Matrilineal Monday – Albertina Satelin

This is a reposting on June 24, 2013 of an entry I made on December 10, 2012 that I have since learned included misinformation!  With many thanks to Swedish research Laila Falk who has graciously helped me debunk some myths and gain a wealth of new information about Albertina Satelin and her family. If anyone is interested in learning more about the Swedish emigration to America 1860 – 1914 please visit Ms. Falk’s website, “Bullaren Emigranterna“. And also thanks to cousin Cathy for sending scans and identifying folks in the photos, which I had totally gotten wrong. Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!

This week’s Matrilineal Monday is about the Scandinavian emigrant Albertina Elizabeth Satelin.

Albertina Satelin Johnson OlsonCopyright 2012 Genealogy Sisters
Albertina Satelin  Gadda Olson
Copyright 2012 Genealogy Sisters

Albertina was born 1865 in Naverstad, Sweden to Britta Maria Mansdotter (b.1829 Sätila, Sweden) and Peder Johansson Satelin (b. 1834 Sätila, Sweden). Britta, also known as Lisabet Maria, was the daughter of Borta Mansdotter  and Mans Andersson.

Lisabeth Maria Mansdotter Satelin. Mother of Albertina Satelin. Copyright 2013 Genealogy Sisters
Lisabeth Maria Mansdotter Satelin. Mother of Albertina Satelin.
Copyright 2013 Genealogy Sisters

Peder was the son of Johannes Andersson and Carin Andersdottor.

Peder was the first in the male line of the family to stop using a patronymic surname, although he used continued to use it as a middle name. Peder took the surname Satelin from the name of the town where he was born. At that time Sätila was part of Alvsborg County.  It is now part of Mark Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden on the shore of Lake Lygnern.

Peter and Lisabeth Maria married in 1864. The church marriage record states that he was sexton and organist at Naverstad parish, where they had moved shortly after their marriage. Their four children were born at Naverstad. Albertina had one brother, Carl Gideon Satelin (b. 1866).  Carl emigrated to the US in 1887 but nothing further is known about him by this writer. Albertina had two sisters, both christened Selma Elida, however the first (born in 1870) died in infancy. Her namesake was born in 1872.  Selma Elida Satelin married Karl Oskar Gädda in Naverstad. They had several children including Rudolph (b. 1901) and (Linnea Marie b. 1902), and a stillborn baby girl “Ett Dödfött Flickebarn” in 1904. Selma Elida died in childbirth. Karl Oscar Gädda remarried. He died in an accident in 1918.

In 1891, Albertina was living at home in Sweden with her parents. Her son, Fredrik, born 17 Dec 1886 is living with her. No father of the child is mentioned in the report.

Albertina Elizabeth Satelin left Sweden in 1892 and her son John was born that summer in Iron Mountain, Michigan. She travelled from Sweden with Karl Oskar Gadda, whom she married in America.   Her first son, Fredrick (who was not Karl’s son), was to remain in Sweden until they could afford his passage.

At some point Karl Oskar Gadda decided he didn’t like the U.S. and he returned to Sweden alone. After their divorce he married her younger sister Selma Elida Satelin and raised a family there. Selma Elida died in childbirth.  Karl Oscar remarried, but then died in an accident in 1918.   Albertina chose to stay in America, going to work as a linen maid to support her son. In the 1896 Tacoma City Directory Albertina E. Satelin is listed at 944 South E Street. Her occupation is Domestic.

Albertina Satelin Gadda married August Julius Olson (1865- 1944) on May 1, 1896 in Seattle, Washington. The marriage was conducted in the Lutheran Church by Pastor, Martin L.  Larson. Gus had helped her get a divorce so they could marry. Gus adopted her son and changed the boy’s name to John Peter Olson. Gus and Albertina sent to Sweden for her son Fred, who by this time was a grown man. A Fred Satelin is listed in 1907-1908 in the Tacoma City Directory. It is likely he was still using his mother’s maiden name. He later changed his name to Fred Johnson.  His WWII draft registration record dated 1942 shows he was born in Sweden in 1886 and his next of kin is his step-father A. J. Olson.

Albertina and Gus bought a farm in the Gardenville area of Tacoma. Their cash crop was berries and they hired itinerant berry pickers to harvest the crop.  Their beautiful farm was sold eventually by their grand-daughter, who had inherited it from her father.  Albertina and Gus had five children together, all born in Tacoma: Ester Elvira(1896 – 1948), Anna Marie (1899 – 1998), Arvid Howard (1905 – 1999), Henry (1898-?), and Phillip  W. (1902 – 1919). Ester and Arvid were lifelong Tacoma residents, Henry lived in Yakima, and Anna in Wenatchee.

Gus was apparently somewhat shorter than Albertina. He liked to say he enjoyed dancing with her as she swung him around and around the dance floor!  Albertina died in 1931 at the age of 66.  She was a beautiful, spirited woman who worked hard and raised a lovely family a world away from where she had begun her life in Sweden.

3 thoughts on “Matrilineal Monday – Albertina Satelin

  1. Dear Veronica
    I have tried several times to get in touch with you but you dont reply to mail or questions. Please, talk to me.
    Laila Falk in Sweden


    1. I apologize! I did read your note and meant to reply, but I got busy with something and poof! It went out of my head. I’ll go look at your earlier notes and reply immedieately.


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