Edvard Julius and his twin sister Lovisa Abrahamsson

Christmas Day 1832 brought a very special gift  to our family.
Great Great Grandfather Edvard Julius and his twin sister Lovisa Juliana were born.

Födde Lindsberg parish in Örebro, Sweden, Decamber 25, 1832 on farm Rattaren
Twins Edvard Julius and Lovisa Juliana Abrahamsson, döpt 31 Dec 1832, Gedline GID # 358.58.45500, Volume CI:12,  Roll/Fiche #: FA-241

my Great Great Grandfather
Edvard Julius Abrahamsson
b: 25 Dec 1832 Lindesberg, Örebro, Sweden
d: 24 Jul 1886 Östra Frölunda, Älvsborg, Sweden

Edvard's twin sister 
my 3rd Great Aunt
Lovisa Juliana Rosenquist
b: 25 Dec 1832 Lindesberg, Örebro, Sweden
d: 1 Nov 1875 Härad, Södermanland, Sweden

A Swedish cousin has sent me some information about Lovisa and her family which I will share on this blog at a later date. 


Christmas with the Andersons - Love and Lutefisk in 1961

It's funny how some things or experiences you have as a child really stay with you.  A treasured memory of mine was our yearly lutefisk Christmas with the Andersons. Al, Mr. Anderson, was a good lifelong friend of my Dad's. He had known him from childhood. I think their parents even had been friends. He and his wife Ruth were wonderful people. Each year, sometime during the Christmas season, our family would go to their home for a lutefisk dinner. I never did like the lutefisk but Mrs. Anderson's meatballs were so so good. Mr. Anderson and my Dad would laugh over people they knew in their childhood, like "Snusbox Benson" and tell stories to each other in Swedish laughing all the while.

Their Chicago home was small and simple but oh so welcoming and comforting that I really treasured those visits. They had a dog named Patsy. After my kids were born I insisted on a Springer Spaniel just hoping it would be like that great pup that laid under the Andersons end table. My Dad was a bit older than my Mom and the Andersons had married young so their children were already teens when we were very young so I don't remember much interaction with them. Except, their son Len had a foosball table! How rich was that I thought! and they set it up right in the living room just for us! And even better, a Lionel train that really smoked and a station master that came out with each circle of the Christmas tree! You know that I HAD to buy that same station master for my Lionel. My husband and I built a beautiful Christmas train layout but that station master is the favorite of my grandkids as it was for me. For some unknown reason they call him "Bob".

The Christmas of 1961, now 55 years ago, is one that stands out above the rest. The Andersons, after prayers, lutefisk, Swedish jokes and reminiscing gave us the best presents ever. That year I remember in particular because my sister and I got Storybook Shirley Temple Dolls. She got Shirley Temple dressed as Little Bo Peep and I got Red Riding Hood. I couldn't believe it! I would tell you more but for some reason I just can't see clearly enough to type any more and I feel rather sniffly. I must be getting a cold or something.      I am such a silly old thing.

Merry Christmas to all my Swedish-American cousins!
Merry Christmas and God bless you too,
 Mr and Mrs. Anderson!


Great Aunt Sarona Rebecka

My great aunt Sarona Rebecka Kallman was born this month in Lerback, Orebro, Sweden.

My Mom told me long ago that "babies take 9 months to come, except for the first one, that one can come any time". 6 months before the wedding? I have blogged before about the rural Scandinavian custom of the engagement being the binding agreement and the wedding was the religious celebration. Many farm girls moved to their future husbands home after the engagement. But look at Sarona's birth record. "Oäkta", Illegitimate it states, with no father listed! Who knows the circumstances but glad to see great grandpa Karl stepped up to the plate. Sarona was baptized in her father's home town of Tjällmo, Östergötland and her parents married there in May of 1879.

Sarona Rebecka Kallman Alvine 1878-1956 

 Aunt Sarona died out in California when I was barely 4 so if I did meet her I unfortunately do not remember her. In the couple of small photos I have of her, in every one she is always smiling, a great big happy smile. I think I would have liked her.

Happy Birthday to my Great Aunt! 

Sarona Rebecka Källman Alvine
b:11 Dec 1878 Lerback, Örebro, Sweden
d: 28 Jul 1956 Turlock, Stanislaus, California, USA

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Sankta Lucia's Festival of Lights, Andersonville Chicago

December 13 is Saint Lucia Day. St. Lucia of Syracuse was a Christian martyr. She smuggled food to the persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs of Rome. To find her way she wore a wreath of candles on her head freeing her arms to carry more food. Her story was told by monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. She is celebrated throughout Scandinavia as the bearer of light during the long dark Scandinavian winters. The Andersonville community of Chicago, once a heavily Swedish immigrant enclave, holds a yearly St. Lucia Festival and procession ending at the Swedish American Museum. The Festival of Lights ▼


David Jacobson 1908-1982

Today, through this blog I was contacted by another cousin! A Anna and Emil Jacobson line cousin who I hope can shed some light on the little known branch of his grandfather David Jacobson.

Sverige, namnindexerade födelseuppgifter, 1880-1920,, Original data: Swedish Church Records Archive. Johanneshov, Sweden: Genline AB.
 Revesjö, Älvsborg, Sweden, 1908, Swedish parish birth record, the 12th birth in 1908, 28 Dec, 6th live born male, named David, son of Johan Emil Jakobsson, a railroad agent, born 11 Sep 1878, and Anna Abrahamsson, born 31 Jul 1886, the couple is married.

This photo, most likely taken in 1911 just before Johan Emil emigrated to the U.S. is of the Jakobsson family; Emil and Anna with their first three children, Rudolf, Elizabeth and to Anna's left, David. In 1913 Anna and the children emigrated through Ellis Island to join Emil.

my father's cousin
David Jacobson
b: 28 Dec 1908  Revesjö, Älvsborg, Sweden
d: 21 Apr 1982 Rohnert Park, Sonoma, California USA

I am hopeful that we can soon add some additional names to our family tree, the descendants of this cute little guy!

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Dec 7 1941 Pearl Harbor

75 years ago today the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the US entered World War II. Quite a few young men in our family, the sons of immigrants, found themselves called to defend our country. I believe that for our immigrant family the attack on Pearl Harbor may have been the truly defining moment. We were now, above all and forever after, Americans.Very few veterans of that war are still with us. The WWII veterans of our family are all gone.  In their honor tell their story to your children and grandchildren today.

Here is the story of my favorite uncle, my mother's brother Arnold Calvin Sevald. 

My Norwegian grandfather Paul Sevald stepped off the boat unto Ellis Island August 1, 1923. August 16, 1923, he filed his intent to become a United States citizen. When his son was born two years later he named him after the current president, the 30th, Calvin Coolidge. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec 7 1941, Arnold immediately joined the Navy. A parent had to sign for him. Knowing his father would not and his mother's English was poor he tricked her into signing. He had just turned 16 in September of that same year. He served as a radar detector on the U.S.S. Tinn. Most important to me.........he came home.

my maternal uncle
Arnold Calvin Sevald
b: 18 Sep 1925 Chicago, Illinois, USA
d: 26 Nov 1983 Dallas, Texas, USA

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land!  - Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832


For the love of great great grandma Charlotta Majholm

I have blogged in the past that due to the information I found on great great grandmother, Charlotta, I had some serious doubts that Robert Albin was the offspring of Oscar II, future king of Sweden and Norway. That family legend had persisted for 150 years and I think many if not most of the family, now numbering in the hundreds, believed it. Charlotta said so, didn't she, and why would she lie? My brother told me of a cousin of my Dad's who actually had a framed portrait of Oscar in his living room. Another cousin collected Oscar memorabilia.

Admittedly I too was more than a little bit bummed when DNA proved absolutely that Oscar was not my great great grandfather. I have spent the last few days on the "Robert Albin Abrahamson Legacy" family tree on erasing one by one the relations of Oscar who now were no longer mine.

This proved tougher than I thought. Along with being a genealogy nut I also am somewhat of a Western European history buff (yes I AM a nerd and not even ashamed any more).  I loved the idea, however remote, of having not only famous but royal relatives. Why oh why Charlotta would you lie to us? On thinking it over I now have two main thoughts..


The Death of the Family Legend

With the advance of DNA in genealogy it was inevitable that sooner or later we would know the truth of our proposed royal ancestry. Generations of those of us descended from Robert Albin Abrahamsson, the adopted son of Edvard Julius Abrahamsson, have told the family story of his, and therefore our, royal ancestry. I wrote about it in an earlier blog titled  TRUTH or family legend?  Edvard Julius Abrahamsson clearly stated that he was the adoptive father of Robert Albin. We don't know who initiated the story, perhaps Robert Albin's mother Charlotte herself did. We only know she refused to speak of it again and all of her children believed it to be the truth that Oscar Bernadotte, future King of Sweden and Norway, was his biological father. That story persisted for 150 years. Although I did not think it logical I must admit I am more than a bit disappointed to learn definitively that

King Oscar II of Sweden was NOT my great great grandfather

For those in our family not familiar with DNA here is a brief description of why he is not our ancestor. Males have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.  All men pass their Y chromosome unchanged unto their sons but not their daughters. Therefore Oscar's male descendants, generation after generation, would have the same Y chromosome as he.

There are many people throughout the Western world who claim relationship to Oscar and a company in Sweden has capitalized on that. THE BERNADOTTE FALK COMPANY for a price (and a hefty one at that) will test a man's Y DNA against the DNA of Jan Bernadotte, a proven cousin of the royal family. If the man is truly a descendant of Oscar his Y chromosome will match that of Jan Bernadotte. Our family in Sweden sent a DNA sample from a grandson of Robert Albin who descended through the male line. His Y chromosome indicated he was NOT a descendant of the Bernadotte line.

Our family legend is just that..... a legend. We will most likely never know who the biological father of Robert Albin was or why for that matter Charlotta chose to say it was Oscar II. Nor will we judge her because after all; we're here aren't we?  I for one am pretty proud to be one of the many descendants of Robert Albin and Anna Karolina Abrahamson.

I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more 
concerned to know what his grandson will be.
-Abraham Lincoln

Should you be interested in reading the actual DNA report? 


Elizabeth Marie Kallman - I wonder if she knew?

free clipart
Sometimes the interesting things you learn about your ancestors as a snoopy genealogist are the very things your ancestors would not only NOT find "interesting" but did their best to keep secret! Possibly traveling halfway around the world to keep the secret! The family "secret" I am writing about now involves those long gone who cannot be hurt by the revelation. When I look at photos of ancestors living at the turn of the 20th century, they look so stern, starched and upright. It is sort of nice to know that their missteps meant that they were just as human as I.

My great uncle Håkon Patrik Källman was the oldest brother of my grandfather Richard and the first of the family to leave Sweden and head to America in 1901. Here in the U.S. he met another Swedish immigrant Margareta Maria Eriksson. They married and their first child, Arthur, was born here. The young family returned to Sweden in 1905 where their other children were born. I am guessing it was his health that prompted their return to Sweden. Patrik died of tuberculosis just a few days after his 28th birthday.

I am sure life was lonely and difficult for the young widow and her children. Her boys Arthur, Evald, and Evert emigrated to the U.S. when they were older mentioning my grandfather as their contact in the U.S. When they were settled in Chicago they sent for their mother and younger sister. Margareta arrived in the U.S. with 10 year old Elizabeth Marie in 1923. I heard my Dad mention Arthur, Evert and Evald. He never mentioned, as far as I know, Elizabeth. I only knew about her through U.S. census records and her marriage and death certificates stated her fathers name as Patrik Kallman so I knew she was part of the family. I had a difficult time finding Elizabeths Swedish parish birth record as she was born in a different town than the town in which the family lived. But I found it at last!
06 Oct 1913 Valborg Maria Elisabet öakta (illegitimate), father okand (unknown),
mother Maria Margareta Källman, telephone operator in Sya born 16 Jul 1880, widowed

1913 Sya,, Östergötland, Sweden parish birth records 

my father's cousin?
Elizabeth Marie Källman
b. 6 Oct 1912 Sya, Östergötland, Sweden
d. 29 Oct 1987 Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Here's the rub. My Great Uncle Patrik died in 1908! I wonder if Elisabeth knew?
Well the secret is out now.

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