Swedes settle Iowa: Land maps, a railroad, and a minister

On April 9, 1868, Johan Fredrick Höglund, his wife Mathilda Carlsdotter Envall, and their baby son Carl Johan departed their home in Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden for the long journey to America. They were part of a growing migration of Swedes leaving their country during that decade, spurred in large part by food shortages and famine … Continue reading Swedes settle Iowa: Land maps, a railroad, and a minister

The 1896 Iowa-Illinois “cyclone” map

Starting late Sunday night, May 24, 1896, and into the next morning, a massive tornado churned across northeast Iowa and into northern Illinois, from near Des Moines to Chicago. The storm caused the death of over 40 people, injured scores, killed horses, hogs, and cattle, and left extensive damage to homes, barns, railroads, bridges, fences, … Continue reading The 1896 Iowa-Illinois “cyclone” map

My family history passion starts with a document

I like to ask people the question, "if you didn't have to work for money, what would you do?" My answer? Genealogy and family history research, all the time. My passion for genealogy and family history originates with a document distributed at a family reunion in April 1973, when I was three-and-a-half years old. At … Continue reading My family history passion starts with a document

Memorial Day tribute to Sverre Hansen, who fell in the Second Battle of the Marne, 1918

Sverre Hansen, perhaps in Norwegian military uniform prior to his immigration. Picture supplied by Karen Rowe My teenager and I were recently on our Ancestry.com family tree when we linked to relative’s tree of the same family, and there came across a name we hadn’t seen before—a younger brother of a great-grandfather on my wife’s … Continue reading Memorial Day tribute to Sverre Hansen, who fell in the Second Battle of the Marne, 1918

Memorial Day tribute to Buford L. Dews, World War II infantryman

Buford L. Dews, Nashville Banner, April 5, 1948, p. Last year, I wrote a Memorial Day tribute to Richard L. Dews, a U.S. Army paratrooper who died on February 19, 1945, in combat on the Philippine island of Corregidor. He was 27. This year, I'm remembering another World War II soldier who shared my surname—though … Continue reading Memorial Day tribute to Buford L. Dews, World War II infantryman