The Larson Saga
Where was Oscar Larson from?
All of our searching for the trail that led from Chicago, back to Sweden in 1887, had been in vain. Johan Oscar seems not to have left Sweden from Göteborg. Perhaps he sailed from Stockholm to Copenhagen, then from there to New York? Perhaps, but only a guess. We needed a definite path to follow!
The idea of that path came from the remark, made by both Ingrid and Anna, that both of their parents belonged to Swedish Lodges in Chicago. This idea was put to Jill Seaholm on Jan 08, 2003 at the Swenson Immigration Library at Augustana College. But what lodge?
There were many Swedish lodges on the South Side of Chicago. But there was a Grand Svithiod Lodge, that had both a membership list and a death register. He was not in the grand membership list. But in the death register list we found:
J. Oscar Larson, 8119 Sherman Avenue, Rail Inspector
Joined June 07, 1899
Died March 06, 1909 (Typhoid fever)
Wife: Anna O; $1000 insurance
Lodge: Gylfe, of the Independent Order of Svithiod.
Gylfe is one of the gods from Swedish mythology. Now, Jill had the membership lists of the Gylfe Swedish Lodge in Chicago, and in the records for 1893 - 1905 we found:
Oscar Larson, Bostad: 8245 Marquette Ave.
Foedelse Aar och Dag: 12 June, 1867
Forsamling: St. Malm
Län: Nyköping (now Soedermanland)
So, we had found him in the records! (Both birth date and date of death were in perfect agreement with the family tradition) J. Oscar Larson was from Stora Malm, which was then a distance from Katrinaholm. (Stora Malm is now a suburb of Katrinaholm)
Finally, after getting microfiche copies of the Church Census lists (Husförhörslängder) we found the family:
Dr. Lars Larson 1820, Nov 06 Bjorkvik Gift 1853
Hus. Johanna Olsdotter 1827, Feb 03, Floda Gift 1853
D. Anna Lotta 1852, Nov 12, St. Malm
D. Johanna Mathilda 1858, Mar 12 Ds.
S. Carl August 1862, Mar 20 Ds.
D. Hedda Josephina 1865, Feb 10 Ds.
S. Johan Oscar 1867, Jun 12 Ds.
Note on terminology:
Dr = Dräng (farm hand)
Hus = Hustru (wife)
D = Dotter
S = Son
Ds. = den Samme
Ingrid’s story said that Oscar Larson had a brother named Charles (Carl) who married Hilma... Charles daughter lived in Roseland. Charles died in Chicago. And that’s about all we know about Carl Larson!
But, the story is different about Oscar Larson!
What did Ocar Larson look like? See the two family photographs. One is a wedding photo and the other is a family porrait from 1901 (baby Ingrid's baptism). Note that there is only one wedding photo in our family!
What were their children like? Significant parts of the genomes of Johan Oscar Larson and Anna Olivia Enholm are still with us in their children and grand children and our children and grand children.....and so on!
We meet them in the Saga of the Enholm-Larsons of Chicago!