Swedish Crest

Nusnas, Mora

SS Orlando at Sea

SS Orlando at Sea

Ships in Glasgow Harbour

Ships in Glasgow Harbour

Chicago Railway Station

Chicago Railway Station, 1870

Mora, Sweden

Bengts Olof Andersson, our great grandfather, was born on September 13, 1833, at Nusnas, Mora, Sweden (see Family Search page). His wife, our great grandmother, Olpers Margit Matsdotter, was born at Nusnas on July 28, 1833. They were married at Mora on March 25, 1859. Margit may have worn a dress like the wedding dress in the banner, which is a traditional Swedish wedding dress of the 1800's. They had six children: Brita, born October 17, 1859, Anders, born June 3, 1861, Marget, born August 7, 1864, Kerstin, born March 9, 1867, Anna, born March 16, 1872, and our grandfather, Olof Bengts, born February 21, 1875. All the children were born at Nusnas, a small village not far from Mora. Bengts Olof was a jordbrukaren, or farmer.

The Andersson family left Sweden in 1877 and set out for America.

Emigration Record - Bengt Olof Andersson, June 15, 1877

Orlando 2
Orlando 2, Wilson Line, Sweden to England

My grandfather, Olof Bengts (Ole B.) Andersson, who was born in 1875 was only 2 years old when the family made this trip.

The family made it safely to Minnesota because the U.S. Census has them living at Genessee Township, Kandiyohi, Minnesota in 1880 (see 1880 U.S. Census). Ole B. was 6 years old. Genessee township was organized in 1858 and named for the Genessee River area of New York where many of the township's settlers originated.

1880 Census Form - Bengt Ole Anderson
Completed for Ease of Reading

The Minnesota Territorial and State Census of 1885 gives us an idea when Ole B. became an "Olson". The names listed on the form were B.O. Anderson, Margit Anderson, B.A. Olson, Anna Olson, and Olaf Olson. The parents were Andersons and the children were Olsons ... this looks as if Ole B.'s father decided to go with the patronymic naming system for the next generation. If the parents had followed the patronymic naming system of Sweden, the children's last name would not necessarily have been Benson because the "Bengts" in B.O. Andersson is a "farm name" and his given name is Olaf. If they had followed the traditions of America, their last name would have been Anderson. Perhaps we'll never know how we became Olsons.

1885 Minnesota Census
1885 Minnesota Census - see Family 148

1885 Census Form - BO Anderson
Completed for Ease of Reading

1885 Minnesota Census
1895 Minnesota Census - see Family 36

It is interesting to note that the census recorder, L.E. Cavell, did the Logstrom census on June 18 and the Anderson census on June 13.

On March 25, 1898, Ole B.'s mother, Olpers Margit Matsdotter, died on her wedding anniversary. She was only 65.

The 1900 United States Federal Census shows that the family was still living in Genessee Township on June 22, 1900.

1900 United States Census
1900 United States Census - Full Page

1900 United States Census
1900 United States Census - Entry for Bengts Ole Anderson

1900 Census Form - BO Anderson
Completed for Ease of Reading

Martha Berg
Martha Berg - daughter of Brita Olsson and Erick Johnson Berg - Brita was sister of Ole B.

Brita was first married to Erick Berg, who was closer in age to her father than to herself. She was secondly married to a man called Charlie Peterson, who was a hired man of her first husband. Charlie was closer in age to Brita, whose nickname was Betsy. Betsy and Charlie ran off together and after the divorce of Erick and Brita (Betsy), they married and had two children. It appears that Martha was close to her father, so perhaps she stayed with him when her mother left the family home.

Erick and Brita Berg
Brita Olsson and Erick Johnson Berg

In about April, 1904, Ole B.'s father moved to Kenmare, North Dakota, where he had a homestead. Christine and Ole B. lived with the Anderssons for the first part of their marriage, until they decided to strike out on their own, and took up a homestead in Saskatchewan, Canada. On September 14, 1904, Ole B.'s father died, and is buried in the cemetery south of Atwater (see Obituary - Bengts Olof Anderson). It was probably at this time that Andrew and Ole B. decided to emigrate to Canada.

For a more extensive account of our ancestor's life together, see

Margit Matsdotter's Ancestral Line

To learn more about further Olson ancestors in pdf, go to:

1908 - Earl Olson and Anita Boerjan
1875 - Ole B. Olson and Christia Logstrom
1833 - Bengts Olof Andersson and Margit Matsdotter
1792 - Anders Andersson and Brita Olsson
1768 - Anders Andersson and Anna Ersdotter
1738 - Anders Larsson and Margareta Matsdotter
1716 - Lars Andersson and Kerstin Ersdotter
1684 - Anders Gunnerson and Cherstin Jonsdottern
1640 - Gunnar Larsson and Cherstin Jonsdottern
1612 - Lars Andersson and Brita Hansdotter
1585 - Anders Larsson and Margareta Johansdotter

Anders Andersson and Brita Olsson

Bengts Olof Andersson and Olpers Margit Matsdotter

Olson Origins - Changing of a Name

Olsons in Canada

Earl Olsons (the "Earls")