Genealogy Update, The Tree Grows

796! That’s how many people we currently have loaded on our Swanson/Mattson Family tree! Amazing! Our visit to Scandinavia in 2010 really got us started with so much information on the Svensson, Mattson and Brännbäck branches and we have continued to add to this ever-expanding tree! Here’s an update of some of our findings/contacts in 2011-2012:

Brännbäck Branch:

1) Karolena-sister of Anna Brännbäck Mattson:

a) Reconnected with Signe Havumaki (daughter of Karolena; raised by Sofia) and her family—sons Glenn and Bruce and their families. Not totally sure, but Signe may be the only living relative who is a child of the 11 Brännbäck siblings. With the help of the Havumaki family, we also connected with,

b) Gregory, Stephen and Jeffrey Johnson; Greg, Steve and Jeff are sons of John Johnson and grandsons of Karolena.

c) Pat Tysinger, daughter of Helen Johnson and granddaughter of Karolena

2) Sofia-sister of Anna Brännbäck Mattson

a) With the help of the Havumaki family, we gathered information about her husband, William Berg, and the Berg family—including their ministry in area churches

3) Hannah (Johanna)-sister of Anna Brännbäck Mattson

Again with the help of the Havumaki family, we connected with,

a) Gail Schepper Dandrea-daughter of Esther Mattson and granddaughter of Johanna

b) Lorraine Bidell Gigante-daughter of Edith Mattson and granddaughter of Johanna

4) Edward Johnson-brother of Anna Brännbäck Mattson

a) Connected with Sandra Johnson-daughter of Harold Johnson and granddaughter of Edward

5) Ida-sister of Anna Brännbäck Mattson:

a) Discovered that Ida had 1 child, Edith, and 4 grandchildren with two, John and Joyce, still living in the area; we’ve been able to connect with the spouse of Ida’s deceased grandson and we’re in the process of connecting with other living descendants of Ida.

Mattson Branch:

1) Hilda Maria Mattsdotter-sister of Eric Victor Mattson (husband of Anna Brännbäck)

a) Discovered that at least one of Eric’s siblings—Hilda—came to the US and lived in Gardner; Hilda and her husband, John Best, had 11 children; research is ongoing to find any living relatives

What’s next for our Finnish ancestry? We have recently contracted with a Finnish researcher to help us trace our Mattson and Brännbäck ancestors who lived in Finland—as well as any other living relatives in Finland or here in the US.

Svensson Branch:

With the help of relatives we connected with in Sweden, we now have 13 generations documented on our family tree. Again in 2011-12, we:

a) Connected with Brodie Swanson-son of Paul Swanson, grandson of Harry Swanson, great grandson of Hilma Svensdotter. Hilma was Dad’s (Philip Swanson) aunt and sister to Dad’s mother, Emma.

b) Researched-unsuccessfully-the family of Charles Otto Svensson Johnson. Charles’ family lived in the Grand Rapids, MI area; Charles was our father’s (Philip Swanson) sponsor when Dad came to the US. Our family visited with the Charles Otto family in the late 1940s. We continue to try to locate descendants of his children-Rudolph, Russell, Doris and Jack.

In addition to online research, we have also gathered information from visits to state and national genealogical archive sites in Boston and from visits to local cemeteries and libraries. And less we forget our immediate families, we have also documented the descendants of Anna and Erik Victor Mattson—all part of our 796 member family tree!

At the end of March, we’ll be meeting for the 3rd time with some of our new-found cousins—exchanging pictures and stories—and hopefully planning family reunion in the near future!


We all extend our best wishes to Gary Jr and his new bride, Isabeau Renee LaPierre (Swanson).  They married in a civil ceremony on March 2nd, 2012 in Fayetteville, NC (Ft. Bragg) and will have a formal ceremony and reception in Portsmouth on April 13th, 2012.

And, in April 2012, the 1940 Census will be released.