Re: Samuel Paulson b c 1851 SWE>IL>Genoa, NE
These are very common names in Sweden, so you really need a full birthdate (day, month, year) and probably a parish name too. Records were kept in the parish.
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Where can such things be found? Try the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center.
Also, the 1900 U.S. Federal Census provides a month and year of birth, and death certificates usually provide a full name to help you know what the M stands for in Samuel M. Paulson.
The Swedish spelling of Paulson would be either Pålsson or Paulsson, and for females, the spelling would be either Pålsdotter or Paulsdotter.
There is a column for a year of immigration in the U.S. Federal Censuses for 1900-1910-1920-1930.