July 23, 2017

Was Johan a Larson, an Anderson or a Nordgren?

Tracking the Life of Johan Andersson from Sweden to Washington State

 

I thought maybe he was a Larsson, because that was the name his brother (also Johan/John B went by. But… It’s taken me years to understand where and how to look for information on my ancestor Johan Andersson who was born 6 May 1868 in Veddige, Halland, Sweden. I’m not done by any means, but this article will bring everything up to date regarding what I know now.

Johan/John Andersson Nordgren immigrated to North America in 1883/4 (1920 US Fed Census) and his oldest child Andrew Leonard Nordgren along with his wife Anna Lena Andreasd?tter (Anderson) who arrived later. I know this sounds convoluted, but as far as I know Johan came to America first, and his wife stayed in Sweden and didn’t arrive until around early 1892. I know she was in the United States because Andrew Leonard was born 01 Sept 1892. Going by the normal span of pregnancies lasting 9 months, one can assume that John and Anna Lena were together in one location near the end of December or early January.

The Andersson surname is a recent discovery I found on Ancestry in the Swedish marriage records for Johan/John and Anna Lena. Finding that record set me off in a whole new direction, but I’m still confused. Of course, that’s the fun of doing genealogical research. All these puzzle pieces, but in this instance each piece could be going by a few different names.

This is what puzzles me: Did John Andersson ever go by the surname Larsson/Larson while he was in the USA. The reason I wonder this is because John’s brother John Bernt went by the surname Larson. The two John’s mother was named Anna Lena as well and she also had come to the United States in 1892. She was a widow and her husband Anders Larson had died around 1876 in Denmark. [Note: I just read recently that if you’re looking for records in Denmark you might try looking in German records as well.]

Back to my John Anderson [Nordgren] line.

  • John, Anna Lena and their son [we called him Leonard] were in Hector, Renville, MN in 1892.
  • Uncle Leonard said that he and his mother went back to Sweden for a while. John went back to Sweden too, but then something changed their minds again and they came back to the USA sometime between 1893/4 and lived in an unknown location.
  • The next child, my grandmother Hulda was born in 1896 near Odebolt, Sac, Iowa. Why were they in Iowa? We’re they migrating and great grandma had to stop to have Hulda? They must have had to stay for a while in Iowa because in1897 another girl, Olive Josephine was born that year.
  • Two years later the family of five has moved on to Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington and we know this because another daughter is born in 1899. Sadly, this daughter Ester, died about a month later that same year.
  • Two more children were born in Washington, Oscar in 1902; Edith Elvera in 1906.

One last thing that I’m wondering is a woman called Alice Anderson. My mom told me that when she lived in Seattle during the war years (WWII) that a woman named Alice Anderson used to come see her and they would go exploring together. Mom was the only daughter left at home during those years, as her sister Jeane was married and living elsewhere, and the other sister Joyce, was either in nursing school, or had graduated and was working in Alaska or in the Army.

So, the big question is, “was Alice a relative to John”? There had to be some reason why she was around.

 

Using Google Maps To Document Where Your Family Lived

I’ve written about this before, but I want to show you another example of my ancestor’s homes using family photos and documenting them with Google maps. This time it’s for my Emil John Moline family when they lived in St Paul, MN and will show you what the house looks like now. It’s changed a bit, but I think it’s because they closed in the front porch and made a smaller entrance door. The Google map photo is only two years old. When my Moline family lived there it was during the years 1895 to possibly around 1905.

moline st. paul house

1914 chelton ave st paul moline Isn’t it fun to find old buildings and know that your family lived there? Imagine Signe b. 1889, Elvin b. 1893 (my grandfather) and Gunnar Moline b.1894 being born in, or brought home to this house as newborns. It boggles the mind.

Here are some other articles I’ve written about the Moline family:

A Seattle Adventure With Mom

Preserving Past Family Home Locations With Google Street View

Railroad Service From Bordeaux To Seattle Connected With Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Line

Was Great Grandpa Named John GORMLEY Nordgren?

 His Middle Name Is Gormley?

My genealogical head-scratcher for the night is/was I was looking at some of my recent ancestors who might be in the latest release of the SS records and happened upon someone who has my GGrf in their tree with my pictures (which is OK, I make them public) but it shows in their tree that my GGfr’s middle name (of which I have no record) as Gormley. John Gormley Nordgren. This person who added it is connected to the Croasdill family, which includes John’s youngest child, my aunt Edith Nordgren Croasdill. Edith took care of her father near the end of his life, so maybe someone in her family ran across my Nordgren family documentation.

I think this person who owns the Chester_Chesler Family 2015 Tree on Ancestry will contact me soon so we can solve this mystery!

1907 Teddy Roosevelt On Immigration

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Teddy Said It

Now and then I get emails that pique my interest, especially if they have a historical bent.  One such email was a quote by Theodore Roosevelt on immgration that he made in 1907. I think it sums up my views precisely, so I’m posting it here.  Here is what Teddy said:

‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’

As it was then, so it should be now. My Swedish ancestors came here and did all those things willingly, with no thoughts to do otherwise.

Source:

Snopes: Sole Loyalty


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