photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Jane Zina Petrina Folkman with Two Sisters

FOLKMAN, Jane Zina Petrina with two sisters, lighter
Jane Zina Petrina Folkman with two sisters


Jane Zina Petrina Folkman, who was known by Petrina, is my 2nd great-grandmother.  She was born 30 March 1876 in Plain City, Weber, Utah to Jens Peter Folkman & Maren Katrine Thomasen.

Jens was a polygamist.  Maren was his second wife.  They were married eight years after he married his first wife, Kirstine Mathilde Funk.  Jens and Kirstine had twelve children born over twenty years in 1858-1878.  Jens and Maren had four children born over ten years between 1866-1876.  This complex family occupied two different homes.

My copy of this photo was printed in 1983.  The photo back contains only this information:

FOLKMAN, Jane Zina Petrina with two sisters, back

That leaves me to wonder which girl is Petrina and which two sisters are in this photo with her.  The girl on the left looks the most like Petrina to me.

Thankfully, Petrina’s son, Evan Folkman Skeen, wrote a book at the end of his life that he titled, “Joseph and Petrina Skeen Family History.”  On page 216 of that book we see:


I was delighted to see that Uncle Evan labeled this photo with Petrina and that I had correctly guessed which girl is Petrina!  But which sisters are in the photo with her?

Petrina had two full sisters and seven half-sisters.  It would seem logical to consider her full sisters first, but one of them is ten years older than Petrina and the other is eight years older.  These girls appear to be very close in age which rules out her full sisters.  Among her half-sisters, the youngest two seem most likely.

Margaret Lavinia Folkman was born 16 June 1875 and Clarissa Jacobia Folkman was born 5 October 1878.  Petrina was born in between the two on 30 March 1876.  The sister on the right appears to be older than the sister at the bottom.  Unfortunately, neither woman has any childhood photos on FamilySearch to compare to.

I found the email address for Margaret’s grandson on FamilySearch and sent him an email.  He did not have any childhood photos of his Grandma to compare this image to but agreed with my assessment.  That may be as good as we get for this photo.



Happy Thursday, do you have any old photos you need to label?  Don’t delay!  xoxo



4 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Jane Zina Petrina Folkman with Two Sisters”

  1. I have always been curious about how these women felt about sharing one husband. And did the children view both wives and their mothers or were there really two separate families? Fascinating to me!

    1. Me too, Amy! I don’t understand it well at all. I only have a few instances of polygamy in my tree which makes it harder to understand. I don’t know much about their feelings. Maren, in particular, left a bit more about why she wanted to be a second wife. I need to share that at some point. I do know they did not consider the other wife/wives as their mother. Maren and her children were definitely treated as a separate family. Maren’s son-in-law, Joseph Skeen, wrote some very unflattering things about his father-in-law and polygamy in general in his later years. Because of that, I was very surprised by this photo. The bits and pieces I have gathered over the years created a strong impression that Maren and the children were sort of left on their own. I don’t know if that is accurate or fair. I need to study a bit more and try to understand the complexities of this particular family a bit better. My view of Jens has not been favorable. I’ve been feeling like I need to stop ignoring him because of that and try to understand him instead.

      1. I hope you do write about this because I find it so hard to imagine living that way. Call me possessive, but I am not sharing my husband with any other woman!

        1. I completely agree! I plan to at some point, but I need to study this family a bit more. My bias is currently too strong to be objective. 😉

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