Sunday's Story - Hanna Emanuelsdotter

In "Anna and Albin Abrahamson - a family history" cousin Ingemar Majholm tells the story of his grandmother.
   "Hanna emigrated together with her sister Alma to the U.S.A. on 17 Oct 1904. After some years she traveled home for a short visit. She had been strong and in good health when she left Sweden, but overseas she con­tracted some illness which gave her sequel's for life in her heart. In her luggage she had, among other things, some potatoes of a special red kind, which were put in the Swedish soil to grow. What she hadn't foreseen, though, was her attractiveness in the eyes of a man named Gustaf Abrahamsson. He sought counsel from his father Albin, who just said, 'Well, she isn't strong.' But this couldn't keep Gustaf away from Hanna, and soon she found her plans for a future in the states blown away in the blue. They were married in Ulricehamn, where they traveled by horse, a journey of 44 miles one way. In 1915 they moved to Aveholm, half a mile from Stommen, where Gustaf had built a farm and opened up about 11 acres of land. Hanna had chosen the windows. They were - American, of course!

Gustaf and Hanna with Seth (standing) and (left to right)
Margareta, Sara and Gunhild

The luck seemed to be complete, but the hidden threat of Hanna's weak heart lingered over the family. Finally the bitter end came a beautiful Sabbath morning, 4/24, 1926, when Hannas' heart finally gave up its long fight for life. She was then only 40 years old.

The potatoes? They are still in Swedish soil after 100 years, giving a faithful crop every year. After Gustaf, Seth grew them, and now Ingemar, and they have also spread to other orchards in Sweden. Nowadays we call the kind 'Hanna röd' - 'Hanna Red'."**


Whether Hanna's sister Alma remained in America I do not know. I did see that a man claiming that Alma and Hanna were his sisters did travel with them to America in 1904. Just above their names on the Goteborg ship manifest  is the name John Swanson.

Following him I found that he had first gone to the United States in 1900 using his birth name Johan and patronymic Emanuelsson. He must have loved the states because he seems to have "Americanized" quickly. Johan became John and perhaps because Emanuelson seemed a bit cumbersome took on his father's patronymic name of Swenson, which soon morphed to the more popular American version of "Swanson". He did become a naturalized American citizen and soon traveled westward, first to Colorado where he married and then finally to Montana, where he ultimately settled and raised his family. The seemingly confusing name change from Johan Emanuelson to John Swanson was very typical among Swedish immigrants of his era. I explained Swedish-American naming conventions in an earlier blog →  OUR SWEDISH AMERICAN NAMES

my Grand Aunt  Hanna (Emanualsdotter) Abrahamson
born: 12 Aug 1885 Hvarvhult, Östra Frölunda, Ålvsborg, Sweden
died:  24 Apr 1926 Aveholm, Östra Frölunda, Västra Götaland, Sweden

- Ranae

**clicking on photos or documents will enlarge them for easier viewing**

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