Early Years of the Stanchfield Baptist Church


Join us on our journey as we explore the early years of the Stanchfield Baptist Church and its daughter church in Springvale, both in Isanti County, Minnesota. Founded in 1866 by a group of 25 hardy immigrants from Orsa parish in the province of Dalarna, Sweden, the SBC became one of the most important congregations of Swedish Baptists in Minnesota. Although almost all records were lost in two tragic fires, efforts by genealogy enthusiasts and descendants of the early immigrants are starting to piece together the fragments and recreate the story of these tireless pioneers. This website serves as a repository and also sounding board for this project. We welcome your suggestions and feedback!

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Recent Blog Posts

Soldier Names in Orsa

Tracing the line from Orsa Kompani soldiers to several of the families in the “From Orsa to Stanchfield” family tree submitted by Leif Bälter, Knivsta, Sweden Why do I have my surname? Today year 2022 there are many reasons. I inherited my surname at birth At marriage we decided to have the same surname. EarlierContinue reading “Soldier Names in Orsa”

An 1866 Emigrant’s Account

On the 8th of June, 1866, 29-year-old Nissa Erik Andersson (Nissa was his farm name, a customary prefix in Dalarna) left his home parish of Orsa to set off for Minnesota. With him were his wife and three small children, his widowed mother, his widowed sister and her 12-year-old daughter, as well as about 35Continue reading “An 1866 Emigrant’s Account”

Carrie Coleman Story

This is a guest post, submitted by Leif Bälter, Knivsta Sweden Carrie Coleman (Brätt Carin Ersdotter) Born Feb 16 1863 in Viborg, Orsa, Dalarna, SwedenEmigrated to America 1880 at age 17 together with a large group from Hansjö inspired by so many in earlier yearsMarried Nov 26 1881 (age 18) in Stanchfield, Minnesota to LewisContinue reading “Carrie Coleman Story”

Letters from the Civil War

For some of the early immigrants from Orsa, enlisting as a soldier in the Civil War became a last resort to earn money if no other jobs could be found. Farming alone was rarely enough to subsist on, especially before the homestead was up and running. Typically a soldier would sign on for three years,Continue reading “Letters from the Civil War”

What’s in a Name

A familiar quote most of us would recall comes from an excerpt in the play Romeo and Juliet, act 2 scene 2. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet is not allowed to associate with Romeo because he is a Montague. If itContinue reading “What’s in a Name”

How Stanchfield got its name

This is just a quick post based on something I came across written by Junette Erickson Person. She was the great-granddaughter of Agdur Jonas Hansson and his wife Brätt Kerstin, known as Bret Mor. I will be writing more about this family in a future post. Anyway, she wrote (among other things) an article entitledContinue reading “How Stanchfield got its name”

The Wedding Frenzy of 1860

A few days ago I realized that Masser Anders Peterson, S. Peter Erickson and Louis Dahlman (Spennar Lars) all got married on the same day – June 23, 1860. What I failed to notice was that there were actually 11 couples from Hansjö that got married that day, all of them Baptists! Luckily I tookContinue reading “The Wedding Frenzy of 1860”

Understanding Fan Charts

One of the best ways I have found to show multiple generations of descendants on one page is a fan chart. They are not perfect, and take some getting used to, but with a little effort one can learn a lot from them. I am always surprised when I hit the “create” button and seeContinue reading “Understanding Fan Charts”


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