Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Paternal Great Grandmother's Family - Part One

I thought I would start out with some of my family tree. My parents are both alive and healthy. They are 78 years old. I have one sister who is 52 years old, and one brother who is 51 years old. My other brother passed away in 1987 when he was 27 years old. Both sets of grandparents passed away years ago. I will write more about them in separate posts.

My paternal great grandmother and her ancestors is what I know the most about. The history of my great grandmother Schultz is rather interesting and confusing. I have a book called "Look To The Rock...The Gesme Episode" written by Ann Urness Gesme, which has the history of my great grandmother Schultz and her/my ancestors in it.

The Family of Susan and Emil Schultz, my great grandparents. Susan was born "Synneva Endresdatter Lad" in Hafslow, Norway, in 1859.

Back row from left to right: My great grandparents Susan and Emil, and Clara, who I look like as told to me at my grandfather's funeral.

Front row: Jesse, Edward (my grandfather), and Lila.

My great grandmother Susan was originally from Norway. She was born on March 28, 1859. She was baptized April 3rd in Hafslo, Norway, and was named "Synneva". Her mother, Guri Endresdatter, was then 39 years old, and her father, Endre Larsen Lad was 67 years old. This was her father's second marriage after his first wife passed away. I will write more about her half siblings in another post. Her parents were married in 1857 or before.

Anyway, my great grandmother Schultz came to the United States on April 11, 1866, when she was 7 years old with her 74 year old father Endre Larson Lad, and her 49 year old mother, Guri Endresdatter.

It is told that she was adopted by the Irving Sanderson family in Black Earth, Wisconsin; however, that seems unlikely in light of the fact that the Irving Sanderson family did not move to Black Earth until 1875, when Synneva was already 16 years old. A more reasonable explanation is that she went to work as a domestic in the Sanderson household, following her confirmation...a common age at which Norwegians went out to make their own way in the world.

Irving Sanderson was born in New York State, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was taken prisoner, and spent some time at Andersonville Prison. When the war ended, he returned to New York. In 1875 he moved to Black Earth, Wisconsin, where he was a prosperous farmer and cheesemaker. In 1877 he married Emma Manwarning, whose parents were from New York. It was in this truly "American Household" that Synneva Endresdatter became "Susan"; a typical example of how Norwegian immigrants lost their identity and speeded the process of Americanization.

While living in the Sanderson home, Synneva (Susan) met Emil Schultz, and later married him in Black Earth, Wisconsin. The marriage was contracted February 16, 1887, and the certificate of marriage was dated March 3, 1887. The marriage license shows "Susan Anderson", daughter of "Andre Anderson and Julia Anderson". It states: "Maiden name of wife's mother not known". Synneva, who used "Susan" as her "American" name, died April 25, 1951, and is buried in Black Earth. On her death certificate, her birth date is shown as March 28, 1860, when in fact it was 1859. Her parents' names are shown as: "Andrew Anderison and Julah Anderison".

Synneva was married to a non-Norwegian (my great grandfather), making it necessary to change her given name to something which her new family could handle. It is apparent from her half sister Margrete's obituary, where her half-sister Synneva's (my great grandmother's)married name is spelled "Sholts", that the Norwegians had as much difficulty with German names as Americans had with Norwegian names!


Diane said...

Penny, I LOVE you blog! I am so excited that you have launched this project. I love genealogy so much and can read for hours trying to connect the dots in family histories. You have some great information on your great-grandmother. Whomever compiled the information did an amazing job. I will become a follower as I want to keep up with how things progress!!! Welcome to Bloggy Land!


cybilminded said...

William Manwaring, father to Emma Sanderson is an ancestor of mine I have been researching. On the 1870 Census in Black Earth, WI there is listed a Susan Anderson age 10 from Norway. The rest of the household are Manwarings. Perhaps Susan was adopted by the Manwarings and left with Emma when she married Irving Sanderson.