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Karl Gustaf Nilsson

The Beginning

Home Karl Gustaf Nilsson Telly Constance Byberg Althea Hedwig Lillian Oscar Willy Jonny Linea Gustaf Omar Kitty Irene Clarence Henning

Karl Nilsson who's wife we don't know, gave birth to Nils Gustaf Nilsson in 1854. Nils married Beda Oslund who was born in 1871. Her father's name was Zack Oslund, her mother's name we don't know. We do know that Nils Gustaf Nilsson was born in Sweden. When they married we don't know.


He was a photographer and he had one arm, the other was blown off in explosives He had children. Karl Gustaf Nilsson, Oscar, other names are here  but we are not sure who they are: Hildegard Karlsson ( Tant Hille) 75 years in 1966.

Linnea Paulsson- Stockholm                                                              

Anna Johansson- Stockholm      

Kerstin Boestan- Sundsvall                                                                

Marianne Hogelund                    

Selma Edholm- Harmonsand

Svea Heglaund-Norfjarden?

Alda Bill-Skovde


Anna  married Oscar Johansson. One of the other sisters was a Judge.



Oscar & Anna Johansson

 Gustaf Karl Nilsson


 Gustaf Karl Nilsson was born in Senga (Sundsvall), Sweden on July 25, 1897 to Nils Nilsson and Beda Oslund. Karl left home as a teen and went to Norway. In Norway, he met Telly Constance Byberg who was born in Norway, and they had 5 children. The first born was a girl, Hedwig Lillian born Dec.15, 1920 in Sandnes, Norway. The second child was a boy, Oscar Willy born January 24, 1922 in Stavanger Norway. The third child born was a girl, Jonny Linea born March 16, 1924 in Stavanger Norway. Fourth child was Gustaf Omar born June 12, 1926 in Stavanger Norway. The last child born in Norway was Kitty Irene who was born September 04, 1927 in Sandnes, Norway. On February 22, 1927 Karl came to America on the ship Aquitania and found his family a home in New York. Later around 1928,  Telly and the children came to America on the ship S.S. California. They did not come through Ellis Island because they had had their physicals already.  


Telly holding Irene, Hedy, Willy, Omar and Jonny

Karl has not seen Irene yet as she was born while he was in the U.S.A.








Aquitania                                                                     S.S. California

The Aquitania was one of the greatest of all liners.. She was launched in 1913. She was called "The Ship Beautiful". During the war she served as an armed merchant cruiser,  a hospital ship and a troop transport. She returned to commercial service in 1919. In 1920 the Aquitania moved its principal New York service from Liverpool to Southampton. The year of 1927 is the year that Karl Nilsson had sailed on this, the greatest of all liners. She was the longest serving ship.                                              




Settling in Whitestone, New York.

The first house they lived in, in New York.

New York-1929

Pop (Karl), Telly, Eddy Lackner (might have been the sponsor for Pop to the U.S.), Eddy's son and Pops children

About 1930

Karl, Willy, Irene, Yonny, Omar

Telly (back) Henning Heden, Willy, Hedy, his wife Marie (holding Clarence), Jonny, Omar, Irene (children in front)

Here they had two children born in Queens. One boy, Clarence born May 4, 1931 and one girl, Gloria who was born April 16, 1932 and she died soon after her birth. Later another son was born in Long Island, Henning born August 15, 1934.


In 1943, they moved to Fontana California. Later deciding to move to San Pedro, they made their home on 7th St. This is where Karl and Telly divorced around 1951. Later Karl marries to Althea Sheldon on April 11, 1953 and gave birth to one son, Mark Alan who was born July 11, 1954.

When Karl was still in Norway, he was the King of the sharp shooters for the Scandinavians. He held this for about 4 years until he lost it to a 18 year old boy. Karl loved to play poker, bet on the Horse and Dog (Greyhounds) races. Mexico was one of his favorite tracks. Karl liked camping, fishing, hunting and panning for gold. If he was fishing and didn't catch anything it didn't matter, he was content with just his pole in the water. While camping Karl would be the first one up with the coffee going and would not rest till everyone was up and moving about. Karl always had a cigar, I don't think you ever would see him with out one. You could always hear him coming up the walk by the sound of the shuffling of his feet. Well, Karl could not say his J's and most of his grandchildren were names beginning with J's. If the name was Judy, he would say Yudy, Joyce would be yoyce and Janet would be Yanet and etc. Well one of his own daughters name began with a J, and that was Jonny. But by him not being able to say his J's her name was yonny, and that is what everyone called her. When his second wife Althea was pregnant she told Karl some of the names she had picked, and one was starting with a J, and Karl said "Yesus Christ not another name with Yays!" Karl was a painter by trade, he painted homes and such, but he was also an Artist. He had painted several paintings that his children still have today. Karl died in his home June 7, 1968 and was put to rest at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach, California.


Memories by Kitty Irene Werner

Pop  was a great man. Quiet in some ways but always ready to discuss anything with you and had great stories to tell. He was not the hands on type of  father as they are today, and I can never remember kissing or hugging him. I think he was more comfortable with the boys of the family especially Willy and Clarence. Many times he would sit and say nothing lost in thought. There was no camping or panning for gold in those early days. He would fish but that was for food on the table. He also loved to play poker and can remember nights when he and the guys would gather around the dining table and play till the wee hours. He was a good player and it usually resulted in food on the table the next day. I can also remember him being interested the horse races and would occasionally place a bet. Here again he would usually win a few dollars. He worked so hard. He would paint houses knowing that his pay would be a promise for the future. When there was no other work, he would dig ditches for the government sponsored WPA or PWA. The neighbors could always tell when he had a days work behind him and money in his pocket because he always came home whistling. Look they would say, Karl had a days work! He was a tall erect man with very dark hair and blue eyes and to me he was handsome. When he painted people often gave him "junk" fro the attic. I still have a pair of statues that were in many pieces and wrapped in a newspaper from the days of Abraham Lincoln. Too bad we didn't save the newspaper.. Pop glued them together and  they were beautiful. Another treasure he brought home was a pair of framed pictures {scenery} that were made from dust and colored lint. They were so beautiful.... But one day one of us kids broke the glass and smeared the pictures with our fingers to see if it was really dust. It was!! Am sure he was sick at heart, , he didn't scold us. In fact he never did scold us. If we did wrong we got a look and that was enough....except for the Rin Tin Tin  episode when the house rang with the explosion at Yonny. Several times I heard angry words between him and Mom but not us. I remember when we still lived in the flat and he and a few men came to help us move. I  was standing on the front stoop scratching my crotch and he just came over to me and removed my hand and gave me the look. Only one time did he raise his voice to me. We had company and as he spoke in his very Swedish accent I began to laugh and repeat the words in his accent. He looked at me and said "Hult sheft" which in English meant "keep your mouth shut", This and the look shut me up. When we moved into the house on Cross Island Blvd, the place was a dump. He painted the whole place and refinished the floors and cupboards, In the long  hallways he shellacked them and carefully drew a beautiful design in dark stain the length of it. In the kitchen he stripped the cupboards and stained them oak. Before the stain dried he would take his thumb and make oak wood marks on them. People all thought they were real oak. He often brought home old furniture that he would refinish. I remember a couch in particular. It had a beautiful carved wooden trim and he was refinishing it. He was working with a very fine paint brush and I had my nose so close to what he was doing and he took the paint brush and ran it down my nose and we both laughed so hard. In later years he and I would sit till late discussing math...he was a great mathematician and he would teach me many short cuts...especially in multiplication. A few years ago I remembered the formula about multiplying by 25 but again I have forgotten it. Will work it out one of these days and pass along to you. He was also a great plasterer which as dearly needed in that old house. How many times in the middle of the night, we would be awakened by the crash of a ceiling falling. It was always the center of the rooms and we kept our beds to the walls to avoid the falling mess. We were very nonchalant about it and turned over and went back to sleep. One time the ceiling  fell over the dining room table so his job was not only the ceiling but also the dining room table and chairs. He did them in white with a fine gold trim. He was a real artist and in later years began doing oil painting. I can remember only once using food stamps for the poor. I stood in a long line waiting my turn and then received a bag of rotten grapefruit, a can of powered milk and quite a few cans of food....unlabeled and dented. We never knew what was in a can till we opened them. We could hope it was canned peaches and got tomato sauce. I think Mom got disgusted but to us it was a good time with many laughs. We never again got the "free wonderful food" that the government was paying  the store owners to provide us with. I cannot even imagine the hard life that Pop had and did it with such grace.



Copyright 2001 Judith Hayes. All Rights Reserved.