Our Magnuson Family Origins in Sweden
by Andrew Craig Magnuson
These genealogy notes contain information from SVAR microfiche copies of the original handwritten nineteenth-century Swedish parish records. The period covered by these notes is from the origin of our Magnuson family name in 1834, through the end of the nineteenth century.
Anders Magnusson (my great great-grandfather), referred to as Anders throughout these notes, was the first Magnuson in our family lineage. Anders Magnusson was the son of Magnus Olofsson and Marta Svensdotter.
Anders Magnusson was born on August 25, 1834 at Katteberg (Kattebergs torp), Örs socken (Ör parish), Älvsborgs län (county), Dalsland landskap (province), Sweden. Anders was baptized on August 27, 1834.
Ör means arrow in Old Norse, and old eighteenth-century Swedish coins by the same name have two crossed arrows with a crown above them. The name of the county Älvsborgs län is derived from the combination of the words “älv”, meaning river, and “borg”, meaning castle or stronghold. The county of Älvsborgs län became part of the larger county of Västra Götalands län in 1998. The name of the province of Dalsland is derived from the combination of the words “dal”, meaning “valley”, and “land”, meaning “country”.
Katteberg, the place of origin of our Magnuson surname, was a small rural farm area of about 50 people when Anders Magnusson was born there in 1834. Katteberg is located a little over 1 kilometer southeast of the south end of Örsjön (Ör Lake). Örsjön is the largest lake in Örs socken and is nearly 7 kilometers in length. Örsjön is located along the east side of the Kroppefjäll (Kroppe Fjeld), a rocky, hilly, upland area in south central Dalsland. Katteberg is located at about latitude 58°37′42″ north and longitude 12°17′38″ east. Katteberg is located slightly farther north than the latitude of Juneau, Alaska. The location of Katteberg is shown on the 1843, 1:100,000 scale, Ordnance Survey Map (Generalstabs kartan) for Mellerud, which was reprinted in 1858. The location of Katteberg and the location of old nineteenth-century farms and buildings around Katteberg are also shown in greater detail on the 1890-1897, 1:20,000 scale, District Economic Map (Häradsekonomiska kartan) for Örs socken.
Some of the farms where our ancestors lived and worked during the nineteenth century included Katteberg, Örbacka (Örebacka), Torp, Torbjörbyn, Siribyn, Äckre (Eckre), Äckerud (Eckerud), Mossebol (Måsebol), Pålbön, Frestersbyn, and Gunnesbyn. All of these farms were located on the Dalboslätten, a lowland agricultural region of Dalsland, situated between the Kroppefjäll to the west and Lake Vänern to the east. Lake Vänern is the largest lake in all of Scandinavia.
Anders had a brother, Olof Magnusson, who was born November 27, 1836, at Katteberg, Örs socken.
Anders father, Magnus Olofsson, died on December 29, 1837, at Katteberg, Örs socken.
Anders moved around a lot to different farms in Örs socken.
Anders, his mother Marta Svensdotter, and his brother Olof Magnusson, moved from Katteberg to Örbacka (Örebacka), Örs socken, in 1838. Örbacka is located only about 1¼ kilometers north-northwest of Katteberg. Örbacka is located on a low hill just above the east shore of Örsjön, near the south end of the lake. The old spelling for Örbacka is Örebacka.
Anders brother, Olof Magnusson, died before three years of age, on August 06, 1839, at Örbacka.
Anders and his mother, Marta Svensdotter, lived at Örbacka from 1838 to 1855.
Anders and his mother, Marta Svensdotter, moved from Örbacka, Örs socken, to Torp, Örs socken, in 1855. Torp is located only about 1 kilometer northeast of Örbacka and a little less than 2 kilometers north-northeast of Katteberg.
Anders lived at Torp until 1856, when he then moved to Torbjörbyn, Örs socken, located only about ½ kilometer south of Katteberg.
Anders lived at Torbjörbyn until 1857, when he then moved back to Katteberg, the place of his birth.
Anders moved from Katteberg, to Siribyn, Järns socken (Järn parish) in 1858, where he lived until 1860, when he then again moved back to Katteberg. The old spelling for Järns socken is Jerns socken.
Siribyn is located about 1 kilometer southeast of Pålbön, where Kajsa Andersdotter Ax was living in 1860-1861. Anders Magnusson and Kajsa Andersdotter Ax may have met for the first time in 1860, when they were both living in this vicinity.
Kajsa moved from her parents’ home at Äckre (Eckre), Erikstads socken (Erikstad parish), to Mossebol (Måsebol), Örs socken, in 1859. The old spelling for Mossebol is Måsebol. Kajsa lived at Mossebol for about a year, before moving to Pålbön, Järns socken, in 1860. Kajsa lived at Pålbön until 1861. Erikstads socken adjoins Örs socken to the west, and adjoins Järns socken to the northeast.
In 1861, Anders Magnusson returned to Siribyn, Järns socken, before moving to Frestersbyn, Järns socken, in 1862.
Anders Magnusson married Kajsa Andersdotter Ax by 1865.
After their marriage, Anders and Kajsa lived at Frestersbyn, Järns socken, where their son, Anders Magnus Andersson (my great-grandfather), was born on December 23, 1865.
In 1866, Anders and Kajsa moved to neighboring Gunnesbyn, Järns socken, where their daughter, Mathilda Andersdotter, was born on January 21, 1868. Their son, Fredrik Andersson, was also born at Gunnesbyn, on September 23, 1869.
Anders Magnusson left Gunnesbyn, on March 27, 1869, destined for America. Over three years later, Kajsa and the children left Gunnesbyn, on September 1, 1872, destined for America.
After immigrating to the United States, Anders, Kajsa, and their children all changed their Swedish patronymic surnames to Magnuson, spelled with only one letter "s". The name of Anders and Kajsa’s oldest child (my great-grandfather) was changed from his Swedish patronymic name, Anders Magnus Andersson, to Andrew Magnus Magnuson.
The mother of Anders Magnusson, Marta Svensdotter, died on March 2, 1873, at Katteberg, Örs socken.
After settling in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, Anders and Kajsa had a son, Charles (Carl) Magnuson, who was born on May 28, 1875.
Anders Magnuson began working for the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad on October 10, 1875 as a railroad car repairer. Anders first worked at the Chestnut Street yard located at the foot of Chestnut Street, where the railroad ran along the Mississippi River. Sometime after Anders began working at the Chestnut Street yard he moved to the Robert Street yard, about a half mile east up the tracks along the Mississippi River.
Anders and Kajsa had another son, Albert William Magnuson, who was born on February 5, 1880, in Saint Paul.
The 1880 U.S. Census lists Anders, Kajsa, and their children Andrew (my great-grandfather), Mathilda, Fredrik, Charles, and Albert as living in Saint Paul in one of the immigrant shanties along Ontario Street. Anders is listed in the 1880 U.S. Census record (T9-631, Saint Paul, Ward 3, E.D. 221, Page 423C) as being a railroad employee. A note written along the left side of the census record page indicates that the Ontario Street shanties were not numbered with street addresses. Ontario Street is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, about two blocks south of Rice Park, a public square dating back to 1849, the year that Minnesota Territory was created. At the time of the 1880 U.S. Census, Ontario Street ran for about a block or two, northwest from the railroad tracks along the Mississippi River; up the side of the river bluff to what was a three-way intersection with Washington, Hill, and Ontario streets, about where the Science Museum of Minnesota is located today. At present, Ontario Street now only runs from Shepard Road along the Mississippi River, across to the north side of the railroad tracks, and is located a short distance south of the present-day intersection of Kellogg Boulevard and Washington Street. At the time of the 1880 U.S. census, both the tracks of the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway ran across the foot of Ontario Street along the Mississippi River. In 1881, the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad was absorbed into the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway, which had been formed about a year earlier through consolidation of the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis Railway and the North Wisconsin Railway.
Anders and Kajsa had a daughter, Ester Magnuson, who was born in January, 1885, in Saint Paul.
Kajsa’s mother, Ingrid Andersdotter, died on March 16, 1888, at Äckerud (Eckerud), Erikstads socken. The old spelling for Äckerud is Eckerud.
Kajsa’s father, Anders Olsson Ax, immigrated to the United States in 1888, shortly after his wife died. After immigrating to the United States, Anders Olsson Ax lived with his daughter Kajsa and son-in-law Anders in Saint Paul. Before his retirement, Anders Olsson Ax had been a soldier (No. 557) assigned to Äckerud (Eckerud) rote, in Erikstads socken. A “rote” was a parish subdivision to which a soldier was assigned, and was usually comprised of a few farms. Soldiers were often assigned a soldier’s name which usually consisted of only one syllable, such as “Ax” or “Alm”, etc. While Anders Olsson Ax was a soldier, he and his family lived at the Äckre (Eckre) soldattorp (soldier’s croft), in Erikstads socken. The old spelling for Äckre is Eckre. The Eckre soldattorp was at the Eckre stommen. Stom or stommen was a designation for a farm belonging to or providing support for the parish priest. Anders Olsson Ax died on January 29, 1893, at age 74, and he is buried in an unmarked grave (Block 14, Line 7, Grave 4) at Union Cemetery, in Saint Paul.
Anders Magnuson continued to work for the C. St. P. M. & O. Railway as a railroad car repairer, working at the Robert Street yard until April, 1889. The Robert Street yard was located on the downtown St. Paul riverfront, where the north end of the Robert Street bridge over the Mississippi River is now located.
By 1890, Anders Magnuson and family owned a home at 648 East Magnolia Street, in Saint Paul. Their house was located one lot east of Payne Avenue, on the south side of East Magnolia Street (now named Magnolia Avenue East). At the time, Payne Avenue was the main street of the Swedish community in Saint Paul. The lot where the house was located, in the Arlington Hills Addition to Saint Paul, is now a vacant commercial lot located behind west facing businesses along Payne Avenue.
The 1890-1891 St. Paul City Directory (St. Paul, MN: R. L. Polk and Co., 1891), lists Anders as working for the “Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway” as a car repairer and as living at 648 East Magnolia Street. Children of Anders and Kajsa listed as also living at this residence are; Andrew M. Magnuson (my great-grandfather), working as a machinist for the American Manufacturing Co.; Fredrik Magnuson, working as a feeder at the Pioneer Press Co.; and Matilda Magnuson, working as a dress maker. Kajsa’s father, Andrew Ax, is also listed as living at 648 East Magnolia Street.
Anders and Kajsa’s son, Andrew Magnus Magnuson (my great-grandfather) married Lovisa (Louisa) Karlson on June 22, 1890, in Saint Paul.
Louisa Karlson was born on December 13, 1864, in Karlskoga socken (parish), Örebro län (county), Värmland (province), Sweden. In 1887, at the age of 22, Louisa had moved from her parents’ home at Gälleråsen (Gelleråsen), in Karlskoga socken, and immigrated alone to America.
Andrew and Louisa had a daughter, Elin Maria Magnuson, who was born on May 13, 1891, in Saint Paul.
In 1892, the Saint Paul based American Manufacturing Company became the American Hoist & Derrick Company and the company opened a second office in Chicago, to service the rapidly expanding sales territory. About that time, Andrew and Louisa moved to Chicago where Andrew continued to work for the American Hoist & Derrick Company.
Andrew and Louisa had a daughter, Esther Mathilda Magnuson, who was born on January 30, 1893, in Chicago. Andrew and Louisa had another daughter, Josie Magnuson, who was born in December, 1894, in Chicago. Andrew and Louisa also had a son, Andrew Magnuson (my grandfather), who was born on October 10, 1897, in Chicago.
Andrew Magnus Magnuson (my great-grandfather) traveled a lot as part of his job setting up, testing, and servicing steam powered cranes and derricks for the American Hoist & Derrick Company. In the year 1899 he went on business trips to Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
Anders and Kajsa’s son, Charles (Carl) Magnuson, married Anna Skoog after June, 1895.
Anders and Kajsa’s daughter, Mathilda Magnuson, married Oscar Carlson before 1896. Mathilda and Oscar had a daughter, Ethel E. Carlson, who was born about May, 1896. Ethel died on April 4, 1897, in Saint Paul. Mathilda and Oscar also had another daughter, Jennie E. Carlson, who was born August 22, 1897. Oscar Carlson died on February 17, 1898, and Mathilda later married Andrew J. Noble.
The 1898 St. Paul City Directory (St. Paul, MN: R. L. Polk and Co., 1898) lists Anders Magnuson as working for the "Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway", as a car repairer, and as living at 648 East Magnolia Street. Anders and Kajsa’s son, Albert W. Magnuson, is listed in the 1898 St. Paul City Directory as working as a machinist for the American Hoist & Derrick Company and as also living at 648 East Magnolia Street.
Anders and Kajsa’s son, Fredrik Magnuson, moved to Chicago where he married Hilda Fallgren in 1900.
Anders Magnuson retired from the C. St. P. M. & O. Railway, after working previous to his retirement as a railroad car oiler at the East St. Paul yard. A retired personnel card from the C. St. P. M. & O. Railway indicates that on April 21, 1906, Anders was granted a pension of $14.20 per month for continuous service with the company. The back of the card also indicates that Anders “worked for contractors on grading and surfacing gangs for about 5 years”, probably from about 1870 to 1875 when the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad was being constructed in southern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.
Andrew Craig Magnuson
Descendants of Anders Magnusson
(children and grandchildren)
1 Anders Magnusson 1834 - 1924