The next step is to identify who Jennie and Lily’s parents were. Neither Lily nor Jennie were easily found in the 1900 Federal Census, however, even though both should have been alive and were likely (although not certainly) living with their parents at that time.
Skipping a step, I did know from family lore that Lily’s parents were named August and Hedda and had found them at the Overton Cemetery in Overton, Nebraska, through findagrave.com. Therefore, I decided to look for them directly, to see what I could find and if I could make the link to Jennie and Lily.
At first, nothing could be found for 1900 (to see how I managed to finally track them down, see Westerlins in 1900). I found the task easier in subsequent censuses, although quickly realized that the name was being spelled in a variety of different ways.
In 1910, August and Hedda and their family were in Logan, Dawson, Nebraska (the same place Delbert and Lily later lived). Both are listed as having immigrated in 1891 (although from other records I think August came in 1889). Even without Jennie and Lily, they have 8 children at home:
- Carl (age 22), born Sweden
- John (age 18), born Nebraska
- Helen (age 16), born Nebraska
- David (age 14), born Nebraska
- Alice (age 10), born Nebraska
- Ester [probably Esther] (age 8), born Nebraska
- Harry (age 7), born Nebraska
- Mildred (age 4), born Nebraska
In 1920, the family is still in Logan (as are Lily and Delbert). August and Hedda are listed, respectively, as having come to the US in 1889 and “prior to 1900,” and are naturalized. Their son Carl and his wife and family are quite close (Carl is identified as having come to the US in 1892), and August and Hedda are still living with John (age 28), Alice (19), Ester (18), Harry (16), and Mildred (14).
In 1930, the family (now just August, Hedda, and Harry, age 27) are in Overton, Dawson, Nebraska, and identified as having come from Sweden in 1889 and 1891. They are in the same place in 1940, still with Harry, now 37. August died in or around Overton, Nebraska in 1941, and Hedda in 1954, and Harry in 1972, with all buried in the same cemetery in Overton (findagrave, again). It appears that Harry did not marry.