Bertha Albertina Benson
1805 - 1951

Bertha was supposedly born in Worcester, Massachusetts but there is no record there. Her brother John Wilhelm Benson was born in Worcester in 1907.

Bertha Benson as a child
Bertha is in the top row, fourth from the left

After the death of her father, her mother took the children to Sweden. They returned to the United States in the summer of 1917 and early 1919. After the visits they went back to Sweden.

Passport Photo 1919
Passport Photo 1919

The children wanted to return to the United States. They stowed away on the Shortsville in Gothborg, Sweden. They arrived at Ellis Island on December 18, 1919.

They planned to stay with their father's brother Charles (or Carl) in Rhode Island. He had died on June 18, 1919. There was no place for them to go. You can read about their plight here.

The children were separated. Bertha was taken in by a family to help with the housework. She slept on the kitchen floor.

Bertha Benson

Bertha Benson

Bertha 1925 St. Elizabeth's
Bertha 1925 at St. Elizabeth's

Group Picture St. Elizabeth's
St. Elizabeth's, Bertha is in the top row, second from the right

Bertha married Leo Regis Roy on November 25, 1926, Thanksgiving day. Below is the wedding picture with the groom's brother Napolean and sister Dora.

Roy Benson Marriage

Bertha and Leo had 5 chilcren. One day when Bertha was hanging out the lanudry, the milkman drove by. That man turned out to be Bertha's brother and they were reunited.

Bertha and Mrs. Keig
Bertha and Mrs. Keig


Bertha died April 3, 1951 of congestive heart failure as a result of diabetes. She is buried in St. Ann's Cemetery, Cranston, Rhode Island.