Friday, November 21, 2008

Adolph and Greta Swanson

I've realized I haven't posted a genealogy focused posting for some time so this one will focus on my Great Great Grandparents, my father's mother's mother's parents (far mor mor far & mor).

Adolph Frederik Svensson was born February 22, 1835, at Brohemmet, Ljung, Östergötland, to Sven Svensson and Katerina Larsdotter. Greta Månsson was born in August 1, 1840 in Lillbränna, Åsnästorp, Ljung parish. She was baptized on August 2, 1840. Her parents were Magnus Nilsson and Maja Persdotter. She was only seven years old when her mother died, but her father was good and with much patience he trained and nurtured his children. As a little girl Greta had the job to herd cows in a large and wide woods and later came to the Swanson home at Brohemmet to help Adolph's mother, Katerina, as she was ill. Adolph's father died October 8, 1860 and the young couple had fallen in love and married December 23rd that same year.
They built a home north of Brohemmet, and lived there for 27 years calling it Fallhemmet. They had about 7 American miles to walk to the Ljung church. The scenery was beautiful, and they picked lingonberries in the woods and "goken" cuckooed in the treetops. They were both devout Christians. My Grandmother Phoebe said Grandpa came out of the revival in Sweden. Adolph would send for and read Christian books and Christian papers here in America. He would gather his family around him on Sunday afternoon and read the sermon for Sunday.

They had seven children, six who survived to adulthood: Karl Johan b.d. 1862, Anna Sophia b. 1863-d. 1932, Augusta Wilhelmina b. 1866- d. 1945, Carl Gustaf "Gust" b. 1870- d. 1944, Jon Albert b. 1873- d. 1942, Ellen Johanna b.1878- d.1945, Andrew Gustaf b. 1880- d.1961.

Adolph and Greta Svensson/Swanson immigrated from Ljung, Östergötland, Sweden, on April 2, 1889 on the S. S. Thingvalla out of Copenhagen coming into New York with the following traveling together:
Adolf F. Svenson age 54 workman from Sweden with family Ljung E to Canton, Dakota Territory, Greta Svenson age 48 female wife, Elin Johanna age 11 daughter, Anders Gustaf age 8 male son. They are listed as passengers #286, 287, 288, 289 on the passenger list. The ship came from Goteborg to Copenhagen to New York. film 0216602 Jernvag Copenhagen 2 April 1889.

Adolph and Greta were the first immigrants of their Swedish community to Celebrate their 50th wedding Anniversary in America. They settled near Canton, SD, moved to a farm near Larchwood, IA, then to a farm southwest of Valley Springs, SD to retire.
The following was written by their pastor here in the U.S. in Swedish and translated by their Granddaughter Mable Swanson, my Great Aunt.

The Gold Anniversary, From Brandon, South Dakota
A wedding has been celebrated here, it was a golden wedding. It took place on the 23 of December, 1910 in Valley Springs township, Minnehaha county, South Dakota. The golden anniversary couple were our old precious brother Adolph Svenson and his dear spouse. They are if the people that Jacob describes in chapter 2 verse 5: Blessed are the people which have the Lord as their God. All their children and grandchildren with one exception had all arrived on this day to celebrate. Daughter Ellen and her family were not able to come because of the length of the way and difficulties on the road. However, they showed in wording how much they loved and honoured their old parents. Honourably done. The celebrating crowd was doubled by all the invited guests.
The celebration started with the baptizing of a little Else Viola. Then there was time for praying, singing and reading from the bible. Most of the grandchildren were reahout doubt take another ten years before something like this will take place again, among the Swedish Americans now living here. Only may our wedded couple have the possibility to stay among us for many years to come yet.; may their eve of life be bright. Yes, may Lord Jesus keep them ”i ordet och tron” (in word and faith) until the end and they will be crowned with the crown of life and until then they shall experience and ”besanna” (live to see the truth) of the content of David’s hymn 91.
Little Greta was a small girl, who had to graze the cows in the big woods. She was only seven years of age. She had lost her mother, but her farther was a good man, who raised his children with a lot of patience.
But the wolf he was shy, if only somewhat shy, he comes and looks at Greta, while she was walking with the cows and the wolf he ran away. The black cloud came and went with thunder and lightning rather quickly. But Greta, she knew what to do, she looked up at the sky from under the tree where she stood soaking wet. And the sun shone again; that sun that still is shining! And the cuckoo calls kuku, kuku (Swedish cuckoos way of calling in writing!) up there in the pinetree top. You may wonder: who is Greta? That is ”mormor” you all should know, who also”farmor” is called. And now, if I am not mistaking, we are 18 in the line of grandchildren to be counted; and ”mormor” she as well as the littlens understand, when they to her kitchenette go and at the shelves are pointing; they know very well the best of things are there being kept for them.
On the 23 of December, 1860, the second son, Adolph stood with his young bride at Brohemmet at Ljung’s manor join the bonds of marriage in front of Reverend Wimmerstedt; and nothing yet has managed to therdofenento untie the bond until this very moment. Here was not only joy; but here was also felt bitter sorrow, as the house was struck by bitter sorrow, our dear father Sven was taken away; now it seemed as mother Katarina was to leave us before long, with the eldest son Karl August and his Karolina with their youngest son Alfrid. Then the wedded couple had to unite to ease the burden of sorrow. But Time is the great healer and God gave us the spirit to go on. But after mother Katarina’s death the young couple and brother Karl August went a bit further north to settle among mountains and stones, where they found meadows and with the pickaxe (flåhacka) could prepare arable land. At this place were growing junipers and pine-trees and firs and also beautiful birch-trees; and the road across the moss (Sw = mosse) was quiet troublesome. Now, this was to become their home for seven and twenty years to come. And we all remember so well, our home there as it was. In one year and a half to that their little son Karl Johan was born. But the joy would not last long, only one week long he would stay. But years came and years went and Karl and Johan they later got, and mother’s little Gustaf; not so many can guess where now he is going. And now the children count six if the girls we count thereto. But then one day the America fever they all got; the land to which two brothers before them had went. And then suddenly they all left; farethewell to kins and friends. And when the last glimpse of old Sweden’s native soil they saw - they had to turn the leaf and towards a foreign country across the ocean waves they went. But what was on their minds I have not been able to write. But since America they reached, with uncle Sam they get along quite well; he gives to all his foster children all that he has got; his language is also understood, though it seemed hard at first. But the thought sometimes rushes quickly to the old home where mother so many times, untiringly has trodded so many steps and father all the time, from early morning to late at night has worked so hard.
Where the fire glows on the top of the stow and the old cradle on the floor was moving where all the children have slept their first childhood’s sweet sleep.
To father and mother our beloved ones, we would like to say: they had lots of trouble and care and difficulties of many kinds ; but their love was the foundation for everything. And in all the changes of the world from Lord Jesus help they received and strength he gave them until the difficulties they had overcome. For those who to Jesus run they will have eternal peace.
And now once more we all have gathered here with joy in the old home and now with all the children doubled, two times six make twelve who today will have the opportunity to celebrate the memory of your fiftieth wedding day.
May peace be with all of you that our Lord Jesus Christ right-mindedly dear keeps. J-F. Wretlöf

Greta's Obituary notice (Original in Swedish - translated):
It is hereby announced to relatives and friends that God has graciously recalled my dear beloved spouse Greta Svenson who peacefully went away in the faith of her Saviour on the 5th of February, 1911, at the age of 70 years, 6 months and 4 days. She was born in Ljung, Östergötlands län, Sweden, on the 1 of August, 1840. At age of 14 she was saved/redeemed and by his power she kept her faith until her redeeming moment. She was married to me on the 23 of December, 1860. The chief mourners are her husband and 6 children and 18 grand children.
Frid över hennes minne (May she rest in peace) Återseendets morgon randas snart. ( The morning of reunion is soon to come). Herre låt ditt ansikte lysa, så varder oss hulpit. Oh Lord, let your face shine, so........??)
Adolph Svenson, Valley Spring, So. Dak., the 9th of February, 1911.

Adolph's Obituary:
It is hereby announced that the good Lord has called upon our dearest beloved father
Adolph Frederik Swanson
He was born in Brohemmet, Ljungs congregation, Östergötlands county on the 22nd of February, 1835. He was married to Greta Magnusson on the 23rd of December, 1860. They emigrated to the USA in the Spring of 1889. Not long after they had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1911 the Lord called upon our mother. During the two last years he has had his home and care with us children. Father caught some illness not long after Christmas and in the evening of Monday the 26th of February, 1923 his spirit left the fragile body to live with God. He turned to God in his youth and kept his faith and completed the race. We want to thank God for his comfort in our sorrow and loss.
He is mourned and missed by his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and many friends.
Peace over his memory.
Granite, Iowa the 5th of March, 1923.
His children

1 comment:

Linda Ziulkowski said...


I don't know if it is the time of year, or the fact yesterday I was at the funeral of a dear friend, younger than John, who died of a heart attack, and was therefore reflecting on my own loved ones 'gone before;' but just reading backwards from today, (December 2)through these posts stirs up so much loving emotion and perhaps a 'longing to be HOME.'
Thanks so much for keeping alive the connection to those gone before, and some of course still with us.



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