Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

A Swedish heritage and family connections to the Civil War

Posted on: January 12, 2012

I‘ve always been proud that I actually new someone who was alive during the Civil War.  Earlker I  shared a photo of my great Grandpa Henry Einhorn that was published in a local newspaper.  He was born during the Civil War and lived to be 98.

Andrew Anderson, Swedish immigrant and Civil War veteran

Another great grandpa, Andrew Anderson was a Civil War Veteran.   Andrew  immigrated to The United States from Goteborg, Sweden in 1853 and farmed outside of Houston, Minnesota, in the area known as Swede Bottom.  He served during the Civil War in 1865 and died in 1881 of stomach cancer when his youngest son, my grandfather was only one.  I lived  in the area as a child; descendants of the Swedish immigrants still live in that area.   A distant relative who in Minneapolis has documented the family history through interviews, photos and digging into family primary sources.   My connections to the Civil War seem amazingly close!

I’ve learned more about Swedish immigrants by reading I Go to America  (Joy. K. Lintelman, Minnesota Historical Society Press. 2009.) which presents an interesting account of Swedish American women and focuses on the life on Mina Anderson.  Mina came to Minnesota in the 1880’s and lived in central Minnesota.  Her memoir was used by novelist Vilhelm Moberg as a resource for his series of emigrant novels.  Mina migrated  later than my ancestors, yet  her experiences reminded me of the many Swedish and Norwegian women I knew growing up.

A good place for learning more about the Swedish experience is the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Dala horse at the Swedish Institute. The beautiful Turnblad mansion is always fun to visit.


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