©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Finding the Hagstrom Connection

I really need to focus on my current project but for some reason or other little mysteries have sidetracked me lately. First it was the Uncle Angus Miller and Granny Kennedy Walker marriage issues resolved by the return to the newly-updated Indiana records on FamilySearch.org mentioned in a previous post. More recently, it has been the “who are the Hagstroms?” question.
Over the years, my mother-in-law, Alice Davey Higgins, mentioned the Hagstrom family in passing. She would tell me she remembered her mother taking her to Elmhurst, Illinois to visit some relatives named Hagstrom. How they were related she had no idea but she knew the older lady as Auntie Hagstrom.
Back in the day, Alice sent Christmas cards to just about everyone she had ever met so she had a pretty extensive address book. In the book were listed Mr. & Mrs. Axel Hagstrom. With what little information I had and, I must admit, the little time I allotted to these questionable relatives, I pretty much eliminated Axel as a relative even though he was from Sweden and lived in Marquette County, Michigan. He just didn’t seem to connect with Alice’s Mom’s Ellstrom family.
So I put the Hagstroms out of my mind and went on to more pressing issues. Until last week that is when I starting working with some scans I’d made with my FlipPal a while ago. I was renaming, adding captions and, generally, organizing them. Among these scans were three of the Hagstrom women. They consisted of Olga, Teckla, and Auntie! BAH!! However, on the back of one photo was the address in Elmhurst.
Olga, Hannah, and Teckla Hagstrom

Olga Hagstrom

Hannah (Christiansen) Hagstrom

Why this got me going again I don’t know but, for one thing, I wanted to find out: who was “Auntie” and what was her given name? Armed with the other names and the address, I went first to the census records and there with her girls was Hannah or Hanne depending on the census year. Axel had died in 1917 in Chicago so I easily found his death record but it wasn’t much help in my quest.
Because I now knew that Teckla (by the way Teckla is also the given name of Alice’s Mom’s sister) was born in Michigan in 1878, I went to the Michigan records on FamilySearch.org and found the marriage of Abel [sic] A. Hagstrom and Hannah Christiansen. He was born in Sweden and she was born in Denmark.
This, my dear friends, is the AHA moment!!  You see, Alice’s grandfather was Hans Christiansen from Denmark. This is looking good.
I went to the folder I have of research done by my husband’s cousin, Kay Davey*, to see if a connection could be made there. It turns out, based on Kay’s work, Hanne was most likely Hans’ half-sister. They had different fathers; however, both men were named Christian. How’s that for coincidence? Hanne’s birthdate in the Danish records is the same as what is recorded on her death record.
I know there’s a lot more work to be done to be absolutely sure about this connection but, for now, it will suffice for me as I really must get back to my Leisure project!
*Kay Davey died 09 Mar 2012 and boy do I miss her! We shared an interest in family history and she was a wonderful researcher.

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