Thought this might be of interest to those of you who had ancestors who
traveled to the Andover area during this time period.
This paper was found with the papers of J.P. Leaf and from the information
in it appears to have been written by him, perhaps when he was a student. He
is telling something of the experiences of his parents from the landing in NY
City and the first year or two of life in Andover, IL. Sven Johan Svensson
Löf and his wife Clara Margareta Jönsdotter left Vena parish in Sweden and
traveled to via Glasgow to New York City. They arrived there on the Franklin
King on August 26, 1853. Their only child Carl Johan, 11 months old, had
died on August 8 aboard the ship. From this writing it appears that they were
heading to Andover from the time that they left Sweden. They lived in the
town of Andover when they first came to the US until some time in the 1860s when
they purchased 40 acres in Lynn Township, very close to the Andover Children’
s Home. Sven Johan and his wife used the name Swanson in Andover for all
legal purposes, but in the church books, he is listed as Sven Johan Svensson
Löf although he had not used Löf in Sweden. Both his father and grandfather
had used the Löf name. It appears that at some time in the 1870s that J.P.
(their son) started using the name Leaf. His parents used the name Leaf when
they moved to Dalbo, Minnesota in 1885.
This was written in Swedish and a few words are illegible or hard to
translate or somewhat confusing!
From New York on the boat to Albany.
From Dunkirk to Detroit on the boat. Afterwards on the railroad to Chicago.
Afterwards to LaSalle, likewise on the railroad. Afterwards by horse
conveyance to Andover. Received at the church yard on Friday evening and stayed
overnight in a barn and on Saturday went to the Methodist Johannes and Karl.
On Sunday went to the Lutheran church and left a letter for Esbjörn(?) from
Ahlberg. Then they went to live with Esbjörn. Pappa got work with a German
by the name of Boltenstein and later he worked on the railroad in Geneseo on
the C.B. & Q. Mamma helped Pastor Esbjörn with a child who however soon
died. Then Mamma became sick with a stomach sickness, and then ague ???????
she was revived first in ????????????? to drink strong tea. Pappa worked for
Houghton(?) in the winter and spring, but became sick in the fall time and
could not then be subjected to anything outside for three months. Had bought
a cow in the fall from Samuel Bergquist. Bought the following midsummer even
another cow with 2 calves and paid $3????? For the same. Pappa went to a
farmer named Jennings and could pick corn and get pay to get corn in this way
to raise a couple of pigs, but another morning, when he was there to chop
down a little wood, while breakfast was being prepared, he cut himself in the
foot so that he must be laid up for the whole winter and Mamma must go and pick
acorns in the woods to raise the pigs. On Dec 4, 1854 my oldest sister was
born. She was baptized by Pastor Esbjörn and was given the name Kristina
Just wish he had kept on writing and told a little more of the family