Ranae's Swedish-Chicago Heritage Blog

The Kallman/Abrahamson Family: Exploring my Swedish-born grandparent's and siblings immigrant journey to "Amerika". Searching for cousins everywhere to share family stories, pictures, thoughts, ideas 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! ~


Anniversary of the United States Air Force - Harry R. Soderstrom

This week is the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force. The United States Air Force became a separate military service on 18 September 1947. Before that, it was part of the Army, known as the United States Army Air Corp and during WWII as the United States Army Air Force. In honor of that anniversary, I am proud to bring you the WWII story of one of our own family members. 

Harry R. Soderstrom, my father's cousin.

Harry was born in 1922 and graduated from Moline High School just as the world was entering WWII. If you read the article below you will see he was "cited by his squadron commander for meritorious achievement in accomplishing with distinction numerous operation missions over enemy occupied Europe." He was the pilot of a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber, one of ten crew members and mind you he was only 22 years old at the time! I've done a little reading on the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, you may also be interested and can find that information HERE. "The coolness, courage, and skill displayed by First Lieutenant Soderstrom upon these occasions reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed forces of the United States."

a member of "The Greatest Generation"

First Lieutenant 
Harry R. Soderstrom
born: October 15, 1922 Moline, Illinois
died: June 28, 2010 Columbus, Indiana

Enormous Thank You! to my second cousin, Sally Liljegren Thomas, who has kindly shared these photos and information about her uncle Harry with the family.

*click on photos to enlarge for easier viewing. 
If you wish to download a copy of individual photos in the collage,
 they may be found under the tab PHOTO GALLERY at the top of this blog.*


Looking for Aunt Ebba and finding more.

We family historians/genealogists joke about it and our family and friends make jokes about us. But it's true and I have been at it again. FINDAGRAVE.COM is one of my favorite genealogy websites and I am also a member. Yesterday I went into Northlake (a close suburb of Chicago) to stomp around the Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery.

I was looking for the grave marker of my Aunt Ebba Kallman. When she died suddenly, I was away in Norway with my brother visiting my grandmother so I did not get a chance to go to her funeral. I had heard years ago that someone had donated her burial plot and now I know who and can easily guess the circumstances.

Fairview Memorial Park, Northlake, Illinois Section 2, lot 339, #7

Immediately to the right of Ebba's gravestone is the dual gravestone of my great Uncle and Aunt, John (Johan) Emil Jacobson, and Anna Abrahamson Jacobson.

Fairview Memorial Park, Northlake, Illinois Section 2, Lot 339, #5&6

Immediately to the left of Ebba's gravestone is the grave of Selma Emilia Borg Jacobson. She was the first wife of my father's cousin Rudolf and the daughter in law of Uncle Emil and Aunt Anna. At the time of Aunt Ebba's death, Rudolf  had been remarried, died and was buried with his second wife, Agnes Nordin Jacobson, in Canada. I believe the plot was originally intended for Rudolf. In 1989 there were no longer any Jacobsons residing in the Chicago area and the family kindly donated the plot for Ebba's earthly remains.

Fairview Memorial Park, Northlake, Illinois Section 2, Lot 339, #8

This beautiful large monument with the Lord's prayer (once the largest in the Chicago area) highlights this section of Fairview Memorial Park.

Fairview Memorial Park, Northlake, Illinois Section 2

I am sorry that I, unfortunately, did not think to bring a knife to cut away the grass that with time had almost obliterated the stones or a brush so I did the best I could with my hand, a pen and a napkin! The caretaker said they would have the stones cleared but I told them "no worries, no one in our family comes to weep over a grave anyway. We choose to instead remember them in life and rejoice we shall see them again one day in heaven."

***click on photos to enlarge for easier viewing***

Death in the North Sea - Sara Abrahamson

Sara Abrahamsson 1915-1945 was the third child and middle daughter of Gustaf Abrahamson and Hanna Emanuelsdotter, a grand daughter of Robert Albin and Anna Karolina Abrahamson. Unmarried, she worked as the Östra Frölunda telephone operator until her untimely death at sea. Her older sister Gunhild told her story to their nephew Ingemar Majholm who recorded her words.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
"The Östra Frölunda telephone exchange situated in the northern wing of Stommen was being overhauled in Oct 1945. Sara, who was the operator, got three weeks off. She somehow received the opportunity to make a round trip to England with a cargo ship.
SS Dagny was a Swedish cargo steamer which was on route from Lake Vänern for Lowestoft, the easternmost harbor in England, with a cargo of wood. Sara probably embarked when it passed Gothenburg and was going to work her way over and back again.
She served as a helper to the ship cook, an elderly lady who made her last shift before retirement. Oct 14, 1945, the ship collided with the British former troop, then cargo, steamer Empire Rapier and the old lady got stuck, badly injured.
The injured lady, as well as the seamen, urged Sara to go to the lifeboat immediately, but she lingered with the dying woman in order to try to help her. It has been told that things then went very quickly and the vessel sank before Sara managed to escape.
Her grave, the SS Dagny, lies on 34 - 38 m depth, position 54.15N-06.13E
Three weeks earlier, Sara had attended the wedding of her brother Seth and Anna-Lisa, in Vikarbyn, Dalecarlia. They now had moved into their little apartment in Stockholm. Knowing nothing about Sara's journey to England, they opened the newspaper in the morning and read that a vessel SS Dagny had sunk in the North Sea. Two casualties were named, one of which was Sara Abrahamsson, Hid. In dismay, understanding nothing, they called Gustaf and received the terrible news.
Gunhild has told how Gustaf, not a man used to show feelings, cried bitterly this day at the loss of his dear daughter. 20 years earlier he had lost her beloved mother, being left alone with four young children, Sara being the next youngest.

The exact date not known, but some time after the accident, the captain of SS Dagny visited Gustaf to tell him about what happened in the last minutes of the life of his daughter. The captain had been deeply impressed by the unselfish love of this young lady, who had risked her life to give help and comfort to a dying lady, defying the others urging her to go on board the lifeboat and save her own life."

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

my first cousin once removed
Sara Abrahamson
born: 29 July 1915: Östra Frölunda, Ålvsborg, Sweden
died: 14 Oct 1945: 34-38 m depth, position 54.15N-06.13E 
aboard the Dagny in the North Sea

The history of SS Dagny may be found → HERE 

***click on photos to enlarge for easier viewing***


Swedish Apple Cake | Sweet Paul Magazine

Early September and I feel fall in the air. 
I am having a cup of coffee on my patio and came across this recipe. 
Sounds great, just the kind of cake I like. I am going to give it a try.

I am going to check out some of the other recipes on this website also.
click on↓
Swedish Apple Cake | Sweet Paul Magazine: Swedish Apple Cake