Peter Tolf and a church record

A shaking leaf on Family Tree Maker tells me there is a clue about my 2nd great-grandfather Peter August Tolf (1858-1929) in the U.S., Evangelical Covenant Church, Swedish American Church Records, 1868-1970. The record includes a history of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Batavia [Illinois], which was formerly called the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of Batavia. This history, written in 1961, states the church was organized in 1871, seven years before Peter immigrated from Svenarum, Jönköping, Sweden.

Peter, his wife Augusta Sofia (nee Landstrom), and their children Harry Wilhelm, Ranghild Katharina Henrietta, and Karl Johan are the second group crossed off on page two of the church record book.

Source Citation: Covenant Archives and Historical Library; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Swedish American Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, and Burials; Parish: Evangelical Covenant Church; CAHL Film: 150; SSIRC Film: 48315_556349. Original data: Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Burials (Swedish Church Records). The Evangelical Covenant Church and Covenant Archives & Historical Library, Illinois, US, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Burials (Swedish Church Records). Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center (SSIRC), Rock Island, IL, US.

Peter is the 12th adult listed, Augusta is #13. Augusta is identified in Swedish as “hustru” or wife. Harry and Karl are “sonen” or the son[s]. Ranghild is Peter’s “dottern”; the daughter. Birth dates and places are given for each member of the family. Peter was born on the 1st of January 1858 in Svenarum. Augusta was born in February of 1858 [Norra] Sandsjö. Although the record states February 1st, Augusta was actually born February 13th. Their three children were born in Batavia Illinois; Harry the 7th of April 1884, Ranghild the 23rd of February 1889, and Karl on the 9th of January 1891.

The next completed column is the date on which Peter and Augusta were married; the 21st of January 1882. Next are the dates on which each of them was received by the church: Peter on the 20th of June 1891 and Augusta on the 1st of December 1892. Why the nearly 18 month difference I wonder?

The dates and places from which Peter and Augusta arrived in America are in the next column. Peter left his birthplace of Svenarum in 1878 and traveled directly to Batavia Illinois. From other research, I know this was to join family members who previously immigrated to the Tri-Cities. Augusta emigrated from Unnary[d] parish in Sweden. She traveled first to Chicago in 1877 and then moved to Batavia in 1882, the year she and Peter were married.

The last column shows the reason the family has been crossed out on the page of the record book; they left this church and moved to Chicago. Utflyttad = moved.

It was interesting to note that parishioner Axel Elfstrom (#10) also immigrated from Svenarum parish in Sweden. Further research revealed a number of Evangelical Covenant Church of Batavia parishioners who were born in Svenarum, and others from nearby parishes in Jönköping.

Reading through the whole record book was interesting, and seeing other familiar names made it even more so. A closer look at one of the last few pages revealed something requiring further investigation.

It is the first marriage of Peter Tolf’s future daughter-in-law:

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