Johanna Petersdotter was born April 18th 1834 in Stora Angseboda, Fröderyd parish in the county of Jönköping, Sweden. Her parents were farmer Peter Svensson and his wife Greta Johansdotter. She was baptized the day after in Fröderyd Church. Her godparents were Sven Jonsson and his wife Lisa Olofsdotter in Angseboda and farm hand Nils Svensson and farm maiden Karin Johansdotter in Lövås.
The first four years of her life her father was a farmer, but life took a turn for the worse and the family had to leave their plot to live in one of the side-cottages in the village. Her parents and her two older brothers Johan and Sven became so poor that they had to receive help from the parish. A side-cottage normally had no land and they relied on the land owner’s good will. They supported themselves by working for farmers or doing some sort of handcraft.
Her brothers left the side-cottage when they were 18 to work as farm hands on different farms, but Johanna stayed to take care of her parents. When Johanna was 23 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, she gave her the name Tilda. The father of Tilda, farmer Johan Peter Svensson in Ekeberg in Fröderyd parish, announced that he indeed was the father. But when their daughter was only 6 months old he passed away. There was an epidemic of dysentery in the parish and Johan Peter Svensson was one of its victims.
Johanna continued taking care of her parents while also taking care of her daughter. 5 years later her mother Greta died at the age of 68 of tuberculosis. When Johanna was 30 she gave birth to another illegitimate child, a son she named Johan August. This time no man claimed the child.
Only a year later Johanna’s father dies at the age of 68 of diarrhea. Johanna is now left all on her own with two children aged 9 and 1.
When her daughter Tilda is only 15 years old she marries 29 year old Johannes Gustaf Svensson, the son of the farmer at Kråketorp Mellangård, Asa parish, in the county of Kronoberg. At the mere age of 16 Tilda gives birth to her first child and 11 more children were to follow.
Johanna continues living in the side-cottage in Stora Angseboda with her son Johan August for six years until she marries cottager Sven Gustaf Sand from Gabrielsmåla, Målen, Ramkvilla parish in the county of Jönköping. Johanna and her son moves to Sven’s cottage.
Johan August only stays in Gabrielsmåla for three years until he at the young age of 16 makes the big journey across the ocean to North America. 2 years later Johanna and her husband followed him and put their feet on American ground for the first time in 1883.
Johanna Petersdotter’s immediate family
Father: Peter Svensson, born November 12th 1797 in Höreda Södergård, Ramkvilla parish in the county of Jönköping. Died September 8th 1866 in Stora Angseboda, Fröderyd parish in the county of Jönköping.
Mother: Greta Johansdotter, born September 23rd 1793 in Rösmossen, Fröderyd parish in the county of Jönköping. Died March 1st 1862 in Stora Angseboda, Fröderyd parish in the county of Jönköping.
Lisa Stina 1824-1824
Husband: Sven Gustaf Sand, born April 17th 1845 in Lövås, Ramkvilla parish in the county of Jönköping.
Tilda Johansdotter 1857-1930 (Father Johan Peter Svensson 1825-1857)
Johan August Svensson 1865- (Father unknown)
1. Fröderyd “book of births” – Arkiv Digital Fröderyd C:4 (1801-1853) Picture 94 / Page 179
2. Fröderyd “book of births” – Arkiv Digital Fröderyd C:5 (1854-1860) Picture 14 / Page 20
3. Fröderyd “book of births” – Arkiv Digital Fröderyd C:6 (1861-1880) Picture 21 / Page 25
4. Fröderyd parish books – Arkiv Digital Fröderyd AI:15 (1861-1866) Picture 308 / Page 300
5. Ramkvilla parish books – Arkiv Digital Ramkvilla AI:15 (1881-1886) Picture 233 / Page 223