Friday, August 3, 2012

Almquist and Collin - Family Reports

Chester Johnson of Austin Texas has researched and documented two very significant historical reports about his great-grandparents in Central, Texas: 

Carl and Maria Almquist, and

Andrew and Augusta Collin.

These two historical reports are as much about the life of these two families as it is about the controlling impact of the surrounding area events.  They are stories that with very little imagination and stretch you could plug in the names of your own ancestors and you begin to understand more about your own ancestral family history.

The Almquist report is a LONG read, but it is worth the time and effort.  It is chock full of interesting details which illustrate the hardships and constraints of the time on the everyday lives of our Swedish ancestors.

Here is an introduction by Chester Johnson:

One of my reports is “History of The Almquist Farm; Manda, Travis County, Texas”. This report is 48 pages in length and begins with the general historical information about my great grandparents Carl Oscar Almquist and his wife Maria, who separately came to America from Sweden. They initially settled in New York and after spending a few years there, they met and then married in 1881. In 1883, they, along with their first child, who had been born in New York, as well as their second, yet unborn child, came to Texas. 5 years later, In 1888, they bought raw land at Manda, Texas which they had to clear for farming. Manda was first settled only 3 years before. 19 years after buying their land, Carl Almquist died in 1907 after most of the children were grown. He had brought the Almquist farm into prosperity and the Almquist family continued to operate the farm until Maria Almquists death and the farm was sold in 1933 after an existence of 45 years. The report contains some information from family history and my now deceased mother’s memory, although most specific data about the Almquist farm and the Almquist family was obtained through an investigation I conducted of official records on file. This report also contains various historical information regarding the nature and hardships of farm life during the early years of the Almquist farm; a time before electricity, indoor plumbing, cars or tractors; a time when farm work was done strictly by human and animal power.
My second report is “The Andrew Collin Family of Swede Hill”. This report is 7 pages in length and begins with Andrew and Augusta Collin, my great grandparents, who separately came to America from Sweden. They met and married in central Texas in 1895, and after a short period of farm life, they moved to the Swede Hill neighborhood of Austin, Texas; where they lived for most of the years from 1900 to the 1960’s. This report concerns the lives of Andrew and Augusta Collin and their children. It also has various information about the Swede Hill neighborhood; which began in the 1870’s (about 20 years before they moved there) as a suburb outside the northeast Austin city limit, and was transformed such that today, it is in the center of Austin, was bisected by an interstate highway, and is a fraction of its original size due to downtown and university expansion.”

You can view and read the Collin report at:

You can view and read the Almquist report at:

Comments can be made to this blog below and/or you can send your comments directly to: 

Enjoy the history,

David Borg

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