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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Gypsie Grandmother (Mattson Line). A Short Word on Our Christmas.

A Swedish Gypsie in Traditional Clothing

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tis a gloomy late afternoon at the Fortress.  A patient winter storm is carefully considering its way across Utah, blessing the mountains and valleys with much needed precipitation.

These storms are an irritant to Dad.  They cast doubt on his prediction of another 1930's, once in a century drought.  His drought predictions include savage dust storms scouring the western United States and the return to long lines at soup kitchens.   

"Food prices are going to double, even triple," he predicted yesterday at the family holiday gathering. The family was together at the new home of Ashley and Mike Costa (Ashley is Kim Williamson DelGrosso's daughter) for supper and gift giving.  Charles "BahHumbug" Williamson, well known champion of depression, is an expert at taking the joy out of any holiday gathering and replacing it with dust bowl predictions of mass starvation, disease and pestilence.

Happy Valley (the local's term for Utah County) needs people like Charles Williamson to remind us that things aren't always so Happy out in the real world where adulthood is legal and bad things happen to good people.  So, we've all decided to keep Dad just the way he is.   He is well read.  He knows investments.   He radar on the nation's economy is generally spot on.  He is a good judge of character.  He is a gentleman, a scholar and knows how to assemble a Walmart barbecue in ten minutes!

We had a great time at Ashley and Mike's new home in Highland yesterday.  JD made his famous DelGrosso Spaghetti Sauce (I knew I'd have several helpings so I left a note to remind myself to take my Nexium - the purple pill to control heartburn).   In addition to the DelGrosso Spaghetti main course, there was an assortment of salads, jellos, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, turkey, etc.  Several pies and chocolate were served for dessert.   I'm glad I wore my expando brand pants.  Expando pants expand at the waistband, providing the wearing the needed room to handle a Roman feast without unbuttoning his top pant's button.

Averie DelGrosso and Chauncey Bird announced their engagement.   It will be a Spring wedding - the date is still to be announced.  I sat opposite the happy couple and was amazed at how they were able to eat their holiday meal while holding hands!  I suggested they get married over Spring vacation.  I pointed out that more people would be able to attend over Spring break, and more people meant more presents.

"People will usually send presents if they can't come," Monica pointed out what is true for most families.

"Not our family."  I reminded everyone that our family is not like most families.  For many of us, spending a dollar is more painful than passing a kidney stone.  There was a chorus of nodding heads all around the table at my observation.

Chauncey will be a lawyer when he finishes school.   That is a good thing.  Our family is seriously short when it comes to the needed professions like law.   Our family is missing a doctor, nurse, lawyer, accountant, plumber, electrician, mechanic, undertaker, dentist, contractor and a forgiving priest.  I call them 'the needed professions'.  We can scratch lawyer from the list by marrying Averie off to Chauncey.  She has been given clear instructions not to mess it up :) 

It was decided by a unanimous, around the table vote, to issue a family wide directive to all those searching for a spouse.  The directive asks eligible family members to narrow their search of  candidates to those in the professions listed in the paragraph above.   The directive further states that no one in the family is allowed to date dancers or teachers.  We have an over abundant supply of them at the moment :) 

All of the little ones at the holiday feast were either sick, getting over a sickness or being exposed to a sickness.   Shared sickness holds a family together.  It teaches you to rely on one another in good times and bad.

Our Gypsy Grandmother

The topic of today's genelogy post is "Our Gypsy Grandmother".  We don't know a lot about our Gypsy Grandmother, except to say that she was adopted as a girl.  I found a letter in a box of Luella's things with a sentence or two about her.  The letter was written by one of our distant Mattson cousins
in 1964.

 Notice in the letter he refers to her as Grandpa Walter's Grandmother.  Grandpa Walter's Grandmother was Helena Beata Carlsdotter.  This is the relationship chart.

Relationship Chart

Helena Beata Carlsdotter (1836 - 1911)
is your 2nd great grandmother
Johan Albert Mattsson (Mathiasson?) (1872 - 1955)
Son of Helena Beata
Walter Albert Mattson (1912 - 1973)
Son of Johan Albert
Luella Mattson (1939 - )
Daughter of Walter Albert
Victor Williamson

He mentions her shoebox of charms and curses.  We know from family lore, that Great Great Grandmother Helena was adopted as an older child into the Mattson family.  She married one of the sons in her new adopted family (Emanuel Mattsson).

According to tradition, she was a good dancer.  Luella also remembers a family story about Helena's brother.  He was a tightrope walker.  He died during a performance by falling into a fire.  

Helena's family would have been part of the first Romanies (Gypsies) that arrived in Scandinavia during the 16th century.  Because of her family name, I'm assuming her Romanie family came from Denmark.    

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