Saturday, January 16, 2010

Immigrant Name Change - Swedish Samuelsson

Samuelsson in Sweden
Tinberg in America

It isn’t uncommon for an ancestor to Americanize his name once he hits the American shores. But for August Samuel (Samuelsson) Tinberg, his surname was not Americanized, it was changed.

What was known is that August Tinberg, also known as Gust or Gust, lived in Kansas with his wife Augusta and twelve children. The local news paper obituary in 1966 gave us most of our historical data of Gus. It revealed that he was born in Borae [sic] Sweden 98 years prior, around1868; and, that he first came to Chicago before moving to the Bonner Springs, Kansas area in 1894.
A quick check of local documents, verified some of the information. His 1895 Missouri Marriage license had his name recorded as Gust Tinberg; and, his Declaration of Intention Records to become an American Citizen in 1920 provided his birth date as being the 5 March 1868. However, his birthplace is noted as Gottenberg Sweden. A quick check of immigration records gave us more data. His Petition for Naturalization in 1922 stated his name as August Samuel Tinberg, born in Fristad Sweden, and noted that he emigrated from Gottenberg Sweden in 1891. His port of entry was consistently New York, “on or about 1st day of May.” Unfortunately, the vessel, Majestic, did not have port records for the dates given on the Declaration papers, which was complicated by the fact his Naturalization papers, one year later, stated that he did not know the vessel. So, ship records were not verified for August Tinberg.

With this information in hand, I used Genline, the Swedish Genealogy online database to find August Tinberg. If you haven’t used these records before, know that they are a blessing to all Swedish Researchers. Swedish records efficiently track the births and whereabouts of every citizen. Plus, it is easy to search these records by birth date.

After failed attempts to find any Tinberg’s in Sweden. I changed my research to concentrate on other matches: I needed to find an August, hopefully August Samuel, born on 5 March, 1868, who came to America in 1891. I started my search with birth records in the county of Älvsborg, since it includes both Böras and Fristad parishes.
There was an August, born to a Samuel, on 5 March 1868 in Fristad. However, his last name was Samuelsson. Following this family led me to their movement around Sweden, the death of his father, and August’s eventual move to Böras. The surname Tinberg did not have any association with his profession, his father’s profession or the area on any record.

By his third year in Böras, this August Samuelsson landed in the parish of Kilsund from 1890-1891. On the Kilsund record I spotted the small note on line 24 of the Household Examination of Kilsund next to his name as, in fact, having migrated to “N. “Amerika” in 1891.
My August was verified by his birth date, his birthplace, as stated in his Naturalization papers, and his immigration year to America, even though why and when he changed his surname to Tinberg is not known. Ship records of August could not be verified, even with the name Samuelsson (or Samuelson), and no records for him have been found in Chicago. We only know somewhere in the four years between 1891 when he left Sweden and 1894 when he began working in Kansas his surname was changed.

Although more research to solve this mystery is needed, at least I have verified the surname needed to complete the search.

Hopefully you will have the experience of finding your missing ancestor.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

1 comment:

  1. My father-in-law was born Thure Walfrid Johannesson in Sweden. When he left there at 19, his passport listed his last name as Anderson, and I am wondering how this is possible.