genealogy in scandinavia

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Swenson, John A, Krapperup, Höganäs, född 18782008-04-28 15:37

2008-04-24 14:12 

Looking for John A Swenson, name listed in US census, born circa 1878. Emigrated to the US in the 1890s (possibly on the Hekla in 1895) and settled in Andover, MA, USA working in the wool mill. Married Sigrid Benedicta Anderson, born Oct 03, 1879, Brunnby Parish, in early 1900s.  Had eleven children first of which was my grandfather, Arthur Sigurd Swenson born June 23, 1901. Stumped on how to find further information without knowing parents or Swedish version of his name.

Sett för John EN Swenson , namn katalogiserat i OSS folkräkning , född omkring 1878. Utvandra till OSS inne om 1890s ( möjligen på det Hekla i 1895) och avgjort i Andorra MA USA arbetande inne om ull kvarn. Gift Sigrid Benediktinen Anderson , född Oct Brunnby Paris , i tidigt 1900s. Har elva barnen allra först vilken var min farfar Arthur Sigurd Swenson född Juni 23, 1901. Stubbe på hur till finna längre bort informationen utan kunnig den föräldern eller Svensk version av hans namn.

  SVAR 2008-04-24 15:39

Hi Laura,

US Census 1920 tells us that Johan A Swenson immigrated in 1894 and that he married Sigrid B in 1900 and also that Sigrid had been in the country since 1880.
You mention Krapperup and Hoganas as a possible origin. Where did you get that information?
There is one match in the Swedish census in 1890 in Hoganas if he emigrated from there (I will have to look deeper into that). 

Post 2296049

Johan Albin

f. 1878 i Höganäs bruksförs (Malmöhus län, Skåne)

Pojke, barn i familjen

Enkor N:r 104
Höganäs bruksförs (Malmöhus län, Skåne)

Födelseort i källan: Höganäs Bruks


His family:

Ljungberg f. Petersd:tr, Bengta 1848 Mor
(Barn), Johan Albin 1878 Barn
(Barn), Anna Emmilia 1884 Barn
(Barn), Ellen Alfrida 1888 Barn

There is one John listed, born in 1878, no Jonas at this place in the census 1890. I tried several combinations.

However if oyu have more info, like what asked about above, I'd gladly take it and I'll search for more matches for both.

Have a great day!
  SVAR 2008-04-24 17:28


Do you know if this is him? If it is we have a birth date.

Social Security Death Index
about John Swenson
Name: John Swenson
SSN: 022-40-6689
Last Residence: 01005 Barre, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America
Born: 22 Aug 1878
Died: Jun 1969
State (Year) SSN issued: Massachusetts (1965-1966 )

  SVAR 2008-04-24 18:37

Susanna: Johan Albin, född i Höganäs, föddes den 7 mars och fadern hette Johannes Ljungberg. Denne Johan Albin kan knappast vara identisk med John A Swenson.

Krapperup ligger i Brunnby församling och där var troligen Johns hustru Sigrid Benedikta Andersson född (se tidigare efterlysning avseende henne).
  SVAR 2008-04-24 20:07


The Social Security Death Index is definitely not the correct "John" because my great grandfather died when my father (born 1929) was at boy scout camp so not later than 1947 and as much as 10 years earlier. I believe he died while living on N. Main Street in Andover, MA.

I'm not sure the exact wording of Bo's reply to you was since I don't  understand Swedish. I'm using an online translator which I'm betting is obvious. I just  started last week on the Swedish websites and am only understanding the very basic Swedish genealogy words at this point. I'm thinking he's saying that the Johan Albin was born March 7, 1878 and can't be the same John as the death index. It could still be possible that you have the right Johan Albin birth record.

My mother emailed me that the Swensons were from  "Hogenas, Skona Provinco, Kraperup" as she remembers being told by my dad's cousin who visited Sweden.  She also told me that both Sigrid and John emigrated at the age of 17. I have seen the US censuses and believe that the dates of immigration aren't necessarily correct.  I thought I saw somewhere online that both John and Sigrid were naturalized in Philadelphia, PA circa 1900.

As Bo Holm said I queried last week in regards to John's wife, Sigrid Benedikta Andersson. I started with her since her name seems a little less common and I knew her middle name. I learned from Bo that some father was from Örkelljunga and I think may have found some of her ancestors on Bengt W. Johansson's indices.

I thank you very much for your efforts and I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me.  I just started looking into my family's genealogy and find it quite interesting. It seems like a nice way of honoring those who have gone before and informing those who follow.

  SVAR 2008-04-24 21:47

I just found some more information about my great grandparents John A. and SIgrid Benedikta Swenson. I spoke to the Andover, MA, USA Town Clerk about their marriage license.

They were married March 8, 1901 in Andover, MA. The clerk said Sigrid's parents were listed as August Andersson and Johanna Svensson confirming Bo's information in regards to Sigrid. John's were listed as Sven Neilson and Pella Lauison (she wasn't sure about the spelling of Pella's last name). The only birth place for both of them given was Sweden.

JAG rättvis grunda något mer upplysning på min stor farföräldrar John En. och SIgrid Benedikta Swenson. JAG eker till Andorra MA USA Stad Kontorist omkring deras äktenskap licens.

De var gift Marschen 8, 1901 i Andorra MA. Assistenten sa Sigrid's föräldern var katalogiserat så Augusti Andersson och Johanna Svensson bekräftande Bo's informationen i hänsynen till Sigrid. John's var katalogiserat så Sven Neilson och Pella Lauison ( hon var inte säker omkring stavningen av Pella's sist namn ). Den bara födelse ställe för bägge tö givit var Sverige.

  SVAR 2008-04-24 22:06

Hej Laura! Hej Bo!

First Bo, tack for det! Hann aldrig kolla djupare efter fadern,sa det ar klart nu! Tack for hjalpen! Ska kolla tidigare efterlysning ocksa.

So it can't be him. That's for sure. And you're right, Bo told me so in Swedish and also told me about your previous query. I'll look into that one now. We'll see what we can find, I just needed your attention for a while. And all the information you may have. 

There aren't too many Swensons in MA so I think we'll be able to trace them back and also find him leaving Brunnby parish which is what Bo tells me is the correct parish for Krapperup and Hoganas. (Do you know anything about that part of Sweden? If you ask me I'd say it's the most beautiful area of all...!  The Krapperup castle and the coast line is just amazing!) OK, I know that census can not be trusted always. I have not been able to find his emigration so far but I'm going to look for both of them now, coming in at the age of 17.

Til later,


  SVAR 2008-04-24 22:07

Oops! We were writing at the same time! This is live!

OK, I'll read your new notes and get back to yoo soon.

  SVAR 2008-04-25 07:22


I don't know if this is a longshot or not, but I found this family in the 1890 census, that fits partly to what you write about John's parents' names:

Nilsson, Sven 1849 Father, born in Tåstarp
Lannes, Petronella 1848 Mother, born in Förslöv
(Child), Carl Libert 1874, born in Förslöv
(Child), Selma Augusta 1876, born in Tåstarp
(Child), Johan Albert Sigfrid 1878, born in Tåstarp
(Child), Alma Maria 1879, born in Tåstarp
(Child), Frans Ferdinand 1880, born in Tåstarp
They lived at No. 15 Tåstarp.
Tåstarp (spelled Tostarp earlier) is not near Krapperup or Höganäs, but at least it is in the same part of Sweden. If you look at, and zoom out to about 3, then you see how far from Höganäs Tåstarp is.

The interesting thing about this family is that they all emigrated to North America, but not at the same time, according to the household examination for Tåstarp 1881-1896. (If you have a Genline subscription, you find them at GID 1708.5.6400.)
Johan Albert Sigfrid was born March 22, 1878 and he emigrated June 1, 1893. At least that is how I read it. His birth date could be August 22, but it looks more like a 3 than an 8. However, this means that Johan was only 15 when he emigrated (together with his sister Selma Augusta. Their brother Carl Liber had emigrated a few years earlier (1891) and their parents, together with Alma Maria and Frans Ferdinand emigrated 1895.
  SVAR 2008-04-25 12:29

I can confirm that Carin Olofsson has found the right family.

Johan Albert Sigfrid was born March 22, 1878 (birthbook).

Johan and his sister Selma Augusta arrived at New York (from Helsingborg) June 22, 1893. Destination: Boston. In the ship manifest they had the surname Nilsson, not Svensson.
  SVAR 2008-04-25 15:20

When I'm asleep you're working! Thank you Carin and Bo! That's them! I spent a lot of time looking for him as Nilsson in the immigration records yesterday, knew something was 'wrong'. And I as we knew he wasn't born in Brunnby. Thanks guys, I know Laura will be thrilled! And it'll be easy to move on from here.
  SVAR 2008-04-25 16:32

Thank you! Thank you! Susanna, Carin and Bo!

I can't believe you found it so quickly with the information I gave you. Thank you so much for all your efforts! Susanna is right I am thrilled about the information and all your generous help. I saw your replies several hours ago but it has taken me this long to try to put in words my thanks to all.

As I was thinking about John's census information for 1910, 1920 and 1930 last night, I realized that his birthday must be between January 3 and April 3, 1878 because he had gained a year in the censuses taken in April and later. John's immigration is listed as a different year (1892, 1893 and 1894) in each of the above mentioned censuses. I still need to find his census for 1900 to determine where he was at that time. I believe I have Sigrid's 1900 census since I found a Sigrid Anderson fitting her info working in a Higgins household in Andover, MA.

The middle names "Albert Sigfrid" explain why the 1920 census has his middle initial as A and in 1930 as S.  It also explains why one of his children was named Albert and is another  reason why my grandfather's middle name was Sigurd.

I never would have looked for Nillson as John's last name on his emigration record. I did find a copy of that record online this morning. It's still perplexing to me though that I was told by the Andover Town Clerk that John's mother's name was "Pella Lauison". I was looking for birth records with a "Petronella or Pernilla Larsson" as the mother last night thinking that was the most likely spelling of her name.

Thank you again!


  SVAR 2008-04-25 16:55

Hi Laura.

I do believe the census with your Sigrid is the right one (from 1900). I found it yesterday and that would match, she's the only Sigrid Anderson in Andover. And since they got married there it is most likely her. Now that we have a complete family to look for, or parts of it, we can probably find him somewhere close to them in 1900 too. I'll look for the siblings today.

Meanwhile, have a great day!

(And since you probably didn't know they all came you are likely to have relatives 'spread all over". There's more work to do.for sure).

Susanna :-)
  SVAR 2008-04-25 18:01


Believe it or not but this must be the famliy, (all) gathered in 1900. Many many typos but it's them.

1900 United States Federal Census
about Snan Nelson
Name: Snan Nelson
Home in 1900: Andover, Essex, Massachusetts
Age: 50
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1850
Birthplace: Sweden
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse's Name: Pallo
Race: White
Occupation: View image
Immigration Year: 1896
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Snan Nelson 50
Pallo Nelson 49
Carl L Nelson 25
Selma A Nelson 23
John A Nelson 22
Frank F Nelson 19
Alma M Hallan 21
John Larson 22

If you look into it, the names aren't that crazy or mixed up. And John is born in March, it says so. However, both Petronella and Sven are younger than when they left. And it seems Alma is married.

Hey, no wonder he was tricky to find in the 1900 census. He's John A Nelson. Guess he changed to his 'real' name Swenson as he got married.




  SVAR 2008-04-25 18:46

Thank you Susanna!

I would never have found the family, in fact, I believe I looked at that census year page by page in Andover looking especially hard at the North Main residents for John. Of course, I did not know his siblings or parents names or even that they lived here. 

The address of this family is just a few doors down from where Sigrid and John ended up living. It probably explains why my mom says that they ran a grocery or general store when I know that John was working at the Stevens Wool Mill. I was wondering how he could do both.

My grandfather worked for the mill as well but was promoted to a position in New York City moving our family to New Jersey before my dad was born. I had a real hard time finding the 1930 census for them because the lookup for his family has Swanson as the last name even though when you look at the actual document you can see that it is Swenson.

There also was another Swenson family living near to them with similiar names and ages. In fact, someone has on the web my uncle' s information combined with the some of the other boy's info. I only know it's wrong because I know that my dad and his brother weren't born in New Jersy even though they lived there.

Thank you for taking all this time to find my family's information.

  SVAR 2008-04-25 19:42

Hi Laura,

You're welcome, let me know if you need help on some of the siblings now that you have them all gathered. They may have stayed in MA, at least a few of them.

And reg. the guy who has your families mixed up. Some people gladly copy everything they can find on the web from ex. and their family trees. It is sad. I've seen that many times. Can you contact this person and tell him he's got the wrong info? I would do that, even if it won't make him happy.

  SVAR 2008-04-25 20:03


I thought about contacting the person but the profile says they're from Abu Dhabi. It was a strange kind of random (not in an actual tree) kind of web page that combined my dead uncle's social security death index with some information obviously gained from the other boy's census. Strangely, even though it had incorrect information I was able to get his exact birth and death dates because up until then I had been unable to located his SSDI.
  SVAR 2008-04-25 23:27


What's the difference, Abu Dhabi - Sweden? I would send a note.  

  SVAR 2008-04-26 00:40


I sent an email to the woman in regards to my uncle.  She apparently has a private tree with or similar site. I left the information rather general since I'm not sure what relationship she has to either man. She can email  me if she has further questions.

Thanks again!

  SVAR 2008-04-26 04:27


I have found Sven and Petronella's marriage and Carl Libert's birth record on the DDDS website. Can you recommend any websites where I might find further records of my family in Tåstarp and Förslöv? I recently found the English portion of DDDS and I've used links from SweGGate to find information about some of SIgrid's relatives. Because I recognize so few Swedish words it makes it a little difficult to navigate the sites.


  SVAR 2008-04-26 13:26

Since Förslöv birth records for 1848 isn't available on DDSS yet, I checked it up through Genline (see for further information). Petronella was born May 23 (christened May 28). Her parents were Petter Lannes and Kjersti Jönsdotter, No. 5 Fogdarp (Genline ID = GID 1460.25.85200).

I then looked in the Förslöv hfl (husförshörslängd = household examination records), for 1845-1894 (GID 1460.19.6300). Petter Lannes was born in Böskestorp, Grevie parish 1817, June 1. His parents were Pehr Nilsson and Bengta Svensdotter (GID 1461.24.66800).
Kirsti Jönsdotter was born in Karstorp, Förslöv 1820, November 7. However, according to Förslöv birth records, she was born November 27. She was born out-of-wedlock, and her mother was Gunnill Jönsdotter (GID 1460.24.66900).
Petronella had an older sister, born in Fogdarp 1845, May 10. Her name was Botilla (sometimes spelled Bothilda). She was one of the witnesses when Carl Libert was christened. (There may be more siblings, but these are the ones listed in the hfl.)

According to the Tostarp birth records (GID 1708.22.91800), Sven Nilsson was born February 9, and christened February 11. His parents were Nils Persson and Maria Nilsdotter, Toarp, Tostarp. I found them at No. 1 Toarp in the Tostarp hfl 1845-1851 (GID 1708.19.25600).
Nils Persson was born in Tostarp 1818, August 7. No child was born in Tostarp August 7 that year, according to the birth records. However, there was a Nils born August 20 (christened August 28), with parents Pehr Nilsson and Kjersti Ericsdotter, so perhaps the date was wrong in the hfl - or Nils was born somewhere else.
Maria Cathrina Nilsdotter was born in Kvidinge (old spelling = Qvidinge) 1821, January 23 (christened January 28). According to the birth records for Kvidinge (GID 1467.35.102500), her parents were Nils Frid and Botilla Svensdotter.
Sven had an older brother; Petter, born in Tostarp 1844, December 31, and two sisters; Johanna, born in Toarp 1847, February 7, and Elina, born in Toarp 1851, June 5. (There may be more siblings, but these are the ones listed in the hfl.)
  SVAR 2008-04-27 12:49

Thank you Carin! Hej Susanna!

I can't believe you were able to figure out so quickly that the "Lauison"  on John's marriage certificate was actually Lannes. Thank you for all the extra work on the rest of the family back in Sweden. Am I correct in assuming that when you find an öakta barn  the paternal side of the family search comes to a dead end? What is meaning of the Lannes that Petter adopted as his surname?

Is Genline the best source of old records? I have not subscribed to anything yet because I just started working on the genealogy of my family. I want to wait until I am better able to use the resources before I subscribe to a service.

I found the index of Selma Augusta's marriage in 1903. I believe she was married to a Nils Sorenson because the index of their marriages are in the same volume and page. Further, I have found Selma and Neils Sorenson living on the same street as the original family in 1910 and 1920. I've lost Sven, Pella, Alma, Carl and Frank after 1900 and Selma and her family for the 1930 census.

Thanks again!


  SVAR 2008-04-27 15:30

Hej Susanna, Carin and Bo!

Is it at all possible that part of the family returned to Sweden? I remember being told that my grandfather, Arthur Swenson (Svenson according to the census at that time), visited Sweden around the age of 3 (circa 1904). I'm now wondering if others may have traveled with him and stayed in Sweden. I have vague memories of being told that there may have been some back and forth movement. Andover, MA, USA was also where my grandmother, Helen Julia Donovan, grew up so it get's kind confusing what stories belonged with which person.

Thanks again!


  SVAR 2008-04-27 16:49

Hi Laura,

The trick of finding people, is to not write too much when searching. When I found Sven and Petronella, I searched for a boy born 1878 with a name starting with Jo, a father with a name starting with S and Ni, and a mother with a name starting with Pe and La. That's how I found the family.  However, I wasn't sure it was the right one, since Förslöv is not in Kullabygden.

With Genline you get the old church records (birth/marriage/death/household examination/moving in-/out records etc.). However, they are all in Swedish only, so it may be difficult for you to read them.

Of course, it is possible that one or more of the family members returned to Sweden. It happened quite often I think. I checked the Swedish Death Index 1947-2006 (CD) but found none of them there, so if they returned, they probably died before 1947.


  SVAR 2008-04-27 18:12

US Census 1930: Neale Surenson, born in 1870, Andover, Essex, MA.

I have no access to details, but Selma Augusta seems to be dead. Census shows only one parent of the children. Perhaps they are divorsed.
  SVAR 2008-04-28 04:59

Thanks Bo!

It appears that Selma died between 1922 and 1930. It looks like the census taker started to write W in the marital status but crossed it out and wrote Wd (the notation for widowed). The divorces were marked with a D. I've enclosed the jpg of the marital status, maybe you can read it better than I. I believe Selma and Nils had at least 8 children . I may have found the 4 sons who made it into adulthood but are now deceased. I have been unable to locate the only daughter to reach aduthood. This could because of a name change.


Klicka för en större bild

  SVAR 2008-04-28 10:12

I have more information about the Sorenson family. Please, send me your e-mail address, Laura. My address is
  SVAR 2008-04-28 13:42

Hej Bo, Susanna and Carin!

Bo, I sent you my email.

Susanna and Carin,

If you want I will send you my email address or you can get it from Bo if you like.


  SVAR 2008-04-28 15:37

Hi Laura!

I'm 'off' during weekends, too much private things to take care of. I wish I had more time for genealogy.

So to continue the search of the rest of your family pls write to me too. You can write to Together, with Bo and Carin, we can surely find more. I'll do some census lookups today (Bo's) and I will look deeper into some of the old ones too.

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