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Swanson Families

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The Swanson Families Of Waukegan, Illinois

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The "Swanson" Families is somewhat of a misnomer, since the last names of our distant ancestors were neither Carlson nor Swanson.

Unlike western Europe and Great Britain, Sweden used the "patronymic" form of surname, meaning the son or daughter took their father's name as the beginning of their last name (surname), and added "son" or "dotter" as the case may be. Therefore, the name of Sven Danielson's son "Sven", would be "Sven Svensson", or Sven, son of Sven. Conversely, Anders Germundsson's daughter Katherina, would be named Katherina Anderssdotter, or Katherina, daughter of Anders.

Virestad, Sweden Western Finland (influenced by their close proximity to Sweden) used both the "patronymic" form and a last name. The last name for the Carlson line was PELLFOLK, from Karl Johan Karlsson Pellfolk.

This line came from Narpes, Finland. The Swanson line is from Virestad, Sweden, and is an "anglocized" version of the name "Svensson". The ancestors of the Carlson (Karlsson) line were Swede-Finns, meaning they were of Finnish descent, but spoke Swedish.

Narpes, Finland Thanks to computers, the internet, the growing interest in genealogy on the internet, and the transcription of ancient records into a usable, searchable format, information previously unknown has now become available to computer users.

Finland has initiated a test site on the internet where information from numerous parishes "black books" (so called because they had a black binding), for the years between 1760 - 1860, is now listed. The availability of this information has allowed me to trace this "Carlson" line back to "Johan Johansson", born about 1757, and to Carl Johansson Ylsoback, born about 1779.

Narpes, Finland So far, I've been unable to find any further information on the ancestors of Karl Johan Karlsson Pellfolk, who was born April 24, 1884, in Western Yttermarks, Narpes, Finland.

The information available in some parishes includes dates of marriage, dates of birth, dates of death, location of burial, place to where a person moved, and dates of christening. The dates of christening also includes the dates of birth of the individual, and, most importantly, the names of the parents.

Narpes, Finland Church Unfortunately, Narpes, Finland's parish records, which is where our Finnish ancestors come from, only has the dates of christening available, although it does give the age of the mother at the date of birth of the child. But, having the names of the parents and the year of the mother's birth did allow me to trace our Finnish ancestors back three generations further then was previously known.

On the Swanson side, the furthest back I've been able to trace the family is to Anders Mansson, born in about 1721. Other ancestors have been traced to Hokan Paulsson born in about 1742, Jons Thomassson, born in about 1775, and to Jon Larsson, born in about 1782.


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A special Thank You to Marita Kvist of Helsingborg, Sweden, for her help in my research!


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This Web Site is dedicated to the memory of Jennie K. Stanley (30 Mar 1910 - 16 Nov 1997), without whose efforts and research it would not have been possible.
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