Signe Viktoria Carlson Bolin (1889-1954)

This is the only photo I have of Signe and, as with Hilda, it’s a scan of a photocopy. If anyone has a better copy, I’d love to see it.

Signe was the daughter of Karl and Hilda Illman Karlsson. She was responsible for bringing her siblings, Albin, Rose and Hilda to this country.

“Signe (Susie) was the first to come to this country. She received the money for the trip from Gustave’s brother-in-law. She had to work as a maid on a farm to repay the money. Rose said the last she heard of Gustave’s brother-in-law, she believed his last name was Pilgrim, was that he was a wealthy man, living in Texas. ” -Rose Carlson Nystrom’s recollections recorded by her daughter, 22 April 1982.

According to Elisabeth Bjorklund, Gus‘ granddaughter, Signe traveled to America with Arvid Pihlgren, the brother of Gus’ wife, Nanny. It’s not surprising that an American would mishear Pihlgren as Pilgrim. Indeed, the ship manifest for the S.S. Saxonia sailing from Liverpool to Boston in 1908 shows both Signe and Arvid, with their final destination being Oakland, Nebraska.

screenshot-2016-11-26-at-8-33-57-am Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963

Signe would marry Oscar Bolin and Arvid would marry Anna Lech. Arvid died in Nebraska. It was his son who lived in Texas.

Arvid Pihlgren

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