Wednesday's Child - Selma Matilda Ericsson

Selma Matilda Ericsson was born 01 Aug 1865 in Östergötland, Sweden, the first child of Franz Hugo and Albertina Ericsson. 
Her father emigrated to the United States in Dec 1868 to establish a home for his young family. In July of 1871 Swedish records record Albertina Ericsson and her three daughters; Selma, Maria and Erica, leaving the port of Gothenburg Sweden to join their husband and father.

(Gothenburg, Sweden Passenger Lists, 1869-1951, 09 Jun 1871
departing Gothenburg, Sweden for Hull, England on the ship "Rollo")
Selma died in La Porte, Indiana at the young age of 14, July 13, 1879. The promise of a better life in America ended even sooner for her younger sister Erica. No more than a toddler, she died of dysentery shortly after landing in the US. Contaminated New York water? 

My grandfather Richard's paternal cousins:
Selma Matilda Ericsson  born:01 Aug 1865 Hällestad, Östergötland, Sweden 
                                           died: 13 Jul 1879 LaPorte, Indiana, USA 
Erica Theresia Ericsson born: 17 Feb 1869 Hällestad, Östergötland, Sweden
                                           died: 14 Jul 1871 Columbiana, Ohio, USA


DNA and Me - part 3

My autosomal breakdown

This is the portion of the DNA results that supposedly tell you where your ancient ancestry is from. My genealogy on paper, is 50% Swedish (my Dad's family) and 50% Norwegian (my Mom's family). A little naive I guess but I fully expected my outcome to be just that. Half Norwegian and Half Swedish. Well it turns out that 23 AND ME, (the company that I tested with) only goes as far as saying "Scandinavian" which I guess is fair. After all, if Swedes and Norwegians share a similar Germanic language root and Norway was actually part of Sweden for much of its history, in spite of all the mountains separating the two countries it seems most logical that Norwegians and Swedes also share much of the same DNA. So, am I 100% Scandinavian? Of course I say absolutely yes!
...But...23 and me says this is me▼

**click on document to enlarge for easier reading**

Hummmmmmmmm  just 63,1% Scandinavian. This was a surprise to me, mainly because my genealogical research showed me that on both my Norwegian and Swedish sides my family did not live on the coast, they were mainly farm people and for generation upon generation never moved more than 20 miles or so from the spot my grandparents came from in the early 20th century. There were also a few cases of cousins marrying cousins or remote cousins. Science says that because of the way we pass DNA on to our descendants (a random half of our genome goes into our egg or sperm) it is quite possible that just by chance I have NO DNA material from 1 of my great grandparents. But I guess by the same lottery I could have bits of DNA from many many many generations back. So here are my thoughts on the breakdown.

"99.9% European"
  Okay since at one time during the last ice age all the Northern Europeans retreated to Southern Europe it makes sense that all Europeans have a similar genetic makeup. One of my early Norwegian Ole's could have warmed himself in the ice age with an early Spanish Juanita. When the ice age abated and they traveled up the Atlantic coast to Scandinavia they no doubt took a few interesting women with them. I guess that is also why "26.5%" is "broadly Northwestern European". All of we Europeans share a good part of each other.

"0.1% East Asian"
  I think it is possible that is where the Saami blood my Norwegian grandmother spoke of came in. Those reindeer herders passed up by the Arctic circle and across Russia and shared DNA with those that ultimately traveled across the Bering straits to North and South America.

"0.9% Finnish"
  Same as above since the Finns are related to the Russians, Estonians etc. I blame the Saami connection for this also.

"0.8% French/German"
  My documented ninth great grandmother was Maria Lukretia von Boeselager, A minor German noblewoman who summered in southern Norway and married a Norwegian official after she was widowed the first time. Cool! A bit of Maria lives on in me!

"8.4%" British/Irish
  I'm thinking I'll blame the Vikings on this one. They say that Dublin was founded by Vikings and those in Northern Ireland share most of their genome with Scandinavians as opposed to ancient Celts or Anglo-Saxons. Those Vikings stayed there and those particular bits of DNA reproduced more in Britain and Ireland than Scandinavia. But my flaming (well used to be anyway I am 63 now you know) red hair? I read that was a mutation that originated in Scotland and Scotland has the greatest percentage of redheads followed by Ireland. Does the British designation include Scotland and Wales? I don't know who, but I want to blame someone.

The point is I was so so very proud of being this "pure" Scandinavian. Well, more than proud. Kind of superior. It goes to show that we all are related aren't we? We are all just "pure" humans, no more, no less. Anthropologists speculate that everyone in the whole world is no further than 40th cousins.

I'm working on it but none the less it will be awhile before I find and document ALL of my cousins in my online family tree.

I'll keep you posted.

free clipart from


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole died. The regular pastor of the Lutheran Church was on vacation, so a neighboring one came to do the service. Before the funeral, the minister found Lena to ask her a little about Ole so to get to know him better. He gathered some information then asked: "Do you happen to know what Ole's last words were before he died?" Lena thought for a moment then replied: "Lena, put down that gun!"

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


Wednesday's Child - Dorothy Ruth Lydia Soderstrom

Her name is not listed on other family trees I have seen. I have no photo of little Dorothy. The cemetery (Riverside in Moline, Illinois) that the state of Illinois says she is buried in does not list her name. No family member had ever mentioned her existence..... well, not to me anyway.

I  know that she was here, for the brief four days of her life, because when looking for something else I came across this record in my research.

This was no doubt the baby daughter and fourth child of my great uncle and aunt, Andrew and Ruth Soderstrom.
I don't know why her life was so short. Maybe she was born too soon, too tiny, too ill. I do know that her parents surely wanted and loved her. Aunt Ruth gave her my grandmother Lydia's name and her own. 

my dad's little cousin
Dorothy Ruth Lydia Soderstrom
   born:  24 November 1927 Moline, Rock Island, Illinois
   died:  28 November 1927 Moline, Rock Island, Illinois
   Evigt säkert i armarna på Jesus.

- Ranae

**clicking on document will enlarge it for easier viewing**


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Sven:  "Ole, stant in front of my car and tell me if da turn signals are vorking".  
Ole:  "Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No...."

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


DNA and Me - part two

My brother and I bought DNA kits from 23 AND ME. "23 and Me"was one of the first companies offering a breakdown of your DNA for $ and a bit of your spit in a tube. "23 and Me" in the past gave their customers not only results of your DNA heritage divided by world area but a long list of medical possibilities/problems/illnesses that your particular DNA made you susceptible to. The FDA disallowed the medical results being passed on to customers. They just weren't sure if the science was quite up to snuff yet. Maybe it was not appropriate to give info that could possibly be upsetting to everyday folks. Their stock plummeted I guess and now there were also other companies offering DNA testing, jumping on the family history bandwagon. To keep the company going they dropped their prices and offered to test not only your Autosomal DNA (areas you descend from) but your Mitochondrial (mother) and Y (father) haplogroups, along with your percentage of Neanderthal genes for a much better price than the competing companies.

My brother and I, really being good frugal Scandinavians, bought our "spit kits" from them. And we got a 10% discount for buying them together. Later on I will tell you those results in detail but for now lets just say that since all four of our grandparents just got off the herring boat from Scandinavia, our results were no big surprise.

About two weeks ago I got an email from "23 and Me". The FDA had allowed them to release some of those medical mysteries hiding in my DNA and I would get the results shortly. They also doubled their price for future customers.

I was really conflicted about this. Did I want to know? My maternal grandfather had died from Parkinsons disease. One of my grandmother's had had type II diabetes, the other chronic lymphocytic leukemia. My mom died at 47 from cancer and so did her brother, my uncle. My dad had died from heart disease.

Then I got a grip on myself. Heck I'm almost 64! Of course my parents and grandparents are
dead and they had to die of something! Except a great aunt who got hit by a bus in Norway. I have already hit the jackpot as far as health is concerned. Sure I have high blood pressure (like Dad) and asthma/allergies but we live in the 21st century for Pete's sake and in the Western world with good health care. Plus I never did care for cats anyway.

Here are my DNA results

I am 79% likely to be a redhead
I likely have very fair skin and only light to moderate freckling
I likely have blue or light grey eyes
I was probably born bald
I likely don't have dimples
I likely don't have a cleft in my chin
I likely don't have a unibrow
I likely don't have a widows peak
I likely have detached earlobes
I likely have wet ear wax
My big toe is probably longer than my second toe
I am not lactose intolerant
I have the capacity to consume a large amount of caffeine
I am not likely to sneeze when exposed to bright sunlight
I likely prefer salty to sweet snacks
I don't carry the variant which causes Sickle-Cell Anemia

and my very favorite  (drum roll please)
I likely have the ability to notice the unique odor in the pee of those who have just eaten asparagus
WHAT THE ???????????????????

My husband just laughed. "So you paid good money to find out what you could see for free in the mirror?"

Yeah, I guess he is right.  I still got a kick out of it that they could tell all that from my spit. And it was right on the money.

Except for the pee thing....I really don't care to sniff someones urine to see if that is true or not. I think I will just take their word on that.

free clipart from


Happy St. Lucia Day!

Part of the Advent to Christmas season is  St. Lucia's Day on December 13. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. St. Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred for her faith, in 304 AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. .

December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, or shortest day in the year. A pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St Lucia's Day. Lucia means "light"

St. Lucia's day is celebrated by a girl wearing a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, traditionally the youngest girl in the family or group. Her crown is made of lingonberry branches which are evergreen to symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucia. Boys might dress up as 'Stjärngossar' or star boys and additional girls can be 'tärnor' (like Lucia but without the candles).

Little girls dressing as St Lucia and bringing parents breakfast in bed, caroling in church, visiting hospitals and old people's homes, parading and singing about St. Lucia and of course passing out Pepparkakor is  one of the lovely ways Swedes welcome the Christmas season.

Happy St Lucia Day!


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole is 90 years old. He's played golf every day since his retirement 25 years ago. One day he arrives home looking downcast.

"Dat's it," he tells Lena. "I'm giving up golf. My eyesight has become so bad dat once I hit da ball I couldn't see vere it vent." Lena sympathizes. As they sit down she says, "Vhy don't you take Sven wit you and give it one more try." "Dat's no good" sighs Ole, "Sven's a hundred and tree. He can't help." "He may be a hundred and tree", says Lena, "but his eyesight is perfect." So the next day Ole heads off to the golf course with 103 year old Sven. He tees up, takes a mighty swing and squints down the fairway.
He turns to Sven and says, "Did you see da ball?"
"Of course I did!" replied Sven. "I have perfect eyesight".
"Vhere did it go?" says Ole.
"I don't remember."

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


Wednesday's Child - Carl Fredrik Abrahamsson

This Wednesday I remember Carl Fredrik Abrahamsson.

He was born 7 July 1851.  He was the child of Anders Gustaf Abrahamsson and Britta Maria Nilsdotter. He died on the family farm Tveta 26 April 1857. He was five years old.  His death is listed as "Bröstsjukdom" which would translate as disease of the lungs, a term also used for unidentified chest illnesses. Most likely not Pneumonia, Influenza or Tuberculosis which was recognized as such even in that day and age. Perhaps this was a long time condition such as asthma or he was born with a heart condition? We cannot know. The cause of death was listed on the certificate by the local priest who did not have medical training so often the cause of death is actually a symptom noted.

Sweden, Church Records 1500-1941, County-Västmanland, Parish-Medåker, 
Död 1852-1861, Gid#2349.19.49400, Volume F:6, Roll MN-1613

He was survived by 7 brothers and sisters. In 1868 the entire family emigrated to the United States. The family settled in  Chautauqua, New York . His siblings would marry and have children. His younger brother would become the Rev. L.G. Abrahamsson, a noted Lutheran minister of the Augustana synod and leader in the Swedish immigrant community.

bottom row center: Carl Fredriks parents, Anders Gustaf and Britta Maria
with his seven brothers and sisters in America

The family has today many descendants who most likely will never know about the little boy whose grave was left behind in Sweden.

Robert Albin Abrahamsson's cousin and my first cousin 3x's removed
   Carl Fredrik Abrahamsson,
   born: 4 July 1851 Tveta, Medåker, Västmanland, Sweden
   died:26 Apr 1857 Tveta, Medåker, Västmanland, Sweden



Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole and Sven were out on the lake fishing, Ole says to Sven,

" Sven, I tink I'm going to leave Lena" 
Oh? why is dat Ole?
 "Vell Sven, she hasn't talked to me in nearly 2 months and von't tell me vat I did." 
After a few minutes, Sven says to Ole.
"Ole, I vould tink twice about dat, women like dat are hard to find"

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


The Pickled Herring: Swedish Almond Cake

The Christmas baking season is upon us! Let's try something a bit Swedish.

From a wonderful blog entitled The Pickled Herring (I love that blog's name) Thank you Kathryn!

Swedish Almond Cake
If you love the taste of almonds you KNOW you have Scandinavian blood.

The only thing missing here is a big cup of coffee, right?

                klicka här  → → → →The Pickled Herring: Swedish Almond Cake


Wednesday's child - Johan Gustav Victor Bergvall

Such a fancy name for such a little boy. Johan Gustav Victor was born 1 Apr 1836 in Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden* on the family farm Knutstorp. The first child of my great great grandparents, Jan Gustav Bergvall and Anna Lisa Pehrsdotter. Anna Lisa was just 19 at the time of his birth. I am sure his birth was a happy occasion as he was the first grandchild on both sides of the family.

*, Church Records, 1500-1941 County Örebro, Parish Lerbäck
Födde (births) 1826 - 1860, GID 196.76.46200, Volume C:4, Roll/Fiche # MN-1128

21 June 1836, 2 months and 21 days later**, he was gone. The cause of his death was "kopper" or smallpox. In 1816 smallpox inoculations had became mandatory in Sweden. Perhaps he was considered a bit young to be vaccinated? About 1 in 3 that contracted the virus died. It was especially virulent and deadly for the very young. He was buried the same day as he died, most likely as a preventitive measure against the spread of the virus.

**, Church Records, 1500-1941 County Örebro, Parish Lerbäck, 
Död (deaths) 1801-1861, GID 196.78.84400, Volume F:1, Roll/Fiche # MN-1128

The uncle my grandfather Richard would never know and my second great uncle:
     Johan Gustav Victor Bergvall
     born  1 Apr 1836 Knutstorp, Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden
     died 21 Jun 1836 Knutstorp, Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden

- Ranae

As a toddler I was given the Smallpox vaccination by our family pediatrician Dr. Nils Tunestam (a friend of the family and also a Swedish immigrant). Usually given in the upper arm he gave me mine in my upper leg thinking a girl would most likely not want a visible scar. He never could have guessed how short those mini skirts and hot pants got in the late 60's!

The last natural case of smallpox was in 1977 in Somalia eliminating the need for universal childhood inoculations.


DNA and me - part one

My mitochondrial haplogroup is V

A professor of Human Genetics at Oxford's Institute of Molecular Medicine by the name of Bryan Sykes proposed in his book "The Seven Daughters of Eve" that every person alive in Europe today is related by an unbroken maternal link to one of only seven original female settlers who once populated the great plains of ice-age Europe. These seven European woman each carried their own individual mitochondrial DNA, passed from mother to child, generation to generation to generation. We all have mitochondrial DNA but only the mother can pass it on. If this makes your eyes glaze over you are not alone, but I and many many others find this concept, and Bryan Sykes book, totally intriguing. The book is a great read and will no doubt be on your local library's shelf.

A couple of  friends actually got together and bought me a Genographic Project test kit some years back. The result?

This was soo cool! Type V, or mother Velda as Bryan Sykes named her, is one of the smaller groups in Europe and is found only in Europe. About 5% of the European population is V with 2 exceptions. A small population group in Spain (where it is believed V originated during the last ice age) and the Saami or people of the Laplands of Northern Scandinavia. Close to half of the Saami are haplogroup V.

My Norwegian maternal grandmother Dagmar had told me long ago that one of our ancestors had been a Saami. I could never with my paper genealogy prove a Saami link (it is close to impossible for many reasons) but perhaps here was my "proof". Or I would like to think so.

Knowing I was directly descended from Velda gave me again this almost spiritual connection to my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and on up.  A connection that continues through me to my daughter and my daughter's daughter.

I have always been a lover of books. The classic "How Green Was My Valley" by Richard Llewellyn came to mind. This quote is from that book. It says it all.


“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.

And their eyes were my eyes.

As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the eternal Father.

I was one of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them.” 

                                                                 ― Richard Llewellyn, "How Green Was My Valley"


This is why I love genealogy. Can you tell?


click for more about → THE SEVEN DAUGHTERS OF EVE - Wikipedia


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months.
Yet Lena had stayed by his bedside every single day. 

One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.   
As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, 'You know vat? 
You have been vith me all tru da bad times. Ven I got fired, you vere dare to support me. Ven my business failed, you vere dare. Ven I got shot, you vere by my side. Ven we lost da house, you stayed right here. Ven my health started failing, you vere still by my side... 
You know vhat Lena?' 
'What dear?' she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth. 
'I'm beginning to tink you're bad luck....'

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


Looking for a Swedish Christmas Celebration?

Well, it is the day after Thanksgiving, the official opening of the Christmas season. Are you looking for a Swedish celebration in your state this 2015 season? The nice folks at "NORDSTJERNAN", the Swedish news for America online has posted loads of Swedish Christmas celebrations around America.

klicka här▼

- Ranae


Swedish Rice Pudding - Just like Grandma Kallman made

     my grandma
Lydia Abrahamson Kallman

My daughter and her husband host Thanksgiving each year. An All-American Thanksgiving. After all my family in 2015 now includes not only Scandinavian history/backround but German, Mexican, Irish, Bohemian, Polish and a smidge of just about everything else. One touch of Sweden we cannot and will not do without. The custardy Swedish rice pudding like Grandma Kallman used to make. Guess what? my son in law Fernando is looking forward to it the most of all!

Here it is, right from my oven↓

Looks good doesn't it? And it is. Not difficult either.

Here is THE recipe.

• 1 cup cooked rice (1/2 cup uncooked rice don't use minute rice)
• 4 eggs
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 teasp. vanilla
• 1/2 cup raisins 
• 1 1/2 teas grated lemon rind
• 1 teasp. nutmeg (sorry grandma I use pumpkin pie spice)
• 3 1/2 cups milk
• 2 Tablesp. butter

Heat the oven to 300 degrees

1. In a 2 quart casserole, break eggs and beat them slightly with a fork. 
2. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, raisins, lemon rind and nutmeg.
3. Stir milk into the cooked rice; stir rice mixture into the egg mixture
4. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg over the top and dot with the butter
5. Set the casserole in a another baking pan and fill pan with hot water 1" from the top
(see my picture? This step not necessary but it almost ensures you won't burn your pudding)

Pop in the oven and bake for about 2 hours. Periodically check it by inserting a silver knife in the center of the custard. If it comes out clean? Done!

Thanks Grandma!

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving all!

- Ranae


The Estate Inventory "bouppteckning" of the deceased Robert Albin Abrahamsson

The weekend of the 14th-15th Arkivdigital offered free access to their premier site for scanned Swedish church records. I took good advantage and concentrated on getting records that I could not have access to elsewhere. Estate inventories (bouppteckningar) were my focus that weekend.

Upon a person’s death, the minister of the parish recorded the death and burial of the deceased in the church books. The surviving spouse or heirs would request that an estate inventory be performed. On an assigned date, the heirs along with court appointed appraisers would meet at the deceased person’s home and conduct an inventory and assign a value to all items in the estate. Afterwards the appraisers would turn the estate inventory over to the court for probate. The court then determined the distribution of the estate and this was recorded in a document called the "arvskifte". This inventory can tell you quite a bit about a persons family, life, wealth and social standing in their community.

The following is the estate inventory for my great grandfather Robert Albin Abrahamsson. My genealogical Swedish is about as good as my medical Spanish is (I am a nurse). Not so great but with the help of ArkivDigital tutorials, Google translate and various online genealogical Swedish dictionaries I have managed to translate the preamble to his estate inventory pretty well I think.
well here goes..........

On February 8, 1924, the estate inventory was performed for farm owner Robert Albin Abrahamson who lived in Stommen in Østra Frölunda and died November 10, 1923 leaving as his heirs
widow          Anna Abrahamson
Sons            Gustav Abrahamson  Sep 15 1887
                     Seth Abrahamson   May 17 1892
Daughters    Hilma Abrahamson   Aug 23 1881
                    Ester Abrahamson   Aug 11 1896
                    Märta Abrahamson   Jul 8 1899
                    Tyra Abrahamson   Aug 27 1901
married to Svän Edvin Johanson from Östra Frölunda
                    Anna Abrahamson  Jul 31 1885
married to Johan Emil Jakobson and living in America
                    Lydia Abrahamson  Feb 25 1890
married to Richard Källman and living in America
                    Ruth Abrahamson  Jun 3 1894
married to Andrew Söderström and living in America
Those three that live in America have requested by notarized power of attorney that the son Gustav Abrahamson act as proxy to represent and guard the interests of those not present.

Albin's assets and debts and his will/requests on how monies should be distributed then follow.

I find it interesting how just about everything is listed and I mean everything, even clothing. I love seeing the signatures of my grandmother and her sisters. There is also a certified copy of Anna Karolinas birth certificate. It seems most of Albins assets would stay with Anna for her use during her lifetime.

There is much in this inventory that I still need to ponder. Other questions come to mind. I do understand how the majority of property is left to the sons in that time. It seems that Seth was left more than Gustaf but perhaps Gustaf had already been given the land or cash to build his home Aveholm previously and Albin took that into account? Gustaf and Emil Jakobson are listed in the assets. Did they owe Albin money? It seems the girls got very little and in different amounts and I am curious how each amount came to be. It does not appear that Tyra or Ruth is given anything?

I am still (and probably will be for a good while) working on understanding this document but for now I am a bit pooped. If I come to any conclusions I will certainly post them on this blog and if any others reading this come to some answers? Please forward your insight, ideas or thoughts to me and we can share them on this blog?

Thanks! - Ranae

*click on the following pages of Robert Albin's estate inventory to enlarge for easier viewing*


Sunday's Story - Hanna Emanuelsdotter

In "Anna and Albin Abrahamson - a family history" cousin Ingemar Majholm tells the story of his grandmother.
   "Hanna emigrated together with her sister Alma to the U.S.A. on 17 Oct 1904. After some years she traveled home for a short visit. She had been strong and in good health when she left Sweden, but overseas she con­tracted some illness which gave her sequel's for life in her heart. In her luggage she had, among other things, some potatoes of a special red kind, which were put in the Swedish soil to grow. What she hadn't foreseen, though, was her attractiveness in the eyes of a man named Gustaf Abrahamsson. He sought counsel from his father Albin, who just said, 'Well, she isn't strong.' But this couldn't keep Gustaf away from Hanna, and soon she found her plans for a future in the states blown away in the blue. They were married in Ulricehamn, where they traveled by horse, a journey of 44 miles one way. In 1915 they moved to Aveholm, half a mile from Stommen, where Gustaf had built a farm and opened up about 11 acres of land. Hanna had chosen the windows. They were - American, of course!

Gustaf and Hanna with Seth (standing) and (left to right)
Margareta, Sara and Gunhild

The luck seemed to be complete, but the hidden threat of Hanna's weak heart lingered over the family. Finally the bitter end came a beautiful Sabbath morning, 4/24, 1926, when Hannas' heart finally gave up its long fight for life. She was then only 40 years old.

The potatoes? They are still in Swedish soil after 100 years, giving a faithful crop every year. After Gustaf, Seth grew them, and now Ingemar, and they have also spread to other orchards in Sweden. Nowadays we call the kind 'Hanna röd' - 'Hanna Red'."**


Whether Hanna's sister Alma remained in America I do not know. I did see that a man claiming that Alma and Hanna were his sisters did travel with them to America in 1904. Just above their names on the Goteborg ship manifest  is the name John Swanson.

Following him I found that he had first gone to the United States in 1900 using his birth name Johan and patronymic Emanuelsson. He must have loved the states because he seems to have "Americanized" quickly. Johan became John and perhaps because Emanuelson seemed a bit cumbersome took on his father's patronymic name of Swenson, which soon morphed to the more popular American version of "Swanson". He did become a naturalized American citizen and soon traveled westward, first to Colorado where he married and then finally to Montana, where he ultimately settled and raised his family. The seemingly confusing name change from Johan Emanuelson to John Swanson was very typical among Swedish immigrants of his era. I explained Swedish-American naming conventions in an earlier blog →  OUR SWEDISH AMERICAN NAMES

my Grand Aunt  Hanna (Emanualsdotter) Abrahamson
born: 12 Aug 1885 Hvarvhult, Östra Frölunda, Ålvsborg, Sweden
died:  24 Apr 1926 Aveholm, Östra Frölunda, Västra Götaland, Sweden

- Ranae

**clicking on photos or documents will enlarge them for easier viewing**


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

One day, Sven was walking down the street when who did he see driving a brand new Chevrolet? It was Ole. Ole pulled up to him with a wide smile.
"Ole, vere did ya get dat car?" Sven asked.
"Lena gave it to me".
"She gave it to you? I knew she vas sveet on you, but dis?".
"Vell, let me tell you vat happened. Ve vere driving out on county road 6, in da middle of novere. Lena pulled off da road into da woods. She parked, got out of da car, trew off alla her clothes and said, "Ole take vatever you vant."...
So I took da car"

"Ole, your a smart man, dem clothes never voulda fit ya."

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


Happy Birthday Pippi Longstocking!

Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump 
celebrates her 75th birthday this month!

(actress Inger Nilsson)

Actually it is the anniversary of the first book about our red-headed hero Pippi Longstocking by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi has been around the world in 70 languages in books films and television. It was Lindgren’s daughter Karin who named her, Pippi Långstrump (literally "Long stocking") after she asked her mother to tell her a story one day when she was home sick from school.




Fars dag

Father's Day in Sweden

"The second Sunday of November is Fars dag (Father's Day) in Sweden. Father's Day began here in the United States in 1910 and followed in Scandinavia in the 1930's.

On Fathers Day in Sweden, dads might be treated to lunch and dinner, either at a favorite restaurant or sporting event; often it is a home cooked dinner with the family.

This year, just in time for Father's Day, a new record had been set in Sweden for the oldest father ever-a dad in Stockholm just became a parent for the first time at the age of 80.

Sweden's most common dad is named Lars and he had two children. In 2012, as many as 73,471 dads in Sweden were named Lars out of the around 2.3 million fathers. After Lars comes the name Anders, and after Anders comes Per as the most common father name. The average first time father is 31.5 years old in Sweden and his most common name is Johan."*

*This article came from

a "Sweden in America" digital newspaper. It has a US, New York, San Francisco and a CHICAGO! edition. A great way to catch up on"How Swede it is" in Chicago. Give it a click to see the latest Swedish events in our own "Windy City".

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I will also add the link at the bottom of this blog with the "websites of interest" so periodically give it a click to see whats happening in Swedish Chicago

And don't forget to treat your Swedish-American Daddy well this Sunday.....and every Sunday of course!

- Ranae


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole.
Lena replied, "You yust put 'Ole died'."
The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, "That's it? Just 'Ole died?' Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Ole. If its money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We must say something more."
So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "O.K. You put 'Ole died. Boat for sale'."

Happy Saturday! - Ranae