I discovered someone else was searching for Eric and Mary. I was pleased. I am descended from their daughter Caroline Matilda HELSTEN who married Charles H EVANS. I don't know what happended to two of their four children, Mary Louisa HELSTEN and William HELSTEN. Maybe one of their descendants was searching.
However, it was someone NOT descended from Eric and Mary. It was Chris Finland who was searching her ancestor John CARLSON [Carl Johan Augustus CARLSSON]. John was an orphan who came from Sweden after his grandparents, who had been raising him, died. John was apprenticed to Eric HELSTEN. Chis has a paper saying that John got a new suit of clothes and $100 for his 7 years of apprenticeship as a tanner and shoemaker. Chris didn't know anything about John's early years but figured that maybe Eric was a distant relative or family friend who had taken him in -- how else might he have gotten here from Sweden?
John's mother was from just south of Uppsala and Eric came from Uppsala. Chris has been searching for years. She has found relatives in Sweden, traveled there, and had been working on a family tree for Eric HELSTEN in hopes of finding a connection, anywhere. No success.
This has led to our working together to see if we can find anything about John CARLSON and to figure out his relationship to Eric HELSTEN.