police Gazette of 1903 at page 58 states:

      ROMA STREET, BRISBANE: A warrant has been issued by the Brisbane Bench for the arrest of Julius Jensen Bak, charged with failing in an undertaking with the Secretary for Public Instruction, Brisbane, for the payment of 12s. per week for the maintenance of his children in the State Orphanage, being now indebted to the sum of £80. Offender is 50 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, sandy complexion, beard, and moustache; sullen appearance; a German, speaks broken English; a farmer. Supposed to be at Gosford, near Sydney, New South Wales. - O. 647. 2nd March, 1903.

      As Federation in Australia commenced in 1901, extradition from NSW to Queensland would have been in it’s infancy and probably poorly administered. There is no obvious reason why a person from Maryborough would target Gosford as a destination. Although on the railway line, it seems an odd place to choose, especially if one is hiding from the law. Newcastle or Sydney would have been a safer refuge.

      Perhaps Julius paid up, or perhaps he was imprisoned - he was on the 1905 Queensland electoral roll as a labourer living at Tooley Street in Maryborough. This is no guarantee, of course, that was actually there in 1905. On the 1908 roll he was still a labourer, but living at Woongool Road, Tinana. A Julius Jensen left Sydney on 12 Apr 1907 on the S.S. Sonoma, arriving at Honolulu on 30 Apr 1907. He arrived in San Francisco on 8 May 1907, travelling with his brother-in-law, a Mr Neilsen of Harlan, Iowa. There is also a curious listing of a Julius Jensen Bak arriving 10 Apr 1907 at San Francisco from Panama on the ship City of Para - this person was classed as an alien and refused entry. It is unclear if either of these people is the right Julius. But if the latter was Julius, perhaps the U.S. medical examiners discovered a problem that led to his exclusion - his treatment of his children some years before indicated mental health issues. The diagnosis of dementia for Julius was probably wrong - it is unlikely that he would have lived for so long afterwards. The symptoms are more consistent with a brain tumour.

      By 1910, Julius was a farmer in Queensland. The Queensland Government Gazette of 17 May 1910 names Julius Jensen and describes a brand registered to him as "3 g 5", the certificate number as 50881, describes the run or farm where the brand is to be used as "care of H. Clayton, Gonara" and the nearest post town as Tinana.

      Both the 1913 and 1919 electoral rolls describe Julius as a farmer living at Dunmora. Dunmora, Marianne and Teebar were originally large properties, west of Maryborough, taken up in the earliest days of Queensland Settlement. The names still apply, but the properties are much reduced in size.

      His burial entry indicates that he was living at Teebar when he died.

      His obituary in the Maryborough Chronicle of 29 Aug 1921 reads:

      The police are advised on Saturday [27 Aug 1921] that the body of an elderly man, named Julius Jensen, a settler at Dunmora, had been discovered on a bed in his hut that morning. Investigations made later in the day revealed that Jensen, who was about 60 years of age, had been dead probably for a fortnight. The body which was much decomposed was removed to the morgue and a post-mortem showed the death was due to natural causes. The deceased’s wife and a daughter aged 7 [Julia Augusta] met their deaths in 1899 under tragic circumstances. The mother at the time was drawing water from Marianna Creek, Teebar Road, when the child fell into the creek and in an attempt to rescue her, both mother and child were drowned. Following this the children – one boy and three girls were adopted by various persons, are now grown up. Two reside in the district and it is believe (sic) the other two are in N.S.W.
      The funeral will leave the morgue at 11 o’clock this morning for Maryborough Cemetery.

      Julius died intestate. He was buried in Maryborough Cemetery (plot B640) on 29 Aug 1921, in a joint grave with his late wife Christina Helena and their daughter Julia.

      A Statutory Notice to Creditors by the Official Solicitor to the Public Curator, Brisbane,dated 17 Oct 1921, appeared in the Maryborough Chronicle of 24 October 1921, page 7. It advised that creditors of Julius Jensen Bak, late of Dunmora, who died on or about 14 Aug 1921, should send their claims to the Public Curator, Brisbane on or before 20 Dec 1921. After that date, the Curator would distribute the assets of the deceased among the entitled parties, but having regard only to claims of which he had been notified.

      There is an unusual postscript to Julius' death. His daughter Anna's 1912 marriage entry said that he was deceased. Anna's sister Christina was a witness to the wedding. When Julius' daughter Maria married at 17 years of age in 1911, consent was given by the Guardian of Minors. This implies that her father was dead. Julius’ death seems to be generally accepted by three daughters and, as Nancy Annette was the baby of the family, she too was probably of this belief.
      Maria's brother James, on his WW1 enlistment on 17 Sep 1914, gave next of kin as J. Bak of Yungarie Qld.
      If J. Bak is Julius, as seems likely, it would indicate James was aware his father was alive. If this is true, it would seem only the daughters thought he was dead. Prima facie evidence would suggest the Campbell’s were the ones that spread the lie, in order to protect Maria (and possibly her sisters) from being contacted by Julius. It seems that the legacy of Julius' neglect, and possibly abuse, was his estrangement from his daughters for more than the last decade of his life.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3197] BUR Burials, Maryborough General Cemetery, Queensland 1882-1908 vol 2, Julius Jensen; Lutheran; Teebar; widower; 65 yrs; 29 August 1921; B; 640; 2nd; public grave; J. Ammenhauser.

    2. [S3220] BAP Baptisms, Denmark on FamilySearch, "Denmark, Baptisms, 1618-1923," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XYLD-HBS : accessed 06 Dec 2013), Julius Jensen, 04 Jun 1856.

    3. [S4514] BIR359 Birth Bak, Maria Elisabeth, BIR359., Brisbane, Queensland; Maria Elisabeth Bak; 9 October 1893; true copy of an entry in the birth register; 8171; 12 April 1985.

    4. [S4515] MAR422 Marriage Bak, Julius Jensen and Pohlmann, Christine Helene, MAR422., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Julius Jensen Bak and Christine Helene Pohlmann; 18 February 1888; true copy of an entry in a register of marriages; 1452; 27 March 1985.

    5. [S2953] DTH Death Index Queensland, Julius Jensen; C3005; 1921.

    6. [S5355] DTH732 Death report Jensen, Julius - 'A Lonely Death', DTH732., General News; 29 August 1921; page 2; Julius Jensen - 'A Lonely Death'.

    7. [S3172] BUR Family Search, burial index, Australia, Queensland, Maryborough Public Records, 1847-1989, images 213 and 214.

    8. [S3173] BUR FamilySearch Australia, Queensland, Maryborough Public Records, 1847-1989; Maryborough burial registers vol 3, image 105.

    9. [S2952] MAR Marriage Index Queensland, Julius Jensen Bak and Christina Helen Pohlmann; C1452; 1888.

    10. [S4465] TRE149-150 Family tree Pohlmann, Jochim and Asmus, Catharina Margaretha: from Trevor Pohlmann Nov 2014, TRE149, TRE150., Family tree descendancy chart for Jochim Pohlmann and Catharina Margaretha Asmus; November 2014.

    11. [S4515] MAR422 Marriage Bak, Julius Jensen and Pohlmann, Christine Helene, MAR422., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Julius Jensen Bak and Christine Helene Pohlmann; 18 February 1888; true copy of an entry in a register of marriages; 1452; 22 February 1888.