04 Elisabeth Cathrine Wormslev (née la Cour)

Born on 4 January 1758 at Baadsgaard farm, Elisabeth was a daughter of Pierre la Cour and Margarethe Susanne la Cour and was baptised in Højslev church on 18 January 1758. She was living at home when her father died, and she later worked as a servant at Rodstenseje manor.

Elisabeth’s first marriage, on 28 July 1786 in Odder, was to Anders Kragballe, who was born in 1742. His parents were Jens Kragballe, who was then the pastor for Odder, and Øllegaard Davidsen. Baptised in Odder on 16 October 1742, Anders graduated from upper secondary school in Horsens in 1762 and received a master’s degree in theology in 1765. He was promised the position of pastor for Odder in 1775, but he first served as assistant and future successor to that position from 1786 until 1789, when he was promoted to the position he had been promised. He was especially known for his extraordinary obesity, which forced him to spend most summers in the parsonage basement to avoid overheating. Anders died on 3 November 1796.

After Anders’ death, Elisabeth’s brother Jørgen wrote, “Once the auction is held and the debt paid, she will probably have a total of 1500–1600 rix-dollars*, and if, during the grace year*, she is allowed to rent the premises to her husband’s successor, I hope she can obtain 2000 rix-dollars in rent. His Lordship has promised to oblige her husband’s successor to give her an annual pension of 100 rix-dollars in addition to rent-free premises in the parsonage and free firewood, so it might be possible for her to live well and also to educate her sister [Appelone] Worm’s innocent little ones, because she will certainly not let go of them or their mother. I love her for this decision more than ever before. What else she suffered at her husband’s death I cannot describe: in no time at all, she faded so noticeably that I very much feared she would soon follow him, but she has become satisfied with her fate, enlived by the joyful hope that she can support her sister [Appelone] Worm [no. 07] and her children.”

Her second marriage was on 19 October 1798 in Odder to Niels Wormslev. Niels was born on 17 April 1758 in Aarhus, and his parents were Kristian Wormslev, a ship’s captain, and Martha Arentsdatter. He graduated from the Aarhus school at the upper secondary level in September 1779 and worked as a private tutor at Staarupgaard manor from 1780 to 1782. After earning a master’s degree in theology in 1782, he worked as a tutor at Aabjerg manor in 1783-84 and then as a teacher at the Aarhus grammar school* in 1784. He became pastor for Borum and Lyngby in 1785 and for Viby and Tiset in 1792. His first wife was Kirstine Maria Dyssel, with whom he had a daughter, Maria Kirstine Wormslev, in 1786. He married Elisabeth after his first wife died.

Elisabeth had no children herself, but with her second husband she had four stepdaughters and a stepson, who described her as “a kind, old woman with silver-white hair who was very good to her stepchildren. She was quite thin, with slightly sharp facial features, and she walked quite quickly, also in her later years, although she occasionally complained of arthritis, but rarely to strangers.” Niels resigned from the church in 1820. Elisabeth died in Viby on 1 March 1827 and Niels on 12 November 1841. (No children.)