Obituary - Dr. L.G. Abrahamson

from "The Lutheran Companion" November 13, 1946

my first cousin 3X removed
first cousin of Robert Albin Abrahamson

Rev. Dr. Laurentius (Lars) Gustaf Abrahamson
b-2 Mar 1856  Tveta,  Medaker, Sweden
d-3 Nov 1946 Rock Island, Illinois, USA

**click on obituary to enlarge for easier viewing**
**note: Dr. Abrahamson wears on his chest the medal he was given by King Oscar II of Sweden as a
 "Knight of the Order of the North Star" giving him the Swedish title R.N.O.**


World War I began on this day, July 28

On this day, July 28 in 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This was the beginning of WWI. The U.S. had hoped to remain neutral but that was not to be and in April of  1917 we entered the war. My grandfather, my great uncles and their contemporaries were required to register for the draft in 1917. My great uncle Andrew Soderstrom and my great uncle Richard Peterson were called to serve. The rest were luckily not called but World War I draft enlistment records still exist that tell us a bit about our ancestors and who they were, what they were doing and what their family situation was at the time.

my great uncle Hugo Henry Alvine was born in 1875. In 1917 he was married to my great aunt Sarona Kallman and they had 2 boys. He was already 41 so not likely to be drafted. I learned from this registration that he was medium height and build with blue eyes and light hair. He lived in Chicago, Illinois and worked for Marshall Field as a clerk.

My great uncle Richard Reinhold Peterson was born in 1892. 1917 found him unmarried and only 25, primo for drafting. Uncle Richard served in France and before discharge was given his citizenship. Richard was a Chicago chauffeur of medium height and build, with blue eyes and light hair. He had the good sense to marry great aunt Tekla Kallman before he went in to the Army.

My great uncle Uno Markus Palm was born in 1883. At 34 and married to my great aunt Olga Kallman, he wasn't chosen to serve. He was a tall, medium built man with blue eyes and light hair. He filed first in California and registered in Alaska where he said he was a miner. His wife was in Washington state. I don't know much about this fellow. Seems he was a bit shifty. Aunt Olga had the good sense to leave him or the good luck that he left her, I don't know which. She said he was "a ladies man" and in true Swedish style that's all she would say about that!

My great uncle Andrew Olaf Soderstrom was just the man our country was looking for. He was born in 1888 and unmarried, plus he had military experience back in Sweden.   He was a machinist for the Deere company in Moline, Illinois. He served in the cavalry but before he left he married great aunt Ruth Abrahamson. Tall with a medium build, blue eyes, light hair and that square jaw, he made quite a good looking soldier didn't he?

My great uncle John Emil Jacobson was born in 1878. A farmer from Illinois, he was recorded as medium height and build and you guessed eyes and light hair. Pushing 40, married to great aunt Anna Abrahamson, with 4 kids and one on the way, he also was not a good candidate to draft. 

And of course my grandfather Richard Severin Kallman. Born in 1887 he was the right age but he was already married to my grandmother Lydia Abrahamson. They had 3 children whom he supported as a chauffeur in Chicago. He was of medium height and medium build with light hair and light blue eyes. Interesting to note that his right index finger was 'crippled". The family joke was he was rejected because that was his trigger finger. Most likely that was a beginning sign of the terrible rheumatoid arthritis he would later suffer from.

These documents give us a little glimpse of who the ancestors were at the onset of World War I. I really like seeing their personal signatures also. The "WAR TO END ALL WARS" is what they called World War I. Boy, how I wish that had been the truth.

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


Modern Viking Ship To Sail From Norway To Chicago For Tall Ships Festival

Draken Harald Hårfagre 
named for the first king of Norway, Harald Fairhair

Check out this website to learn all about this modern replica of a Viking ship that left Haugesand Norway in late April for the 3,000 mile trip across the North Atlantic. It is scheduled to arrive in Chicago for the Tall Ships Festival this coming week.


Albin Kallman Farm - Chickens wearing glasses?

The majority of my Dad's immediate family had remained in the Chicago area, with one exception, his brother, my uncle Albin. In the early 1940's he, his wife and young daughter had moved out to California. My grandfather Richard's sisters had also settled in California. Although I knew who they were, we were not close and rarely visited. In 1955 my parents and I took the old route 66 from Chicago all the way to California, sightseeing along the way. My Dad took slide photos of our trip. His photos were mainly, scenery, family members and on Uncle Albin's farm he photographed THIS

Being city people we could not for the life of us figure out why Uncle Al's chickens wore glasses? Well, my Mom said, "ya know that the folks in California do things very differently, like Hollywood or maybe it was just a joke or something."  Really????  I don't remember seeing the picture more than once or twice in my childhood. After my Dad died in 1989 I inherited his box of slides. My kids got a kick out of this photo but it still remained a mystery to my suburban family. My son especially got such a laugh out of it. We theorized all sorts of crazy reasons including that maybe Uncle Al himself was crazy and had actually put glasses on his chickens!

It came to represent anything in our life that seemed incomprehensible or we had no answer for. 
"Why is that Mom? How come? When?" Answer: "Well dear, it's like glasses on chickens."


As I became interested in genealogy and my family history I emailed Al's daughter, my cousin. She kindly sent me photos of the family in California. In return I sent her photos from Chicago that perhaps she did not have and just for fun I included the famous (to us anyway) chickens wearing glasses. Growing up on a farm of course she immediately knew. Chickens, mainly roosters could become quite aggressive with each other. She and her mom would hold the birds as her dad, with some sort of tool, applied these blinders. It prevented them from pecking each other. Well even to a Chicago girl that makes sense. However, I miss the fun family legend, that somewhere, far away in that elusive, exotic, strange state of California, I once had a cool crazy Uncle Al who put glasses on chickens.

*click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing*

Margareta Abrahamson Hedmon

 The youngest child of Gustav Abrahamson and Hanna Emanuelsdotter, Margareta  was born this day, 99 years ago, at her parents home Aveholm in Östra Frölunda, Sweden.

my first cousin once removed
Margareta Abrahamson Hedman
18 Jul 1917 - 10 Feb 1995

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

Ranting, Rambling and Reminiscing - Burial? or Cremation?

This past weekend I went to a family gathering celebrating a graduation. The subject came up how a few cousins were meeting to spread the ashes of a loved one who died and was then cremated. Lately I've been contemplating how differently wakes, funerals and such have changed in our society.

In my child and young adulthood I remember first getting a telephone call from a friend or family member that so and so had "passed away". You sent flowers. A three day wake was expected where anybody and everybody may have showed up. On the fourth day in the morning was the funeral, solemn and long, with lots of Bible verses and old tyme hymns. Close friends and family of course were there, after which they followed in the long stream of stickered and flagged cars to the graveyard. A graveside service took place with immediate family in a long row of chairs facing the open grave with the coffin above the open grave ready to be cranked in. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" as a handful of dirt was thrown in after the lowering of the coffin. Close family/friends of the bereaved then gathered at their home, arriving with a baked ham or casserole in hand.

I am now 64 years old and find myself going to far more funerals than weddings and baby showers these days. I cannot speak for other parts of the country or for those who traditions/ religions are different from mine but wow...things have changed.  In the last two years I have been to five funerals, one sadly enough was for a child.  I have noticed there is seldom more than a one day wake. Funerals are often "private", which may mean there is only a family get together no traditional "funeral". Perhaps at the end of the one day wake there is a generally brief "memorial service". I have not for a few years been to a graveside service at all. In fact only one of my deceased friends was buried. The others were cremated. One's ashes were buried at a family gravesite, the others, I don't know, maybe scattered to nature in some spot that had been favored by the deceased. The
reports that cremations have doubled since 1999 and about half of those who die in this country are now cremated. The statistics differ significantly in different parts of the country which is no surprise.

I really am not making any judgement here because I am not sure myself what I would choose, although if I am gone obviously the choice is not mine. Actually I like the fact that things are not quite so serious and solemn. I like seeing photos and reminiscing as opposed to wearing black and "wailing and gnashing of teeth". My own faith has no problem with cremation either, though I understand some Christians do. I believe my soul is safe in the arms of God and surely at the resurrection HE doesn't need a carved rock to find my mortal body.

As a genealogist and family historian, I hope this does not sound ghoulish but, I like the concept of being able to visit or at least have a photo of a family member's last resting place on this earth. A place to go to contemplate the life of this family member, long gone. A family member unknown to me as I was unknown to them, but now I discover them, and wonder about their part in making me who I am today.

Well, enough musings on a Monday. I hope I have not bummed anyone. Here are a few photos I have and treasure. A poem too, that I have always liked.  I think I will grab my hubby and head to Sonic for a chocolate shake. They are half price after 8 pm you know.

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


Unidentified Family Member?

This photo came from family in Sweden (Abrahamson line) unidentified. A handsome fellow for sure, the photographer was Swedish but I can't say that his look is at all familiar to me or resembles anyone I would have known or seen a photo of previously.  Ostra Halland is in the province of Halland which is on the Western coast of Sweden if that is any help? Klingwall was a prominent photographer born 1858. That and the gentlemans dress seem to indicate the timeframe to be turn of the century? Any thoughts or ideas?


Happy Fourth of July - America Medley | Anthem Lights

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, 
that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, 
support any friend, oppose any foe to assure 
the survival and the success of liberty. 
--- John F. Kennedy


Moline High School Class of 1944 - Esther Soderstrom

We are attending a graduation party next weekend for the daughter of my husband's cousin. It's that time of year. Here is a view of another cousins graduation long long ago.

accessed on U.S., School yearbooks, 1880-2012.
Moline High School in Moline, Rock Island, Illinois
Class of 1944 yearbook the "M"

Here is a close-up. Pretty cute but I have just one question. Who is "Baldy"?

***click photos to enlarge for easier viewing***