Great Grandpa Otto was one of six children of their father Olaus and mother Alida Wilhemina Rydgren. His brother Viktor Edvard (born 1857) was the first in the family to cross the Atlantic to the new World in 1878. Otto followed in 1882 and they both settled in Boston, Massachusetts. Two of his sisters, Anna Elisabeth and Anna Virginia, passed away before reaching two years of age. The other sister, Kristina Elisabeth, stayed in Sweden and may have a family with a man named Carl or Carlsson. Otto's brother Carl Henrik also stayed in Sweden and raised a family with his wife Maria Emilia Nilsson, but all of his children emigrated between 1895 to 1920. Alida Frederika settled in Boston, but the other three siblings Henrietta Virginia, Anna Viktoria, and Karl Viktor, found their way to California.
Henrietta Virginia first crossed some time between 1902 and 1905, likely following the typical path for Scandinavians: a three or four-day trip across the North Sea to Hull, England; a cross-country train to Liverpool; and a nearly two-week transatlantic crossing. Henrietta made her living as a household servant for a family in Alameda, California. At some point she must have returned to Sweden and married Julius Halling about 1919.