Stories from the Muddy

Please feel free to email me anytime with questions or additional story elements.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mattias and the Knight of Livonia

By Naomi Lewis

(A fictional children's story based on the Klingspor family history). 

            The flag was a black wild boar on a field of red – the coat of arms of the family Klingspor of ancient Livonia.
            The 1400's were a dangerous time when kingdoms formed like raindrops on flower petals, first one alliance and then another.  Stefan von Klingspor was a famous knight, defending the borders of the homeland. 
            Mattias watched his father from the safety of the yellow meadow, sitting among new sunflowers and clusters of what looked like small, pale blue daisies, waiting for his father to notice him.  From a distance, Mattias admired his father's red and black uniform as he moved among his men and horses.  He couldn't wait to wear such a uniform.
            Mattias loved the sound of pennants flapping in the wind, loved the way the wind made the tree tops on both sides of the road touch in the middle, reminding him of the butterfly kisses his mother gave him when she flicked her eyelashes on his cheeks and nose.  He giggled when he was four.  But now he was six and armed with a sword in his belt – only a wooden sword with a blunt silver tip, but Mattias had polished it until it shined.
            As the Knight, his father, noticed him, Mattias waved.  The silver-tipped blade of his sword glazed the sunflowers as he walked slowly toward the road.  What looked like clusters of small, blue daisies a moment before, erupted into a cloud of pale blue butterflies.  Mattias raised his arms and his father lifted him up among the flying flowers.
            "They are the color of your eyes, my son, and what a color they are," Stefan von Klingspor said.
            "My blade is ready for battle," said Mattias, "If you will have me."
            "I will be proud to have you by my side, my son," his father said.
            As father and son passed through the meadow, flowers became butterflies as blue as Mattias's eyes.
            Mattias wanted to hear about the battle over and over.  His father helped him make puppets of straw to act out the story for his mother, Brigitta, when she had finished preparing a stew for their supper.
            In his mind, Mattias saw his enemy pounding across the frozen sea to invade their homeland.  He had heard ice break on the river behind their farm as his father walked where he should not be able to walk.  It sounded like croaking frogs and thunder.  He imagined the heavy boots of the invader tramping the ice, making holes where bubbles escaped.
            Mattias stared into his soup bowl, imagining pearl onions were the shrunken eyes of his enemies, and new carrots their withered fingers.  He ate them with pleasure.
            After supper, in the light of the evening fire, Mattias rehearsed the battle again for his mother.  "The invaders ran deeper onto the ice," Mattias said, pushing his straw puppets across the table his mother had cleared for a stage.  "The thin ice collapsed under the weight of their heavy armor and they drowned."  For dramatic effect, Mattias tossed the straw puppets into the dying fire where they flamed to life again.  He laughed when his father tickled him.  "The end," Mattias yelled.
            His mother tucked the feather comforter around his chin.  The last thing Mattias remembered was feeling his father's kiss on his forehead as he fell asleep.  How he loved it when his father came home.
            The next morning when Mattias ran to the road, his father's Regiment was gone.  Only a Page remained to deliver a message.  "Te Knight, your father, asked me to tell you that he could not take you with him, but he will return for you."
            Mattias stared into the eyes of the Page.  "How shall I know this is a true message?"  Mattias asked.  "The Knight, your father, asked me to remind you about the butterflies that rise as your blade passes through the meadow.  They are the color of your eyes."
            Mattias quickly brushed a tear from his cheek and sniffed. "It is a true message," he said, finally.
            The Page mounted his horse and rode away.  Mattias drew his wooden sword and walked through the meadow in the midst of butterflies the color of his eyes.  He stood guard on the road where the trees kissed in the middle, planning for the day he would go with his father to defend their homeland.

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A Dolly For Gladys

By Naomi Lewis

Gladys held her mother’s gloved hand.  The snow under their feet sounded like croaking frogs.  The little girl laughed.  She looked around her mother’s swaying coat at her twin brother, Glen, holding their mother’s other hand.

 The four year old babies, dressed in look-alike red coats, could have passed for Santa’s helpers on their way to join their neighbors at church on Christmas eve.  As they went inside, their cheeks tingled with warmth.  They clung to each other when their mother led them to  a crowd of excited children.

Herschel, Glen and Gladys Gates
            When Santa came bounding into the room in his red suit and long white beard, Gladys and Glen flew over the pew to their mother, scared of his frightful appearance and loud, “Ho, ho, ho.”

            The Christmas tree was loaded with gifts, but only one caught Gladys’ eye and held her entranced – a dolly in a velvet dress that matched her own red coat with a fur collar and little suede boots.  How she longed for that doll.

            After cookies and songs and an endless program, Gladys’ eyes were still enraptured with the dolly hanging on the tree – the doll her folks had brought for her without her knowing.

            Santa began handing out presents.  “Glen Gates,” Santa
called and lifted an engine and caboose off the tree.  Glen looked
at Gladys.  Their eyes were wide with excitement.  Glen hesitated,
but finally, his desire for the prize overcome by his fear of the big
 man dressed in red and white.

           When Glen ran back with his train, he fell into his mother’s arms.  As much as Gladys wanted to touch the train, she never turned her eyes from the doll hanging on the tree.

            As Santa called out each child’s name – tops, pop guns, trucks and teddy bears all disappeared into the arms of waiting children.  Each time a child’s name was called, Gladys held her breath, afraid the doll would disappear.
           To Gladys, the gift-giving seemed to take forever.  All the names were called and all the presents were gone, except the dolly still hanging in its place.  Gladys knew her name had not been called.  She looked at her mother and glanced at her dad.  She forgot to breathe in her fear and anticipation.  Gladys had only one desire in the world  – to have that dolly for her own.

           Santa shouted a loud, “Ho, ho, ho,” making Gladys jump, as he lifted the doll from its bough and stared at the tag.  The room was hushed.  One couldn’t even hear a jingle or a jangle, a plop or a peep. 

           “The last gift is for Santa.  I always wanted a little girl of my own,” Santa said, laughing.

           Tears welled up in Gladys’ eyes and sprang over, rolling down her cheeks onto her folded hands.   A child could not have been more disappointed after watching so long and waiting so patiently. 

Gladys Louise Gates

            Then Santa came to kneel in front of her.  “Do you think I would have forgotten you, little one?” Santa asked.  “This dolly belongs to Gladys Gates.”  The crowd clapped and Gladys couldn’t help the squeal that escaped her open mouth.  She reached out, her sadness turning to rapture, as Santa laid the dolly in her arms.  

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Edward Earl Gates I

Edward Earl Gates I

            Edward Earl Gates was born in Whitestown, Oneida County, New York, November 23, 1839.  He married Emma L. Thurston from Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, July 2, 1862.  She was born in England, July 12, 1840.  They were blessed with six children.  Two died as infants.  The oldest living child was Alfred Russell, who was born in Hamilton, Madison County, New York, and their second child was Nina Emma who was born in Trenton, Oneida County, New York.

They moved their home and business from Oneida County New York (footnote Hill Onidah is mentioned twice in the Book of Mormon, Alma 32:4 where Alma taught a multitude of people and Alma 47:5, called the Place of Arms) to Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri between July 1867 and July 1870, wagon load at a time.  Three children were born to them there.  Rupert, who died at two days old, Allen Leonard also died within the first year after his birth, and Lamont Addison who lived a long life.  Opal Iona (this is my great aunt Opal who passed down the heirloom letter) was born at Shariton, Missouri, August 9, 1875.  Emma Thurston Gates died, October 12, 1879, when little Opal was only four years old.

            After the grieving for Emma, E.E. married a beautiful, good, and lovely woman of Swedish descent, Augusta Gorman.  Augusta is the daughter of Charles Gorman and Fredrica Peterson Gorman, born October 4, 1881 or 1882.  She was a wonderful organist and a religious Methodist.  Nina and Opal sang in the choir when they were old enough.

Augusta Gorman Gates

On the ranch in Marceline, Linn County, Missouri, Augusta and Edward were blessed with four sons:  Edward Earl who became a rancher (Ed Yates), Mark Gorman, a doctor, Clarence Lee, a businessman, and their youngest, Mercer H. in memory of his mother's family.

Inset, Mercer. Back row Lamont Addison, Nina, Opal
Front row Mark Gorman, Clarence Lee and
Edward Earl II

Mark drowned when he was hunting with some other doctors.  Mercer died from tuberculosis after being gassed by Germans in World War I.

Edward was a cobbler by trade, and spent years making women’s fancy shoes.  He was a fine shoe maker and harness maker, his son told me.  He was a small man, but knew jujitsu and could defend himself.  He also played violin.  Grandad told this about his father.  When they fed the stock in winter, it was so cold, ice caked on their face.  Edward came in where Augusta had a warm fire to thaw himself out over the stove, eat, and go back out.  Grandad was just a boy, but he was always with his fathers. His dad said, "That little kid is the best hand I've ever had."

Edward Earl Gates I in his shop in LaHarpe, KS

In August 2004, I, Naomi, traveled through Kansas where Edward Earl Gates I and William Sigler lived and were buried.  I visited the the Iola, Kansas library and found their obituaries on microfilm.  This news article gave many details about their live, including the fact that Edward Earl Gates, rose out of sleep to tell the family he was saved right before he passed away. 
This short notice in the Iola Register, about Edward Earl's death, dated Thursday Evening, October 15, 1925:

            Friends of Mr. E.E. Gates will be sorry to learn of his serious illness and will hope for his speedy recovery.

I also found the obituary for E. E. Gates:

            Edward Earl Gates was born in New York Mills, N.Y., November 23, 1839, and was united in marriage to Miss Emma Thurston, July 1864.  To this union were born three sons and two daughters.  The living are: Alfred I. Gates, Utah; Mrs. Nina E. Shriver, Bolivar, Mo.; Lamont A. Gates, Mont.; Mrs. Opal I. Bibens, Kincaid, Kansas.

His wife, Emma Thurston, died October 12, 1879.

            Edward Earl Gates was united in marriage with Miss Augusta J. Gorman, October 4, 1884.  To this union were born four sons, Edward E. Gates, (Grandad) Saguache, Colo.; Mark D. Gates, Santa Monica, Calif.; Clarence Gates, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mercer H. Gates, Santa Monica, Calif.

             When about 24 years old Brother Gates was converted and united with the Baptist church.  After   moving to Bolivar, Mo., he united with the Methodist Episcopal church and remained a member until death, living a consistent Christian life.  He was a faithful husband, a devoted father, a real friend, and enjoyed the esteem and respect of his neighbors.

            His hold on God and hope of immortality was very strong.  The paralytic stroke which he sustained about a year ago made it very hard for him to talk, but he tried to talk at the end which was caught a sentence at a time.  He said, "I am saved," then asked each one present if they were saved.  Later he expressed a wish for the salvation of his sons and said, "I'm glad it is over," and then said goodbye, "God bless you" and was gone.  Quietly and peacefully the end came at , Tuesday evening, October 13, 1925, aged 85 years, 10 months and 20 days.

The funeral services were conducted by his pastor, Rev. W. L. Morris in the LaHarpe Methodist church, Thursday at , and interment was in the LaHarpe cemetery.

This notice also appeared:

The sympathy of the many friends of Mrs. E. E. Gates goes out to her in her bereavement in the loss of her dear husband who passed away October 13, 1925.

This notice appeared in the "LaHarpe News Notes" in the Iola Register, Friday Evening, October 16, 1925:

Funeral services for Mr. E. E. Gates, whose death occurred Tuesday night about , were held Thursday afternoon at from the home, with the Rev. W. L. Morris officiating, and burial was made in the LaHarpe cemetery.

Augusta Gorman Gates

Edward Earl Gates I, died October 13, 1925 in LaHarpe, Allen County, Kansas. Augusta Gorman Gate's, Grandad Ed Gates (Yates) mother, died February 20, 1939 in Los Angeles, California where she was living with her son, Clarence.  We have two beautiful photographs of her.  One as a young woman and the other when she was older.

            My great grandfather, Ed Yates (Edward Earl Gates, Jr.) who we children called Grandad, said, "I never knew a harder working man than my father, Edward Earl Gates." 

Edward Earl Gates II (Ed Yates)

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The Gormans - The Swedish Connection

By Naomi Lewis

Fredrica Christina Peterson

Fredrica Christina Peterson, the second daughter of Peter Fredrikson and Brita Carolina Svensdotter, was born March 3, 1828 in Vimmerby, Kalmar, Sweden.  Her older sister is Anna Stina Petersdotter who was born March 3, 1826.

           On December 29, 1849, she married Carl Johan Gardman by pastor A. Lindal in Vimmerby, Kalmar, Sweden.
                        The men in Carl's father were military man who served many years in the Swedish Army.  The King of Sweden, wishing to reward one of his ancestors for valiant service, changed his name from Johnson to Gardman.

                       After their first daughter, Christine Caroline, was born, the couple left Kalmar, the garden county of Sweden, for New York.
            My mother, Betty Louise Gentry, corresponded with their Grandson, Charles Gorman in Laddonia, Missouri. He is my great grandfather Edward Earl Gates' Cousin.  I pieced this story together from items sent to Mom by Charles Gorman who must have been named after his Grandfather. 

           Charles Gorman was born Carl Johan Gardman, June 18, 1824 in Malilla, Kalmar, Sweden to Jonas Peter Gardman and Christina Sophia Hellgren. 

            Charles and Fredrica settled in Chautauqua County, western New York, where Augusta, Levi, Martin, Frank, Albert, Emma, and Ellen, were born.  About 1861, when Charles was 37, they left Lake Chautauqua for a farm he bought in Laddonia, Audrain County, Missouri.  The Civil War broke out, so it appears Charles went back to New York, and enlisted at Mayville with his friends in Company H, 112th Regiment of the Regiment of Infantry Volunteers of New York, on August 30, 1862.  He followed in his ancestor’s footsteps, becoming a military man. 

Charles Gorman

           Charles was in Suffolk, Virginia in 1863, then Fortress Manor, Virginia in June of 1864 soon after the "Battle of Cold Harbor."  He was present at the different battles around Petersburg, Virginia.  He was discharged at Buffalo, New York, July 3, 1865.  (Mary and Fanny were born in Missouri after the war).

            When Charles left for the war, Fredrica had eight children to raise and a farm to run.  She taught the native women to bake light bread, they only knew how to bake biscuits.  She also taught them to make corn pone.

            Fredrica sent one of her daughters, Ellen, at the age of ten, to live with a family in Mexico, Missouri, 20 miles from Laddonia.  They all had their picture taken at Graham studios before the war.  For some reason, no one went to get her back.  She worked hard, and by the time she finished high school and college, her health wasn't very good.

            Ellen married Mr. Charles Wheeler.  It was a struggle to feed so many mouths as the children came along, and Mrs. Wheeler also lived with them.  It is said they were as poor as "Job's turkey."  The record mentions an Aunt May coming through to visit on her way to Laddonia and asked to take Ellen's oldest daughter who was five, with her.  She had a wonderful time.  Her Uncle Frank and Uncle Levi took her with them everywhere they went, hand in hand.  They went to town every day to pick up the mail, they fed the hogs, and milked the cows.  She couldn't talk enough about them when she returned.

While Charles was in the war, he wrote a letter to Christine Caroline:

In the field.
June 8th, 1864

Aficenate Doter,
            I received your letter dated May 29th.  Was glad to hear that you and the rest of my family ware injoying good health.  My health is very good—much better than could be expected under the present circumstance.

            It is nearly six weeks a go that we started on the present campaign and I do not think that we have one nights wrest since that time.  We had a pretty severe ingagement the other day.   It was the hardest that I had been in since I had ben in the sirves, but thank God I came out safe.  The regiment lost pretty severely in cilld and wonded.  One hundred fifty eight kild, wonded, and missing.  Amonste them our commander, Cornel Drake.  He was wonded on the battle field and since died.

            Your father wishes you to read the letters to your mother for he can not get eney one to write Swede for him for the Swede boys that were in the reg't are cild or wonded.  I have not much time to tell you at this time only that the ware may come to a speedey close and that I may be prmeted to return home agin.  Please write as often as convenent.

            Charles died May 20, 1897 in Laddonia, Audrain County, Missouri.  After his death, Fredrica received a pension of $6.00 a month from the government for his military service.  His brother, Adolf Fredrik Gorman stood up for Fredrica after Charles' death:
State of Iowa
Webster County

            I, Adolf F. Gorman, being duly sworn do say upon oath that I am a resident of Webster county, Iowa.  That my Post Office address is Gowrie, Webster County, Iowa.  That I am 57 years of age, that I was born in Sweden and that I am a brother of Charles Gorman, late a private of Company H, 112 Regiment, New York Volunteers.

            That my brother died in May 1897, in Laddonia, Missouri.  I further certify that my said brother, Charles Gorman and Fredrica Peterson were married in Vimmerby,     Sweden, in the year AD 1850 and that I was present at the time of their marriage and that neither one of the parties had been previously married and that they lived together as man and wife until his death.

            I further certify that my Sister-In-Law, Mrs. Charles Gorman, has not remarried since the said Charles Gorman's death.  This was witnessed on September 18th, 1897.

Fredrica died December 2, 1917 in Laddonia, Missouri.

            I, Naomi, visited Laddonia in 1976 and saw the flat, rich fields meant for growing corn.  There was a lake, but the picture I took didn't do it justice.  It was just a moment in time, but I was forever connected to a piece of my history and kindred--the Gorman family.  I came home to Provo, Utah, and hired a genealogist to search for the family in Sweden and she found them back into the 1730's in the Kalmar Lan or county of Sweden.  Charles Gorman was born Carl Johan Gardman.  His daughter August Gorman is Grandad Edward Earl Gates (Ed Yates) mother.  Grandad couldn't say enough good about his mother.  A picture of her hung on his bedroom wall all the time I knew him.  He died May 11, 1980 at 96.

Augusta Gorman

          I found the following ancestors of Fredrica Christina Peterson at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City during the summer of 2006.  These are the ancestors of Augusta Gorman, Edward Earl Gates wife.  (The histories were translated from the original texts by Margarita Choquette at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah).


            Wathier De Besche is the first known De Besche.  He was alive in 1397 and was of Dutch nobility.  He lived at Liege, Belgium.  His wife was Johanna De Borne.

            His son was named Henrik.  Henrik was alive in 1448 and was married to Maria Montage.  His son was also named Henrik and was alive in 1488.  His wife's name was Johanna De Roxelle.  Their son, Vilhelm De Besche, was an architect for the elector of Koln.  Vilhelm died October 8, 1567.  He's buried in St. Lambert's Church.  I don't know yet where that is.

            Vilhelm's son was Gillis De Besche.  He was born  August 24, 1548 in Liege, Belgium.  He was living in 1606 in Nykoping, Ostergotland, Sweden.  He was married to Helena De Besche, a relative, also born in Liege, Belgium.  We are descended through Gillis' third son, Hubert De Besche who was born in 1582.

            Hubert studied architecture and mining.  He was an architect and merchant.  He was made a nobleman by Kaiser Fredrick III.  Hubert was called by King Carl the 9th from Liege, Belgium to Sweden.  He went into business with Louis de Geer.  They built foundaries and made the best steel in Europe.  Their process burned off more sulpher, so it was highly regarded and sought after.  Hubert owned a factory where they made canons.  He was the contractor who built Grupsholm, a big castle.  In Dec of 1609, he was building the German Church tower in Stockholm.  In 1613-1618, he was the contractor who built the Stockholm Castle.  He had a special privilege.  He didn't have to pay customs.  He was a contractor at the harbor of Stockholm and built Nykoping Castle in Ostergotland, Sweden.  Hubert is buried at Tuna Church in Sodermanland.  His gravestone has the coast of arms with three fish.  He was married to Maria Rochet from Languedoc, France.  She's buried under the same stone as her husband.

            We are descended through their son, Gillis De Besche, who was born, July 26, 1624 in Guldsmedshyttan, Lindesbergs, Orebro, Sweden.  Guldsmedshyttan translated means, goldsmith's hut.  That can't be bad.  He was naturalized in 1692 and was a Lord of Works.  Gillis was the wealthiest plant owner in Sweden at the time.  He died August 1, 1709 in Tunaberg, Sodermanland and is buried in St. Nicolai Church in Nykorping, Ostergotland, Sweden.  His wife was Christina Moller.

            Their son Isak De Besche, was born February 26, 1663 in Navekvarn, Bjorkviks, Sodermanland, Sweden.  He owned a big manor.  Isak died April 10, 1719 in Nykoping, Ostergotland, Sweden and is also buried at St. Nicholai Church, Nykoping, Ostergotland, Sweden.  His wife was Christina Sabina von Berchner, his step-mother's sister's daughter.  They had seven children.  Our ancestor is Gerard Georg De Besche, born March 12, 1702 in Ottinge, Lofta, Kalmar, Sweden, his wife was Maria Christina Ehrenkrona.  Their daughter Ulrica Juliana De Besche, married Lieutenant General Carl Henrich Klingspor, the highest ranking officer in the Kalmar, Sweden Regiment.


            There was a Knight in the 1200s in Livland (Ancient Estonia and Latvia) mentioned in medieval transactions in Holstein and Hamburg northern Germany.  The first Klingspor we have record of is Stafan Hermansson von Klingspor, who lived in 1460.  His coat of arms was a black wild boar on a field of red.  His wife was Brigitta von Donhoff.  His son was Mattias von  Klingspor from Klingsporhof later of Probstinghof, Uexkulls, Riga, Latvia, who was a councilor in Poland and was alive in March of 1536.  He died August 22, 1538.  His wife was Margareta von Bergen.

            Mattias' son was Stefan von Klingspor from Klingsporhof in Ambotten, Riga, Latvia.  He was alive in 1563.  His son, Johan von Klingspor was of Bandimirshof and came to Sweden in 1563 as a Page for Catharina Jagellonica, the Polish Princess, daughter of Adolph Gustav II.

            Stafan's son was Johan von Klingspor, born in 1578 in Livland or the current Estonia/Latvia.  He is buried at Vallentuna church outside Stockholm.  He was married to Margareta von Buddenbrock.  Their son and our ancestor was Major General Staffan Klingspor, born August 26, 1611 in Uppsala, Sweden.  This was either the beginning or continuation of a very high-born military family.

            Major General Staffan Klingspor became a naturalized Swede in 1633.  He conquered Lund which is the southern strip of what is now Sweden, but was once shared with Denmark.  He was in the Polish war in 1650.  He was distinguished by extraordinary bravery.  Ballsta, a large farm or manor came to him along with Wolslava, a village in Ingermanland county, where Petersburg is now in Russia.  He was buried with great pomp at Ridderholm Church, in Vallentuna, an island off Stockholm.  Here there are 16 coat of arms of our ancestors.  He was buried in an expensive copper coffin.  In 1855, his coffin was opened and he was still perfectly preserved.  He was wrapped in white silk and black velvet and wore a silver ring.

            Staffan's son, Christian Ludvig Klingspor is our ancestor.  Christian Ludvig was born Sept 1, 1657  in Uppsala, Sweden, and died January 2, 1699 in Jonkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden.  He is buried in Bankeryds Church in Jonkoping.  His wife was Henrica de Moucheron whose father was a court chancellor.  The de Moucheron family originated at Castle Boulay in Normandy, France.

            Their son and our ancestor, is Staffan Klingspor, born May 1, 1690.  He died July 25, 1766 in Lidhem, Locknevi, Sweden where his coat of arms hangs.  He was wounded in the Battle of Halsingborg.  He was married to Ursula Christina von Stegling.

            Their son was Lieutenant General Carl Henrich Klingspor.  He was born January 9, 1715 in Askeryd, Askeryd, Sweden.  He died in Vimmerby, Kalmar, Sweden in 1774.  Carl Henrich was married to Ulrica Juliana De Besche. He Was the highest ranking officer in the Kalmar Regiment.

            We are descended through their son, Lieutenant Fredrick Wilhelm Klingspor who was born August 3, 1769 in Winketomta, a large manor near Vimmerby, in Kalmar County, on the south east coast of Sweden.  He married about 1797 to Stina Mansdotter.  We are descended through their son, Peter Aberg Fredrickson who was born August 16, 1798 in Grinderum, Frodinge, Kalmar, Sweden. Peter Fredrickson died April 22 1834 at Winketomte.  He married Brita Carolina Svensdotter, December 10, 1825.  She was born March 13, 1804 in Vimmerby, Kalmar, Sweden.

            Peter and Brita's daughter, is our Fredrica Christina Peterson, born March 3, 1828 in Vimmerby, Kalmar, Sweden. Fredrica Christina, married Charles Gorman and immigrated to the United States where she died on December 2, 1917 in Laddonia, Audrain, Missouri.

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