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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sibling Saturday: Finding a Previously Unknown Half-Brother

When I obtained the Civil War pension application of Samuel August Samuelson, the brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother Johanna Carolina Samuelson, I discovered a previously unknown family member.

Statement of C. J. Johnson. Samuel A. Samuelson (Pvt., Co. E, 73rd Ind. Inf., Civil War, pension application no. 283,424, certificate no. 217,996),Case Files of Approved Pension Applications..., 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

C. G. Johnson gave a statement, and was asked if he was in any was related to Samuel A. Samuelson. He answered, "I am what is called a half brother."

I knew that Johanna and Samuel had two older brothers, Johan Peter and Anders Fredrik, but I did not know that they had a half-brother. Their mother, Anna Lisa Torstensdotter, was thirteen years older than their father, Samuel Eriksson, so I wondered if C. G. Johnson was her son from a previous marriage.

I found Carl Gustaf Johnson's death certificate in's database Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011. He had died in Westchester, Porter County, Indiana on 30 July 1909. The death certificate gave his date of birth: 27 October 1823. His birthplace was listed as Vastra Harg, Sweden.

Indiana State Board of Health. Death certificate no. 109, Carl Gustaf Johnson, 1909. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

I had already known that the family had come from Västra Harg, Östergötland, Sweden. I looked at the Swedish records on ArkivDigital, and found Carl Gustaf's birth and baptismal record. He was not a child from a previous marriage; he was an illegitimate child. The record did not name his father.

Västra Harg C:1 (1797-1840) Image 179 / page 341 (AID: v42201.b179.s341, NAD: SE/VALA/00446)

I found the family in the household examination records, after Anna Lisa Torstensdotter had married Samuel Eriksson. Carl Gustaf was listed with the patronymic Jaensson.

Västra Harg AI:11 (1835-1840) Image 88 / page 159 (AID: v27140.b88.s159, NAD: SE/VALA/00446)

Carl Gustaf Johnson married Matilda Sofia Johnson. According to the 1900 United States Census, Matilda had six children.

1900 United States census, Westchester, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, enumeration district 94, page 3B. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

However, I have only discovered four of the children: Albertena Johnson (born 15 August 1868), Albert L. Johnson (born about 1874), Ida Johnson (born 24 March 1875 or 1876), and Gustaf Johnson (born 29 March 1883).

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