I recently got my DNA tested by the MyHeritage.com folks, and they failed to mention that testing a girl (XX chromosome) yields less information that testing a boy (XY chromosome). It took me a while to piece together on my own, but when I initially got my results back, I was stumped.

No Swedish.

Come again? My grandmother’s maiden name was ‘Anderson’, and I knew of a few other Swedish connections on that side. That pesky chromosome! Anyhow, here is what I know from what has been studiously researched by others and handed to me in a three-ring binder (seriously, I’m not the only genealogy nut in the family – I’m just the most successful in the internet age):

I am descended from a couple named Anders and Svenborg (doesn’t that name sound feminine?) Person, who lived in Skåne, Sweden. They had a small estate, and one son – Peter B. Anderson (born 1822).

Tragically, Anders was killed while blasting some stone (routine work, as he was a stone mason) in 1824. Svenborg lived up to her formidable name and did not remarry, but raised Peter alone before dying at the ripe old age of 86. Peter did a bit of this and a bit of that and married Kerstin Månson in 1847. She was the daughter of a shoemaker.

They lived happily, had four children in Sweden, and, on April 29, 1854, picked up and left for NYC. They were on a sailing vessel.

Now, I suppose steam engines and such were a ways off, but this voyage… because the ship had no power other than the sails, it was driven off course to below the equator by a terrible storm.

Lemme chart that out for you.


So it took them a whopping 13 weeks to cross the Atlantic. They skipped right through the Big Apple and on to Chicago, but there was a cholera epidemic, and several of the party perished.

They moved on to Galesburg, Illinois. There were no trains, so they went by covered wagon. Real, legit, actual covered wagons, people. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE STYLE!

The Anderson clan continued to grow and move about until 1868, when they moved near Harcourt, Iowa. They lived in wagons and cooked by the campire until they could move into a little log house. Seven Andersons and three Stenfelds living in one room. And then one final move when they ran into a cousin who lived about 40 miles away. Their new log house was only 14’x16′, but it had a loft.

This family of pioneers struggled for an existence, but were always happy and ready to entertain anyone who might come into their home.

Peter B. Anderson died in 1895.


He is my great-great-great grandfather.