In this post, I'm going to try to describe the work being done to find out about the Leens in my family. My great grandfather, Julius Mikkelsen Leen, has been the focal point of the Leen lineage. My father referred to him as Julius Mikkelsen, and the story was that the name was somehow changed to Leen once he got the the U.S. The easy answer to those name changes was always the clerks at Ellis Island, or the Registrar on the passenger ships, who couldn't pronounce foreign names. The answer that I have determined from correspondence with other documents that it was Lien in Norway, but was changed by some to Leen when they came to the U.S. The passenger records on Norwegian ships are consistently spelled Lien from Norway. Those named Leen almost always came from Ireland or England.
My grandmother, Edna, had three brothers (Homer, Clarence, and Floyd), and two sisters (Eloise and Lillian). Homer had children who carry on the Leen name. I believe that they live in Oregon and Washington, and I'll be contacting them to let them know of my renewed interest in the family history.
A couple of weeks ago, I used the search mechanism within Ancestry.com to look for Leen and Lien information in the U.S. Census records. I was responding to an email from Alan Peterson, who had let me know about his ancestor (Christian Mikkelson Leen), who had brought a family over to the Wisconsin area in the 1860's. He indicated that Barron County History records contained information that one of Christian's sons was named Julius.
I searched the 1860 to 1930 Census records for Leens who were born before before about 1850, and who could have brought family over in the 1860's:
Ole Leen was born in Norway in 1815. In the 1860 Census, he was living with his wife, Dera (b.1813 - Norway), and three sons, Avon (b.1847), John (b.1850), and Oldor (b.1854) in New Hope, Portage County, Wisc.
Oler Leen was born in 1817 in Norway. His wife, Marthey, was born there in 1824. In the 1880 Census, they were living in Leon, Monroe County, Wisconsin with their son Hans, who was born in Norway in 1854.
John Leen was born in Norway in 1821. The 1880 Census indicates that he was living at the time in Schlewig, Manitowoc, Wisc. His wife (Mary - 1828), son (Gilbert - 1860), and daughter (Mary - 1864) were all born in Norway. The census does not indicate when they arrived.
C.C. Leen was born in Norway in July, 1821. His wife, Maria, was born in Norway in January of 1834. He came to the U.S, in 1861 and she in 1869. Their daughter, Jessie (b.1873), and sons Oscar (b.1875) and John (b.1878) were born in Wisconsin. In the 1900 Census, they were all living in Strongs Prairie, Adams County, Wisc.
Annie Leen was born in 1830 in Norway, and arrived in 1866. In 1920, she was living with her son, George, in Pleasant Valley, St Croix, Wisc.
Anton Leen was born in Norway in 1833. He emmigrated with his wife Kristin (b.1831) to the U.S. in 1868. In the 1900 Cesnsus, they were living with their son, John (b.1875) in Alden Township, Polk County, Wis.
Ole M Leen was born in 1848 in Norway, and emmigrated in 1868. In 1893, he married Marie (22 at the time), who had emmigrated in 1892. Their daughter, Agnes, was born later that year. In 1920, they were all living in Christiana Township, Vernon, Wisconsin.
Iver Leen was born in Norway in 1949, and emmigrated in 1866. In the 1900 Census, he was living with his wife, Karen (b.1840, emmigrated 1872) and their two daughters, Ranghin (b.1875) and Ida (b1879) in Arcadia, Trempealeau County, Wisc.
Next, I searched for those who might have been born in Norway, emmigrated a little later, and had children in the U.S, in Wisconsin:
Ole Leen (57) came over in 1866 at the age of 3. The 1920 Census lists, at the time, that he had a wife, Theresa Leen (48), and two children - Etela (24), and Curtis (18), and were living in Milwaukee.
Andrew Leen was born in Norway in 1842, and emmigrated in 1888. The 1910 Census lists him living alone in Maple Grove, Barron County, Wisc.
Christian Lien was born in Norway in 1860. The 1880 Census lists him as living with the Oleson family in Bergen, Vernon, Wisc as a nephew. His occupation is listed as a blacksmith.
Christian Leen was born in 1850 in Norway. The 1870 Census lists him as a laborer, living in the 2nd Ward, city of LaCrosse, Wisc.
Christian L. Leen was born in Norway in 1850. The 1880 Census indicates that he was living with his wife, Anna (b.1857 in Denmark), and his daughter Agnes (b.1879), and brother, Andrew (b.1857 in Norway). Christian listed his occupation as an apothecary, and Andrew as an apprentice apothecary.
Christian Lien was born in Norway in July of 1849, and emmigrated to the U.S. in 1885. The 1900 Census list him living with his wife, Anna C. (b.July 1857 in Denmark, emmigrated in 1869), and their daughter, Agnes J. (b.Oct 1879 in Wisc) in LaCrosse City, LaCrosse County, Wisc. His occupation is listed as druggist.
Christian L. Leen was born in Norway in 1850. The 1910 Census indicates that he had emmigrated in 1875, was a widower, and was living in LaCrosse Ward 19, LaCrosse, Wisc. His occupation is listed as a proprieter of a drugstore.
Christian L. Leen was born in Norway in 1850, and emmigrated in 1869, naturalized in 1892. The 1920 Census lists him as living with his wife, Dora (b.1872 in Wisconsin). His occupation is listed as a merchant in retail drugs.
John O. Leen was born in Norway in 1858, and emmigrated in 1892. The 1910 Census indicates that he was living with his wife, Marrie (b.1857, emmigrated in 1888) his two sons, Albert J. (b.1893), and Lewis M. (b.1897), and daughter , Minne (b.1900) in Ean Galli, St Croix, Wisc. Also with them were a sister-in-law, Engeborg Tangen (b. 1859) and nephew Asbyburn Tangen (b.1900).
Because they was named in the Barron County History, and linked to Christian Leen, I've included these records:
Charlie M. Leen was born in 1869 in Wisconsin. His parents are listed as having been born in Norway. In the 1920 Census, he is isted as living with his wife, Julia (b. 1865), and two daughters, Gertie (b.1901- Wisc.) and Maurine (b.1910 - Wisc) in Dovre, Barron County, Wisc.
Martin Lien was born in Wisconsin in 1859 of Norwegian parents. The 1920 Census lists him as living with his wife, Hannah (b.1864 - Wisconsin), and son, Emmett (b.1903-Wisc). His occupation is listed as shoemaker.
Clara Lien was born in Wisconsin in 1887. The 1910 Census lists her as living with her mother, Julia (b.1832 in Norway, emmigrated in 1859) on 221 East Division Street, Troy Township, St Croix County, Wisc.
The 1900 Census lists Clara (b.1880) and Rena (b,1883) Lien as iving with the Nadwick family as boarders in Rice Lake, Barron County, Wisconsin.
Mention of my Julius comes in with these:
Julius M. Leen was born in Minnesota in 1871. The 1900 Census list him as living with his wife, Annie (b. 1868 in Minn.), two daughters, Edna L. E. (b.1894), Lillian E. (b.1899), and Clarance J. O. (b.1896) in Stoneham, Chippewa, Minn. Living with them were Charles (21) and Oscar Peterson (17).
Julius M Leen is listed in the 1910 Census as living with his wife, Annie, and their children (Edna S. A, Clarence J. O., Lillian E., Horger T., and Floyd Z.) in Equality, Williams County, North Dakota.
Julius M. Leen is listed in the 1920 Census as living with his wife, Annie M., and their children (Elodie L., Homer T., and Floyd T.). Elodie is listed as having been born in Minnesota; Floyd and Homer in North Dakota. Elodie's occupation (at 19) is a school teacher in a public school.