For the Love of Henrikson

Diane Henrikson Russell

Like many girls raised in the 1960s, I dreamed that I would marry and adopt my husband’s last name. I even practiced writing my first name followed by the last name of my latest crush in beautiful cursive handwriting.

It’s not that I didn’t like my name. My parents named me Diane Elizabeth Henrikson. I am the fifth generation of women named Elizabeth on my mom’s side of the family.

I am also proud of my Scandinavian heritage. Bernhardt Henriksen, my Norwegian great-grandfather…   Read more

We have a challenge and an opportunity for you. We want you to tell us a brief story about something you did--or experienced—in the past.  You can tell a true story, or you can make the entire thing up. If your story fools our readers, you'll win a fabulous prize. You will discover further details at the bottom of Diane’s story as well as a link to the official OLLI Connects contest page.

Family Found

Diane Henrikson Russell

1880 portrait of Carolina in Swedish family photo album

The Ancestry.com hint appeared as a leaf linked to Carolina Eugenia Oscaria Tillberg.

Before I reveal the hint, here is some background. Carolina was my great-grandmother. The story goes that Carolina was born in Stockholm, and at age 11, she traveled with neighbors to Chicago and settled in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  She was supposed to return to her family in Stockholm, but she never went home.

Instead, Carolina at age 20 married a Norwegian man, Bernhardt Henrikson, who immigrated to Sheboygan as a two-year-old boy with his parents and siblings. They raised three children, including my grandfather, and moved to Chicago in 1894 for a job with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.  (More…)

Verified by MonsterInsights