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! ~

Monday

TRUTH or Family legend?

Every family has stories or legends about their ancestors. The family is descended from an Indian princess or related to someone famous, or better yet infamous. Our family story has persisted and been repeated for over 150 years .

My Dad loved a good laugh and loved to tease us kids. "Why is your teachers name Mrs. White, her hair is black, her name should be Mrs. Black?" It seems, and is, silly now but you have no idea how crazy this made me in the first grade. We kids had a great way, or so we thought, to tease him back. Shopping in the grocery store we would hold up a red can of King Oscar Norway sardines. "Hey look Dad, its grandpa!" This would irritate him so. He was really mad at my mother for telling us the family "secret". He told us never to mention it to grandma Lydia because she was ashamed. He told us that Edvard Julius Abrahamsson was the adoptive father of Lydia's father, Robert Albin.  When Edvard Julius Abrahamsson married Charlotta Majholm she was already at that time pregnant with another mans child. That man, said Charlotta, was Oscar Frederik Bernadotte. Robert Albin was truly the illegitimate son of the King of Sweden, Oscar II. 
One of the first questions I was asked by a second cousin in Sweden who had just been introduced to me through email was "Tell me the story of our great grandfather as you heard it". So I told him the story my father had told me. Claiming Oscar was almost proof of being related to the family! The ticket, so to say, to the Abrahamsson clan. One of my cousins collects pictures of Oscar. Several descendants claimed that an article from one of Oscars palaces had been a family possession. Oddly, no one knew where those items are now. Hmmm.
                                                                               
Looking at Oscar (left) and Robert Albin (right) I have to say there is a resemblance. Then again I have a brother in law who you would swear was the twin of Chevy Chase. I looked again at the documentation that I had found on our family. I studied up on Oscar a bit. He did get around with the ladies it seemed. Bottom line was that the story of Oscar did not seem logical to my "get the source and citation" mind of a genealogist. I proudly, and a little arrogantly, presented my theory of non-relationship to a cousin. I sensed by his reply........... he did NOT want to hear that. I had to get over myself and do some serious thinking. After all, I could not prove he was our ancestor but I could not prove he wasn't either.

Statistically we should carry about 6.25% DNA from a great x2 grandfather, but human genetics doesn't work that way. It is also possible that we have no DNA from a great x2 grandfather. I read on the internet (and we know of course that everything on the internet is true) that worldwide it is only 85% certain that your mothers husband was indeed your father. I have my family tree documented back to the mid 1600's. Do I know for a fact there were no "non-paternal" events in my family? Were there no adoptions? And if there were does that mean that those involved are not a part of my family? Heck no! Every one of our ancestors has a story, a story that contributed to the greater story of our family, what our family stood for, believed, was, and is today........what I am.

The story of the Abrahamsson family includes the story of Oscar. Whether it is fact or fiction really doesn't matter. What matters is that we believed it for 150 years and it shaped how we felt about ourselves. We were a little more special, a little more royal. Although the descendants of Robert Albins nine children are scattered across Scandinavia and North America, the story also brought us together again. Does it really matter anymore if we truly have Oscars DNA or if we in effect have adopted Oscar? The Story of Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, paramour of Charlotta, and father of Robert Albin which has persisted for 5 and 6 generations is part of the Abrahamsson family story. 
It is part of who we are. And that is the TRUTH.


'There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his." 
                                                                                                                     --- Helen Keller

1 comment:

  1. DNA has put our family legend to rest. Family members, who are male, in the direct male line of Robert Albin Abrahamsson, do NOT have the same Y DNA as the Bernadotte line. After 150 years of family legend, science has shown us absolutely that we are NOT illegitimate descendants of Oscar II, King of Sweden. See my Dec 3 2016 blog post, or click on tag "King Oscar II" to the right of this blog.

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