The Robert Albin Abrahamsson Family

Robert Albin Abrahamsson 1860-1923 and his wife Anna Karolina Karlsdotter 1859-1925 are my great grandparents. Fourth from the right (standing) is my grandmother Lydia Abrahamsson. She was the first to emigrate in 1909. Second from the right is her sister Anna who followed in 1913. Lastly their younger sister Ruth (fourth from the left) joined them in 1914. They all headed initially to Rock Island, Illinois. There was a large Swedish immigrant population there in the early days of the 20th century and a cousin of their father was a prominent Lutheran minister who would help them get started and find jobs.

This is the first picture I saw of our great grandparents and their family (kindly sent  from a second cousin known only by email) and my first question was.   WHY?  History tells us that Sweden lost a good number of its citizens to immigration. Only Ireland and Norway gave up a larger percentage of its population. These were the Ellis Island heydays. Central Europe and Scandinavia was bursting at the seams with population growth, lack of land, poor economic conditions, wars etc.. American countryside had and American cities had jobs in the midst of an industrial revolution.

The Abrahamsson family pictured here looks nothing like "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tossed".*

Great grandpa looks rather distinguished and well dressed, don't you think? The family as a whole look healthy, happy and prosperous. Why then Grandma did YOU leave for the uncertainties of America?

My goal is to now and then chat a bit about our family and my findings on my family history journey. I hope you will join me. 


*part of the sonnet on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


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