Narrative Family Histories

I’m working on a set of compiled genealogies for the Medine Family of DeKalb County, IL. Four Swedish siblings moved to DeKalb County in the 1880’s and changed their last name to Medine. I’m tracing their descendants in DeKalb County and beyond. If you are a descendant of any of these siblings, please read this and contact me!


Gustaf Medine of Mayfield, IL and his descendants (August 2018) Medine family photo at the Pleasant Hill farm

Gustaf Medine was my great-great grandfather, who was born in rural Sweden and moved to DeKalb County, Illinois in about 1882.

Gustaf and and his wife Lena Medine were part of the huge influx of immigrants that arrived in the United States during the late nineteenth century. In Sweden, overpopulation and a famine in 1867-1868 pushed many Swedes to look for other opportunities elsewhere. A mass migration of Swedes to the United States occurred between 1879 and 1893, exactly when Gustaf and his family emigrated here. Gustaf and his family looked for a better life outside of their small Swedish village, first in nearby villages, then in Germany and Denmark, and eventually in Northern Illinois. Many Swedes from Småland, Sweden, that had already settled in DeKalb County, Illinois, likely sent letters back to Sweden to urge other friends and family members to join them. While many Swedish-Americans primarily married other Swedish-Americans, Gustaf had already crossed cultures and languages by marrying a German woman (Lena) before immigrating to America. Their children married outside the Swedish cultural circle, creating even more blended families. In Illinois, Gustaf and his descendants found both tremendous success and immense hardships, but through it all, they managed to persevere.


Peter Sven Medine of Mayfield, IL and his descendants (in progress)

Peter Sven Medine was Gustaf Medine’s younger brother, who emigrated from Sweden to DeKalb County, Illinois in 1881. He immigrated just a year before his older brother Gustaf, and was the first of the siblings to travel to Northern Illinois.

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