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.

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Saturday

Journey to America - Grandpa Richard Kallman and Grandma Lydia Abrahamson

The journey begins---


 Lydia's journey to America began early in 1909. Rikard Källman, who would in 2 1/2 years be her husband, had made an almost identical journey in 1906.
Swedish law required that citizens register their leaving in the församling (province) Utflyttningbok and state where they intended to move to.

Lydia documents her intention to leave Östra Frölunda, her life long home in the Östra Frölunda Utflyttningsbok för år 1909 (outgoing book for year 1909) .
The book states " January 9, 1909, Lydia Abrahamsson, a young single woman, born in 1890, residing in Stommen, registers her intent to leave Östra Frölunda to go to North Amerika". Lydia was the first of her family to leave Sweden. Two of her sisters, Anna and Ruth, would follow. The remaining six siblings remained and married in Sweden.

Richard had done the same May 11 1906 in the Väderstad Utflyttningbok för år 1906 (outgoing book for year 1906)
The book states "May 11, 1906, Rikard Severin Källman, drang (young unmarried man) born in 1887, residing in Valsberg registers intent to leave Väderstad for North Amerika."
Rikard had grown up in the town of Grytgòl in a poor factory working family. His mother had died of TB and his father had remarried in 1906 and Rikard moved to the larger town Valsberg to look for work to pay for the trip to America. Two sisters, Sarona and Olga had gone to America earlier (1904, 1902). A brother Håkon Patrik had also gone to America but had returned (with Olga) due to his health. Håkon Patrik would die of TB in Sweden in 1908. Having to pay for return tickets I don't know if his siblings were able to help him pay his fare. Olga would return to America for good in 1907 bringing younger sister Teckla with her. Botvid was the only sibling who remained and married in Sweden.

Leaving their home towns Lydia and Rikard would travel to Göteborg (Gothenburg), a seaport city on the west coast of Sweden. Today Östra Frölunda is perhaps an hour and a half drive from Gothenburg on a toll road but in 1909 she most likely traveled by horse and wagon first north to Böras and then west to Gothenburg. A road not always safe with highwaymen waiting to rob unsuspecting travelers. Lydia most likely traveled with a group of friends as there are a handful of young people from her area noted to be traveling with or alongside her. Did her father Robert Albin approve of her journey? We do not know. Rikard's trip to the coast was about twice the distance and a rail line was in place at the time but I doubt he could have afforded the additional expense of a railroad ticket. The price to America had come down significantly in the last few years but Rikard was poor and most likely he walked to Gothenburg.

Leaving Sweden---

The vast majority of Swedes left Sweden via the port of Gothenburg. There they boarded a ship which would take them across the North Sea to Hull England. Rikard boarded the ship "Ariosto", Lydia boarded the "Calypso"



England---
The English people of Hull did not look kindly on thousands of new immigrants pouring into their city possibly bringing crime and disease with them. The immigrants were hustled immediately off the boat to waiting areas provided by the railroad line which would provide rail cars specifically for immigrants to take them 3-4 hours overland to Liverpool.  At Liverpool travel agents would escort them to the ship which would ultimately take them to America or Canada. In Liverpool Lydia and Rikard would both board the ship "Ivernia" bound for Boston Massachusetts. The Ivernia, of the Cunard line, made its maiden voyage on 14 April 1900. It sailed from Liverpool to Queenstown to Boston harbor. It had a reputation for reliability and steadiness at sea. 164 first class, 200 second class and 1600 Steerage or third class passengers. Lydia held a second class ticket which meant a cabin (shared). The poorer Rikard went steerage. When it was launched it was the largest cargo vessel afloat. Pressed into service in World War I the Ivernia was sunk by a German U-Boat.



On to America---

The trip across the Atlantic took approximately two weeks which was modern. The old sailing ships dependent on wind and weather could often be at sea for months, the passengers responsible for bringing their own food and bedclothes where they were packed in steerage like cattle. By the turn of the 20th century steamships although not luxurious at least promised a bed and meals. There was often also some entertainment and rudimentary medical services on board. Remember the movie of the people traveling on the Titanic?
Most Northern European immigrants arrived through Ellis Island. I do not know if there was a reason Lydia and Rikard chose to enter the country through Boston Harbor or that just happened to be the route chosen. Nonetheless they were questioned and inspected before entering the U.S.

Ship Manifest of Alien Passengers arriving steerage on the "Ivernia" to Boston Harbor June 7, 1906

#16 Richard Kallman 18 yr, unmarried male, blacksmith, from Väderstad, Östergotland, to Chicago, Illinois, has ticket to final destination, paid by his sister, has $10, can read and write, is healthy and going to his sister Sarona Kallman of 1431 King Place, Chicago, Illinois

Ship Manifest of Alien Passengers arriving 2nd class on the "Ivernia" to Boston Harbor Feb 4, 1909



#27 Lydia Abrahamson, 18yr, unmarried female, servant, Swedish, from Frolunda, can read and write, nearest relative, father RA Abrahamson of Östra Frölunda, final destination Moline, Illinois, does not have a ticket to final destination, paid ticket by self, has $15, going to friend SP Swenson 141 5th Ave Moline, healthy, 5'7" fair complexion, blond hair, blue eyes

Lydia most likely had a job already arranged through her friend mentioned or through a cousin of her father who was a prominent Lutheran minister in the Swedish community in Moline Illinois.
Richard was pretty much on his own.

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

1 comment:

  1. Lydia's friend SP Swenson must be Simon Petrus Emanuelsson from Hvarfhult in Östra Frölunda. As Ranae has described later about the names of Swedes in America, he changed his cumbersome name and took the patronymic name of his father, Emanuel Svensson. He was the oldest brother of Johan Emanuelsson, alias John Swanson, and Hanna Emanuelsdotter. Hanna married Lydia's brother Gustaf the year after Lydia left. She had returned from the states, probably in 1908, just some months before Lydia left Sweden. She may already have had a beginning relation to Gustaf by the time of Lydia's departure. It's easy then to guess that Lydia consulted Hanna as an expert of life in America, having been there for four years. It would also have been rather natural for Hanna to put Lydia in contact with her oldest brother, who was 35 years then and certainly well established in his new life. Thus she would have a safe addresse to go to. Maybe that even helped the young Lydia in the desicion to make the great step, to leave for an adventurous life in the new world.
    Many years later, around 1950, Hannas daughter Gunhild visited Simon Petrus during a yearlong stay in the States. He was then an old man. Gunhild said her uncle was a lovely man.
    If you have access to the R.A. Abrahamsson tree on ancestry.com you may find Simon Petrus Emanuelsson in Hanna's part of the Gustaf branch. He was born in 1873.

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