Larry Dodge 2014-02-14

Where did Swedish emigrant Peter Mellman come from? And the woman he married in after he came to America? Is the Mellman surname Swedish? Tools used were; Federal Census 1900, 1910, 1920; Nebraska State Census 1885; Emibas; ArkivDigital; Swedish Census 1880; and Emihamn.

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Peter immigrated from Sweden in 1880 and probably married Matilda in Dawson County, Nebraska in 1884. She had immigrated from Sweden in 1883. Larry had found Peter and Matilda in the Federal Census 1900.

Larry Dodge wants to know if Mellman is a Swedish surname and he wants to find the parish(es) in Sweden from which Peter and Matilda emigrated.


I found a public member tree on containing Peter and Matilda and through source I found the dates of birth and death for both of them (Encl 1-5):

Peter Mellman b. 1846-02-04 d. 1915-01-28
Matilda Mellman b. 1853-11-07 d. 1937-09-08

In 1900 the names are Pete Millman and Hilda Millman (Encl 6-7). In 1910 the names are Peter and Tilda (Encl 8-9). In 1920 Peter has died and her name is Tillie (Encl 10-11).

In 1885 their names are Peter and Botella (Encl 12-13).

I cannot find any Peter Millman or Mellman emigrating from Sweden in 1880. Mellman is a very rare surname in Sweden. In 1880 there are less than 10 persons with this name in all of Sweden. Between 1878 and 1926 there are less than 10 persons with this surname in Stockholm. At the same time the immigration records at shows quite a few Mellmans coming from Germany, Poland, Romania. So this name seems to be more common south of Scandinavia.

So, may be Peter changed his name after emigrating to USA. We try that idea by just entering his exact birth date plus 1880 as the year of emigration (Encl 14). This results in only one hit (Encl 15-16):

Per Månsson b. 1846-02-04 in Västra Torup, Kristianstads län

He returns to Sweden from Germany in 1877 (Encl 17-18). Aha! May be he has been confronted with the Mellman name while being in Germany? He moves to Germany in 1871 so his stay there is 6 years long (Encl 19).

We find his parents in his birth record (Encl 20):

Måns Pehrsson in Hissmåsa, Västra Torup
Elsa Jönsdotter in Hissmåsa, Västra Torup

We find the family at Hissmåsa in Västra Torup (Encl 21):

Måns Pehrsson b. 1809-06-02 in Hörja
Elsa Jönsdotter b. 1817-07-10 in Röks
Nils b. 1841-03-13 in Hörja
Bengta b. 1843-04-04 in Hissmåsa, Västra Torup
Pehr b. 1846-02-04 in Hissmåsa, Västra Torup
Johannes b. 1848-04-13 in Hissmåsa, Västra Torup

But is this Per Månsson the same person as Peter Mellman? I now called Larry to ask if he had any further information. And he did! He had a marriage record for Peter and Matilda in which their parents were named! (Encl 22):

Peter´s parents are named Moses Petersen and Else Johnston
Peter´s wife is named Lilda Olsson and her parents Elias Olsson and Johanna Okers.

This is close enough. Moses Petersen actually is Måns Pehrsson. Else Johnston actually is Elsa Jönsdotter. So Per Månsson is the same person as Peter Mellman.

Now we need to find Matilda´s parents in Sweden. Since she emigrated in 1883 she or her parents should be possible to find in the Swedish Census for 1880. I managed to find the right family among 158 Elias Olsson (Encl 23):

Elias Olsson b. 1820 in Hörja, Kristianstads län
Johanna Åkesdotter b. 1823
Telander b. 1864
Augusta b. 1868
Olander b. 1859
Thilda b. 1853

The family lives in Röshult, Hörja.

We find the family in the HER for Hörja. And Thilda´s date of birth is confirmed as 1853-11-07. So we have the right parents (Encl 24). In 1883 both Thilda´s 11 year younger brother, Telander, and herself leaves home to emigrate to America (Encl 25).

Telander leaves Hörja parish 1883-02-26 (Encl 26). He is a farmhand and he leaves the port of Malmö 1883-03-01. He travels alone and his final destination is Densison, IA (Encl 27).

Thilda leaves Hörja parish 1883-08-17 (Encl 28). She is a housemaid and she leaves the port of Malmö 1883-08-22. She travels alone and her destination is New York, NY (Encl 29).


Kjell S Andersson


1 Findagrave. Peter Mellman
2 Findagrave. Peter Mellman´s headstone
3 D:o
4 Findagrave. Matilda Mellman
5 Findagrave. Matilda Mellman´s headstone
6 Federal Census 1900. Pete Millman and family
7 D:o in handwriting
8 Federal Census 1910. Tilda Millman with family
9 D:o in handwriting
10 Federal Census 1020. Tillie Tillman and son
11 D:o in handwriting
12 Nebraska State Census 1885. Peter Tillman and family
13 D:o in handwriting
14 Emibas. Search form with birth date and immigration year only
15 Emibas. Result Per Månsson
16 D:o
17 HER Hörja AI:10 (1876-1881) Image 116 / page 111. Per Månsson
18 HER Hörja AI:10 (1876-1881) Image 118 / page 113. Per Månsson
19 Emibas 1871-04-25. Per Månsson emigrates to Germany
20 BR Västra Torup CI:5 (1824-1854) Image 47 / page 89. Pehr Månsson
21 HER Västra Torup AI:5 (1845-1850) Image 36 / page 66. Måns Pehrsson and family
22 MR Ida Grove, Ida, Iowa 16 Feb 1884. Peter Mellman and Lilda Olson
23 SW Census 1880. Elias Olsson and family
24 HER Hörja AI:10 (1876-1881) Image 198 / page 193. Elias Olsson and family
25 HER Hörja AI:11 (1882-1892) Image 322 / page 318. Elias Olsson and family
26 Emibas 1883-02-26. Telander Eliasson
27 Emihamn 1883-03-01. Telander Eliasson. Destination: Denison, IA
28 Emibas 1883-08-17. Thilda Eliasdotter
29 Emihamn 1883-08-22. Tilda Eliasson. Destination: New York, NY