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".

▼  ▼  ▼

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


Ellis Island closed on this day in 1954

"On this day in history , Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shut its doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today I and an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast.

Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island. During World War I immigration declined and following the war the US passed strict quota laws reducing the number of immigrants allowed. Afterwards Ellis Island served as a detention and deportation center for illegal immigrants and a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II. In November on this day in 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island closed."*

The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation has a wonderful website about the history of this historic place that our ancestors traveled through on their way to becoming Americans

click on ▼

- Ranae

*paraphrased from This Day in History, The History Channel,*


Veteran's Day

from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs...

"World War I - known as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of 'the war to end all wars'."*

President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 proclaimed November 11, "Armistice Day". Followed by World War II, an even more destructive and world encompassing war, and the Korean war, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, with the approval of Congress changed "Armistice Day" to "Veterans Day".

I admit being a little jealous of some of my friends whose genealogies I have done. How cool to be able to join the Daughters of the American Revolution because your family had a part in the founding of our country? I always tell people that I am not a member of the DAR but am pretty proud to be a member of the Daughters of Ellis Island!

World War I "the Great War To End All Wars"marks the first conflict/war our immigrant family was called upon to prove their loyalty to their new home, and we did, proudly.

my granduncle: Andrew Olof Soderstrom
U.S. Cavalry

The following members of my family also proudly served when they were called.

my uncle: Howard W. Johnson
U.S. Army

my father: Melvin C. Kallman
U.S. Army

my father's cousin: Harry R. Soderstrom
U.S. Air Force

my father's cousin's husband: William H. Liljegren - U.S. Navy
(no photo)

my uncle: Arnold C. Sevald
U.S. Navy

my father's cousin: Gustave Arthur Jacobson - U.S. Army
(no photo)

my second cousin: Paul Emil Jacobson Jr.
U.S. Marines

my cousin's son: Carl Bogar Jr. 
U.S. Marines

my nephew: Timothy A. Twardowski
U.S. Marines

 A day begun to honor those who had served in "The war to end all wars". A much more simple and optimistic time wasn't it?  The world is still and maybe will always be a pretty dangerous place and as the saying goes, "freedom isn't free". We honor today all those men and women who protect our freedoms. We need to speak up and let them know their service was necessary and truly appreciated. Our American family and all Americans on this Veteran's Day and every day owe them a great big


(clicking on photos will enlarge them for easier viewing. Right click on photo to save to your computer)

* US Department of Veterans Affairs → THE HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY


Robert Albin Abrahamsson died this day in 1923

November 10,1923 is the day that my great grandfather Robert Albin Abrahamsson died.
Family history and the Östra Frölunda records tell us he died from appendicitis.Today appendicitis is a minimally invasive, most likely surgery in the AM and go home in the PM with a couple of bandaids on your belly event. Not so in 1923. Many dreaded and avoided going to the hospital in those days and for good reason. You often didn't come out. Surgery would have been a pretty big deal with no guarantee you would survive the surgery let alone the possible infection that may follow. 1923 was at least 6 years away from the discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin. I don't know if Albin was given the choice. Records list his place of death as Borås so he may have gone to the hospital there. We do know that his father Edvard Julius died of the same illness, refusing the operation "I don't want to die with the knife in me", he supposedly said. Well the appendix must have ruptured as Albin died from the peritonitis and gangrene. Not an easy way to go. He was 63 years old.

believed to be the last photo taken of Robert Albin

Albin's grave - 1923

R.I.P. Robert Albin, we won't forget you.

- your great granddaughter Ranae

*double click on photo or document to enlarge for easier viewing*


Sunday's Story - Lovisa Charlotta Majholm

The story of Lovisa Charlotte posed many questions for me. Some of those questions my genealogical sleuthing has answered but others remain. In cousin Ingemar Majholm's work "Albin and Anna Abrahamsson - a family history", he writes that letters our great great grandfather Edvard Julius wrote to the council indicate that he was a devout Christian man who felt it his duty to work on behalf of the poor and needy.

The following excerpt from "Albin and Anna Abrahamsson - a family history" includes the letter Edvard Julius wrote on behalf of Lovisa Charlotta.


"Frölunda July 21, 1886

Mr Chairman of The Arboga Public Assistance Committee,

    As an answer to the honoured writ of the 14th of this month, I want to inform you that I'm satisfied with the presented agreement of 25 kronor per year for mentioned Lovisa Charlotta Mayholm because I through my wife am related to her.
    Concerning the cost of her journey here from the nearest railway station, situated 20km from here, I will, as there are horses of my own, fetch her with the expense of the Committee.
    A lifetime contract I don't want to sign. We know, of course, not about our time here. But if the Committee fear loss by letting her come here without this condition, then it's possible to wait with the payment of the first year until one year has passed from her arrival and I can even in part pay the cost for her journey to Svenljunga, if that be the wish. If things don't get worse for me henceforth the hitherto, her stay here will probably be for lifetime. Even my decease is no hinder.
    However, if Lovisa by time through lengthy disease is to be in greater need for care, I declare my right to notify the Public Assistance Committee in Arboga in order to come in enjoyment of a slightly higher contribution through the confirmation of this Committee.
   Any real use for Lovisa I can in our conditions of work not have. The cause for me to offer you to send her here for such a limited compensation I need not inform you about you since you know it so well.
    Am now requesting answer by return in order to know whether I have to send her money for the journey if you don't want to pay the journey until a year has passed or perhaps you not at all want to concern yourselves with anything since I haven't signed the contract. If that's the case, I will anyway let her come here for some time in order for her to amuse herself and even see where we live.
    Faithfully yours,

The proposed stay of Lovisa for the rest of her life was never realized, though. Even if he was very humble in the letter when looking into the future, Edvard Julius apparently had no presentiment of how few his remaining days were. He died in appendicitis in Östra Frölunda 7/24/1886, just three days after writing the letter!"*


Who exactly was Lovisa Charlotta Majholm? Why was she in need of assistance? Why, after Edvard died, did not Charlotta and her son Albin follow through with Edvard's work on her behalf? What then became of Lovisa Charlotta?

Charlotta Majholm, if you remember from my post of 28 Sep 2015 "Charlotta's Secret",  bore another child out of wedlock in Arboga a decade before Albins birth. Carl Wilhelm Majholm was born 25 May 1849 and died 6 Jun 1850. Charlottas older sister, Anna Christina Majholm, also had an illegitimate child about the same time. Lovisa Charlotta Majholm was born 11 Feb 1850. Both Charlotta and her sister Anna Christina lived in the poorhouse together with their "öakta" children.

Sweden Church Records, 1500-1941 Arboga stadsförsamling, Västmanland,
husförhör, 1846-1855 GID 2374.41.4700 Volume A1:10B Roll #UP-14 pg 136

After her sons death Charlotta's life took a better turn. She got employment with the major of Arboga. Considering the times, I would think it unlikely that anyone involved with her employment knew of her past. When she became pregnant for the second time she married Edvard Julius.

Anna Christina Majholm never married, nor did I find she had any other children. She died from a lung inflammation 11 Jun 1886. Her daughter Lovisa Charlotta also never married so now she was alone. One month later is when Edvard Julius wrote to ask about Lovisa Charlotta coming to Östra Frölunda. It seems from the letter that at this time she was ill and receiving assistance from Arboga.

Sweden selected Death Records, Arboga standsförsamling, Västmanland
GID 100019.92.28300 Roll #CL0933 year 1886 pg 6

As we know, Edvard died just a few days after writing the letter. I now know who she was but my question again is why did not Charlotta or Albin intervene on her behalf? Charlotta, stated she never cared for Östra Frölunda and spent the last year of her life in Arboga. Did she leave to stay with Lovisa Charlotta or did she have any contact with her niece at all? Charlotta died in 1904 and I do not believe the remaining family had any contact with Lovisa Charlotta after. Perhaps they did not even know she existed? They could have easily afforded to have her come to their home. And this is an awful thought that I had. Did Lovisa Charlotta perhaps know her aunt's history and Charlotta did not want to risk her niece possible divulging to the family her "secret"? Questions we will never know the answer to.

Lovisa's health must have improved as she worked as a maid until she was no longer able. Her remaining years were spent in "Försörjningshuset" or poorhouse where she died 10 Oct 1931 of "ålderdomsavtyning" (which literally means that she faded away due to old age). She was still alone.

Sweden Selected Death records, Arboga stadsförsamling, Västmanland
GID 100019.92.28300 Roll #CL0933 year 1931 pg 6

Lovisa Charlotta Majholm, my first cousin three times removed
11 Feb 1850 - 10 Oct 1931
She was born in and she died in the poorhouse.

- Ranae

**taken in part from"Albin and Anna Abrahamsson-a family history"
by Ingemar Majholm (with his permission)**   

(clicking on documents will enlarge them for easier viewing)


Saturday's silly Ole and Lena joke

Ole, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist. His fame grew and soon people from all over the country were coming to Minnesota to have portraits done. One day, a stretch limo pulled up to his house.

Inside was a beautiful woman, who asked Ole if he would paint her in the nude. This was the first time anyone had made this request of Ole. The woman said money was no object. She was willing to pay $50,000. Not wanting to get into trouble with his wife, Ole asked the woman to wait while he went in the house and conferred with Lena, his missus.

In a few minutes, he returned and said to the lady, "Ya, shoor, you betcha. I'll paint ya in da nude, but Lena says I'll haff ta leave my socks on so I'll have a place to wipe my brushes."

Happy Saturday! - Ranae


Wednesday's child - our European legacy

"Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is fair and wise and good in every way"
                                        - traditional English rhyme  (author unknown)

The past few weeks I have blogged about Wednesday's children, full of woe. We have always heard about how the life expectancy of the average person is so much higher than it was just a few generations ago. The conquering of diseases such as TB, childhood immunizations and the discovery of antibiotics changed that. The average life expectancy was brought down mainly by the sheer volume of children that did not make it to adulthood.

This last "Wednesday's child" blog is about how blessed I and my husband are to have been born in a more modern age. It seems that I and my husband have a family heritage that puzzled me until our own daughter married and had children. My genealogy findings showed quite a few of the ancestral families on my maternal, Norwegian family side had suffered immeasurable grief. A great aunt, a great great grandmother, and many other grand aunts for many generations back had lost a large amount of children to stillbirth. When doing my German husbands genealogy I found the same troubling stories. Ancestral women who had 3,4,5 and more children born dead!

Fast forward to 2006. My daughter was pregnant with her first child and her doctor gave her a shot of Rhogam. It seems she was RH negative. Both my husband and I are blood type B+. My daughter is B-, as is my husbands sister. We obviously are both carriers. It seems that if a negative mother carries a RH+ child her body will produce antibodies that with the second pregnancy and on will potentially attack the fetus which can cause miscarriage and/or stillbirth. Mystery solved! Those ancestral women in both of our families, I am guessing, were RH negative. 

You know I am proud of my heritage, but part of the heritage of European ancestry is the higher incidence of the RH negative factor.  I now know that I (and my husband) passed that European "legacy" on to my daughter.  "In general, it occurs at a frequency of about 40-45% in Europeans and people of largely European ancestry. In non-European populations the frequency of RH- is much lower. In people of largely African ancestry, this allele occurs at  a frequency of about 3%, and in people of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American ancestry, RH- occurs at or less than a frequency of 1%. Therefore in Europeans we expect that about 16% of the population will have RH negative blood types. In the other populations of the world, the frequency of RH negative types will be much lower; in African, only 9 people in 10,000 will be RH negative, and in the non-African, non-European portion of the world only 1 person in 10,000 will be RH negative."*

How blessed are we in this day and age? What was no more than a little stick in the arm for my daughter was for some of our ancestors the unspeakable sorrow of multiple stillborn and/or miscarried children. 

Just like my daughter, my daughters children are also RH negative 
but today there is little need to be concerned about that legacy. 
 Huummm...there is also a 50% chance she passed my darned recessive red-head gene on to them. 
I wonder if there is something they can come up with for that?

- Ranae

for a little more info on RH factor and ethnicity click ↓


Sunday's Story - Hilma Abrahamsson

This Sunday's story is about Hilma. She was my grandmother Lydia's oldest sister, the oldest child of Robert Albin and Anna Abrahamsson. I must confess she always seemed to me rather like the plain sister who did not have much going on, married late in life, no children and blended into the woodwork of the family. Then I received cousin Ingemar's package of stories and photos of the Abrahamsson family and I totally changed my mind!

HIlma was born 23 Aug 1881 in Östra Frölunda.Being the oldest of nine and a girl I would guess she had a large responsibility to help with the younger children. But she did indeed have a life of her own.

Hilma (left) Hanna (center)

"Hilma was a very skilled hostess. She had been to a domestic-economy school in Katrineholm in the beginning of the century and enjoyed hosting large gatherings. With her cooking skills, sometimes the peo­ple ate more than the resources allowed, though. The food may have been gone but not Hilmas gift for entertaining. When the pots were empty, Hilma used to ele­gantly save the situa­tion by bringing the out the family pho­tography al­bum. When Hanna, the wife of her brother Gustaf, died in 1926, it was Hilma who took care of their children."* Hanna had also attended the school in Katrineholm and most likely was a good friend of Hilma's also. 

"A little later she came to care of a man who had been injured from an accident. But care developed to love and it is said that it was Hilma who took the initia­tive for marri­age. After their wedding, Hilma and Karl lived for a while in Lilla Ängasjö. Then they moved to Gebo in Ullasjö, where they stayed till old days."*

Hilma Abrahamsson married Karl Alfred Persson 23 Aug 1927 at the family home Stommen, Östra Frölunda

Hilma and Karl, Lillängasjö 1927

In the orchard, Karl and Hilma Persson

 A woman with something of an education and career in early 20th century Sweden? Her husband Karl was 31 when they married, Hilma was 46. We call that a cougar today but it was said it was a love match. Hilma and Karl also had a foster son. She was obviously a competent and confident woman. Here's to you Hilma! 

 *taken in part and paraphrased from "A Family History - Albin and Anna Abrahamsson" 
by Ingemar Majholm (with his permission)
(clicking on photos will enlarge them for easier viewing)