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Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1865 (age 23), Andelin, Maria Lofdahl (Sweden)

I was born 2nd October 1841, Malmo, Skone, Sweden. Father's name is Olaf Lofdahl, born in 1812 in Malmo, Skone, Sweden. Mother's name Caroline Malmsten, born 25th March 1804, died 25th October 1856, in Malmo, Skone, Sweden. I had three brothers: Carl Peter, born 15th March 1839, Malmo, Skone, Sweden, died 25th February 1875; Olaf August, born 11th December 1844, in Malmo, died 22nd October 1892; Jons Willhelm, born 5th February 1847, in Malmo, died 1st August 1904. My father was a carpenter by trade, also a fine violinist. My brothers were all musical, belonged to the Song Union. I was religiously trained in the Lutheran Church; at fifteen I was confirmed and became a member of that church, and for the first time received the Sacrament. At seventeen I started to work in the cotton factory where I came in contact with some Mormon girls, and talked with them about their religion. I went to church and soon was converted. On the 30th of September 1861, I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but my parents never joined the church. Although my father was religiously inclined, he didn't want anything to do with the Mormons. I was engaged to a local missionary, but when the traveling elder in Malmo Conference was sent to Gottenberg to preside over that Conference, he sent for me to come there. That broke my engagement with the young missionary.

Leaving Home
Now came the task to say goodbye to my father and brothers. I did not seem much concerned to say goodbye to them. I guess the Lord made me that way, kind of hard-hearted, that I could not feel for them. When I reached my hand to say goodbye to my father I saw tears in his eyes. I knew when I got to Gottenberg the President would help me to emigrate; hence I left my father and brothers never to see them again, unless they joined the church and came out. This was in the spring of 1864. Some of the sisters accompanied me to the boat to see me off and say goodbye. Presently the bell rang and the plank lifted, and the boat moved out into the sea, and the girls swinging their handkerchiefs goodbye, till they appeared like little white doves, and then they were out of sight. I saw no more of the land of my birth. Now it was my turn to shed tears. I thought, how cruel, how could I ever leave them, their only daughter, only sister, no one to care for them. In my mind I could see them standing there outside the house. Oh how my heart yearned for them. Why hadn't I stayed? I might have converted them, and we could have all gone together. These were my feelings; I shed many tears. But I was gone, I had embraced the Gospel, the spirit of gathering had come upon me, and nothing in the world could have kept me in the old country. It was the command of God to gather in Zion, to help build up the waste places.

After three days I landed in Gottenberg. The President was at the shore to meet me and accompany me to the office. There was another girl there, and in an adjoining room, boys doing tailoring. They were all glad to see me, shaking hands and talking and asking questions just to hear me talk, for I didn't talk like they did in Gottenberg. My work in the office was a little of everything, some housekeeping when the President was home, to keep the assembly hall clean and in order, and to make gloves between them.

To America - Many Died
On the 14th of April, 1865, we left Gottenberg in the night by boat to sail over the North Sea to Copenhagen to join the other emigrants. This was an awful night. The wind was blowing and the sea was terrible. Sometimes the boat would stand on end, then on the side. We couldn't stay on our seats. They tied us on with thick ropes so we wouldn't fall off into the sea. I was under water three or four times. When we landed at Copenhagen we were soaking wet. We had to walk that way to the hall where the emigrants were gathering. We couldn't get our baggage to change our clothes till we got there. About the 20th of April, we left Copenhagen by boat to Hamburg, Germany, where we boarded the big sailing ship, supposed to be the Monarch of the Sea. Our sailing was fine most of the time, but we did have some fearful storms; one in particular. All sails were lowered and the ship tossed hither and thither, sometimes we would go back for a whole day or more. The waves were mountain high. I was sitting on the captain's doorstep, clinging to a post to look at the high waves. Many children got sick and died. I saw many buried at sea-about 30 of them. I felt sorry for the poor mothers, but they acknowledged the hand of the Lord; counted it as a trial.

To Utah - No Church Teams to Help/Food Shortage
After six weeks on the ocean, we landed in New York at Castle Gardens. From there we traveled by rail and in boats crossing the Mississippi, sailed up the Missouri River and camped there on the banks of the river. I think it was near Omaha, Nebraska. I couldn't talk English then, hence I didn't know the names of the different towns or places where we traveled. We were now ready to commence our journey across the plains under the leadership of Captain Atwood. The church did not bring the emigrants across that year and so there was one Thomas Taylor who contracted to take us across. I paid him $71.00; my fare over the ocean was $61.00. We were 14 weeks on the plains, while 10 or 11 should have been enough. Consequently our provisions gave out, and we had to eat the meat of the oxen that died from starvation and hard work. We ate it sometimes without salt and without bread. We sent a telegram to Brigham Young. He sent out teams with provisions. We got a little flour to thicken the soup with. There were those in the company who had provided for themselves, had their own outfits. They had it better, but they too got short of provisions before we reached Salt Lake City.

Indian Attack/Travelling at Night
At Fort Laramie we were snowed in, and some of our cattle were driven away, supposedly by the Indians. The brethren went to hunt and found some of them. We were told there by the soldiers that the Indians were mad and that they would kill us on the way, and that we would never get to Salt Lake. They advised us to stay there until the next spring, but of course we would not listen to them. We believed that the Lord would defend us. We were out on His business and He couldn't let the red men kill us. One day the teamsters had a fight with the Indians when they took the cattle to water. Seven of the brethren were wounded, some very serious, but all got well and walked into Salt Lake City. After that we traveled at nights and camped in the day, so the Indians wouldn't know where our camps were while we were in the Indian country. I walked all the way. I waded through the rivers with the water up under my arms sometimes. I was happy. I did not shed a tear and never at any time did I wish I was back in Sweden.

Arrival in Salt Lake City
I reached Salt Lake City the 14th day of November 1865, seven months from the time I left Gottenborg, Sweden. When we got here we drove into a square. Here I was a poor girl, a stranger and alone, no soul to meet me and bid me welcome. Lots of people came to camp to see us, and the girls began to go away with relatives or friends. I thought of the poet who said, "I have no home, where shall I go." At this time one Brother Swenson came up to me, said he had found a place in a family by the name of Shipp. I lived with them three months and on the 10th of February 1866, I was married to Olaf Anderson Andelin, stone cutter and mason, the man of my choice. Bishop Edwin Woolley of the 13th Ward, Salt Lake City, performed the ceremony. We were counseled to do that till I could learn the language a little, but that was wrong. We should have married in the Endowment House. On the 11th of June 1868, we were sealed in the Endowment House. In the meantime our first child was born, 18th January 1867, a beautiful boy. We called him Olaf Willhelm, and as they didn't seal children to parents in the Endowment House, we had to wait until a temple was built. When Manti Temple was finished, he was sealed to his parents as our first born.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.