Recently I attended a webinar on finding ancestors in Minnesota. One thing that was mentioned was that Family Search had added many marriage records recently. I checked it out and found a different marriage record for them. This gave her name as "Sarah Elizabeth Fristat" Before I had found as either Sarah or Elizabeth or, in one instance, as Anna. But now I entered the full name "Sarah Elizabeth Fristat" and searched it on Ancestry. Almost at once I got the Swedish Emigration record for her which gave her exact birth date and place. She came from a small town near Ulricehamm in Alvsborg and Nils was from another small town very nearby! Once having her parish and birth date it was easy to find her birth record and parents. She came to America in 1866 by herself. had she and Nils known each other? Did he send for her? Or did they meet in Minnesota and discover they were from the same area?
Additional study shows that they were married only three months before their first son was born. Were they living together until she got pregnant and then decided to get married? As far as I can tell Nils and his first wife, Anna Charlotta, were never divorced. She lived until 1917 so he wasn't widowed. Nils and Elizabeth got away with it. Anna Charlotta wasn't as lucky. She had a daughter after Nils left, born out of wedlock. She then married the father but they were tried in court and forced to divorce because she had not divorced Nils. It just shows the difference between living in the same community where you had lived with your husband so people knew you had been married and going to a new country where no one knew you or inconvenient facts like your first marriage.
It just shows the importance of having the right name to finding the full story. And it adds further interest to my grandfather's story!
Marriage Record of Nils and Elizabeth
Brunn, taken in 2014
Map showing Brunn, Vist and Ulricehamn