Last time, we traced Christian Pearson’s brother John (Johannes) from Riseberga, Sweden to Sauk Center, Minnesota. Can we do the same for another brother Andrew (Anders)?
Anders was the youngest member of the Per Pålsson family of Riseberga. By the time we get to the 1861 Swedish Household Record (HER), he is the only child left at home1. He leaves that year to go work as a farm hand (dräng) in the nearby parish of Höja.
Just like his brothers Christian and Johannes, we see Anders move around quite a bit. He has four different residences in the coming years in the parishes of Höja and Kropp. He actually stays put in Kropp as a boarder for four years. He may have been hiring out as a day laborer on farms or in mines during this period; his occupation is not stated.
In 1870, he leaves for America utan attest (without papers). That means he didn’t obtain a flyttningsbevis (moving out paper) from his local parish priest. He probably emigrated out of Malmö, but the emigration records don’t got back to 1870 for that port so I can’t confirm it. His name is too common to warrant a search of the arrival records in New York or Quebec.
As an 1870 emigrant, he probably arrived in America too late to be enumerated in the 1870 census. But we do pick up his trail again in 1880. He is living with his wife and three children in Birch Dale Township, Todd County, Minnesota2. Birch Dale Township is the next township to the east of Kandota Township where his older brother John settled in the previous year.
We also find Andrew listed in the General Land Office records3, obtaining a land patent in 1884 in Section 6 of Birch Dale township . In the 1914 atlas4, there is property in his wife’s name in Section 6 – it turns out his farm is right across the road from brother John’s farm in Section 1 of Kandota township.
It all seems pretty convincing that this is indeed our Andrew. But it’s such a common name, can we really be sure? Well this time, I have DNA support! Searching through the family trees on Ancestry that include an Andrew Peterson (born 1844 in Sweden, living in Todd County, Minnesota), I came across a tree posted by Greg Gjerdingen. Looking at his profile, I find out that he is a DNA match to me and also to my Mom, my Aunt Jane, and Kent Pearson (also a descendant of Christian Pearson through his son Carl Oscar and grandson Norman).
In his tree, he has a photo posted of Andrew’s daughter Alma Peterson (1888-1972). She would have been a first cousin of P.W. Pearson.
This is the first time I’ve confirmed a suspected cousin so definitively using DNA evidence. Pretty cool!
So I feel like I have pretty well CONFIRMED the family lore concerning Christian’s brothers settling in Minnesota and assuming the name Peterson instead of Pearson.
1ArkivDigital,Riseberga (L) AI:16 (1856-1861) Image 46 / Page 342 (AID: v100926.b46.s342, NAD: SE/LLA/13313).
2Year: 1880; Census Place: Birch Dale, Todd, Minnesota; Roll: 635; Page: 332A; Enumeration District: 138