Mrs Johanna Persdotter Ahlin

Mrs Lars Johan Karlsson Ahlin was born as Johanna Persdotter on 21 June 1871 in Västermo, Närlunda, Stora Sundby, Södermanland County, Sweden.

Her parents were Per, a crofter b. 25 April 1839 at Västermo, and Anna Stina (nee Larsdotter; b. 13 April 1842 at Arboga, Västmanland) Larsson. They had married 26 September 1869. Her brothers and sisters were Emma Sofia, b. 12 June 1873, Augusta, b. 26 January 1877, Charlotta, b. 5 March 1879, Per Viktor, b. 11 March 1881, Emma Christina, b. 21 June 1883, Hulda Maria, b. 6 January 1889, Carl Oscar, b. 17 April 1875, Olof Arvid, b. 29 July 1884, and Johan Emil  (a fellow victim of the sinking), b. 19 November 1886.

She had married fisherman Lars Johan Karlsson Ahlin, b. 13 August 1870 at Öja (Börsta) 17 June 1894 and was en route to him in Akeley, Minnesota – the couple had at least five children, three of whom died young. Their known children were Anna Augusta, b. 12 September 1895 at Öja (d. 15 October 1895), Wendela Teresia, b. 16 October 1896 at (d. 11 November 1896), Karl Ivar, b. 27 December 1897 (d. 27 July 1899), Sven Gunnar, b. 16 August 1899 and Johan David, b. 23 May 1901. It has been suggested the couple had three daughters who were lost in infancy. The third daughter seems to have been Hilda Josefina, b. 26 July 1894 at Öja, who seems to have died in her first year.

Johanna had returned to her native Sweden to visit her parents on their farm in Närlunda and for her return to the USA boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her brother Johan Petterson as third class passengers (Johanna travelling on ticket number 7546  which cost £9, 9s, 6d). Both were lost in the sinking. Their bodies were never found.

At the time of the sinking Johanna's postal address was given as Box 311 in Akeley, Minnesota. It is not clear if she ever lived at this address and when the Swedish consulate in New York tried to contact Johan Ahlin 10 March 1919 the letter was returned with 'Moved new address unknown.' The Mansion House Fund paid 875.52 Kr (£48) to husband and sons with a further 455.25 Kr in damages paid to her husband on 4 June 1914.

Her husband died in Chicago 29 August 1949; when he died he was listed as a widower and his wife's name was noted as Johanna. He seems to have married a Sophie Swanson on 3 June 1916, and lived in Chicago before moving to Lake County, Illinois in the late 1930s. But there is no mention of Sophie in his death certificate, however she is listed as his wife in the censuses for 1920, 1930 and 1940.

Johanna's son Sven was never married and later worked as a timekeeper. He died on 4 January 1939 and was buried in Acacia Park Cemetery, Chicago.

Her son Johan later worked as a clerk and was married to Eleanor Christopherson (1906-1997), another Scandinavian-American, but had no children. He died in Chicago on 13 August 1983 and was buried in Montrose Cemetery in that city.


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Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Leif Snellman, Finland
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklets and Minute Books
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) Johanna Persdotter Ahlin (ref: #620, last updated: 7th July 2015, accessed 5th June 2020 02:52:17 AM)