Tuesday, March 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 Peter Andersson (Pehr) Soderstrom

52 Ancestors: #11 Peter Andersson (Pehr) Soderstrom

This year, Amy Johnson Crow has issues a new 52 weeks blogging challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

on her No Story Too Small blog.

The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

My approach: I plan to make this a Tuesday Theme, and, use it to enhance my WikiTree ancestor profiles. That is, focus on a different ancestor on my WikiTree list of profiles, each week (include possibly adding new profiles), Great idea! Thanks to Randy Seaver's post for bringing this to my attention!

#11 Peter Andersson (Pehr) Soderstrom (1819 -1901) is #18 on my Ancestor Name List (information based on what I had in my database before further research), and is my 2nd great-grandfather. He married #19 (see next week) Johanna Margreta Rolin (1817 - unknown) - my 2nd great-grandmother. I am descended through:

* their daughter, #9 Margaret Nellie (Maggie) Soderstrom (1848-1901), who married #8 Michael Smith (1829-1902)
* their son, #4 William Emanuel Smith (1869 -1939), who married #5 Ellen (Ella) Rebecca Preston (1880-1923)
* their son, #2 Delbert Leverne (Pete) Smith (1915 - 1977), who married #3 Mary Eileen Kinnick (1918 - 1999)
* me, #1 William Leverne Smith (1939- …)

In a 1908 book, "History of the Swedes of Illinois," under the sub-title of "The Swedish Baptist Church of Rock Island,"  we find Peter Soderstrom on the 8th of August, 1852, noted as a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Moline. To me, this places him (and likely his family) at a place and time. The reason for this notation is that he then became one of the first three persons, on that date, baptized as charter members of: "The Swedish Baptist Church of Rock Island." The Swedes in America were a close knit group, but had a theological split. I'll not go into that here, but, that issue takes up many of these pages, and mentions many different people that play continued roles in the life of this family - actually, Peter's second family. He soon, essentially, abandons his first family - my family. [This paragraph is an adaptation of a similar paragraph under Maggie - read more there, if you missed it...]

Peter left for Minnesota leaving his wife and family in the Moline, Illinois, area. In 1860, his family consisted of Johanna, 43, William, 15, Maggie, 12, and John, 10. Peter divorced her Johanna Margreta Rolin in October 1861, in Minnesota.

Peter later served in the Civil War, from MN, from 2 Sep 1864 to 28 Jul 1865.
Peter and 'Margreta Norell' - his 2nd wife - were married by Andrew Norelius, witnesses were Peter Norell and Erick Hanson, in the town of Cambridge. Probably 3 May 1866.

Peter and his 2nd wife, Greta, had four sons, born between 1867 and 1875: Arvid, Emil, Oscar, and Edward. They moved to Boone County, Iowa, in about 1870. He died there a few months after his daughter, Maggie, in November 1901. He is buried in the Pilot Mound Cemetery, Pilot Mound, Boone County, Iowa.

Note: My mother's diary has William Smith, son of Maggie, visiting sons of Peter, his first cousins, in Pilot Mound, in 1939 (from the Coon Rapids, Carroll County, Iowa area)… so they all keep in touch and knew each other.

Families are Forever! ;-)


  1. Greetings cousin. Pehr's brother was Johan (John) Olaf Soderstrom - my ancestor. Love the details you have researched and shared. Very interesting lives they lead.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Robert. I'm always fascinated when a blog post generates a cousin. Much appreciated. I'll try to send a note on Friday! ;-)

  2. Robert Soderstrom robertus999@yahoo.com