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Reader requests Swedish memories and mementos


September 5, 2012
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Historian , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

"Do you have any late 1800 maps that might show Swede Road in Brocton, with the names of the land owner?" neighbor Jay Stratton asked. To this the Westfield Historian replied, "Yes, and I have some CDs that have the 1867 and 1881 Chautauqua County Atlas Maps, and one of those should show just what you want." After examining maps of the area on both CDs, the 1881 Atlas provided the names of Swedish immigrants who had settled on Swede Road in Brocton.

Stratton is a regular visitor at the home of Marybelle Beigh, and he has provided a variety of topics and stories for historical research and BeeLines articles since her appointment as Westfield Historian. Stratton's latest request for late 19th century maps led to his sharing an article he had written, both in Swedish and English, describing his experiences locating Swede Road in Brocton, N.Y., and comparing what it looks like now with the 1881 map.

Stratton also provided a copy of an article about The Royal Society for Swedish Culture Abroad, in which they pose the question, "Do you have any memories or mementos of Sweden?" In response to their request, he had written the article for submission to their website, and asked permission to make use of my computer to type and submit the article. After a battle with the idiosyncrasies of word processors and character maps, Stratton produced the articles which are reproduced below, and sent them off to the website with a couple of map images.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
The 1881 Atlas provided the names of Swedish immigrants who had settled on Swede Road in Brocton.

Stratton asked if Beigh would be interested in using his stories to reach out to the local Swedish descent residents and ask them for more information about Swede Road or photos, old or recent, that could be shared with the website Stratton is also seeking other Swedish speakers with whom to practice his Swedish. Contact the Westfield Historian as indicated at the end of this article.

Swede Road, Brocton, N.Y.

There are many roads in Chautauqua County and nearby Pennsylvania that have Swedish names. You can find roads named Johnson, Sandstrom, Dahlberg, Nelson, Carlson, etc. These remote country roads are usually named for the first families to settle on them in the late 1800s and those families happened to be Swedish.

Fact Box

The office of the Westfield Historian is located at 117 Union Street, in the small green building on the north side of driveway. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m., or by appointment. The Westfield Historian phone number is 326-2457, and the email mail address is

There are two "Swede Roads" in Chautauqua County. We come from the one that is in Brocton, N.Y., not the one that is over Harmony way. It's a long road with many farms and so many families that no one name came to predominate. Swede Road runs northeast across the Lake Erie plain with vineyards, gardens, hay fields, forests. Nowadays it has been cut in two by the N.Y. State Thruway (90) so that we have North and South Swede Roads.

My great grandmother Linda Marie Anderson emigrated to Swede Road, Brocton in 1887. A farmer from Swede Road purchased a ticket for her and in return she worked as an indentured servant on his farm for a couple of years. Linda was 19 years old and came from Hllestad in Ostergotland (Eastern Goth Land). She married John William Beckman, a Swedish American, and later moved to Westfield, N.Y.

The farm family and Linda became good friends. Linda often returned to visit with her children during country rides of the early 1900s. When my mother had her country rides in the 1930s, Grandpa would always stop to visit them as well.

When it was our turn for our country rides in the 1970s, Mother could not remember the family's name, nor which house it was. We just know that we came from Swede Road in Brocton. How many other Swedish-Americans also come from Swede Road?

Written by great-grandson Jay T. Stratton, Westfield, N.Y.

Swede Road, Brocton, N.Y.

Det finns mnga vgar i Chautauqua County, New York och nrliggande Pennsylvania som har svensk namn. Man kann hitta p vgar som heter Johnson, Sandstrom, Dahlberg, Nelson, Carlson, o.s.v. De ligger lngt borta ut p landet och vanligen har namnet frn den frsta familje som etablerade sig dr under 1800-talet och de var svensk.

Det finns tv vgar i Chautauqua County som heter "Swede Road." Vi kommer frn den som ligger i Brocton, New York, inte den som ligger bredvid Harmony. Den r en lng vg med mnga bondgrdar och s mnga familjer att inte ett enda namn kom att dominera. Swede Road rinner nordostlig tvrsver Sjn Eries sltt med vingrdar, trdgrdar, hmrker. Skogar. Nufrtiden sprras vgen av New York State Thruway (90), s har vi North Swede Road och South Swede Road.

Morfarsmor Linda Maria Andersdotter (Linda Marie Anderson) utvandrade til Swede Road, Brocton i 1887. En bonde frn Swede Road kpte en biljett fr henne och som borgenfrbindelse arbetade hon ett par r som bondeflicka fr honom. Linda var 19 r gammal och kom frn Hllestad i stergtland. Hon gifte sig senare med John William Bckman, en svensk amerikan, och etablerade sig i Westfield, New York.

Bondefamiljen och Linda blev goda vnner och Linda terkom ofta p besk med sina barn under 1900-talets lanskapsresor. Nr min mor gjorde sina landskapsresor under 1930-talet, s skulle Morfar alltid hlsa p dem ochs.

Nr det kom att vara vr tur i 1970-talet, Mor kunde inte komma ihg namnet, inte heller vilket hus det var. Vi vet bara att vi kom frn Swede Road i Brocton. Hur mnga andra svensk-amerikaner kommer ochs frn Swede Road?

Skrivit av barnbarnbarn Jay T. Stratton, Westfield, New York

Buzzings from BeeLines

The Westfield Historian apologizes for an unfortunate typo regarding the name of the owner of Anthony's restaurant in the article about Pinters in last week's edition of the paper. Several readers have correctly pointed out that the owner was Anthony Calarco, not Baideme. Having recently written about Anthony "Tony" Baideme, the fingers just naturally typed "Baideme" rather than what the brain was thinking, "Calarco" and even proof-reading saw what was expected, not what was there. Thanks to all the readers for catching the error.



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