Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Borker Andersson and Johanna Dubath

Cheese makers or cheese pressers

My ancestor Borker Andersson was born in Blentarp, Malmohus, Sweden on 1 January 1776 to Anders Pehrsson and Ingar Andersdatter.

[This is an original image of his birth record. Unfortunately, the next page has bled through the paper.]

As a young adult,  Borker was a tenant farmer, who paid a land owner for the privilege of leasing and working the land as a farmer.

Borker met and married Johanna Dubath [or Pettersson] on 13 February 1807 who was born on 1 August 1790 in the castle Marsvinsholm, Malmohus, Sweden and baptized in Balkakra, Malmohus, Sweden. She was the daughter of Pierre Nicolas Dubath [known in Sweden as Petter Dubat] and Metta Lassesson. Borker was almost 31 and Johanna just 16 years old.

Johanna's father Pierre was of Swiss birth and a master cheese maker hired to teach the Swedish cheese makers the art of Swiss cheese making. Pierre was married to Metta Lassessen and they had their four children while they lived in the castle Marsvinsholm employed as a cheesemaker.

Marsvinsholm Castle in Malmohus, Sweden

Borker and Johanna were the parents of six children:

Maria Borkersson  b. 1808 in Roinge, Stoby, Kristianstad, Sweden
Anna Borkersson   b. 1809 in Roinge, Stoby, Kristianstad, Sweden
Mette or Matta Borkersson  b. 1814 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden
Anders Borkersson b. 15 March 1818 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden
Ingri Borkersson  b. 1820 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden
Nils Borkersson   b. 1825 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden

In 1809, the year of my ancestor, Anna Borkersson’s birth, her father Borker was still listed as a tenant farmer. 

By the year 1849 Borker owned land of his own. His name appeared on Swedish records as a cheese maker. His son Nils or Nels stated in his journal, “In the  middle of my 24th year, I decided it was time for me to take my part in the world. I purchased from my father a piece of property.” Nels also stated that he worked as a farmer and dairyman on this land.
Borker and Johanna’s oldest daughter Maria married Nils Nilsson on 26 December 1834 in Slimminge, Sweden and she died on 2 January 1840.

Anna Borkersson Andersson

My ancestor Anna married Ola Andersson on 20 February 1839 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden at the age of 29. This was a very common practice in Sweden as it took so very long to establish oneself. Fifteen years later in 1854, the couple joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sailed for America to join the Mormon Saints in Utah. I have written more of her and Ola in previous blog posts. Anna lived to almost 90 years old--far more than any of her siblings.

Headstone of Metta Andersson Bengtson

Matta or Mette married Niels Bengtson in about 1835. This couple joined the LDS Church as well and sailed on the ship Jesse Munn on 3 January 1854. It arrived in New Orleans on 20 February 1854. The couple traveled onto Utah and with their son Andrew made their home in Ephraim, Utah. Mette died on 9 September 1869 in Ephraim at the age of 55.

Anders married Kerstina Pehrsson on 17 August 1853.

Ingri married Hans Pehrsson on 15 March 1843 and died on 21 May  1855 at the age of 35.

Family of Anna and Nels Borkersson

Nils or Nels married Anna Maria Gustafsson Holm on 30 March 1849. He and Anna spent the next 15 years rearing three children and running a bakery business, dairying and farming. In 1853 the Mormon missionaries came into their lives. During this time, Nels' sisters Anna and Mette joined the Church and immigrated to Utah. Nels had experienced financial failure during this time which caused him to lose his livelihood and sell his home to survive. 

His wife was very unhappy during this time and she longed for Church membership and a life in Zion. She told Nels the Mormons were right in their religious views. For ten years Nels' sisters Anna and Metta had sent letters from their Utah home with glowing news and no mention of hardships. By 1864 Anna had joined the Church and pursuaded Nels to emigrate with her. Nels did not share in her faith or her enthusiasm for the Church.

He found nothing good about their voyage and considerably less than that in their journey across the plains of the United States. The happiness of the Saints made him feel unhappy. 

After arriving in Sanpete County, Utah, Nels and Anna and their three children settled into life, but non-member Nels became increasingly dissatisfied. Anna wanted to be sealed to him but he refused. One day, the bishop came to their home, packed Anna and her belongings into his wagon and within a short time Nels and Anna were divorced.

Then Nels had to live on and off with his sisters Anna and Metta and their families. In May of 1867 he decided to return to Sweden with a group of other dissatisfied Scandinavian Saints and persuaded his son, Anders to accompany him. On the 10th of July at Crow Creek, just beyond Fort Laramie, Wyoming, Anders was shot by Indians.

Nels mourned deeply as he watched his son die but continued on to Sweden. When he arrived, he wrote an unflattering book about his three years among the Mormons. His aim was to dissuade other Swedes from joining with the Mormons. Nels died the following year on 19 October 1868.

Borker's wife Johanna died on 21 March 1827 in Balkakra, Malmohus, Sweden at the age of 36. Borker lived many more years longer than she. He died on 12 March 1852 in Slimminge, Malmohus, Sweden at the age of 76.

Much of this family history was found in the books, How to Trace Your Ancestors to Europe by Hugh T. Law and The Dilemma of a Pernicious Zion by Richard G. Ellsworth.


  1. Nicely done Cindy. It seems as if Nels might have developed this bitter attitude when they experienced the financial difficulties. I can almost feel it travel with him over the ocean, across the plains, all the way to Ephraim. I hope his wife that left had a better fate.

  2. wow....great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi!
    Borker Andersson was the twin of my MM MM’s mother, Elsebe Andersdotter. I am a passionate genealogist and yesterday I came to Borker when building my family tree. It was a very fascinating reading about Borker and his family. Now I also know why so many Americans also have Borker’s and mine ancestors in their family trees. Thank you so very much for sharing this story.
    Sincerely Astrid Bergstrand, Sweden.