Jens Knudsen was born on September 11, 1818, in Præstø, Storstrom, Denmark, the son of Kirsten and Knud. He had one daughter from one relationship. He then married Ane Elizabeth Mortensen and they had four children together. He then married Kirsten Nielsen on November 6, 1846, in Præstø, Storstrom, Denmark. He died on March 20, 1900, in Oure, Fyn, Denmark, having lived a long life of 81 years.
When Ane Marie Jensdatter was born on April 6, 1821, in Varpelev, Roskilde, Denmark, her father, Jens, was 39, and her mother, Kirsten, was 38. She had five sons and 15 daughters. She died on July 20, 1878, at the age of 57, and was buried in Prairieville, Minnesota.