Thursday, May 17, 2012

Andrew Richardson and the Spanish-American war, part 2

As I wrote in an earlier post I suspected Andrew Richardson, my great granduncle had participated in the Spanish-American war after I found a Veteran Grave index record at Minnesota Historical Society. It didn't take 30 business days for the record to arrive but Ive been checking the mailbox everyday waiting for that letter to arrive. The day before yesterday was my lucky day. Every weekday at lunch I drive home to take the dog out for a walk. Just letting the dog into the house again that day I saw the yellow post car and waited for the postman to drop the mail off. There it was. All the way from Minnesota. How exciting it is before you open it. You think "Now all my questions will get answers".

I sat down in my car and opend it. At least I didn't open it standing next to the mailbox even if I wanted to. Two pages. A lot of fields with great information to fill out.. which hadn't been filled out. Well, it did say he served in Philippine Insurrection, birthdate was 1858 and birthplace Sweden, no more details than that. And then the feeling you get when you realize you didn't get any answers, just a few more questions. But that is why we all love genealogy and family history research right?

So many interesting fields to fill out,
homcome are most of them empty?

Drove back to work and used the last minutes of my lunch to scan the papers and email it to Andrews relatives in the US.

Well, I also sent an email to Aitkin County Historical Society, giving them the birth and death data of Andrew and telling the story of that he might have been in the Spanish-American war, asking if they had any obituaries or newspaper clippings since their homepage said they have local newspapers on microfilm. (Ive been searching, and with no luck).

Yesterday (within 24 hours), I got an email reply from Aitkin County Historical Society with an obituary of Andrew Richardson attached to it. What a joy! Answers to my questions, yes, Andrew was a Spanish-American War veteran.

But then also a little sadness reading the obituary. He was found dead by a man named Frank Fowlds on the floor in his cabin seven miles from Palisade, where he lived alone . According to the coroner E E Seavey he had probably been dead for about three days. He lived much to himself making occasional visits to Minneapolis.

Andrew Richardson Obituary 1928

So, now I know for sure he was in the war and he had a government pension. I have emailed Aitkin County Historical Society trying to express how grateful I am for their help but the truth is I really can't explain how happy I am with words. Im sure you all know that feeling too as well. They day I get to the US and Minnesota their museum is definitely on my list on places to visit.

The search may continue. I now need to find out how to find out where to find him, how long and where he served during the war. Any suggestions? I think he was in Wisconsin aroud that period of time.

Andrew Richardson Death Certificate page 1

Andrew Richardson Death Certificate page 2
In Sweden Andrew Richardson was known as Anders Nilsson Rickard Holmer. Born in Vinslöv, Kristanstad, Sweden January 26 1858.

Nils Svensson Rickard
b. August 8 1828, Kviinge, Sweden
d. May 27 1913, Vinslöv, Sweden

Elna Holmgren
b. September 27 1820, Vanneberga, Sweden
d. March 14 1886, Vinslöv, Sweden


Anna Nilsdotter Rickard, in US aka Anna Nelson (married to Jens Nelson)
b. March 23 1853, Vanneberga, Sweden
d. July 17 1905, Swanville, Minnesota, US

Karna Nilsdotter Rickard (my greatgreat grandmother)
b. October 6 1855, Vinslöv, Sweden
d. January 10 1919, Bubbarp, Sweden

Nils Nilsson Rickard, in US aka Nels Richardson
b. February 23 1860, Vinslöv, Sweden
d. March 24 1935, Long Prairie, Minnesota, US

Elna Nilsdotter Rickard, in US aka Ellen Nelson (married to 1) Johannes Ericsson 2) Nels L Nelson)
b. July 6 1862, Vinslöv, Sweden
d. White Bear Lake, Minnesota, US


  1. Thanks, Linda. This is all so fascinating to your American cousins too!

    1. Im so happy I have people to share my findings with :). Late last night I found an index card at the website (site with military records content) and he was in the 4th Wisconsin Infanrty, Co K. He was a corporal. Looks like he spent most of his time at Camp Shipp in Anniston, Alabama. Another post about this coming up here during the weekend.