Two Intriguing Swedish Requests Pt. I

Our Research Center recently received a request from a gentleman in Sweden who was looking for information about his ancestors who had come to Jamestown. Requests from Sweden thrill us as the researcher normally has little info about their family immigrants to America. This man, however, furnished us with much of the family information in Sweden as well as Jamestown:

Gustaf Anderson (there’s a name that would stick out in James- town among all the other Gustaf Andersons), how helpful it was that he supplied so much other information.

His Gustaf was born on June 20, 1866, in Vallby Parish, Kristianstad County, and died in Jamestown on July 31, 1919. Gustaf’s first wife was Elsa Jonsdot- ter (Elsie Jensen Anderson in Jamestown), and together they had 2 sons, Gunnar in 1891, Alfred Hjalmer in 1896 and a daughter, Edith, in 1899. Elsa passed away December 13, 1905. The death record at Lake View Cemetery lists her cause of death as TB, which was also Gustaf’s cause of death in 1919. This was info shared with us from Lake View Cemetery.

Hoping we would have photos of Gustaf and Elsa, he sent photos of Gustaf’s sons and brother which are included in this article.

Gustaf’s second wife was Selma M. Johansdotter (Johnson) Peterson, who was also born in Sweden and passed away in 1958. This gentleman even knew, through his expansive online research, that Gustaf lived on Newland Avenue, was a butcher, and owned a meat market with Axel Lindbloom. Gustaf’s niece Karin (Carrie) J. Ahlbin was born in Sweden in 1883 and married Hjalmer Johnson. Nephew Karl E. Ahlbin was born in Sweden in 1888. Both died in Jamestown.
We were unable to find photos of this family as requested but were able to provide some snip-its of real-life in Jamestown to round out their experience here, which was also what he had asked for. For instance, a 1909 Swedish Di- rectory, separate from the run of Jamestown City Directories, Christina Vimmerstedt’s Mid- wife Records of 1897-1924, and the first chapter of “Saga from The Hills”, regarding why so many Swedes came to Jamestown.

Finally, I sent the link to Jamestown Swedes Although this isn’t a Fenton site, it is an exceptional resource!

In return, we have the Swedish side of this Gustaf Anderson and his wives and family members, and also the Jamestown side.

This was his response to the info from Saga from the Hills:

“I read the “Saga from the hills” with great interest – particularly the history of the first Swedish settlers. I noticed that some of them came from “Hesselby, Smaland” (Swedish spelling Hässleby) just as a family of my own tree (my MFMF’s brother Anders Petter “Andrew” Gelm b 1812 – d 1892) did. This family left Hässleby in 1851 for Pennsylvania and moved some years later (1860) to Jamestown, so they were pretty early.

All in all, I counted 60 people in my tree who had direct connections (birth, death etc) to Jamestown – it was indeed a magnet to the Swedes!”
He also shared that in Sweden the Gelm name was Hjelm.

I have run out of available space, but stay tuned for Part 2 in the May edition. An English translation of a Swedish Bible entry leads to a stunning story.

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