Eva the Elusive 

Tiny mysteries have a way of getting blown up out of all proportion if they are not solved quickly.  So it was with Eva.

I have been researching my family tree and finally got around to the Tillner side.  Grandpa Tillner came from Sweden.  Details about him that came down to me were that his mother was Brita, that he was born Alfred Andersson, and that he changed his name to Tillner when he went into the military.  Based on the patronymic naming convention in Sweden, his father would have had to be Anders something for him to be “Anders-son”.

Grandpa’s obituary (1943) said he left a brother and a sister in Sweden and a niece, Eva Lundberg in Laurium, MI.  The tribute read at Grandma Tillner’s 80th birthday celebration (1952) referred to the presence of “Cousin Eva”.  Rubie knew Eva and knew that she had always been close to the Tillner family.  She thought Eva had married Louis Anderson and had two children, Evert and Conrad Tilford.  She also suspected that Eva was Grandma Tillner’s sister.  So, the mystery of Eva was born – Lundberg, Anderson, niece, cousin, sister?

In Bessemer, I found the marriage license for Eva and Louis and found that her parents were listed as Anders Anderson and Hannah Anderson.  Not much help since there were Andersons under every rock.  About this time, cousin Calla remembered that Evert had a son who became a Catholic priest in MI.  I was able to find Father Louis Anderson and he explained that Eva remarried Eric Lundberg after Louis Anderson died.  He had a document listing Eva’s parents as Swan and Anna.  However, he knew nothing about the Tillner relationship, although he had heard the name.

Grandpa Tillner left a Flyttningsbevis that I somehow got a copy of many years ago.  To make a long and involved story much shorter, that passport-like document led me to the parish of his birth in Sweden and I was able to order the films of the Husförhörslängder (HFL) to find more information.  Now I know.

Anders Nilsson and Brita Andreasdotter of Botten farm were the parents of Alfrid Andersson, who became my grandfather, Albert Tillner.  They were also the parents of Anna Stina Andersdotter, born in 1860.  Anna Stina left Botten in 1878 to work for one year as a maid at Lilla Djupsås, another year as a maid at Åsändan, and more than two years at Stora Djupsås.  The last few months of her stay at Stora Djupsås, Andreas Andersson came to work there as a farm hand.  Andreas was about 15 years older than Anna Stina.  In late 1882, Anna Stina moved back home to Botten, and on 30 APR 1883, Eva Olivia was born.

In 1884, Andreas took over Starkelsås farm.  On 27 DEC 1885, Andreas and Anna Stina married and she and Eva Olivia joined him at Starkelsås.  On 6 JAN 1887, Elna Emelia was born.  In 1888, the family moved to Lilletorp farm.  Andreas died on 7 JUN 1889.  Alida Fredrika was born to Anna Stina on 1 FEB 1890.

In the HFL, Eva Olivia is first noted as “jonna oäkta” (illegitimate), and later as "hustruns oä." (wife’s illegitimate), after Anna’s marriage.  Elna Emelia is noted “makarnes” (“makarnas gemensamma barn” is a Swedish phrase for child[ren] a couple had together).  There is no notation by Alida Fredrika.

So, the mystery is solved!  Eva was Albert’s niece, the daughter of his sister Anna Stina.  And Eva was married twice, accounting for Anderson and Lundberg references.  And Father Lou is my second cousin once removed.  And Eva’s mother Anna Stina had a very interesting life.