Category Archives: W. Europe

Francis Squair

Francis Squair (seated with his 3 brothers and 2 sisters) was my great-grandfather. He was born in the Scottish Highlands just east of Loch Ness in 1848. After studying pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, he and his brothers immigrated to Chicago around 1868. I can’t say why, but I surmise they were victims of the Highland Clearances, efforts by ... Read More »

Carl Carlson

My grandfather was born in Sweden and came to America with his wife near the turn of the 20th century. He was known on the East side of St. Paul, Minnesota as “Coffee Carlson” because he delivered coffee to various places throughout that part of town. He married Beda Wilhelmina Rudeen, but there is very little written about them. They ... Read More »

The Lanphere Family

I believe my family came from France. We have heard the Lanpheres were Protestants and left France after the massacre by Catholics in the early 1600’s. We have heard the family spent some time in Belgium, Holland, and England before coming to the U.S. in the 1790’s. I’ve been told that the first boy born in this country was named ... Read More »

John Adolph Youngquist

Johannes Hokannson was a religious man, an itinerate preacher in Sweden. His wife, Cecilia came from a wealthy family. Cecelia’s family helped her and her children considerably, but even so Grandpa said they were poor in Sweden. The state church disapproved of such preachers in Sweden; hence, he left with his wife Cecelia, and the six youngest of their seven ... Read More »

Hans Christian Vinther and Ida Frederikka Otilia Sturve Vinther

Hans (1846 – 1908) was born in Denmark and immigrated to Illinois in the early 1870’s. Probably he left to avoid being drafted into Bismark’s German army. A short time later, he and a close friend, Martin Nelson moved to Texas. Then Hans sent for his German fiancée, Ida, (1852 – 1931) to join him. Hans’ brother Jorgen Theodor Vinther ... Read More »

Christian Juergen Alpers

Christian Juergen Alpers completed a course of study to become a Lutheran pastor in Hermansburg, Germany and then, in 1875, immigrated to an area southwest of New Prague, Minnesota where about fifteen German Lutheran families had settled in the mid 1850’s. The school was one of several institutions sponsored by German mission societies, and the graduates were sent to locations ... Read More »

William Peck

My ancestor William Peck was among the first of the early settlers to New England. With his wife Elizabeth and one son, he came to this country in company with Governor Eaton, Reverend John Davenport, and others in the ship Hector, arriving at Boston from London, June 26, 1637. While Massachusetts was desirous of such settlers, they preferred a separate ... Read More »

Morris Edmond Kraus

My grandfather, Morris Edmond Kraus, emigrated to America in 1881, presumably to escape conscription into the army of the Kaiser. His home was a village, Barendorf, that is near the town, Schonberg, in Saxony. He came to Ohio to live with an uncle, John Pentzel, who had arrived about 10 years earlier. Through relatives Morris obtained a job in a ... Read More »

Jennie Mehtala Shank Newman and Her Sisters

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s life could be difficult in Northern Finland. I was told that my grandfather Mehtala made tar, and charcoal from the wood the tar was extracted from. That was a thriving business in Finland; wooden ships built in England needed tar to caulk seams. Finland sent what was needed via a vast network of ... Read More »

Alfred Kuhn

Scroll down for the video story told by Alfred in front of an audience. The women and children were released. When they got home they witnessed a fire in the street in front of their home where locals had piled all the contents from the nearby synagogue and set them aflame. Alfred Kuhn was only four years old when his ... Read More »

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