Well, it has been a long time since I have made any progress on the Thompson line in my family. I was essentially stuck with just basic information about the immigrant ancestor Paul Thompson and his wife Emma Christina Friedberg. While their information is mostly complete, it lacks a specific birth place in Sweden and reliable information about their parents. The birth place in particular is essential to Swedish genealogy research as the Swedish records I know of are not indexed in any way. You must at least know an exact date and an exact place to even have a hope of getting started. Sigh.
In the 1980s, a woman named Marva Wickland wrote to my grandparents inquiring about the Thompson ancestry. She was a granddaughter of Paul Thompson (and therefore a cousin of my grandfather Thompson). Marva included enough information in her letter about her siblings that I was able to locate two of them who are still living. I initially contacted Robert Wickland of Muskegon, Michigan, but his wife wrote back that he has alzheimer's and is unable to help. She directed me to his brother Charles of Tabernash, Colorado. Charles wrote back just recently and sent some photos and quite a few new pieces of the Thompson puzzle.
|The Paul Thompson Family - Cir 1904|
Back row: Emma Julia Christina, Austin William, Esther Lauretta, and Edith Paulina Thompson
Front row: Paul Thompson, Alice Maria Thompson, and Emma Christina Friedberg
|Children of Paul and Emma Thompson - 1898|
Esther, Emma, Alice, Edith, and Austin Thompson
Charles also sent a partial baptismal / birth record for the Thompson family from an unknown church in Muskegon, Michigan.
So, here are the highlights from Charles' letter.
- My immigrant Thompson ancestor, Paul Thompson, was actually born Paul Truittson. He changed his name to Thompson after arriving in Massachusetts.-
- Paul apparently sailed around the world multiple times.
- Paul and Emma were both from Suundsvaal, Sweden, but I am not certain Paul was born there. This is because the partial birth / baptism record seems to indicate Paul was born elsewhere in Sweden.
- I now have middle names and exact birth dates for all of Paul and Emma's children.
- Paul and Emma's daughter Esther commited suicide on Christmas Eve 1936.
- Either Paul was baptized on 01 Dec 1847 or his date of birth derived from his death certificate (04 Oct 1847) is incorrect.
Now the search begins. I hope to finally locate birth records and parentage for Paul and Emma. I am just not sure I have an exact birth place yet.