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Earl R. and Janice B. Swanson family papers, 1808-1997

Size: 8 linear feet, 21 boxes

Acquisition: Donated to SSIRC in 1995, 1996.

Access: The Collection is open for research. A limited amount of photocopies may be requested via mail. Photographs can be reproduced and purchased upon request.

Processed by: Christina Johansson

Control Num.: SSIRC P:287

Biographical note

Earl R. Swanson was born on May 26, 1921 on the Nels Swanson Farm, two miles south of Reilly in Vermillion County, Illinois. The dwelling on this farm was razed in 1992. He spent his childhood on the Eriksson Farm between East Lynn and Rankin, also in Vermillion County. He attended grade and high school in East Lynn and graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture in 1943.

During WW II he served as an infantry platoon leader with the 25th (Tropic Lightning) Division in Luzon, Philippine Islands. He farmed with his father on the Erikson Farm from May 1946-September 1947. He received his M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from University of Minnesota in 1948 and a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics from Iowa State University in 1951. During the summer of 1948 he attended summer school at the University Oslo, Norway and then visited relatives in Sweden before returning to the United States.

He joined the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois in 1950 and taught farm management until being recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict. He served in the U.S. Army as Captain in the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 in Washington, D.C. In 1951 he married Janice Beckstrom. The couple has three children and three grandchildren.

Returning to the U. of Illinois in 1952, he remained on the faculty of the Dept. of Agricultural Economics until retirement in 1984. His teaching and research dealt with the economics of agricultural production. During 1958-59, Swanson was a Fulbright scholar at the Royal College of Agriculture in Denmark. He taught summer school in 1958 at Hokkaido University in Japan, lecturing at Moscow State University and Leningrad State University. He served as Associate Head of the Department of Agriculture Economics, 1968-70. He served as a Ford Foundation consultant at Uttar Pradesch Agricultural University in India 1968. In 1976 he was a Research Scholar in Laxenburg, Austria. He was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Economics and Statistics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 1984.

Government services include membership on advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, and to the Agency for International Development of the Department of State. He participated in agricultural assistance evaluations in Egypt, Mexico and the islands of Antigua and St. Vincent in the West Indies.

Swanson received the University of Illinois College of Agriculture Alumni Award of Merit in 1976. He served as Editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics 1965-68 and was elected a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association in 1977. His professional papers are in the University of Illinois Archives.

Janice Beckstrom Swanson was born on December 5, 1927 in Moline, Illinois to David Fredrick Beckstrom and Lucy Dell Anderson. She attended High School in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island in 1949. While at Augustana she was a member of the choir and Rock Island Fine Arts club. After graduation she worked for the Rock Island County as a youth assistant and later as assistant for the rural sociology extension service at the University of Illinois. After raising the children, she worked part-time at the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. She has been a member of the Grace Lutheran choir of Urbana since 1952. She has also served in many other capacities within the church and the Central/Southern Lutheran Synod.

Scope and content

The collection includes a printed copy of each one of Earl R. Swanson's great-grandparents along with original and copies of documents used for the study. The genealogies are extensive, detailed and well organized with a name index and include both narratives and pedigree charts of the various family branches. The documents support Mr. Swanson's extensive research in Sweden, Denmark and the U.S, and include among others records from churches, emigration documents, land deeds, census, military records, and family correspondence. There are also original portraits and photographs of each branch of the family. For further detail, please see the folder inventory below.

The Beckstrom - Anderson Family History compiled and written by Mrs. Swanson is organized in a similar style family correspondence, church records, and obituaries.

Folder Inventory

Box 1- Eric Gustaf E. Prakt (1812-1889) and Anna S. Magnidotter (1813-1855) family papers

Item 1. Printed genealogy entitled "Ancestors and Descendants of Eric Gustaf E. Prakt and Anna S. Magnidotter of Järsnäs parish, Jönköping County, Småland Province, Sweden "
Item 2. Chart of First -Generation immigrants

Box 1


1. Johannisdotter, Anna Gustafva - copies of church records, census, obituary
2. Erikson, Alice - "A Trip to Denmark, 1959" marriage certificate
3. Erikson, John Alfred Edward and daughter and Erickson, Gladys Elizabeth - newspaper clippings, copy of will, correspondence
4. Prakt, Erik Gustaf and Magnidotter, Anna S. - genealogy, corresp., vital records
5. Erikson, Ludvig - original naturalization papers, marriage certificate, land deed, corresp., copies of vital records, farm title, will
6. Erickson, Ernst Gustaf Hjalmar and children - copies of clippings, corresp.
7. Eriksson, Rut Be Maria; Axelsson, Karl Gustaf; Erlandsson, Ulla - corresp. WWII
8. Eriksson, Johanna - corresp. with Kerstin Wennström - great granddaughter of Johanna Eriksson
9. Erickson, Karl Viktor Erik - corresp.
10. Ericksson, Elsa Tyra Linnea - corresp.
11. Erikson, Oscar - corresp., genealogy charts, divorce decree
12. Eriksson, Anni, Elisabet and descendants - corresp., genealogy
13. Erickson, Knut Leonard - corresp., genealogy

Box 1a - Prakt and Magnidotterfamily photographs


1. Prakt, Eric G.E.; Magnidotter, Anna Stina (first wife); Johansdotter, Anna Gustafva (second wife); Ericson, Otto - portraits
2. Erikson, Ludvig - portraits
3. Erikson, Ludvig and Gustafson, Mathilda - portraits
4. Erikson, Ludvig and Gustafson, Mathilda with family: John Alfred Edward, Alma Olivia, Annie Alida, Alice Wilhelmina, Oscar Ludvig, Esther Mathilda - portraits
5. Erikson, Johan Alfred Edward and Erikson, Gladys -portraits
6. Erikson, Alice; Swanson, Agnes; Swanson, Earl - portraits
7. Erikson, Mildred Francis, William, and Mildred Frances - portraits
8. Erikson, Esther - portraits
9. Erikson farm

Box 2

Prakt and Magnidotter

Family Bibles and hymnals

Box 3

(Prakt and Magnidotter)

Family Bibles and hymnals

Box 4 - Ancestors and Descendants of Sven Larsson Sven Larsson (1819-1860) and Hanna Larsdotter 1830-1893) of Svarte Hjerup, Uppåkra parish, Skåne, Sweden.


1. Jönsson, Lars and Larsson, Sven - Articles: Lunds universitets jordegendomar under 300 år - Lunds Univ. Landholdings During 300 years: The 1200 farms - what became of them? Lunds universitets jordegendomar - Svarte Hjerup 1:1
2. Larsson, Sven - probates from 1860 and 1893, Svarte Hjerup's History
3. Swanson, Nels - Farm transactions in the U.S. (originals and copies)
4. Swanson, Nels - Swedish Postal Service Documents , Auction at Malmö 1883, Probate 1912, Obit. 1912
5. Swedberg, Jöns - correspondence, documents
6. Swanson, Sven August - vital records, clippings
7. Svensson, Bengta - correspondence with descendants in Sweden
8. Swanson, Oscar Emanuel - clipping
9. Larsson, Hulda - corresp., postcards
10. Andersson, Anders - corresp. 1893
11. Simonsson, Hanna; Simonsson, Oscar; Andersson, Sven - Estate settlements, corresp.,

Box4a - Larsson and Larsdotterfamily photographs


1. Swanson, Nels; Hansen, Anna; Swanson, Oscar; Swanson, Mary E.; Swanson, S. Gustaf - portraits
2. Swanson, Oscar and Wahlström, Ellen; Swanson Oscar E.; Swanson, Carl G.A.- portraits
3. Swanson, Mary E. and Brennen, Lotus; Brennen, Maurice - portraits
4. Swanson, S. Gustaf - portraits
5. Swanson, S. Gustaf and Erikson, Alice

Box 5 - Larsson and Larsdotter

Family bibles, hymnals

Box 6

Ancestors and Descendants of Gustaf A. Apelroth (1808-1880) and Anna C. Andersdotter (1818-1898) of Bälaryd parish, Jönköping County, Småland Province.


1. Apelroth, Gustaf Andersson - Corresp., vital records, clippings
2. Andersdotter, Anna Catharina (Karin) - corresp., vital records, genealogy
3. Gustafson, Anders Peter Andrew - naturalization papers, cemetery records
4. Gustafson, Francs Ludvig - naturalization records, corresp.
5. Gustafsson, Anders - corresp., vital records
6. Gustafsdotter, Carolina; Gustafsdotter, Ida; Gustafsson, Carl Oskar - corresp., vital records
7. Gustafson, Mathilda - corresp., vital records
8. Gustafson, Anna Gustafva - corresp.
9. Gustafsson, Carl Johan - vital records, corresp.
10. Gustafson, Ellen - descendant chart
11. Gustafson, Martha - corresp., genealogy tables
12. Erikson, Esther; Gustafson, Frank - estate settlements, corresp.
13. Gustafson, Alfhild; Anderson, Florence - corresp.
14. Erikson, Esther - vital records

Box 6a - Apelroth and Andersdotter family photographs

1. Apelroth, Gustav; Andersdotter, Anna Catharina; Gustafson, Frans Ludvig; Gustafson, Anna Gustafva; Gustafson, Anders - portraits
2. Eriksson, Alfred; Elmer, R.V. Erik, Rut, A. Elin, K. Leonard, Beda, Elsa, Sven Gustaf - portraits
3. Gustafsson, Carl Johan and Turnquist, Dalia; Gustafsson, Ellen, Martha, Carl Elmer, Alfhild, Harry, Lillian, Evelyn, Mildred.

Box 7 - Apelroth and Andersdotter

Family Bibles, devotional literature

Box 8

Ancestors and Descendants of Hans Christensen (1811-1858) and Mette Jensdatter (1818-1880) of Venslev Parish, Sorø County, Denmark.


1. Christensen, Hans and Hansdotter, Maria - corresp., vital records
2. Jensdatter, Mette - corresp., vital records
3. Hansen, Anna -documents, estate settlement
4. Hansen, Christen - corresp., vital records
5. Hanson, Henry; Hanson, Albert - corresp., vital records
6. Hanson, Maria; Hansen, Olga Dorothea; Hansen, Amanda J. Lydia - corresp.


Kök- och hushållnings-bok 1803

Box 8a - Christenson and Jensdatterfamily photographs


1. Hansdatter, Maren and Sorenson Niels; Carolina, Nils Otto, Anna Julia, Carl Oscar - portraits
2. Hanson, Christen, Maria Sofia Elizabeth, Dorothea Olga, Henry, Albert
3. Larsdotter, Hanna - portraits
4. Swanson farm
5. Swedberg, James - portraits
6. Swedberg, Jasper, Genevieve, James, Margaret, Robert - portraits
7. Swedberg, Joseph Lawrence, Dorothy, Wilfred, Mildred, Edwin, Gordon, Carl, Ellen, Mable, Evelyn - portraits
8. Svensson, Bengta and Larsson, Lars, Hulda, Sven, Betty, Lars, Selma, Ellen - portraits
9. Larsson, Hulda and Hanson, August, Selma, Carl, Hans, Ernest, Edith, Malte, Elma, Betty, Ruby
10. Nilsson, Anders and Larsdotter, Hanna - descendants

Box 9


"Family History in Clippings" (bound volume)
"Swanson Family Album" (bound volume)

Box 10

Beckstrom - Anderson Family History


1. Bäckström, Johan - parish records
2. Beckström, Carl Ludvig - letters from Hanson family and others
3. Becktröm, Carl Ludvig - pastoral documents
4. Beckstrom, David F.E. - letters
5. Beckstrom, Gottfrid - letters
6. Beckstrom, Johan Adolf - letters
7. Beckstrom, Allan - genealogy
8. Beckstrom, Florence - letters and genealogy charts
9. Beckstrom, Marie V.E. - letters
10. Beckstrom, Roy Fern Earl - letters
11. Gadde, Sofia - parish records
12. Hanson, John - parish records
13. Hanson, John - letters
14. Hanson, Anna - letters
15. Hanson, Hans - letters
16. Ekvall, Hilma Christina - parish records, emigration register from Oslo (Christiania)
17. Andersdotter, Sara Cajsa - parish records
18. Jonasson, Andreas - name chart
19. Anderson, Robert - genealogy
20 Mitchell , Lucy - vital records
21. Anderson, Isaac King - letters, obit.
22. Anderson, Eliakim - letters
23. Printed genealogy entitled " Beckstrom - Anderson Family History"