My blogiversary!

One Year!
This is my blogiversary. I have been blogging about my Swedish and Norwegian ancestry for one year. When I started I was doubtful I could do it, let alone keep it up for a year. But I have and I have loved it! I am very grateful for those family and friends who have encouraged me and contributed with stories, memories, photos and ideas. Thank you all!

A few years back when I began my family history journey I started on my mother's Norwegian side. Or rather my grandmother had by telling me her personal story of immigration to the U.S. and the history of her family in Norway. I had also visited Norway a couple of times to visit her so I had a leg up in knowing exactly where my Norwegian family had originated from and where to look for records.

My Swedish side, well, not so much. As with most people, my interest in family history began as I grew older and almost all of those in the later generations were gone. Gone with their memories and stories of how they and their ancestry contributed to how I came to be. Found in my father's papers after his death I had only this..

A typewritten note my grandmother had made in the 1950's and given to my Dad. It seems she did not want her family and that of my grandfather Richard to be forgotten. So faded was my grandfather's side I held it up to a window under bright light to make out what she had typed.

So I started digging and bugging family near and remote for information. Who were these Abrahamsons and Kallmans? Tell Me Please. Have you a photo? How are we related? I made the Ancestry.com family tree and filled it with the information I found. I believe many many folks of my generation are interested in their personal family history, photos, stories and such. But most are not interested in the hobby of digging and searching for the tidbits of history related to their family as I am. The same way I will never understand why my husband needs a Lund boat with fish finders, all sorts of gadgets, fishing stuff and expensive equipment AND travel to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada AND WHO ELSE KNOWS WHERE to get a fish I could get at the Jewel for a few bucks.
And that's okay. I finally got that and the blog was born.

I began without one photo of my grandmothers family in Sweden and now you can see the Abrahamson Family photo album displayed on the right side of the blog. I also connected with some pretty cool people that I was proud to say I was related to. So...

Happy Blogiversary! And thank you all for the help you have given me this first year! The stories, photos, ideas, encouragement, requests etc. Let's keep going.  Okay?


Another American in the Family - Carlos Garcia Angeles

My Swedish grandparents and their siblings came to the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century.
Since then others have come to the U.S. and have become part of our now hugh American family. My husband for one. He was born in Germany, came to the U.S. as a child with his parents and older sister, and is now a proud naturalized citizen.

Those "shakey leaves" that Ancestry.com advertises constantly on T.V. every now and then give me a nice surprise. This popped up today.
Carlos Angeles, his petition for naturalization.  I did not know until recently, and I was sad to hear from a cousin, that he passed away last year.

My Second Cousin

Carlos Angeles

*click on documents to enlarge for easier viewing*


Sibling Saturday - Esther and Evelyn Soderstrom

photo from the personal collection of Sally Liljegren Thomas

@1940 -  Moline, Illinois
The Soderstrom Sisters
Big Sister - Esther    Little Sister - Evelyn


Family Treasures

Some people inherit money or land or titles. I have a friend who has some beautiful old English china and custom made antique furniture passed down from her wealthy grandparents. I do not have anything like that.

I have something better.
I have this...

she tied it with embroidery thread and her writing is faded

"Melvin when he was four years old"

A lock of my Daddy's hair lovingly saved by his mother Lydia 95 years ago


"The bride was charming

in a gown of white embroidered mull."


The home of Dr. F.G. Abrahamson, 4216 eighth avenue was the scene of a pretty home wedding Wednesday evening when Miss Lidia Abrahamson, cousin of Dr. Abrahamson, became the bride of Richard Kallman of Moline.  The simple but impressive ring ceremony was performed at 8 o'clock by Dr. Abrahamson, the bride's aunt, Mrs. Abrahamson, giving her away.  The attendants were the bride's cousin, Miss Florinda Abrahamson and Miss Kallman, the bridegroom's sister, and F. Beckstrom and G. Samuelson.  The bride was charming in a gown of white embroidered mull.  She wore a bridal veil and carried a shower bouquet of bride roses.  The bridesmaids were gowned in pretty white robes and carried pink carnations.  The house was decorated in green and pink and the ceremony was performed in the parlor before a bank of palms.  After congratulation a wedding dinner was served.  The young couple will make their home in Moline upon return from a short wedding trip.

The May 10, 1911 marriage of my grandparents Lydia Abrahamson and Richard Kallman was noted in the society column of the Rock Island Argus. This reflected the social status not of the poor immigrant couple but of the minister that married them. Dr. Rev. Laurentius Gustav Abrahamson was the cousin of Lydia's father, Robert Albin. He had immigrated as a boy with his family and was now a highly respected and influential minister of the Augustana synod Lutheran Church. Still, I was so pleased to find this article which described Lydia and Richards wedding and happy that so far from home and immediate family they had a lovely and memorable beginning to their marriage.

I had never heard of a "gown of white embroidered mull". What exactly was that fabric?
from the textile glossary - "It is a super fine quality of cotton cloth woven as plain weave. The cloth is bleached and finished to give a soft feel." A type of voile fabric very popular around the turn of the century.

She did look quite lovely and "charming" didn't she?

Today is the 105th anniversary of the wedding of my grandparents, Richard and Lydia Kallman.
Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!


Mother's Day

Mothers hold their children hands for a short while
but their hearts.........forever.
- unknown

Remembering Mom with love this Mother's Day

Grace Sevald Kallman
04 Mar 1927 - 21 Apr 1975


Sibling Saturday - Rudolf and Arthur Jacobson

My Dad's cousins
The Preacher Brothers

Rudolf Jacobson 
4 Aug 1907 Revesjö, Sweden - 9 Aug 1987 Alberta, Canada
Gustave Arthur Jacobson 
28 Jul 1920 Geneseo, Illinois - 10 Feb 1991 Los Angeles, California

*click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing*
photo from the private collection of  cousin Jeanette Kallman


Friday's Faces from the Past - Olga and Tekla Källman

These are my great aunts, the sisters of my grandfather, Richard Kallman. Their family was very very poor. With money for a ticket earned by siblings already in America, Olga (on the right) immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden arriving at Ellis Island September 29, 1902. She was 16 years old. She worked in Chicago as a domestic, saved her money, and returned to Sweden in 1907 for her sister Tekla (on the left). Olga returned to Chicago bringing her 17 year old sister Tekla through Ellis Island on September 6, 1907.

I never knew them as they settled in California when I was very young but my California cousin Jeanette did and spoke highly of them. I thank her for this photo.

          My Great Aunts

          Olga Eufemia Källman Palm
          born: 03 Nov 1885 Grytgòl, Hällestad, Östergötland, Sweden
          died: 23 Sep 1984 Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.

          Tekla Eugenia Källman Peterson
          born: 03 Oct 1889 Grytgòl, Hällestad, Östergötland, Sweden
          died: 01 Oct 1979 Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.


Tuesday Trivia

I am sure that most everyone knows that the IKEA stores originated in Sweden (As if the massive blue and yellow building, flying the Swedish flag, wasn't enough of a hint).
But the "goofy sounding" names of the products for sale in IKEA?


IKEA names 
sofas, coffee tables and bookshelves after places in Sweden; 
beds, wardrobes and hall furniture after places in Norway; 
carpets after places in Denmark; 
dining tables and chairs after places in Finland;
bathroom articles after Scandinavian lakes, river and bays;
kitchens after grammatical terms;
chairs and desks after men's names;
fabrics and curtains after women's names;
etc. etc. etc.

Maybe its some sort of an inside Swedish joke that I don't get. 

Here is Valby Ruta in my family room (I'm not sure what that is under the couch) and here is Valby Denmark. and Ruta? what? where is that? couldn't find it. 

Okay. I still  don't get it.   But I like the rug.