My first contact with Sweden

    I am Norwegian on my mothers side and Swedish on my fathers. As a child I never really knew much of anything about my Swedish roots. I was very close to my maternal grandparents, particularly my grandmother. She used to say, tongue in cheek, "just tell people you are Norwegian like me, that's the best thing to be". I had visited Norway three times and fell in love with the beautiful country and people. An added bonus was that many of the extended family were redheaded like me! Grandma told me wonderful stories of her life in Norway, her emigration to America, her life in Chicago and her eventual return to her beloved Norway. After her death a cousin sent all her personal papers and photos to me, as grandma had wished. Back home the local librarian recommended  checking out a family tree program to organize the items Grandma had left me. My love of family history and genealogy was born.
    Fast forward to 2002, the wedding of a niece in another state. I was seated across from a cousin who I had not seen for many many years. Small talk took me to what was now my passion, genealogy. She mentioned that maybe two years ago she received an email from someone in Sweden who claimed to be a relative. He was working on finding the descendants of his great grandfather, the descendants of the three daughters who had emigrated to America. She was not sure how he got her email address and was too embarassed to answer at this late date. Wow! Forward it to me! I remembered a paper hand typed by my grandmother that I had found among my Dad's things after his death. She had typed out family names. Her fathers name was Albin Abrahamsson. 
    My cousin did forward the email to me and I immediately emailed the gentleman in Sweden. He responded to me almost equally as quickly. "Robert Albin Abrahamsson of Östra Frölunda is my great grandfather", he wrote, attaching the photo of the family that I posted a few days ago. This was my second cousin! I recognized my grandmother in the photo, young as she was, and for the first time wished I had really known her.