I thought I'd use the most common surname in my family tree for my first Surname Saturday post.
Anderson is (somewhat obviously) a patronym meaning "son of Anders," used in Scandinavia. According to the Census Bureau, it was the 12th most common surname in America in 2000. My Anderson line in America begins with Gustav (or Gustof, or Gustain) Anderson, born in Sweden in 1825. According to family lore, Gustav was a sailor who left Sweden and settled in Australia. It was there he met his future wife Catherine Skehan, who had left Ireland to work as a maid. At some point they left Australia, probably for Ireland first, but eventually settled in Iowa. They bought farmland there with Australian gold. As of the 1860 Census, they were living in Lincoln Township, Page County, Iowa. Gustav and Catherine had six children: Thomas, Agnes, Herman, Albert, James Henry, and Celia. Though I've never been there, my branch would see three more generations of Andersons were born in Iowa after Gustav.
Above is a picture of Gustav Anderson and family. It is a photocopy that belonged to my grandparents. They corresponded with many relatives, and I'm guessing that's where they received this. I would love to see the original.