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From Eliasson to Lundquist: Changing Surnames

Agnes Hilma Carolina Lundquist was born on 16 July 1894 in Stanton, Montgomery County, Iowa, to immigrant parents from Sweden, Pehr Alfred Lundquist and Mathilda Lovisa Erikson-Holm.[1] Her parents were married on 15 March 1892 in Red Oak, the county seat of Montgomery.[2] Agnes was their second child.

When I began researching my husband’s family, I looked for her father in ship passenger lists and found no record of Pehr Alfred Lundquist, nor his parents Anders Lundquist and Cajsa Lundquist. Two more siblings of Pehr Alfred, Johan Gustav and Ana Sophia, were also not found.

I continued researching the family in US records but at the back of my mind, I really wanted to locate that passenger list. It’s the first connection to the old country.

Then I remembered the Swedish naming pattern. Pehr’s name would be Pehr Alfred Andersson, being the son of Anders. Anders’ surname would Eliasson, as the son of Elias Pehrsson. Perhaps they did not come to America using the Lundquist name.

Searching the passenger lists did reveal the family using the surname Eliasson. However, the head of the family was listed as Alfred instead of Anders, but the ages of Anders, his wife Casja, and two children, Sofia and Alfred, matched known birth years. They arrived on the SS Manchester on 9 July 1866. Right above the family was Anders’ brother, Gustaf Eliason, his wife, Anna, and three sons, Johan, Franz, and Claus.[3]

Why Lundquist?
Anders and Gustaf were not the first of Elias Pehrsson’s sons to come to America. In 1852, Johannes Eliasson, his wife, Charlotta Eva, and three children, Josefina, Gustaf, and Emily, came aboard the SS Swea. He used his patronymic name aboard the ship. But in America, he was known as John Lundquist.[4]

Johannes Eliasson, was the first to use the “Lundquist” name when he married Eva Charlotta Johansdotter on 12 December 1845 in Fivlered Parish, Skaraborgs län, Vastergotland, Sweden.[5] He continued using the name in household examination records.[6]

In American records, Johannes’ surname was spelled in many creative ways: Longuest, Loundquest, Landquest, Longquest, Linquest, and Lunquest. By 1880, the spelling settled to Lundquist.

When Anders and his family arrived in 1866, they first settled in Jefferson County, Iowa, where brother, John was living. John ended up moving to Moline in Rock Island County, Illinois, and Anders moved his family to a farm outside of Stanton in Montgomery County, Iowa.

We do not know why Johannes chose Lundquist. The story was not passed down in the family. Perhaps someday, when I can do some more Swedish research into less easily read records, I might discover the reason. As for now, I know that Lund means “grove” or “small wood” and Quist (or Kvist) means “twig.” Many Swedish names once families stopped using the patronymic name, chose names to do with nature. Many Swedish names end with quist: Lindquist, Sundquist, Rundquist, Sandquist, Hultquist, and so on.

Our line of Lundquists has daughtered out, but there are still descendants of Gustav in Iowa carrying on the name.

#52Ancestors-Week 9: Changing Names

This is my seventh year working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow ( at Generations Cafe.

I write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or My Trails into the Past. I have enjoyed writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

[1] Swedish Mission Covenant Church, Stanton, Iowa, Membership Book, p. 46-47, Per Alfrid Lundquist; microfilm S-835, Swenson Swedish Immigration Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.

[2] Montgomery Co, Iowa, Clerk of the District Court, marriage records, vol 4, p. 100, P. Alford Lundquist & Matilda Lovisa Holm; FamilySearch (, digital film 4320551.

[3] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957," Ancestry (, manifest, City of Manchester, 9 Jul 1866, Alfred Eliason.

[4] First Augustana Lutheran Church, Lockridge, Jefferson Co, Iowa, book 2, page 37, Johanes E. Longuest, immigrated in 1852.

[5] Fivlered Parish (Skaraborg län, Sweden), “Kyrobok,” Lysnings- och vigselbok, C:1 1792–1862, np., 1845, Johannes Eliasson Lundquist to Eva Charlotta Johansdotter, GID 727.19.77400; Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Aug 2017).

[6] Ålvsborgs län, Västergötland, Sweden, household examinations, digital image, "1848-1856 AI:6, p 6," Johannes Larsson & Johannes Eliasson Lundquist; Ancestry ( accessed 13 Dec 2011).

Copyright © 2024 by Lisa S. Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Hope you can find out some day why the name was changed in America. Excellent sleuthing to find that elusive passenger list!


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