Meta Maria Jorgensen (Speggers) Kofod

born Sonderburg, Denmark died San Mateo, CA

Meta Maria Jorgensen was born in Sonderburg, Denmark on February 6, 1858. She was the daughter of Hans Peter Jorgensen and Anna Christina Lassen. By the time she was 3 years old her father had died, and her mother remarried to Jes Speggers (in 1861).

The family came to America sometime between 1870 and 1890 and settled in San Francisco.

Meta met John P. Kofod, a glazier,in San Francsico and they were married on November 6, 1886. When John Kofod could not find much work as a maker of leaded glass windows he joined the U.S. Lighthouse Service as an assistant keeper.

Meta moved with John from lighthouse to lighthouse, keeping house for him and their daughter, Anna Dagmar, born August 21, 1887. Anna was their only child.

Meta told the family that when the Germans invaded Schleswig-Hol stein, where she lived, the Danish community turned their backs to them. The Danes were made to learn German in school and were not allowed to write or Speak Danish.

Meta passed down traditional Danish recipes such as aebleskivers to her daughter. Aebleskivers are a round pastry flavored with cardamom which is deep-fried and filled with a fruit filling such as applesauce or prunes. Then they are rolled in powdered sugar. The members of the family today make aebleskivers every Christmas. Meta's aebleskiver pan is still used.

Walter Fanning says he remembers his grandmother saying, "OOOOOO-HA!" whenever she got excited.

Meta did not enjoy living at lighthouses. In every photograph of her she is serious and stern. The family has only one picture of her smiling. The family lived at East Brother Island Light Station, Pt. Sur, Point Reyes, and Yerba Buena Island. Click on the links for pictures of the family at these locations.
Metha and her sister, Anna Christina Jorgensen Rasmussen, about 1885 in San Francisco.
From the San Francisco Call Bulletin, about May 25, 1931.

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