Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Capt. David Elson, 1st Officer of the Solano and Captain of the Contra Costa

From: "Ron Larsen"

I've been researching my wife's Swedish ancestors and have come across some interesting information. One of her not too distant relatives is Capt David Elson. He's listed as 1st Officer of the Solano and Captain of the Contra Costa. I don't know if your group is interested in the crew of the train ferry but, if you are, I have a lot of info on Capt Elson's origins and emigration to the US. ...

—Ron Larsen


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Ron Larsen"

Here's what I've found on Capt. David Elson:

Capt. David Elson was born David Herman Israelson May 1862 in Onsala, Hallands Län (county), Sweden.  Onsala is located on the east side of the Kungsbacka peninsula, south of Göteborg and lies on the Kungsbackafjord.  At the time that David was born Onsala was a village of seamen or sailors (in Swedish "Matros").

David was the son of David Israelson and Anna Britta Benson.  David Sr. and Anna Britta had seven children: David, Davida, Ivar, Bernadina, Sabina, Hulda & Carolina.  Anna Britta died and David Sr married Josephina.  They had one son Carl Birger,  Of these David, Davida, Ivar, Carl & Carolina emigrated to the US and dropped the "Isra" from their names, becoming Elson.  Bernadina married Adolf Kollberg, a sailor, and these are my wife's great-grandparents.

David Israelson emigrated to the US March 10, 1882 with his brother-in-law Adolf Kollberg.  They left Göteborg on board the SS Romeo bound for Hull, England.   They left Liverpool on board the SS City of Montreal and put in at New York on March 27, 1882 and were processed through Castle  Garden.

About 1888 David married Jenny Anderson.  Jenny emigrated to the US from Göteborg to Liverpool to New York on board the SS Alaska landing on 24 Oct 1887.  I suspect that Jenny was also from the Onsala area, knew David and came to America to marry him.

David and Jenny Settled in Benicia, Solano, California and their first child, Dora, was born Jun 1889.  They had two other children, Alfred Herman born Oct 1891 and Herbert Ralph born Mar 1896.  David and Jenny were naturalized in San Francisco April 8, 1890.

In the 1900 census for Benicia David is listed as a "deck hand on steamer".  In 1910 he’s become "1st officer – ferry steamer", in 1920 he’s "Captain – Boat" and in 1930 his occupation is listed as "none" (at 66 he’s retired).  In 1925 David and Jenny went to Sweden to visit relatives and returned on the SS Drottninholm landing in New York October 17, 1925.

David and Alfred’s deaths are listed in the Passalacqua Funeral Home Records as "Elson, David Herman Record 3 Sheet 244"and "Elson, Alfred Herman Record 1 Sheet 242".  Herbert Ralph is listed on his WWII draft card as the owner of a poultry ranch in Hayward, California and his death is listed in the California Death Records as Jan 6, 1954.

—Ron Larsen

10/04/2010 12:58 PM  

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