Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great Grandmother Ida Tornberg's Arrival to the United States

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
More information on Great Grandmother Ida (Walter Mattson's Mother).

We begin with Ida's departure from Sweden (above). This is the immigration manifest from Sweden. You'll notice that Ida was traveling with friends. You'll see her destination was Houghton, Mich.

Next we have the passenger list for those wanted to enter the United States from Canada on the Canadian Ship SS. Empress of Britian. The ship departed from Liverpool on 7 May, 1909. The Atlantic crossing was a 4 or 5 day affair.

This is the passenger list (Click to Enlarge). You'll notice that Ida is listed as a domestic (servant). You'll notice that her father's name was Isak Tornberg and that her final destination was Houghton, Mich.

Ida sailed on one of the finest and fastest ships of its day, the SS Empress of Britain

We move to the 1910 Census showing Ida working in Houghton, Michigan as a servant for the Miller family.

From here we have a postcard proving Ida was living in northern Michigan (please refer to the earlier post of the day).

Finally, we have Ida and John Albert marrying in Lead, South Dakota on 11 March 1911.


A Letter to our Great Grandmother Ida Tornberg in Swedish. Anyone Out There Read Swedish and Can Translate?

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today I'm posting a letter written to our Great Grandmother Ida Tornberg from her sister Wilma. The letter was posted from Sweden, written in Swedish. I'd use Google Translator to translate the general meaning of the letter but can't due to the odd handwriting. I can't make out many of the letters.

I'm hoping someone out there reading the blog either reads Swedish or knows someone that does and would be kind enough to translate this letter for me.

We are still searching for our nearest relatives living in Sweden. Ida's sister Wilma may be the key and finding her descendants is a priority.


We start with this post card written to Ida before her marriage to John Albert Mattson on 11 March 1911. At the time Ida was living in South Range, Michigan. It is my opinion that Ida moved to South Range from Sweden. I asked myself why would anyone choose to live in South Range Michigan when first immigrating to the United States? The only answer was family or friends.

I did more research and found the following person living in South Range at the same time.

Karl Levi Isaksson Tornberg b. 1876 d. 1939 Immigrated to America without certificate about 1903-1904. Later residing in South Range, Michigan, USA. Died in a mining accident.

Now, considering the population of South Range in 2000 was 797, I'm inclined to believe that a family member moved there first and Ida followed.

We also have record of another Tornberg living in South Range:

Charles Levi Isaksson Tornberg b. 1876 d. 1939
Immigrated to America around 1903 to 1904 Migration. Lived in South Range, Michigan

There are also several Tornberg immigrants living in nearby towns in Michigan and one or two that moved to Lead, South Dakota where Ida settled after marrying John Albert Mattson.

Johan Isaksson Tornberg b. 1863, d. about 1920 To N. America 1.6.1883. Later residing in Lead, South Dakota, USA

Karl Adolf Persson Forsman b. 1862 d. 1923
who immigrated to N. America 11.6.1884. Residing in Houghton, Michigan, USA. Married: Greta Wilhelmina Isaksdotter Tornberg b. 1859 d. 1946 who immigrated to N. America 11.6.1884. Karl and Greta returned to Sweden on 6 Oct. 1894 They married in the USA on 27 July 1884.
Their Children born in Houghton, Michigan:
Karl William b. 1885 d. 1951
Anna Vilhelmina b. 1887 d. 1975

Sedi Sofia b. 1888 d. 1910

Elisa Amanda b. 1891 d. 1961

Etna Teresia b. 1893 d. 1917

All Returned home to Sweden with their parents

Isak Wilhelm Isaksson Tornberg b. 1862 d. 1948 Immigrated to N. America without certificate about 1884. Later residing in Ishpeming, Marquette, Michigan, USA

Kaisa Maria Isaksdotter Tornberg b. 1866 d. 1959 Immigrated to N. America 15 June 1889. Arrived from Göteborg (Gothenburg, Sweden) destination Hancock, Michigan. Married 1893 to Johan Kermuniemi (John Kermu; se above 1883), residing in Mass City, Michigan, USA

Herman Abiel Fredriksson Tornberg b. 1881 To N. America without certificate about 1903

Oskar Isaksson Tornberg b. 1879 d. about 1910-1915
Immigrated to N. America without certificate about 1903-1904. According to family information he should have immigrated to America 25 Nov. 1910 and settled in Ironwood, Michigan, USA

Once again I believe it is safe to say that Ida immigrated and moved in with relatives in northern Michigan. We also know that her sister Wilma did not immigrate and married a Laplander.

And now the letter from Wilma to Ida:

Front. We see that this letter was mailed in 1942 at the height of World War 2. Sweden was neutral in the war.

The back of the envelope with Wilma's return address in Sweden.

Neistenkangas, Sweden

Page 1 (Click to Enlarge)

Page 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Page 3 (Click to Enlarge)

Page 4 and End (Click to Enlarge)