52 Ancestors #18 – Where there’s a will….

Sigh.  I have a family mystery that will probably never be proven through my research methodology – who is the biological father of my maternal grandmother?  I have been working and working on this for years – it really shouldn’t matter and I sometimes think I should just let it go, but then… I get an itch.  Sometimes it will come during other research projects when I find a new database or research source and I’ll search it desperately, hoping to find new information.  More often than not, it becomes a dead end.  Until today.

My grandmother Wava Hallberg, was supposedly born 25 August 1908 in Minneapolis, MN.  I say supposedly since her original birth certificate was said to have been ‘burned’ and a new one was issued about 10 years later, listing my great grandparents, Esther Parris and Carl Hallberg as her birth parents.  As all family stories go, there is always fact in the fiction, but fiction in the fact too.  I guess Esther was elusive about her time in Minneapolis and meeting Carl Hallberg – she was the youngest daughter of 10 and moved from Duluth, MN sometime between 1905 (she was listed in that year’s MN census in Duluth) and 1909 (when she married Carl).  That’s another contributing fact – Esther and Carl married at St. Rosary Catholic Church in Minneapolis on 15 July 1909 (have that record!) – 10 months after Wava was born.  So if you count back 9 months from her birth date (25 Aug 1908), conception would have been Novemberish 1907, right?

Carl Hallberg was born in Sweden in 1882, came with his parents to MN in 1883, then moved to Halbrite, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1903 (and was in the same place for the 1906 Canada Census).  He then ended up working for the Pillsbury Flour Mills in Minneapolis and marrying Esther Hallberg in 1909.  So was he in Minneapolis during the conception timeframe?

So here’s what I found today.  A border crossing record from Canada to the U. S. for ‘Carl Holberg’ from March 1909!

CarlHallberg border crossing

Ancestry.com. U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1956

Even though the name isn’t spelled correctly, the age, origin, and name of his father match my Carl Hallberg.  So this doesn’t put him into Minneapolis until March-April 1909, so barring an earlier record for his migration to and from Canada, it would have been hard for him to be the father of a child conceived in his absence.   It is also interesting that he married Esther a mere 4 months later – what a whirlwind romance!

I feel a bit more satisfied finding another piece to add to the puzzle, but it certainly has not been completed.  I’ll keep this week’s topic in mind ‘where there’s a will, (there’s a way)’ as I continue to work to solve this family mystery!

Wava, Esther, and Carl Hallberg, ca 1928

Wava, Esther, and Carl Hallberg, ca 1928

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