This project started out as a search for my family roots. Somewhere along the way, as I got in touch with others sharing the same roots, the project got turned on its head, and is now a story about some of the descendants of our oldest known common ancestor, Pål Larsson Turpoinen, who moved from Finland to Säfsnäs, Sweden around 1620. Most of the story focuses on descendants of his great-great-great-grandson Petter Jansson, who took the family name Elg sometime in the early 18th century, most likely as a sign of becoming a master blacksmith.
Partly because of how the story unfolded, partly because of my personal interests, this has also become a social history of how Sweden developed from a backward corner of Europe to a modern industrial nation by the mid 20th century. This modernization did not come without a price. In the second half of the 19th century, close to one million Swedes - one quarter of the population - emigrated to the US in search of a better life. This included a major share of the Elg family, and a large part of this website is dedicated to telling their stories.
New: I have added a much expanded section under "Emigration", on Emma Fredrika (Bork) Burke and John Lindstrom , based on new information from Georgia Lewis. Emma was the daughter of Christina Elg and Johan Bork.
This story could not have been told without the help of many who have traced various parts of the family history. My own role has mainly been to bring it all together.
Last updated 03-12-22, 13.17