Roots & Shoots


Our collection of family information comes through personal communication and the conversations on Zoom every Wednesday evening. What follows are a few jottings. Our hope is that all newsletter readers will keep us posted about what is happening in your part of the universe.

New Rochelle News

Jonathan Coss has been providing a multitude of great materials for our website and Zoom calls for several months. Recently he sent along a series of email notes about his contact with a Lutheran Minister, Rev. Tim Anderson, from Altona, IL. The contact uncovered marriage records of the Johnson’s & Burma’s in the late 1800. J. P. Johnson and Johanna Dorothea Burman lived in Altona, were married there and had three children, Easter, Lizzie and Frank I. before moving to Lanyon where Amy, Obed and Nellie were born. This fills in important gaps for the John and Lizzie Lindgren side of our relationships.

Jonathan, also recently. sent along really great information about his grandfather, Jam,es A. Coss, who was a professor of chemistry at Morningside College and published a paper in 1920 with co-author William A, Noyes who was a preeminent chemist and chemistry department chair at the University of Illinois,

Jonathan has become our go-to person when we are seeking archival information about family members and history. Recently we asked Jonathan to look into the history of rural schools particularly in Iowa. Last week he provided an outstanding list of sources to help us better understand the rural schools in Iowa, such as those our ancestors attended. Two of our correspondents, Dick Lindgren and Ann Dunnigan, attended one-room schools. Let us know about other relatives who may have attended a rural one-room school.

Atlanta Angles

Anne Blitch, Ted Lindgren’s daughter, has helped her father join several of our Wednesday evening Zoom conversations. We’ve missed Ted and Anne’s presence over the past few weeks because Ted had an unfortunate accident and fell from his wheelchair suffering a broken hip. Fortunately the hip was surgically repaired and we all hope for Ted’s continued improvement. Anne is a corporate attorney and finds time to provide support for Ted, who is now well into his 80s.

Denver Dispatches

Jay Lindgren celebrated the marriage of his daughter in June.

He has limbered his big cruiser BMW Motorcycle and enjoyed a recent trip to see the great landslide that caused problems along I-70.

Jay surprised all of us on Zoom when he appeared clean shaven after all the months of the pandemic where he cultivated a monumental beard.

Jay has also been involved in development of Wikipedia pages. Two you may want to see are: Jon Lindgren and Obed Simon Johnson.

Heart of San Francisco

John William Johnson who prefers to be called JJ is the grandson of Obed Simon Johnson. He spent the first half of his life in Europe. He is a collector of historic and unusual guitars and told a story of being engaged in ballet in his youth while living in France. One of his brothers still lives in Switzerland where he teaches music. JJ’s daughter lives on a Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain. JJ looks forward to visiting her annually but travel has been curtailed by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

JJ has also been actively researching the life of his father, James Waldemar Johnson. He has compiled details that we hope to add to his father’s website page soon.

Des Moines Developments

Jon and Elaine were wonderful hosts for JJ when he traveled from San Francisco to meet family members at Dick’s 90th Birthday in June. Dave and Bruce Lindgren joined JJ, Elaine and Jon for dinner and a great conversation the evening before the birthday. Jon and Elaine’s granddaughter is busy writing applications for medical school admission. Jon’s brother Dick has been providing encouragement and tips about medical schools with maybe a little bias for his alma matter, the University of Iowa Medical School.

Madison Memo

Dick continues to keep track of family connections inside and outside of the Frank and Amy lineage. Dick keeps a wealth of information about ancestors and ancestors lives, work and offspring. He and his children have made several trips to Sweden to find the birthplaces, memorials, homes and churches of both Johnson and Lindgren ancestors. In June, Dick’s daughter Laura read to several of us from a wonderful journal she kept about their first trip when she was 19yo. Every so often Dick puts together interesting document packets and pops them in postal mail to keep our records complete and safely disbursed. This is important because it provides redundancy of family artifacts, which we expect will provide security and safe-keeping.

Tulsa Talk

Pat Heath and husband Jim are very regular participants in our Zoom conversations. Steve Lindgren and Jim frequently keep us informed about their respective golf pursuits. A few week ago we received the sad news of the untimely death in a motorcycle accident of her nephew Scott Dickerson, son of Pat’s brother, Jim Dickerson. Scott’s daughter Sarah has participated in Zoom conversations and has also provided photographs which we hope to use soon in a web-page memorial for Scott.

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