This post is in response to the challenge of posting about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks by Amy Johnson Crow
My great grandfather Charles Sanburg started life on the 25th of February, 1845 as Carl Carlsson in the parish of Jämshög in Blekinge County, Sweden. Records show his father was Carl Johansson and his mother Sissa Eliasdotter. He was confirmed in the Swedish Lutheran Church at age 15. For 12 years he worked for a farmer for a very low wage and served two years in the Swedish Army. He immigrated to the USA in 1870 and lived in Warren County, Illinois. On Sept. 25, 1877 he became a naturalized citizen while still in Warren County.
In 1872 or 1873 Charles married Ingrid (Eda) Pettersdottor in Warren County, Illinois. Records show that Eda was born on Sept 21, 1846 in Jämshög Parish, Blekinge County, Sweden to Petter Johansson and Hanna Hansdotter. Parish records also show that in 1864, Ingrid Pettersdotter had an illegitimate son named Carl. When exactly Eda, and presumably Carl, came to the USA is not certain since on various census records she gives dates of 1872, 1873 and 1874. Carl consistently gives the year as 1871 on census records except in 1930 he gives 1874.
In 1885 Charles moved his family west to Fillmore County, Nebraska. He lived there for over 30 years until he died in 1916 and Eda lived there for 63 years! Charles purchased a total of 240 acres in the county and made a great success of farming. He became one of the prominent citizens of his time, serving two terms as a justice of the peace and for 13 years as a school director.
The first biography I’ve listed below basically covers what I’ve stated above. The second, hovever is much more detailed and gives quite a lot of his background before he came to the USA. This is where things become strange and hard to believe. Either the author wrote the story from notes, made many mistakes and never let Charles see it (I expect this is the case since the last name is misspelled as Sandberg) or Charles made up a rather interesting back story. Or maybe it’s a bit of both! Charles’ father’s name is correct, his mother’s is not and neither is the last name. Charles is said to have married Edith Peterson (instead of Eda Pettersdotter) who’s parents are correctly given as Petter and Hanna but the last name of Bergstrom is certainly incorrect. From there on the facts seem to be given correctly.
Before I really researched this (with lots of help from two terrific people) I always thought that Charles had been married before and had Carl when he married Eda. And, I always wondered why he changed his name to Sanburg. Now it turns out that Eda had Carl as an illegitimate child and Charles and Eda were born in the same parish. Not only that but Charles’ father is listed as Carl Johansson and Eda’s father is listed as Petter Johansson. In the small area they were from this could mean that they were cousins, although Johans was a fairly common name. It does give food for thought!
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District and Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950 (M1285); Microfilm Serial: M1285; Microfilm Roll: 160.
- Year: 1880; Census Place: Berwick, Warren, Illinois; Roll: 256; Family History Film: 1254256; Page: 107A; Enumeration District: 284; Image: 0218. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Year: 1900; Census Place: Momence, Fillmore, Nebraska; Roll: 926; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1240926.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
- “The Fillmore County Story” edited by Wilbur G. Gaffney; Geneva Community Grange No. 403; Geneva, Nebraska, 1968. page 345.
- Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography Containing a Compendium of Local Biography. Chicago. Geo. A. Ogle & Co. 1899.
- I wish to acknowledge the great help of two friends. The first is Polly Zetterman who is married to my 2nd cousin Val Zetterman. The second wishes to remain anonymous but was extremely helpful in searching some Swedish records by way of Arkiv Digital database and with help from the staff at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.