Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Selma Carlin Olson

My paternal grandmother's mother, Mathilda Alfina Johnson, was born in Sweden and immigrated to the United States in 1890 with one of her four surviving sisters, Anna Olivia, and their friend Selma Carlin. The sisters and their friend joined at least two other Johnson sisters in Illinois.

L-R: Anna Olivia Johnson, Selma Carlin,
Mathilda Alfina Johnson

As I have learned in the past two months, my great-grandparents had been childhood sweethearts in Sweden. My great-grandfather, Carl Johan Anderson, had immigrated to the United States in 1888 and settled in Connecticut. When he felt he was settled enough for a family, he sent for Alfina and she moved to Connecticut to marry him, joined by Anna and Selma who also settled there, married and raised their families. All now rest in Manchester's East Cemetery.

I had been to East Cemetery on a trip to Manchester in May of this year and found the plots of the Anderson family (Alfina), the Johnson family (Anna) and the Gustafson family (Anna's daughter Lillian) but I didn't know about Selma then. On my more recent trip to Manchester in October to take the Cheney Historic District Walking Tour, we had just a few minutes to stop at the cemetery thanks to construction traffic and I had forgotten to call the cemetery office during the week to ask for Selma's plot number, so I wasn't even planning to look - it's a biiiig cemetery.

As luck would have it, though, while parked on the road to the left of the Anderson headstone, I noticed a headstone on the other side of the road that said Olson, Selma Carlin's married last name. I thought, "No way." Then I ran around to the other side of the stone and saw Carlin. What??  Sure enough, right across from Alfina's plot was Selma's family. No other related plots in that cemetery, that I know of, are so close together.




I still have much research to do about all of my relatives in Manchester and more headstones to find, but a little good luck along the way is always to be celebrated!

Thank goodness for blogging prompts! Our little dog, DJ, continues to improve with the adjusted meds and diet and the subcutaneous fluids but he does need an extra walk or two per day, one of which has been in the middle of the night for the past week. I just don't have the brain power and energy to do any constructive research at the moment. (Although you know I made an hour to do some scanning after seeing that local house gutted by fire over the weekend.) Here's to the coming Thanksgiving Weekend and four days off!

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