Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Montgomery Line, Roberg, Wilson

Amanuensis Monday – Poor Harold Bridgman

Two months before my father was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, his grandmother, Sophie (Roberg) Wilson wrote to Grandma (Blanche) Montgomery from Winner, South Dakota, some 275 miles away. She also forwarded on a letter from another daughter, Maude Lucille, then 18 years old. Both Sophie and Maud express their concerns about the ongoing war, employment and financial difficulties, and, on a lighter note, basketball.

Postmarked February 11, 1942, Winner, South Dakota; Addressed Mrs. L. C. Montgomery, Box 675, Scottsbluff, Nebr; Return address Mrs. Wilson, Winner, S.D.

2-10-1942 Winner, S.D. Lomero [?] St.

Dear Blanche & rest must write a few words

I was so glad to hear from you suppose you got my letter about the same time as I got yours. I’m so sorry that Slim hasen’t got steady work. I know how hard it is to get long & I haven’t lost any time. And I’m always broke from one time to the next check course have Helped Maude quite a little. But must do what I can because can’t leave it all to June: I’m so sorry. I guess Clarence is gone to Rapid City for Examination hope he won’t half to go right away. Wish he would have had time to come down—haven’t saw him since Christmas hope he is feeling better all thise Poor boys that has to go to war—this war is Terrible. We are sure that Hareld Brigeman is Killed. Grandma has not herd since Wake Iland was attacked Oh its so Sad. I will send the last letter Maude wrote. Her letters are so much easier to understand. And I must answer Pearls letter its so long since I got her letter. Poor Pearl won’t be long until she will be going to the Hospetil—if I could only be with you girls for a few days when you need me the most—I would be so glad— but know it’s impossible but sure wish you could go to the Hospital—wouldn’t the county help on the Docter bill. The county sure helps People up here—Pay Docter bills: Pearl will go to the Hospital. Percy Mother will half to keep the children so that is not so Easy Eather. You said you diden’t see how Florence could be confermed. Oh I sure will do all I can for Florence. I have a cream collard dress that could be made over for her. I will see Mrs. Iver Week You send her size and tell me what coller would be allright if it was died [?] and what coller think Mrs. Week will be Kind and do that don’t suppose there would be any boudy down there that would make it over for Florence. I just love to see Florence have chance now because when she geats In to high school it’s much harder. In school Takes all the time for studying will you leat me know what you think about the dress course I relize it takes more than just the dress but will do all I can I sure love to it will be so earley that I don’t amigene they will have white dresses. Well dearest folks hope you can read this scribbling. Must close and get this up to the Post office. Would like to write a lot more but ime won’t permit so best love and good wishes to all and God Bless and Keep you well until we meat again Good by from Mother Lester and Grandma

Write when you find time

[enclosed in same envelope:]

[written at top:] I’m sending Maude’s letter I know you like to read it so by by

Sioux Falls, S.D. Feb. 3, 1942

Dear Mother & all,

Rec’d your letter & money order last nite. Also a letter from Irene and $1, and a letter from Clarence. He was very sorry that he couldn’t help me out, but has to go to Rapid City to be examined the 16th. I’ll send his letter with this, I answered him right back so he would get it. I told him that was O.K. as I knew he had a hard time of it and to be sure and go down and see you before he had to leave. I’ll pay part of what you sent me on my rent but I’ll have to use that dollar Irene sent me for groceries and I thought perhaps I’d better not give her all of that as I’ll need groceries again next week. Don’t worry tho it will come out somehow. Clarence was only getting $25 a month and had to buy license and also that permit to drive which was $2. But if he has to go to the Army I think he’s foolish if he doesn’t sell that car. I sure hope he gets a good location if he has to go. I haven’t heard from Lawrence for over 2 wks. He must be in New Jersey yet tho as he hasn’t sent me his radio and as soon as they go over he’s going to send it to me. I sure wish he’d write. They tell them when they can write now. It’s sure terrible about Harold Bridgman. I’m afraid they torture the boys and starve them to death. A family down here in Sioux Falls got a message from Wake Island, “You may be interested to know your son was taken prisoner at Wake Island.” Wouldn’t that be terrible to get that message and not be able to do anything about it.

It’s about 2:30 and I would be in school today but I guess I’ve got the flu. I’ve such a bad cold and it affects my eyes and neck. It’s so hard to get rid of a cold down here. I feel sort of dizzy when I get up. Mrs. Mellenbrendt called up Roberts & told him I was sick in bed, she also invited me down to dinner and gave me some cough medicine & Listerine. I think I’ll be able to go to school tomorrow so don’t worry, everyone seems to be having bad colds. Lorraine Hight from White River is going to Nettleton College down here she called up the Beauty School and wanted to talk to me so they had her call here. She is coming down at 4:30 to see me. I ran into her one day in Kusge’s [?] store.

I fixed Mrs. Small’s daughter’s hair and her sisters in-law’s hair also awhile back & they wrote up to Witten & told Pearl I did a very nice job. Pearl, I guess told the Long girls, as Romane wrote it to Dorothy McManigal. I fixed Gweny’s [?] hair last Sun. nite.

I sure wish I could see Clarence before he has to leave. They’re really drafting the boys fast around here.

Gee, it’s hot up here in this room but I’ve just got to keep covered up.

Hasn’t the weather been nice. We haven’t had such a bad winter yet but it still takes plenty of fuel tho.

Tell Lester I guess Winner’s B.B. team isn’t doing quite so bad now, I saw in the Argus-Leader where they beat Gregory.

I wonder what the Witten B.B. team is this year.

Excuse the writing I can’t do very good when I’m laying donw.

Write when you can Mother & thanks so much.

Lots of Love

Maude

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Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Letters, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Wilson

Amanuensis Monday – “So I’m Getting Old Now….”

Four years after Pearl Harbor, Martha (Roberg) Anderson mailed a birthday card to her cousin, my grandmother, Blanche (Wilson) Montgomery. Grandma would turn 37 ten days later.

[Postmarked Newman Grove, Nebraska, December 7, 1945; Addressed Mrs. Lawrence Montgomery, Marsing, Idaho. R.#1; 3c postage; birthday card; message written on back]

Dear Blanche. We all wish you a very Happy Birthday. How old are you now? I am 38 years old now. So I’m getting old now. Alfred is 40 years old. Roy is 40. I suppose your kiddies are looking for-ward to Xmas and Santa Claus. My kids are busy planning too. I been busy crocheting for Malinda. She isn’t a bit well. I suppose you heard about Olaf. I suppose she has wrote and told you. All her troubles. Poor Malinda. I sure feel sorry for her. Hope these few lines find you in the best of health. Write soon.

Your cousin
Martha

Martha Ingrid Roberg was born 31 May 1907 in Nebraska, the oldest daughter of Severin and Inga (Nelson) Roberg. One of ten children, she married Roy Anderson on 21 October 1925 and had two children of her own. One of Martha’s brothers was named Olaf, but I’m not sure if this cryptic reference is to him or not, as I can’t seem to identify Malinda or the troubles she was undergoing. Martha died 9 November 1996 and is buried in Newman Grove, Nebraska.

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Blogging Prompts, Immigration, Lien, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – The S.S. Angelo

S. S. Angelo

The S.S. Angelo, built in 1874, carried my great-great-grandmother, Agnette, and her son Emil from Norway to America four years later.  Later that year Agnette would marry my great-great-grandfather, Anders Roberg.

Sophie, Anders, Severin, Emil, Agnette, and Sena
Blogging Prompts, Census, Death Certificates, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Sympathy Saturday, Wilson

Sympathy Saturday – Grandma Wilson

Of my 8 great-grandparents, the only one I ever met was Grandma Wilson: Sophie Christine (Roberg) Wilson. Had she not lived to the age of 97, I might not have met her either. As it was, I only met her once, when I was three. I have dim memories of that meeting, of visiting the nursing home where she lived, and the fact that she gave me a dollar.

Sophie was born November 5, 1881 in Boone County, Nebraska, the daughter of Anders and Agnette (Lien) Roberg, who were both born in Norway. On March 13, 1907 Sophie married Carl Ozro Wilson in Boone County, and they had a total of 10 children: Anders Clarence, Blanche Agnes (my grandma), Ozro Willie, Pearl Jeanette, Clarence Salmer, Woodrow, Mildred Genevieve, Irene Sophie, Maude Lucille, and Lester Laverne.

About 1915 the family moved from Nebraska to South Dakota; in 1920 they were enumerated in Cody, Mellette County. By 1930 Sophie and Carl had separated; that year’s census finds Carl living as a boarder in a hotel in Wood, South Dakota, and Sophie and her children in Witten, South Dakota, where she is employed taking in washing. Carl died in 1939, and in 1940 Sophie and those children still left at home are again in Witten, though the information she provided indicates that five years earlier she had been living in rural Tripp County.

Beginning in 1964 Grandma Wilson resided at the Winner Nursing Home in Winner, South Dakota; she suffered from diabetes. She died at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls on September 24, 1979, a little more than a month shy of her 98th birthday. She was buried September 27 in the Winner Cemetery, near her estranged husband as well as her infant son Woodrow, who had died more than 60 years earlier.

Carl and Sophie Wilson and Family
Blogging Prompts, Lien, Montgomery Line, Roberg, Tombstone Tuesday

Tombstone Tuesday – Moder and Fader

My great-great-grandparents, Anders and Agnette (Lien) Roberg, are buried in the South Branch Cemetery amidst rolling hills outside Newman Grove, Nebraska. Agnette’s half of the tombstone is detailed and written in Norwegian; Anders’s is simpler and lists only his dates of birth and death.

Both Anders and Agnette were born in Norway – Agnette in Biri, Oppland, on November 30, 1844, and and Anders, eleven years later, in Innvik, Sogn og Fjordane. Agnette married a Mr. Martin, and they had a son, Emil, on January 12, 1871. It appears Mr. Martin died, and in May 1878 Agnette and her young son sailed to America, arriving in Winona, Minnesota.

On December 3 of that year Agnette married Anders in Rushford, Minnesota. She was 34 and he was 23.  He had emigrated to America in June 1875 along with his brother Arne. In May-June 1879 Anders, Agnette, and Emil traveled to Nebraska by covered wagon. The 1880 census finds the small family in Shell Creek , Boone County, Nebraska, joined now by the first of three children.

All three children were born in Boone County, Nebraska:  Severin on February 17, 1880; Sophie Christine (my great-grandmother) on November 5, 1881; and Sena on June 2, 1884.  In 1900 and 1910 Anders and Agnette were enumerated in Midland Precinct, Boone County. Agnette died of liver cancer on February 18, 1919. I have yet to find Anders in the 1920 census, but in 1930 and 1940 he was living in Newman Grove. He moved to the Newman Grove “Old Peoples Home” in May 1942 and died of chronic myocarditis on New Year’s Day 1943.

Blogging Prompts, Census Sunday, Hoffmann, Hoffmann Line, Hunkler, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Slagel, Swing, Walker, Wilson

Census Sunday – 1900: Where Was I?

Carl Ozro with Siblings

Genealogy puts one in direct connection with times and places long gone. It can be interesting to look back and imagine oneself in a generation other than the current one.  Where would I have been in, say, 1900?

None of my grandparents were alive yet in 1900; Grandpa Montgomery would be born the following year. His parents, Charles William and Laura Maud (Walker) Montgomery, were living in Holdrege, Nebraska (Grandpa’s birthplace) that year, with their other six children: Myrtle, Mamie, Bessie, Alta, Walter, and John (Ward). Charles was working as a butcher and was 39 years old; Laura, 37.  The children were 16, 13, 11, 10, 2, and 7 months old. Charles and Laura had been married for 17 years.

Carl Wilson, father of Grandma Montgomery, turned 15 in 1900. In that year’s census he appears in Lincoln, Nebraska, a boarder and farm laborer in the home of Jonas and Maggie Misler (maybe…the handwriting is difficult to decipher).

It would be seven years before Carl would marry Sophie Roberg. Three years his senior, Sophie was also “working out” in 1900. She can be found in Shell Creek, Nebraska, a housekeeper in the household of Mons Knudson, a 43-year-old widower with six children between the ages of fourteen and two. His mother, 76 years old, lived in the household as well.

Paul Hoffmann, Grandpa Hoffmann’s father, was 22 years old in 1900, the eldest child still living at home on the farm in Fountain Creek, Illinois; he would marry two years later. Paul and his parents, Jacob (age 63) and Christine (age 50), are listed as having emigrated to America in 1883. Christine had given birth to 7 children, of whom 6 were still living. In addition to Paul, those still at home were Andrew, 16; Maggie, 11; Sammie, 8; and Louisa, 6. Paul and Andrew have “farm laborer” listed as their occupation; the other children were attending school.

Paul’s future wife, Emma Slagel, was 20 years old and living at home with her parents in Indian Grove Township, Livingston County, Illinois. Samuel Slagel, then 50, and Mary, 45, had been married for 24 years. Mary had given birth to 4 children, three still living (and all at home): Emma, along with brothers Daniel (22) and Joseph (18). Also living with them was Mary’s niece, Lena Demler, twelve years old.

In 1900, Grandma Hoffmann’s father was still using the old German spelling of his name. He appears as “Albert C Schwing,” in Ash Grove, Iroquois County, Illinois. Another farming family, his parents were Albert, Sr., age 40, and “Kathrine,” age 38. They had been married for 16 years, and Catherine had given birth to 10 children, all still living, and all still at home: Martha, 15; Charles, 14; Lena, 12; Albert C., 11; Soloma, 9; Joseph, 7; Katey, 6; Anna, 3; Harry, 2; and Paul, 3 months. A further three children would eventually be born to the family.

The final and youngest of these ancestors, Lena Hunkler, was seven years old and living in Washington, Illinois. Her parents, George J. (age 37) and Mary (age 40), had been married for 13 years, and George is listed as a farmer. All five children are at home: Bertha is 13 and listed as Berty (?). Matilda is 11; John G. is 8; “Lenie,” 7; and Hulda, 4. All but Hulda had attended school in the previous year.

Blogging Prompts, Cemeteries, Death Certificates, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Wednesday's Child, Wilson

Wednesday’s Child – the Second Wilson Loss

Recently I wrote about the death of my Grandma Montgomery’s older brother Anders Clarence. She was less than a year old when he died, so of course would have no memories of this particular loss. Tragedy struck again eight years later, and this loss Grandma would certainly remember.

In July 1917 Grandma was 8 1/2 years old. After the death of Anders, three more children had been born: Ozro Willie, born June 9, 1911; Pearl Jeanette, born November 15, 1912; and Clarence Salmer, born August 29, 1915. On July 21, 1917, another son was born to Carl Ozro and Sophie Christine (Roberg) Wilson in Wood, South Dakota. He was named Woodrow Wilson after the current president. Eventually four more children were added to the family: Mildred Genevieve, born April 16, 1919; Irene Sophie, born June 2, 1921; Maude Lucille, born June 23, 1923; and Lester Laverne, born June 11, 1925. Baby Woodrow, however, would live only two days. His death certificate lists his cause of death as “colick.”  He was buried in the Winner Cemetery in Winner, South Dakota. Many years later his parents were laid to rest beside him.

Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Hoffmann Line, Montgomery Line, Roberg, Swing

Amanuensis Monday – Tales from Two Grandmothers

Technically the title should read “…One Grandmother and One Great-Grandmother,” but that doesn’t have the same literary ring to it.

I’ve discovered, in going through all the family memorabilia I’ve inherited, that my great-grandmother Sophie (Roberg) Wilson, wrote the occasional poem.  Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a little verse labeled “Mother Wilson,” or “By Sophie Wilson.” The following is one I found today while rummaging through some cards and letters, most dated 1950:

Friendship Garden

Friendship is like a garden of flowers fine rosy
It can not reach perfection except through loving care
Then new and lovely blossoms with each new day appear
For friendship is like a garden grows in beauty year by year

by Sophie Wilson

The second “tale” for today, and one about a special kind of friendship, is my grandma Velma (Swing) Hoffmann‘s story about their family’s pet squirrel. I remember when Grandma first shared her story with me, though I can no longer remember the occasion for which she wrote it:

The most interesting pet we ever had as children, and there were many, was a squirrel. We lived in central Illinois and had gone into the timber near the Vermillion River to look for spring flowers. Three young boys had gotten some baby squirrels, no doubt having killed the mother and robbed her nest. They showed them to us and my little sister just had to have one of them so my Mother agreed to take one. It was so tiny that it just fit into the palm of one’s hand and we had it for three weeks before it opened its eyes. My Father didn’t think we could raise it as sometimes a wild animal will not take food but my Mother prepared a formula and fed the baby every three hours, day and night.

As the weeks passed the little squirrel became the pet of the household. We bought a toy doll bottle and it learned to drink its milk, holding the bottle in its front paws like a baby. When we ate, it went around the table over our shoulders for a handout from each one of us. Or, if it was outside when we were eating, it would climb up on the screen door, hang upside down and “bark” at us until we let it inside. My Father used to give the squirrel ginger snaps and, when it had eaten all it wanted, it would bury the rest under a pillow. My Father would get the cookie, give it back to the squirrel and it would bury it again, patting down the pillow with its front feet.

When we gave it a grape or plum to eat, it would turn it quickly in its paws and the peelings would fly, first from one side and then the other. We really enjoyed all the things we learned from this little pet.

In the fall of the year, it disappeared and some friends in the country called and said the squirrel was at their place in a walnut grove. My Mother went out and brought it home but within a week it was back in the walnut grove so we decided it was looking for companionship and let it stay there. However, we never forgot our little friend and the enjoyment it gave us.

Blogging Prompts, Census, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Thriller Thursday, Wilson

Thriller Thursday – The Disappearance of Sena Roberg

One of the stories that sparked my early interest in genealogy and family history is that of Sena Roberg. Born June 2, 1884 in Boone County, Nebraska to Anders and Agnette Roberg, she was the younger sister of my great-grandmother Sophie (Roberg) Wilson. My grandma, in relating to me the history of her family, stated simply that Sena had “disappeared” and that no one ever knew what became of her.

She appears in the 1900 census with her parents and brothers, apparently nicknamed “Sadie.”  Three years later she married Charles A. Johnson, born about 1873. On August 9, 1906 their daughter Esther was born. As has been detailed before, in October 1908 Charles traveled to enter a homestead drawing but never returned, having been run over by a train at the Oakdale (Nebraska) Railroad Yards. Sena was apparently expecting another child at this time.

In the 1910 census, Sena is again living with her parents and two daughters: Esther, age 3, and Clara, age 1. Research by cousin David Johnson reveals a history of legal disputes over Sena’s inheritance from her husband, guardianship of her daughters, and compensation demanded as a result of Charles Johnson’s death.

Sena married at least twice more – once to H. E. Fisher around 1911, then to a Mr. Evans (a traveling salesman) before 1915. I have yet to find her in any other census records. According to stories told by her sister Sophie, she later moved to Omaha, came home for a visit, then returned to Omaha to have minor surgery, and was never heard from again, in spite of newspaper advertisements attempting to locate her.

Her daughters on April 6, 1915 had been placed under the guardianship of their grandfather Anders, though they may have continued to live with a family named Bruland. I’m unsure what became of Clara, but Esther would marry John Bowen and remain in touch with her cousin, my grandmother, over the years.  Esther died February 23, 1997 in Nebraska.

Aaland, Blogging Prompts, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Those Places Thursday, Vital Statistics

Those Places Thursday – Innvik

One of my many ancestral homelands is the small (population 378) village of Innvik, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.  Innvik means “inner bay” in Norwegian; the original spelling of the name was Indviken and was in use by the 15th century.

Our earliest known connection to this village was the February 1760 birth of my 5th great grandfather, Anders Torgjersen Aaland, and that of his wife Ragnilde Christensdatter around 1766. Anders’s birth on the Haga Farm appears as the fourth entry on the following record from the Digitalarkivet website:

Anders and Ragnilde married July 7, 1786 and had nine children.  Their sixth child was Arne Andersen Aland, born in 1799.  He and his wife Ingeborg Svensdatter had a daughter Synneve, and a son, Svend Arneson Roberg.  Svend was born June 2, 1824 and married another Synneve: Synneve Arnesdatter.  Svend and Synneve had six children; the second was my great-great-grandfather, Anders Mathis Roberg.  Several of the Roberg children emigrated to the U.S.; Anders and his brother Arne both emigrated in 1875.  Three years later Anders married another Norwegian, Agnette Evansdatter Lien, eleven years his senior. Agnette had a child, Emil Martin, from a previous marriage; and she and Anders had three children of their own: Severin, Sophie (my great-grandmother), and Sena.