Thursday, March 14, 2002

Swedes (ours) in Chicago

Thursday, March 14, 2002 10:08 AM

From: Arnold Nelson
To: Ellen M. Engseth Dir. Archives and Special Collections, North Park College

Hej Ellen M. Engseth:

Do you think you might have any church records from the Chicago south side 1875-1900?

I am a decidedly amateur geneology student. Myfather's father came over here from Småland, probably in the 1880's, the poorest of the poor. He proceeded to work hard and bring his mother and father, and each of eight or so surviving siblings, as far as I know all to the south side, very possibly around 59th andRacine, where my father was born in 1896. Also, I have the burial record for my grandfather's first wife, in Oakwoods (or whatever - that big south side cemetary - about all tit says is that you can bury her here, but if you ever come back and dig her up, we get the land back.)

Just this week I discovered in my family archives,such as they are, a small photo labeled "AuntieAgusta's gravestone in Rosehill." Since I live nearby I walked over there but they had no Augusta Anderson in their records - so I suppose she must have been married. (I would have thought that Rosehill wouldhave 2-3 Augusta Andersons at least, wouldn't you?) Myfather used to speak occasionally of Aunt Agusta, but never with a last name.

Anyway, I would sure like to look for a marriage record of an Augusta Anderson, born in
Småland December7, 1870. I don't expect anyone to do any searching for me (I've done plenty at both Emigrantsinstitutet in Vaxjo and Uppsalla,) but would sure be interested in knowing a) if you think there mught be info like this in your archives, and b) if so, could I come out and look around.

I also have my father's confirmation group picture andI'm sure that was from a south side Swedish church,too (probably around 1910.) It has about 20 people in it, and I thot it'd be fun to put it on a bulletin board somewhere and see if anyone else sees anancestors in it. Tried that at the Swedish Museum on Clark and they neither contacted me, nor returned myphoto print.

I look forward to hearing from you, but if you're too busy, no problem. I also took two quarters of Swedish at North Park, in 1992. Took them for creditand got 2 A-s.
Thanks again

Arnold H. Nelson 5056 North Marine Drive Chicago

[I never heard boo from this woman. I eventually did figure out Aunt Augusta's last name, and found her grave at Rosehill. More important, I have a foto of her standing in front of her house in Evanston, in maybe 1910 (She was poor when she came over here, but apparently met and married a quite successful Swedish immigrant.)

[I walked out to the house once. The owner wasn't there, so I gave a print of the house with aunt Augusta to him to give to the owners, but never heard from them either.

[But the run-in w/ the museum, that took place in 1990. Then about a year ago I got a breathless note from the now-director, along w/ my print and original letter. I thot that was pretty nice of her, so sent her a thank you note, w/ a few comments on Swedish history, here in Chicago and there in Sweden, where I have visited a dozen times. I never heard from her again either.

[Then just a few years ago, I was going thru some old books here, and found my father's Confirmation bible, w/ the name and address of the church! So I got that question answered, too, for what it's worth.]

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