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Part 5: Onward to Sweden

Although I wasn't expecting it, going down this research path did eventually lead back to Sweden with astonishing results. I finally found information in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) that has probably been there all along. Much of the time it is difficult to find pertinent records in the IGI because it returns so many hits. When I went back a few days later to find a record I had found previously, I had an awful time locating it again.

Where Our Ancestors Lived

Being familiar with the geography and political divisions of Sweden is helpful when you are searching for ancestors and trying to sift through many records for people with common names.

I created a really nice Google Map with pins marking the cities that were mentioned in records and notes. Interestingly enough, they all turned out to be located in the same general area of southeastern Sweden.

I've also collected additional interesting maps of Sweden, including some that show the län (counties) of Sweden.

Christina Johnson

Since I now had the name of her Swedish birthplace, I decided to search in the IGI again. I located an entry with good potential for being our Christina. The location was the same city given in the index for Swedish Texans (Horn, Östergötlands, Sweden) and the birthday was similar but a year off (June 1834 vs. 19 June 1833).

Unfortunately, this record does not give sufficient information for the parents names. It says the father's name is Johan; but I suspect the people who did the indexing just put down Johan as the father for anyone with the surname Johansson because they assumed everyone in Sweden conformed to the traditional naming system of creating a surname from the father's given name.

Here is the record I viewed:

Emma Anderson

Next, I decided to take another shot at locating Emma Anderson in the Swedish records. I had very good luck with this search. In our records we have her listed as Emma T. Anderson, born on 4 November 1854. I did a simple search for Emma Anderson, specifying 1854 for the year and Sweden as the country.

On the initial list of hits, I noticed an Emma Tiodina Andersson, born on 14 November 1854. There was no locality listed, but I clicked on it to see what additional information was available since she did have the right middle initial and a similar birth date.

This turned out to be a very interesting record, showing that Emma Tiodina Andersson married Sven Magnus Herrman Johansson on 1 November 1873 in Hycklinge, Östergötlands, Sweden. A familiar place, the right timeframe, and a similar set of names.

Even though the husband's first name was not Herman, I still felt encouraged. In my United States research I have found that many people in the south go by a middle name rather than their first name. I have also seen that happen in France, where women who have a very common first name such as Maria or Anna go by a more distinctive middle name. Perhaps this is common practice in Sweden too.

Here are the records I viewed:

Emma Anderson's Parents

More searching led to finding Emma's parents and an alternate spelling of her middle name. I think Tiolina is the correct spelling. When I googled Tiodina, there were very few hits, but googling Tiolina yielded many more. I also found a variation on Herman's name.

Here are the records I viewed:

I also found a marriage record for Emma's parents, Anders Peter Persson and Lovisa Johansson, that gives the names of her paternal grandparents. For Lovisa's parents, all that is listed is another suspicious Johan.

Here are the records I viewed:

Herman Johnson

I found a birth record for Herman with an exact birth date match and a record that is similar, but appears to have a typo in the birth year.

Here are the records I viewed:

Herman and Emma's Children

From our U.S. Census research and information from Mom's notes, we know that Herman and Emma's two eldest children, Amanda and Gustaf, were born in Sweden, and the rest were born in Jacksonville, Illinois.

I found records in the IGI for both Amanda and Gustaf that really cinch the deal! Identical or similar birth dates, and familiar locations. Amanda's record is an exact birth date match.

The fun part is that Amanda and Gustaf's surname is Svensson, which, when combined with the information that Herman's actual first name is Sven, makes perfect sense. No wonder we could never find them before.

Here are the records I viewed:

Emma Andersson's Siblings

Feeling very confident that I have found our ancestors, I started looking for other children on the Anderson side and found quite a few. To find them, I did a parent search, entering Anders Persson for the father and Lovisa Johansson for the mother. For this search I got a short list of only 44 hits.

Here are the records I viewed:

I also found marriage records for a few of them:

Herman Johansson's Siblings

So far I've had no luck finding siblings for Herman other than the previoulsy discussed possible Christina.

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