Lydia Abrahamsson - Grandma's birthday

25 February 1890 my grandmother Lydia Abrahamsson was born in Östra Frölunda, Älvsborg, Sweden. This parish birth record notes that she was the 4th child of her parents Robert Albin Abrahamsson, a farm owner and his wife Anna Karolina Karlsdotter. Her mother Anna was 31 years old at the time of her birth. Lydia was ödopt or not baptized in the official church of Sweden.

Happy Birthday Grandma!


Wednesday's child - Gustaf Olof Jonasson

Gustaf Olof was the son of my great aunt Märta Abrahamsson and her husband Anders Johan Jonasson. He had just turned two years old at the beginning of the month. He was diagnosed and treated in the hospital at Borås. He died from diabetes.

Insulin as a treatment for diabetes in humans had just been discovered in 1923 but even today diabetes in the very young, infants and toddlers, can be very difficult to diagnose. The well-known signs of thirst, frequent urination, fatigue etc. can be difficult to assess in a young child. Diabetes in the very young is also uncommon. Today less than 2% of children attending pediatric centers specializing in Diabetes will be under 3 years of age.

Gustaf Olof Jonasson - my first cousin once removed
born: 09 Aug 1928 in Östra Frölunda, Älvsborg, Sweden
died: 24 Aug 1930 in Borås, Vastra Götaland, Sweden


Census Sunday - 1930 US Census Moline, Illinois - Soderstrom Family

1930 US Census Moline city, Moline township, Rock Island county, Illinois state

Andrew and Ruth with their children
Harry, Melvin and Esther
My Great Uncle and Aunt, Andrew and Ruth Soderstrom. When immigrating from Sweden they both came to the quad cities which had a large Swedish-born population. They met, married and raised their family in Moline, Illinois.

The 1930 census  tells us that Andrew and Ruth Soderstrom

• live on 2816 18th street in a home that they own worth $6,800 (one of the higher end in the working class neighborhood)
• do NOT own a radio (come on Uncle Andrew get with the times)
• are 41 and 35 respectively and married when they were 29 and 23
• currently have three children; Harry R - 7, Melvin A -5, and Esther A -3  Harry and Melvin are in school
• Andrew and Ruth were both born in Sweden and immigrated in 1910 and 1914. The children were all born in Illinois.
• are both naturalized citizens
• can speak English
• Andrew works as a machinist in a plow factory ( when registering for the draft WWI 1917 and WWII 1942 he stated he worked for John Deere)
• Andrew is a veteran of the World War (Unfortunately a few years would prove that WWI, known as the "War to End All Wars",................didn't ).
• David Jacobson, 21, the son of Ruth's sister Anna is living with the family. He also is working at the plow factory.

The country is less than a year into the Great Depression but I would think the Soderstroms would find themselves luckier financially than many. The great grandson of John Deere, Charles Deere Wiman, was the president of the company and as the country entered World War II he accepted a commission as a Colonel in the Army where he directed the farm machinery and equipment division of the War Production Board. The company made aircraft parts, ammunition, transmissions for tanks and military tractors.*  Perhaps this made Andrews job more secure in the coming difficult financial times. Well, at least I hope it did.

* The John Deere CompanyWIKIPEDIA 

*click on photos or documents to enlarge for easier viewing*


What an old yellowish picture can reveal

Cousin Ingemar Majholm writes about his search for our great great grandfather Edvard Julius Abrahamsson's home in Stockholm, in the years before our family came to Stommen

What an old yellowish picture can reveal
and the implications of the choice of one man for the very existence of many 
by Ingemar Majholm

"Vita bergen" (the white mountains)
Stockholm Sweden @1950
family photo in possession of Erik Majholm
As has been told us from several sources, "Vita bergen" was the part of Stockholm in which Edvard Julius Abrahamsson, the adoptive father of Robert Albin, owned property. Wanting his son to become a farmer, somehow he found a suitable farm in Östra Frölunda, south of Borås in the southwestern part of Sweden.  The Danish owner of this estate had come into insolvency, but they managed to make a deal where the Vita bergen property was traded equal with the Östra Frölunda property. Thus it came that the site for the Abrahamsson family story moved from Södermalm, Stockholm to Stommen.

When researching the family history, it has of course been of great interest to know more about this Stockholm property. Where exactly was the house? What did it look like and is it still there?  This knowledge had been lost for our generation as far as I know.

When my brother Erik recently found this picture in the home of our deceased parents, it became rather interesting. On the back side someone had written "Vita bergen". In view is a building which has long ago seen its best days. In front of it an elderly couple, in the backround a house with a mansard roof and beyond that the Stockholm Town Hall. The latter famous for, among other things, being the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and one of Stockholm's major tourist attractions.This picture of the site of the Abrahamsson family's move from Södermalm in Stockholm to Stommen in Östra Frölunda by chance popping up now is very peculiar and merits further investigation.

The first thing to catch my interest is the elderly couple. They remind me of Gustaf with his second wife Hulda. Enlarging them, I compare them with a picture of Gustaf and Hulda from 1952 and it sure is tempting to believe the couple  of both pictures are the same.

But wait a moment. On the "Vita bergen" photo, the lady holds the cane in her right hand, while in the family photo it's in her left.  We grandchildren of Gustaf remember her as limping while walking, but wouldn't she always have used the stick on the same side? Or did the crippled hip trade sides from time to time? and Gustaf as being her extra support, trade sides as well?

What about the Townhall? How does it appear in other pictures? Wikipedia has a good one. Compare it with the "Vita bergen" picture.

Wikipedia contributors, "Stockholm City Hall," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, looks really like the "Vita bergen" picture had been mirrored when it was made. Let's see what happens with the couple if we turn them around.

Now the pieces are falling in place, aren't they? So, lets flip the yellowish picture around.

Now we can go to Stockholm and search for a place with an identical viewing angle to the Townhall as this picture reveals.


Tuesdays Tip - Blogging, Copyright and I am not a thief?

I am only into my first year of blogging but what a great time I have had! Another blogger wrote that blogging is all about "Ranting, Raving and Reminiscing". I wish I had taken note of who had said it and I would give her (I only remember it was a woman blogger) due credit. How true is that!  I never knew so many others also had blogs and I just love reading them for the wealth of information, tips, stories, ideas, insight etc. it gives me about my passion for genealogy.

Phillip Martin Free Clipart
I also noticed copyright signs at the bottom of some of these blogs. I have, from the beginning, avoided posting any photos or mentioning complete names of living family members (other than myself). I have also quoted others with a link to the original source of that quote. I did those things just because it seemed the fair and right thing to do. I think I sort of assumed (and I bet others have also) that if someone put it on the internet they sort of threw it out there for anyone and everyone. But.........I would never copy portions of a book and put it into a book I said I had written. Isn't a blog sort of the same thing? Seeing these copyright signs on some of the other blogs I have visited, I wonder. Have I already violated copyright law?  Do I need a copyright? What exactly is it? Will it cost me money?

I am not a thief. Heck that sounds a lot like Nixon's "I am not a crook" doesn't it? Well, I have not knowingly been a thief but with far more information than I had last May when I began this blog I know that the fair and right thing to do would be to get myself informed so that what I blog is also the legal thing to do.

I am going to begin with A site created by Thomas MacEntee it has over 3000 blogs listed by name and tagged with descriptions. Since I became part of Geneabloggers it has been one of my main sites for finding other blogs to investigate. I put "copyright" in his search box this morning. Whoa, no excuse now. And from there I am sure that the ever popular Google can show me lots of other places to get the necessary information that I should have known up front.

I am absolutely sure Thomas MacEntee would not mine me sharing THIS information from his blog on my blog.  If you are also a blogger it really looks like information that a responsible person and blogger should know.

Well, I'm on it.

p.s. I almost forgot to say, for what it's worth, ignorance is no excuse but I am sorry.


Grandpa Kallman becomes an American

My grandfather, Richard Severin Kallman, arrived as a Swedish immigrant on the Cunard Line vessel "Ivernia" which left Liverpool, England and landed in the U.S. port of Boston, Massachusetts June 7, 1906.
from the collection of  Björn Larsson

On May 26, 1920 he filed this petition of intention to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. According to naturalization laws at this time, when Richard became a citizen his wife would automatically become a citizen, in a process called "derived citizenship".  In fact, at this time in history it would not be possible for my grandmother Lydia to become a citizen if her husband was not already a citizen. Even more bizarre (to our 21st century mindset anyway) was the rule that if  Lydia had already been a citizen when she married, either native born or naturalized, she would have lost her citizenship by marrying an alien. 

Grandpa Kallman took his oath of citizenship in 1925. Unfortunately for Grandma Kallman, the law changed in 1922. The wife of a naturalized citizen did not automatically obtain a "derived citizenship". She would have to personally petition for citizenship which I am proud to say she did a few years later. 

When I first received this copy in the mail, after a long wait, I was disappointed. I thought the blank spot lower left on the document indicated his photo had been lost. It seems though that a photo of the petitioner for citizenship was not required until 1929.

*click on documents to enlarge for easier viewing*


Wednesday's child - Johan Gustaf Adolf Bergvall

Perhaps 24 June 1848 was a nice warm day.  Perhaps he was fishing or perhaps he had finished his chores and how could a ten year old boy resist a cool swim? We can't know the exact circumstances.

the second son of my second great grandparents
Jan Gustav Bergvall and Anna Lisa Pehrsdotter

My second great uncle: Johan Gustaf Adolf Bergvall
born:  12 May 1838 on the farm Knutstorp, Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden
died:  24 Jun 1848 in Lerbäck, Örebro, Sweden
cause of death: "drunknad"  

The boy drowned.

*Swedish Church Records Archive. Johanneshov, Sweden: 
Genline AB.County: Örebro; Parish: Lerbäck; Volume: F:1; Record Type: Död (Deaths)
Year Range: 1801 - 1861; Roll/Fiche: MN-1128; Handwritten*


Quotes on Family History

"I wish I had realized that family history is a perishable commodity. It disappears with time, as memories fade, and as loved ones pass on. I wish I had known that the most important aspect of family history is preserving a record of the present for the future." - Guy Black

 Continue to share your family history with your children and don't forget that the photos you took yesterday are the memorabilia and family history of your grandchildren. Write the who, what, where, when on your hard copy photos. Are many or most of your photos strictly digital? Include the 4 W's in the metadata.

Easy metadata tutorial for windows 10 -
Open your photo folder. Right click on the thumbnail of your photo. A pop up box appears. Choose "properties". Choose "details". Fill in the title and subject. "Tag" with the individual name of anyone in that particular photo. Hit "OK" at the bottom of the box. Your photos are identified forever. An extra plus is that using your search feature on your computer, type in any name you have used in a tag and that photo will come up in a list. You can easily find that photo no matter which folder it is in. Easy peasy.


Semlor för Fettisdagen

Another Swedish tradition in good stuff to eat. 
Semlor, which are cardamom scented buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream.
Originally they were only eaten on "fettisdagen" (Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday), the day before the beginning of Lent. This year fettisdagen is the 9th of February or one week from today. Nowadays in Sweden they are popular from Christmas to Easter. But never after Easter. The recipe can be found at

along with many other wonderful Swedish recipes you must try as tribute to your Swedish ancestry! can also be found on Facebook.


Motivation Monday - The Ancestor is ME

When I first got the genealogy "bug", some years back, it was just after the death of my maternal grandmother.  When she passed, a cousin mailed me her photos and memorabilia. I read on the internet, which at the time was a brand new toy for me, that the average person will have on average ten great grandchildren. Only two of those great grandchildren will even know our name! I was determined that my children would know who their great grandparents were. That they would have roots. I have worked hard on my family tree, collecting and preserving photos and documents, writing down memories and stories told to me by my parents and grandparents.
  One of my grandsons has a birthday coming up in early February and we talked about their names. His middle name is Dionicio, named for a grandfather who died much too young. A grandfather he would never personally know. Another bears the middle name of my husband. Another the middle name of a dear aunt. My oldest grandaughter's middle name is Ranae.
 I had an epiphany! I AM ALREADY AN ANCESTOR. I asked my youngest grandchild. "Honey, do you know my name?" She smiled broadly and exclaimed, "Sure its Papagramma". Early on, my son's oldest child called us mamagramma and papagrampa. The names stuck. Of course she is only five but she had no clue who Ranae was and none of my grandchildren knew my maiden name.
So I dug out this picture. I wasn't even sure at first where it was.

Who is this? I asked them. The oldest two knew but maybe only because they were mature enough to envision me without glasses, forty years younger and 30 pounds lighter! Plus they remembered me working as a nurse. Not to be morbid but I envisioned this scenario. If I had died young, before my grand kids had been born, as my mom had, what if they found this picture? It is unmarked and undated. Would there be anyone who could tell them this was their grandmother? And even if they knew it was papagramma, nurses don't wear caps any longer. Would they know I was a nurse? And they certainly would not know the story of me becoming a nurse. How I did it after I married. How their grandfather worked seven days a week to pay the tuition. How I had 1 child (a toddler), went to school full time and worked nights part time. How I found myself pregnant in my next to last semester and hid it as long as I could in fear of being asked to leave the nursing program? How I gave birth during spring break and 3 days later did my surgical rotation? I never thought I had that interesting a life (still don't) but I"ll bet you my grandparents did not either.

I am already an ancestor and my and my husband's stories are part of who my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be. Who could tell my story more accurately then I? 

Resolved for the new year 2016:

1. Date and identify our family photos. Looking at it like a complete stranger is seeing it for the first time. In other words, not labeling this photo "me at graduation", but my full name (including maiden) the date and circumstances of the photo. Wow, I have just boxes and boxes of photos so I think I'll start small, such as wedding and baby photos and the periodic family group photos done for the church directory. And then I will go from there.

2. Record my history as dull as it may seem to me. I have lived through times and have a perspective they will never know. Writing it all down seems just too daunting a task that I just realistically couldn't or wouldn't do. I saw an idea on Pinterest,

If you click you will see some great ideas for questions. I bought a cheap microphone for my computer and I thought each week of this year I would ask myself  and maybe elaborate on one of the questions. 

3. Digitize, save, and back up our immediate family history with the same care I have given my ancestors photos, history, stories and family tree.

Well, that's my plan anyway. Wish me luck. You won't ever see my oral history file on this blog. My family can check it out when I'm gone. No, not because it could be embarrassing. Well, yes embarrassing but only because I think I have been lucky enough to lead a pretty peaceful, blessed some would say boring life.

But that's the way I like it.