Ranae's Swedish-Chicago Heritage

In the early 20th century my paternal grandparents, Rikard Severin Källman (1887-1968) and Lydia Abrahamson (1890-1978) immigrated from Sweden, settling in Chicago. I am exploring my Swedish ancestors immigrant journey to "Amerika" and life in Swedish Chicago. I am searching for cousins everywhere to share family stories, pictures, memories and new discoveries about our Swedish heritage and our family today.

~ This blog, like my family tree, is always a work in process. Please stop back now and again! ~


Is this Great Uncle Andrew Soderstrom?

Today I came across another of those "shakey leaves" on Ancestry.com.  I have conflicted feelings about those leaves, sort of a love /hate relationship. Those hints can be useful, very very useful. Those hints can be laughably wrong also.  This hint, which at first thrilled me (I love finding new photo of ancestors) also gives me some pause.

This photo hint came from the family tree of someone I do not know or recognize as being even a remote relative. The photo is identified as being Anders Olaf Söderström or my grand Uncle Andrew Soderstrom.

Below is a comparison of the photo with a photo to the right that is ABSOLUTELY Grand Uncle Andrew.

I knew Grand Uncle Andrew only as an elderly man and even then I met him just a few times when I was pretty young. This gentleman certainly strongly resembles Grand Uncle Andrew but here are my concerns.
 • Andrew would have been this age around 1910 however the style of dress appears earlier, perhaps 1880's?

• The face shape is the same. Same square jaw, wide forehead, eyes, nose and mouth but Andrew (right) appears thinner with features a bit finer.

• Andrew (right) has noticeably lighter eyes and complexion. Or is this just the lighting of each photograph?

 • Any earlier photo I already have seen of Andrew his hair is always side parted and seems almost blond while the gentleman to the left is surely dark haired.

   •The tree which it came from also had a photo of my grandmother Lydia Abrahamsson and identified it as a photo of her sister, and Andrews wife, Ruth Abrahamsson. This leads me to believe that the owner of this tree did not know Andrew and Ruth.

If not Andrew, could this be a close relative: father, brother or cousin?

All you Soderstroms, Liljegren, and Eckberg cousins, help me out if you can?

My Grand Uncle 
Anders Olof "Andrew" Soderstrom
b: 1 September 1888 Helgum, Angermanland, Sweden
d: 8 October 1960 Moline, Rock Island, Illinois, USA


DNA PROVES I actually do have cousins

I initially did my DNA with 23 and me. The results were confusing to me and quite honestly not much help with my genealogy. I uploaded the results to My Heritage. Sort of throwing a wider net?
Where are all MY cousins?

 My genealogy ancestry already was documented back to the late 1600's on most lines. Although I worked hard at it, if I am honest it is more due to my great luck in being half Norwegian and half Swedish.  I have to say "Thank you" to the wonderful parish and national records of Norway and Sweden.  I really did not feel DNA would contribute to finding additional ancestry. But why did I not have any cousin matches? Well, I did have quite a few but they were all possible 4th, 5th and more remote "cousins".
 My Mexican son in law also tested and immediately had first cousin and oodles of second cousin matches. What's the deal? Goofy/prejudiced/biased? thoughts went through my head. Mexicans have larger families than Scandinavians? Maybe. My son in laws mother did have 13 siblings. Scandinavians are too cheap to pony up a few bucks to check their DNA? Maybe. I can be pretty tight with a buck myself. For sure.

Being a passionate family historian I already had hunted down and harassed most of my first and second cousins into revealing themselves but yesterday.....finally.....DNA came through with some hits! I now have four matches! Three of those folks names I already had on my family tree but it was cool to see scientific "proof" that we were truly related.  Descended from my Norwegian great great grandfather Gunder Andreas Nielsen was a third cousin. Descended from my Swedish great grandfather Robert Albin Abrahamsson was a first cousin once removed and also a second cousin once removed. Descended from my Swedish great grandfather Karl Teodor Andersson Källman was another second cousin.

Maybe I have changed my mind about DNA research.
Ummmmm, maybe.

your cousin also?
check out your Scandinavian DNA,

* If you care to see my DNA breakdown and my previous musings about the results; 
you can click on "DNA in Genealogy" in the search box to the right of this blog post.


Occupation Investigation - Gustaf Gustafsson 1795-1812, Bergsman

South Central Sweden has the largest concentration of base metal and iron ores in Northern Europe. There are mines in existence today that were established in the early 1700's and mining itself took place in Sweden from the earliest times. Mining was a very common occupation for the average man in the area of Sweden my paternal grandfather came from.

Gustaf Gustafsson, my 3X great grandfather, was born in 1795 in Berg, Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden. Swedish Household Examinations and the record of his death refer to him as a "bergsman" or miner.
A physically demanding and dangerous job no doubt. In addition, in his day there were no worker safety or child labor laws. The 5 day, 8 hour work week was over one hundred years away.  It is entirely possible that Gustaf worked the mines from the young age of eight or nine, six days a week for up to twelve hours a day.

late 19th century miners
Gustaf was twenty six when he died. Twenty Six. Young even for the early 19th century. Look at this  record.  Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden deaths from January to July 1812. Gustaf's death is underlined in red and he is only one of seven miners who died in this parish in just half a year!  Every month another miner died. It seems very possible, even probable that work in the mines was the contributing factor or direct cause of death for many who spent their life underground.

Ancestry.com: Swedish Church Records 1500-1941
County: Örebro; Parish: Lerbäck; Volume: F:1;
Record Type: Död (Deaths); Year Range: 1801 - 1861;
Roll/Fiche: MN-1128; 

my great great great grandfather
Gustaf Gustafsson
b: 9 December 1785 Berg, Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden
d: 23 March 1812  Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden

Gustaf Gustafsson→Jan Gustaf Gustafsson Bergvall→Clara Sofia Bergvall→
Richard Severin Källman→Melvin Carl Kallman→ME!