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Sod Home, Western Kansas, photo

Genealogy Page of
Ruth Swanson McGowen

Clarence E. Swanson Home, Lovewell, Kansas, photo

From Sweden to America, a Genealogy of the
Swanson - Othberg Families (rev.  Aug 1, 2008)

Scope & Direction.  This segment of my genealogy or family history records my paternal ancestors and related families. I am presently compiling a similar history of my maternal ancestors, which will be published in the future. A brief word about some of the links at the top of this and my other pages:

Introduction.  In the late 1860’s, my grandfather, Johan Fredrik Svensson (age 4), and my grandmother, Anna Maria Christin Othberg (also age 4), departed their native Sweden with their parents and siblings and journeyed to America. Upon their arrival, the Svensson and Othberg families lived for several years in Illinois. In the late 1870s, both families migrated to the White Rock area of Kansas where they established homesteads. Johan (John Fredrick Swanson) and Anna were married on 6 Sep 1887 in Belleville, Kansas.

This genealogy contains historical information about John and Anna and their children, as well as their ancestors dating back as far as the year 1273. The pre-1590 ancestry relies on evidence that Pehr Bengtsson Norby (my Gotland, Sweden, ancestor and 7th great-grandfather) is a descendant of Sören Norby, Danish Grand Admiral and governor of Gotland, through his son and grandson, Oluf Sörensen Norby and Bengt (Bent) Olufsen Norby, respectively.

Difficult Areas.  The reader should bear in mind that proof of Swedish or Danish ancestry prior to 1650 is extremely difficult. Traditional evidence such as birth, marriage, death, wills, probate and land records are almost non-existent. The genealogy researcher is left with oral family history handed down from generation to generation, historical accounts, legend, and circumstantial evidence.

The Norby line (pre-1590) is a matter about which there has been considerable discussion and differing of opinions among researchers. Those interested in the Norby line and the issues of whether Danish Admiral Sören Norby in fact left descendants on Gotland may wish to read the research note entitled, “Ancestry of Pehr Bengtsson Norby,” by Darrell McGowen (rev. Aug. 2008) ("Reports," above).  In the interest of full disclosure, Darrell is my husband.

Accuracy.  It is not an overstatement to say that a genealogy work is never really finished, so it is that this genealogy is a work in progress. I have verified the material at every feasible point, however, due to the nature of this type of research, the possibility of errors remain. When weakness in the evidence has been found, it is noted.  The reader is encouraged to draw his or her own conclusions regarding the evidentiary sustainability of the ancestral relationships set forth herein.

My sincere thanks to all those who over the years have shared their information and photographs with me. It is my belief that this is a family history which should be recorded and shared with future generations - - this is my endeavor toward that end.


My Maternal Ancestors and Related Families
(A Genealogy of the Rickel-Acree Families)
(Under construction)

Ruth Swanson McGowen
[email protected]

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