It’s a moment you never forget. Unfortunately, it will only be preserved in our memory as the Michigan National Archives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, would not permit cameras.
Decades spent guessing at our family tree, my mother sat in the chair next to me with white gloved hands holding the citizenship papers of her first ancestor in the Anderson line to cross the sea. The 154 year old half sheet of fragile paper lay on her fingers and the chills of the history shivered across our arms.
The signature of the 40 year old immigrant to the new world, Anderis Anderson, was shaky but graceful as he signed away his fidelity from Oscar I, King of Sweden and Norway, to the United States.
We’ve found many spellings of his first name, and games with Anderson and Andersen, and this small piece of paper confirms the Andersen, but still leaves us questioning if he was Anderis, Andrias, Andiras, Anders, Andres, Anders, or other combinations. The closest we can read on the paper is Ander_s. His tombstone says “Andrias” but we’ve never been completely sure.
State of Wisconsin, County of Manitowoc, ss.
Anderis Anderson personally appeared before the subscriber, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, for said County, being a COURT OF RECORD, and made oath that he was born in Norway on or about the year Eighteen hundred and Twelve, that he emigrated to the United States, and landed in the Port of New York on or about the month of July in the year Eighteen hundred and Fifty-one, that it is bona fide his INTENTION to become a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to Oscar I, Kind of Sweden and Norway, whereof he is a subject.
Subscribed and sworn to before me the 2nd day of November AD 1852.
F. Alrich, Clerk
by E. Salomon, Deputy
Ander_s Anderson [signature]
We finally had the connection to our Anderson/Andersen family immigrants to Norway.
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