Klara Petronella Henrietta was the ninth child of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.

She was born in Lenhovda, Kronoberg, Sweden on 22 Aug 1885.

She moved with her family to Alem in 1889 and then on to Gavle in 1890.  Her father died that same year, when she was only five years old.

Klara, like most of her siblings, decided to immigrate to the United States. Did she go to be close to her older siblings?  Did she need a job?  Probably both.  It seems like there were many young Swedish immigrants settling in urban areas during this time period  – mostly for economic reasons.

She arrived in America in 1898 at the age of 13  and settled in the Boston area – where a few of her sisters were already living.

Can you imagine traveling from Sweden to America without your parents at this age?  And knowing that you were going to be working when you got there? She was traveling with her older sister Olga (21), who had already lived in Boston from 1892-1897.  The passenger list said they were headed to their sister Marie Johnson/Johanson’s in Dorchester.

I have an almost 12 year old myself and I can’t even fathom sending her across the ocean to work.  Different times, I know.

In the 1900 census, she was 14 years old and working as the only servant in the family of Albert Smith, a printer in Boston.  I wonder if she was lonely or if she had time to visit with her sisters.

Did her sisters help her get her job?  They had worked as servants before their marriages also.

In 1910, at 24, she was one of five servants living with the family of Robert McQuillen in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.  At least ten years of being a servant.  It doesn’t sound like any fun to me.  I suppose one has to earn a living though.  I’ve noticed that many of the servants in the Boston area were Swedish.  I wonder why.  Were the Swedes better servants than say, the Irish or Germans?

At least she seems to have moved up in the world – to a family with 5 servants rather than one.  She was a “maid”.  It appears there was also a waitress, cook, seamstress, and coachman in the household.

I wonder which was more work – being an only servant in a smaller house or one of many servants in a bigger home.  I think I’d rather be in the larger home with some company. What about you?

Klara eventually escaped servitude by marrying Ellis N. Silver, a plumber,  on 28 August 1911 in Boston.

They had a daughter Christine on 1 July 1912 and another daughter Olga in about 1917.

In the 1920 census, they were living in Boston.

They had a son Robert in about  1926 and were still living in Boston in 1930.

And that’s all I have on Klara.

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I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!  I thought I’d share an Easter-related photo today.

This picture was taken on Easter 1925 at the Clinton Street United Methodist Church in Lockport, NY.

The minister (standing to the right) is my husband’s great-grandfather, Nicholas Van Cossaboon.

The other people in the picture are as follows:

Front Row
Margaret Saxton (16)
Helen Cossaboon (15) She was my husband’s grandmother, and the preacher’s daughter. She went on to marry Elgie Woods (who is not in the picture).
Dora Woods (17) She was Elgie’s sister.
Azalia Crego (17) She married Elgie’s brother Albert Woods.
Virginia Cossaboon (20) Helen’s sister.
Jennie Russell (17)
Ida Woods (14) Elgie’s sister.
Back Row
Eugene Hilger (19)
Albert Woods (19) Elgie’s brother.
Lorraine Kelly (19)
John Jellings
Hobart Woods (28) Elgie’s brother
Leslie Murrell (26)

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I’ve been perusing the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog again.  I just can’t help myself.  I’ve decided to start a weekly post about neat things I find each year as I “shop through the ages”.

I love seeing things that my ancestors may have bought.  Some seem silly, but then again – have you ever seen the stuff they sell on infomercials at night??  Times haven’t changed that much, have they?

This week, I am highlighting the 1896 Spring Catalog.  Come shopping with me.:)

  • A combination child’s carriage and chair. This looks like quite the contraption!  Being a mother, I can appreciate how nice it is to have your baby tied down for a bit.  I’m only partially kidding.  There are so many things for them to get into!  And this is the age before the exersaucer – and Cheerios (Or maybe not.  I don’t know how long Cheerios have been around).  Anyway, the chair actually lowers and the wheels come out.  You can then push your baby around the house.  I don’t know that it would be appropriate for outside though.  The wheels look a bit tipsy to me.
  • “Delay is dangerous when bargains like this are flying around”.  I love the ad campaign to sell this couch, which is billed as “The Greatest Thing in The World”. 
  • How about a telephone?  I’d love to have one of these antiques someday.
  • Or a “concert roller organ”?  I wonder what the quality of the music this produced was.
  • A “Scholar’s Companion” whatever that is.  I couldn’t quite figure it out.  Is it a small safe to lock your special possessions inside? Any ideas?
  • What about a full beard – or maybe just a goatee?  These couldn’t have looked real.  Why on earth would someone have needed these?  Maybe for a play?  I can’t imagine someone actually walking around town in one of these – even if you spent the extra money for the “ventilated” version.
  • Anybody up for a board game?  How about “The Rival Doctors”? It is the “race for a rich patient by the doctors of a country village”. 
  • Maybe you’re in the market for a new hat.  Doesn’t this one look comfortable?
  • What kid wouldn’t want to wear this?  Doesn’t exactly make you want to run outside and climb a tree, does it?
  • I have to admit that after having nursed 5 babies myself, I have often wondered how on earth women could possibly feed their babies when they were wearing a corset. I could imagine some very hungry, screaming infants out there, waiting for their moms to “get to the food” so to speak.  Apparently, they had nursing corsets!  Really!
  • Don’t slouch around your mom.  She might make you wear one of these shoulder braces! “A Cure for Round Shoulders”.
  • I can’t imagine living without a full bathroom in the house. I suppose if you have to have a “toilet set” though, it might as well be pretty. It lists the different pieces included in the set.  Does anyone know what the difference between a chamber and a slop jar are?  Just curious.  I’m sure that neither had a very nice function.
  • Could you see yourself cruising around the neighborhood on this? I would imagine that you’d end up pushing it more than actually riding.
  • What’s that you said? Huh?  Still can’t hear you, Sonny!
  • Wow, cameras have come a long way! 
  • And I’ll leave you with this: a picture of a full dining room from 1896.

See you next time, when we shop through 1897!

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Another week closer to the NGS Conference. I’m starting to get really excited!!! Leave a comment if you’re attending. I’d love to know who I might run into there!

  • Heather at Nutfield Genealogy had a great post on the 1940 census.  Only one more year!!  I am hoping that I might find some answers about my great-great grandmother, Ella Jane Hattery when it comes out.  I love the question about where they were living in 1935.  How helpful!!
  • Dru from Find Your Folks had a great post about Alternative Ancestral Family Tree Styles.  If I didn’t know who my father was (and had no hopes of finding out) then I probably wouldn’t want to display my tree in the traditional way – there would be an entire blank side.
  • You can now get a digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine.  While I enjoy reading “real” magazines and books (I haven’t jumped on the Nook bandwagon quite yet), they do take up a lot of room – especially when you move around as much as I do.  I’m considering a digital subscription when I go to renew.
  • Jo from Images Past posted about Greyfriars Bobby for Sentimental Sunday.  I love old cemeteries.
  • I loved Brenda from Journey to the Past‘s post “Only a Genealogist Would Go North For Spring Break“.  I love genealogy trips.  I’m hoping to make one of my own next month after the conference.:)
  • Heather from Leaves for Trees posted about “The enigma of the perhaps ancestor“.  We all know how this feels!
  • I enjoyed Nancy’s post “Photograph After a Family Argument“.  Don’t we all wish we knew what was really happening in those old photographs?  Head over to My Ancestors and Me to read her post.
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