Friday, February 26, 2010

Gustaf Larson's Sons

At a time in the 1800's when patronymic names were changing, that is when our brothers decided to emigrate to America in hopes of a better life. Johan Gustafsson was born in 1864 to Gustaf Larson and Klara Hansdotter on the small farmstead of Lugarp, Floby Parish, Skaraborgs Lan, VasterGotland, Sweden. His brother Frederick soon followed in 1867 and was born in the same location.
Johan entered military service in Sweden and his name was then changed to Johan Hellgren. He was known for the rest of his life by the last name of Hellgren. Johan was married to Maria Christina Anderson in 1886 while he was still in military service. Johan and Christina left their homeland, bound for the eastern shores of the United States soon after their marriage and settled in the Chicago, Illinois area. Upon reaching the American shores, Johan again changed his name to the more American style of John Hellgren. They raised their family in Chicago, had two sons who served in WWI, one giving his life for the newly adopted country of his parents. John and Christina also had two daughters and another son. The Hellgrens' lived out their life in the Chicago area and both died there. They are buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.

Frederick Albert Gustafsson became known as Fred A. Larson and that is the name which has carried down within our family. Great Grandpa Fred also emigrated to America upon the urging of his brother, John Hellgren. Fred arrived in the United States in 1888 as did his future bride, Hilma Wilhelmina Anderson. "Minnie" was a sister to Christina who had earlier married John before leaving Sweden. Fred Larson and Minnie were married in 1891in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. They spent a short time around Chicago and then began to move westward. Some time was spent in Oklahoma and their final destination was Wyoming, the state in which our family has its roots through Fred and "Minnie". The Larsons' are both buried in the Wheatland Cemetery, Wheatland, Wyoming...a world away from their homeland of Floby Parish, Skaraborgs Lan, Sweden.

Though Fred and John lived miles apart, carried different surnames, and seldom saw one another over the years, they were still brothers and helped to build the strong base of our family. Today we still research them both and will keep working to put faces on their ancestors and ours!

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