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Saturday, January 3, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 1 "Fresh Start": Marthe Elisabeth Erickson

My great-great-grandmother Marthe Elisabeth Erickson (Eriksdatter) was born on 8 April 1853 in Avaldsnes, Rogaland, Norway. She was the youngest child of Erik Svendsen Haavig and Marthe Maria Jacobsdatter.

When Marthe was three years old, her mother died. When she was twelve years old, her father died, and her family splintered into different households. In 1865, after her father's death, she lived with her first cousin Svend Knudsen Torvestad and his wife and son in Haugesund. Her sister Marte Marie lived nearby in Haugesund. Her sister Inger Oline and her brother Svend Jacob lived in separate households in Torvastad. Her brother Andreas lived with his wife in Rennesøy. Her brother Elias may have already immigrated to the United States.

In 1873, Marthe and her brother Svend Jacob immigrated to the United States. They sailed from Bergen, Norway on the Haakon Adelstein and arrived in New York on 20 May 1873. They settled in Chicago. Marthe lived with her sister Marie and Marie's husband Peter Johnson, and she worked in a custom vest shop.

On 31 March 1877, Marthe married Andrew T. Anderson (born Andreas Troedsson), a Swedish immigrant. Their first child, Anna Matilda, was born on 13 April 1878. Their second child, Emma Christina, was born 2 June 1880 according to Bible records, but is listed in the 1880 United States census as born in May 1880, and her age is given as 10 days. The family lived at 288 Division Street, Chicago in 1880. Andrew's niece Christine Nelson was also living with the family at that time.

Marthe and Andrew's daughter Emma Christina died on 9 June 1881. Their next child, my great-grandfather Edward Theodore, was born on 10 August 1882 at the family's home on 97 Townsend Street, Chicago. After my great-grandfather's birth, Marthe and Andrew had four more children: Albert Bernard (born 28 March 1885), Esther Elizabeth (born 1 September 1889), Reuben Alexander (born 19 December 1892), and Ruth Elvira (born 18 June 1896).

In 1900, the family lived on 5915 South Morgan Street, Chicago. In 1910, they lived at 5922 Sangamon Street, Chicago.

Marthe's husband Andrew died on 24 January 1916. In 1920, Marthe lived at 911 W. 72nd, Chicago with her daughters Anna and Ruth. In 1930, she lived at 1511 Balmoral Avenue, Chicago with her daughter Anna.

Marthe died on 7 December 1930 at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. Her funeral was held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. She was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery on 10 December 1930.

Rogaland county, Avaldsnes in Avaldsnes, Parish register copy nr. B 2 (1848-1856), Birth and baptism records 1853, page 90.

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C. Available from New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Cook County, Illinois. Marriage license and return, Andrew Anderson and Marte E. Eriksen, 1877.

Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Death certificate, Martha Elizabeth Anderson, 7 December 1930, no. 32731.

Marthe, 1906


  1. Hi there! My own maternal grandmother was from Vest Adger Co., which is near Rogaland. Wouldn't be surprised to learn you & I are cousins... ;-)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Susan! Maybe we are cousins! :) I also have Norwegian ancestors from Bø, Telemark.

  2. What a lot of good documentation you have. Very interesting to see the how the Norwegian names are Americanized. That alone can be such a road block when researching. You are fortunate to have both spellings of their names. Wonderful picture of Marthe.

    Visiting from 52 Ancestors recap post. Here are links to my blog and this weeks post.
    Sue at Tracks Of My Georgia Ancestors
    52 Ancestors#1Firsts and Fresh Starts

  3. Thank you! My paternal grandmother was 3/4 Swedish and 1/4 Norwegian (Marthe is on her side of the family), and my maternal grandfather was half Norwegian, so I know all too well how challenging it can be to research Scandinavian ancestors. They may be found under multiple surnames with multiple spellings, and then there is the common name problem. For example, there are many men with the same name as Marthe's brother-in-law Peter Johnson.