Edith Marie Edgar's Family History In Swedish - På Svenska

Edith Marie Edgar's
Family History

This is a copy of Edith Marie Edgar's History about her grandfather
Anders (Andrew) Wahlstrom in the USA and his Family History.
Anders Wahlström was the brother of my
Great grandfather, Matts Wahlström.
(Also see the Family Tree )

Anders and Maria Wahlström with their children Wilhelmina, Elida and Josef.
Taken around 1879.

The Early Years in America
The Teens and Early Adult Years
The Years of Adulthood, Marriage and Families

Anders and Maria Wahlström.
Taken around 1910.



The record of every family must have a time and place of beginning and a pivotal person, be he humble or proud-lowly or high, and from these will the record flow unceasingly through the generations as they unfold.

To find such a beginning for the family of Andrew Wahlstrom was not too difficult a task for the writer, thanks to our cousin, Ruth Sigrid Nelson, who spent many weary hours in tracing a genealogy dating back to the year 1666. During the year 1950, when she was in Sweden for six months, with the assistance of the Swedish branch of the Wahlstrom family, probably our second cousins once removed, she was able to learn and verify certain information heretofore unknown and complete this genealogy by 1964. It is to her perseverance that we are indebted for the records we have.

From this record the writer has been able to trace in direct lineal descent the family line beginning in 1666 to the present year 1970.

As we review the record of the early generations one thought must be kept uppermost in mind, that is: for many years in the Scandinavian countries as each new generation came into being the children assumed as the family name the given name of the father, hence Per (or Peter), son of Erik, or Peter Eriksson and Anna, daughter of Ers, or Anna Ersdotter (dotter meaning daughter). During the first half of the 18th century (about 1740 or so) this custom was discarded except in remote rural areas where it may still exist. Note 1



(Per - Eriks son)
Per Erikson
Born 1666 in Barkinge in Valö
Died 1738
Married Anna ?
Born 1663
Died 12-25-1752


(David - Pers son)
David Person
Born 1702 in Bärkinge in Valö
Died 1784
Anna Ersdotter Born 1702
Died 1789


(Erik - Davids son)
Erik Davidson
Born 9-10-1730
Died 12-5-1806
Buried 12-14-1806
Maria Persdotter
Born 1722
Died 9-2-1801

Erik and Maria Davidson had three children:

Per - Born 10-5-1758
Anna - Born 4-11-1754
David - Born 3-14-1756

David and Per took the name of Wahlstrom which in English means "Quiet stream through beautiful meadow". This was told to the writer by a Swedish minister and his wife who visited Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in the summer of 1975. Note 2


Per (Davidson) Wahlstrom
Born 10-5-1758
Masungsskogen in
Valo socken, Stockholms
Died 6-24-1814 in
Dannemora socken
G. Brita Andersdotter Buss
Born 12-22-1751 to Anders
Andersson Buss and Stina
Jansdotter in Aknarby in
Dannemora socken

2 sons:

Erik - Born 10-25-1785 in Dannemora socken
Anders - Born 10-5-1788
At this time it is interesting to note that Per Wahlstrom, grandfather of Anders (Andrew Wahlstrom) our great great grandfather, along with a small detachment of other young men from the same small village was sent to Russia with the Swedish army to fight in the war between Sweden and Russia over the possession of Finland. Small wars had been fought intermittently for over 200 years for this cause and then ended in 1809 when Sweden was defeated and Russia gained possession of Finland. In this company two young men, one of whom was Per Wahlstrom, did not drink hard liquor and refused the daily ration of whiskey given to the men to keep them warm in the sub-zero weather of a Russian winter. Of this small group only these two, one of whom was Per, returned to their homes. All the rest had frozen to death along with hundreds of others due to the severe cold. Note 3

(Note. This is a story related to me by Mor Far and my mother when I was a child.)


Erik Wahlström
b. 10-25-1785 Aknarby
in Dannemora, Uppsala lan.
G. Greta Soderberg (first wife)


Katrina Gustafa
Erik Gustaf
b. 1-1-1821
b. 2-8-1823
b. 8-10-1824
b. 5-22-1827
b. 10-14-1828
b. 9-26-1831
b. 1-23-1834

d. 1825

d. 1828
d. 1831
d. 1834

G. Maria Moberg (Second Wife)
b. 12-30-1809
d. 4-5-1892
buried 5-15-1892
(Mor Far)

Katarina (Karen)
Anders (Andrew)
b. 1-26-1839
b. 2-13-1841
b. 6-19 1844
b. 10-11-1847
b. 1-25-1850

d. 3-4-1931
d. 1882

d. 5-9-1933

Katerina (Karen), Mor Far´s older full sister married a man named Joseph Gisselberg and their son, Joseph Gisselberg emigrated to America. This branch of the family is presumed to have located somewhere in Illinois, most likely Moline, Ill. or Rock Island, Ill., and was lost sight of through the years. Note 4


Anders Wahlstrom
b. 2-13-1841
d. 3-4-1931
g. Maria Kjellstrom
b. 5-28-1839
d. 7-2-1918

Maria Wilhelmina
b. 6-7-1869
b. 6-17-1870
b. 11-19-1871
b. 2-10-1873
b. 9-16-1874
b. 12-20-1875
b. 1-10-1878
b. 8-8-1883
d. 3-21-1941
d. 10-19-1947
d. 9-9-1917
d. 9-20-1873
d. 3-16-1876
d. 1-24-1876
d. 6-23-1880
d. 8-16-1883

Maria Wilhelmina and Elida were born in Stockholm and the remaining six children were born in America. Joseph was born in Quincy, Florida: Carl through Alfred in Bonne Terre, Missouri: and Emanuel In Oviedo, Florida. Note 5

The Early Years in America

Now it is late summer in the year 1970 just 100 years since our Grandfather Wahlstrom with our grandmother, Aunt Minnie, and our mother, Elida, set foot on American soil where Mor Far and Mor Mor, who by the way was reluctant to do so, hoped to carve for themselves a new life in a nation offering opportunities, but not without toil, hardships, and sacrifices, for themselves and their family.

It is the year 1870. In Stockholm, Sweden it is a bright and sunny July day. On the docks stands a young family, father, mother, and two small children, one a year old, the other a babe of three weeks. They are surrounded by relatives and friends who have come to bid them Godspeed on their journey as they wait to board the sailing ship anchored nearby. Tears fill all eyes as they wonder if they shall ever see these loved ones again. But as the ship was boarded the travellers look into the future unafraid.

As I rest in my favourite rocking chair my thoughts turn backwards through the years in which so much has happened to the year 1970, and I am tempted to relate some of the events as told to me by my mother, Aunt Minnie, and Mor Far during my childhood as they reminisced in my presence and answered questions I asked of them about their coming to the U.S. and what happened in the years which followed.

The sails are unfurled, the anchor is raised, the hawsers removed from the piers as the vessel, sturdily and calmly seeks the open sea and gets underway, and now, at last, Andrew and Maria Wahlstrom are embarked upon their great adventure.

The voyage from Stockholm to New York lasted three weeks during which time several severe storms with heavy gale winds and rough seas were encountered and on several occasions the passengers feared they would never reach their goal.

In early August the little family disembarked and set foot on American soil ready to begin their search for a permanent home in the U.S.A.

Prior to leaving Sweden tentative plans had been made to go directly from New York to Rock Island, Ill., where friends and relatives had settled earlier, but these plans were very indefinite and no commitments had been made. In some ways this proved to be very fortunate as shortly after their arrival in New York our adventurous grandfather was approached by a real estate representative from the state of Florida which was being opened to newcomers in an endeavour to make it a great state, and Mor Far bought --sight unseen-- a large plantation a short distance from the town of Quincy located halfway between Pensacola and Jacksonville.

Speaking only book English which they had learned in school in Sweden and never having seen a Negro or heard English as it was spoken by them, they had much difficulty due to the language barrier. The Negroes who were living on the plantation were those who had been slaves before the War Between the States. After two years during which anything portable disappeared via the Negroes, and Mor Mor, Mor Far, Aunt Minnie, and Mama suffered typhoid fever, and Uncle Joe was born in 1871, it was decided to sell out and move to St. Louis, Mo., or more accurately to Bonne Terre, a small town about 50 miles S.W. of St. Louis where Mor Far had secured a position as superintendent of a lead mine.

There were no roads leading to the Gulf Coast only ox-cart trails so they travelled with all their worldly goods loaded on ox carts from Quincy to Appalachicola and embarked on the Steamer Tarpon for New Orleans. Upon their arrival in New Orleans they secured passage on a flat boat bound for St. Louis, and they and their possessions travelled up the mighty Mississippi in this manner, cooking their meals on a charcoal stove and sleeping on mattresses spread on the deck with mosquito bars to protect them from the mosquitous and other insects. Just why this mode of travel was adopted I have never been able to figure out as Mor Far had money, unless it was the innate frugal nature of Mor Mor which remained with her throughout her life or the fact that she did not wish to travel on the luxury river boats which to her must have seemed dens of iniquity with their gambling and drinking.

Upon reaching St. Louis they travelled by stagecoach to Bonne Terre where they lived for approximately nine years. During these nine years four more children were born but they all died in infancy.

All during these years Mor Far never lost the Florida sand from his shoes and was determined to resettle there, only farther South. Securing a leave of absence he returned to Florida and purchased a large tract of land in a small village near Orlando (Oviedo by name). This he planted in orange trees and left them in care of a caretaker. Some time after his return to Bonne Terre his health began to fail due to the fumes in the lead mines, so he packed up his family and visited relatives and friends in Illinois and then to Sweden where they spent the next two years.

At the end of the two years they returned to Florida early in 1883 where the orange grove was ready to bear fruit. Mor Far built a home in the orange grove and one more child was born in this year and he too died in infancy. In this year also, Aunt Minnie was 14. Mama 13, and Uncle Joe 12.

In the generation of which I am a member all of us who were old enough to realize the truth remember Mor Mor as a kind, gentle, generous, and living grandmother who did many things to help us and saved us from many a spanking we so richly deserved, but there was always an aura of sadness about her. As I have written the record of these early years in the twilight of my own life, I have come to realize more and more how sad it must have been for her to bear the five children and lose them so soon after birth and what a tragedy for the entire family. To even the youngest of our generation was given the privilege to know, love, and respect our grandfather. Mor Far too has always been remembered as a kind and loving grandfather, always soft spoken and endowed with a marvellous sense of humour. When he died in March of 1931, we all felt that an era was definitely ended.

At this point I would like to digress for a time and tell you about the town of Oviedo. It was situated In the midst of the beautiful Lake Country of Florida. There were several lakes within the town itself the largest being named Lake Charm. Surrounded by hills which sloped gently down to the lake with a shelled drive at the foot of the small hills between the lake and the houses on the hills. During these early years, retired persons from the North such as ministers, doctors, educators and those engaged in the arts of music, paintng, and writing bullt beautiful homes on the hinsides overlooking Lake Charm and spent their winter months there. Instead of being just a sleepy Southern town, it was a source of culture for those who had chosen to make it their permanent home and those of the townspeople who were interested shared with the part-time residents in their cultural pursuits. Our mothers and fathers and their brothers and sisters were all participants in this field and made many friends, some of whom remained so for the remainder of their lives. It was my privilege In the Autumn of 1927 to visit Oviedo along with my mother and father to view the town and renew acquaintances with those of the townspeople who were still alive and remembered them. The homes on the lake had long since been vacated as those who had built them were all gone.

The house that Mor Far built In the orange grove was two stories high. Downstairs were a living room, dining room, kitchen, and one bedroom which was occupied by Mor Mor and Mor Far. Upstairs, reached by way of an outside stairway were two more bedrooms, one was Uncle Joe's and the other was shared by Mama and Aunt Minnie. I also saw this house in 1927, and the orange trees towered like a forest about it at that time.

The Teens and Early Adult Years

In 1886 when Aunt Minnie was 17, Mama 16, and Uncle Joe 15, a devastating earthquake struck the city of Charleston, S.C., and demolished a great part of that city. The quake occurred in the early part of the night and was so heavy that the tremors were felt as far south as Orlando. Mama and Aunt Minnie had gone upstairs to prepare for the night. In fact Aunt Minnie was in bed and Mama was saying her prayers at the side of the bed when Aunt Minnie said, "Elida stop shaking the bed." In all innocence Mama replied, "I am not shaking the bed, it´s the house that Is shaking." Just to show how slow communications were at that time it took three days for the news to reach Oviedo via the Jacksonville newspapers and the bed shaking episode was explained.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the choice of Florida as a place In which to live proved to be fortunate for us as would we be here if Illinois had been chosen?

At some time in the 1870's the Nelson family who had emigrated from Sweden and had first settled in Connecticut moved to Oviedo and In the year 1882 the Edgar family emigrated from England and settled in Oviedo. The three families became close friends and shared many pleasant times with one another.

As the relationship between the Wahlstrom, Nelson, and Edgar families became so intertwined, I believe It Is fitting at this point to insert the following: Our father and Grandfather Edgar left England in 1882 en route to Australia via New York and San Francisco but on their arrival In New York they encountered and succumbed to the same line of salesmanship by a representative from Florida, as had our maternal grandfather in 1870, and settled in Oviedo and established a foundry and machine shop business. Our paternal grandfather then returned to England and moved the entire family to Oviedo. During that same year Grandfather and Grandmother Edgar returned to England accompanied by Aunt May and Uncle Alfred, one of their daughters and a son. Aunt May was married while they were there and Uncle Alfred resumed the career he had left and except, for occasional visits to the U.S.ned in England for the balance of their lives.

Upon their return to Oviedo grandfather decided that the town was too small to sustain a foundry and machine shop and early in 1884 moved to Sanford the county seat of Orange County located about ten miles N.W. of Oviedo, and Uncle Gus Nelson who was working with them continued to live in Oviedo and later went back to them.

The Nelson family had an orange grove and also a packing house in Oviedo from which oranges were shipped all over the U.S. The three sons, Gustaf, Fred, and Steen, operated this even while Uncle Gus was working with the Edgar's.

As this is not really a family history but a rambling narrative, I feel it will not be amiss to inject a bit of humour at this point. Grandmother Nelson was very irritating to our Grandmother Wahlstrom at times which Is only human nature showing forth. It seems that she was constantly saying she was descended from the Swedish aristocracy, and one day when Grandmother Wahlstrom was fed up with her, she made the fatal mistake of asking her from what aristokratic house did she trace her lineage. Without changing her facial expression Mor Mor answered in what I am sure was a dialect that Grandmother Nelson did not know, "from the house of ?" which freely translated means "the house of the wooden shoe", but this was accepted even though Grandmother Nelson said she had never heard of it and from then on nothing was said about aristocracy. Note 6

The Years of Adulthood, Marriage and Families

In May, 1888 Aunt Minnie was married to Uncle Gus Nelson. There were four children from this marriage:

Ruth Sigrid Nelson
b. 3-12-1889

Oscar Gustaf
b. 7-25-1890

Elida Marie
b. 3-26-1892

Josephine Ida
b. 8-31-1897

d. 10-29-1969

d. 10-24-1977

d. 4-17-1977

d. 11-13-1965

In 1891 Grandfather Edgar, who was always looking for greener pastures, decided there was no future for a foundry and machine shop in that area of Florida. He had read and heard of Birmingham, Ala., which at that time was a small town built on coal and iron mines and had a great potential for his type of business. He had also learned of Mobile and was undecided just where to locate. The lure of the seaport, the calm atmosphere, and the lovely oak trees and flowers -a good place for families to live, an old and cultured city, and the knowledge of numerous sawmills in South Alabama and South Mississippi overcame the iron and coal mines in Birmingham and in the latter part of 1891 he decided to live in Mobile. He, our father, and Uncle Gus came to Mobile in 1892 and established a foundry and machine shop business while their families remained in Florida.

In the meantime my mother Elida Wahlstrom became engaged to my father Harry Edgar and Uncle Joe was attending school at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida about half way between Oviedo and Orlando.

In July 1893 our father and grandfather returned to Oviedo for our mother´s and father's wedding on July 15, 1893. The wedding took place at 12:00 o'clock noon, and they were to board the steamer Tarpon (the same vessel used by the Wahlstrom family on their journey from Appalachicola to New Orleans years before). The train from Oviedo to Tampa was late but the captain waited for the passengers from Oviedo. Mama and Daddy were accompanied on their honeymoon by Aunt Minnie and her three children and Grandfather Edgar as they were all moving to Mobile to live.

Our mother and father had eight children:
Edith Marie
b. 12-11-1894

Joseph William
b. 12-23-1896

Lily May
b. 5-25-1899

Alfred Lee
b. 7-27-1901

Frances Elizabeth
b. 3-6-1904

Arthur Robert
b. 2-27-1906

Ruth Lillian
b. 9-18-1907

James Herbert
b. 9-7-1911

d. 10-15-1969

d. 5-28-1900

d. 11-10-1947

d. 5-21-1978

d. 3-20-1978

Mor Far, Mor Mor, and Uncle Joe continued to live in Oviedo. Uncle Joe was working with two friends of his --all engaged in the shipment of oranges and other produce. The company was named Crutchifield and Wolfock(?). Uncle Joe was an accountant in the firm. In the winter of 1898 a terrible freeze covered the nation and extended to the southern tip of Florida. All orange, grapefruit, lemon, and other citrus trees were killed by the freeze, and there was nothing left to do but for Mor Far and Mor Mor to come to Mobile to live. They did this and made their home with Uncle Gus and Aunt Minnie for the remainder of their lives. Uncle Joe went to Pittsburgh where his friends had their home office. While there he met and married Aunt Mamie Lee on February 14, 1900. They had four children:

Frances Marie
b. ? 1901

Catherine Lee
b. 1-19-1903

Joseph Lee
b. 11-19-1906

Andrew Lee
b. 6-10-1909

d. 12-?-1902

d. 6-10-1962

d. 7-23-1969

In 1915 Uncle Joe and Aunt Mamie moved to Phoenix, Arizona on account of his health, and after his death on 9-14-1917 the family moved to Los Angeles and made their permanent home in that city.

From the time in 1893 until Josephine was born in 1897, the Nelson and Edgar families rented and lived together in the same house. In 1900 Aunt Minnie and Uncle Gus moved into their home on Ann Street and on January 1, 1901 the Edgar family moved into their new home next door where they lived for the next 49 1/2 years.

You have had handed down to you verbally the stories about the growing years of my generation--how we were more than just first cousins--more like brothers and sisters. There was no fence between the two houses and we considered both houses as our homes. The fun we shared, the joys and sorrows we faced together. The Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas trees at our house, the Christmas dinners at Aunt Minnie´s. Around both tables there were never less than 18 to 20 people. The Fourth of July and Labor Day picnics on Mobile Bay across from Dog River which in the early days it was necessary to cross on a ferry, propelled by hand with ropes. Our mode of transportation on these picnics was the foundry wagons using Mule Power instead of today´s Horse Power. The summers we spent across the Bay and the only way to get across the bay was via side paddle bay boats, the Pleasure Bay, the Bay Queen, and the Apollo, long before the day of the causeway which was not completed until 1926. The birthdays, the weddings and the celebrations of the Golden Weddings of Mor Mor and Mor Far In October, 1917 and Aunt Minnie and Uncle Gus in May, 1939. The Christmas trees which reached to the ceiling in our living room and which grew from coffee beans planted in a pot on Thanksgiving afternoon, instigated by my father, and grew a little each week until the week before Christmas when it was placed in a dark room upstairs and the door locked so we could not peek at it, and then on Christmas Eve it stood in the living room decorated with balls, tinsel, and candles and blazed forth in all its glory with presents for all at its base.

We all believe - that because of these joys and the sorrows we shared together we became better men and women with wonderful memories of the golden years of our childhood, youth, and maturity in which we were all participants.

The genealogy of our generation and those which have followed may be found In the information given to us by Cousin Ruth. After so much writing my eyes and my hand are beginning to fail me so I will close with one memory of what the years together have meant to me.

One of the walls in Aunt Minnie´s living room was graced by a beautitul motto made by our Uncle Joe Wahlstrom and hung in its place as far back as I can remember. The words were in Old English script with gold leaf on a background of black, porcelain-like material and framed with a narrow gold band:

"Count that day lost
Whose low descending sun
Views from thy hand
No worthy action done"

I have often wondered what became of it and hope that it was not lost in the passage of time.

Compiled and written by
Edith Marie Edgar
Begun in 1970
Completed in 1978
Mobile, Alabama


Note 1

At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries the custom of taking the given name of the father as the family name was discontinued by some professionals, including mineworkers, and people living in cities. Among farmers the custom continued until the end of the 19th century when it was finally discontinued.
Note 2

According to information from the Swedish Genealogic Institute, it is most likely that Per and David took their family name Wahlstrom from their home parish Valö.
Note 3
It was not Per Wahlström who was sent out in the war, but his son Eric.
Note 4

Katarina married a man named Anders Gisselberg. Their son was given the name Axel. He emigrated later to America.
Note 5
Maria Wilhelmina and Elida were born in Films parish in Uppsala county.
Note 6

Edith Marie must have mixed together who said what in this little story. What really was said we will never know.

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Copyright © Håkan Bergström, Latest update 2008-09-03