Category Archives: 1850 – 1900

Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen & Lars Paulson Treo

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The greatest bravery was shown by Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen,a little woman in physical stature but a giant in faith. In May 1857 this thirty-eight year old woman and five children sailed alone from Drammen, Norway for America. At the last minute her husband, Lars Paulson Treo, was arrested and taken to jail because a “well-known crook – devious. sly, and deceitful” ... Read More »

Maja Greta Andersdotter

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My great grandmother Maja Greta Andersdotter may have immigrated from Sweden to the US twice. She was born in Grevbak, Skaraborg, Sweden on Dec. 13, 1847, to Anders Johansson and Maria Svensdotter. She was the eldest of what eventually were six children in the family, including one who died in infancy. In the early 1850s the family was influenced by ... Read More »

Henry Drekemier, Mathilde and Augusta Wagner

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Grandpa Henry Drekmeier spent happy hours skating on the frozen estuaries of the Rhein near Bremerhaven where he was born. I suspect this may have been in the late 1860’s since he fathered the first of his five children in 1896. In order to avoid the Bismarckian military conscription he joined the German merchant marine and spent several years sailing ... Read More »

Francis Squair

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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 »

John Adolph Youngquist

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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 C. and Ida Vinther (grayscale)

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

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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 »

Morris Edmond Kraus

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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 »

Millie Lueck MacInnis

Captain Millie Lick in The Salvation Army c. 1890

“You are all arrested, come along,” declared Officer Pete Walsh of the Butte, Montana police force. In the midst of a heavy snowstorm, Captain Millie Lick (Lueck) and her six fellow Salvation Army soldiers were taken down to the city’s barracks on charges that their marching and singing in the streets was disturbing the peace. As it turned out, the complaint ... Read More »

Percy Morgan

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Percy Tredegar Morgan was born in London in 1862 into a distinguished family of Welsh origins. At age 21, after learning bookkeeping, auditing, and other skills, he left England for the United States to work for mining companies in Nevada, Denver and Montana. His experiences and legacy of just the first 15 years of his life in America are amazing. ... Read More »