Miss Helmina Josefina Nilsson was born in Ramkvilla, Jönköping, Sweden on 19 February 1886, being confirmed five years later.
She was the daughter of farmer Johannes Peter Nilsson and Anna Kristina Magnusdotter (b. 1848).
Her known siblings were: Johan Albin (b. 22 July 1868), Hanna Karolina (b. 24 January 1871), Andreas Emil (b. 9 August 1873), Frans Amos (b. 1 April 1876), Isak Edvin (b. 9 September 1879), Alfrida Ellis (b. 2 April 1882) and Ida Elin (b. 9 February 1890).
Helmina's brothers Albin, Emil and Edvin had previously emigrated, changed their name to Lander and were working in the Chicago era. With it her intention of joining her siblings in America Helmina, together with Elin Braf, also from Ramkvilla and Finnish-born Aliina Johnson and her two young children, began their journey, departing from Malmö on 30 March 19121. They boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (she on ticket number 347470 which cost £7, 17s, 1d), with Helmina destined for Joliet, Illinois.
When the accident occurred the girls dressed themselves and Helmina rushed away in advance while Elin was left behind to pick together a few things. Helmina reached (probably) lifeboat 13 and was saved; Elin was among the lost.
Arriving in New York aboard the Carpathia, Helmina was described as an unmarried domestic servant aged 22 (sic) and her destination was listed as to the home of her brother Edvin at 315 Garnsey (?) Avenue, Joliet. Whilst in New York she was given an unknown sum of cash and a ticket to her destination.
On 22 September 1917 Helmina was married to fellow-Swede Anders Gustaf Albin Linder (b. 12 February 1888), better known as Albin. Linder was born in Hjälmseryd, Jönköping, son of Johannes August Linder and the former Carolina Kristina Johansdotter; he had emigrated from Sweden to the USA in April 1906, arriving aboard Oceanic and settling in Joliet, where he already had family, he himself garnering work as a moulder in an ironworks. He became a naturalised citizen on 8 January 1917.
Albin Linder in 1922
Making their home in Joliet, Helmina and her husband initially had two sons; son Ernst Albin was welcomed on 16 June 1918 and was followed by Ivar on 21 January 1921; the family appeared on the 1920 census as residents of 320 Krakar Avenue.
Sometime around July 1922 Helmina and her family returned to Sweden where they eventually settled, purchasing a succession of farms; it is not certain if they ever returned to the USA. Less than a year after their return the couple greeted a daughter, Edna Elvina who arrived on 9 March 1923.
In the mid-1950s the Linders moved to Hillefallan, Rorvik where Helmina would spend the rest of her life.
Helmina Nilsson Linder died on 18 April 1971 aged 85.