I'm completely stuck on my great grandfather's line. His name was John Peterson, and he lived in Sacred Heart, Renville county when he died. I'm trying to figure out a) who his parents were and b) where in Sweden he was born. Any help you could offer would be immensely appreciated.
Here's what I know.
From family info (not official records)...
Born: November 3rd, 1841 (census records indicate he was born about 1883 or 1884)
Died: March 21st, 1883 – Sacred Heart, Minnesota (kicked by a horse)
1860-ish: Came to the US from Sweden with his parents. I don’t know where in Sweden. His name was apparently Persson in Sweden (again, just family info).
From census information, etc.
* Henry: His stepson
* Samuel: The 1870 US census shows him living alone with an infant son, Samuel. I'm guessing this is his first wife's son. Born about 1869.
* Emma: b. May 6 1873 d. Nov 9 1851
* Christine: b. about 1877
1865 – 1870: Married Marit Henriksdotter (his second wife Britta’s younger sister). She died shortly around 1869.
Married Britta Henriksdotter (b. 1832 in Nyskoga, Varmland, Sweden) in the US. Britta came to the US in 1869 with her son Henrik.
From “The history of Renville County, Minnesota, Volume 2”
(Note: Henry Peterson was Britta's son Henrik, mentioned above.)
“Henry A. Peterson, one of the influential farmers of Sacred Heart township, was born in Sweden, March 1, 1861. His step-father, John Peterson, came to Goodhue county in the early sixties and in 1868 located in section 20, in Sacred Heart township, where he secured a preemption right to 160 acres, later relinquishing it for a homestead of 80 acres. Here he built a log cabin and began breaking the land with an ox team. He used to bring his produce to New Ulm and later to Willmar. Coffee, tea and such luxuries were dispensed with, and in their place were substituted ground wheat for coffee, or toasted bread crumbs and berries were used in making tea. He had two cows which he had brought with him from Goodhue county. He improved his farm, bought more land, increasing it to 280 acres and built new buildings
Mr. Peterson was interested in the public affairs of the township and held the position of supervisor several terms. He also served on the school board. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and the first services of that church were held in his cabin. John Peterson died in 1883, at the age of forty-six years, and his wife died at the age of sixty-six years.”
John Peterson's birth year according to the US censuses was about 1843, and according to the above bio would have been around 1837.
I found him in the 1880 and 1870 censuses in Sacred Heart, the 1875 Minnesota census in Sacred Heart. I also found a John Peterson in the 1860 census in Canon River Falls, Goodhue county, Minnesota that might be him and his parents (Peter and Anna Peterson), but with such a common name, that’s hard to tell.