August 19, 2017

Documentation that John Nordgren’s middle name was Gormley

John Nordgren’s middle name was Gormley

This newest documentation is also proof that you should always revisit sites like Ancestry again and again, because new information is being added all the time. That’s where I found this birth record for my great aunt Edith Elvera Nordgren.

It’s a little hard to decipher the document because it doesn’t seem like a normal birth record. It doesn’t have any identifying official notations at the top of the page, other than “Register of Births in _______ County, State of Washington”. In looking at the locations where the children and their parents lived, it was quite a spread out area, but I suspect it was all in Whatcom County even though it’s not noted on the sheet.

Specifically, for Edith’s family the details for her, and them, are hard to read. What I can see is that Edith is listed with her full name, date of birth, gender, her mother’s name*, mother’s age and mother’s place of birth; in the line for her father it list his first and middle name**, age, and place of birth. It also lists the father’s vocation and who he is working for at the time.***

*The mother is listed as Anna Lena Anderson. This is Anna Lena’s married name, not her maiden name, which was Andreasdotter.

**Since Edith is listed as Edith Elvera Nordgren, but the year is 1907, that means that John G was already going by the surname of Nordgren which leads me to believe he had changed his surname from Andersson some time before. He came to America as Johan Andersson. His brother John Bernt went by the surname Larson. The mother of the two boys was Anna Lena Jönsdotter Larson who had also come to the United States. We know this because she is listed in census records, and she is buried in Minnesota. (Originally, the surname was probably Larsson when they were living in Sweden.

Also, keep in mind that John had filed more than once for Naturalization, and eventually made it in 1907. Was he already going by Nordgren because that was the name he filed under and did it for continuity?

***John Gormley Nordgren was listed as an Engineer working for C I Hood. I have not yet found the company in Washington State business records. It could have been an out of state company doing business here.

Still, some mysteries remain for John G Nordgren. We know he lost his hand somehow because my mom remembered that he had a hook prosthesis.

  • The oldest child, Andrew was born in Minnesota.
  • The next two children, Hulda (my grandmother) and Olive Josephine, were both born in Iowa. Why were they living in Iowa? What occupation was John working that allowed him to take his wife and little son to Iowa? Did they know someone there? Or, was it just there was a job he could do? This time frame is the late 1800s. My grandmother was born in 1896, her sister the next year.
  • The next child, Esther, was born in Sept 1899 in Bellingham, Washington. Sadly, Esther died in October of that same year. Great grandmother Anna Lena was under great stress (my assumption) by having to have two babies born right after each other while they were in Iowa, and then sometime after 1897 the family made another major move which took them from the Midwest (Iowa) to Washington State. Could that have contributed to the loss of the baby Esther? Or, was there some other reason like illness involved?

I do know that from Washington State birth records that all of the children born here were delivered by midwife. Two more children, Oscar and Edith were both delivered by that method. Midwifery in those days had to be somewhat more primitive than present day midwifery.

 

 

 

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