Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surname Saturday – Andersen with an “e”

The Internet Surname Database indicates that this name was derived from the pre Christian Greek form of the personal name of “Andreas” meaning “manly”.  It was also held by Christ’s first disciple,  Andrew. 

Our Andersen surname comes by way of Scandinavia.  Family lore and Canadian census records show that my great grandfather was from Norway.  Unfortunately, Wikipedia states that the form Andersen is the fifth most common surname in Norway and Denmark.  This makes it a little more challenging for someone trying to research her family lines back to the Old Country.

Some other spelling variations include:  Anderson, Andersonne, Andersoun, Andersson, Andison, Andresen, Andresson, and Andrewson.  But my father always insisted our name was Andersen with an “e”.  He was proud of his heritage and felt that this was how we showed our Nordic roots.

Here is what I know of our Andersen family line:
Frank Albert Andersen
"Albert" Victor Andersen or (Frank Albert Andersen) was born 17 Apr 1876 in Norway.  (My dad always spoke of his grandfather as “Albert” and was surprised when I found out that his first name was listed as “Frank” in the cemetery.)

At 18 and of medium statue, Albert’s Scandinavian blue eyes melted the heart of 17‑year old Mary Jane Johnson (possibly May Johanssen) from Canada and they were married in 1894.  Mary's father, Charles Johnson was listed in the 1881 Canadian census that he was from Norway and her mother was Canadian-English.

On the 5th of July 1895 in the city of Montreal, the first of their six children, Frank Victor, (my grandfather) was born.
Then, on 23 September 1897, their daughter Lillian May was born.

Between the years of 1898 and 1899, the family emigrated from Canada to the United States, probably down through Vermont since the family was found on the 1900 U.S. Census records in Barre, Vermont.


In March of 1900, they have their second daughter, Flora. (Flora must have died early because she does not appear in later records.)  This same year, the census shows Frank, May, and the family renting a house on Maser Street in Barre, Washington County, Vermont. Frank is working as a machinist.  (Many others on the census page are working as granite cutters and so it’s quite possible that Frank was working in one of local granite quarries as well.)

In 1902, the couple had another daughter and named her Ruth MayThen, sometime within the next five years, the family moves to Massachusetts, and in 1908, Helen May is born.

By 1910 Frank is 33 years old and May is 31.  Frank, May, and their four children are living on Poplar Street in Danvers, Massachusetts at the time of the 1910 U.S Census.  He is employed as a machinist at a machine shop.  A year later, their second son William C. is born.

In 1918, the World War I Draft Registration card dated September 12, 1918 shows that Frank Albert Anderson and the family living at 18 Bridge in Beverly, Essex, MA. He is employed as a machinist at the United Shoe Machine Corporation in Beverly.

1920 U.S. Census records show Frank and May renting a home on Bridge Street in the city of Beverly, Massachusetts.  Frank’s first papers have been filed for naturalization and he is working as a (lattie?) machinist in a machine shop.
My cousin, Don Richardson, went to the Salem City Clerk’s office and found out that Frank A. Anderson, who was employed as a die maker/machinist, died at Shirley Hospital in Detroit, Michigan on April 15, 1927 at age 53.  His residence at the time of his death was 766 Piquett, Detroit, Michigan.  I have yet to find out why he would be living separate from his family at that time.

His wife, Mary J. Anderson, purchased a Lot in Greenlawn Cemetery in Salem and she buried her husband on the 20th of April, 1927 on Lotus Path.  She would join him in the family lot on 11 November 1949.

Sadly, to my father’s dismay, all the Andersons in this gravesite are spelled with an “o”.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

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