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Ole Nilsson Ahlstrom
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Birth: Dec. 5, 1801
Jönköpings län, Sweden
Death: Jun. 13, 1856
Des Moines County
Iowa, USA

Ole Nilsson [Ahlstrom] was born on December 5th 1801 in Saby, Malmohus, Sweden. His parents Nils Bengtsson and Boel Persson had five children. They had twins, a boy, Jeppa, and a girl, Karna, who died in infancy. Then they had 3 sons Bengt, Hans, and Ole.

Ole's father died when he was only 8 years old. Ole learned the trade of carpenter and his older brother Hans learned the trade of miller. At the time they were boys in Sweden, when a male child was one year old, they were enrolled in the King's army. When they were old enough to serve, they were put on active duty. In those days the children always took their father's given name, not his surname. At this time there were so many Nil's sons in their company that Ole and Hans were given the name of Ahlstrom by their commanding officer as a means of identification. When they were released from service, they had the privilege of keeping this name or taking their inherited name. They both chose to keep the Ahlstrom name.

Ahl (which is an older spelling variation of ‘al') means Alder tree. Strom means stream. Hence the name Alder Stream.

Alder trees resist rot in water and so were often used to build bridges, boats, clogs and milk jugs. It was a crime to fell an alder as the angry tree spirit would burn down houses.

Ole married Ingerborg in 1831 on the day after Christmas. They moved to Malmo about 1834-1835. Saby was a smaller farming community and there was probably more work for a carpenter in the city of Malmo.

1. They had daughter, Botilda, born 4 mos. after they wed. She lived to age 15.
2. Their next child, a son named Nils lived to be 8.
3. Then Jons Peter was born. He settled in Ephraim, Utah and lived to be 68.
4. Next was Mary Ingrid. She settled in Salt Lake City and lived to be 76.
5. Another son lives only to be 4.
6. Charles Magnus settles in Cedar City, Utah and lives to be 63.
7. Vilhelmina (Minnie) settles in St. John, Utah and lived to the age of 42.
8. A son named Otto is named but no death or marriage dates given.
9. A stillborn daughter who is not named.
10. John Godfrey settles in St. John, Utah and lives to be 74.
11. Marie Christina lives to be two. Dies 24 Jun 1855.
12. Anna Cecilia dies on the same day as Marie. Anna is just barely 1 month

When Ole heard the missionaries preach about the restored Church of Jesus Christ he was almost 55 years old. Both of his parents had passed away as well as his two older brothers. He left his homeland with his wife and 5 living children: Jons Peter, Mary, Charles Magnus, Minnie, and John Godfrey. It is interesting to note that his 2 youngest daughters died on the same day June 24, 1855. The family was in Copenhagen by November of that same year and then on board a ship to America by December.

The passage to America was beset by rough seas and winter storms. The family kept their health and made it to New York where they then traveled by rail to Chicago and onto Burlington, Iowa.

Elder Christiansen records the experience of trying to find employment and housing for the emigrants until they were able to continue their journey to Utah. There were about 150 Scandinavians in all. "I assisted them in the transportation of their luggage across the Mississippi River on the ice, and brought them to a house belonging to an apostate ‘Mormon' by the name of Thomas Arthur, of whom I had hired a room for the accommodation of the emigrants - the only one I could secure in the whole town. On that day the editors of the Burlington papers announced to the public the startling fact that the town had been taken by ‘Mormons'. Without friends or money I stood in the midst of my poor brethern not knowing what to do, but I set to work in earnest and succeeded in finding employment for some of the brethern as wood choppers in the country, where I also rented a number of empty cabins for the Saints, who subsisted on corn meal, bacon and other articles of food which they received as advance payment for their labors."

It was under these conditions that Ole worked at felling trees from March until his death on the 13th of June. He was killed in an accident caused by a falling tree. As he ran to get out of the way he stumbled and fell. The tree which was on the hillside, rolled against the top of his head fracturing his skull. This was a sad blow to his widow and children. They missed his help and loving care but they grieved most deeply because he had not lived to see his hopes fulfilled of reaching Utah and doing his part to build Zion.

However, because of his guidance and direction his five children established homes throughout Utah and raised 57 fine grandchildren which were taught the faith.

Ingerborg lived to reach Utah and there she lived in St. John, Tooele County with her youngest son and daughter. When her daughter Minnie traveled to the Endowment House in SLC to be sealed to her husband, Ingerborg went with her and was sealed to Ole on the same day. Now they would be together again and death could no longer claim her loved ones from her. After Minnie's early death, Ingerborg relocated to Manti by Jons Peter to do temple work for her family. She lived to be 83 years old.


Jons Peter: see his biography

Mary Ingrid: She married William Asper (from Penn) in Salt Lake City. He arrived there in 1861 and built a home at 325 Quince Street. He was a carpenter who eventually founded a lumber mill and planning mill. Some credit him with being one of the architects to help with the Manti Temple. He was President of the Stake High Priest Quorum. They had 4 children.

Charles Magnus: With his father gone, he helped his mother and siblings reach Utah in 1860. He was 18 years old and would have been a big help to his widowed mother. Several years later he was called to settle Cedar City, Iron County Utah. He married Sarah Evans (from Wales) in the St. George Temple when it opened in 1877. They had 7 children. After Sarah's death in 1881 he married Hannah Pitt (from England) and had 7 more children.

Minnie Ahlstrom: She married William Bracken (from NY) in the Endowment House in 1865 and had 10 children. They lived in St. John, Tooele County for most of their life then moved to Stockton, Tooele County. Some say their family home is still there today.

John Godfrey: He was only 5 when his father Ole was accidentally killed. He traveled with his mother across the plains when he was 9. They lived in Salt Lake City for a time until relocating to St. John to be near his sister. He was sealed to Mary Ellen Arthur (from Wales) in the Endowment House in 1871 and they had 8 children. He later was called to be Bishop of the St. John Ward.

--Source:; accessed online and transcribed by Annie Duckett Hundley, 2 July 2011.
Family links: 
  Ingerborg Monsson Ahlstrom (1810 - 1894)
  Jons Peter Ahlstrom (1835 - 1903)*
*Calculated relationship
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: Private property? According to pmfrench, "There was no grave marker found for Ole Ahlstrom in any area cemeteries when the Des Moines Co Genealogical Society surveyed the cemeteries in the county in the 1970s."
Created by: Annie Duckett Hundley
Record added: May 07, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69485047

We love you Grandpa Ahlstrom~
- Annie Duckett Hundley
 Added: Jul. 2, 2011

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