Christina Josefina Klarström was the second child of Carl Magnus Klarström and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.

My last post was about her older sister, Maria Ottilia, who was born in 1865.

Christina Josefina was born 15 July 1868 in Gävle, Sweden.

Her parents were married one month before her birth. Perhaps they decided since they were about to have their second child, it was finally time to tie the knot.   Here is her birth record:

In 1869, a devastating fire hit Gävle.  It’s no surprise that family moved to nearby Alvkarleby in 1870.  They stayed there for about 16 years.

In 1883, Christina Josefina’s older sister Maria left for America.  I’m sure that she wrote letters home, telling of her adventures in Boston.  Her siblings must have been very excited to hear of her new life.

In 1885, the family moved again, this time to Lenhovda, Kronoberg, Sweden.  It is quite a ways from where they were living near Gavle.  This time, I really have no idea what prompted such a big move. You can see in the map below, how are they are from each other.

Christina Josefina didn’t live there for long though.  She followed in her older sister’s footsteps and left for America in 1887.  The passenger list from the SS Cephalonia listed her as a servant. It seems like there were many Swedish servants in the Boston area.

In any case, she only worked for a few years, because on 2 Mar 1890, she married Anton S. Jensen in Boston.  He was a native of Denmark and a barber by trade. He appears to have had his own shop.

Anton was naturalized in 1893:

They moved to Everett, Middlesex, Massachusetts – just north of Boston, where I was easily able to find them in the 1900-1930 census records.  They lived on Ferry Street for a number of years.

They had one son, Arthur H. Jensen, who sadly didn’t live for very long.  He was born 2 Feb 1891 and died 2 May 1891.  His death record didn’t state what happened, but it must have been a very sad time for this couple.

I found Christina Josefina on a passenger list for the SS Cephalonia (the same ship she had originally traveled on), which arrived in Boston from Liverpool in 1894.  No doubt, she was returning home after visiting her family in Sweden.

I found a picture of the SS Cephalonia at Norway-Heritage.  The site also has an entire timeline of the ship’s departures and arrivals – and those of many other ships too.

The most common route that my ancestors seem to have taken in their travels was : Goteborg, Sweden to Hull, England, then they would have to go across land to Liverpool, and then sail on to Boston or New York.  It must have been quite the trip!  I’m wondering how long she stayed to visit.

Anton and Josefina did end up having another child after the loss of their first baby. Flora E. Jensen was born about 1907.

After the 1930 census, I have lost the trail.

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This is the first part of a ten part series on the 10 children of my great-great grandparents, Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christian Elisabeth Bennberg, of Sweden.  I am attempting to post what information I have on each of them (and some of them are going to be pretty short!).  I’m hoping by getting it out there into Google Land, I might find some long lost relatives that can answer some of my questions.

Maria was the oldest of their ten known children.

She was born 2 July 1865 in Gävle, Sweden. It’s on the Eastern Coast of Sweden, north of Stockholm.

According to her birth record, she was “oakta” or born out of wedlock.  Her father’s name was not even mentioned on the birth record, which was normal for an illegitimate child of this time period.

According to the book Your Swedish Roots, by Per Clemensson & Kjell Andersson, “The fact that the father isn’t noted in the birth record doesn’t mean that he wasn’t known.  It only means that the parents were not married.  In many cases they married later and the child was considered legitimate.”

This is the case with Maria.  Carl and Christina married in 1868, one month before the birth of their second child.  I’m not sure why they decided to wait to be married, but the aforementioned book also says that “Having a child out of wedlock wasn’t necessarily a shame.  In Stockholm in the nineteenth century, for example, many couples lived together and had children without being married.” Perhaps in the city of Gavle, which was a decent sized city, it wasn’t as looked down upon as it would have been if they had lived in the country.

The family moved from Gävle to nearby Alvkarleby in 1870.  At first, I hadn’t put much thought into this move.   People move all of the time – for so many different reasons.  But as I started to read about the history of Gävle, I learned that in 1869 there was a huge fire, in which 8,000 of the 10,000 residents lost their homes.  Could my ancestors have been amongst those who lost their homes and all of their possessions?  Did they have to start over?  Even if they didn’t lose their house to the flames, I am sure that this was a very chaotic time to be living in Gävle.

Maria’s parents had 9 more children after her, the youngest one of which was my great-grandmother, Charlotta Eugenia Viktoria Klarström.  Maria wasn’t around when her youngest three siblings were born though.  She left Sweden for America when she was 17 years old.  She was on board the S.S. Romeo bound for America in August of 1883.  Her final destination was Boston.

Did she have a specific reason for leaving Sweden?  Was she looking for work or a husband?  Was there family already in the Boston area?  I have a sneaking suspicion that she may have had some aunts or uncles who lived in the area.  I will have to do some further research on the next generation up when I’ve finished this one.  Some of my questions might be answered then.

I’m not sure what she did when she arrived.  She must have found work of some kind though, because it was about five years before she married Klause G. Johansson on 2 Dec 1888 in Boston, MA.

They had a daughter in August of 1889, named Agda M. Johansson.

In the 1900 census, they were living at 153 Lauriat Avenue in Boston.  Klause was listed as a machinist.

I’ve personally never been to Boston before, but I thought I’d look on the map to see where they lived anyway. The “A” marks the spot.:)

In 1904, Maria’s mother Christina and her youngest sister (my great-grandmother) came to Boston on the S.S. Ivernia.  They listed Klaus Johanson as the relative they were joining.  The interesting thing is that the two women were listed as servants.  Were they coming to America to earn some money before returning home?  Or were they visiting?  Or maybe a little of both?:)  Whatever the reason, I know that they did end up returning (although I have yet to find the passenger list for their return, so I’m not sure how long they stayed). Charlotta was married in 1908 in Sweden and Christina died in Sweden in 1919.  I guess I’ll have to dig a little deeper to fill in some of those blanks.  Here they are in the passenger list:

In the 1910 census, Klause and Maria were still in the same house.  They had added 2 more children: George F. and Ethel C. – both adopted.  I am not sure if they may have been children of a relative or maybe they just longed for more children and couldn’t have any of their own so they adopted.

Their newly married daughter Agda and her husband Gustaf Peterson were living with them also.

As were Klaus’s brother Charles and his son Edward.

It was a house full of Swedes.:)

By the 1920 census, it appears that they moved to 153 Woodrow Avenue.  It seems odd that they would be at the same numbered house, but on a different street.  It was very close to their first home.

They had a boarder living with them in 1920. His name was Gunther Peterson. He may have been related to their daughter Agda’s husband – Gustaf Peterson. What sparked my interest about him is that he was listed as a photographer. That makes me envision stacks of pictures of the family, waiting to be found….

And that is where this chapter of the story ends folks.

I have absolutely no idea what happened to Maria and Klaus Johanson. I didn’t find them in the 1930 census, although I didn’t dig very deep. Maybe they’re there and I’m just being blind. Maybe they moved. Maybe they died.  There is obviously more research to be done. Isn’t there always?:)

  • Marian Wood - March 30, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    Good luck, Jen! I bet someone from your family will search for one of these names (some day) and find your posts. It happened to me! Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the story of this family.ReplyCancel

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Another death certificate, another mystery solved.

I posted about Hedger C. Pierce back in October in a “Madness Monday” post.  I had thought that his father was probably a William Pierce, son of Ward Pierce.  William had a son that seemed to fit Hedger’s age (it was the 1830 census) and I had seen from some other family trees that William was listed as a son of a Ward Pierce.  Hedger named his son Ward, so I thought that there might be a connection there.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I heard back from the New Jersey State Archives this time around. I remember ordering a few things from them about 10 years ago and waiting for a VERY long time before I heard back. (I ordered his death certificate along with those things but they weren’t able to find it, since I didn’t have an exact date).

Anyway, the death certificate arrived and my mystery is solved.

Hedger’s father is Ward Pierce. Unfortunately, his mother is not listed.  More research to do…

So, it looks like it is a possibility that the man I thought was Hedger’s father may actually have been his brother!

I’m so happy that I now have some answers and I can continue my research!!:)


  • Cherie Cayemberg - March 28, 2011 - 11:32 am

    Disappointing the the mom wasn’t listed, but at least you have more intel now and can try for the birth cert…you’d hope THAT has the mother! ;) Glad NJ got back to you in a reasonable amount of time!ReplyCancel

  • Bob MacAvoy Sr. - February 18, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    Can you tell me the name of the cemetery in Gloucester, New Jersey where Hedger Pierce is interred?


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Last week, I posted the obituary of Dr. Elam Stafford. This week, I’m posting an death notice of his brother, Henry Stafford. Both of them were brothers to my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, Eli Stafford.  All three were sons of Thomas Stafford and Elizabeth Boswell.

{The copy of this clipping was hand-dated 1906}


Henry Stafford died at his home, 115 Second avenue west, on Dec. 13, of old age, aged 86 years, 2 months, and 3 days.  Deceased was born in Indiana but had lived in Iowa 62 years.  Deceased leaves a wife, and many friends, in whose memory of the departed will ever linger the recollections of an exempliary life.  Thus passes away one of Mahaska’s oldest pioneers.  Obituary next week.

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