Friday, May 29, 2009

Maps from Sweden

For the family members who are logging onto my blog, here are some maps of the area our ancestors lived in Östergötland, Sweden.
The first map below, was sent by a friend of mine (Inger Nyberg) in Ljungsbro, Sweden about 10 years ago. She underlined some of the farms in our ancestry around Ljung. This area is just north of the city of Linköping.
Before he was married, my Great Grandfather Anders Peter Jönsson lived with his parents in the cottage Slättmotorp in Ljung parish. He moved in 1854, to the farm Djupsjö in Ljung parish and worked for the farmer Bengt Jonsson. In 1855, he moved to Tjällmo parish and came back to Ljung parish in 1859, and worked for farmers in the village Slättmon. In 1860, he moved to Bänorp. There he lived and worked on a farm when he married Albertina Gustafsdotter in 1873. Albertina was born and lived in Nybrofallet, Kottorp, Stjärnorp Parish until her marriage to Anders. Together they lived in a cottage Fredriksberg, that belonged to the Bänorp farm in Ljung parish. Albertina and Anders Peter moved in 1874, to the cottage Nysätter. In 1880, they moved to Grönkulla and in 1881, to North America where they ended up in the Canton, SD area.
Click on the maps to enlarge, can you find some of the farm names?
Below; this map (two views of the same map) is from 1878, and shows some of the old farm places. It even has Brohemmet and Fallhemmet on it, the homes of my GG Grandparents (Swanson sides) who emigrated from Sweden to America.
My GG Grandfather Carl August Svensson was born at Brohemmet, Ljung, in 1832 Apr. 19, (son of Sven Svensson, born 1801 Jan. 6 in Klasbäck, Ljung, and his wife Catharina Larsdotter, born 1802 Jun.13 in Stora Högåsa, Ljung.) Carl August was a crofter at Fallhemmet on Norrby lands in Ljung. He was married in 1862 May 9 in Stjärnorp to Carolina Gustafsdotter, born 1839 Aug.2 in Grönlund, Stjärnorp. (She was a sister to my G Grandmother Albertina mentioned above and they were the daughters of Gustav Jönsson & Johanna Nilsdotter) They lived in Fallhemmet with Karl's brother Adolph and his wife Greta. Karl and Karolina and three children emigrated from Ljung to North America in April 1869, eventually settling near Canton, Lincoln County in Dakota Territory.
My GG Grandfather Adolph Frederik Svensson was born at Brohemmet, Ljung, in 1835 Feb. 22, (also the son of Sven Svensson and Catharina Larsdotter) Greta Månsson was born in August 1, 1840 in Lillbränna, Åsnästorp, Ljung parish. Greta came to Sven & Katerina’s home, Brohemmet, to help the ill mother Katerina as her husband Sven was sick and eventually died in Oct. of 1860. Greta ended up marrying Adolph at Brohemmet in Dec. of 1860. Soon brothers Karl and Adolph Svensson built a home north of Brohemmet in the woods and called it Fallhemmet. Adolph and Greta emigrated from Ljung in April 1889, via Copenhagen to New York to Canton, South Dakota.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

The US holiday Memorial Day was originally and is still intended as a day to honor women and men who gave their lives in military service. It has evolved to include a day of remembering all veterans and family and friends who have passed away also. Denver has a parade this morning, my home church, Grandview Covenant, has a service at the church cemetery. (Right: Entrance to Grandview Cemetery) Flowers adorn cemeteries, flags line streets and stand at graves of servicemen and women.
I don’t have many in my line who served in the military, although my Dad was in the Army. My 4th G Grandfather Thomas Ward (1759-1839) served in the Revolutionary War in the North Carolina Militia. He enlisted in 1777, as a Private in Capt. Cepon's Company, 1st NC Regiment, under Col. Thomas Clark. A Quaker, he's buried in the Friends Cemetery (left photo) in White River township, Winchester Co., Randolph, IN.
My GG Grandfather J.M. Pierce (1826-1865) died in Washington, D.C., at the end of the Civil War, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was with Sherman's "March to the Sea" and was with A Company Forage Men, whose duty it was to help get supplies from the territory in which they were located. As he said "they would kill the rebels by burning and stealing their crops and stealing their livestock". (Do a search of this blog for a posting (January) of three letters he wrote while in the war.)
Here are some graves stones I have scanned, I know my genealogy records and books contain more photos of tombstones but I’ve yet to scan them all.
The next four photos are all stones at Grandview Covenant Cemetery, rural Larchwood, Lyon County, IA
Left: My GG Grandparents Adolph & Greta Swanson

Right: My Grandparents Joe & Phoebe Johnson
Left: My brother Steve

Right: Johnson stones.
Left: At a reunion of Joe and Phoebe Johnson's descendants in 2005, we visited the Grandview Cemetery.

My G Grandparents, Charles and Anna Swanson are buried at Grandview Covenant Cemetery, rural Larchwood, IA
My GG Grandparents, Carl and Carolina Swanson are buried at the Lutheran Cemetery north of Canton, SD
My G Grandparents, Andrew and Albertina Johnson are buried at Grandview Covenant Cemetery, rural Larchwood, IA
I took a day trip in Eastern Iowa a few years ago to search out the graves of some of my Pierce relatives. I first went to Ackley, IA to find my GG Grandmother Sarah Wilson Pierce Watters and her second husband’s stones. (Her first husband was J. M. Pierce, of Ackley, IA, who died at the end of the Civil War and is pictured above.) When I drove in the cemetery I had no clue where the stone was. I parked the car and saw a caretaker talking with someone and he said wait a second and he would talk to me in a bit. I decided to move the car out of the lane and pulled over and got out of the car and guess who's stones I was standing in front of? Yep, Sarah (1830-1903) and Robert Watters (1841-1898). Robert had lived in Washington Co. IA until May of 1861 when he responded to his country's call and enlisted in the 8th IA Volunteer Infantry. He entered the ranks as a Private and after serving valiantly for 4 years, 7 months and 20 days, returned as a Corporal. In the Battle of Shiloh a ball went whizzing past his head so closely that it cut a track, he lanquished in a prison pen for seven long months and was released. About a year after the war he came to Ackley, IA, May 1966, and was fond of sitting down and recounting his army experiences with the Grand Army boys as often as opportunity permitted.
Then I drove down to Bevin’s Grove Cemetery, Liberty Township in Marshall County, IA., going off a map I pulled off the internet to get to the cemetery. Well I came over a hill from the south and was surprised at how fast I came upon the cemetery and missed the first driveway because I was driving so fast, so I quickly pulled into the second lane. As I stopped I noticed a parking area over to the north and thought of driving over there but someone was parked there so I decided to stay where I was and when I got out of the car guess who's stone I was standing in front of? Yep, the Pierce family! My GGG Grandmother Lydia Ward Pierce (1803-1880) is buried there. I got chills! Two cemeteries in one day and someone was showing me the way to the stones.
Lydia's husband, my GGG Grandfather Thomas Pierce (1800-1868), a quaker, died in Indiana and his tombstone also has Lydia's information on it at White River Friends Cemetery in Randolph, IN.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Denver, IA - Cemetery Walk

Have you ever been on a cemetery walk? In honor of Memorial Day tomorrow, I thought I'd share a few photos of an event we had here.
I was on the committee for Denver's Sesquicentennial celebration in 2005, and we sponsored a presentation: Bring History to Life. Voices of the Past: A Walk Through the Denver Cemetery.
The presenters, in their proper costumes of the period their person lived, stood with their back to the crowd or behind a tall monument until the time came to speak to visitors and they would turn around or step out and walk to the group.
First they would announce and introduce who they were and then start telling about their lives, ending with the date of their death. When each finished they would turn their back and walk away - there were no questions or answers from the crowd.

We had small groups guided through the cemetery to keep the traffic moving and tried to choose a variety of people from the towns past. It was a great success with a lot of coordination, but as you can see from the photos, our townspeople got into their parts with gusto.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vreta Kloster, Östergötland, Sweden

Located about 12 kilometers northwest of Linköping, we visited Vreta kloster 6/22/01, and were lucky to find the church open and Professor Paul Reinicke, a parishioner there, to act as a guide and interpreter for us. He was so knowledgeable, having written a book on the parish history. He took us from one end to the other, explaining the rich history. There is evidence that people lived in this area from about 4000 BC. and some of that is displayed in the church museum.
The oldest part of the present day church, a three naved basilica with transept and side isles, dates back to mid 1000 AD. (tombstones from 1060) In 1125 a royal crypt was added to transept with an extension in the south as a burial place for members of one of Sweden's oldest royal families. A crown hangs over a burial chamber, indicated royalty was buried underneath. The octangular burial vaults of the Douglas family were built in 1663, and now contain five copper coffins, this family is the owner of the nearby Stjärnorp Castle.
The church tower was built in the 18th century to replace the middle age gabled structure and in 1914 the church was given a restoration followed by another in 1988. The front of the church was at one time for nuns and the regular parishioners sat in the second sanctuary. There were numbers on the pew doors and he said those numbers once were used by different farms in the area, each family having their place to sit. The pulpit in German and Italian style was presented to the church in 1658.
The actual cloister appears to have been founded in about 1110, considered to be Sweden's oldest known monastery. The Abby was reconsecrated in 1289 and its present character and appearance is preserved from this date.
A nunnery and Abby, was a place where travelers could find refuge, the old could be taken care of and it was sort of a hospital also. Monastery buildings were partly excavated in 1916-1926. The excavated portion of the Abbey and Nunnery is now a place where many people's ashes are laid to rest after cremation.
While trying to find connections of my ancestors to this parish, I find my 8th GGrandparents (on my Swanson side) Hemming Olofsson, Nämnderman in Gullbergs härad 1669-1671 (d. 1671), and his wife Elin (d. 1646) were both buried in Vreta Kloster. 7th GGrandparents Olof Hemmingsson was born about 1632 in Tyttorp, Vreta Kloster and married Maria Larsdotter, born about 1645 in Sågen, Vreta Kloster. They were married in 1664 in Vreta Kloster. Olof was a nämndeman, a lay judge for Gullbergs houndred.
Left: The door handle to the church. I wonder if any of my ancestors placed their hand on this handle as I did?
My 5 and 4th Great Grandparents (on my Johnson line) lived in this parish. 5th GGrandparents Anders Johnson (1707 - 1790), and Maria Persdotter (1701 - 1780) both died at Brink, Vreta
Kloster. I have these notes on Maria, "...she was first married with the widower Hans Tyrsson. This marriage last for 15 years and she gave birth to 5 children, one son and four daughters. After 1 1/2 year of widowhood she married Anders Jonsson and give the birth to two girls of which one was still alive the year 1780. Her (Maria´s) health had always been good but with rising age only worse and worse and her last four years confined to bed. She never complained till her transformation occurred on Dec. 21, 1780 in an aged of 79 years." Sourse: WHF 68-412. My 4th GGrandparents Anders Bengtson, a farmer, (1738 - 1805), and his wife Maria Andersdotter, (1742 - 1831) lived in Brink, Vreta Kloster Parish.
My 4th GGrandparents Nils Månsson (1779-1811) and Anna Maja Larsdotter (1776-1848) were married in Vreta Kloster in 1801. Both of Nils parents died when he was 2 years old and he was raised by his Uncle Nils Nilsson in Pålstorp, Vreta Kloster. Nils and Anna both died in Solberg, Vreta Kloster. Although Nils died at the age of 31, he and Anna had four children. Their son Magnus Nilsson was born in 1804, at Segerstorp, Vreta Kloster. He married Maje Persdotter. My Grandmother Phoebe left handwritten notes about her GG Grandparents; "With much patience Magnus (1804-1871) raised his children, he was an upright man but suffered rheumatism, lived to old age. Maje (1805-1859) was very kind but grief overtook her after death of younger children and she died middle aged in an asylum." (note from Phoebe Swanson Johnson) Their daughter Greta was married to Adolph Swanson in Brohemmet, Ljung in 1860, and were my GG Grandparents who immigrated to the US in 1889.
Of course there are many cousin connections to Vreta Kloster as well in my records.
Above: A view from the church looking towards Lake Roxen and Linköping in the distance.
Left: This barn was across the road from the church. We found it interesting as it had a road going up into the second floor.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dubbelde Bridge

This photo is from around 1910 and shows some school children on the Blood Run Creek bridge about 3/4 of a mile from our farm, near our neighbors the Dubbelde's farm. Of course the bridge is long gone but I love this photo as it represents a simpler time. Do you think anyone was worried about the students climbing up on the railing? Who took the photo? Sioux Township No. 2 rural school was just north of this bridge in the extreme NW corner of the state of Iowa. My Grandmother Phoebe Swanson Johnson is the girl on the far left of the photo. It was a time of simple pleasures, where taking a trip to the creek and getting a group picture on a bridge was a big thing.
I've been disappointed in how some students are living in a me, me, gimmie, gimmie, world with egos and attitudes to match. Manners and respect are escaping some of our youth. You've heard the saying, "You have to earn respect", I'm not sure that is even totally true anymore, some kids hear that and think you should pay them for their respect! How many times have I asked for help, to get the response, "what ya gonna to pay me?" I guess it's time for summer vacation for both the students AND the teachers. Good luck parents, I hope you encourage some attitude adjustments over the summer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A long time ago...

in a galaxy far far away... ha! My last semester in high school I think I was either in the art room or the band room hanging out with friends. Four of us (Top: Barb & Kris Bottom: Roxane & Me) painted a mural back in the kiln room of our art room. A little too cutsie for my taste now, but we had fun painting it and it lasted a couple years before it was painted over. I've never been a big fan of rainbows and butterflies in art work, but I do love them in nature.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Graduation Time

Our Seniors are done with school and the open house graduation parties are in full swing but they don't have graduation exercises until next Sunday. Made me think back to my own graduation, back in 1976 from good ole West Lyon High School of Inwood, IA. It was a tradition to wear the school choir robes which were blue and purchase our motar boards/hats. Girls got a graduation dress and guys usually got a suit for graduation. Our class was short money for big bouquets of flowers for the stage and I remember making tissue paper roses in the art room which we put in two huge bouquets on the stage. We were so proud no one in the crowd at a distance knew they were fake.Above: A few of my classmates walking in or out. If we don't have roses in our hands the photo was Sunday afternoon, we had the roses for Graduation night. We had a baccalaureate service on Sunday (the afternoon after prom I might add, what were they thinking!) Of course, that was in the days when prayer was legal at school events, it's nuts to think prayer can't be included now! Graduation followed on Wednesday evening.Kids didn't attend other classmates parties, they were busy at their own! It was a time for family and friends. Graduating in the Bicentennial year, we were thick into the red, white, and blue. We just had to work in red into the blue robes and white caps and did that with red tipped white roses. Mothers all tried to work in blue to the lunch, cake or punch. If I remember right we had cake with red roses on top, frozen fruit cups, macaroni salad, sandwiches, mints, nuts and punch at my open house. We alternated the napkins blue and white.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Denver, Iowa

I took my photography students downtown in April to take some photos. We stood in one spot and then took photos in a 180 degree view from one spot. I choose to take photos of some of the older buildings in town. It looks very spread out but these buildings are actually much closer together. I took 27 pictures to make up this one view at the intersection of Main St. and Logan Ave.Check out our class blog, Digital Intentions, to see some of the students work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Great Great Grandma Carolina

Piecing together family history comes from many sources. I find it interesting to gather little tidbits of information to make a person from the past come to life to those of us who never met them.

This is a lamp of my Great Great Grandma Carolina (Gustafsdotter) Swanson's that I have. My Great Uncle Elmer Swanson told Dad he remembered her softening wax by the heat of that lamp to put on her feet, supposedly to protect corns or sore spots on her feet.

Their first winter on the Dakota prairie her husband Karl went to work chopping wood thirty miles south of Sioux City and left his family with half a sack of flour and a little corn. It was Carolina and four children, ranging in ages of an infant under one to my Great Grandfather Charley age 8. They used corn soup to live on. The earth from the sod had sunk down from the roof and Indians would come peering down into the sod house. Carolina kept an ax beside her bed. The Indians never hurt them. I imagine they were mostly curious.
Imagine the cramped cold dugout that winter, alone with the children and her thoughts of what had they gotten themselves into.

Carolina suggested to her husband, tying a rope from the log house to the barn, as a guideline so he could find and feed his livestock during blinding blizzards.

Granddaughter Helen (of Wheaton, IL) remembered in a letter to her cousin Mabel Swanson, "Grandma would get out her pipe and pull all the shades then I would curl up at her feet and she would talk and talk about those days. My only regret now is that I hadn't encouraged more of it." (referring to stories in a booklet written by her grandchildren about her son, my Great Grandfather Charley Swanson, "C.T.S. Pioneer Days")
In these days it's hard to believe a woman pulling out a pipe to smoke, but one can only wonder when she started smoking and how often. Oh to have heard those stories of this Swedish immigrant/pioneer.

Grandma Carolina was living with Mrs. Andrew Anderson in Rowena, SD when the Andersons got their first radio. While getting supper one evening Carolina was serious when she thought Mrs. Anderson should feed that man in the box too! (as told by Melvin Swanson)
Oh what would she think if our lives now!

Here is her obituary:
Dayton Township Woman Came to County in 1871; Funeral at Sioux Falls
DAYTON - (Special to The News) - Mrs. Caroline Swanson, age 92, who settled in Dayton township in 1871, died at the Andrew Anderson home near Rowena, S.D., on Wednesday night where she had been residing the past year. (Died Mar 16, 1932)
Mrs. Swanson was born and married in Sweden, coming to the United States in 1869. In 1871 they traveled by boat down the Mississippi at Lansing, IA and there began a westward journey by team, ultimately terminating in Lincoln County of Dakota Territory. For several years after arriving in this section, they dwelt in a sod house and withstood the many other hardships which were common to the pioneers.
Mr. Swanson died 41 years ago and five children preceded Mrs. Swanson in death. Surviving are four children, Charles T. of Granite, Ia.; Mrs. Phillip Jacobson of Rowena; Mrs. August Westling of Sioux Falls and August Swanson of Dayton Township; 28 grand children and 22 great grand children.
The funeral services were held on Saturday at Sioux Falls, officiated by the Rev. J.H. Ford of Beaver Valley church. Interment was at the Lutheran cemetery northeast of Canton, beside her other loved ones. Six grandsons acted as pall bearers. Mrs. Swanson left Dayton homestead a number of years ago living for a while in Canton before moving to Sioux Falls where she spent a number of years. To the writer’s knowledge she was the last of the very oldest pioneers who settled these parts.
Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb

To love and be loved by a mother... one of God's greatest gifts. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I Love You!

Memories, Hugs and Kisses!
We Love You!
Joe, Debbie, Steve and Diane

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quotes to Ponder

I love quotes... A friend passed these quotes on to me today.

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw

Everything that works at (insert your school, business, organization name here) is because of the relationships of those involved. Everything that doesn't work at (insert the same school, business, organization name here) is because of the relationships of those involved.

Makes you think... communication and relationship building are so important yet they are often the things we take for granted, until they aren't there.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Johnson Reunion 2009

Descendants of Andrew and Albertina Johnson (Anders and Albertina Jönsson) met this weekend in Monroe, South Dakota. I didn't get to attend, but here are some photos from the gathering shared with me by cousins Shirley and Teresa. I don't know all of these people, but in my genealogy program, so may need some help with names on a few.

Left: Karen & Paul Hildring & granddaughter Tashley.
Right: Calvin & Darlene Johnson

Left: Gil & Iola Haugan
Right: Kay Langin, Sharon Schwartz, & Luella (Haugan) Lacey

Left: Paul & Karen Hildring
Right: Lyle & Sharon (Berg) Schwartz

Left: The hosts Gene & Pat Berg
Right: Ed Langin

Left: Shirley Scott, Kay L., Gil H., & Luella L.
Right: Berg Sisters; Judy P., Granddaughter Cassie, Sharon S., Teresa Berg

Left: Amy (Pietz) Moncur, Cassie Jo & Carrie
Right: Mike Larsen and Judy (Berg) Pietz

Left: Eunice & Ray Haugan
Right: Linda (Langin) Langner, Mike Larsen, Jackie (Larsen) Newcomb
Above: Jackie Newcomb and Viola Haugan


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