Johan Ernfrid Ekberg goes to USA, can anyone find any records?

+4 votes
285 views

Johan Ernfrid was one of three brothers of my great grandfather that emigrated from Sweden to USA. One of the three brothers came back to Sweden to visit. Johan Ernfrid and the brother Nils Gustaf Henrik  didn't.

I don't find any good traces of them after the WWI draft records.

Does anyone have suggestions for me how I could try to find out something else?

WikiTree profile: Johan Ekberg
in Genealogy Help by Maria Lundholm G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

6 Answers

+3 votes
I need birth dates each brother.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (917k points)

Johan Ernfrid Ekberg 

Born 25 Aug 1879 in Malmö, Malmö Sankt Petri, Sweden

 

Nils Gustaf Henrik Ekberg

Born 4 Jun 1887 in S:t Petri, Malmö, Sweden

+3 votes

Maria ~

I found a 1920, 1930, and 1940 census for a John Ekberg from Sweden in Alameda, California.  Which is about 10 miles from where he was 1918.  The thing is, in 1920 he is married with a 14 year old son who was born in Sweden.  And I wonder why he would give his mothers name on the WWI draft registration instead of his wife's.  Though it does appear that he may have traveled to and from Sweden a few times.  I'm thinking if it is him, his wife and son may have been staying in Sweden until after the war.  

Could it be him?  I can't find his wife or son before 1920.  I will post the 1920 census.  Let me know if you want the others.

VIEW1920 United States Federal Census

  • View blank form
Name: John Ekberg
Age: 39
Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Sweden
Home in 1920: Alameda, Alameda, California
Street: Elm St
House Number: 1801
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1907
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Ester Ekberg
Father's Birthplace: Sweden
Mother's Birthplace: Sweden
Native Tongue: Swedish
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Rigger
Industry: Fish Packing Co
Employment Field: Wage or Salary
Home Owned or Rented: Own
Home Free or Mortgaged: Mortgaged
Naturalization Status: Naturalized
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Ekberg 39
Ester Ekberg 36
Gustaf Ekberg 14
 

 

  

   

by Mary Cole G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
By the way, there is a Gus Ekberg living near him in Oakland, California.  I see you have him in Connecticut, 1918.  Could this be him in California after the War?
Thanks for the effort! Is there any estimated age for the Gus living nearby?

I'll have to look some more at this John Ekberg. The surname isn't unique, and there are others with the same name, but still interesting that he lives so close to where he was in 1917.

Perhaps he married a woman who already had a son?
I don't know his age . Haven't seen a census for him.  I only saw his name listed as Gus or Gustaf in the city directories, as well as John/Johan's.

I too thought the boy might not be John's son.  But in the 1930 census.  One of the questions was...What was their age at first marriage?  John's was listed as 24.  But that doesn't necessarily mean it was to Esther.
If you would like to post the 1930 census too, perhaps there's some information that will make it easier to know if this is him.

Thanks Mary. :) / Maria

They didn't show up in my search at FamilySearch.  Here is the 1930 and 1940.

VIEW1930 United States Federal Census

  • View blank form
Name: John Ekberg
Birth Year: abt 1881
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Sweden
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1930: Alameda, Alameda, California
Map of Home: View Map
Street address: Elm St
Block: 12
House Number in Cities or Towns: 1807
Dwelling Number: 317
Family Number: 332
Home Owned or Rented: Owned
Home Value: 2, 800
Radio Set: Yes
Age at First Marriage: 24
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: Sweden
Mother's Birthplace: Sweden
Language Spoken: Swedish
Immigration Year: 1907
Naturalization: Naturalized
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Stevedore
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
Employment: Yes
Household Members:
Name Age
John Ekberg 49
Esther Ekberg 47
Gustav A Ekberg 24

VIEW1940 United States Federal Census

  • View blank form
Name: John Ekberg
Age: 59
Estimated birth year: abt 1881
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Sweden
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Alameda, Alameda, California
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: Elm Street
House Number: 1807
Inferred Residence in 1935: Alameda, Alameda, California
Residence in 1935: Same House
Citizenship: Naturalized
Sheet Number: 4B
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 99
Occupation: Rigger Timberman
House Owned or Rented: Owned
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 3500
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 7th grade
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 40
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939: 20
Income: 1200
Income Other Sources: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Ekberg 59
Ester L Ekberg 57
 

In the Swedish-American Newspaper Archive, I found a few Swedish-language newspaper articles mentioning the same Johan and Esther Ekberg in Alameda, California. My Swedish isn't strong, but it looks like both were born and married in Lysekil, Bohuslän, which is on the west coast of Sweden -- quite a bit north of Malmö. Could be a false match.

Vestkusten 18 Sep 1930, page 5 mentions them and their 25th/silver wedding anniversary

Vestkusten 25 Nov 1965, page 5 is a longer article with some nice backstory, makes mention of their son Gust, as they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Vestkusten 22 Aug 1968, page 5 mentions them receiving a visit from Ester's nephew

You are right, I was unsure if this was the Johan Ekberg I was looking for, but the newspaper articles, especially the one from 1965 proves to me that this is not the right Johan Ekberg, which is a pity.

Maria ~

Sorry I couldn't help and wasted any of your time. : P

Oh, don't be sorry, it was great that you tried! :) We all know how difficult it sometimes is to find "lost relatives" on familysearch and other places.

Johan seems to have been lonely in the States, he wrote home to his mother that it seemed like people stuck together and didn't want to let him in, to know where to find work for example. He wanted to go back home but couldn't afford the trip.

I just asked my mother to check what year that letter is from. He also lost contact with both his other brothers that went to the US.
That's a shame.  I hope he was eventually treated with kindness.  

I may create profiles for the family in Alemeda, CA. (if not already here).  So it won't be a total waste.  I'm normally uncomfortable creating profiles for people from a location were I'm unfamiliar with the culture and language.  Maybe it wouldn't be too difficult with all the documentation here.
Sure, I can help you with the stuff on the Swedish side if you want.
+3 votes
Nils Gustaf Henrik Ekberg, has some info on him on,Find My Past.

I am a paid up member,but for some reason cannot access his info.

On his WW1 reg ,he is living in Bridgeport Connecticut
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (917k points)
Thanks for checking. That's too bad, does it say what kind of info there is?
+2 votes
found Nils G.  H. Ekberg immigration record. 24 years old,Residence. Malmo  Sweden. Arrival 1912,New York.  On Ship Oscar
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (917k points)

Thank you, yes I found that too earlier. In a book from his school in Malmö it says he went to Bridgeport and worked as an engineer.

The thing is that on his WWI draft record I interpret it as he says he works as "house cleaner". I guess it's not uncommon to lie about your occupation if you weren't as "successful" as you had hoped for.

+2 votes
I have tried finding records for these guys before, and as I said I haven't yet found any after 1918. It would have been nice to know a death date, but that is probably not possible either. Thanks all that tried :)
by Maria Lundholm G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
+2 votes
Connecticut < MilitaryCensus 1917, Nils Gustaf Henrik Ekberg Feb 27 1917 ,Bridgeport Conn, Occupation ,Chef,other trade Draft man ,age 29

5ft 10" 180 lbs, single,served 1 year in Sweden Infantry as private.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (917k points)
That is interesting, then there are two records for him for WWI. The one I found is for the year after.

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