Parents of Frank A Neilson, born 1875 in Canada, father born in Scotland

+5 votes
Researching Frank A. Neilson, born about 1875 in either Iowa or Canada, who listed his father, on the 1910 U.S. Census, as born in Scotland. Frank and his wife, Olivette (or Annie) Lavina Mattson, had one son, Myles A. Neilson, born in 1899, who was my husband's grandfather. I have not been able to confirm the birthplace of either Frank or his father, name unknown, but oral history has the family originating in Scotland, and I can't search father back without names or places. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you. (I can provide a lot of information on the family from 1899 forward, in return)
in Genealogy Help by
I have Neilson's in my tree.  I have read that they where the "first" Neilson's to settle in Canada.  This happened in the 1850's.  They and their parents were born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
Lynn ~

Are you certain Frank descends from Scotland.  The reason I ask is I see only one Frank A. Neilson and wife Annie L. Neilson, but Frank was born in Sweden.

I saw they were married in Minnesota, US, 1906.  So I started researching Annie L. Mattson by herself.  I see an Annie L. Mattson (and a few more Annie Mattson's) and her family is from Norway.  Also there is a birth record for Annie Mattson, Father Elias and Mother Olive/Olivette or Olivia (you mentioned Olivette/Annie in your original post), born in Minnesota.  

So I just had to ask if there is any possibility Frank is from Sweden?
That is the right Frank - Annie L also went by Lavina, and yes, she harks back to Norway. I have no documents showing Frank hailing from Sweden - the three confusing references for him are Iowa, Canada, and Scotland. I don't believe Frank was born in Sweden, but you may have more exacting documents than I do.
Lynn ~

Nothing saying who Frank's parents were yet.  But I believe it's safe to conclude that he was born in Iowa, US.  His mother was born in Iowa, US.  And his father was born in Canada and descended from Scotland.  I saw just the one record that said he was born in Scotland (most likely a mistake).  There were several documents to support Iowa and Canada.  

One record stated he'd lived in Minnesota since about 1880.  Can't find him in 1880 though. And can't find a death record that might list his parents.  His death may have been after 1940, so the record might not be published yet.   

Also, his marriage record states 1906.  But he, Annie and Myles are in the 1900 census together.  Are you sure her maiden name was Mattson?  

I noticed he and Annie must have divorced after 1910.  The 1920 census list her as a widow.  Then she appears in Myles household in 1930 as divorced.  And in 1940 as divorced, living as a nursemaid.

I believe I found Frank in New York, 1920 census.  It lists a Frank A. Neilson, single with the correct birthplace of parents.  But still no closer to finding them.  

Did they have a daughter named Irene?

Also, are you aware that there is another Myles Neilson born in Washington, 1902?  His middle name is Allen too.  

Record ImageVIEW

    Name: Myles Neilson
    Date of Birth: 1 Dec 1902
    Gender: Male
    Birth Place: Auburn, King, Washington, USA
    Father: Robt Neilson
    Mother: Alice Gove
    Hi Mary!

    Two years later, after a rather long hiatus, I'm back to being obsessed by my search for Frank's parents. I've gotten a lot better at this, subsequent to my setting it all aside, and found your reference to Frank in NY in 1920 with father born in Canada (speaking Scots) and mother in Iowa. My sister in law recently said she believes she heard that Frank "went east" so that ties in.  If you have any guidance to your history on the Neilsons you were chronicling being among the first to emigrate to Canada I'd love to follow that trail. It has to follow that Frank's father, somewhere before 1875 when he was purportedly born, moved to Iowa and met the love of his life (Frank's mother, born there). The problem with Iowa birth records is that there aren't any before 1880 - and also at that time all babies weren't registered unless in church records, making finding Frank being born, which would lead to his parents' names, impossible to find. In the meantime, I have traced my husband's family back to 1589 in Ireland, and back in time in Germany, Sweden and Denmark. My only missing piece are the Neilsons/Nelsons presumably from Canada, and before that from Scotland. Thank you again for all your suggestions and help!

    Anyway, wanted to say thank you for your work - it is pretty certain that Lavina Mattson was Frank's wife - my husband remembers meeting her. He never heard of Frank, and never met his grandfather, Myles, even though they both lived in Minneapolis at the same time. And I have enough documentation on Frank and Lavina and Myles to be certain they are "the ones."

    Thank you again - Lynn

    2 Answers

    +2 votes

    Date of birth is a little off, but could this be him on the 1900 US Census? Living in Iowa with his parents, born in Canada, father born in Scotland.

    by Caitlin Wallis G2G Rookie (270 points)
    Thank you! I do have a copy of the 1900 census but not 100% sure it is the same family, plus the birthplace info of Eng. Canada is confusing! And different birthplace answers are given on different census dates. Would love to collaborate if you are perhaps related to this group - I have a lot more contemporary data - just having a hard time going back in time. Thanks again!

    Lynn Neilson
    I believe the "Eng. Canada" reference just means that they are not French Canadian (that's just my guess).

    Wow - three years later, not knowing if I ever replied - I also found that Neilson family with Frank and Fred, etc. and was wildly excited, but wrong Neilsons - "our" Frank is in the 1900 census with Lavina and Myles. Turns out there were hundreds of Frank Neilson/Nelsons all born around the same time, making this search even more difficult. And, sadly, I'm still searching. Iowa records, Canada records, Scotland records - our Frank is like the invisible man. Hope you are well and if I never replied before I apologize profusely!!

    +3 votes
    Sounds like it might be a match - can you provide any specifics, and can I, in return, send you any of the info I have from Myles (1899) on? Would love to keep this going. Thank you so much for your reply. Easier via email, here.

    Lynn Neilson
    Btw, feel free to communicate here or by email.
    Yes, you are welcome to send me anything you would like me to look at.  If you want to see what I have on my Neilsons, you can start with my gr-grandmother:  

    I have links attached to all sources.  Half of them are from (if you have access).
    Here is the 1910 census for same family as in the 1900.  Frank appears to be married to a Mable.  And there is no son named Myles.  If this is accurate, this is most likely not your Frank.

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