Swedish American Genealogist
Volume 26 | Number 2 Article 1
6-1-2006 Full Issue Vol. 26 No. 2
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This Full Issue is brought to you for free and open access by the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Swedish American Genealogist by an authorized editor of Augustana Digital Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected]. (ISSN 0275-9314)
A journal devoted to Swedish American biography, genealogy, and personal history
Volume XXVI June 2006 No. 2 CONTENTS
The “Kalender of Worcester Swedes” ...... 1 by Kay Sheldon
Copyright © 2006 (ISSN 0275-9314) Andrew Gustaf Johansson Faust ...... 5 by Paul A. Johnson Swedish American Genealogist News from the Swenson Center ...... 8 Publisher: by Jill Seaholm Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center Augustana College, Rock Island, IL 61201-2296 The Emigration from the Tornio Valley ...... 9 Telephone: 309-794-7204. Fax: 309-794-7443 by Sture Torikka E-mail: [email protected] Web address: http://www.augustana.edu/swenson/ The Old Picture ...... 15
Editor: Elisabeth Thorsell Bits & Pieces ...... 16 Hästskovägen 45, 177 39 Järfälla, Sweden E-mail: [email protected] Prominent Swedish Congressmen in 1923 ...... 17 by Elisabeth Thorsell Editor Emeritus: Nils William Olsson, Ph.D., F.A.S.G., Winter Park, FL A Handwriting Example, X ...... 18 Contributing Editor: Peter S. Craig. J.D., F.A.S.G., Washington, D.C. Research Notes ...... 19 by Elisabeth Thorsell Editorial Committee: H. Arnold Barton, Carbondale, IL Solution to the Handwriting Example, X ...... 20 Dag Blanck, Uppsala, Sweden Dennis L. Johnson, Limerick, PA What was the Teardrop Route? ...... 21 Ronald J. Johnson, Madison, WI by James M. Borg Christopher Olsson, Stockton Springs, ME Priscilla Jönsson Sorknes, Minneapolis, MN From Stubborn Swede to General ...... 22 by John E. Norton Swedish American Genealogist, its publisher, editors, and editorial committee assume neither responsibility New CD Databases from Sweden ...... 24 nor liability for statements of opinion or fact made by by Elisabeth Thorsell contributors. Correspondence. Please direct editorial correspon- Book Reviews ...... 26 dence such as manuscripts, queries, book reviews, announcements, and ahnentafeln to the editor in Sweden. Correspondence regarding change of address, back issues (price and availability), and advertising should be directed to the publisher in Rock lsland. Subscriptions. Subscriptions to the journal are $25.00 per annum and run for the calendar year. Single copies are $8.00 each. Swenson Center Associates are entitled to a special discounted subscription price of $15.00. Direct all subscription inquiries to the publisher in Rock Island. Cover picture: In Sweden the subscription price is 200.00 Swedish John Faust and his name was a mystery for years, kronor per year for surface delivery and 250.00 kronor see story on page 5. per year for air mail. This subscription fee may be deposited in a plusgiro account: 260 10-9, Swedish American Genealogist, c/o Thorsell, Hästskovägen 45, S-177 39 Järfälla, Sweden. Union Station and Washington Square in Worcester, Mass., in 1895 – many immigrants’ first view of their new hometown. (From gå till Amerika, by Charles W. Estus and John F. McClymer 1994)
The ‘Kalender öfver Svenskarne i Worcester’
BY KAY SHELDON
In the mid 1990’s, a group of Scandi- formation included in the book could some people in the Kalender where navian-Americans in New England be easily understood. At least at the not on Elisabeth’s list. formed the Swedish Ancestry Re- time I thought so! It was time to create some data- search Association (SARA). Before The Kalender lists the Namn, Fö- bases of my own. The 1880 federal that time I had been working on the delseår, Ankomst till Amerika, Hvari- census seemed to be a good starting Swedish families in the town of från i Sverige, and Adress. My plan point. The 1880 census for Worcester Auburn, Massachusetts. My moth- was to identify all those people in the had about 1,100 people who were er’s family had come from Sweden in Kalender as to where they came from either born in Sweden or were child- 1910 and settled in Auburn. Since I in Sweden and what had happened ren of parents born in Sweden. At loved to do research, I had expanded to them after 1883. that point I knew that not all the my field to include all the neighbors Karen Bickford, another SARA 1880 Swedes had made the Kalen- who were Swedes. member, transcribed the Kalender der and that many more had come to By the time SARA was founded in for me and SARA has it posted on its Worcester between June 1880 (the 1994, Nancy Gaudette, the reference members’-only website. date of the census) and 1883 when librarian at the Worcester Public Li- By late in the year 2000, Elisabeth the Kalender was published. brary in Massachusetts, had intro- Thorsell had sent me a listing from The Old Swedish Cemetery in duced me to the Kalender öfver Emigranten of the Swedes who had Worcester was next. Again, many of Svenskarne i Worcester (Kalender), left Sweden before 1883 saying they the Kalender Swedes are not in the printed in 1883. Written in Swedish, were going to Worcester. Although Old Swedish Cemetery. But these but in a city directory style, the in- the Kalender lists over 1,900 people, records created another database,
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 1 thus another source of information. At the same time, I began tran- scribing the naturalization papers for Scandinavians in the Worcester County Superior Court from 1883 to 1890. I am still working on the records from 1890 to 1900. Each of these databases helps to give a picture of these Swedes. Having access to a Swedish-Amer- ican newspaper, SVEA, published in Worcester in the early 1900’s, also has the advantage that Swedish place names are usually spelled cor- rectly. Speaking of spelling, as you all know there was a spelling change in 1906. The Kalender was written in 1883. So all of the places are in the old spelling! Example: ‘Gefle’ instead of ‘Gävle’, ‘Vermland’ not ‘Värmland’, and ‘Nerike’ not ‘Närke’. Even the column headings, ‘Hvari- från i Sverige’ not Varifrån i Sverige’! And of course C’s and K’s. Since 2000, I have received the Swedish databases Emigraten and Emibas. I also have the Örebro emi- grants database. Last year I signed up for Genline Family Finder so I have fewer trips to the Family His- tory Center in Worcester or Salt Lake City, Utah. Not that all have been eliminated, but many fewer trips are needed.
People hide Sometimes these people do not want to be found. I have had some who just keep themselves hidden for years and then when you least expect to find them it’s “Here I am.” Most recently a family in the Ka- lender, L.A. Jansson and his wife Ma- ria, one of thirty-one (31) Jansson families, announced themselves in an e-mail from Sweden! Not Lars of course, but someone interested in his Jansson to Johnson. Lars knew to translate the “English” spelling of son Oscar Edvin. Lars had brought where his family was, but I didn’t. a spoken Swedish name such as his family back to Sweden in the late Only an e-mail from a cousin of a Colson is Carlsson, Grahl is Agrell, 1890’s after Oscar Edvin had been cousin in 2006 allowed me to find this Alstrom is Ahlström, etc. If I say the born. Over twenty years later Oscar family who had left Worcester over name the way I think an American Edvin left Sweden and returned to 106 years ago. heard the name, sometimes I get the America! The family in Sweden correct Swedish name. Sometimes I thought maybe he had come back to do not. his birthplace. Sure enough, he had Research techniques My usual method of research is to see The next step is to check the Old returned to Worcester in 1923 and Swedish Cemetery records again; then changed his family name from if an 1880 census family is in the Kalender. Sometimes it is necessary most of the names are closer to the 2 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Swedish, but with no ‘ä’‚ ‘å’‚ or ‘ö’. If the cemetery has a burial for the family it’s off to the Worcester library to find an obituary. With some luck, the obituary will say something about the family’s history in Sweden, such as where they were born and when they immigrated. The Kalender usually gives a year of birth and a year of immigration, but they do not always agree with the records. I believe that some people thought the year they came to Worcester was the year that was requested, not the year they came to America. Where they came from in Sweden can be where they emigrated from or where they were born. Sometimes it’s a parish (församling), sometimes it’s a village, sometimes it’s a county (län), and sometimes it’s a province (landskap). But it is a hint. Massachusetts Archives in Boston. will tell where they emigrated from, As for the year of birth, we all Then it’s time to find their birthplace while Emibas and the Örebro Emi- know it can be selective memory in Sweden. grants will give birthdates and date when we are asked for that very per- and place of emigration. Sometimes sonal information! We have all looked I will check all four. The last two at U.S. census records. For the major- Finding their origins If they have been naturalized in databases give the page in the hus- ity of these Swedes, they were proud förhörslängd and the village/farm of their age. Worcester County, I always pray their petition for naturalization or they left from. Armed with this in- The last information for each per- formation I can now go to the church son or family group listed was their declaration of intent was done here. Even in the 1880’s, Worcester County records. address. Most answered with the If I have not found the people on area of the city they lived in, such as was asking for date and place of birth, date and place of arrival in any of the Swedish databases, the Quinsigamond, Messenger Hill, or emigration records for the county or Longblock and Sunnyside, while America, even the ship’s name. I have found that other places are not parish will be available at the Family others gave the address of where History Library. One of the first they worked, such as 94 Grove as helpful in their papers. Again the spelling can be interest- families I found was by looking at the Street. Finally there is the group who emigration records for Älvsborg for gave the street name and number ing to say the least. A New Englander listening to a Swede, some would say, 1880 page by page. I found them and where they lived. that’s all that matters. If there is a street name and are two people, neither of whom speaks English. But it’s all just a These Swedes came to Worcester number I can check the Worcester by 1883. Some had been elsewhere City Directory for the person. I really hint. Again, the Swede is saying he was born in someplace that may be before that, others did come directly check each name, but if a Mr. Karl to Worcester; some stayed, others Andersson or Mr. Johan Jansson has the nearest city or a small village. He doesn’t let you know, nor does the moved on to other parts of the Uni- not given his address in the Kalen- ted States; and still others returned der, I may not be able to tell which American know there is a difference. The date they arrived in America to Sweden. Finding out which of Carl Anderson or Charles Anderson these options each chose is a project and which John Johnson or Janson is usually correct, although they have answered that they arrived in an in- I enjoy and would like to share with is the one from the Kalender. others. I will do a census search on An- land city on a certain date. At least I cestry.com or Heritage Quest for the know they lived somewhere else family. This allows me to look at the before coming to Worcester if they Contact information possible places of emigration for the don’t mention it in the petition. Kay Sheldon lives in Brookfield, family after 1883. All Massachusetts Armed with all these hints, I will MA, and her e-mail is vital records are checked either at check Emigranten and Emibas, or
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 3 Your link to your history!
Swedish Church Records 1860 – 1905 The Swedish church records for the counties of Kalmar, Kronoberg, Östergöt- land, Jönköping, Gotland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Södermanland, Örebro, Väst- manland, Kopparberg (Dalarna), Gävleborg, Västernorrland, Jämtland, Väster- botten, and Norrbotten are now online on our web site. We are in the process of scanning the records for the counties of Göteborg och Bohus, Älvsborg, and Skaraborg. The database is updated with more than 10,000 and up to 15,000 digitized documents every day. Swedish Censuses You can search the whole Swedish population in the 1890 and 1900 censuses. A great part of the 1880 census is ready, and we are working on completing it. In these databases you will find information on family status, occupations, places of birth, other members of the household with different names, and much more. In the 1900 census most posts are linked to images of the original pages.
Released prisoners At www.svar.ra.se there is a database of released prisoners (fångförteckningar) during the period 1876–1925. The information on each prisoner contains infor- mation on his name, place of birth, current sentence, previous convictions, per- sonal description (hair and eye color, etc.), and a photograph. See example to the right.
The Swedish Tax records (Mantal) 1642–1820 The Tax records are now online at www.svar.ra.se They list all able-bodied people from age 15 to age 62, household by household.
Other databases At www.svar.ra.se there are many other databases of interest to genealogists. We have databases with seamen (sjömanshus) and much, much more. The number of databases is constantly growing. How do I get access to all these resources? By contacting SVAR and getting a subscription. You can subscribe for just a single visit or anything up to a whole year.
Contact us at [email protected] SVAR, Box 160, S-880 40 Ramsele, Sweden. Phone + 46-623-725 00. Fax + 46-623-726 05.
4 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Andrew Gustaf Johansson Faust – My Grandfather
The mystery of his home parish was solved by a lucky chance
BY PAUL A. JOHNSON
South Green Lake Cemetery is locat- inscription reads: “Born in Bärja, made plans to contact her upon our ed about 3½ miles south of Chisago Sweden.” But where is Bärja? There arrival. City, Minnesota, just west of County is no city, town, or parish by that Road No. 23. After driving into the name to be found on any map of Clues in Sweden unpaved parking lot, one enters the Sweden. And where did the name While in Sweden we stopped at the cemetery through a large metal gate, “Faust” originate? This was all a archives in Vadstena for an hour or wide enough for a funeral coach to mystery. As was the case with so so and looked through the birth drive through. If, after swinging the many Swedish immigrants, Andrew records for the Berga parish, but gate open, one takes an immediate did not speak much of Sweden. were unable to locate any birth on left and walks almost all the way to However, my late aunt Mildred Lily- November 17, 1861, that would the southeast corner of the cemetery, gren, who was very young when he correspond to my grandfather. Sub- one arrives at a reddish-gray granite died, was sure that he came from sequently we met Birgitta who took tombstone with the inscription: Småland, because he spoke Swedish us to visit the Berga church. While with a “småländska” dialect. at the church we met a man who was mowing the cemetery lawn, and we Puzzle solved inquired about my grandfather’s On July 1, 1980, a young people’s mother, Eva Christina, who had died orchestra from the city of Växjö in in Sweden, but he said he never Småland performed in concert at the heard of an Eva Christina Faust Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in buried in that cemetery, so we were Center City, MN. Four young mem- still unsure if this was really the bers stayed with us overnight after place from which my grandfather the concert. Among them was Bir- had come. gitta Sandell of Ljungby. As we were During our trip to Sweden we sitting together in the living room found out that a second cousin of enjoying a glass of lemonade and mine, Clara Andersson, was quite some cookies, I asked: ”Have any of knowledgeable of genealogical re- you ever heard of a place named search. When Clara and her husband Bärja?” Birgitta replied: “Yes, and I Arne visited our home in 1982, I play the organ in the church there.” asked if she would be willing to try As we were to learn later, the correct to locate information about my spelling is “Berga,” and the tomb- grandfather, which she graciously stone was most likely inscribed the agreed to do. Later I wrote to her way the name sounds in Swedish, not with the infor-mation I knew about the way it is actually spelled. When him, his father John Faust, his Andrew Gustaf Faust was my grand- I told Birgitta that my wife and I, brother Charlie Faust, and his sist- father. He died of cancer just a few together with my brother and his ers Mary and Ida Faust. days before my mother’s confir- wife, planned to visit Sweden in Au- The next break came when Clara, mation day. He had hoped to live to gust of that year, she offered to show who lives in Växjö and has access to see her confirmed, but unfortunately us the church. So we obtained her the parish microfilms there, wrote to that was not to be. In English the address and telephone number and us that she had found records of the Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 5 Faust family. It turned out to be much more work to locate these records than might otherwise have been the case because the records in Sweden show my grandfather’s date of birth to be December 5, 1861, not November 17 as is shown both on his tombstone and in my grandmother’s Bible. He came to America as a young boy, which may have caused the discrepancy. This is why we were unable to locate information in the Vadstena archives. Clara was able to do so with the names of his siblings, even though they had “American- ized” their names, and we did not have exact dates of birth for any of them. Now we knew that my great- grandfather John Faust’s name in Sweden was Johan Nils Petersson, and that Berga was indeed the cor- rect parish. My grandfather’s name in Sweden was Anders Gustaf Jo- hansson, following the patronymic naming pattern of that time. Thus we had looked for a man who had died at a relatively young age, whose date of birth in our records was incorrect, who had changed his name upon coming to America, and whose place of birth was spelled incorrectly on his tombstone. How fortunate we were to locate him at all! When my wife and I were in Sweden in August, 1992, we visited Birgitta Sandell-Elisson. Upon men- tioning to her how she had helped me Andrew Faust and Mathilda Dahl. find my grandfather, she said that if we had asked any of the other 75 About the name Faust this time his wife suffered a complete members of the orchestra, none of The father of Johan Petersson (John nervous breakdown and was unable them would have known about to come to America. Berga. So it seems we were pre- Faust) was Nils Peter Jönsson Fast, Fast being a military name that he When Johan came to America in destined to meet! 1870 he took the name John Fast. We Faust family members had received when he was a farmer- soldier in the Swedish army. The The children followed later. Carl Pe- always rued the fact that the family ter (Charlie), age 14, is shown as was so small. Only a few immediate family lived in a soldier’s cottage. In 1855 Johan married Eva Chris- leaving the parish for America on relatives were known. However, as a April 21, 1871. Andrew, age 10, left result of this find, and with a great tina Petersdotter. They lived in the parish of Berga and raised their five in 1872 together with a brother Sal- deal of subsequent genealogical re- omon, age 13, and a sister Maria search, the relation now numbers in children there. However, Sweden, and especially Småland, suffered (Mary), age 8. Ida left in 1879 at age the hundreds, in the United States, 11. Their father found families in Canada, and Sweden. Andrew Faust three years of crop failures and severe depression between 1867 and Minnesota with whom each of them had four siblings and 45 first cousins, could live. The 1875 census shows all of whom have been identified, 1870, which left Johan and his family almost destitute. So in 1870 Johan Andrew living with the Charles together with most or all of their Weberg family in Chisago Lakes descendents. left for America to find a better life for himself and his children. During township.
6 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 John Faust purchased a farm south of Chisago City in 1890. Two years later he sold the farm to An- drew and continued to live there. On September 14, 1893, Andrew mar- ried Mathilda Dahl, who had been born in Lenhovda, Sweden, and grew up in Spring Lake, MN. They had five children. Two sons died young of diphtheria and are buried next to their parents. The three daughters were Edith (my mother), Mildred, and Esther. Carl Peter, or Charlie as he was known, went west to look for gold. Oral tradition has it that he also went to Alaska. Nothing further is known about him. Both Mary and Ida moved to Washington, Mary to Seattle, and Ida to Tacoma. They both married and had children. The Andrew Faust farm near Chisago City, Minnesota. After my grandfather’s death in 1910, John Faust went to Seattle to At first John and the children kept Andrew both lived with families in live with Mary. He died and is buried the name Fast. However, Fast, which the Chisago Lakes area (Andrew was there. His wife, who remained in means firm and solid in Swedish, has confirmed at Chisago Lake Lutheran Sweden, spent the last 45+ years of a completely different meaning in Church) leads me to believe that her life in a mental institution. English. I cannot say with certainty, Elias may have influenced them in So my grandfather, who was born but I believe the change from Fast to some way to change their names to in Sweden as Anders Gustaf Johans- Faust may have come about in this Faust, or at least that they may have son, became Andrew Gustaf Faust in way. followed his example. Salomon (now America. Now the mystery has been Elias Petersson Fast (no relation) Soloman) died accidentally in 1874 solved! was an early immigrant to the Chi- and his death record shows his name sago Lakes area, having arrived in as Faust. When Elias Faust acted as America in 1854 together with his census taker in 1875 he shows An- wife. Fast is the name that is shown drew’s name as Faust. However, Contact information for them in the first records of Chi- their sister Maria (now Mary) was Paul A. Johnson, formerly of Chi- sago Lake Lutheran Church in Cen- living with a family in Stillwater at sago City, now lives in White Bear ter City. However, some time after the time and still had the name Fast. Lake. 1867, he changed his family name to Eventually John and all the children E-mail:
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 7 News from the Swenson Center
Sculptures in the Plym Reading room
Photo by Jill Seaholm.
Why we have these fine scuptures
In 2005, Augustana College had a comprising serpents similar to those sing through the Swenson Center on need to relocate two of its sculptures found in Viking-era art as well as a regular basis. We decided to move from the Wallenberg Concert Hall in rune-like symbols. some furniture around and keep Denkmann Building. The sculptures (http://www.horvathworks.net/) them here, and we are very glad that both had a Scandinavian theme: one We were given the opportunity to we did. They reinforce the elegance was a horse head by well-known keep them in our reading room for of the Plym Research Room, and Swedish sculptor Carl Milles three good reasons: the Swenson people who come through here are (http://www.millesgarden.se/), Center is in the same building as drawn to them, quite impressed to who gave it to the College as a gift in Wallenberg Hall and it would require see an actual Carl Milles sculpture the 1920s. much less effort to move them, we here in Rock Island. The other was made by Gene have strong Scandinavian ties, and Jill Seaholm Horvath in 1991, apparently as a people with Scandinavian back- complement to the Milles sculpture, ground and interests would be pas- 8 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 The emigration from the Tornio Valley (Tornedalen)
People left Sweden from all parts of the country, even the far north
BY STURE TORIKKA
The emigration to North America Stranded sailors of Norrbotten have for centuries from Norrbotten, in northern-most It happened sometimes: some people walked or skied to northern Norway Sweden, started in earnest during traveled to and fro and found it dif- in times of poverty. They had open the latter half of the 1870s. In the ficult to settle in one place. As early harbors without ice there, which Tornio River Valley (Tornedalen/ as 1858 the sailor Peter Tumber arri- made life easier than at home. When Tornionlaakso) the emigration per- ved in the port of New York, where the copper works started at Kåfjord haps did not start in earnest until the he mustered out and stayed when his in Northern Norway in the 1820s this 1880s. This article focuses on the first ship continued. His real name is said gave work opportunities for a grow- emigrants from the Tornio Valley, to have been Tornberg and he was ing population in the river valleys who left their homes in the summers born in Nedertorneå. In contrast to and along the coast. This is true not of 1865 and 1866. Mansten, he stayed in the U.S. only for the Tornio Valley but also for At times it happened that men Perhaps he was the first person from large parts of northern Sweden and from the Tornio Valley found em- the Tornio Valley to settle in the U.S.? northern Finland. People even did ployment as sailors, and it is easy to Peter Tumber found work on move there from as far away as Da- imagine that some of them arrived American ships and travelled along larna. One of the first men from Tor- at various ports in America and the Mississippi river and around the nio Valley was the fisherman Mickel mustered out and stayed behind Gulf of Mexico. During the Civil War Harnesk and his family from Över- when their ship set sail again. he served in the Union navy and took torneå who arrived in Kåfjord as From the village of Niemis (pre- part in several sea battles. In 1867 early as 1827. sent day name: Luppio) in Hieta- he moved to the harbor city of Erie, niemi parish we find the share- Pennsylvania, and spent the rest of Miners as emigrants cropper’s son Emanuel Mansten who his life as a farm owner. The copper works in Kåfjord suffered went to sea first in 1853. He came During the Crimean War (1854- decline in both production and econ- home for short periods and found 1856) a number of Finnish sailors omy from the end of the 1860s. In time to get married and father child- were stranded in some of the larger 1866 the English investors wanted ren. He left again but came home American ports, and some of them to close down the whole operation. regularly. In 1860 he is recorded as stayed on in the U.S. There are The economic situation for the Kå- “sailor, sailing in foreign waters.” In sources that claim that about a hund- fjord Copper Works was problematic. the court records from Nedertorneå red Finnish sailors served in the There had not been any emigra- District Court in 1883 concerning Union navy during the Civil War. tion from Finnmarken before then, some unrelated matters, he tells that but in 1864 there were 20 emigrants “he had made several journeys to Many reasons for to America from Alta. Most of them America.” Emanuel Mansten, later travelled by way of Tromsø, where known as a photographer in Hapa- emigration two ships from Bergen were boarded randa under the name of Andersson, As in Norrbotten, the major wave of by 200-300 emigrants. Among those emigrated in 1875 without his certi- emigration to the U.S. did not start who left because of the bad times at ficate of moving out (utflyttnings- in Finland until some decades later. Kåfjord were a large number of kvän- betyg), and this was his first actual Reasons and backgrounds for migra- er (Finnish-speaking people). As the emigration. His other travels to and tion are numerous, and that is why Civil War was going on in the U.S. at from America were when he was a the phenomenon of migration has that time, it was a good time for the sailor. He came home a year later, but existed among our ancestors at all American copper works. At the same did not stay. Instead he made an- times. The Finnish-speaking people time many men were joining the other journey to and from America. Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 9 Hammerfest
Union army, and there was a lack of Three early emigrants emigrated to Norway in 1853 and in skilled miners. The agents that had Thus the first wave of the Tornio 1864 to North America. He settled in been sent to northern Norway by the Valley people left from northern Franklin, Minnesota. Rovainen was Quincy Mining Company of Michigan Norway during the spring and sum- a farmer’s son from Haapakylä, who promised the kväner in the Nor- mer of 1864. Who exactly these came to Norway in 1858 and went wegian mines prepaid tickets. This emigrants were has not been stated. on to the U.S. later. He is said to have was a big help and an enticement for The emigrants were born on both started a new settlement in Frank- the Tornio Valley and the Finnish shores of the Tornio river with indi- lin, Minnesota, already in 1865. In people there, as they had never viduals from the Swedish parishes of that area a little colony of Finns was before received such a good offer. One Nedertorneå, Karl Gustaf, Hieta- established. Anders was the father might guess that the Tornio Valley niemi, and Övertorneå, as well as of Johan Abraham Rovainen, born in people did not hesitate long before from Karunki and Alkkula (Ylitornio) 1865, whose tombstone states that they started on their second emigra- on the Finnish side of the river. he was the first Finnish baby born tion, this time for North America. On the first emigrant vessels in in Minnesota. Finally, Mickel Heikka During the next two decades between 1864 were found, among others, An- 700 and 1,000 “Finns” arrived in the ders Rovainen, who was born in U.S. Övertorneå, Petter Lahti, born in Nedertorneå, and Mickel Heikka from Finnish Övertorneå. Lahti was a farmer’s son who 10 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 group of travellers direct emigrant from the Tornio went on to Quebec and Valley, arriving in New York in Sep- from there to Chicago tember 1865, the total travelling and finally reached St. time from the moment they left their Peter in Minnesota home until landing in New York was after many weeks on one month and two days. Rova and the road. Lahti also his family travelled on a steamship. functioned as a link It is more difficult to say how long a for the later Finnish- voyage by sailing ship took, as it speaking immigrants depended on the weather. A typical to the U.S. He was time for the crossing was between also recruited as a twelve and eighteen days, if you went soldier for the Union on the older type of ship that com- army, an event which bined sail and steam. Those ships happened during the were more susceptible to bad weath- fall of 1864. He was a er than the next generation of pure soldier for about ten steamships, which normally took months until the eight days for the crossing. But in the peace was concluded total travelling time one must also the following year. count the time used for land travel. According to other So Rova’s 32 days can function as a sources, it says that median time for the Tornio Valley Anders Rovainen did emigrants during the latter half of not arrive until 1865. the 1860s, at least for the ones travelling by steamships. Three phases of emigration The pioneers from the To sum up: we first Tornio Valley have sailors from the Rumors about the possibilities in “the Tornio Valley who promised land” of America reached jumped ship or stayed people back home amazingly quickly. behind and settled in The first man from the Valley who the U.S. Then we have asked for a moving certificate [flytt- the miners from the ningsbetyg] to go to America did so Tornio Valley who left in the beginning of April 1865. Some- from northern Nor- thing had happened in Lappträsk way. In the third wave village of Karl Gustaf parish – we have the emi- “America Fever” had hit. grants who arrived Stories spread very quickly and directly from their already in April 1865 four families homes in the Valley. from Lappträsk with a total of 24 In most cases the individuals went to the parish minis- emigrants during the ter in Karunki and explained that The Tornio Valley. 1860s and 1870s trav- they wanted to leave their country elled by way of northern Norway. In and move to the other side of the At- also emigrated in 1864 from Vadsö Norway they boarded a ship at Vadsö lantic. They needed a written permit in Norway and settled in Franklin, or Hammerfest and travelled to that listed their family members and Minnesota. Trondheim or Bergen. From there their conduct. These four families all Petter Lahti was an unusually they either went on a direct ship to had Swedish names and had their interesting man in at least two ways. Quebec in Canada, or in some cases, origins mostly in the parish of Neder- First, it is known that he emigrated New York, but most often they went kalix. Their mother tongue was with his family in April 1864 on a to Hull in England, and then on the evidently Swedish. Norwegian sailing ship from Ham- railroad to Liverpool, where they The first family was the former merfest to Montreal in Canada. An- boarded ocean liners. They probably farmer Erik Magnus Jakobsson and ders Rovainen is said to have been had to wait a few days in England. his wife Florentina Sandberg and on the same voyage, which lasted for According to information from their four children. They asked for a seven weeks. From Montreal the Isak Rova, who was probably the first moving certificate for “Norrge. Amer-
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 11 ika,” and then went to northern Norway. But further than that they never went; there was no voyage on the Atlantic. Instead they returned to Lappträsk from Norway during late fall of 1865. This was the first planned direct emigration from the Tornio Valley. What happened to them in northern Norway that made them change their plans is not known. When they returned they also brought a fifth child, Johan Fredrik, born in Hammerfest in Sep- tember 1865. Next were three other Lappträsk families: farmer Lars Olof Bergström and his wife Lisa Greta and their four children; farmer Henrik Wilhelm Lithner and his wife Greta Lena and their three children; and farmer Jo- han Bäckström and his wife Johanna and their five children. From the same village came the Finnish log cabin from 1865, Cokato, Minnesota. Photo by Joan Dwyer. lodger Anders August Sundkvist who Välimaas finally settled, it is still told lived in the U.S. he continued to send wanted to leave during the month of that John Walimaa had a commis- reports back to Tornio Valley from the June. He changed his mind and sion to find good places for future various places he visited. Within a returned his permit in early July. It immigrants from the Tornio Valley to year after his immigration other has been said that a moving certi- settle. Part of his mission was to immigrants from the Valley started ficate was valid only for one month regularly report back home on the to arrive. Just a few days after Väli- from the date of issue, otherwise it possibilities to earning good wages in maa’s decision to emigrate, his neigh- was cancelled. Sundkvist returned the U.S. During the first five years bor Johan Henrik Perttu and his wife his permit well within the month. he travelled from the East Coast to Elisabet also started to think about Minnesota and had had time to live emigration but changed their minds Johan Välimaa in both Pennsylvania and Michigan. and stayed home. Now the Finnish-speaking neighbors After about eight years in Minnesota were waking up. Naturally it was an- he and his family travelled by train The Rova story other man from Lappträsk who had to Pendleton in Eastern Oregon. Other parts of Karl Gustaf parish been caught by the talk about Amer- They travelled twice there and lived also started to move. In Korpikylä, ika in the village. Farmer Johan for a while in Astoria on the coast of just by the river shore, the farmer Välimaa and his wife Eva and their Oregon. Later they returned to the Isak Rova, born in Haapakylä in three children at Kauppila farm in area of New York Mills in Minnesota, Övertorneå, and his wife Greta Toljus Lappträsk asked for their moving where John Walimaa purchased a (Torikka) and their four children certificate for Norra Amerika in July larger farm of 120 acres. The place asked for their moving certificate in 1865. Johan Välimaa was born in was named Heinola. the middle of July 1865. This is the Hietaniemi and had come to Lapp- In the early 1900 John’s wife Eva second totally Finnish-speaking fam- träsk through his marriage. This died and John decided to return ily from the Swedish side of the Tor- seems to be the first Finnish-speak- home to die and be buried in the soil nio Valley who emigrated directly to ing family from Swedish Tornio of his ancestors. His five children the U.S., but may well have been the Valley who aimed to go to America, stayed in the U.S. In the late sum- first ones to land on American soil. but it is not certain that they were mer of 1907 he came back to his In a letter sent home three months the first to cross the Atlantic. Accord- ancestral village of Koivukylä (Hede- later Isak tells that they had arrived ing to a local tradition in their new näset), but had already caught in New York just “1 month and 2 home in Minnesota, they had travel- pneumonia. He died only a few weeks days” after leaving their home in led on a clipper ship (and these later, in early October, and was Korpikylä. The Rova family arrived needed several weeks for the voyage). buried in the cemetery of his home at Castle Garden, New York, on the In Deer Creek Township, Otter parish Hietaniemi, in the same soil 7th of September 1865. Tail County, Minnesota, where the as his fathers. Isak also tells that the family had During the 42 years John Walimaa 12 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 been forced to stay in New York for Rathbone in early November 1865. emigrants in 1866: former farmer three weeks as their travelling All of them were Swedish- Nils Alrik Koski (Holk) and his wife money, which they had in gold coins, speaking emigrants. Maria Gustafva (they settled in Ban- had been stolen. Later in September From northern Norway the emi- don Township, Franklin, Minnesota, they all went to Chicago, where they gration kept growing among the min- where he died 1906); farmer Anders stayed, even though their first inten- ers from the Swedish Tornio Valley Sepponen with his wife Eva Lisa and tion had been to go to fertile Minne- and Finland. two children, who settled in Cokato; sota, where the Federal government In 1866 the parishes that did farmer Per Selvelä and his son Jo- distributed farmland for free. nothing in 1865 started to move. In han Oskar; farmer Nils Selvälä from This immigrant family ended up Övertorneå the dug-out dweller Isak Karsikkojärvi travelled alone. He in the big city of Chicago with more Parpa, wife, and one son from Haa- built himself a cabin in the woods of than 200,000 inhabitants. Like John pakylä decided to start on this long Cokato in 1867, after having lived for Walimaa, Isak Rova also wrote back journey, and got their moving certif- some time in Red Wing, Minnesota. about the possibilities of a good in- icates in June 1866. Parpa, who was The servant girl Brita Johanna Törn- come that were offered. After only Americanized to Barberg, became a gren travelled alone (after arriving seven weeks in the U.S., Isak knew farmer in Cokato, Minnesota. They in Minnesota, she married Nils Sel- almost everything about his new were followed by the dug-out dweller välä); the farmer Erik Lappiniemi fantastic homeland. He tells about Isak Brännström and his family from with his wife Helena and six daugh- the fertile soil, lots of game in the Kuivakangas. They are supposed to ters. forests, and fabulous earning oppor- have lived for some time in Cokato, From the city of Haparanda the tunities. This is one of the exag- but arrived back in Övertorneå al- only immigrant was the young man geratedly positive rumors concerning ready in July 1867. Their only child, Karl Gustaf Strömberg. America that went the rounds in the son Karl, died in America only two In northern Norway the emigra- home parishes of the emigrants. months after arrival, which might tion went on as before, as well as However, Isak Rova did not get to have been a contributing cause for from the Finnish side of the Tornio reap the benefits of these fine earn- their return. Isak Brännström later Valley. From there, for example, left ing opportunities, as he died of became a Laestadian preacher and Anders Kauvosaari from Finnish consumption after only about four drowned in 1873. Övertorneå. He is supposed to have years in Chicago. travelled in 1866 and afterwards And more lived in Holmes City, where he called More immigrants Hietaniemi had three emigrating himself Anderson. Also Gustaf Frisk In Lappträsk village the interest in families in 1866: farmer Johan (Sukki) left and later lived in Frank- America grew and farmer Johan Paloniemi and his family from lin, Minnesota. Henrik Ekman, his wife, and five Vitsaniemi; former farmer Per Väli- children got their moving certificates maa and his wife Maria Magdalena, A break in the only a few days after the Rovas. But and one child from Vuomajärvi; and immigration they also changed their minds and former farmer Johan Mäki, his wife, Almost immediately after the start stayed in their home village. and children from Koivukylä. of the emigration there is a decrease As said above, Karl Gustaf has Johan Paloniemi was called John in the number of emigrants. From more than their share of emigrants Palm in America, and settled in Das- Övertorneå no emigrants are of- in 1865, but from nearby Hietaniemi sel, Minnesota. ficially recorded for the period 1867- we find the settler [nybyggare] Johan Per Välimaa was called Peter 1870, only emigrants with desti- Sundbäck, his wife, and eight child- Peterson and lived with his family in nations like Norway and Finland. ren from Saarijärvi who left their Holmes City, Minnesota. His wife Of the ones that went to Norway home. The Sundbäcks arrived in was a sister of John Walimaa’s. some will probably show up in the New York on the bark McRathbone From Karl Gustaf parish came the U.S. later on. There are no emigrants th on 4 November 1865, and later former farmer Johan Jakob Haara from Hietaniemi, Nedertorneå, or became farmers at Manistee in Mich- and his family from Keräsjoki, and Haparanda, and just two from Karl igan. they seem to have settled in Holmes Gustaf; it is a bit strange. In 1871 The settler Karl Petter Nilsson and City, Minnesota. From the same Övertorneå has one family recorded his family from Kiilisjärvi received parish came the farmer´s daughter and two single individuals, but none their moving certificates just two Eva Pipping from Korpikylä, who from Hietaniemi. From Karl Gustaf days later. Another settler from seems to have travelled alone. She four single people emigrated in 1871 Kiilisjärvi was Elias Eliasson and his later married a man named Viinikka as well as two families. Nedertorneå family who left another ten days lat- from Kukkola. They married in had eight emigrants and Haparanda er. He is probably identical to “Olof Cokato, Minnesota. just one. There is no change in the Olofsson,” who arrived on the Mc- Nedertorneå also sent their first
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 13 emigration from northern Norway: More information? Isak Parpa had built in 1866, have emigration continued. This is a compilation about the first through their own contacts with their The stream of emigrants from the pioneers from eastern Norrbotten local mayor received an official paper Tornio Valley is still not constant, for who emigrated to North America. linking Cokato and Övertorneå as sis- some years no emigrants were re- The information can never be com- ter cities. The descendant Harvey corded. From Hietaniemi the emigra- plete, but if any of the SAG readers Barberg solemnly handed the docu- tion to North America continued in knows anything about those early ment to the kommunalråd [coun- 1873 with six individuals, 1874-1875 immigrants I would appreciate hear- cillor] of Övertorneå at the big stage no emigrants were recorded, 1876 ing from you. during the Övertorneå summer mar- just one, 1877 five, and in 1878 six. It is with great joy that I can see ket. The picture is the same in the other that Övertorneå kommun has ac- The circle has been closed. Tornio Valley parishes. But in the cepted these findings on the earliest 1880s the emigration increases and emigration from this area. What in This article has been published in from now on grew every year, and 1866 was regarded as the start of a Swedish in Släkthistoriskt Forum that is true for all the Tornio Valley negative development concerning 4/05. parishes. In the upper valley the the population has 140 years later Translation by Elisabeth Thorsell emigration starts a few years later. changed to a positive view; as a and Christopher Olsson. From then on the number of possibility to promote the area both emigrants from Tornio Valley has commercially and as a tourist goal. grown every year, and does not In July 2006 the municipality has decrease until the economic crisis realized the unusual project of in- during the later 1920s. But we find viting two of the descendants of the emigrants still during the 1930s, as first emigrants from the munici- Contact information well as a few during the 1940s, 80 pality, Isak Parpa and his wife Eva Sture Torikka lives in Luleå, years after their forbears’ daring Maria. These descendants from Sweden. decision to emigrate and after their Cokato, in fact living in the same E-mail: laborious and demanding travels buildings and on the same farm as
The first “savusauna” [smoke sauna] built in 1868 on the Parpa farm near Cokato, Minnesota. Now moved to Cokato Open Air Museum. Photo by Joan Dwyer.
14 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 The Old Picture
On this page we publish old pictures sent in by our SAG readers. If you have a picture you want to see on this page, either send a digital copy, scanned in at no less than 300 dpi and saved as a jpg or tif file, or send a good paper copy to the editor at the address shown on the inside cover. Do not send any originals, as we can not accept responsibility for them. Neither can we promise to publish all pictures.
This old picture was sent in by Dr. Nelson (born Nilsdotter 6 April 1847 photograph was taken about 1900– Herbert W. Chilstrom, 1211 Pine in Gränna, Smål.). They both came 1910.” Pointe Curve, St. Peter, MN 56082- with their parents in the early 1850s It would be interesting to hear 1344.
Canadian Censuses Swedish Silver Coin in Genealogy meeting in Ancestry.com has now added more Jamestown, VA Philadelphia 28 Oct. Canadian censuses to their databas- Recently an old Swedish silver coin es. They now have 1901 (the fourth The Swedish genealogy club at the was found during excavations on the American Swedish Historical Mu- census), the 1906 census of Mani- site of Jamestown, Virginia, founded toba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, seum in Philadelphia will meet on in 1607. But the coin was older than Saturday 28 October at 1:30 pm. The and the 1911 census (the fifth) of the that; it was a 1 öre, and had been whole country. speaker will be Elisabeth Thorsell, minted in 1576 during the reign of SAG editor, recently awarded the The first census of Canada was not King Johan III, second son of Gustaf taken until 1871. Manitoba and Bri- 2006 Victor Örnberg Memorial Prize I [Vasa]. by the Federation of Swedish Genea- tish Columbia did not join Canada In those days it was the value of until later, and are thus missing from logical Societies. The topic will be the metal that was the important Swedish databases on CD. the 1871 census. thing, not where it came from, so all (Ancestry Weekly Journal Aug.14, 2006) over Europe you could find coins from any country. This one had probably The easy way to get Royalty? ended up with some Englishman go- Swedish things ing to the colonies and then lost. The American Swedish Institute in The president of the Federation of Minneapolis now has a nice e-shop Swedish Genealogical Societies (Sve- on their web site, where you can find riges Släktforskarförbund), Mr. Ted many Swedish items, books, CDs, Rosvall, is a very diligent man. and even lingonberry preserves. Having been deeply interested in The web address is to be found on royal genealogy since childhood, he page 30. recently started Royalty Digest Quar- terly, which is filled with genealogies, 9 October is Leifur articles, and pictures. More informa- tion from
Senator J.L. Lenroth Senator C.A. Swanson Kongressman H. Knutson
Kongressman C. R. Chindblom Kongressman W. Williamson
In a local thrift store in Filipstad I governor of Virginia, and Navy Sec- Dakota. He represented the citizens found this summer a bound volume retary under Franklin D. Roosevelt. of South Dakota for 11 years, and of the weekly magazine Vecko-Jour- Congressman Harold Knutson during that time helped the efforts nalen from 1923. During the summer (1880–1953) of Norwegian(!) origins, to get the carvings at Mount Rush- months there were a few stories on represented the citizens of Minne- more done. His official biography Swedish-American personalities. sota for more than 30 years. does not mention his ethnicity, but Senator Irvine Lenroot (1869– Congressman Carl Richard Chind- the 1910 Census discloses him as 1949) represented Wisconsin. His blom (1870–1956) was born in Chi- being of Norwegian(!) descent. So father, Lars Lönnrot, was from cago of parents from Åsbo, (Östg). He Vecko-Journalen did not do its home- Skåne, and his mother from Värm- represented the citizens of Illinois for work correctly! land. 13 years. Source: The Swedish Heritage in Senator Claude A. Swanson (1862- Congressman William Williamson America, by Allan Kastrup (1975). 1939) from Virginia, seems to have (1875–1972) was born near New Biography web site, see p. 30. been descended from the Old Swedes. Sharon, Mahaska County, Iowa, but Elisabeth Thorsell He spent 33 years in congress, was moved as a small child to South
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 17 A Handwriting Example X
What is this? This is not a handwritten document; lish” in your computer; it belongs to the harvest was bad, or when there instead it is printed in the printing the same font family. was to be a big auction, or when the font that was the most common one What is this document? It is an Crown’s pig iron, paid in taxes, was in Sweden until the middle 1800s. example of the notifications that each to be sold. It is called frakturstil, and has county governor sent out to the The parish pastor had to read this some similarity with the handwriting parishes and bailiffs and other in church on Sunday. This was an- style called tyska stilen or German officials within his jurisdiction. Often other inducement for people to go to style. The frakturstil was used in they also contain information from church, to get the latest news. Germany well into the 1960s and other counties too, especially when The above document is dated 10 may still be used there. they are searching for escaped pris- July 1800, and was sent out by the In English the same type of print- oners, as the above text shows. The governor of Värmland. ing font is called “Blackletter” font. notifications can also be about advice You may have a font called “Old Eng- on what plants you could eat when Translation on p. 20
18 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Using MapQuest to Pinpoint Ancestor’s Residence
BY BILL LAWSON
My Swedish grandfather August the EDs on the map near Tower ever, a search in the 1900 census in- LOFSTROM came to America in Street. I then went down each cen- dex at Ancestry.com using just the 1890. I traced him to Hamburg, then sus page of all those EDs looking for given name of Conrad (born in to Liverpool, New York City, and grandpa and his family. Sweden) in Suffolk County, Massa- finally to Boston. He settled in Bos- YEEESSSS! There he was – his chusetts, reveals this ancestor – Con- ton, and went to work for the public name spelled LUFFSTROM but with rad SUFFSTROM, a bookbinder, li- library as a bookbinder. He was there the correct names for his wife and ving at 17 Fresno Street in Boston.] till his death in 1918. children – on Fresno Street. While (Previously published in RootsWeb My query to the Boston Public Li- studying the MapQuest detail of Review: 31 May 2006, Vol. 9, No. 22.) brary yielded no information. I tried Tower Street, Boston, I noticed at one to find him in the 1900 census, using end of that street was a huge ceme- SAG editor’s note: This person was his name Konrad August LOF- tery. Were my grandparents buried probably identical with Conrad Löf- STROM, but failed. Family lore said there? An inquiry to the cemetery ström, age 31, from Uppsala, who left that he built a three-decker on Tower yielded not only a positive answer, Sweden 22 Oct. 1890 via Hamburg Street, Boston, in 1905. So I reasoned but the complete burial records of with a ticket for New York [Emi- he must have lived nearby in 1900 both of them — in 1910 and 1918! hamn]. and liked the area. [Editor’s Note: The ”L” on the I printed out a MapQuest detail surname was written by the enumer- of surrounding streets, then I went ator so it looked something like an through the Enumeration Districts ”S” and that’s how the name was (EDs) listed in the census and wrote indexed –as SUFFSTROM. How-
Research Notes, by Elisabeth Thorsell as well as a brother Fabian and a sis- Twenty years later A.W. lived at When doing research in various types ter Alma Brigitta. They were all Nauwpoort, and Fritiof in Port Eli- of archives different from the church children of the divorced storekeeper zabeth, both places in South Africa. records, there are often items that Andreas Petersson, born in Mortorp One more interesting thing about catch your eye, even though they are in 1839. This was found in the Swe- the Harvey brothers was that their not what you are looking for. dish Census 1890. A look into Emibas powers of attorney were glued into In Vadstena archives some time showed that Adrian Vilhelm (A.W.) the book of records, and there were ago I was looking at the records of had left Kalmar in 1893 for the U.S. more examples of such documents in Kalmar Stadsförsamling, and found Brother Fabian had left already in those books. Here is another ex- a note about a death, that was un- 1889 with a ticket for San Francisco. ample: usual. In 1915 Aug. 27 the church office received a letter from the Swed- ish Consulate that told that the sailor Herman Teodor Swensson, born 1885 Oct. 15, had been murdered by shoot- ing in the harbor of San Francisco on 1915 June 22nd. One wonders what had happened? Next I looked into the records of the Kalmar Magistrate for 1915, and found that the widow Ester Sjöblom had bought two twelfths of the town lot 163 C from her brothers A.W. Pe- terson Harvey and Fritiof Peterson Harvey, both in South Africa, which was quite an unusual destination for Swedish emigrants. So a little fur- ther research showed that Ester and her brothers were all born in Kalmar, Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 19 The Solution to the Handwriting Example X
anledning af Wederbörandes derom I hos mig gjorde Requisitioner blifwa följande Rymmare härigenom efterly- ste med befallning til Krono- och StadsBetjenterna här i Länet at dem noga efterspana och wid ertappandet under sä- ker fängslig bewakning hitsändas, nemligen:
1:o Soldaten wid Kongl. Maj:ts Wärf- wade Infanterie-Regemente Johan Hellmer och Båtsmannen Bonde Swensson Cabbel, af hwilka den förre är 30 år gammal af medel- måttig längd med mörka hår och ögonbryn, samt ett mörkt ansikte och ful uppsyn, och den sed- nare, emellan 30 a 40 år, lång och smal med blekt ansikte, tunt hår och onda sår i hufwu- det.
2:o Commissarien och Krono-Länsman- nen i Ösbo Härad och Jönköping Län Johan Swanberg, som för honom ombetrodd upbörd icke redowisat. Swanberg beskrifwes wara emellan 30 a 40 år, är medelmåttig til wäxten med starka lemmar, ljusa hår och ögonbryn.
Translation (line breaks marked by //)
Notification By cause of the request done by the authority concerned// to me the following fugitives are hereby posted as wanted,// with an order to the servants of the Crown and cities in this county// to search for them and when apprehended sent here under custody; that is 1:o the soldier at His Majesty’s Enlisted// Infantry Regiment Johan Hellmer// and the navy seaman Bonde Olsson Cabbel, of// which the former is 30 years old, median// height with dark hair and eyebrows,// and dark countenance and mean-looking, the latter// between 30 and 40 years old, tall and thin with// a pale face, thin hair and bad wounds to his head. 2:o The Commissary and Crown Bailiff// for Östbo District and Jönköping county Johan// Swanberg, who has failied to account for the tax money// that he has been entrusted with. Swanberg is described as being between 30 and 40 years old, of average growth// with strong limbs, light-colored hair and eyebrows.//
20 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 What was the teardrop route?
In an e-mail to the editor Dr. James Islands such as St. Thomas, and one modity at this time. M. Borg puts the following question: of the big sugar islands]. He once “Your expertise in answering this told a relative that he had followed question would be most appreciated. “I am a subscriber to the Swedish the “teardrop route” in [some?] of his Yours sincerely, American Genealogist and would like journeys. Can you assist me in James M. Borg, Ph.D.” to request your assistance in an- identifying what that route consisted swering a question about the so- of? Unfortunately the editor had to called “teardrop route.” “My speculation is that it may refer admit her lack of knowledge and I “My great-grandfather, Carl Borg, to one of two routes: 1) from Gote- am now relying on the many all- who was born near Valdemarsvik, borg up the coast of Norway (sort of knowing readers of SAG. Östg., in 1861, went to sea as a a teardrop shape) and on into the Any information can be sent to Dr. sixteen year old. He spent five years northern seas of Russia (plus maybe Borg at 1910 Surrey Lane, Lake For- (1877-1882) aboard cargo ships – the phrase resonated with the tears est, IL 60045. mainly (collier?) barques – operating that young sailors shed on such a
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Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 21 From Stubborn Swede Railroad Inspector to Civil War General
BY JOHN E. NORTON
Ernst Mattias Peter von Vegesack seacoast town of Gävle. Olsson had aimed at Richmond. He was refused, was born 18 June 1820 on the island reached an agreement with his busi- so resigned his commission to join of Gotland, scion of a Swedish ness friend and railroad executive McClellan’s corps as a volunteer military family with German roots. director, Per Murén, that he could during the siege of Yorktown and His parents were Eberhard Ferdi- ship all personal baggage at no cost. battle of Williamsburg. For bravery nand Emil von Vegesack, a captain Olsson chose to interpret ”bag- shown during the battle of Hanover in the army and later customs offi- gage” liberally, and tried to load 20 Courthouse, he was promoted to cer, and his wife Ulrika Christina So- cases of salted Åland Baltic herring major and joined McClellan’s gene- fia Lythberg. The family earned their in Gävle, as a speculative investment ral staff as adjutant. Though suf- Swedish nobility in 1664, and were to be sold at home in Dalarna. von fering from malaria, he later helped granted baronial privileges in 1802. Vegesack refused to treat it as bag- cover McClellan’s retreat from Rich- Like many young noblemen, Ernst gage, insisting it instead be shipped mond to the James River, distin- began his own military career at the as revenue-producing freight, or not guishing himself in the battle of age of 15, when he joined the Swed- at all. As the train pulled out of Gaines Mill. ish Army’s jägare (rifle) company at Gävle, the herring boxes remained on For his services there, he was Visby. He rose through the enlisted the loading dock. Olsson made a promoted to colonel, and given com- ranks in the conscript Gotland shouted appeal, “My herring, my her- mand of the 20th Regiment New York Artillery. He was commissioned as ring!” to Per Murén, standing at Volunteers, made up largely of Ger- brevet second lieutenant of the Dala trackside. The executive director man Turners, many who were refu- Regiment in 1840, and promoted to demanded an explanation of von gees (or children of refugees) from the first lieutenant in 1843. He worked Vegesack. A heated discussion fol- socialist revolutions of 1848. He soon as a licensed surveyor in Kopparberg lowed, and von Vegesack resigned. became an acting brigade com- province during the great land re- He, along with other Swedish officers mander, and led the Third Brigade form of 1844-1850. He also saw hoping to gain battlefield experience, of Gen. Smith’s Division in the peacetime duty overseas as an then sought permission to come to disastrous battle of Bull Run, 30 Au- artillery battery officer in the Swe- America to fight for the Union. He gust 1862. By the time of the bloody dish Caribbean colony of St. Barthé- left Sweden on 7 August 1861 with battle of Antietam, 16-17 September lèmy in 1852–1853 and in 1854. After three other lieutenants and a young 1862, he was a regimental com- returning to Sweden, he was pro- engineer. mander, and successfully stopped a moted to captain and company Von Vegesack’s entry into Union Confederate breakthrough by rein- commander in the Dala Regiment in Army service was smoothed by Amer- forcing the Union center with his 1857. In 1858 he became intrigued ican Secretary of State William H. Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, and by the new technology of the railroad Seward, whose intervention landed Germans. Shortly after, he was made industry, and was named traffic Ernst a commission in September brevet brigadier general. In that chief/inspector for the new Gefle- 1861 as Captain in the 58th Ohio capacity, he participated in the Dala Railway between the Baltic sea- Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and bloody, unsuccessful battle of Frede- coast town of Gävle and the inland assignment to staff duty at Newport ricksburg 11-13 December 1862, and province of Dalarna, a career change News. In that capacity, he was again on 3 May 1863, when Frede- that brought unexpected results and privileged to witness, and report ricksburg was finally taken. A day later fame from an unlikely quarter. home to Sweden, the famous 9 March later, he and his unit participated in It is said that his decision to head 1862 sea battle at Hampton Roads the disastrous battle of Chancel- for America as the Civil War broke between Swedish engineer John lorsville, where he was nearly cap- out was encouraged by an unfortu- Ericsson’s ironclad Monitor and the tured and his unit almost wiped out. nate 1860 confrontation with a pro- Confederate Merrimac. His regiment had, by then, served out minent railroad passenger, over a Von Vegesack tired of staff duties its enlistment, and on 10 May 1863, shipment of Baltic herring. Swedish at Newport News, and requested the unit was welcomed home to New Member of Parliament Liss Lars Ols- reassignment to the field, asking to York and mustered out. son had chosen to return home from follow McClellan into battle during Von Vegesack was then attached Parliament to Dalarna via the Baltic the ill-fated Peninsular Campaign to General Meade’s Army of the Poto-
22 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 mac, becoming Meade’s adjutant in en the United States’ highest mili- hurried his decision to emigrate. time to participate in the Battle of tary award, The Congressional Med- Modern Swedish author and war Gettysburg in July 1863. al of Honor, for bravery during the historian Alf Åberg published a 1996 He left Union service on 3 August battle of Gaines Mill, while covering popular history, Svenskarna under 1863, and returned to his homeland McClellan’s retreat. The citation was stjärnbaneret, about the Swedes who as a national hero, receiving a saber simple: “While voluntarily serving as fought in the Civil War, with frequent and gold medal for “bravery in the aide de camp, successfully and adv- mention of von Vegesack. He cites field” from King Carl XV. In 1864 he antageously charged the position of von Vegesack’s Civil War letters, now was promoted directly from Swedish troops under fire.” found in Sweden’s Krigsarkivet (War Army Captain to Lieutenant Colonel He died on 12 January 1903 in Archives), of which Åberg served as and made commander of the Väster- Stockholm, a stubborn railroad in- director. For a general history of the botten Rifle Corps. He became spector turned stubborn general, and Civil War, one can read Bruce Cat- commander of the Hälsinge Regi- a national hero on both sides of the ton’s masterful works Mr. Lincoln’s ment in 1868, and was military Atlantic. He married in 1865 to Edla Army, 1951, Glory Road, 1952, and commander of Gotland 1874-84. He Amalia Sergel, daughter of the A Stillness at Appomattox, 1953. also served as M.P. and represen- manor owner Johan Gustaf Sergel, Many state adjutants general pub- tative of Gotland in the Upper Cham- and his wife Carolina Magdalena lished Civil War unit histories, giving ber of Parliament from 1878 to 1887. Dubois, but had no children. rosters and insight into the opera- He was promoted to Major General tions of those commands, often down in 1884 and put in command of More reading to company level. th Sweden’s 5 Military District. He In 1904, the Augustana Synod John E. Norton retired in 1888. periodical Prärieblomman published His Civil War service was not for- a biographical sketch of Major Gen- gotten by the United States. Follow- eral Ernst von Vegesack, written by Contact information ing the Civil war, he was named a its editor, Anders Schön. Schön tells John E. Norton lives in Moline, member of “The Union League,” and the delightful story of von Vegesack’s Illinois. Email: was promoted to permanent briga- short railroad career and the famous
Ernst von Vegesack in the Battle of Antietam. From Illustrerad Tidning (Stockholm) 29 November 1862. Nr 48.
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 23 New CD databases from Sweden
There are always new CDs in the works, and here are a few of interest to all genealogists
1. Emigranten Populär This is on old friend in a new costume; the first Emigranten came out in 1996 and cost a fortune. This new version has a popular price, around $60, instead of roughly $200, and also has some new databases. The new version also allows you to search all ten databases at the same time, or just the ones you have marked. There are still a few flaws. The Emigranten Populär does not speak English, but should not be too diffi- cult to use for the eager researcher. Also one would have hoped that by now all the variants of parish names would have been corrected and ended up in a special field, so it would have been possible to search on the modern spelling, but not so. You still have 238 Hvetlandas, and 916 Vetlandas in Emihamn. Some people have also The search window after a search has been done. complained about the few search On the other hand, there are lots ing the period of 1869–1950. Next windows, they feel it should be of good things on this CD. The first comes Emibas for Göteborg (53,000) possible to search for sex, counties, and most important is the Emihamn and Värmland (126,000), informa- age, and other fields that do exist in (about 1.4 mill. individuals), people tion based on the church records. the underlying database. leaving the main ports of Göteborg, Emisjö has information on 17,000 Malmö, Stockholm, and others dur- sailors mostly from Western Sweden, that jumped ship or got lost 1812– 1930. Emipass has information on 16,000 persons who left Sweden 1812–1860, also mostly from Wes- tern Sweden. Emisal lists around 242,000 passengers on the Swedish America Line 1915–1950 (Greta Garbo and others). Emivasa lists about 58,000 members of the Vasa Order of America. Emilarsson is an index of all people that wrote to the emigrant agents Bröderna Larsson in Göteborg 1879–1911. In this data- base you get a source citation and can then contact the Regional Archives in Göteborg for a copy of the letter. These letters will be published on another CD in a few years. A hit from Emibas Värmland. On this CD you will also find some-
24 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 information about the ships that went from Göteborg to England, and even pictures of a few of them. This CD is warmly recommended. 2. Swedish Census 1900 This is another member of the series of Swedish censuses, where we already have 1890, 1970, and 1980. The first two ones are computerized versions of the summaries of the clerical surveys for 1890 and 1900, which were sent in from every parish to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the latter ones are based on the offi- cial tax registers. The first two ones (1890 and 1900) are joint productions of the SVAR branch of the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet) and the Federation of Swedish Genea- logical Societies (Sveriges Släkt- forskarförbund). The future King Gustaf VI Adolf with his parents and brothers. One important feature of the new sometimes you just know the name very useful, especially when you are CD is that it is English-speaking: just of the ancestor and a few siblings, tracing the siblings of your immi- click on the U.S. flag in the upper and then you could well use the grant. There are of course mistakes, right-hand corner, and all the lead- children’s window. Also note that misread place names, surnames, etc., words are in English. Titles and there are some helpful buttons to but it is a great lead into the church addresses are not translated. Also help you write the “Swedish” letters. records. notice the big blue questionmark in In the Swedish version there is the same corner. It will tell you about also a “statistics” button, where you 3. Kugelberg the contents of the CD and give hints may see, for instance how many Kugelberg is a DVD with scanned on how to do an efficient search. butchers there were in a certain pictures of newspaper clippings from There are two search windows, one town, or how many grufarbetare the late 1800s and early 1900s of for adults and one for children – (miners) in another one. This CD is births, deaths, and mariages. They are arranged by surname, and more than 20,000 surnames are listed. The families here mostly belonged to the professional classes, officers, bank managers, civil servants, etc. Swe- dish. 4. Grill The indispensable book by Claes Grill, “Statistiskt sammandrag af svenska indelningsverket,” which is necessary to use to find one’s soldier in the military records, has now also become a database, (in Swedish.) Where to buy the CDs 1. Emigranten Populär is sold by the SAG editor for $60 incl. postage. E- mail
migrants, together with a scattering views provide a rich collection of Old of others of various nationalities. images of a life style that has passed Most of the houses and farms pic- away. The houses are bereft of people, Farmhouses tured date to the last decades of the the rooms are empty and often in nineteenth century, from about 1860 tragic disrepair, but the powers of to 1900. The author’s aim was to imagination of the reader help to Death of the Dream, Farmhouses record in photographs the passing recreate an impression of farm life in the Heartland, by William G. away of a special dream, or style of in the 19th century. Barns, out- Gabler, 128 pages, hardcover, Af- ton Historical Society Press, Afton, life that took place during these dec- buildings, an abandoned school- MN, 1997, Amazon.com, $35.00. ades but now is no more. house, a wooden church, and a weed- (Also available in soft cover, 1999, The first part of Death of the grown cemetery add to the overall Amazon.com, $16.97 plus ship- Dream, entitled The Dream, de- picture of once thriving but now ping.) scribes the historic context for the largely abandoned communities. settlement of the prairie in the 19th The reader searches among these Driving along the highways and century, including descriptions of the images for traces of houses that may rural roads of the Midwest, one prairie before settlement, the coming have been built by Swedes, or by continues to see many abandoned of the settlers, pioneer farming, the Norwegians, or by Germans, but farmhouses sitting in old, overgrown rise in demand for crops such as finds little to suggest the origins of woodlots amidst the almost un- wheat, and the rise of industri- the original occupants. It appears broken miles of corn and wheat alization in agriculture. The second that the prevailing styles, materials, fields. Many houses have disap- part, The Structures in the Field, con- and construction methods of the day peared and only the woodlots remain centrates on descriptions of the in the American Midwest outweighed to signal their past locations. Those elements of the pioneer farmsteads, construction traditions of the pio- that remain are empty and deserted, the various outbuildings and barns, neers’ homeland. The materials in dilapidated condition or even and the houses themselves. The available at the time were small falling down in neglect and disrepair. construction and layout of the wood framing members, planks for Modern, mostly one-story houses houses, their style, the various floor joists, boards for sheathing, spaced much further apart than the rooms, and the style of living are narrow wood shiplap siding, double old woodlots now mark the much described in detail, and how the hung windows, and factory-made larger, mechanized farms of today. houses relate to the woodlots, the Victorian decorative elements. These The author of Death of the Dream, farms, and the various outbuildings were all put together by local car- William Gabler, has chosen to make making up the farmstead. The third penters to a generally common style, a record of some of the last of these part of the book, The Plates, contains adjusted to suit the needs, means, old farmhouses, centering his study over 80 pages of plates, black and and desires of the individual farmer. on several counties in western Min- white photographs of a variety of The author points out that most nesota along the valley of the Min- houses and farm scenes. of these farmhouses were originally nesota River. Gabler found the great- Accompanying the rich images of built as a simple rectangular house, est concentration of these old houses these houses are descriptions in text often replacing an earlier dugout mainly in Yellow Medicine, Lac qui to illustrate the methods of con- lean-to or one room sod house erected Parle, Big Stone, Chippewa, and struction, architectural styles, de- by the pioneer homesteader. As the Renville Counties, but also includes tails and elements making up the farmer prospered and his family several other locations. These lands houses, and the author’s obser- grew, the farmer would add a wing were homesteaded largely by Swed- vations about common features of to one side to provide added rooms, ish, Norwegian, and German im- design. Both interior and exterior forming a house now in the shape of
26 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Book Reviews an ‘L’ or sometimes, a ‘T’. A front porch would usually be added in the For the corner of this ‘L’ to shelter the entrances and provide a place to sit and view the farm or receive visitors. young ones The house built by my own great- grandfather, Jonas Jansson in about Three for Your Brood; a trio of re- 1870 in Nicollet County, MN, is sim- cent children’s books sharing the ilar to these prairie houses and, at same title, Swedish Americans, by last visit, was still standing. This three different authors. chapter describes Märta’s (now Mar- house shared many of the features tha Challstrom) Swedish American identified by Gabler in his book, For those who would like their child- family. Illustrations are well chosen, including the later addition to the ren to be more completely informed colorful, and intended to be appealing rear. about their own Swedish heritage, to younger children. A glossary ex- This book is a valuable record of a three new books have come to this plains some of the more difficult period in American history to which reviewer’s attention. Two are aimed words used in the book and are many descendants of these immi- at younger children, the third is well highlighted in bold face type. grant pioneers can closely relate and suited to junior high school or high Although deliberately limited in identify. I do take exception to the school age students. Written not only scope to suit the age group for which author’s choice of title, however: The for Swedish Americans, these books it was intended, Ms. Peterson’s book Death of the Dream. This somber title are also intended to inform others makes an excellent first reader to implies that the houses are a symbol about the Swedish American heri- help your children or grandchildren of a failure to achieve the dream of tage as part of the American cultural begin the process of learning about those who built them. I prefer to mosaic. their Swedish heritage. think of these houses as the dis- carded exoskeletons of families who Swedish Americans, by Tiffany realized all their dreams in America. Peterson, 32 pages, hardcover, Swedish Americans, by Lucia Those who built them achieved their Heinemann Library, Chicago, IL, Raatma, 32 pages, hardcover, The goals of freedom, independence, and 2004 (Amazon.com, $26.79) Child’s World, Chanhassen, MN, self-sufficiency to raise their families 2003 (Amazon.com, $27.07) as they wished, free of old world A compact but well organized and limitations and traditions. It was a visually appealing book, this volume Similar in size and scope to the first hard life, but they usually had the is best suited for eight to twelve year book, above, this book is also targeted satisfaction of passing their farm on olds and would be appropriate for the toward the same age group. Chapters to a son or daughter, or selling to classroom as well as for general read- are headed The Swedish Life, retire and spend their last years ing or library use. The author has Coming to America, Making a New more comfortably in a nearby small used an individual immigrant, Märta Home, and The Swedish American town. These pioneers on the prairies Källström and her experiences Culture. This book may not be found would gain even more satisfaction to coming to America, as a framework as interesting to younger children as know that their children mostly for her book about Swedish Ameri- the first, since the text is a little more moved to the cities for different, less cans. Notes from her daughter, Sandi formal and lacks the personal refer- strenuous occupations and the suc- Ekstam and other immigrants, are ences and notes included in the book ceeding third, fourth, and fifth gener- used on some pages to highlight by Tiffany Peterson. It is a little bet- ations were able to achieve their own certain points in the text. ter, however, in explaining the rea- dreams to become leaders in Ameri- Brief chapters on Sweden, Early sons behind the great migration of can society, ranging from industry Swedes in New Sweden, the Journey Swedes to America and the historical leaders to movie stars, from astro- to America, and arrival in the U.S. background for this migration. nauts to doctors, architects to scien- are followed by sections on “America Small notes of “interesting facts” tists, teachers to zoologists, and ar- Fever,” Land and Lumber, Life in the are sprinkled throughout the book to tists to poets. Cities, Swedish Culture, Celebra- catch the eye, and many of the il- Dreams that often began in these tions, and Swedish foods. A chapter lustrations are fine historic etchings little houses on the prairies. on Arts and Entertainment high- or wood cuts, among them the well- Dennis L. Johnson lights several well-known Swedish known illustration of the founders of movie personalities, and a brief final New Sweden being greeted by the
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 27 Book Reviews cultures and nations. It is similar in Swedes. Some semantic confusion scope to the first two books for exists; Illinois has the largest total younger children, but includes much number of Swedish Americans while more detail about each of the subject Minnesota has a higher percentage areas. Targeted to a high school age of Swedish Americans in its popula- or older reader, the book is a much tion. more comprehensive, if more diffi- Viewed as whole, however, this cult, volume which delves further book is an excellent introduction to Native Americans, from the foyer into the many complexities and Swedish Americans for those of high ceiling of the American Swedish His- variations within the immigrant school or older age groups, presen- torical Museum in Philadelphia. Re- experience. ting a fairly comprehensive, if brief, grettably, an illustration on page 13 The author has organized this picture of the history of their coun- is identified as being of Castle Gar- book into seven chapters: The try of origin, the immigrant experi- den in New York where immigrants Swedes in America, The Old Coun- ence, the influence of Swedish Amer- arrived until 1892. The illustration try, America Fever, Tamers of the icans on the nation as a whole, and is clearly of the Royal Palace in Frontier, Social Issues in Industrial the state of Swedish American cul- Stockholm, a serious editing error. America, Swedish Identity Across ture and people in the U.S. today. The author includes in several the Atlantic, and Into The Melting Dennis L. Johnson chapters profiles of famous Swedish Pot: The Swedish American Influ- Americans including the sculptor ence. These are followed by a chrono- Carl Milles, entertainer Edgar Ber- logy of events, a bibliography, further gen (and Charlie McCarthy), author reading, a list of websites, and a list On Carl Sandburg, aviator Charles of organizations. Lindbergh, inventor John Ericsson, Illustrations are not as numerous Augustana executive Walter Hoving, actresses as in the younger children’s books, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Ann- but serve well to complement the The Heritage of Augustana, Es- Margret, and others. Although these text. Some are the same as in the says on the Life and Legacy of people are well-known to our gene- above books, but many are different. the Augustana Lutheran Church, ration, a few Swedish Americans who The Colonial Swedes being greeted Hartland H. Gifford and Arland J. relate more to young people might by Native Americans appears again Hultgren, Eds., softcover, 297 have been included as well. as do several others, but an actual pages, 2004, Kirk House Publish- A useful feature at the end is a view of Castle Garden is correctly ers, Minneapolis. Amazon.com, timeline page with important dates included on page 45. Unique among $23.50 plus shipping. in Swedish and Swedish American the illustrations is an 1850 photo history, and a glossary with pro- portrait of Jenny Lind, and there are If you are a grandchild of the gener- nunciation notes for some of the more several other early photos from the ations of “the swarming of the difficult words used in the text. immigrant experience not previously Swedes” to America in the 19th seen by this reviewer. century, as am I, you are very likely Swedish Americans, by Cory The text touches on many aspects to have had an Augustana Lutheran Gideon Gunderson, 106 pages, of the immigrant experience in- Church in your background. This hardcover, Chelsea House Pub- cluding Swedes in American politics, Synod was the church of Swedish lishers, 2003 (Amazon.com, Swedish American churches, the Lutherans mainly in the Midwest, $30.00) Bishop Hill colony, relations with which in the 102 years of its existence Native Americans, Swedes in the had grown to about 1,200 congre- This more advanced book for older Civil War, other Americans’ reactions gations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, young people is the sixth in a series to Swedes, and the current state of Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and about immigrants in America which Swedish American culture and the many other states. My own family includes books on Chinese, German, Swedish Language. The book is not belonged to an Augustana church, Irish, Italian, and Japanese Ameri- totally error-free; it identifies Min- where I was confirmed in 1946. The cans. An introduction by Daniel Pat- nesota as having the highest popu- pastor was Rev. Reuben K. Young- rick Moynihan serves to put the book lation of Swedish Americans and dahl of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church into the context of the United States does not even list Illinois as among in south Minneapolis. The excep- as a nation of immigrants from many the states with large numbers of tional Youngdahl family also had its
28 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Book Reviews roots in Dalsland, Sweden. on the American continent. Swedish The Augustana Lutheran Church immigrants were attracted to other was formed in 1860 at a historic churches as well. Many became meeting in Jefferson Prairie, Wiscon- Methodists or Baptists. Eric Jansson sin. Swedish born Lutheran pastors attracted hundreds to his short-lived were few in number in America at community in Illinois, and the Mor- that early date; among those at- mon church won a number of Swed- tending the meeting were Lars Paul ish converts. Free churches with Esbjörn, Tufve Nilsson Hasselquist, roots in Sweden (The Mission Cove- fessorship of Lars Paul Esbjörn in and Erland Carlsson. Lars Paul nant Church, and the Evangelical Chicago in l860. Moving to Paxton, Esbjörn had organized the Swedish Free Church) formed their own IL, and then to Rock Island, IL, by Evangelical Lutheran Congregation groups in the U.S. Many others were 1875, the College and Seminary in Andover, IL, in 1850. Two of the served by no church at all or did not continued to thrive and grow. By founders would become Presidents of seek out a church in America. But 1962, when the Augustana Synod the Synod, Hasselquist (1860-1870), over a fifth of all immigrant Swedes merged with the Lutheran Church in and Carlsson (1881-1888). Another is became Augustana Synod members. America, many hundreds of Lu- pioneer pastor, Eric Norelius, or- In the 19th century the Synod theran pastors had received their dained in the U.S. in 1856, became grew along with the rise in the training at the Seminary. In 1962, President of the Synod twice, 1874- numbers of Swedish immigrants, Augustana Seminary was merged 1881 and 1899-1911. and founded a number of colleges in with four other seminaries to form The Synod maintained informal the U.S., including Augustana in the Lutheran School of Theology at ties with the Church of Sweden but Rock Island, IL; Gustavus Adolphus Chicago. Augustana College con- was independent of that church. By in St. Peter, MN; Bethany in Linds- tinues to thrive as a Liberal Arts 1869, there were 17 Augustana pas- borg, KS; and Upsala in New Jersey. College in Rock Island, and is home tors serving 36 congregations and The Synod founded Augustana Col- to the Swenson Center, publisher of about 3,000 communicant members lege and Seminary under the pro- the Swedish American Genealogist. New and Noteworthy (short notes on interesting books and articles)
In Bryggan 2/06 (also The Bridge) published by the Kinship Center of Karlstad, Sweden, there is a long article by Alf Brorson about the Fryksande Evangelical Lutheran Church of Evansville, Douglas County, Minnesota. The church was organized in 1877 and the founders were in many cases people from Fryksände, Östmark, and Lekvattnet, all parishes in the province of Värmland. The church was dissolved in 1932. The Augustana Heritage Association (http://www.augustanaheritage.org/) is a society whose purpose is to define, promote, and perpetuate the heritage of the Augustana Lutheran Church (1860-1962), merged to form the Lutheran Church in America, and then merged to become the predecessor body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On the web site you can find a downloadable newsletter in pdf-format. The Spring 2006 issue was very interesting and had a number of book reviews on individuals and families. Also there was the second installment of a long article on the Reverend Erland Carlsson, one on the most impressive personalities from the 1800s, written by his relative Carol M. Perkins. Erland Carlsson was born in 1822 in Älghult parish, Smål. Swedish TV personality Tina Nordström, famous for her easy-going cookery programs, has produced a DVD, called New Scandinavian Cooking with Tina Nordström, which came out last year. To cite a review “this is the best source of info you will find on Swedish traditions and their way of life. It's so great because it gives you an introduction to the Swedes' lifestyle and it's also entertaining because Tina is always doing something to keep your attention.” In English. $44.49 at amazon.com. [This is probably the summer version, there is also a winter version, which does not show up at Amazon, but the Sweden Bookshop (see p. 30) has both for SEK 188 + postage/each].
Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 29 Book Reviews Of special value are the essays in the section titled “The Church.” For children? These essays focus on the theological roots of the Augustana Synod, its Swedish Folktales & Legends, unique character in distinction from translated by Lone Thygesen the Church in Sweden and from the Blecher and George Blecher. Uni- other Lutheran groups formed in the versity of Minnesota Press, Minnea- U.S. Peter T. Beckman describes polis 2004. ISBN 0-8166-4575-2. The Augustana Synod no longer these distinctions in his essay, “The $13.26 from Amazon.com exists, but has been a part of the Heart of Augustana.” Herbert E. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Anderson addresses “The Theologi- This book is a collection of old Swed- America (ELCA) since 1986. Under cal Foundations of the Augustana ish folktales (folksagor) and is the leadership of Donovan J. Palm- Lutheran Church,” Robert Anderson divided into several sections: Animal quist, the Augustana Heritage Asso- describes the Synod’s awakening so- tales; Trolls, Giants etc; True Dum- ciation was formed in 1998 to pre- cial consciousness, and Mark Gran- mies and Clever Folks; How to Win serve the heritage of the Augustana quist writes about “The Augustana the Princess; Tales of Heroes and Lutheran Church. This book includes Synod and the Evangelical Covenant Heroines; and many more. a number of essays about the August- Church” in America. Taken together, Most of the stories are well-known ana Church given at conferences in a picture is formed of a Church with in Sweden, but may be new to Amer- Rock Island, IL, in June of 2000, and its own personality and character, no ican readers. These stories were told at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, longer a separate Synod, but clearly before the fire in the fireplace during in June of 2002. The mission of the having transmitted many of these the long winter evenings, with Augustana Heritage Association is special elements to the continuing shadows flickering in the corners, “to define, promote, and perpetuate mission of Lutheran theology and which made stories about trolls and the heritage of the Augustana Evan- practice. other phantoms quite plausible. gelical Lutheran Church.” (Note: the Persons with a history of associa- There are the familar stories about Association may be contacted at tion with the Swedish Lutheran stepmothers, others about the three www.augustanaheritage.org). Church in America will find this col- brothers, where the youngest turns These essays are organized into a lection of essays highly informative out to be the smart one, and how to series of sections beginning with the and interesting to read. A picture is outsmart a giant (not known for their roots of the Church in Sweden, and clearly outlined of the transitions of intelligence). The stories often come its early connections to the Swedish the Augustana Synod Churches from to a moral conclusion, and was a way Church. It continues with the organ- a Swedish language immigrant to teach the youngsters how to be- ization of the early churches in Illi- church to mixed Swedish and Eng- have and what they should look out nois and in Kansas, the formation of lish congregations offering services for in life, at the same time as they the Augustana Synod, and the found- in both languages, and then to a gave some relaxation from the daily ing and history of the Seminary. Lat- completely Swedish-American but toils. er sections address the global out- English-speaking church. The still One example might be the hare, reach of the Church, and the role of later outcome was inevitable; a mer- who in the wintertime says he will women in the Augustana Women’s ger with most other Lutheran con- build a house in the summer. When Missionary Society. The book con- gregations in America as a part of the summer comes, he does not need a cludes with essays on two early ecumenical movements of the 20th house, he has a home in every bush! Church leaders, Gustav Andreen and century. Many of the unique features The moral here is that you have to Conrad Bergendoff, and two sermons of the Swedish Augustana churches think a little longer into the future, by participants in the heritage con- continue to exist and this heritage or you will regret it in hard times. ference, Dennis A. Anderson and has contributed greatly to the Evan- This book will give you and your Reuben A. Swanson. The essays have gelical Lutheran Church in America. little ones many hours of fun, and been contributed by many distin- Dennis L. Johnson maybe also set some thoughts in guished former Augustana Parish motion in those little heads. Still in Pastors, College Professors, and two these days of TV and DVDs, kids churchmen from Sweden, who add come running if you start by saying their perspectives to the history of “Once upon a time there was a...” the Augustana Synod. Elisabeth Thorsell
30 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Interesting Web Sites
(All links have been tried in August 2006 and should work)
About Edshult parish in Småland: http://www.edshult.com/Edshult_home.htm Around 500,000 burials in Stockholm: http://www.hittagraven.stockholm.se/ The official Swedish web site for tourism and travel: http://www.visitsweden.com/ Swedish Lutheran Cemetery El Campo, Wharton, Wharton Co, TX: http://www.cemeteries-of-tx.com/Etx/Wharton/cemetery/swedisha.htm Cokato Finnish-American Historical Society: http://www.cokato.mn.us/cmhs/fahs.html Sture Torikka’s page on the Tornio Valley: http://www.mfhn.com/houghton/finn/s_torikka/WhyDidTheyGo.asp A Swedish-Latin dictionary from the 1800s: http://runeberg.org/swelatin/ Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress from 1774– : http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp A short video clip of the 1938 Tercentery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWuCZdNLF20 The Swedish Phone Book: http://www.eniro.se The e-shop at the American Swedish Institute: http://store.americanswedishinst.org/ccp51/cgi-bin/cp-app.cgi Scandinavian Heritage Foundaton: http://www.scanheritage.org/NewWebPage/aboutus.html Sweden Bookshop (Stockholm): http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/SBFrontPage____11208.aspx Shelly R. Johnson’s web site on the Johnson-Berg families: http://www.johnson-berg.com/
SAG reader Don Richards of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, happened to visit the regional archives (Landsarkivet) in Vadstena, Sweden, at the same time in May as the SAG editor. Here Don enlists the help of Göran Lindström, assistant archivist, to get into the mysteries of the scanned church records. Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 31 The Last Page
Dear Friends, for a couple of generations, and the at least once a year, and place them Even though this is the June number, buildings are getting old. We noticed in your bank, or with someone who these lines are written later, at the that the barn had started to sag in lives in another part of the country. end of the summer. This year Sweden one corner, and finally decided to do Because of the lack of water, the had again a very warm and dry sum- something about it. Now the heavy birches started to turn yellow already mer. From the end of June until early tile roof is gone, replaced by a mod- at the end of July; this also affected August the temperatures stayed in ern metal roof, which should be safe the blueberries, but we hope the the middle or high 80s, something we at least for the next 30 years. By lingonberries have benefitted from are not accustomed to. Many people then, it will be up to Ossian and the the rains in August. These things are left the cities and moved to their others of his generation to ensure the tokens of the approaching fall, which summer homes, perhaps a little red well-being of the barn. for me first means The Bridge Con- “stuga” or a modern vacation home Another matter came up on the ference in Karlstad, and then this on an island in the archipelago. horizon, my trusted laptop suddenly year’s tour to the U.S. Besides the My family and I went to the “stuga” died on me, and has gone to the shop all-important SAG Workshop in Salt in the Värmland forests, where it was for repairs. That made me realize the Lake City, I will also visit Worcester, fresher and cooler than in the city. It importance of back-ups, and I hope Mass., and Philadelphia, and hope to was the first time that it has been so that those of you who are computer see many of you! warm that I wore shorts for many users, remember to do back-ups regu- Greetings from Sweden! weeks there. larly. If possible, you should also burn Elisabeth Thorsell Our place has been in the family a CD with the most important files SAG needs more Queries and Questions! For this issue SAG had no Genea- logical Queries at all. The Query box is empty, but waiting for the sub- scribers to send in queries about their lost ones. Perhaps one of the reasons for the emptiness is the message boards on the internet, though I would suspect a printed query to have a much longer life than an internet one. Someday someone may pick up an old SAG and find a query that tells exactly where the ancestors came from, or where they went. The same goes for the Question This is Ossian Thorsell, born 23 June Chest, where we try to answer ques- 2006 in Spånga, Sweden. In the tions about other things than gene- picture he is one month old. It is a alogy. We want questions like “What gift to be so relaxed in his mother’s was the price of a ticket from Göte- arms. borg to New York in 1904?” or “What Ossian is a new reminder of why is a susceptrix?” or “How long did it so much time is spent on digging up take to become a master copper- names, dates, and details of his an- smith?” or any other thing you are cestor’s lives – so he and his brother wondering about. and other siblings, and relatives will We did have one or two questions, know where they came from, which but they were lost in a computer might help them find out where they crash in April, so please send them are going. in again. 32 Swedish American Genealogist 2006:2 Abbreviations
Table 1. Abbreviations for Swedish provinces (landskap) used by Swedish American Genealogist (as of March 2000) and Sveriges Släktforskarförbund (the Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies, Stockholm [SSF]).
Landskap SAG & SSF Landskap SAG & SSF (Province) Abbr. (Province) Abbr.
Blekinge Blek. Närke Närk. Bohuslän Bohu. Skåne Skån. Dalarna Dala. Småland Smål. Dalsland Dals. Södermanland Södm. Gotland Gotl. Uppland Uppl. Gästrikland Gäst. Värmland Värm. Halland Hall. Västerbotten Väbo. Hälsingland Häls. Västergötland Vägö. Härjedalen Härj. Västmanland Väsm. Jämtland Jämt. Ångermanland Ånge. Lappland Lapp. Öland Öland Medelpad Mede. Östergötland Östg. Norrbotten Nobo.
Table 2. Abbreviations and codes for Swedish counties (län) formerly used by Swedish American Genealogist (1981-1999) and currently used by Statistiska centralbyrån (SCB) (the Central Bureau of Statistics, Stock- holm).
Län SAG SCB SCB Län SAG SCB SCB (County) Abbr. Abbr. Code (County) Abbr. Abbr. Code
Blekinge Blek. Blek. K Stockholm Stock. Sthm. AB Dalarnaa Dlrn. W Södermanland Söd. Södm. D Gotland Gotl. Gotl. I Uppsala Upps. Upps. C Gävleborg Gävl. Gävl. X Värmland Värm. Vrml. S Halland Hall. Hall. N Västerbotten Vbn. Vbtn. AC Jämtland Jämt. Jmtl. Z Västernorrland Vn. Vnrl. Y Jönköping Jön. Jkpg. F Västmanland Väst. Vstm. U Kalmar Kalm. Kalm. H Västra Götalandc Vgöt. O Kronoberg Kron. Kron. G Örebro Öre. Öreb. T Norrbotten Norr. Nbtn. BD Östergötland Ög. Östg. E Skåneb Skån. M a formerly Kopparberg (Kopp.; W) län. b includes the former counties (län) of Malmöhus (Malm.; M) and Kristianstad (Krist.; L). c includes the former counties (län) of Göteborg and Bohus (Göt.; O), Skaraborg (Skar.; R), and Älvsborg (Älvs.; P). BD
Ångermanland Z Jämtland Y
Hälsingland X Dalarna Gästrikland w Uppland C Värmland Västman- S U land T AB Närke Södermanland Bohuslän Dals- D land Östergötland E O R Västergötland P Gotland F Halland Småland H I N G Öland Blekinge Skåne L K M
The counties (län) as they were before 1991. The provinces (landskap).