Search This Blog

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have posted a picture of Bernice in conjunction with the sketch of her life.


Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen

The following blessing was given to Carl Oscar Johnson before he went on his first mission from the US to Sweden in 1897.


Pronounced upon the head of Elder Carl Oskar Johnson, in the Salt Lake Temple Annex, April 16, 1897, by Apostle John Henry Smith.

Brother Carl Oskar Johns, we ordain you a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we confer upon you the keys, powers, authorities and blessings pertaining to this high and holy calling in the holy Melchizedek Priesthood.

And inasmuch as you have been chosen by the servants of the Lord to go to Scandinavia to administer in that land, we bless you with the spirit of the labor that is assigned to you; and we ask of our Father to gladden your heart, to give you joy and rejoicing that you have been worthy to take part in the spread of the great latter day work. We bless you that you may have health and strength; that you may have the revelations of the Holy Spirit, that it shall enlighten your mind and prepare you for the discharge of this ministry; that the testimony of the truth may well up in thy soul; that the love of mankind and their redemption may take possession of you; that you may go forth in power, testifying and calling upon the world to repent, teaching the visitation of heavenly messengers, and that our Father designs that the preaching of the truth will be followed by evils, sickness, plagues and famine upon the people, if they repent not and turn not to their Heavenly Father. We bless you that upon whomsoever you shall lay your hands shall receive the Holy Ghost, the Comforter; that you may have power to cast our evil spirits, to confer the Priesthood, to rebuke disease, and to administer in every way and manner the duties and requirements of your office. We bless you that you may go in peace by land and by sea, and that when you have completed your labors in that land you shall return in safety, joyous and happy that the Lord has provided for your wants. We bless you that you may have power to resist temptations and control your appetites, to avoid the use of intoxicants, or anything that would take from you your reason and banish from you the Holy Spirit; and we bless you that you may read the Scriptures and understand them. We promise you everything that your heart desires in righteousness, if you will be faithful and magnify this calling, and obey the requirements that are laid upon you at this time.

These blessing we seal upon your head, and set you apart to this mission in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Martin S. Lindsay,    Reporter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



I was eight years old when Grandma Kirkham introduced me to the joys of Family History or Genealogical Research. I still remember carefully filling in blanks on group sheets, looking through books in the Idaho Falls Genealogical Library and in our Stake Building Genealogical Library. The smell of ink eradicator would probably send me into a nostalgic coma even now. And I still treasure some family group sheets that I completed that Grandma sent to the temple for temple work that were returned with the glued-on extension indicating who had stood as proxy.

Another memory is Grandma Kirkham telling me about my extended relatives. I would listen by the hour – because I loved her. Too bad I didn’t remember more details. But I did remember the love, and it flowed into my being, and I still feel it. I remember how excited I was when I received my Picture Pedigree from Grandma Kirkham along with my Book of Remembrance when I turned eight. I studied those pictures a great deal over the years. After all, one lady, although very strange looking in her picture, was my 5th great-grandmother.

When my Grandma died, as a family, we all spent time together wandering through her house to decide which of her items we wanted to keep as memorabilia. I WANTED THE GENEALOGY. Grandma had promised me the Genealogy. Did everyone understand that clearly? I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I stood by the Genealogy Cupboard and guarded my heritage from Grandma so that not one slip of paper would be removed from the collection. Grandma & Grandpa Kirkham, parents of my mother, represented the English half of me. I had at least 17 ancestors that emigrated from England.

But there was another half. Swedish. My father’s parents emigrated from Sweden, and we had no living relatives before them in the United States in the Johnson Family. So compared to the English Heritage, our family was small. But not really. Grandma and Grandpa Johnson had been very serious about completing the temple work for their ancestors, and had hired a professional researcher to research hundreds of records – providing them with thousands of names for temple work. In fact, in my Grandmother’s Patriarchal Blessing, she was told that her great life work would be to save her dead. This she did, leaving record books behind, along with Grandpa. Maybe because my Dad lived in the home where these books were, maybe because he was the youngest, maybe because I was in the family and my ancestors knew I would be one of the grandchildren to do research, we ended up with the Temple Record Books. Eventually I “Xeroxed” these books, and passed them to Aldon Johnson. Later, a neighbor came to me and explained that she had a computer program on which to input genealogy, and she felt inspired to ask me to come and input my Johnson genealogy for my use. What a blessing.

Over the years, I have spent countless hours in Genealogical Society Buildings, Family History Centers, and in England doing English and Swedish Research. I was fortunate that a Swedish Researcher took me under his wing when I was a single young woman working at the Old Genealogical Society at the Montgomery Ward Building in Salt Lake, and taught me how to do Swedish research.

I want to tell an incident that helped create my philosophy and understanding about our responsibility to know our ancestors. I was young, working under Robert Gunderson at the Genealogical Society. I had been doing a lot of research. I had even been to England to look for records. Surely I deserved a miracle or two so I could open up closed lines of research. I made that complaint to Bob – indicating that I felt my ancestors should be more visible, and help me in more miraculous ways to find lost records. Bob looked at me and asked, “Are you going to quit researching if they don’t?”. No, I said. “Well then, you don’t need a miracle. Accept the help you are getting even though it is quiet inspiration.”

As I continue this Blog, over the weeks, I intent to indicate in more detail the research methods and accomplishments I am involved in. I do this in order to reduce duplicate research, and provide sources. I have a huge collection of records in my home, but being very outdated because of the computer, I want to express what has been done so that future generations will know, and my collection will not be a burden due to the advent of computer Family History & Genealogy Work.

Research has changed a great deal. All of the birth, marriage and death records of England have been filmed, and temple work has been completed. Therefore, because of the work of Grandma Kirkham, and availability of records, all that is needed is to connect distant collateral family records. This can usually be done on the new program for the computer of the LDS Church.

All of the Birth, Marriage and Death records of Sweden appear on a computer website called Genline. What Grandma and Grandpa Johnson had to pay to have a researcher look for, is now available in a few clicks on the computer for anyone to see. Swedish records are being indexed. Again, because of the efforts of Grandma and Grandpa Johnson, distant collateral research is what is necessary.

The only other necessary research is for each individual to get to know all these ancestors personally from the records our ancestors left behind. I am trying to add all the pertinent information I have on the Johnson and Kirkham families to the respective blog sites. I am hoping if anyone else has information, they will make it available. Of course, the LDS Family History Site at or has all the basic records, but our ancestor’s personalities come alive through our efforts. Our ancestors are wonderful, exciting, interesting people. Let’s help each other get to know them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Shelley Second Ward Building
about 1940
posted by Carolyn J. Christensen
This is a picture of the building in which Carl Oscar and Gerda attended church when they moved to Shelley.  It was later remodeled, about the time Gerda passed away.  When I was young, the cabin in back of the church was the Scout Cabin.  The chapel floor was slightly slanted downward toward the pulpit.  I remember trying to excuse myself during meetings to get a drink so that I could explore the stairs to/and the bell tower.  However, I don't remember being courageous enough to disobey my parents and go clear to the top. There was probably a door to block any small intruders from the tower room.   The other room I remember is a dance hall in the basement where my parents would take part in Square Dancing.   The children would lay on blankets on the benches or under the benches around the edge of the hall.  I loved my mother's red and white checked Square Dance dress. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Johnson Christensen

1965 found me working at KID Radio/TV, writing commercials for the Radio in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  I remember distincly that on my lunch hour I would work on Genealogy.  One of my ongoing questions was "what happened to great uncle Karl Allan?".  Grandma Gerda didn't know.  She thought he had joined the Navy and died in World War I.  The one thing she remembered was how angry he was with her when she joined the church, and that contact with him ended then. 

I wrote several letters trying to find out about Karl Allan Hansson, including a letter to the Swedish Navy.  However, there were no good results from those letters. 

Through the years, I have tried to find out what happened to Karl.  Did Gerda have any nieces and nephews?  A sister-in-law?

Recently, a new Database has been added to, a Swedish Death Book.  Because of that, I now know a little about what happened to Karl Allan. 

Following is all the information I have on him. 


Karl Allan Hannson was born to Karl Johan Hansson, and Carolina Charlotta Andersson on 24 Jul 1884 in Ostra Ed, Kalmar, Sweden.

He appears in a Household Exam in Backaskog, Ostra Ed, Kalmar, Sweden record in 1884. His family moves to W. Ed but they have not been located there.

In the 1890 Swedish Census, Karl appears with his family in Sten, Kalmar, Sweden. His father is listed as a statkarl which indicates he was a farmer, possibly on government farm land. This would coincide with Gerda’s history where she remembered living on a farm near woods.

Karl’s mother died in 1893 when he was 9 years old. See Gerda’s history for what happened to the family between then and 1897 when the father died and Karl was 13.

Karl next appears in an 1890 Census in Stockholm, Sweden. He is living alone, at age 16. He is listed as a laborer.

Gerda claims to have heard that Carl joined the Swedish Navy, and later died during WWI. His baptism and endowment were done in 1992 in Boise by Edythe Lloyd’s family, and his sealing to parents occurred in the same place by the same family in 1993.

DEATH RECORD ( – Sveriges Dodbok 1947-2006)

The final record we have for Karl just became available. It is a death record from the Swedish Death Book.

It gives the following information:

Hansson, Carl Allan

Home is at Svartmangatan 7 (street) in Stockholm, Storkykrkorforsamling Parish.

His birth was listed as above.

He was an unmarried man.

He died 18 February 1952.

He died in Papeete Tahiti.

Can it be assumed he was still in the Navy and died while serving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It would be wonderful if anyone had additional information that I could add to this history.  Please let me know if you do.


(PIX of Gerda appear in another place on this blog.)
1880 – 1955

Grandmother of Carolyn Johnson Christensen through her youngest son, Maurice O. Johnson

Note: Quotes and most early information in this history are taken from a personal biographic sketch Gerda wrote to present in a RS meeting in her ward in Shelley.

Gerda Theresia Hanson was born 21 April 1880 in Tryserum, Kalmar, Sweden. Her father, Carl Johan Hanson, managed a dairy farm near the forest in woods, as they called it. Gerda’s mother was Caroline Charlotta Anderson. Gerda’s only sister had been born and died the year before Gerda was born. Gerda’s first memories were of playing in the woods picking wild flowers and berries.

Gerda went through elementary school in Tryserum and graduated when she was twelve years of age. She belonged to and was confirmed in the Lutheran church, the state church of Sweden, but she remembers that the family went to the Methodist and Baptist churches more than to the Lutheran.

When she was just a child, Gerda learned to weave and at first, helped to weave rugs. As she got older, she helped weave material for sheets, pillow cases and even for dresses and coats.

When Gerda was fourteen, in 1894, her mother died and an aunt came to live with them. Gerda’s aunt was discontented in the country so the family moved to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, sometime before Gerda was 16. Gerda’s father worked at concrete construction in the city, and Gerda began working as a waitress in a café. She later worked in a delicatessen.

She was more interested in sewing so she left the shop, and got work in a tailoring establishment where she worked for three months without pay to learn the trade. She was seventeen when her father died. (Note: CJC. Possibly, the loss of her parents and siblings in her youth contributed to her decision to leave Sweden and her family.)

Gerda was always interested in religion and after she moved to Stockholm, she went first to one church and then to another, trying to find one that suited her, but none of them seemed to offer her what she was seeking. Finally she made up her mind to join the Baptist church on the following Sunday. However, during the week, she met a friend, Fannie Anderson, whom she had not seen in some time, and learned that Fannie had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Gerda was disappointed because the two girls had planned to join a church together. It was considered a disgrace to be a friend of a Mormon. Fannie begged Gerda to go to church with her and hear the missionaries, saying, “Even if it doesn’t do you any good, it can’t hurt you.” So Gerda went with Fannie to show her what a terrible mistake Fannie had made.

Another quote from Gerda; “One of my friends and I (Fannie Anderson) used to go to the Baptist church together a lot, and we planned join that church, but we felt that we were not quite ready yet, and it was the busy time of the year for me in my work, so for several months I did not have time to go to church. When the work slackened off some, I went to see my friend. I felt like I was ready to join the Baptist church and I went to ask her to join with me, if she hadn’t already joined. To my surprise, she told me that she had found the true church. I felt bad because she had joined the Mormon Church. She asked me to go with her and find out for myself. I went with her the next Sunday, because I thought I could find something to show her how wrong she was.”

Gerda indicates that never in her life has she felt as she did when those missionaries talked on the first principles of the Gospel. “When they talked, I felt as if I was awakening from a deep sleep; as if they were telling me something I had known before, but had forgotten”. Gerda’s friend Fannie asked the missionaries for some pamphlets and tracts for Gerda to read. “As I read the books, I was more convinced that it was the true Church. I couldn’t find anything wrong in them.”

So, instead of finding fault, Gerda found what she had been searching for. She was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 1 May 1898 by Peter James Sanders when she was eighteen years old. Her Aunt felt very bad, and her only brother, who was four years younger than she, was very Angry. He couldn’t see why Gerda had disgraced the family by joining the Mormon Church. Why hadn’t she gone ahead and joined the Baptist Church as she had planned?

Her only brother, Karl Allen, who was four years younger than her, later joined the Swedish Navy and it is unknown what happened to him. Through uncertain correspondence and messages from Sweden, Gerda heard that her brother had died in World War I. (Certainly, knowledge of life after death must have healed some of the sorrow Gerda felt about her brother and parents’ deaths.)

From that time on, Gerda saved every penny she could from her salary to be able to go to Zion. While she was still in Stockholm, she met Carl O. Johnson, a missionary, who was later to be her husband, but all she thought of him at the time was that he was a fine speaker. (At that time, Carl was about 33 years old, married and with 2 children who lived in Murray, Utah.)

In 1900, Gerda and Fannie immigrated to America when Gerda was 20 years old. They lived for some time with Gerda’s relatives in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Fannie got a job housekeeping for a well-t-do-family.

Gerda’s relatives* were very good to her. They took her everywhere with them. Gerda’s relatives all belonged to the Methodist church and Gerda attended with them. They wanted Gerda to join the church, but she told them she couldn’t because she had found the true church, the Latter Day Saint or Mormon Church as it was called. She told them she and Fannie had been baptized 2 years before. After finding out the girls were Mormons, her relatives felt badly and thought it was terrible. They tried to keep it a secret from their friends, hoping to be able to convert these two misguided young woman. Gerda and Fannie were the only two Mormons in the city; the people had driven two missionaries out of town about two years before.

The relatives tried to convert Gerda and make her forget about the Mormons. They used to sit and talk to her for hours at a time, not so much about their religion, but about the bad stories they had heard about the Mormons. Eventually, the secret of Gerda’s leaked out and the relatives were so ashamed of Gerda that they didn’t want to have anything to do with her.

Gerda’s Aunt told her how very hard it would be for her if she didn’t change her mind. She said Gerda wouldn’t be able to get work because no one would have anything to do with a Mormon. Gerda’s aunt said, “Can’t you see how hard it is going to be for you if you don’t change your mind?”

“It doesn’t matter, Aunt Louise,” said Gerda.* “I would rather go from door to door and beg than to deny the testimony I have of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

When the relatives saw that they could not convert the young ladies or get them to deny the church, they because angry. One Aunt said, “It’s a shame her mother died when she was so young, she’s had no one to guide her. She doesn’t know what she is doing herself.” The aunt wouldn’t even let Gerda receive any letters.

One cousin though that she was just stubborn so he got her a job at a dressmaking shop of a friend of theirs, Mrs. Aflerbach, hoping the lady could persuade her to change her mind. At times, this lady was very nice and at other times she was angry because Gerda still insisted that she must remain a Mormon. Eventually they all quit bothering Gerda, and Mr. and Mrs. Aflerbach became very kind, much more so that Gerda’s relatives.

Fannie lived with another family by now, so Gerda would go visit her as many evenings as possible and they would sing hymns and pray together to keep up their faith and courage.

During that time, both Gerda and Fannie saved all the money they could. Fannie decided to let Gerda have the money she had saved and finally they had enough to send Gerda to Utah. They decided Gerda should move, because the relatives didn’t bother Fannie.

In preparing to leave, Gerda went to bid her aunt goodbye. He aunt cried and said, “I would rather follow you to your grave than to see you go to Utah. If you get to Utah and you get your eyes opened, before it’s too late, write to us and we will send you money to come back to us.”

Gerda went to Salt Lake City and got a job and borrowed some money from a friend to send for Fannie. Gerda had some wonderful experiences on her way to Utah. She was a stranger, and could not speak the English language. She prayed to Heavenly Father to help her and He certainly did. On the train going to Utah, Gerda met an elderly coupled and told them she was going to Utah. They gave her their address and told her that if she was disappointed, to write to them and they could help her come back to Chicago. Gerda had a bad time changing trains because she could speak very little English, but this good couple helped her to get on the right train.

Gerda went on the Kansas City, where she had to stay overnight. Here again she got help. She had intended to stay in the depot all night and was afraid to ask where to go for fear of being misled somewhere. One of the conductors on the train asked her if she had any place to go and she told him she knew no one, nor did she have any place to go. The conductor told Gerda it would be dangerous to remain in the depot and that if she would come with him, he would get her a room in the hotel in which he was staying. She hesitated because she was frightened, but he seemed very nice, so she went. He got her a room and took her to breakfast the next morning and put her on the train to Utah. Gerda had always been sure that the Lord provided helpers along the way.

When Gerda arrived in Salt Lake, the only one she knew was a former girl friend from Stockholm who was working for a family there. This friend took Gerda to a family whom she knew and they helped her to get work in the dressmaking department in Walker’s in Salt Lake City. She worked there for some time.

Gerda felt like someday she would marry and have a family, and she didn’t know how to cook or keep house, so she left her job and began doing housework for a family for the experience. The lady stayed in the kitchen most of the time and helped her for a month, to teach her how to cook and do other housework. She became an excellent and natural cook. Her daughter-in-law, Doris, remembers asking for recipes. A “pinch of this, and some of that” turned out to be the extent of her recipes to the frustration of those who wanted to learn how she made the delicious dishes.

In Salt Lake, again, at a conference, she met Carl O. Johnson and they stopped to chat about Stockholm and their experiences there. Carl’s first wife had recently passed away, leaving Carl with two small children, a boy and a girl, Oscar Wilford and Ebba Olivia. Friendship between Gerda and Carl developed into courtship, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 22 October, 1902. They went to live in Murray where Carl worked in the smelters. Two children, Gerda and Allan were born there.

In March of 1907, when Gerda was 27, her and Carl moved to Shelley, Idaho and bought a farm (for which they had probably been scrupulously saving for the past five years) . The farm was located just below the Shelley Butte on the north west side, later known as the Hollis Harker farm. Eventually the farm was traded for a farm about one and a half miles east of Shelley. Their farm consisted of 50 acres, and they raised hay, grain, potatoes, sugar beets, peas and livestock. Eight other children were born in Shelley. In April of that year, Else was born only to pass away five months later. Only those mothers who have had an infant pass away can know how Gerda felt.

Some time after moving to Shelley, Carl and Gerda built a home in Shelley on Locust Street, across the street and kitty-corned from the old Second Ward Church . While living in the Locust Street house in 1912, Carl went on his third mission while his wife was in charge of the farming. At that time, she was getting 20 cents on the hundred for potatoes which was unusually bad for that year. It is assumed that Gerda had Oscar Wilford (age 18), Ebba, (age 16), Gerda (age 11), Allan (age 9), Edith and Edwin (age 4) and Ruth (age 2) living at home. Carl returned from his mission in 1914.

Four more children were born after Carl returned from his mission; Walter, Wallace, Bernice and Maurice.

In 1927, when their youngest son was 6 years old, the farm homestead was established. Carl and Gerda had ordered this home from a Montgomery Ward Catalog. It arrived with all the materials and necessary directions for building which they did. Maurice remembers how the boys slept in a tent in the yard while the house was being finished.

Regarding the Shelley farm house, the lean-to from that old home was made into a chicken coop, then a pig shelter. Many years later, about 1976, while Maurice and his sons were clearing that area, they came upon a small piece of wood from the shelter, which they recognized as a piece of the old green kitchen wall. Also, when the barn from the homestead was demolished after it had outlived its usefulness, they found a board with writing put there by Allan and his friend, Alf Olsen, while the barn was being built when they were boys.

Gerda’s daughter, Edith passed away when she was about 16 in 1924. Gerda was grief stricken. Gerda Johnson Wilcox (sister of Edith) tells that Edith had walked a great deal, from Idaho Falls, in fact, in the heat, and now thinks Edith probably died of heat stroke. Others say that Edith was sickly, and possibly died of sinus infection.

Gerda and Carl were hard working, religious people, going through both prosperous and difficult times financially. Gerda was a visiting teacher in the LDS Church. Her time was spent on the farm and raising her children, rather than doing a lot of church work. Instead, she supported her husband in his intensive church work. Also, she knew what her work in God’s Kingdom should be.

Carl and Gerda helped each of their sons obtain the means to earn a living. Most of them farmed. Maurice purchased the Taylor Highway farm in 1942. Carl and Gerda moved to Idaho Falls to be near the temple so they could spend more time serving there. Gerda’s Patriarchal Blessing, received in 1924 states:

“ The way will be opened for you. He will help you to perform the labor that is most valuable for you to do which is seeking after those who have passed away and being a Savior unto them. There is nothing in your life that will be of greater value to you. I bless you that you will be prepared to do this work in the House of the Lord and great shall bring you joy and satisfaction. You shall praise the Lord that He has enabled you to perform this labor. “

One granddaughter who spent a great deal of time working with Gerda’s efforts at Genealogy was amazed at the massive amount of names which Gerda & Carl paid to have researched in Sweden in order for temple work to be completed. Hundreds of names were submitted by both Gerda and Carl. They both kept careful records of those names and work done. A great deal of money must have been spent in order to pay for this research in Sweden, inasmuch as it was completed before Swedish records were available in the United States.

Carl passed away on 9 April, 1946 when Gerda was 66 years old while they were living in Idaho Falls. After some time, Gerda moved back to an apartment downstairs in the farm home. Her granddaughter Carolyn has a vague memory of the old white enamel wood or coal stove standing on the linoleum of the kitchen in that apartment. Later Gerda bought another home near the temple at 515 E Street and lived there until she died in the LDS Hospital on 25 May 1955.

Four of Gerda’s sons filled missions. Allen went to Scandinavia in 1925. Edwin served in the Swiss German mission starting 1926. Both Maurice and Walter served missions with their wives after they retired.

Gerda is remembered as being conservative. She tried to avoid attention being drawn to herself, and was very reserved . One daughter-in-law, Doris, remembers decorating a cake for her, but Gerda was too self-conscious to show it to other people. This is also indicative of the fact that Gerda didn’t like to “make a fuss”. At Christmas time, when she received gifts, she would open them immediately and put them away, not saving them until Christmas Day.

Although Gerda was a very proud woman, she was modest and felt very inferior, especially concerning her ability to speak English. She was always more comfortable with Swedish. Her granddaughter, Carolyn, remembers she would talk on the phone upstairs in the farm home to a close friend, then suddenly she would begin talking the old language, which was frustrating to a child who wanted to know “what was going on”.

Her unsureness of the English language didn’t stop her from communicating with her children. In fact, it is believed that some of her older children could speak Swedish. Wallace remembers he would come home from a date and his mother would be waiting up for him, and they would sit down by the old coal stove and open a can of shrimp and talk for hours.

Gerda was very neat and clean with a clean apron and dress all the time, and her hair always looking nice.

As indicated from her early history, Gerda was an exceptional seamstress. She worked repairing furs in a fur shop in Idaho Falls for many years. Daughters and Daughter-in-laws received fur coats because of her work.

Gerda suffered from heart disease, “hypertension” being listed on her death certificate. In those days, the stimulant prescribed by the doctors for heart disease was coffee, which Gerda drank, but taught her children not to drink because of the Word of Wisdom. In 1955, Gerda’s heart had weakened, and in May she passed away leaving a legacy of a wonderful family, and invaluable family records.


*Aunt Louise was mentioned by name in the history or testimony Gerda wrote. I would assume Aunt Louise was Maria Louisa Andersson born in 1849, sister of Gerda’s mother. She was married to Otto Wilhelm Andersson. Maria Louisa, listed as a wife, appears in the Swedish Emmigration Records going from Aarhus to Copenhagen with her three children. It is assumed that she went from Copenhagen to America. However, the three children all died in Sweden.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Christensen, grand daughter of Carl and Gerda.

Following is a rather lengthy document - but gives year and age perspectives to the lives of Carl and Gerda.  If anyone can add any piece of information, no matter how small, please email me.  Thanks.  Carolyn


Carl Oscar and Gerda Theresia Hanson Johnson

Date    Age           Event and Place

1856-60      Anna Louisa Eriksson (mother of Carl) lived in Finntorp, Asker, Orebro, Sweden & Anders Peter Jonsson (father of Carl) lived in Boda, Asker, Orebro, Sweden (see below 1933)

1863          Anna Louisa Ericsson moved to Boda, Asker, Orebro, Sweden

1864          Anna Louisa Ericsson moved to Kilsmo, with her parents

1865   0     Carl - On March 2nd, Carl born in Kilsmo, Asker, Orebro, Sweden to Anna Louisa Eriksson

1866         AP Jonsson, Carl’s father moved to Axberg where he claimed to be engaged to Anna Louisa Nilsson in Kilsmo, Asker, Orebro, Sweden. A check of that area revealed there was no Anna Louisa Nilsson, only Anna Louisa Ericsson.

1866-70     Carl living with Mother and Grandparents in Asker, Orebro, Sweden

1870  5      Carl’s step-brother, Anders Johnsson was born. (Note: Carl was probably unaware of
the births of any of his step & half siblings.)

1871   6     Carl’s Mother Died – lived with Grandparents.  Emma Olson was born in Sweden in February

1872   7     Carl’s Grandmother died – lived with Grandfather

1875  10    Carl’s half-brother Albert Jonsson was born.

1877  12   Carl’s half-brother Karl August was born.

1878  13   Gerda’s parents, Carl Johan Hansson and Carolina Charlotta Andersdotter were md.

!879   14     Carl living with Grandfather in Asker

1880   15-0 Gerda Theresia Hanson born on 21 April in Tryserum, Kalmar, Sweden. l.  Carl left Asker under the name of Pettersson.   Carl’s half-sister Ida Carolina was born.

1881   16-1  Carl Moved to Fasterna, Sweden

1882            Emma Olson emigrated to US.  Carl’s half-sister Frida Maria was born.

1883  18     Carl’s half-sisters Ida and Frida died.

1884  19     Carl’s half-sisters Wilhelmina and Anna, twins, were born and died. Gerda’s brother,
Karl Allen Hanson was born.

1888   23-7  Carl Baptized and Confirmed in LDS Church on 20th of April in Almunge, Uppland according to History of Scan. Mission. Soon called into the local ministry, laboring in Sundsvall , Vasternorrland, and Solfvarbo branches.
Carl’s grandfather passed away.
Carl worked in a lumber mill as a young man.

1889  24    Carl ordained as a Priest on 24 March.  Carl left from to Norrland (Solfarbo, Dalarna?) on a mission in Sweden.  Gerda learned to weave while she was a child.

1891  26-10  Carl (Karl Oskar Pettersson) Emigrated to Utah through Liverpool, on the SS Nevada – from Fasterna, Stockholm .  

1892  27-12   Carl married Emma Olsson in Logan Temple. Also endowed.   Gerda graudated from
elementary school in Tryserum.

1893 28-13 Gerda’s mother, Carolin Charlotta died.An aunt came to live with them and convinced

the family to move to Stockholm.  . There Gerda worked in a café and delicatessen.

1894  29   Oscar Wilford born to Carl Oscar and Emma Olson 6 May in Smithfield, Utah

1896  31   Olivia Ebba was born to Carl Oscar and Emma Olson on Jul 3rd in Murray.
Baptism was done for Anna Louisa Erikson in Salt Lake by daughter-in-law Emma O.

1897  32   Carl - Naturalized in the Third District Court of Utah on 16 April.  Carl - Set apart to leave on mission to Sweden on May 1st. Gerda’s father, Carl Johan died.  Gerda learned the trade of tailor during these years.

1897-99  34-18   Carl – Served mission in Stockholm Branch (7 mo.) then pres. Of the Upsala and Sundsvall Branches . Baptized 38 souls (according to History of Scan. Mission)

1898  18   Gerda baptized into church 1 May and Confirmed. Sometime she heard Carl
Oscar Johnson preach.

1899  34  Carl returned from mission to Sweden on 20 June

1899  34  Carl Appeared in Salt Lake Directory as living in Murray

1900  35  Carl, Emma, Oscar W., and Ebba Olivia lived in home owned by Carl in Murray Precinct. Carl was a day laborer In SLC Directory, Carl listed as helper for America S & R Co, residence, Murray (Smelter).  Gerda Gerda and her friend Fannie emigrated to US and lived in Perth Amboy, New Jersey with Gerda’s relatives.
1901  36  Carl In SLC Directory, Carl listed as laborer. Gerda  traveled to Salt Lake Gerda traveled to Salt Lake where she worked as a dressmaker at Walkers.

1902  37-21  Emma Olson Johnson died on 21 Feb in Salt Lake.
Carl and Gerda (age 22) Married in Salt Lake City Temple on Oct 22. Gerda Endowed.

1903  38-22  Gerda Adelia was born to Carl and Gerda in Murray. Oscar Wilford was baptized and confirmed

1904  39  Ebba was baptized and confirmed

1905  40-24 Allen Oscar was born to Carl and Gerda in Murray.

1906  41  Carl returned from mission to Sweden on SS Republic on 11 Oct

1907  42-26  Elsie Theresia was born in April and Died in June in Shelley.
Carl and Gerda  from Murray to Shelley and received in 2nd Ward. Bought a farm southwest of the Butte in Shelley, later known as the Hollis Harker farm. He also bought property, a house, kitty-corner NE from Shelley Second Ward Church. Later traded farm with Etric Miller for farm 1 ½ miles East of Shelley on Taylor Hiway.

1908  43-27   Edwin Oscar & Edith Oscaria were born to Carl & Gerda.

1910  45-29   Ruth Myrtle was born to Carl and Gerda.

1912  47-31   Carl set apart for mission on Jan 16

1912-1914      Carl served mission in Sweden. (according to History of Scan. Mission) Presided over Morgongava Br, Sundsvall Conference, and Stockholm Conference.

1913  48      Ebba Marries Peter M. Johnson

1914   49-33   Carl returned from mission 15th Oct

1915  50-34    Wallace Oscar was born to Carl and Gerda. Grandchild Myrtle born to Peter and Ebba.

1917  52-36    Walter Oscar born in Shelley

1918  53-37   Grandchild Marguerite born to Ebba and Peter

1920  54-38   Bernice Caroline was born. Oscar Wilford md Isabelle M. Carey. Grandchild Clifford Maurice born to Ebba & Peter.

1921  56-39   Maurice Oscar born in Shelley. Gerda Adelia married Warren Wilcox. Grandchild Winona Wilcox was born to Gerda and Warren.

1923  58     Grandchild Warren Douglas Wilcox born to Gerda and Warren. Grandchild Frances Eileen born to Oscar Wilford and Isabelle.

1924  59   Edith passed away in Shelley. Allan md. Rula Beck.  Gerda receive Patriarchal Blessing from Pat. Adolph Nielson.  . Among other things, her blessing indicated she would be a Savior on Mt. Zion for her deceased ancestors which was fulfilled.

1925  60   Ruth md. James Denzil Clark.

1927  62   Carl and Gerda built house on Taylor Hiway Farm Carl and Gerda built house on Taylor Hiway Farm with a kit ordered from Montgomery Ward.   Grandchildren Patricia J. born to Oscar Wilford and Isabelle. Grandchild Terrell Leon born to Ruth and James.  Carl’s father, Anders Peter died.

1928  63   Grandchild Mary Ruth born to Oscar Wilford & Isabelle. Grandchild Aldon born to Allen & Rula.

1929  64   Grandchild Arlene born to Ruth and James

1930  65   Gerda Louise “Peggy” Wilcox born to Gerda and Warren. Abt this year grandchild Miriam Louise born to Allan and Rula

1933  68   Carl had the baptism done for Anders Petter Jonsson *18 June 1844.One of his son’s was proxy. (Note: Also, in the Murray ward records, AP Jonsson was listed as Carl’s father)

1935  70   Abt this year Grandchild Edythe Rula born to Allen and; Rula.

1936 71 Carl spent a year in Salt Lake doing temple work for his ancestors. He lived with Walter
who was going to school.

1937  72   Olivia Ebba died in Feb in Murray. Ruth Myrtle md. Kenneth Dean. Wallace md. Fae Dora Johnson

1938  73   Carl retired from Farming. Grandchildren Earl Allan born to Allan & Rula. Bernice md Norman Bingham.  Grandchild Myrtle dies in Salt Lake.

1939  74   Grandchild Wallace Delmar born to Wallace and Fae

1941          Grandchild Douglas born to Bing and Bernice. Maurice md Doris Kirkham

1942  77-62   Carl and Gerda moved to Idaho Falls, close to the temple. Became High Priest Group Leader

1943  78-63   Walter Md. Leona Hanson,  Grandchild Margarite dies while living with Allen and Rula in Shelley.

1944  79-64    Grandchild LaNea Fae born to Wallace and Fae. Grandchild Margaret born to Walter & Leona

1945  80-65  Grandchild Carolyn born to Maurice and Doris. About this time, Doris Johnson remembers going to different wards to hear Carl speak as he was on the
High Council at this time, spending 15 years serving thus.

1945  81-66   Carl died in Idaho Falls on April 9. He was buried in Shelley, Idaho on 13th April. Edwin  md. Bernice Croft

1946            Grandchild Dennis born to Bing and Bernice

1947            Grandchild Gayle born to Walter & Leona. Grandchild Maureen born to Maurice and Doris.

1948             Grandchild Keila born to Bing and Bernice

1949               Grandchild Carl born to Maurice and Doris.

1950              Grandchild Kay Lynne born to Walter and Leona

1952             Grandchild Phyllis born to Maurice and Doris

1954            Grandchild Jo Marie born to Walter and Leona. Grandchild Sharlynn born to Bing and; Bernice

1955   75      Gerda died in Idaho Falls on 25 May. Buried on 28th May in Shelley.

1956             Ruth Myrtle dies

1957            Grandchild Dale born to Maurice and Doris

1964              Oscar Wilford died in Nov in Pueblo CO.

1966             Youngest Grandchild Kristen born to Maurice and Doris.

1982             Allan Oscar dies.

1983            Norman Bingham dies.

1990             Edwin Oscar dies

1993              Gerda Adelia Johnson Wilcox died.

1994                Wallace Oscar dies

1997                Bernice Carolina dies.

1999              Maurice Oscar dies.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Above are the pictures I have of Grandma Gerda.  Does anyone have others of her they could share?  Please let me know if you do and I will make arrangements to get copies.  Carolyn

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Johnson Christensen, grand daughter of Carl.

If anyone has a more complete history of Grandpa, I would appreciate reading it.  I put together this history many years ago, and hope to revise it soon. 


In Asker Orebro, Sweden, on 2 March, 1865, Carl Oscar Johnson was born to Anna Louisa Erikson. Carl grew up in the household of his maternal grandfather and grandmother. His grandfather was listed as a soldier in the church records.

Only educatedguesses can be made about Carl's father. In Sweden, on the church records, Carl's last name was listed as Peterson, following the patronymic custom. Therefore his father was known as Peter. When Carl was older, he continued to use the last name, Peterson. He also , occasionally, used the last name of Johnson, and when he came to the United States where patronymics were not used, he settled with the last name of Johnson. Therefore, we could assume his father's name was Peter Johnson. Also, during his lifetime, he listed Anders Peter Johnson as his father on various church and temple records, as early as before 1907 in the Murray Ward Records. In other ward records, he listed himself as being born in Nerke, Sweden. In 1864, his mother was living, and it is assumed, working in an area, Boda in Asker where lived Anders Peter Johnson. She returned to the Kilsmo area in Asker in 1864, a few months before Carl was born. In 1866, when Anders Peter Johnson moved, he stated he was engaged to an Anna Louisa Nilsson.

Carl's mother died when he was 6 years old. This had been preceded by his grandmother who died when he was three. He was six years younger than any of his four uncles and aunts who lived in the home at that time. We can probably assume that Carl grew through his late childhood and teen years without the full benefit of motherly tenderness. Carl's grandfather died when Carl was 23, the year Carl joined the church.

It appears that at age 15, Carl left his grandfather's home and lived in Almunge, Stockholm Co., which is where he lived until he joined the church.

As Carl grew to maturity, he learned to love the soil and farming as did his father and grandfather. Carl was a strong boy, though not large. In his adulthood, he was about 5' 10" tall, and stocky.

During his early manhood, he worked in a lumber mill, and was put in charge of the workers as the foreman. Many times he had to intervene in a fight, using his physical strength to end a squabble.

Carl joined the church on 20 April 1888, being baptized and confirmed by P.G. Hanson in Allmunge.

Carl received the Priesthood in on 24 March, 1889 through Niels Anton, then labored as a missionary in the Solfvarbo and Sundsvall branches. This was one of three of Carl's missions.

While married to his first wife, he returned from America to Sweden and served two years from 1897 to 1899. He was set apart for the Scandinavian mission on 16 April, 1897 and returned on 10 June 1899. He was in the Stockholm branch for 7 months, and then served as president of the Upsala and Sundsvall branches for the remainder of his mission, baptizing 38 souls.

During his second marriage, when Carl was 47 years old, he left his wife with their 5 small children, ages 2 through 11 in Shelley to farm and went on a third mission, being set apart on 16 January 1912 from the Shelley Second Ward in Idaho to Sweden. He returned on 15 October 1914 on the ship, S. S. Celtic. During this third mission, Carl presided over the Morgongava Branch for 3 months, over the Sundsvall Conference nine months, and over the Stockholm Conference for 20 months. Missionary work was important to Carl, and he later became one of the seven Presidents in the 106th Quorum of Seventy.

After his first mission, Carl emigrated to Utah in 1891 where he settled in Murray and worked in the smelters, skimming copper, which he didn't enjoy. In 1900, in a Salt Lake directory, Carl was listed as a helper in the American S & R Co., residing in Murray.

In 1892/93, Carl met and married Emma Olsen who bore him a son in 1894, Oscar Wilford,and a daughter in 1896, Emma Oliva. As stated before, Carl left on a mission in 1897. Soon after he returned in 1899, his wife, Emma died.

Sometime in 1901 or 1902, Carl was re-acquainted with a young woman, Gerda Hanson, who had enjoyed hearing him speak in Sweden during his second mission. At the time, Carl was about 36 or 37 and Gerda was about 22. His children by his first wife were 6 and 8 years old. This re-acquaintance flowered into marriage in the Salt Lake Temple on 22 October, 1902, performed by John R. Winder.

Two children were born to Carl and Gerda in Murray, Gerda Adelia and Allen Oscar. Of course, Wilford and Ebba were a part of the family.

Carl left Murray with his family in May of 1907 because he disliked the smelters and mines, and wanted to farm and raise livestock, which he did in Shelley, Idaho. In Shelley, he settled on what is now the Hollis Harker Farm just below the east side of the Butte on the south side of the road. Later, he bought property in Shelley, and traded Etric Miller for property on the Taylor Highway, 1 1/2 miles east of Shelley.

He built houses on the property in town and on the farm. The property in Shelley was located kitty-corner from the old 2nd ward church on Locust Street. While living there in 1912, Carl went on his third mission while his wife was in charge of the farming. At that time, she was getting 20 cents on the hundred for potatoes which was unusually bad for that year. At home she had Wilford and Ebba, Gerda (age 11), Allan (age 9), Edith and Edwin (ages 4) and Ruth (age 2). In spite of the hardships created by this mission, Carl felt good about the call. In his diary her wrote, "1912. Shelley Idaho, the 14th of January. I take farewell of my loved ones to perform a mission in my father's land, Sweden. Wonderful feelings stream through me in
this moment of departure. The Lord has called me and my feelings are in tune with the call."

After Carl returned from his mission in 1914, four more children were born; Wallace, Walter, Bernice and Maurice. Carl moved his family permanently to the farm home in about 1927, when his youngest son, Maurice was 6 years old and he was 62 years old. The farm house was a mail order house from Montgomery Ward. Carl, with the help of his sons, and probably neighbors, built the house when the kit arrived. He planted many trees, some of which still stand as a reminder to his posterity living there of his forethought and love for nature. Carl also raised livestock on that farm.

As Carl's sons grew to maturity, Carl made sure each one would have a profession to fall back on. His love for farming carried down to two of his sons, Wallace and Maurice. Maurice, his youngest son eventually bought the farm on the Taylor Highway from his father and family.

Carl retired in 1938 at the age of 73. In 1942, he and Gerda moved to Idaho Falls to be near the nearly completed temple in order to do temple work when it was dedicated. Five years previous to this, Carl had spent three months of the 1936-1937 winter with his son, Walter, who was attending business college in Salt Lake City. While there, Carl did temple work. This was about nine years before the Idaho Falls Temple was completed.

As we can see from his history, Carl was a very devout person. His church work didn't stop with three missions to Sweden and temple work. He also served 15 years on the Shelley High Council. He spent 15 years trying to convert a very good friend, Peter Olson. After 15 years, Peter did join the church.

Carl read a lot of church literature and was very learned. Before Carl joined the church, he had smoked cigars. It may have been a struggle to give up the habit as he kept one cigar in his desk for many years as a reminder.

In his later years, Carl's 5' 10" frame filled out quite a bit. He never did go bald, and he wore a moustache all his life. He was a quiet, serious person who naturally received attention when he spoke.

Carl loved baseball, and listened to it a lot on the radio. He kept up on current events. A daughter-in-law tells that during the war, his family can never remember of him missing a news broadcast.

Carl loved cats and other animals. A son tells that at one time in his father's life, he had a huge gray tomcat that would spend hours riding on Carl's shoulder as he picked spuds in the fields.

At the age of 81, Carl Oscar Johnson died of a stroke on 9 April, 1946 after spending two days in the Idaho Falls hospital. His family and his community mourned the loss of a very wonderful person.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I am creating this blog in hopes that descendants of Carl Oscar Johnson and his wives, Emma Olson and Gerda Theresdia Hanson can share information about Carl's descendants and ancestors.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen, niece of Bernice

I would like to have more information about Bernice from anyone who knew her.  Thanks.

The Life History of  Bernice Carolina Johnson Bingham
(read at her funeral)

Bernice was born on January 19, 1920 in Shelley, Idaho. She was born at home. She was the ninth of ten children born to her parents. She had five brothers, four sisters, and a half brother and sister.

Her father was Carl Oscar Johnson. He was born on March 2, 1865 in Asker, Orebro, Sweden. Her mother was Gerda Theresia Hanson. She was born on April 12, 1880 in Tryserum, Kalmar, Sweden. They were married on October 22, 1902 in the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Her father was a farmer and served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He died on April 9, 1946 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Her mother was not welcome in her parents home after she joined the Church as a youth back in Sweden. She migrated to the United States. Her mother passed away on May 25, 1955 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Bernice never knew if they were poor. Her mother would sew her new dresses to wear, and there was always plenty to eat thanks to the farm and a large garden.

Bernice went to school in Shelley, Idaho. She remembers that she did not have to walk to school except when she missed the bus. In the winter time when the roads were bad, the farmers would use bobsleds to take the children to school. They would sit on hay or benches and cover themselves with blankets. They did not have snow plows like we do now.

Bernice has many memories as a school girl. She remembers the girls would always wear dresses. She enjoyed school, but wishes she had studied a bit more instead of having so much fun. She liked most of her teachers, but her first grade teacher was really special to her. Bernice had a nervous breakdown in the first grade, and he teacher helped her through the work so she did not miss a year of school.

When she was a little girl, she would gather up rocks to make barns and houses. She would make the different rooms in the houses and also makes fields around the houses. For entertainment, every Saturday she would go with friends to the show houses. She enjoyed this Saturday activity until the family moved to the farm to live which made it a little harder for her to go to the movies.

She really like to play basketball in school. This was an activity she truly enjoyed until her freshman year. “I’ll bet she was pretty good too.) Sometimes a bunch of her friends would get together to play favorite sport, softball. She also liked to roller skate. She never did learn to ice skate because there were no ice skating rinks, and her parents would not allow or trust her to skate on the canals. She did have fun in the winter time on bobsled rides. (She remembers her husband, Bing, enjoyed hooking up his horse to pull him on his skis.) For some reason, Bernice never did learn to ski. (Must have had something to do with the position of the horse, the length of the rope or the color of the snow.)

She really did not have any hobbies. She did enjoy the radio shows. She felt you could really picture them like they are on TV today because of the sounds. Gracie Allen and George Burns were some of the funniest.

Bernice does admit that she had an advantage having white hair all her life. She did get noticed. A lot of times people would call her peroxide because of her beautiful white hair.

When Bernice and Bing were first married, they had great fun playing games with the relatives. Walt and Leona, Wallace and Fae, and Maurice and Doris would get together and play table games like spoons. This was pretty exciting and competitive at times as Maurice recalls. He and Bernice went after the same spoon, and he came away with a nasty cut in the palm of his hand You’ve got to watch out for those sisters.

Maurice always thought Bernice was the prettiest sister a brother could have. His feelings in that regard have never changed, and he admires her for always staying feminine and attractive.

Bernice always had friends. As a youngster, two of her closest friends were Shirley Quiggly and Charlotte Jensen. With age, the circle of friends simply grew.

As she got older, she went to a lot of dances. There were a lot of band contests and excursions where she met many new friends. Maurice remembered a pearl grey suit and blouse. As he recalled, she was wearing that suit and blouse when she first met Bin. They first met at a dance in Wandamere just south of Idaho Falls. Wandamere was a large dance hall where the big bands would perform. Great names such as Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Henry James and others would come to Idaho Falls to perform. One of the most popular activities for young and old alike were the dances. As a result, there were lots of dances. Some were held in Wandamere; others were held in the tabernacle in Shelley; still more were held at the tabernacle in Idaho Falls. Bernice, her brothers and sisters remember the Shelley tabernacle as a big beautiful building where many good times became goo memories.

Beside the dances, there were plays. The tabernacle was always alive with activity. If it was not imported talent, then it was local talent; and usually every bit as good.

On one occasion, Bernice was in Miles City, Montana visiting her sister Ruth. On an impulse, or who knows what, Bing decided he wanted to visit her. So, he convinced Maurice to go with him to Montana as a chaperon.

Bernice recalls on occasion her most embarrassing moment which still generates a little blush in the cheeks. The moment came one night while at the movies. On the way out of the theater between showings, the waist band broke on her undies. Since it was a little crowded, she just let them fall to the floor where she kicked them off to the side. (The poor janitor had an awful time explaining this one to the boss.)

Bernice and Bing were married December 15, 1938 and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple December 4, 1940. This was the beginning of a 54 year relationship. There were five children (Douglas, baby girl, Dennis, Keila, and Sharlyn), cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, bobcats, chinchilla, and who knows how many thousand mind and skunks. There were the grain crops, the pea crops, the hay crops, and the potato crops. (I must have forgotten something here.) How she ever managed to fill the roles of wife, mother, farmer’s wife, hired hand, and bookkeeper is still a mystery to those who know her.

Bernice like anyone else has her own set of favorites. She had favorite stories, songs, hymns, poems, quotes, picture, holiday, games, dress, .....

A Tribute to Bernice Johnson Bingham
by LaRue Clark

Bernice, the youngest daughter in a family of 10 from her mother and 12 from her father is a timeless person - babe, sister, child, young woman, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all in one. She is a glorious beautiful and dear woman to all who knew her, especially her sister, Ruth’s posterity, Terrill and Arlene and their children, because they were like parentless children with an unresponsible father and a hard-working responsible mother - depression times - and the Johnson Family stabilizers and positive examples. Being like an Aunt-sister-cousin always close to them, keeping in touch, encouraging, and truly caring for them. After Ruth’s death, Bernice and Bing, her husband, were the dear hearts in their lives whom they visited. Their children cherish Uncle Bing and Aunt Bernice. The Johnson Family were the true roots of goodness and love they knew through their mother. With Bing and Bernice Bingham there was always humor - which is a positive leverage in life. The life they lived exposed Terrell and Arlene to a farm, animals, and dimensions of living and happiness.

Bernice’s children were such an expression of their parents and such a dimension cherished along with whatever was experienced in being together. It was through them that Terrell and Arlene knew a family life and wanted a family of their own.

Honoring Bernice this day goes back to the beginnings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ taught to her parents in Swede, their coming to the USA for the gathering of those who believed and lived what they learned. I marvel at the tenacity of faith each showed by their actions and devotion. Oscar and Gerda planted it deep in their children. They were guided to this promised land and the Snake River Valley. They put roots deep here and assisted in building the kingdom of God in one of the least violent weather areas of our world. Theirs is a love story deep with the fulfillment of heritage and legacy, of faith, a forever family in Jesus Christ. Bernice’s life carries this on through the generations to come.

A Tribute

by Doris Norman

I appreciate the opportunity to give Bernice Bingham’s life sketch. Everyone who knew Bernice loved her. She was always happy and had the talent of making everyone feel special.

Bernice John Bingham was born January 19, 1920 at her home in Shelley, Idaho. She had 4 sisters and 5 brothers. Her mother and father were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in Sweden, and came to the United States to be near the saints. They settled in Shelley. Her mother loved to sew, and they were never poor because her mom knew how to stretch a penny.

Bernice loved to swim in the canal. In fact that’s where she learned to swim. After she would finish swimming she would go in the house, and her mother would always have rolls or crunchy rolls, and she liked the crunchy rolls the best.

Bernice played basketball in Junior High and in High School. She was the tallest girl on the team, and a very good player. She graduated from Shelley High School.

Bernice was a beautiful natural platinum blonde. When she was a young girl, her brother Walt would fix her hair for her. He was her friend and buddy. After she married, she met Maurine Furgie who was going to beauty school, and she later started fixing her hair, and has done Bernice’s hair for the past 45 years. She was always proud of her hair and her looks.

She enjoyed going dancing at Wandamere where they had big name bands like Phil Harris play. Jack Bailey played in the orchestra there at times. This is where Bernice met Bing, but before Bing could dance with Bernice, he had to get permission from her brother Walt.

Bernice Johnson married Norman Bingham shortly after she graduated from High School.

Their first home was on the end of the lane where they now live. They had no plumbing. They carried their water in 20 gallon milk tubs from Perry’s house. For their wedding, Bing’s dad, Perry, gave them 6 mink. They had to go rabbit hunting every night to get food for the mink. Bing gave Bernice a flashlight for her birthday so she could spot them for him. It wasn’t exactly wait she wanted.

Bing and Bernice had 5 children — Doug, a baby girl who was stillborn, Dennis, Keila, and Sharlyn.

Bernice was a very good cook and never missed preparing a meal for her family. She was a hard worker. They built their new home in 1954.

Bernice always made sure that the kids were all dressed up pretty for Easter, and would decorate their tricycles with crape paper for the parade. The kids didn’t like it, but it was important to Bernice. Christmas was also very important to Bernice, and she always made sure the family had a good one.

LaRue Clark has given some interesting information. She said that Bernice always kept in touch with the family, was always close to them, calling them, encouraging them, and caring for them. She was especially close to her sister Ruth. When Ruth died, Bing and Bernice were like parents to her children Terrell and Arlene, and their association with Bing and Bernice helped them to have a good family life, and expose them to farm life and happiness.

Bernice was the secretary in the Young Women’s Organization when Jody Anderson was president, and they had a lot of fun going to girls camp with the girls. One MIA night when it had snowed a lot, Bernice’s lane was blocked and she had a hard time getting out. When she finally got there she said, “It’s our mating season up there.” Everyone started laughing. Bernice got all red faced and said, “NO, I mean it’s the minks mating season.”

She worked really hard with Norm taking care of the ink. When it was pelting time she would help harvest by tacking the pelts on the boards. They had to be just right.

When they had mink, they hired a man who had a bobcat and it had kittens. Bernice would wear basketball knee pads on her arms and feed them from doll bottles. The bobcats were raised as house pets. Bernice would send them up to wake up the kids in the morning and Keila remembers their rough tongue licking her face.

Bernice enjoyed making lotion out of the mink oil, and there are many of us that have been fortunate enough to receive jars of lotion from her. I looked forward to my birthday and Christmas because I knew I would get a jar of mink lotion from Bernice. She was planning to make another batch a couple of weeks ago, but just didn’t have enough strength.

Phoebe Ann Tawzer remembers having a lot of good times together cooking hamburgers and onions and spending the whole day together. Bud Tawzer and Norman Bingham shared the same birthday so each year on their birthday they would all go out to dinner.

About five years ago, Jody Anderson organized a study group to get together each Sunday night. In this group was Alice and Logan Bee, Phoebe Ann & Bud Tawzer, Nellie and Dean Elkington, Golda and Jack Bailey, Jody and Ted Anderson, and Bernice and Norman Bingham. They took turns at each others home. They would study the scriptures, play games and visit. At first they were serving light refreshments, then later on it got to be salads, meat, and other things. Bernice really enjoyed this group and it continued for about five years when some of the group started going south for the winter.

When Bing got sick, Britt moved in with his grandma and grandpa to help take care of the farm. He was 17 years old. He not only took care of the farm, he took care of Bing, Bernice, Sharlyn, and Lonnie, and he did it very well. Bernice was very proud of him.

Lalaonie was a special part of Bernice’s life. She lived close to her, and became a constant companion to Bernice and Bing, and they loved her very dearly. She moved in with them in 1994.

Bernice loved to read and really enjoyed The Work and the Glory. She loved to listen to good music, especially Jim reeves, and Hawaiian music. She liked to go to the movies, and she really loved to brag about her children and her grandchildren.

Bernice was a volunteer worker at the Temple.

Bernice lost 5 relatives who were close to her within a year and a half - Sharlyn, Norman, a brother (Wallace) a sister, and niece.

Bernice was a very happy upbeat person, and a lot of fun to be around.

Norman played Santa Claus for years to all the neighbors, and at ward parties and individual parties, and Bernice always had large oversized pillowcases (for bags) filled with popcorn balls for everyone. This was a lot of work for her, but she loved going it.

Bernice loved the plums on Glenna Jorgensen’s trees and every year Glenna would take her up two big bags full, and some fresh raspberries, and Bernice would give Glenna corn and cucumbers from her garden.

Edith Empy and Elsie Caldwell were Bernice’s visiting teachers for years and they loved her dearly. They all enjoyed going out to a Chinese restaurant for lunch on occasion.

Bernice and I have been visiting teaching partners for about 12 years now. We have spent many hours together and have a very special relationship.

Janice said that all afternoon Saturday before Bernice passed away, she talked about how wonderful her mother was.

Bernice was a good wife, mother, homemaker, grandmother, friend, neighbor, and visiting teaching partner.

Like Nellie Elkington said, “Anyone could come to her door and feel welcome.” She was a friend to all. WE WILL MISS HER!!!!!

Memories of Aunt Bernice
from Carolyn J. Christensen

I knew Bernice in the last years of her life and probably when I was a child better than at any other times. From my childhood, I remember that they lived in a “basement” house. When I would go up there, I was very envious that my cousins could open a door and walk downstairs into the ground to get to their home. It was all so mysterious and interesting. I felt somewhat bad for them when I saw a new house in construction. I also remember thinking what a strange occupation my Uncle had in that he raised mink for coats.

But what I really remember well is the time spent with the Binghams during Sharlyn’s illness. Bernice came to Salt Lake to be with Sharlyn, and we visited several times, her staying with us a couple of times. We got to know and love Lonnie and have very fond memories of her, as she seemed to be a kindred spirit. Also, we visited with Sharlyn and recognized her strength and her love for her family.

One of my fondest memories is that the last Thanksgiving of Sharlyn’s life was spent at our home. We invited all her family, the families of Doug, Dennis and Keila, along with Bernice and Lonnie to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at our home together. Sharlyn was able to leave the hospital for a few hours that day to be with them.

We had so much fun with Doug, who I barely remembered. It made me wish we could be closer as cousins. He stayed with us one or two nights, along with Bernice and Lonnie. We had fun when they were not at the hospital. The others came to our home for Thanksgiving day.

We actually had two Thanksgiving dinners at our home. We wanted the Bingham family to be alone together, especially as Sharlyn was not to be exposed to a lot of excitement, so our dinner was held downstairs in the family room, and the Bingham’s ate in the living room, upstairs. However, we intermingled a lot during the day and there was a special feeling in our home. This instance has stayed in my memory with feelings very dear to me, perhaps because of this family laughing and enjoying each other and us, as they went through this hard time in their life. I do feel like the spirit of peace and love was in our home. I learned to love my cousins, and especially Lonnie and Bernice.

As I talked to Bernice during the months of Sharlyn’s illness, it was like I had known her all my life. She seemed very familiar to me, and very at ease with me. Again I am reminded of my peace in realizing that in the next life we can spend all the time we want with those we love, whereas circumstances prohibits time spent with loved ones in this life.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen.  (CJC)
Written by LaNea Johnson Taylor, daughter of Wallace Johnson, son of Carl and Gerda. 
The following heirloom, a quilt made by Gerda Theresia Hanson Johnson,  belongs to LaNea.

Just a little more info on that quilt. Each block measures 5 x 5. The total measurement is 63 x 74. It is 12 blocks wide by 14 blocks long. Each block is either black wool or a bluish gray tweed wool that are alternated. Each black square has a single crochet around it in royal blue yarn and each blue square has a row of single crochet of red yarn around it. They are all crocheted together in a unique pattern in yellow gold yarn. Then the edging is crocheted in yellow gold yarn. I think before Grandma crocheted the blocks together, she embroidered a daisy in the center of each square in the yellow gold yarn with a brown center since the daisy isn't connected to the back of the quilt. There isn't any batting in the quilt. The backing is a dark red cotton fabric. Straight back on the back from each daisy is an "X" about a half inch wide that connects the front to the back. The stitch is in red which matches the color of the backing. However, the red stitching doesn't show on the front of the daisy. The quilt is in perfect condition since I haven't used it at all. No holes or anything!! I don't remember Mom or Dad ever receiving this quilt. I just remember it always being there. I remember Mom saying Grandma (Gerda) making it from coats that Grandpa (Carl) wore on his missions. As a child I probably thought "big deal". Now I know what a BIG deal that really was and how grateful I am to have this quilt. It truly is a most prized possession.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Johnson Christensen.

The daughter of Wallace & Faye Johnson, and grand daughter of Carl Oscar and Gerda Johnson , LANEA JOHNSON TAYLOR, and her husband VERN have been called to the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission.  Congratulations and our best wishes.  Hope you don't melt.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Christensen, cousin of Edith/Edythe Johnson Lloyd, and grand daughter of Carl O. Johnson.

The following was sent to me by Edith/Edythe Johnson Lloyd, daughter of Allen Oscar  and Rula Beck Johnson.  I had always assumed Edith was named for my great aunt Edith who died as a teenager.
I am hoping Edith will send me a picture of her and her family.

Dear Carolyn,

I am sending you this information. I always grew up thinking I was named after my Aunt Edith. It is spelled this way in Grandmother Johnson's records. When I and my husband went to Mexico a few years ago we had to have our birth Certificate to get into the country. To my surprise I found my name spelled Edith. I had gone by the spelling Edythe for so long and it was a real surprise ot me. Of course, my mother was still alive at that time and living with me and I asked her about the spelling. She told me that my Aunt's name was spelled Edith but that when I was in the first grade, she decided to change the spelling of my name to Edythe. Well, I had to take my mother and two forms of Identification into the Bureau of Vital Statistics to have them change the spelling . I had gone by Edythe for so many years that I was told that it would be a problem when it came to getting on Medicare and Social Security and other places if it didn't match my birth record. Anyway, I had to make this change. Mother told me she liked the Edythe spelling better than the Edith spelling. I hope this is clear to you. And I was told that my Aunt Edith died at about 16 or 17 years of age. Dad was on his mission so he wasn't to sure as to her age

Friday, July 16, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Christensen, great half niece of four little Swedish Girls.

I had worked on my Swedish Family History since before I was married. I first remember sorting family group sheets at Ricks College in 1964. Even though my Swedish Grandparents had their lines researched by a professional researcher, I have reviewed the information several times to make sure it was correct. Each time during my life when I brought out the records, I wondered about and researched again my Grandfather’s immediate family. I found a few interesting details, but not a lot. My grandfather’s parents were engaged, he was born, and his mother died before the marriage took place. He lived with his Grandfather and later came to America. His father, five years later, married a woman who had one son. They, in turn, had two sons, and then disappeared from the parish.
While on my mission, I once again reviewed this information. Wouldn’t it be great if I could find where my great-grandfather and his wife disappeared to? However, checking the Swedish Records convinced me that this wouldn’t happen. I wasn’t too concerned for the wife had turned 40, so I was sure no other children were born to this marriage. One day, I asked one of our faithful staff members if they had any ideas. She introduced me to the 1890 Swedish Census. There the family appeared; my great-grandfather and his wife, his step-son and two sons, in a parish to where they had moved. I decided to check the parish registers for this family, and to my shock, surprise, and delight, I found four little girls had been born into this family. The first and second little girl were 1 ½ years apart. When the oldest was 3, both she and her sister died within two weeks of each other. The mother, 8 months later, gave birth to twin daughters, who died the same day they were born. Therefore, this mother and father buried four little girls within eight months of each other. And these girls were my half-great aunts! No one in our family had any idea they had ever existed.
It wasn’t long before several of my family members joined together in the Jordan River Temple to unite the four little Swedish girls to their family, of which I am a part, for eternity. I have been serving on my Church Service Mission for 6 years in November, 2010. This one experience has been worth any time of service I have been able to render.

Following is a family group sheet for this family, and the research notes.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Posted by Carolyn Johnson Christensen, grand daughter of Carl Oscar Johnson.

In scanning my mother's photos recently, I came across two pictures of Carl Oscar Johnson that I had not seen before and wish to share with you.  The first is of Carl when he was quite young.  I wonder if this is a missionary picture of him.

This second picture was taken of Carl in front of his home in Idaho Falls where he a Gerda lived  through their last years until Carl died, that they might be close to the Idaho Falls temple.  Carl looks much thinner in this picture, than he does in earlier pictures of his later life. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


POSTED by CJ Christensen, 30 Jun 2010, cousin once removed of Myrtle.

See below for Ebba and Wilford Johnson Timeline and Death Certificates for Ebba and Charles Rognon.

Myrtle and Marguerite were daughters of Ebba Johnson Rognon.  They were born to Ebba and her first husband, Peter Johnson, but later took the last name of Rognon, Ebba's second husband.  Ebba and both daughters died of TB.  Since Ebba's mother died young, could it have been of TB also? 


The following is a summary of information I have on the first two children of Carl Oscar Johnson, born to Emma Olson, his first wife.  I am looking for more information on this family.  Hopefully someone will see this information and be able to add to it. 

1894, 6 Mar          Oscar W. Johnson born in Smithfield, Utah

1896. 3 Jul            Ebba Oliva Johnson born in Murray, Utah

1917                     Draft Registration - Charles Rognon, Truck Driver,livining
in  SLC,  born in Alabama, employed in Nevada, and married . See Ancestry

1902, 21 Feb         Emma Olson Johnson, first wife of Carl Oscar Johnson died in Salt Lake City - see nFS

1910                   Shelley, Idaho  Census lists Wilford O, age 16, and Ebbe O. 14 in the home of Carl O. and Gerda T Johnson in Shelley

1920                    Salt Lake City, Utah 1920 Census - Ebba is in the 1920 Census with Peter M. Johnson as her husband, and the two children listed are Myrtle E. (Ebba)  age 5 yrs & 2 mo. And Marguerite O. (Olivia)  age 1 year and 2 mo.

1920, 21 Oct        Willford md. Isabelle Carey – prob in Pueblo, Colo

1920, 21 Mar        Clifford Maurice Johnson or Rognon born in Salt Lake City. He was born to Ebba and her first husband, Peter M. Johnson. All three children later took
the name of Rognon, according to Walter Oscar Johnson, half brother of Ebba.

1930                    Pueblo Census shows  Oscar W. Johnson Refinisher with wife and 3 daughters: Patricia, Frances & Eileen.

1934                    SLC Directory lists Chas T. Rognon (Ebba's husband) trucking 768 Blair;   and Myrtle, student at same address
1936                   SLC Directory lists: Rognon, Chas T (Ebba O ) trucking h1594 E 33rd So. And Marguerite O & Myrtle E - both r1594 E. 33rd So

1938, 3 Feb           Ebba dies. Found in Death Index in Ancestry. Listed as Rognon. Age 45

1942                   SLC Dir shows Clifford in an Apartment

7 Apr 1943         Enlistment Record in Ancestry shows Clifford M. Rognon enlisting; driver, married

1957, 5 Dec      Charles Tennyson Rognon dies. He was born 1889 in Alabama. See Ancestry Salt Lake City, Cemetary Records

1965, 26 Feb     Clifford Maurice marries Norma Charlesworth

1999, 10 Sep     Clifford dies


Posted by CJ Christensen, June 30, 2010, grand niece of Charles T. Rognon.
Charles Tennyson Rognon was the second husband of Ebba Johnson Rognon, daughter of Carl Oscar Johnson and Emma, his first wife.


Posted by CJ Christensen, great niece of Ebba Johnson Rognon. 

Above is the death certificate of Ebba Johnson Rognon.  Ebba and both daughters died of pulmonary disease.  Both daughters died in their late teens or early 20's.  Since Ebba's mother died young, I wonder if this was a hereditary disease.  I would love more information about Ebba.