History of Swan Johnson Family of Nance County, Nebraska, January 1936

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In 1936, Lena Johnson Schlichtemeier — granddaughter of Swan and Kjerstin Johnson, being the eldest child of their eldest child — wrote this history of her family. J. W. Johnson, her brother (also known as John William or Billie) assisted her in this project. Typed copies of the family history were given to people in the family. I received my first copy of the history from my mother, who probably got it from her mother. In August 1997, my mother and I visited the descendants of Lena Johnson Schlichtemeier in Nehawka, Nebraska, where my mother received another, expanded copy of the text. In 1998, I posted this content on the Rootsweb freepages. Now, I am bringing this content to GenealogyMedia.com in order to have all my research and transcriptions together in one place. In the process, I am correcting typographical errors that I have made. I am not making any changes to the text Lena Schlichtemeier prepared.

If you look closely, you will notice that some of the dates in this document are after the January 1936 date of publication that appears on the cover. Lena and/or someone else has added to this document over time. The most significant additions include information on the deaths of Thilda Johnson (Lena’s mother), Nels Johnson (Lena’s uncle and my great grandfather), Minnie Johnson (Lena’s aunt), and Billy Johnson (Lena’s brother and assistant on her family history project). The copy I have used for my source for this electronic version is one given to my mother by Stuart Schlichtemeier in August of 1997. This is the most complete version I have seen, and is the one that includes all of the additions noted, in the text as well as Billy’s obituary. Nothing seems to have been removed from any previous version, only appended. The two copies I have only differ in that one has more of these additions than the other.

Much that is preserved here is straight from the mouths of the family members the document describes. Lena was the eldest child of Swan and Kjerstin’s eldest child, so she knew most of these people, and did much of this research directly with the people she was writing about. Lena writes with a wit and a sensitivity to detail that help send us back to rural Nebraska and the Johnson homestead near the town of Genoa in Nance County. In terms of accuracy, the text has borne out remarkably well. Time and again, I have been able to confirm with documentation contemporaneous to the event, the correctness of one of Lena’s undocumented statements of fact.

Comments by the editor and page numbers are indicated by red type enclosed in brackets. Portions of the text that seem to have been added after the stated publication date are indicated with green type.

Please let me know if this document helps you in your ancestral search.

Jordan Jones

Transcription © 1998, 2011 Jordan Jones

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