The Story of Johann Magnus Anderson, Part 1

By Emma Christina Anderson Pusard

Translated from Swedish by Mildred Anderson Lekberg & Sven Lekberg.  Edited for clarity by Rosalind Spitzer

Read the whole story here:  The Story of Johann Magnus Anderson

Aunt Emma & Eric Pusard
Eric and Emma Pusard

My grandfather, Anders Peterson, died three months before my father was born. My father, Johann Magnus Anderson, was born April 20, 1830, at the estate called Ebbarp in the parish of Såby, Jőnkőping’s Province.  Anders had married my grandmother when he was already an old man with several children from his first marriage, so my father had no full brothers and sisters.  He had many half brothers and sisters who were very much older than he was and didn’t have much use for their stepmother or her son. They were well off, but my father and grandmother had often suffered need and had to eat bark bread.

My grandmother supported herself with knitting, and even my father had to learn to knit.  He became so skillful that although he was only eight years old, he could knit a long stocking in a day.

Emma’s grandmother had no patience for drinkers

My grandmother Sara was born in 1792.  Her son Johann became an errand boy very early and was out running errands in all kinds of weather, winter and summer.  He became influenced by all sorts of people and was tempted to sin, especially to drink alcohol.  But Sara was a God-fearing woman, and her prayers and counsel influenced my father. No one ever got him to drink. He has told the story of how, at the age of eight, his mother sent him on an errand to a shoemaker. This man was a drinker and Sara was a thorn in his flesh so he wanted to play a trick on her. He got my innocent father drunk on brandy so that he could not walk home. Sara went out to find him and found him lying in such a condition. My father often told of his mother’s tears and prayers on that occasion. Her warnings bore a rich fruit. Drinkers could never tolerate my father and he, on his side, missed no opportunity to warn such a one for following a life of drunkenness.

Johann was a farmworker at Lovisa’s family farm

My father hired out as a farm worker until he was married. He met my mother Lovisa Christina Samuelsdotter when he worked for her father, Samuel Ericson. Johann was fifteen years old and she was twelve. They were married New Year’s Eve, 1853.  My father was twenty three and my mother twenty years of age. See photo of Lovisa’s parents, Samuel and Anna Stina Ericson here.Gallery

After my parents’ marriage, they settled down in the parish of Mårbäck at a farm named Berg, which was owned by Samuel Ericson, and they cultivated his garden.  They lived there until the spring of 1863 when they moved to the parish of Lommaryds and cultivated the minister’s garden of Pastor Vistrom.

These are the children of Johann and Lovisa Anderson with their birthdates:

Gustaf Adolph, October 21, 1854  See Gallery

Carl Johan, April 27, 1856

Samuel August, 1858 (He died a few months old)

Emma Christina, December 16, 1859.  See Gallery

Clas August, Spring 1862 (This brother died like the other one—I remember seeing him in his coffin.)

Frans Ludwig, February 10,1864

Ida Lovisa, February 21,1866.  See Gallery

Josef Alfred, July 10, 1868.   See Gallery

Mother dies, leaving 6 young children behind

My mother died November 29, 1868 after five days’ illness with pneumonia.  Think what a bad blow for my poor father to be so left alone!  My father said often, “Had I not had God to flee to in my great sadness, I know not how it would have gone for me.”  They lived so happily together.  They were both living Christians.

“God took her away from me.  God does not tolerate idols.  He wants himself to be our all.”

My father idolized his darling Lovisa, and he told us many times, “God took her away from me.  God does not tolerate idols.  He wants himself to be our all.”

I remember very well my mother’s illness, even though I had not yet become nine years old.  She often said to my father during her illness, “Johan, dearest, as long as there is life there is hope of my recovery.”

Father visited her during her illness and tried to comfort her saying how good she had always been.

She answered by quoting from the Psalmbook:

For me His life, His precious blood,

He did not wish to spare

So that for that doom He was responsible

In order that I might be secure

He became my witness with God

And in His death my sin disappeared

So that I might be saved

God took her home Sunday, at 5 a.m.–the first Sunday in Advent.

Mother says farewell to her children

I remember that we were awakened.  Mother wanted to say farewell to us.  She took the two smallest with her in bed, one on each side of her.  We others stood nearby.  She took a special farewell of each of us.  Then she said, “O Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus,” until God took her blessed spirit home to him.

Thank you and again thank you, dear God, for such a mother!  The memory remains!  May none of us children who are still down here be lost!  Our enemy, the devil, has sworn our death!  Jesus is still the stronger who conquers the strong.  God keep us in humility!

My mother so often sang the verse of a song that goes like this:

Yes, let me never think that in myself I am anything,

And let me never be comfortable in this foreign land,

But wait gladly in faith your blessed meeting

One never sleeps until one reaches God’s kingdom.

Read the whole story here:  The Story of Johann Magnus Anderson

One Comment on “The Story of Johann Magnus Anderson, Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Story of Johann Magnus Anderson, Part 3 – Anna's home

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