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 brakets. 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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