genealogy in scandinavia

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Elsen, Alfred, Gothenberg (Backa?), född c18572010-03-16 17:04

2010-03-06 14:04 

 Looking for information on the birth(place) of Alfred ELSEN born circa 1857, a mariner from Gothenberg (maybe Backa?), who emigrated to Bristol in England where he married and settled.
He is found then on the UK census. His marriage certificate provided the known information and that his mother"s name was ANDERSON.

Please could someone help provide some birth details and family connection in Sweden? 

Svar på svenska gär bra! Tack i förväg.

Mvh Danny
  SVAR 2010-03-06 15:15

Det skulle kunna vara bokhållare Alfred Eriksson, född 15 juni 1857 i Västerlanda (Älvsborgs län), som emigrerade till England 24 februari 1888. Föräldrar: Anders Eriksson, född 12 juli 1820 och Inger Maja Andersson, född 4 maj 1827.
  SVAR 2010-03-06 22:20

 Thank you Bo. However, I am not so sure. This Alfred Elsen was definitely a sailor. The dates and mother"s name fit, butI do not see the jump from Eriksson to Elsen. Do you think Backa might be Kungsbacka?

Mvh Danny
  SVAR 2010-03-06 22:22

 Thank you Bo. However, I am not so sure. This Alfred Elsen was definitely a sailor. The dates and mother"s name fit, butI do not see the jump from Eriksson to Elsen. Do you think Backa might be Kungsbacka?

Mvh Danny
  SVAR 2010-03-10 16:19

Hi Danny, Hi Bo!

Where is he and his family in the 1891 and 1901 census? In the 1881 they are in Bristol St James In, Gloucestershire, and he"s an engine fitter. All it says is he"s from Sweden. Have you seen any different spellings of Elsen looking for them? I see a lot of Elsen (and Alsen and all kind of variations) in the various census and I beleive it  could be from either Olsson or Eliasson. If we can find them in one more census that might help?

  SVAR 2010-03-10 22:23

 Hello Susanna,

Thanks for your input. Now, ELIASSON I can live with. Pronounced in English it would be " A Liar"s son" (!) and that"s a very good reason to change the name. The trouble is that he "disappears" after the 1881, as you noted. That is the reason for looking for him on this forum. I wonder if the combination of Eliasson and Kungsbacka might produce something??

  SVAR 2010-03-10 23:22

Hi Danny,

Well it was just a guess, and Eliasson is (was) quite common on the west coast in some areas. It could very well be Backa or Kungsbacka. But it would be nice to see where he went.  Did they have children, and how come you"re looking for him? If you give me some more on his family I"ll do some research in UK and Sweden.


  SVAR 2010-03-11 19:29

If you get back to me to confirm the family in UK (what you have on his sons) we can give you some more. We do believe he emigrated to the US late 1890"s, as a widow. So did his son Frederick in 1911. To Alfred, his father. The various census in US tells us he is living with his nephew (born 1880 in Gothenburg, father born 1842 in Backa) so we"re getting closer. We still have to confirm Alfred though and a lot of the household exams are missing for this time so it might take a few. However, we do believe (me and Bo) that it is him in the US. No perfect year of birth yet or place but we"re looking.

So if you can confirm some details we"d be thrilled.

  SVAR 2010-03-12 15:22

 Hello again Susanna (and Bo!),

Thank you for your input and help so far on this. Btw, I am trying to help a newbie in England, hence the delay. 
More information! Although he had a wife and son in Bristol ( wife Mary 23 years and son Harry 7 months), he was a Mariner and was away a lot. He lived a lot of the time in America between 1900 and 1930 in New Jersey. He lived with family from his mothers side, his nephew and uncle Anderson. (obviously means that his mother"s maiden name is Anderson). They seem to have come from Gothenberg in Sweden, possibly Backa in Gothenberg (that"s the andersons though, i"m assuming he was near by when he was living in Sweden...)

I"ve had a look at the Alien entry books and didn"t find anything btw... that was the first place I looked. Perhaps I should try variations on the surname, although I think I covered that!

Oh also, he had a later son Frederick William Bryant Elsen who lived in USA also later on. He serves in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1917-1919...

Finally, and in response to your info, the freeBMD site has the following entry: Deaths Mar Qtr 1904 ELSEN Mary Emily 43 Cardiff 11a 220.

I hope this helps.

  SVAR 2010-03-12 16:44


OK, so we know all of the above, he"s been located in the US, so has his son. (Did he stay there or did he die in UK?) I also found Mary w two of her sons in Wales (?) in 1901. Also found all of their birth dates (the three sons). So we assumed that Mary must have died while Alfred was in the US.  Now that seems relevant if she died in 1904. We have done a lot of research for Alfred in the household exams in various places, Backa, Hjertum etc. Olof Andersson was born in Backa on Sept 6 in 1842. He married a girl from Hjertum (b. 24 Nov 1845) called Maria Charlotta Olsson, in 1870. Olof"s father was Anders Olsson - and may be the father of Alfred too, unfortunately birth records and hh records are missing for the period. He could also be the brother of Marie Charlotte Olsson. Her father was Johan Olsson. They moved around a lot and we have a hard time following the family to see if he was her brother, again because of lack of information in the records and because they"re missing.  But for sure, he"s related to Olof, as he is the uncle of Morgan and Rose (both born in Gothenburg). Question is, on who"s side he is. Olof would have been a little too young to be his father, although not impossible. But there is no matching Alfred born in Backa 1855-1857. We"re working on it though. And we"re getting closer. If you have anything else to add, please let us know. Talk to you soon!

Susanna (and Bo)

  SVAR 2010-03-12 17:52

Just one more thing Danny. We would have loved to know all of the above before even starting the research. We spent hours and hours of looking for him all over. It would have been so nice to have known about this beforehand so that our focus could have been on looking for him in Sweden. Just a hint for next time you look for ancestors abroad. You did not give us anything until we presented some more, which is also very tiring. And time consuming. It sounded like you did not know anything about him or his life, but you did, you knew quite a bit. We learned a lot on the way (that most relevant records from Backa and Hjertum are missing etc.) but it did not add to what you had already. So, next time (and that goes for everyone in this forum) please give all you have from the beginning. It make it more fun and efficient for everyone.


  SVAR 2010-03-12 19:07

 Hej Susanna!

Sorry about that. As I said, I am trying to help a "third party" and it was entirely my fault in the way the info has been presented. I have been careful to make sure that anything I passed on was "verified", and to that end I have spent a lot of time too checking through various sources.
I have just completed a search of the CEF attestation records for son Frederick William Bryant ELSEN. This has confirmed that Alfred was indeed his father and that he was born 13 Dec 1882, Bristol, England. His address at attestation (12 Jun 1917, Montreal) ) was 207 Clarks Pl. Elizabeths, New Jersey. Source Ref: 
2075426 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 2896 - 26

On a personal note, for both you and the list, I am British but now resident in Sweden. Unfortunately my written Swedish is not up to my spoken level, hence the English language. Swedish answers, however, are not a problem. My personal interests are my Father"s Irish lineage (Galway and Cork), my mother"s Welsh lineage (Swansea), the 65th Regiment British Army, British Maritime matters, and Swedish genealogy. I also "know my way around" British research and, to a lesser extent, North American.

And that really is all I have now.

  SVAR 2010-03-12 19:20

OK, let"s move on Brit!  

I"ll continue in Swedish or English, we"ll see. Anyhow, Frederick spent time with his dad 1911-1917 according to a manifest in 1919 when he returns to the States (coming in over Canada). It says he"s been visiting his brother Henry in Bristol. Destination is father Alfred. 
So far we haven"t come closer to where he was born. I think there"s a "twist" in this case, not only missing records but it might be that the whole truth and nothing but the truth is coming thru. We"ll see. Bo and I are still looking into births in the neighboring parishes and may come up with something. Til later,

Greetings from NM, USA


  SVAR 2010-03-12 21:44

 Thanks Yank. NM huh? Well "The truth is out there"! Regards to Fox Mulder. On a serious note, I am in Växjö so if you require a look up at the resource here, then give me a shout.

  SVAR 2010-03-13 01:20

LOL! I"m a Swede actually, in NM, but that"s OK. And a lot stranger things are happening here (so true) than hunting elusive Swedish expatriates. I"ll let you know in the future if I need your help in Vaxjo, you never know! Thanks! 

  SVAR 2010-03-15 15:58


Pls write me; - we have found his origins and some more.

My best,
  SVAR 2010-03-16 11:07

Please also write something here about the solution to the problem, for the benefit of people finding this discussion in the future. What was his origin?
  SVAR 2010-03-16 15:35

OK, here"s the "result" from the "Swedish American team"...:-)

Alfred Elesen was born as August Olsson in Gbg Domkyrkoforsamling on May 25 in 1855.  He was the son of Johannes (called John in most hh exams) Olsson and Katrina Magdalena Magnusdotter. Johan (Johannes) Olsson and his wife were also parents of Maria Charlotta (b. 24/11 1845) who married Olof Anderson in 1879. This Olof lived in the US for longer periods with and without his children, as well as with Alfred Elesen. Morgan and Rose Anderson (children of Olof) called Alfred their "uncle" and that"s what made us look into and around Olof"s family to identify Alfred. We did suspect that he was the brother of Maria Charlotta Olsson at an early stage and followed (we got lost many times due to illegible records as well as missing ones) all possible leads to verify Alfred and his origins. 

Long story short, Danny now has copies of all documents we found in our hunt for this elusive but interesting Alfred.

  SVAR 2010-03-16 17:04

 Please may I formally and publicly thank the list, specifically Susanna and Bo, for their immense contribution and diligence in solving this "problem" for me.
This addictive hobby, sometimes obsession, is "real time" detective work. As such, it will always require the help and generosity (of  others time and effort) so perfectly displayed on this Forum.
I came to you with Alfred Elsen because you are the Swedish experts. The depth of knowledge, the commitment to factual verification, and the willingness to help others is outstanding.

I hope that I may be able to "repay" your kindness  with help regarding British Family History. 

Tack så väldigt mycket! 

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