#15 Rustad Family

The family of my great-great grandfather who came to Canada from Sweden has always been a mystery. He came from Sweden in the 1850s and met and and married an Irish girl. His name, as far as we knew, was John Alford Wilson. However, the family story was he came from Sweden as a stowaway and was given the ship captain’s last name. So I thought that was the end of that. I was unfamiliar with Swedish genealogy and I didn’t even have a name to go by. Some family members mentioned the name Rhustadt or Rustad. His tombstone said he was born on April 9, 1833 in Stockholm.

Fast forward a few years, after I had my mother take an Ancestry DNA test, I was contacted by a distant cousin who was also a few times great-granddaughter of John. She shared with me some fantastic documents she had found for a Johan Axel Rustad, born April 9, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden.

jarustad_birth
Johan Axel was illegitimate and surrendered at birth. Mom was 27, her name not listed.

He was baptized on April 11, 1833 in Adolf Fredriks Församling, Stockholm, Sweden. Församling means parish or congregation, so I assume that is the church where he was baptized.

Adolf_Fredriks_kyrka_2011
Church of Adolf Fredrik, Stockholm, Sweden (Image author: I99pema. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adolf_Fredriks_kyrka_2011.JPG)

Johan Axel’s parents married on September 22, 1833 in Adolf Fredriks Församling. Their names were Berger Halvorsen Rustad and Helena Andersdotter. Berger was born on August 9, 1806 in Elverum, Norway (this explains why Mom has 21% Norwegian DNA and no Swedish!) and came to Adolf Fredrik on Sept. 2, 1833 from Solna (near Stockholm). Helena was born on June 11, 1802 in Räm’s parish, Värmland. She came to Adolf Fredrik on Nov. 4, 1831 from Klara (in Stockholm). They had 2 children born during their betrothal: 1) Bernhard, b. June 29, 1828; and 2) Johan Axel, b. April 9, 1833.

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Banns and marriage record of “the house servant Berger Halvorsen Rustad and the maid Helena Andersdotter.”

Berger Halvorsen Rustad died on March 4, 1837 in Katarina Parish, Stockholm of typhoid fever. It must have been sometime after this that the family was split up. I’m not sure if Helena died around this time as well. Johan was sent to a foster family in Othem parish, Gotland, Sweden (an island in the Baltic) in 1842 and is last listed there on 9 Apr 1852.

Othem

1850-1851seamanregistration
Johan registered as a seaman at the Visby, Gotland Sjömanshus (Seamen’s Office) on April 24, 1850 and the last notice is in 1851.

Johan’s older brother Bernhard emigrated to the United States in 1854. They also had two younger brothers, Gustav Arvid Rustad (April 10, 1835 – April 27, 1835) and Oscar Arvid Rustad (March 11, 1836 – September 13, 1876). Oscar married Hilda Falk in 1859 and had at least one son who died in 1872.

gotland_map
Othem, Gotland is labeled with the red marker. Johan Axel was born in Stockholm, while his father Berger Halvorsen was born in Elverum, Norway (in the upper left corner of the map).

Johan emigrated to Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada sometime before 1859, when he and his wife, Mary Ann Gibson, had a daughter Rose Mary on May 13, 1859. He was a farmer and a mariner according to the 1871 and 1881 censuses. He died on Howe Island, Ontario on January 6, 1889 as the age of 55.

jawilsonrhustat

Citations:

  • Birth registration for Johan Axel – Adolf Fredrik CIb:3 (1827-1857) Image 1040 / page 133 (AID: v81707.b1040.s133, NAD: SE/SSA/0001)
  • Baptism Record for Johan Axel – Sweden, Select Baptisms, 1611-1920 from Ancestry.com
  • Records for Johan Axel on Gotland – Othem AI:4 (1842-1853) Image 2090 / page 193 (AID: v61925.b2090.s193, NAD: SE/ViLA/23066)
  • Marriage record for Berger Halvorsen Rustad – Adolf Fredrik EI:2 (1813-1841) Image 343 / page 673 (AID: v81715.b343.s673, NAD: SE/SSA/0001)
  • Death record for Berger Halvorsen Rustad – Katarina FI:9 (1835-1844) Image 63 / page 117 (AID: v87044.b63.s117, NAD: SE/SSA/0009)
  • Seaman registration – Visby sjömanshus DIc:4 (1844-1852) Image 2260 / page 389 (AID: v384423.b2260.s389, NAD: SE/ViLA/20246)

Week 15 (April 8-14): DNA

#12 John Andrew Wilson (1874-1930)

John Andrew Wilson is #12 on my ahnentafel table (a numbered ancestor chart). He is my mother’s paternal grandfather.

JohnAWilson_marythompson
Mary Agnes Thompson & John Andrew Wilson, c1898

John was born February 26, 1874 on Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada to John A. Wilson, a mariner from Sweden, and Mary Ann Gibson from Ireland.

JohnAWilson_birth
John Andrew Wilson’s Birth Registration

In the 1881 Canadian census the Wilson family was living on Howe Island in Frontenac, Ontario. At the time, John was 7 years old, living with his parents, his sisters Annie (17), Eliza (15), and brother Hugh (9). A married sister, Rose Mary Beaubien, was living on Amherst Island with her husband and baby. By 1891, all the sisters were married and their father had died in 1889. Hugh was now a farmer and the head of household at aged 20. His mother, brother John (17), and a servant John Breene (21) were also living there.

On November 1, 1898, John married Mary Agnes Thompson (1872-1940) in Deseronto, Hastings, Ontario. At the time, John was living on Howe Island and was a farmer, while Mary lived in Deseronto.

In the 1901 census, John, Mary, and their 1-year-old daughter Annie Maud were living with John’s mother on Howe Island. There was also a farm laborer named Matthew Farrell living with them. On March 9, 1902, John and Mary’s son Hugh was born on Howe Island. In 1902/1903, John bought a farm property on Highway 2 in Pittsburg Township, east of Kingston and across the river from Howe Island. There, son Cecil was born on March 19, 1903. Over the next five years, five more children were born including John (1905), Marjorie (1906), Charles (1907), William (1908), and Theresa (1909). In the 1911 census, the family was still farming in Pittsburg Township and John’s mother was living with them. However, their daughter Annie Maud had died in 1904.

cropped-wilson_kids1.jpg
From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack, and Bill (c1913)

John and Mary had two more sons: Clarence Stuart (1914) and Earle Sanford (1916). In the 1921 census, John’s mother was still living with the family in Pittsburg Twp. and the Hugh had moved out work across the river in Syracuse, New York. Throughout the 1920s, many of the Wilson sons would go to either New York or Detroit, Michigan for work. John’s mother Mary Ann died in September 1923 after a broken hip and pneumonia.

wilson_porch
Back row from left: John Wilson, unknown, Mary Wilson. Front row from left: Charles, Stu, Theresa, Margie, San (c1924)

John died of carcinoma of the stomach on November 25, 1930 at home. He had had cancer for 7 months and on May 13, 1930 he had an operation to prevent a stomach obstruction. He was buried November 27th in Willowbank Cemetery in Gananoque. His wife Mary died April 29, 1940. Their son John was living in Detroit with his pregnant wife at the time. His son, also named John, was born in Detroit on May 16, 1940. After this they returned to Pittsburg Township to run the farm.

johnandmarytomb

Week 12 (March 18-24): 12

#7 Grandparents in Love

I love finding pictures of my grandparents when they were young and in love. So sweet!

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My maternal grandparents, Helen (Oakes) & Charles Wilson on June 4, 1932
ellsworth_lillian
My husband’s paternal grandparents, Ellsworth & Lillian (Mann) Eklund, in 1948
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My husband’s paternal great-grandparents Leonard and Mayme (Kivi) Eklund on their wedding day, June 23, 1931

Week 7 (February 11-17): Love

#51 Grace Wood Wilson

hugh_grace

My great-aunt Grace, the wife of my grandpa’s brother Hugh, was always described as a nice woman. I didn’t know her well; I only remember meeting her once or twice.

Grace Wood was born August 19, 1901 in Frontenac County, Ontario to William Edlow Wood and Mary Ellen ‘Nellie’ Barr. In 1911, the family, with the addition of a son William Earl, was living in Kingston, Ontario. William was a contractor and the family’s religion was the Holiness Movement.

In 1921, Grace was a boarder with the Robert Ranous family in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario (the same township Hugh was from and where his family was living in 1921). She was a schoolteacher and a 7th Day Adventist. I don’t know anything about how Grace and Hugh met, but they were married in Ottawa on March 26, 1940 when both Grace and Hugh were 38 years old.

Hugh was elected reeve of Pittsburgh Township for 1967-1968. According to Wikipedia, “in some small townships in Ontario, the title reeve was historically used instead of mayor.”

IMG_4359

IMG_4360
In 1974, Aunt Grace sent this Christmas card to my family.

In 1976, Aunt Grace got to meet her pen pal of 62 years Muriel Stafford from Sydney Australia. They began writing in about 1914 when Grace was 13 and Muriel was 11. According to the article, “The Victoria League in Australia and the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in Kingston sent names of potential pen pals into schools.” Grace said she chose Australia because she “was more interested in Australia than any other part of the British Empire.”

This sweet lady died in 1995. Hugh had died February 2, 1979. They are buried in Glenwood Cemetery on Amherst Island, Ontario next to Hugh’s grandparents.

hugh_grace_grave

Week 51 (December 17-23): Nice [still trying to finish up 2018!]

#43 Marjorie Agnes Wilson

marjorie Marjorie Agnes Wilson was my grandfather’s sister. She was born March 24, 1906 in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario. She married a widower, William Weir, on October 14, 1935 in Kingston, Ontario. My grandmother Helen Oakes Wilson was a witness. Margey died March 21, 1944 at Kingston General Hospital of “acute exfoliative dermatitis following arsenical therapy for Vincent’s angina.” According to the Merck Manual, Vincent’s Angina is also known as acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis or trench mouth. Apparently arsenic was used as a treatment, either topically or intravenously. Margey also had a terminal illness listed on her death certificate that I can’t quite make out. Sadly, it sounds like her treatment ended up killing her.

marge_death

52 Ancestors #43 (Oct. 22-28) –  Cause of Death

#25 The Old Homestead

John A. Wilson Farm

This my Great-Grandfather, John A. Wilson’s farm in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario.  The farm was located on R.R. 2 near the Howe Island Ferry Road/Joyceville Road.

I did a post in 2008 about an architectural survey done about the farmhouse, formerly the Robert Way house.  Find that post here.

Week 25 – The Old Homestead

#24 Mary Agnes Thompson

2009 031

This small tablecloth, with the initials, M.T. and the year 1892, was embroidered by my great-grandmother Mary Agnes (Thompson) Wilson when she was about 20 years old. She was born on March 10, 1872 on Amherst Island, Ontario. On the Canadian census of April 1891, she was living on Amherst Island with her parents Archibald and Elizabeth and her siblings Charles, William, Hugh, Agnes, and Cecil. Mary married my great-grandfather John A. Wilson on November 1, 1898 in Deseronto, Ontario. They had 10 children between 1900 and 1916, including my grandfather, Charles Thompson Wilson.

52 Ancestors #24 – Heirloom

Lifespans of your 3rd Great-Grandparents

I got the idea for this post from Randy Seaver’s blog.

My 32 great-great-grandparents are, by ahnentafel number:

32. Joel Wells (1801-1856), 55 years
33. Sarah Tarpley (1805-1890), 85 years
34. William Clark (1810-?), ?? years
35. Ann Martin (1807-?), ?? years
36. Joel Wells (1801-1856), 55 years
37. Sarah Tarpley (1805-1890), 85 years
38. William Clark (1810-?), ?? years
39. Ann Martin (1807-?), ?? years
(yes, my Wells/Clark great-grandparents were double first cousins)
40. Thomas Belknap (1803-1889), 86 years
41. Polly Ann Farr (1832-1887), 55 years
42. John Gisel (1843-1923), 80 years
43. Margaret Rhost (1848-1939), 90 years
44. Adam Bost (1838-1924), 85 years
45. Mary B. Shartzer (1841-1921), 79 years
46. ? (? – ?), ?? years
47. ? (? – ?), ?? years
48. Berger Halvorsen (Rustad) (1806-1837), 30 years
49. Helena Andersdotter (1802-?), ?? years
50. Robert Gibson (1805-1882), 77 years
51. Mary McCormick (1811-1886), 75 years
52. Robert Thompson (?-?), ?? years
53. Mary Stevenson (?-?), ?? years
54. David Dunning (?-?), ?? years
55. Nancy Vance (?-?), ?? years
56. John Ochs (1823-1912), 89 years
57. Anna Ziegler (1820-1852?), 32 years
58. John Schroeder (1828-1916), 87 years
59. Sophia Martens (1826-1916), 89 years
60. Andrew Moore (1830-1918), 88 years
61. Mary Lyman (1836-1904), 67 years
62. William D. Bolt (1835-1901), 66 years
63. Mary J. Everitt (1837-1918), 80 years

The average birth year for third-greats is 1820, with a range from 1801 to 1848. (Calculated with 26 of 32 birth years).

The average death year for third-greats is 1896, with a range from 1852 to 1939. (Calculated with 21 of 32 death years).

The average lifespan is about 73 years, with a range of 30 to 90 years. Males average lifespan is 73 years, and females average lifespan is 74 years.

#16 – Clarence Stuart Wilson

Today I’d like to discuss the last surviving child of John and Mary Wilson, my grandfather’s brother Stu.  He lived to the age of 98!

stu

Stu was the 9th of 10 children born to John Wilson and Mary Thompson.  He was born in Pittsburgh Township (now Kingston), Ontario on April 21, 1914. In the 1921 Canadian census, Stu is living on the Wilson farm in Pittsburgh Township with his parents, his paternal grandmother, and 7 brothers and sisters.  The oldest son, Hugh, had moved out.  The oldest daughter, Annie Maude, had died at the age of 4 in 1904.

Stu crossed the border at Buffalo, N.Y. on April 26, 1948 in order to reside in the United States. He lists my grandfather, Charles, as his contact in the U.S. At the time, Stu was a machinist living in Toronto.

stu_arrival

His Declaration of Intention for U.S. citizenship is dated March 18, 1949 in Houston, Texas. Stu married Willa Mary Craig (Aunt Mary) on July 30, 1949 (I’m assuming in Canada). On October 18, 1949, his new wife Mary came through Port Huron, Michigan on her way to her husband’s residence in Houston.  Within the next few years, they had a son. By 1952, the Wilson family was living in Flint, Michigan where, according to the city directory, Stu was a machinist at Buick.

This is all I know about Uncle Stu from the documents.  I know they moved to Ottawa, but I’m not sure when.  I remember them coming from Canada to visit my grandparents in the 1980s.

Today is the third anniversary of Uncle Stu’s death. His obituary from The Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 9, 2013 reads as follows:

WILSON, Clarence Stuart (longtime resident Fraser Ave.) Passed away in Ottawa on January 7, 2013. Born April 21, 1914 in Pittsburg Township (Kingston), Stuart was the surviving member of his family of 10 brothers and sisters. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Mary (nee Craig of Tamworth/Kingston) and survived by his son, Gordon, daughter-in-law, Joanne, and grandsons, Mark and Jeff. Stuart lived a long and wonderful life, characterized by a positive attitude, quick wit and concern for others. He will be missed by all who knew him. Thanks to all who have assisted Stuart in various ways over the past few years. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Chris and Astrid whose capacity for caring made such an immense difference in the quality of Stuart’s later life. A private family service will be held. Online condolences can be made at http://www.colefuneralservices.com.

__________

Image citations:

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1480; Roll: 159; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85

52 Ancestors #16 – Live Long