Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Olga Birgitta Nordqvist (1885-1972) who emigrated from Norway

Olga Birgitta Nordquist (1885-1972) aka Olga Birgitta Nordqvist, Housewife (b. May 04, 1885, Rödön, Jämtland, Sweden - d. June 03, 1972, Cannon Falls, Goodhue County, Minnesota, USA) Social Security Number 469766040.

She was the fourth great-granddaughter of Anders Örbom I (1675-1740), Captain of the Swedish Army.

Daughter of Nils Olofson Nordqvist (1845-1902) and Karin Jönsdotter (1850-1931).

She emigrated from Sweden on May 10, 1909.

She married Axel Edwin Rapp (1882-1966) around 1905. Axel was the son of Lars Anders Rapp.

Her children include: Olga Rapp (1906); Henry Louis Rapp (1907-1937); Alva Conrad Rapp (1909-1990); Clara Viola Rapp (1911- ); Raymond John Rapp (1913-1999); Rosella Eleanora Rapp (1915-1980) who married a Holm; Arnold Edwin Rapp (1916-2002); George LaVerne Rapp (1918- ); Doris Leona Rapp (1920- ); Marvin Kenneth Rapp (1922-1999) who was in the Navy; Lucille Muriel Rapp (1924- ); LeRoy Axel Rapp (1926- ); and Virgil Wayne Rapp (1928- ).

Memories of Olga Nordquist:
Eleanore Holm said on May 25, 2005: "A friend of hers in Sweden was given a ticket to travel to the United States to become an indentured servant. Olga took the ticket when the friend decided not to go. She travelled alone to Nova Scotia and then took the train to Minnesota, but no one was there to meet her at the train station. She arrived and no one was at the train station to meet her. A man noticed her in the station alone and he spoke Swedish and took her home with him. He lived near the people she was going to work for. Olga contracted polio when she was pregnant with her fourth child in 1911. Olga had a weak back after that, so she sent for her mother in Sweden. Her mom brought with her a weaving loom which is now in the Goodhue County Museum in Redwing. She was working on a rug up until three days before her death, and that rug is still on the loom in the museum."

Andrea Antoinette Rapp (1944- ) wrote on on May 25, 2005: "Olga was an 18 year old girl in Sweden in 1903. Her father had passed away of a heart attack while crossing [the river] Storsjön on October 02, 1902 on a sledge. Her mother mourned the loss of her husband and Olga dreamed of something better. The future was bleak in Nälden, Jamtland. A friend had a steerage ticket to America and was supposed to go to the Cannon Falls area. The friend got cold feet and Olga jumped at the chance. She left Sweden for Trondheim and boarded a boat from Liverpool in September of 1903. She worked at a residence in rural Cannon Falls. On a neighboring farm lived her mother's first cousin, Lars Anders Rapp. Olga had a boyfriend in Sweden and the plan was for him to come also. This was not to happen. Lars's son Axel Rapp, was handsome. She became pregnant and married him on November 01, 1905. The act was almost a rape by most accounts. A daughter was stillborn in 1906. They named her Olga. Her mother, Karin, and older sister arrived in Minnesota in 1909. Karin brought a loom which Olga inherited and spent many hours making rugs. Axel and Olga had 12 more children. Henry and Conrad were born in Cannon Falls Township before they moved to South Dakota. Land was cheap [there]. While there, Olga contracted polio. She dragged herself out of the house each day to lay in the sun which seemed to help her pain. She asked Axel to go into town to buy some aspirin for her pain. He, a drinker in his younger days, came back 3 days later, drunk, with no aspirin and no money. That summer she became pregnant with Clara. Cinch bugs destroyed the crops and they moved back to Cannon Falls in 1911 in time for Clara to be born. Conrad remembers sitting on the lap of an old man with a white beard on the way back. This [was] obviously, Anders Rapp. There were 9 children after Clara. Olga walked with a stoop but was very active. Life was not pleasant for Olga. Axel had a problem with alcohol and was generally unpleasant to her and the kids. Later in life, he stopped drinking. His grandchildren adored him, but he remained unpleasant to her. She hoped that he would go first so that she might have some peace. She never spoke of the boyfriend in Sweden and no one knows what happened to him or what his name was. Olga made thousands of rag rugs for family and others. She sold them when she could. Axel would take her money if he found out. I recall tearing old clothes and sewing rags together and rolling them into balls in the evening. She used these balls to weave her rugs. She make wonderful rugs. The Rapp's have a blood disorder called Antithrombin 3. It appears in relatives in Sweden, Axel's brother, Ephraim's decendants have it. Olga and Axel lost 2 sons in their 20's to it. Many of my first cousins have it. The blood is thick and causes clots and strokes. The cousins are on coumadin. Although my father was never diagnosed, he did have symptoms. Phlebitis and strokes are common for ancestors at young ages and this new knowledge explains the causes."