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Help with Swedish Genealogy: Mad Trapper Mystery

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  • Help with Swedish Genealogy: Mad Trapper Mystery

    Does anyone have access to Swedish genealogical records? There is a possible Mad Trapper of Rat River candidate that may have been overlooked with the release of the 1921 Canadian Census six years ago.

    The Mad Trapper was the subject of the biggest manhunt in Canadian history and no one knows who he was. The main theory is that he was a Swedish gold prospector/trapper named Arthur Nelson who was in BC in 1926 in his 30s in 1932, and there was a Swedish gold prospector Arthur Nelson in BC and 27 in 1921 according to the census.

    I'm now interested in an Artur Manfred Nilsson who was born on Dec. 24, 1892 in Kristdala, Sweden. The Household Examination Records say he is listed in the Missing Persons or "Non-Existant Residents" records (B 33). I know he's in Wyoming listed as a gold miner in the Draft Registration Records 1917/18. Any information would be of help.

    Thanks
    Trapperologist

  • #2
    I said Arthur Nelson was in his 30s in 1932. Actually, of course, it was the Mad Trapper who was determined by science to be in his 30s in 1932 when he was killed. Arthur Nelson's age is anyone's guess but it's fairly certain that the Mad Trapper and Arthur Nelson were the same person anyway since the money found on the Mad Trapper was traced to a bank that received the money about six months before Arthur Nelson withdrew cash from it. It was the Bank of Montreal in Mayo, BC.

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=L1d...20bank&f=false

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    • #3
      Hi Trapp

      There is an Artur Nielson or variant spelling leaving Liverpool and arriving Boston in 1914. It's seems to be hard for me to post images here, but if you want them then PM me your email.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, Robert. That is the right Artur Manfred Nilsson and there's much there to link the three Arthur Nelsons.

        Artur Manfred Nilsson is sailing in April of 1914 and the Arthur Nelson in the BC Interior in 1921 said he emigrated (presumably to North America) in 1913.

        Artur Manfred Nilsson is passing himself off on one passenger list as a Dane which the Arthur Nelson, aka the Mad Trapper, in Northern BC from 1926/27 did, and he's also a joiner so proficient in woodworking and the Trapper Arthur Nelson was considered a great carpenter and built his own cabin. Arthur Manfred Nelson also fits the description of the Mad Trapper, as given in his Wyoming draft registration for WWI. All three Arthur Nelsons appear estranged from family and people. I also have Arthur Manfred Nelson with a record for an assault in 1911 at the age of 18 with a one year 2 month prison sentence.
        Last edited by Trapperologist; 10-07-2019, 07:26 AM.

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        • #5
          Here is the Arthur Nelson in the 1921 Canadian Census whom I believe could be the Arthur Nelson who is the unidentified Mad Trapper of Rat River. Headings you might not know are Year of Emigration (1913), Working or Own Means ( he’s working), Earnings in last 12 months, If employed June 1st, Days Unemployed and Days Unemployed due to illness in last 12 months.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	41868388-30D9-4C6B-817C-56170E54601A.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	20.2 KB ID:	724215
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Trapperologist; 10-07-2019, 08:55 PM.

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          • #6
            It looks like the Arthur M Nelson who was with wife Margaret in the 1960s electorals is not a threat to your theory, according to the details of their 1933 marriage.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Trapperologist View Post
              I know he's in Wyoming listed as a gold miner in the Draft Registration Records 1917/18. Any information would be of help.
              Wilbur Knight, a Wyoming State Mining Engineer/Geologist, could have known him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's Artur Manfred Nilsson in Wyoming for the draft (my transcription). The image is available free on familysearch.org

                Arthur Manfred Nelson

                United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

                Name: Arthur Manfred Nelson
                Event Type: Draft Registration
                Event Date: 1917-1918
                Event Place: Sheridan, Wyoming, United States
                Event Place (Original): United States, Wyoming, Sheridan County
                Gender: Male
                Address: Lobby Hotel Sheridan Wyo
                Birth Date: 24 Dec 1892
                Citizenship: Alien
                Birthplace: Oskarshamn, , Sweden
                Citizenship Place: Sweden
                Occupation: Goldminer
                Employer: Not employed
                Dependents: none
                Status: single
                Military service: none
                Claim exemption: no
                Height: med
                Build: med
                Eyes: light blue
                Hair: light brown
                Disabilities: no

                Comment


                • #9
                  Trapp that birth I sent you read 29th Dec to me, but it could have been 24.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Artur Manfred Nilsson
                    Sweden, Household Examination Books, 1880-1930

                    Name: Artur Manfred Nilsson

                    Event Type: Census
                    Event Date: from 1905 to 1912
                    Event Place: Mörlunda, Kalmar, Sverige
                    Event Place (Original): Mörlunda, Kalmar, Sweden
                    Gender: Male
                    Birth Date: 24 Dec 1892
                    Birthplace: Kristdala
                    Volume: AIIa 3

                    Household Role Sex Occupation Year of Birth Birthplace Relocated or Transfered

                    Nils Johan Nilsson Parent Male Miller 1859 Hvena
                    Katarina Maria Jonsson Wife Female 1865 Döderhult
                    Signe Eugenia Daughter Female 1890 Kristdala Upsalu Doruk (?) 11 9/10
                    Artur Manfred Nilsson Son Male Miller's Man 1892 Kristdala
                    Nils Teodor Son Male 1900 Kristdala
                    Evert Son Male 1901 Kristdala

                    Notes for minors (my transcript):

                    Duirnd d 4/12/11 vid tserende LR för misshandel till 1 år 2 mån straffarlent

                    Looks like a criminal charge when he was 18, almost 19. Did he immigrate because of this after his sentence?

                    Dec. 24th is the correct birth date. I found him on someone's Ancestry Family Tree and have PMed. They have no date of death. I found no naturalization record for him which you would expect. He was in the US since 1914 and in 1917/18 he was still an "alien" in his draft registration.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is the later Household Examination Book minus the older sister:

                      Artur Manfred Nilsson
                      Sweden, Household Examination Books, 1880-1930

                      Name: Artur Manfred Nilsson

                      Event Type: Census
                      Event Date: from 1913 to 1920
                      Event Place: Mörlunda, Kalmar, Sverige
                      Event Place (Original): Mörlunda, Kalmar, Sweden
                      Gender: Male
                      Birth Date: 24 Dec 1892
                      Birthplace: Kristdala
                      Volume: AIIa 5

                      Household Role Sex Occupation Year born Birthplace Relocated or Transferred
                      Nils Johan Nilsson Parent Male Miller 1859 Hvena Kristdala
                      Katarina Maria Jonsson Wife Female 1865 Döderhult Kristdala
                      Artur Manfred Nilsson Son Male Miller's Man 1892 Kristdala Obef B 33
                      Nils Teodor Son Male 1900 Kristdala Kristdala
                      Ernst Son Male 1901 Kristdala Kristdala


                      Notes on Minors

                      Se GB

                      See Old Book (Gamla Bokus)

                      Obligatory Military Service

                      L/02 28/13

                      Relocated or Transfered

                      Obef B 33

                      Missing persons Book 33

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Robert View Post
                        It looks like the Arthur M Nelson who was with wife Margaret in the 1960s electorals is not a threat to your theory, according to the details of their 1933 marriage.
                        It looks to me like the Arthur Nelson in the BC Interior (Cariboo Regional District) in the 1921 Canadian Census is the same one who's in the Wrigley's BC Directory for every year from 1918-1928 as "Nelson Arthur trapper". https://bccd.vpl.ca/ He's in Manson Creek (winter pop. 15) and he's the only other Arthur Nelson I could find in the Cariboo Region.

                        Problem: Arthur M Nelson would have registered for the draft in Wyoming on June 5, 1917. I'm guessing information for the 1918 Directory, which was the first one published, was gathered the year before (1917). This could be a threat to the Arthur M Nelson part of the theory, unless he hightailed it out of the US and headed for the deep bush in Canada as soon as he was registered for the draft.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Trapp

                          I'd be surprised if the 1918 directory only included info given more than six months before the start of 1918.

                          It seems possible that the 'Draft' Arthur went to BC in the second half of 1917, though he didn't have to from the point of view of dodging war service.

                          From Ancestry :


                          "Not all men who registered for the draft actually served in the military, and not all men who served in the military registered for the draft. This civilian registration is often confused with induction into the military; however, only a small percentage of these men who registered were actually called up for military service......
                          Non-citizens were required to register but were not subject to induction into the American military."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Robert View Post
                            I'd be surprised if the 1918 directory only included info given more than six months before the start of 1918.

                            It seems possible that the 'Draft' Arthur went to BC in the second half of 1917, though he didn't have to from the point of view of dodging war service.
                            It's possible but it's still a 2000 km trek (1200 miles) in six months or less to the middle of nowhere where you set yourself up as a trapper and get yourself listed in the newest directory, the first one to include that area. Maybe he was already on his way there since he was a "gold miner" staying in the Sheridan Hotel in Sheridan Wyoming when he registered for the draft. Either he was running away from the draft because he didn't know he was exempt and/or he was led by gold fever.

                            However, Arthur M Nelson came to the US in 1914 when he was 21 so he'd likely have a heavy Scandinavian accent. The Mad Trapper Arthur Nelson had a "slight" Scandinavian accent. It might even just be something like a Fargo accent.

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                            • #15
                              Canada remained popular with draft dodgers well into the 1960s.
                              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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