Emma Fredrika (Bork) Burke and John Lindstrom

Emma´s parents, Christina Elg and Johan Bork.

Georgia Lewis, Ogden, Utah, tells the story of Emma Fredrika Bork and John Lindstrom. Georgia is descended from Christina ("Stina") Elg (b. 1820) who was a sister of Carl Johan Elg´s father Lorencius Elg. Stina Elg married Johan Bork, and they later emigrated to the U.S., where Johan called himself "John Burke". This must have been quite early, somewhere between 1847, when their daughter Emma Fredrika Bork was born in Sweden, and 1868 (or 1869) , when John Burke died, and was buried under a cornfield on the family farm in Sanders County, Nebraska.Emma Fredrika Burke married John Larsson Lindstrom in Omaha, Nebraska, and Georgia is their great-granddaughter.

The following information was compiled by Georgia Lewis, based on information from Martha Butts Lindstrom, Marion Lindstrom Lewis, Lida Lindstrom, George Lindstrom, "Wyoming Place Names", "History of Omaha", 1870 Nebraska Census, 1880 Wyoming Census, "Sons of the West" by Sarah Chaffin.

Emma in car. Photo from Georgia Lewis

Emma Fredrika Burke

John Burke and his family lived two doors away from the Lindstroms in Omaha, Nebraska. Both families were Swedish. This might have been where Emma met her future husband. Emma was working as a nurse. She would go to peoples houses and do practical nursing. She could speak English without accent, but she always wrote in Swedish. She had a little shelf that she had brought with her from Sweden.

Emma had dark brown hair and beautiful light blue eyes. She was about five foot tall. She had a small frame but very large hands. Her hands were usually red and rough, which made them look even larger. She was always active, and evenm in old age she was always moving around.

Emma was born in Sweden. Her family probably came to America together. Her father died in Nebraska. Her mother was a widow for many years, and lived in Laramie, Wyoming. All we know of Emma´s childhood is that she would turn the grindstone for her father while he sharpened his tools. At least two of her sisters lived in Laramie, Wyoming. In the 1880 Wyoming census, John and Emma were listed with their four children, living with sister Augusta Burke Connors and her husband Charles in Laramie City. Her other sister Johanns Christina and her husband also lived in Laramie. They kept the wife´s name of Burke because the husband´s name of Quarnstrom was too hard for Americans to pronounce. Emma´s other sister Anna also lived in Laramie at one time.

Emma was a good cook. One of her specialties was blood pudding. Whenver an animal was butchered, she would make her special pudding with the blood. Another special treat was pudding made with the first milking. This wasn´t exactly milk, just a thick white stuff. Her family liked it, but it didn´t appeal to outsiders. Emma always had a pot of coffee sitting on the back of the stove. The family would have a cup off and on all day.

(For more on these Swedish specialties, see Lennarts notes).

Emma was always doing something and moving around. As soon a s a meal was finished, she´d jump up and start clearing the dishes. She liked to crochet, and was very good at it. She also taught her daughter-in-law, Martha, how. But she never knew how to knit, and didn´t care for embroidery.

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Last updated 03-12-22, 13.25