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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Washington: Whatcom County

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Re: Searching for info on Timothy Courtney
Posted by: Ron Bestrom (ID *****2263) Date: October 14, 2008 at 22:44:01
In Reply to: Searching for info on Timothy Courtney by Mary Lou Miller of 392

Several problems with the other answer.

There is no "Birth Certificate" as such in Sweden. In the days that Mary, wife of Timothy was born, she was living in Sweden under "Patronymics", the naming system. AND, birth records were recorded by the State Church. Since the 1500's/1600's in Scandinavia such birth, death, leaving the State Church, etc, were kept by the local church parish. When someone moved from one area to another, it was recorded in the parish records. I do HEAVY research in Norway where these church records are online. They are not in Sweden.

Now, Patronymics. When she was born, "IF" she was the daughter of "Johan Munson" (Monson), (son is "usually" Swedish, sen is Norwegian, Danish is son...but, you'll find intermingling). But, when she was born she would have been Mary/Marie Johansdotter, or Johnsdotter, or Johanessdotter, depending on exactly how the fathers name was written. A son of this Johan Monson would have been a Johanson, Johnsson, etc. Because there were SOOOO many having these names, patronymics added their farm name or address. For example Magnus Olson had a son Sven, he would have been Sven Magnusson. If they lived on the Stenbakken farm, he would have been Sven Magnusson Stenbakken. Or if they lived, as in the case of my g-grandfather, by a stream, he would have been Sven Magnusson Bystrom. You've seen Cedarstrom, or Nordstrom (North Stream).

Anyway. IF Mary emigrated with her family, she may have been given the name of Munson, as that would have been her father's name. If she came by herself, she might have been Monson, Munson, or Johnson. Her mother Johanna was probably Johanna Johnsdotter in Sweden.

The 1900 Census for Duwamish, King County, WA, enumerated 14 June 1900
Tim Courtney, May 1860, born in Vermont to both parents born in Ireland
Mary, born March 1868, born in Sweden, immigrated 1893, married 3 years (1896/1897), mother of 2, 2 living.
--So, Mary emigrated from Sweden in 1893, that is useful information for further search.

Besides the patronymic problem, many Scandinavian emigrants took Angelicanized/Americanized names upon entry.

Naturalization records. IF Mary came to the USA, she may have filed a Declaration of Intention (to become a citizen), filed in the County; or in a US District Court. But, if she married in 1897, she may never have filed.

Marriage records. You can "try" to obtain one, for King County: But, probably unlikely that you would find one.

Death Record. A Death Certificate would identify whatever information known to the respondent, so if it was a close family member, the information "might" be accurate to worthless.

Obituary. You could "try" to obtain one from the Washington State Library:
The Washington State Library has a free research service, the ask-a-librarian program, where they will look for information in the archives, in this case the newspaper microfilm for an event, such as an obituary. They will look up to an hour and send you the results. Contact them at: .

Your best bet is working with a Swedish genealogy researcher. As stated, I primarily do Norwegian. I am NOT an expert in Swedish research. Here is some potential help sites:

Good place to start:
12 pages of info.

National Archives of Sweden:

MANY Scandinavian Internet Sources:

Swedish Army name changes:


Swedish census of 1890 (partial)

A rootsweb site:

Mailing List:

Ron Bestrom

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