Peter Johnson brickwall solved

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Surnames/tags: Johnson Jönsson
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The Peter Johnson profile

The profile of Peter Johnson (Born 1 Jul 1847 in Malmö, Sweden and dead 7 Jul 1934 in Paxton, Illinois, USA) was in the category Sweden Project Needs Sources. However, there were no easily retrievable Swedish sources for him, so he was moved to Sweden Family Brick Walls.

One problem with his data was that the location "Malmö, Sweden" could refer to any of the 279 parishes in Malmöhus County in Skåne. The other, as with all Swedish emigrants, was that his name would have changed Over There. Was he Peter or Per or Petter to start with? And was he Jonsson or Johansson? (Well it turned out to be Jönsson, which we should have guessed with a guy from Skåne.

Searching in vain

We searched for him in vain in the household record register for Sweden 1860-1930 at Arkiv Digital (paywall) - where you can search on exact birth dates, but have to be exact about spelling, and we searched for him in vain at Folkräkningar SVAR in the census for 1880, where you use birth years only, but can use wildcards. (Well, we would have found him there, if we had thought of the Jönsson possibility).

However, Peter Johnson had a Swedish wife, Nellie Persson (Born 17 Jun 1855 in Skane Province, Sweden. Ostra Ljungby and dead 7 Jul 1930 in Paxton, Illinois). Ah! Here we have a parish mentioned.

Tracking the wife

So in the birth book for Östra Ljungby 1855, we find Kelu Petronella, born 17 June to crofter Per Nilsson and his wife Botilla Christiansdotter in Wäderblåshus.

  • Östra Ljungby kyrkoarkiv, Födelse- och dopböcker,SE/LLA/13524/C I/4 (1818-1861), bildid: A0018558_00127 Riksarkivet SVAR

We tried Folkräkningar SVAR 1880 for Petreonella Pe*, born in 1855, but had no luck. So we went back to the household records

We must confess that we find it easier to use Arkiv Digital when hunting through household records, due to the better image quality. We found Kelu Petronella growing up with her parents and siblings in Wäderblåshus and followed her through the books in hopes of finding out where she went.

Östra Ljungby AI:11 (1856-1860) Bild 171 / sid 165
Arkiv Digital page info v105000.b171.s165 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet
Östra Ljungby AI:12 (1861-1865) Bild 139 / sid 134
Arkiv Digital page info v105001.b139.s134 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet
Östra Ljungby AI:13 (1866-1870) Bild 218 / sid 249
Arkiv Digital page info v105002.b218.s249 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet
Östra Ljungby AI:14 (1871-1875) Bild 23 / sid 24
Arkiv Digital page info v105003.b23.s24 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet

When she moved out to serve at another farm in the parish in 1871, she was Kelu Petronella Persdotter to begin with.

Östra Ljungby AI:14 (1871-1875) Bild 148 / sid 177
Arkiv Digital page info v105003.b148.s177 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet

Then, in 1875, she moved to Gråmanstorp parish (Klippan).

Östra Ljungby AI:14 (1871-1875) Bild 133 / sid 159
Arkiv Digital page info v105003.b133.s159 | To page (paywall) | Riksarkivet

The book of arrivals for Gråmantorp looks to be some sort of reconstruction. There was one Petronella Persson arriving to Gråmanstorp from Östra Ljungby in 1875 - but this woman was born in September 1849. Not good.

Back to Folkräkningar

However, it might be a good idea to go back to Folkräkningar and do a search for Petronella P* from Östra Ljungby without a birth year. - and that's where we found them, living in Laröd in Allerum parish:

  • Jönsson, Peter, b. 1847 in Mörarp Malmöhus län, Statardräng
  • Persson, Kelu Petronella, b. 1856 in Östra Ljungby Kristianstads län

Note that her birth year is wrong - 1856 instead of 1855.

Household record Allerum

In the household record for Laröd in Allerum parish we find Peter Jönsson, born 3/6 (3 Jun) 1847 in Mörarp parish, wife Kelu Petronella Persson, born 17/6 (17 Jun) 1756 in Östra Ljungby parish, and a daughter Ester Paulina, born 13/7 1881 in Allerum parish. The family goes to North America in April 1882.[1] So we have them together, and we can see that they emigrated at the right time.

Petronella's birth year is wrong, here as well - so it's one of those transcription errors that occur when people move.

How about Peter Jönsson?

Now that there is a parish for Peter's birth it should be possible to find him: 3 June 1847 in the birth book for Mörum, there are twins Peter and Kjerstin, born to Husman Jöns Olsson and his wife Bengta Nilsdotter.

  • Mörarps kyrkoarkiv, Födelse- och dopböcker, SE/LLA/13274/C I/4 (1831-1860), bildid: C0068224_00047 Riksarkivet SVAR

So in Peter's case his birth date remains the same through the Swedish records, but got distorted later. In terms of a brickwall, his case is solved - although he could, of course be followed from birth to emigration.

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Comments: 1

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Thanks for this research! I've added new biographical info to the profile, including the names of Peter's siblings and Nellie's siblings. Peter's obituary states a 1 July birth date, but the more complete biosketch written by my grandmother uses date of 3 June 1847.
posted by Michael Schell