Ellen and Nels Johnson
Swedish names before emigration:
Elna Torkelsdotter and Nils Jönsson
L
ast updated: June 23, 2014

Nels Johnson (b. May 4, 1817 at Vollsjö sn., d. April 4, 1910 Swede Grove, Meeker County, Minnesota) and his wife Ellen (b. January 25, 1817 at Fågeltofta, Vollsjö, d. April 4, 1898 in Swede Grove, Meeker County, Minnesota) lived at Vollsjö, Malmöhus Län, Sweden before emigrating to Minnesota. This county (Swedish: Län) covered western parts of today's Skåne County. Vollsjö is located in today's Sjöbo Municipality in Skåne County, Sweden.

In 1867 Nels Johnson, wife and at least 6 children emigrated to America (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...). Names of children listed in the document as emigrants were: Botilla, Ingar, Jöns, Ola, Bengta, and Maria. The story Memoirs of Mother claims that the family emigrated together, including all 10 children. In this story written by an American descendant the family surname is consequently spelled Jenson.

Until 2010 we did not know where in Skåne the Nels Johnson family came from. The name of Nels' wife was not known. We did not know the Swedish names, nor dates of birth, of any of the Nels Johnson family members. The exact year of emigration was unknown too. This is how we tracked up the family's roots:

We knew that one of the Johnson children was renamed Ellen in America and became Lewis N. Johnson' second wife shortly after they arrived in Minnesota. They came to U.S. by ship from Liverpool to New York harbour. We were also aware of that the Nels Johnson family emigrated about the same time as Lewis N. Johnson and his first wife with their two daughters. This information we had from the story Memoirs of Mother, in which the emigration is described.

Memoirs of Mother claims that the Nels Johnson family lived in a suburb of Malmö in Sweden. The daughter Ellen's handwritten note in her Swedish Bible's 1st page showed that her Swedish name was Elna Nilsdotter and indicated that the place the family lived at was called Area No. 1 in Vålsjö. But we could not find any place in Skåne spelled Vålsjö. In 2010 we found an old document on Internet that shows that Vålsjö is today's Vollsjö in Sjöbo Municipality, Skåne County. At the time of emigration Vollsjö was spelled Vålsjö, and it was located in Färs härad, Malmöhus Län (ref. old document). Because of this we were able to find Ellen in official Swedish files and her ancestors and relatives over there. See the handwtritten text in Elna's Bible here...

The Nels Johnson family made their new home in Swede Grove, Meeker County, Minnesota, USA. Later the place changed name to Grove City.

Search for Nels in American files
Janet Niehaus from First Baptist Church in Grove City, Minnesota looked in 2009 for Nels Jenson in their files. She wrote by mail on August 28, 2009: "I have checked the records at the First Baptist Church in Grove City and the Meeker County Courthouse death records and have not found your relative, Nels Jenson. I will check the historical society in town and see if they have anything." At that time in 2009 neither Janet nor we knew Nels' year of birth and that he changed his surname to Johnson in U.S. (not Jenson). There have been no need for new searches in Baptist Church files since we found him in other sourches.

Children of Ellen and Nels Johnson
Ellen and Nels Johnson had 12 children according to Memoirs of Mother, in which two of them are mentioned: Ellen and Thilda. Both names were anglicized versions of their Swedish names for use in their new life in Minnesota. The children's Swedish names of birth are mentioned first:

1) Kjersti Nilsdotter
Birth: September 11, 1842 (Fränninge, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Death: Unknown (probably Sweden og United States)

2) Anna Nilsdotter
Birth: September 27, 1844 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Death: Unknown (probably Sweden og United States)

3) Elna Nilsdotter / Ellen N. Johnson
Birth: December 25, 1845 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Death: 1936 (Grove City, Minnesota)
Elna confirmed in the Lutheran church about 1860 and was right after baptized by a German evangelist on her birthday December 25 (or late at night the day before). The date of the Baptismal service was probably December 24 or 25 in 1860, 1861, or 1862. The Baptismal service took place on a river or lake, probably at Vollsjö in Sweden. Elna Nilsdotter changed her name in the U.S. to Ellen N. Johnson. Ellen married Lewis N. Johnson and did not need to change her surname again since she married a man with exact the same surname. Ellen N. and Lewis N. Johnson family is presented here...

4) Hanna Nilsdotter
Birth: May 17, 1847 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Death: Unknown (probably Sweden or United States)

5) Botilla Nilsdotter / Thilda Johnson / Thilda Dahlquist
Birth: June 17, 1849 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to America in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: Unknown (United States, probably Minnesota)

Botilla changed name in the U.S. to Thilda. (In the federal census of 1900 it is spelled incorrectly Tilda.) Her full name before marriage in U.S. was Thilda Johnson. Thilda's married name was Thilda Dahlquist. She married Martin Dahlquist (b. 1843, 184
4, or 1845 in Sweden, source: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Census). Martin Dahlquist became the first preacher-farmer of the Leenthrop Baptist Church, Maynard. Thilda and Martin Dahlquist lived west of Martin Olsons (ref. Memoirs of Mother), Leenthrop, Maynard, Chippewa County, Minnesota.
According to 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Martin Dahlquist was Post Master in Acton, Meeker County, Minnesota and lived alone (probably not married yet). 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists four children in their family's home: Pheney L. Dahlquist (son b. 1871, 1872, or 1873), Enoch B. Dahlquist (b. 1872, 1873, or 1874), Manuel T. Dahlquist (b. 1874, 1875, or 1876), Minnie T. Dahlquist (b. 1876, 1877, or 1878). U.S. Federal Census 1880 adds one child: Hattie Dahlquist (b. 1878, 1879, or 1880).

6) Ingar Nilsdotter no. 1
Birth: November 12, 1850 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Death: December 8, 1852 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)

7) Ingar Nilsdotter no. 2 / Emily Johnson
Birth: June 26, 1853 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to Americai in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: Unknown (probably Minnesota, United States)
Married Sven Peterson (b. 1846)
1870: Age 15. Census: She lived in Swede Grove
1875: Age 22. She lived in Swede Grove
1880: Age: 26. Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Wife, Chippewa, Minnesota, United States
Children: Oscar Peterson (b. 1880 in Chippewa County, Minnesota), William Peterson (b. 1884 in Chippewa County, Minnesota), Josephine Peterson (b. 1886 in Chippewa County, Minnesota), Victor Peterson (b. 1888 in Chippewa County, Minnesota), John Peterson (b. 1884? in Chippewa County, Minnesota), and George Peterson (b. 1893 in Chippewa County, Minnesota).

8) Jöns Nilsson / John N. Johnson
Birth: November 12, 1854 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to America in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: February 22, 1923 in Kenmare, Ward, North Dakota.
John married Matilda Lindblad (b. 1862, d. 1940) on December 31, 1880 in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN.
The family lived in Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota in 1895. In 1900 they had their home in Ortonville city, Big Stone, Minnesota. In 1915, 1920 and 1925 they lived in Kenmare, Ward, North Dakota. They had seven children (one of them died 11 months of age). Two daughters died unmarried.

9) Ola Nilsson / Ola Johnson
Birth: May 18, 1856 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to America in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: After 1919 in Minnesota
Married Hannah Johnson in 1898.
The family lived in Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota (1900 and 1905), Acton, Meeker, Minnesota (1910) and Cokato, Wright, Minnesota (1920).

10) Bengta Nilsdotter / Ms. Johnson (U.S. first name unknown)
Birth: July 15, 1858 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to America in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: Unknown (probably Minnesota, United States)

11) Maria Nilsdotter / Mary Johnson / Mary Olson
Birth: February 11, 1865 (Vollsjö, Sjöbo, Skåne, Sweden)
Emigrated to America in 1867 (source: Swedish authorities' document, click here...).
Death: April 11, 1933 in Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota
Married John L Olson (b. May 16, 1866 in Sweden, d. July 15,1904) in 1893. According to U.S. Federal Census 1900 John L Olson immigrated from Sweden in 1891, and Mary immigrated in 1866. Mary, John and the son Levi Harold are buried in Grove City (First Baptist Cemetery).
John L Olson was farmer (source: U.S. Federal Census 1900). The family lived in Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota.
U.S. Federal Census 1900: The family had three children at that time. Children in the family were Samuel C (b. December, 1893 in Minnesota), Ruben L (b. December 15, 1896 in Minnesota), Joel (b. August, 1898 in Minnesota), Levi Harold (February 12, 1901 in Minnesota, buried in Grove City, First Baptist Cemetery), Joseph (b. 1903 in Minnesota), Effie C (b. 1908 in Minnesota).

12) Johanna Johnson
Birth: 1874 (Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota)
Death: Before 1880 (Swede Grove, Meeker, Minnesota)

 

PRESENTATION OF ELNA TORKELSDOTTER'S ANCESTORS NOT CONSTRUCTED

PRESENTATION OF NELS JÖNSSON's ANCESTORS NOT CONSTRUCTED

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