About Me

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Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. The majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a courthouse and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

I have been working on some Mortenson records for my husbands side of the family, making sure things are updated and corrected as needed in preparation for our upcoming reunion in June 2022.  In the process of doing this I found that Anders Jonas Erickson was actually born Anders Johan Jonsson.  Anders was the father of Anna Sophia Erickson Mortenson, mother of our Joseph Mortenson.  Anna Sophia's surname at birth and until she came to America was Andersdotter.  I wrote up a paper on the names and when things started changing incase anyone is interested.  I attached it to the memoires section on FamilySearch for Anders. Feel free to print it off for your own records if you would like and if you have any questions please let me know.

What’s in a Name?

First, before I start telling you about the ancestor from Sweden that changed his name after coming to America, I will tell you a little about the naming system in Sweden at that time.  Patronymics (from the Greek pater, meaning "father" and onoma, for "name") is the process of designating a surname based upon the given name of the father, thereby consistently changing the family surname from one generation to the next.  Until the turn of the 20th century, family surnames were not in common use in Sweden.  Instead, most Swedes followed a patronymic naming system, practiced by about 90 to 95% of the population.  In Sweden, -son or -dotter was usually added to the father's given name for gender distinction.  For example, Johan Andersson would be the son of Anders (Anders’ son) and Anna Svensdotter the daughter of Sven (Svens’ dotter).  Swedish son's names are traditionally spelled with a double s—the first s is the possessive s (Nils' as in Nils' son) while the second is the s in "son."  Technically, names that already ended in s such as Nils or Anders should have three s's under this system, but that practice wasn't often followed.  It is not uncommon to find Swedish emigrants dropping the extra s for practical reasons, to better assimilate into their new country.  

Swedish patronymic "son" names always end in "son," and never "sen."  In Denmark the regular patronymic is "sen."  Sweden passed the Names Adoption Act in December 1901, requiring all citizens to stay with one surname - surnames that would pass down intact instead of changing every generation.  Some families kept the name they currently had, while others adopted nature or military names.  Nature and military names are another subject all together, which I won’t get into at this time.  So, remember don’t just assume that Erick Johansson is your guy without doing a lot of searching first.  There could be hundreds of Erick Johansson that aren’t even related to each other, even in the same areas as yours were living.

Now, on to tell you about my husband, Roy Thompson’s 2nd great-grandfather, Anders Jonas Erickson.

What got me looking for a different surname in the first place was the fact that I could not find a birth/christening record for Anna Sophia or for any of her siblings.  The extracted records for Sweden are pretty good, but I was coming up empty.  Then I ran across a birth record, with first names that matched as well as dates and places, but the surnames were different.  I had also started seeing some family stories that stated that after arriving in Utah there were so many Jonson/Johnson/Johanson surnames, that he decided to change his surname to Erickson, after his father whose name was Jonas Erickson. 

I kept digging and the following is what I found.  Anders Jonas Erickson was actually born, Anders Johan Jonsson, but sometime after coming to America in 1863 and by the 1870 census, he started going by the surname of Erickson as did all of his living children.  Sometimes the records in America also have him listed with the given name of Andrew instead of Anders.  By the way, if they had stayed in Sweden all of his children would have had the last name of Andersson for the boys and Anderssdotter for the girls.

The following are the different records I have found so far showing his original surname, before coming to America and the surname he went by after his arrival in Utah.

CHURCH RECORDS: https://www.arkivdigital.net/ image 10 page 15 for birth & christening of Anders daughter, Anna Sophia who was born 13 December 1849 and was christened 14 December 1849 = Transcription first in Swedish then in English: Föräld(rar) Inhysesmannen Anders Joh(an) Jonsson och hustru Margaretha Henriksdotter från Ullevi, Ö(stra) Södergårds egor (ägor).  Faddrar. Bruk(are) Joh(an) Peter Eriksson med hustru, Drängen Carl Peter Jonsson från Vistena och pigan Stina Maja Månsdotter på stället.  

Parent’s lodger Anders Johan Jonsson and wife, Margaretha Henriksdotter from Ullevi at East Södergård´s (south farm) land.  Witnesses: Farmer/tenant Johan Peter Eriksson and wife, farmhand Carl Peter Jonsson from Vistena and farm maid Stina Maja Månsdotter same place (as the parents).

For your information Ullevi is located in the region of Östergötland & is located some 108 miles southwest of Stockholm and Vistena is just northwest of Ullevi.

Anders first wife, Margaretha Henriksdotter, had a daughter, Brita Johanna, and a son, Carl Johan, that both died young.  Margaretha’s daughter, Anna Sophia, who is Roy’s ancestor was the only child of Margaretha’s to live to adulthood.  Margaretha died shortly after giving birth to her son, Carl Johan.  Almost two years after Margaretha’s death, Anders married Anna Greta Andersdotter and had five more children and Anna Greta became the mother that Anna Sophia needed.

CHURCH RECORDS: Sweden, Indexed Birth Records, 1859-1947, located on Ancestry.com for the birth of his daughter, Hulda Mariana, born 18 April 1862 in Högby, Ostergotland, Sweden he is listed as Anders Johan Jonsson and his wife as Anna Greta Andersdotter.

CHURCH RECORDS: Sweden, Emigrants Registered in Church Books, 1783-1991 (Found on Ancestry.com and everyone is listed with their full birth dates and place as well, but I have just listed Anders’s date and place here.)

Anders Johan Jonsson, Male, Birth Date: 16 Nov 1821, Birth Place: Östergötland, Järstad Departure Date: 10 Apr 1863, Departure Place: Östergötland, Högby Arrival Place: Nordamerika (North America), Occupation or Relation: Torpare (small tenant farmer), Marital Status: Married, Notes: Travels with family. Original Page 24

Household members (The Jonsson surname was added to Anders’ children as they were living the country.):

Anna Greta Andersdotter (wife)

Carl Johan E Andersson Jonsson (son)

Anna Sophia Andersdotter Jonsson (daughter)

Nanny Amalia Andersdotter Jonsson (daughter)

Hulda Mariana Andersdotter Jonsson (daughter)

Maja Cajsa Månsdotter (She is the mother of Anna Greta, Anders’s second wife)

CHURCH RECORDS: Perpetual Emigrating Fund, Financial Accounts 1849-1886, Ledger C, page 781. (His name is shown as "Anders J. Johanson" on the PEF ledger.)

CHURCH RECORDS: LDS Mormon Immigration Index CD

JOHANSON, Anders       1822, Age: 41, Origin: Sweden, Occ: Farmer, Norrkoping (SMR p. 172)

JOHANSON, Anna          1822, Age: 41, Origin: Sweden, Occ: Wife

JOHANSON, Fritz            1849, Age: 14, Origin: Sweden (I am not sure who this boy is, we have no records for a Fritz Johanson, so I wonder if he was possibly a nephew or something.)

JOHANSON, Anne Sofie 1850, Age: 13, Origin: Sweden

JOHANSON, Nanny        1855, Age: 8, Origin: Sweden

JOHANSON, Carl             1859, Age: 4, Origin: Sweden

JOHANSON, Hulda         1863; Age: Infant, Origin: Sweden

ANDERSON, Maria         1794, Age: 69, Origin: Scandinavian Occ: Widow (She is the mother of Anna Greta, Anders’s second wife.)

Hulda and Maria both died somewhere in Nebraska along the trail on their way to Utah in July of 1863.

So, as you can see, Anders was going by the surname Jonsson in Sweden, his children were going by the surname, Anderson and Andersdotter, then on the immigration records the name was changed to Johanson.  Depending on how strong his accent was, I can see someone hearing all of these different sounds, Jonson, Johnson, Johanson, etc.  By 1870 he is using the surname Erickson until his death in 1903.

On the 1870 census in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah he is listed as Andrew Ericson

On the 1880 census in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah he is listed as Andrew J. Ericson.

On the 1900 census in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah he is listed as Andrew Eserkson.

Anders was the father of three children with his first wife and five children with his second wife.  Only one child, Anna Sophia, lived to adulthood out of the first three and three lived to adulthood from the second set of children.  Anna Sophia and her family moved to Arizona, and she is buried with her husband, James Mortenson, in the Whitewater Cemetery in Elfrida, Cochise County, Arizona.  Nannie Amelia and her family stayed in Sanpete County, Utah until around 1900 when they moved up to Alberta, Canada where they died and some of their descendants still live to this day.  Carl Johan Emil and his family stayed in the Spring City area and are buried there.  Hulda Celestia (She was born in Utah and was named for her sister that had died on the plains.) and her family went to Arizona for a short time living in Alpine close to her half-sister, Anna Sophia.  They then went back to Spring City, but also lived in Utah County around American Fork.  Hulda died in Portland, Oregon but was brought back to American Fork for burial.

I am also going to be working on figuring out who Margaretha’s father really was.  Since I have been in the family he has been listed as Fredrik Hagar and Margaretha is sealed to him as well.  However, Fredrik Hagar supposedly died in 1809 in prison in France which was about 15 years before Margaretha was ever born.  Margaretha’s mother’s name has always been given as Inga Greta Persdotter and there was a woman by that name who was married to a Fredrik Hagar in 1804 and they had at least one son, named Johan Peter Fredriksson who was born in 1806.  What is the actual story, stay tune and hopefully I can find out?

Witten and researched by Vickie Beard Thompson in 2021.  Anders Jonas Erickson was the 2nd great-grandfather of Roy Edwin Thompson, husband of Vickie.  Any questions or comments feel free to email Vickie at DreamingofKentucky@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 “Mama Jessie”

Since my grandmother, my Daddy’s, Momma’s birthday was this month I decided I would write a little blog post to observe her 122nd birthday.

Jessie Holeman Doss was born 5 March 1899 in Clay, Webster County, Kentucky the daughter of George Samuel Doss and Nancy Lougena Woosley.  She was the eighth and youngest child of her parents.  She was spoiled rotten by her brothers and sometimes even by her sisters.  When Mama Jessie (as almost all of her grandkids called her) was three years old her family moved to Charleston, Missouri.  They lived in a tent while her Daddy, was cutting timber and she told of snakes that were all over the place.  She said you could not hardly go anywhere inside or out without stepping on a snake they were so numerous.  She recounted this story many times to my Daddy and to myself.  The following picture if of Mama Jessie in the middle and her sisters Annie & Verlie. 

She did not go to school until she was about 7 or 8 years old because her Mom would not let her, this school was in Clay, Kentucky.  She hated school did not like it at all.  The last school she went to was at Wheatcroft, Kentucky and she only went to 5th grade then quit and never went back.  Her nickname was Judy, which her brother, George bestowed on her. 

From Charleston, Missouri they moved back to Kentucky then over to Illinois in about 1908 and lived in Marion, Illinois then moved over to Harrisburg, Illinois and lived there for a while then moved back to Kentucky and she lived around Clay, Kentucky until she started getting married. The following picture is: Nancy, Jessie & George and in the back, Lillie, Fred & Lloyd in about 1908.

I wish Mama Jessie were here to tell me more about the story of her life.  I also wish I had written down all the stories she use to tell me.  About all I can do is try and remember some of the things she told me, and I have been told over the years by her children and other family members.  Mama Jessie was very superstitious and a couple of her things that I remember the most are, whatever door you come in, that is the door you leave out of, and do not put a baby in front of a mirror before they are a year old or they will die before they were 21 years old.

As a child we went and visited with Mama Jessie and Pa Corley quite frequently in their little house on Clay Street in Marion, Kentucky.  I well remember the front porch and the swing hanging there.  I spent many of my childhood days swinging in that swing.  Pa Corley would usually be setting in his rocker chair on the opposite side of the porch, smoking his pipe.  If we were being good and not to loud, he would start telling us stories.  My favorites were about Uncle Lug and Aunt Pootie, a made-up family, from his very vivid imagination.  If we happen to be there visiting during the week, we had to be quiet and stay outside so Mama Jessie could watch her soaps.  She was a stickler about those soaps. J  Another thing about their house was it had a tin roof and I would sleep so well when it was raining and pattering on the roof tops.  The following picture is of me with my Daddy and Momma on Mama Jessie's front porch.  That porch had a lot of changes over the years, with steps in the front and then changed to the side a few different times.

I am only 63 years old, but Mama Jessie did not get an indoor bathroom until I was almost 16 years old.  There was a path out the back and a Sears and Roebuck catalog if we were lucky. J  At night she kept chamber pots under the beds so that you did not have to go down the path in the dark or the cold for that matter.  I seem to remember that it was a two holer, so you could have company while you were going if you so desired. J  I remember my Daddy telling me that when they ask her if she wanted them to put a bathroom in the house, her answer was, “I don’t want one of them stinky things in here.”  It took some convincing to get her to agree to indoor plumbing and that it would not stink like the outhouse down the path.

Mama Jessie always wore a house dress when she was home that had two big pockets on the front.  One pocket always had Kleenex in it and the other carried small change.  When I was young, we would get a nickel if we gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek when we were leaving to go back home.  As we got older it went up to a dime and eventually, we got a whole quarter.  We lived up in Henderson about 70 miles north of Marion and on the way back home we passed through the small town of Sullivan in Union County, and right in the bend in the road just passed the railroad tracks was a little restaurant that sold ice cream.  Daddy would always stop and that change we had gotten from Mama Jessie went for ice cream to eat the rest of the way home.  We sure looked forward to that ice cream every visit.  Mama Jessie in one of her house dresses in front of her house there on Clay Street.

Mama Jessie and Pa Corley made their own lye soap and as I got older, I got to help stir the big cast iron kettle over the open fire in the backyard.  The kettle hung from a big tri-pod and man was that some hot work.  Mama Jessie saved all the drippings from bacon, sausage, and other meats to use in the making of that lye soap.  I do not know that as a kid we ever had store bought shampoo, because my Momma always washed our hair with bars of lye soap that we had gotten from Mama Jessie.  After Mama Jessie died, my Daddy was there at her house with some of his siblings and they were going through her things and cleaning the house out.  There by the kitchen sink in the window sill was her little soap dish with a bar of lye soap still in it.  She died in 1984, so as you can see, she was still using lye soap for washing up.  My Daddy brought me that soap dish and that piece of lye soap for me to have as a remembrance of my time helping them make that soap.  That dish and soap are on my desk as a reminder to me of how things use to be when I was just a kid.  The following are a couple of pictures of that soap dish with the lye soap.

Mama Jessie was married five times, first to William Ernest Teague in 1919; next to Burke Atwood Ward in 1921 for about two or three weeks when she found out he already had a wife and several children in Louisiana.  I do not know if the marriage was annulled or if there was a divorce.  Mama Jessie was living in Kansas City, Missouri when she found out he was a bigamist.  This info was given to me by my Aunt, Helen Beard Loftis, Mama Jessie’s oldest daughter.  Her third marriage was to Benjamin Franklin Walls in 1923, fourth to my grandpa, Aubrey David Beard in 1925, then her fifth and final marriage to Veldo Thomas Corley in 1943, who we all called Pa and loved dearly.

Mama Jessie always insisted she was born in 1900, but the 1900 census indicates she was born in March of 1899.  I guess she just felt that being born in the 1800's made her seem too old.  One of the reasons we all called her Mama Jessie was because she did not think she was old enough to have grandchildren and she never wanted to be called grandma or any other obvious variation.  Apparently, she did tell the truth to the Social Security because they have her listed as being born in 1899, but she had her tombstone made quite a few years before she died and had 1900 put on it. 😀The following picture is of me with my youngest daughter and her family, when we stopped by to see Mama Jessie and Pa Corley this past October.

Mama Jessie was the mother of 10 children namely: Charles William Teague, 1919-2008, Harold Crawford Walls, 1924-1997, Dorothy Helen Beard, 1926-2009, George Anderson Beard, Audrey Dale Beard, 1930-2014, Donald Ray Beard, 1932-2004, Jackie Loy Beard, 1934-2004, Violet Joy Beard, 1934-2016, Duell Franklin Beard (my Daddy), 1935-2009 and Bobby David Corley. 

Mama Jessie also had 50 grandchildren, with her oldest grandchild born in 1938 and her youngest grandchild born in 1985, a spread of 47 years.  Out of these 50 grandchildren, there have been 6 that have passed away.  Two of these 6 were just babies, living just a few hours.

If I have counted correctly as of August 2020, Mama Jessie has 10 kids, 50 grandkids, 108 great-grandkids and 107 great-great-grandkids and 2 great-great-great-grandkids.  The total so far of her descendants is 277 people and this does not count the in-laws or step-kids at all, only the blood relations.   I am still needing updated totals for Uncle Harold and Uncle George’s families to get a more accurate count of all of her descendants.

Mama Jessie was one of a kind, to say the least and she will be remembered for many years to come, as we her descendants, tell our descendants about her and the stories we remember.  Just a few pictures of my Mama Jessie, the one of her setting on the fence in the barnyard is probably my favorite.

Happy 122nd Birthday, Mama Jessie, we love you!!!!

Written by her granddaughter, Vickie Beard Thompson in March 2021.