Sunday, April 27, 2014

August Lindberg (52 Ancestors, week 16)

August Lindberg > Agnes Lindberg > Edward Lundeen > Marion Lundeen

August and Alma's transfer papers
August Lindberg, my great-great grandfather, was born on March 9, 1858 in Ljungsarp, Sweden. His transfer papers list his name as “August Sveningsson Lindberg” and his death record says his father’s name was Sven Carlson. My guess is August was probably born “August Sveningsson” and added the Lindberg later. 

He married Alma Peterson in 1883 in Sweden. In 1887, August, along with his wife and children Beda and Carl, traveled to America aboard the ship Alaska. They landed in New York on July 11, 1887. According to his obituary, August became a Christian when he was 18 years old and was an active member in his church, the Swedish Mission Church.

c. 1899
The family settled in Buena Vista County, Iowa where August purchased and worked his farm. The family had close connections with the family of Axel and Ida (Peterson) Wessman as three Lindberg daughters married three Wessman sons: Beda and George (1908), Jessie and Henry (1911), and Esther and Arthur (1914). These close ties continued as by 1917-1920, all of the families had moved to Cokato, Minnesota.

c. 1915
August Lindberg died on August 30, 1919 in Cokato. His obituary says he had “a very impressive funeral … with an unusual big attendance.” Included in attendance were about 20 Iowa residence who traveled to remember their former neighbor and friend. While I don’t know much about August as a person, I think it says a lot about him when his friends would travel over 200 miles to attend his funeral.

Sources: Passenger and Census records from; family photos; Iowa county birth and marriage records from FamilySearch; Newspapers and death records from Cokato Museum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Enoch Lawrence - Early Colonist (52 Ancestors, week 15)

Enoch Lawrence > Daniel Lawrence > Daniel Lawrence > Esther Laurence > George Palmer Ransom > Samuel Ransom > Jameson Harvey Ransom > Charles Francis Ransom > Lillian Emma Ransom

Enoch, (also recorded as “Enosh”) was born on the 5th day of March, 1648 in Watertown, Massachusetts to John and Elizabeth Lawrence. He probably grew up in Watertown and it was there, on the 6th of March, 1676/7, he married Ruth (Whitney), widow of John Shattuck. Soon after he and Ruth were married, they moved to Groton, Massachusetts and are considered to be among the first settlers of the town. It was here their four sons were born. 

Birth Record (above) and Marriage Record (below)

Enoch served in several positions in the town including Surveyor of the Highways (duties included: laying out and maintenance of highways), Tithingman (keeping everyone awake during church), Fence Viewer (ensured proper location and condition of fences and settled disputes of escaped livestock), and Hog Constable (corralled the loose livestock and determined ownership).

On October 1, 1672, the court records of Middlesex County show Enoch as being "lame in his hand" and unable to take part in the "ordinary trainings" of the army, and he was therefore freed from his duties after paying 5 shillings to the military company.

Enoch fought in King Phillip's War (a conflict between the colonists and Native Americans) that took place in 1675-76. His family was granted £3 to assist them while Enoch was away fighting. In March of 1691/2, Enoch, along with his brothers Nathaniel, Joseph, Peleg and Jonathan, was part of a garrison in defense of the area.

In 1702, Enoch petitioned the Governor for assistance. Enoch states that he "is a very poor man and by reason of wounds in his hand received in a fight [possibly in 1694] with the Indians in the former Indian War is almost wholly disabled from following his daily labour upon which he depends for a livelihood both from himself and his family." He requests freedom from taxes as well as monetary assistance for his "maintenance." His request was granted and Enoch was "freed from public taxes" and given a pension of £3 per year.

Enoch died in Groton on September 28, 1744 at the age of 95.

Sources: books from Ancestry: Groton During the Indian Wars and Historical Sketches of Some of the Members of the Lawrence Family; Massachusetts Vital Records – Watertown records and records from Medford Historical Society

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mabel Dodson CORTRIGHT Ramsey Ransom (52 Ancestors, week 14)

Mabel Dodson Cortright > Jameson Harvey Ransom > Charles Francis Ransom > Lillian Emma Ransom > Charles Lloyd Walters

I have often thought of Mabel as one of my favorite ancestors, but I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s has something to do with the number of great photos I have of her. Maybe I just like rattling off her “full” name: Mabel Dodson Cortright Ramsey Ransom. My great-grandma Lillian remembers meeting Mabel and I knew Lillian. Maybe it’s the thought that I knew someone who, in turn, knew someone born in 1805. Makes the generations seem closer somehow. Whatever the reason for my partiality, here is what I know about Mabel Cortright.

Mabel Dodson Cortright was born in Salem, Pennsylvania on November 25, 1805 to Isaac and Mary (Dodson) Cortright.  She married John Ramsey around 1825 and the couple had two children.  John died in 1830 and on November 2, 1836, Mabel married Samuel Ransom. Samuel had 7 children (5 living in 1836) from his first marriage and together Mabel and Samuel had 4 children. The family was living in Plymouth, Pennsylvania until at least 1854 when Mabel was named in her father’s probate records. By 1860 they were living in Chillisquaque, PA and Samuel died in Lewisberg, PA in 1863. From 1867 until around 1880, Mabel lived with her daughter and son-in-law Maggie and Samuel Slifer and their children in Perry Hall Mansion in Baltimore County, Maryland.

By 1885, Mabel was living with her son Jameson and his family in Leroy, Iowa.  Jackson, Michigan city directories show Mabel once again with Maggie Slifer and family from 1888-1894, and a photo taken in her 90th  year (1895) was developed in Jackson. Daughter Maggie died in 1897, and by 1900 Mabel was again living with son Jameson in Leroy. Mabel died on October 8, 1902 in Blairstown, Iowa and is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Her obituary was included in the Northwestern Christian Advocate and concluded as follows: “She had the happy faculty of growing old gracefully, seeing the bright and good sides of life and taking a keen interest in the progress of the world. Her Christian life was not ostentatious or pretentious, but rather of the quiet and modest kind. Her virtues were beautiful in their simplicity and found sweetest expression in her home life.” I can only hope for half such an obituary when I’m gone!

Sources: Census records and City Directories from; Northwestern Christian Advocate, Vol 50, Google Books; family photos; Pennsylvania Probate records,; Ransom Notes compiled by Karen A. Keil.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Erik Person, Swedish Immigrant (52 Ancestors, week 13)

Erik Person > John Erickson > Daniel Erickson

Erik Person was born to Per Persson and Marit Ersdotter in Fryksände Parish, Utterbyn, Sweden on March 19, 1841. He married Juliana Persdotter on December 21, 1874 in Sweden. The couple lived in Borgsjö Parish, Sweden where their six children were born.

Brothers, Nels Utterberg and Erik Person
reunited after many years
The first family member that came to America and Minnesota was Erik’s brother, Nels Persson. Nels took the last name of "Utterberg,” from his home town when he joined the Swedish army. Around 1882, Nels came to Minnesota where he purchased a farm in French Lake, Minnesota.  About 10 years later, Nels arranged Erik’s children, John, Erik Conrad and Anna, to come to Minnesota. After working a few years to raise money, John purchased a farm in French Lake and sent for the rest of his family. Erik and Julia, along with children Edward, Julia and Ella, came to French Lake in 1897.

The 1900 census shows Erik and Julia (listed as Erickson) with their children John, Edward and Ella. Erik and John own the farm, the same farm that is still in the Erickson family. Erik’s brother, Nels and his family are the next farm on the census.

When Erik first came to Minnesota, he joined the Grace Lutheran Church. In 1898, Immanuel Lutheran Church was started, on property next to the Person/Erickson farm. While his son John continued to worship at Grace, Erik was one of the early families involved in the new congregation. In the early 1900s, Erik served as the first Sunday School Superintendent.

As often seen in my Scandinavian ancestors, Erik’s name has been recorded a variety of different ways: Erik, Eric and Erick; Person, Persson, Pearson, even Erickson (the last name used by his children).
Erik died on April 6, 1930 at the home of his son John and was buried 2 days later at Grace Lutheran Cemetery. 4 and 5 generations later, the name of “Erick” and “Erickson” are still popular in the French Lake area.

Sources: census records from Ancestry; newspaper, death records and church records from Cokato Museum; Erickson family records; Annandale History Club articles from