Thanks for the information you sent. I don't think this Stromberg-Svensdotter couple is the right one, however. Here is what I know about my great-grandfather:
John Swancer was born near Stockholm, Sweden on March 7, 1842, and died in Beaman, IA on Decemer 29, 1907. He came to America with his parents as a youth, settling at Rock Island, IL. The story was that they changed their name from Swansson to Swancer so it would sound less Swedish. Later John went to live with George Simms at Oxford, Mercer County, IL. George Simms' wife was Mary Baltimore, sister of the woman John would later marry. Mary Baltimore's maternal uncle, William Mitchell Herbert, was married to Martha Grace Simms, George's sister.
At the age of twenty John enlisted in Company F, 102nd infantry, and served with Sherman on his famous (or infamous) march to the sea. He was discharged honorably after three years of service on June 12, 1865. He married Amanda Baltimore at Oxford IL on June 12, 1867. Later they moved to Iowa. They had two children, Wm M. (Willie), born September 28, 1869 and died March 4, 1884; and Mary (Mae) Sheldon, my grandmother.
After John Swancer's father died, his mother went to Chicago to live with her daughter, Lottie. Mrs. Swancer and Lottie were burned out in the terrible Chicago fire. Lottie was badly burned and carried the scars to her death. Her mother was trampled in the stampede for safety, and later died from the effects of her injuries. According to information from Mary Nelson Keithahn's family, John had a sister Hannah and a brother George as well.
Funeral Notice --John Swancer Dead
John Swancer, a well-known and much beloved citizen of Beaman and an old veteran of the Civil War, died Sunday about noon after a long illness of kidney trouble and complications. Funeral services today (Tuesday) at 11 o'clock a.m. at the M.E. church Beaman, conducted by Rev. Metcalf. We will publish a sketch of his life in next week's Record.
John Swancer was born near Stockholm, Sweden, March 7, 1942, and died in Beaman, Iowa december 39, 1907. He came to America with his parents when but a youth, the famikly settling at Rock Island. Later he went to live with George Simms at Oxford, Mercer County, IL. When but wenty years of age he responded to his country's call and enlisted in Company F, 102nd Infantry. He served with Sherman on his famous march to the sea and after three years of continuous service, was honorably discharged June 12, 1865. Two years to a day after his discharge, he was united in marriage to Amanda Baltimore, at Oxford, IL. Later he moved to Iowa with this bride where two children were born unto them. The oldest Wm. M. died March 4, 1881 and Mrs. Mary SHeldon who still survives with her mother to mourn his loss.
Deceased departed this life in full faith of a life to come and willing to exchange this life of pain for a home in heaven.
WPA Genealogy Database and Ancestor Research:
Location: CLAY TWP.
County: GRUNDY CO. - IOWA
Record Notes: CO F 102 IL INFT., RANK, PVT., ANDERSONVILLE POST 155. GAR MARKER, LOT 22
Although the family story was that John Swancer was from "near Stockholm," Swedish genealogists have told me that immigrants often said that as it was an easy explanation. It could also mean the city or the province. Here is what I know about Charles J. Strömberg:
1880 US Census: Charles W. Anderson, 55, and Johanna Anderson, 53, are living with Charles and Augusta Stromberg. The census identifies them as father-in-law and mother-in-law of Charles, head of the house. Charles W. Anderson is said to be a printer, and Johanna as at home. Also living in the home are Norwood Holm, 26, a bookkeeper, and Nathaelia Holm, 24, at home. Both are identified as cousins of the Charles Stromberg. Another resident in the household was Olevia Swanson, age 18, identified as a servant. An article about Charles Stromberg in the book Svenskarne i Illinois, published in 1880, commends him for hiring 20 men of immigrant background in his print establishment. The article also mentions his wife Augusta J. Anderson, and their two children (probably Johanna/Annie and Ebba. Charles J. Jr. was not born until 1892.
Picture Evidence: On the back of a picture of Charles Stromberg, Vivian Sheldon Nelson had written "First cousin of John Swancer." The Swancer-Baltimore family album had pictures of Charles, his wife Augusta, and their son Charles, plus pictures of the Sheldon family and Amanda Swancer visiting there around 1907. There iis also an undated picture of the Stromberg home with Charles, Augusta, and Charles (a teen-ager), Hannah (Lottie) Swancer (sister of John), Grandma Swancer (mother of John), and three unidentified people: a man who could be Christian Stromberg, younger brother of Charles, and two women who could be Christian's wife Mathilda and daughter Malinda. This picture would have to have been taken before Charles died in 1904.
Obituary from The [Chicago] Daily News, Monday, March 14, 1904, pg. 11:
Charles J. Stromberg Dead
Head of Printing Firm Dies in South
Charles J. Stromberg, president of the printing house of Stromberg, Allen & Co., and an early pioneer in the printing trade in Chicago, is dead at Fairhope, Ala., whither he was taken in search of health. Mr. Stromberg was 66 years old. The body is expected to reach Chicago tomorrow afternoon. No announcement has been made as yet concerning the funeral.
Mr. Stromberg came to the United States from Sweden when a child. In 1856 he came to Chicago and shorly after entered the employment of a printing and stationery house, with which he remained until 1888, when he resigned as superintendent to found Stromberg, Allen & Co. Prior to the annexation of Lake View he was president of the board of education there. During the civil war he served with a Chicago command.
A widow and one son, Charles J. Stromberg [survive]. The latter succeeded his father in active business several years ago.
Here is what we know about the first Charles Strömberg: Charles J. (Carl J.) Stromberg was a well-known painter/interior decorator from Karlshamn whose work still exists in churches in the Blekinge area. He had at least two apprentices, Ola Nilsson (his wife's brother), and Carl Magnusson (b. 1836) who emigrated with the famly in 1854.
This Charles was the son of Jöns Carlsson (b. 1765 in Gemshög and d. March 12, 1810 in Gylsboda) and Gunnil Pehrsdotter. His wife was Botilla Nilsdotter (b. 1805), daughter of Nils Olsson and Karna Pehrsdotter, and they were married in August 1831.
If you go to http://aforum.genealogi.se/discus/messages/2450/308438.html?...
(This is on Anbytarforum, Emigrants, John Swancer and Charles Strömberg) you will find what genealogists on this free Swedish website have found.
Let me know if any of this leads you anywhere. Thanks for your interest. Mary