Monday, December 26, 2011

My top five of 2011 and a happy new year to you!

2011 has been a really nice genealogy year for me. I've made a favorite top five list as a small summary.

* Allt för Sverige (Everything for Sweden). The Swedish TV show with ten Americans with Swedish roots coming to Sweden competing about a family reunion. I heard some critical voices on message forums coming from people into genealogy, even before the first episode was even aired. To me it sounded like a great idea and it seems like the Americans coming here had a blast. I guess people who are not that much into genealogy really liked the show (and whats wrong with getting new people a little interested in a non-traditional genealogy way?). I had eight great Sundays and I miss them all already (happy they can be found on Facebook)

* My 31-day genealogy challenge, doing one different genealogy related thing every day for 31 days during summer. I made it, the thing I didnt succed with was to write a blogpost every day, on the other hand, that was never intended to be included in the challenge.

* Finding and visiting my mothers' (to us) unknown second cousin. And with that getting a lot of photos identified, it was so nice!

* Love it! They wrote an article about it in the newspaper (after I told them about the app). And the day before Christmas I was going to fetch the snailmail and the postman said "It's you, the headstone researcher, I read about you in the paper". Heh, for a second I was afraid I had orderd one too
many record ;).

* Me starting this blog. Woo-hoo. I've had several other genealogy blogs but I think I've found my genealogybloghome for a while now.

I have some great plans for 2012 but I will save that for a later post.

Right now I just want to wish you all a happy new year!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The House - Part 1 - an introduction

I am sitting in the kitchen this foggy fall morning, watching yellow, orange and
brown leafs almost covering my car.

We bought this house in June last year (2010). We know litte about it
and we keep revieling things about it, sometimes so amazing you wouldnt
even believe it.

We know the house was build sometimes between 1896 - 1898. We have been
looking at the cityarchives for drawings of the house that really should
be there but they dont have it (and doesnt seem to have any drawings of
our neighbours houses either, at least not the older houses. According to
the inventory they should be there but somehow they are missing)

The House in the beginning of 1900
The House today, October 30 2011

The church is from around 1200.

Kropps Kyrka

As someone doing genealogy and family history it is great living next
door to a cementary. Eventough I dont have any connections backwards
to this specific area it really got me interested about this little
place on earth and Im trying to find out as much as possible. So, as
the first advice we always give to someone asking about how to start
with researching thier familily history, start with yourself, Im starting
with my house. And then I will move on and tell you more about the church,
the little shop, the dairy and the house where the priests used to live
and all other things I will find out about.

According the the prievious owners the house was built by a man
called Anders Nilsson. He didnt own the land, it belonged to the
big estate Rosendahl. More information about this man will follow
in a future post.

Anders Nilsson Familygrave

Anyhow, one of the things that really cought my eye when visiting
the house the very first time was a stonemarker in the garden. To
me it looked exactly like a little gravestone. Looking at it closer
it is not a gravestone but a propertymarker common in older days.


It says N = 9 H-HÖG 1/24 E N. So, what is this marker doing in our
garden and who was E N?

Marker close-up. Not a good idea taking this
picture when its been raining.

I will look into the people that lived in this house. This is where
we made one outoftheordinary discovery. More about that in a future

I am also going to do an inventory at the cemetary, trying to find out
more about the people that are resting there (and uploding pictures to, the graveinventory of Släktforskarförbundet and
a graveinventory group at Facebook). When we bought the house,
I (guess that comes from being inte genealogy) started looking through
the death-and buirial book. Here we found a couple of tragical stories
which we could follow up in the newspapers back then. More about that
later on.

So, with this, I guess I better get my nose into the books and records.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - summary

I did it. 31 days of genealogy in a row during my days off from work with doing at least one different thing everyday. The one thing I didn't manage was to update the blog everyday. Anyway, it was great fun and instead of hanging on, and looking into records everyday I made myself think of different things to do but still get that daily dose of genealogy / family history.

So, a short summary of a few things I did:

* I visited a newly found second cousin of my mom that we never met before. Had a really great time comparing photos and talking about the family.

* I added a couple of cemeteries at

* I went to the city archives and looked at records about our little village.

* Went to Copenhagen and visited one archive looking for some Danish relatives. Turned out I needed to go to another archive which was closed. Visited the wonderful exhibition about Titanic which contained a lot of interesting information and touching familystories. A video describing the exhibition is found here on youtube.

* Scanned and organized documents and photos.

* Went to visit a genealogy society and found some obituaries in their archive.

* Listend to podcasts, Genealogy Gems, Genealogy Gems Premium and Family Tree podcast.

* Listend to a Swedish radioshow, Släktband about genealogy.

* Watched the US episodes of Who Do You Think You Are as they were airing on Swedish television during the summer.

* And ofcourse I did spend time hanging at ancestry, genuine and arkivdigital as well.

So, with that, my challenge is over and I had a great time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 17

Day 17.

After a trip like we did on the day before (visiting a newly found second cousin of my mother) there builds up a little tile of things to do, so I trimmed the family tree. You know, entering new facts I found out the day before, added the beautiful letters my greatgrandfather wrote to his sister in 1907 into the genealogy software I use (Reunion), attaching them to both him and her, adding the identified pitcures to the proper persons, filling out metadata and so on. So, it was a couple of hours of organizing.

There has been a lot written about organizing genealogy. Reading those articles/blogposts, watching youtubemovies and listening to podcasts in the subject and some trial and error I think Ive found a way that suits me. Perhaps Im being a bit overbureaucratic but as long as I find the stuff Im looking for Im happy. Sure, it takes a while to get it as I want it but it turns out nice in the end. And yes, Ive spent MANY hours organizing all the stuff Ive collected (in only a couple of years) instead of doing research but its really needed.

* I always fill out metadata of pictures I take or photos/documents I scan. Doing that, and when I started doing it I decided that the field Keyword always should be the surname/s the document is connected to and field Category would be something I would like to find fast, like pictures of gravestone/church/wedding or documents of a simular type, birthrecord/estateinventory/passengerlists/letter/will. And ofcourse city, region and country. Makes it easy to find everything connected to the region of Blekinge. To help me with this I use a program (on mac) called Qpict where I can sort out like all weddingpictures in the Berlin family or all buirialrecords of the Fridolffamily. Neat. I could also do a search of filecontent in the operatingsystem of everything connected to the Seck family. Metadata is GOOD! And ofcourse, in the Description I fill out everything I know, plan is to transcribe every written record and put it in the descriptionfield which will make everything in it searchable but until Im there I just try to fill out as much as possible (names, dates, who has the original photo and so on).

Everything with the Keyword Fridolf.

Everything in the Category Obituary

*I keep an indexfile of all important records. I have a simple spreadsheet in Excel where I fill out everytime I get my hands on a new record I feel need to be indexed (estate inventory, will, birth/marriage/death record, obituaries). The record get a number which I write in the Descriptionfield and in my index file I write down what kind of record it is, what person it is concerning and if I got it on-line or if its scanned. It is a nice overview of all documents I have on my Nelsonside of the family forexample. To find the document, I just do a search on filecontent the number in the OS and it will show up.

My indexfile of important records (most records are found here)

*I always name the photos of whats in them. If there are three people in the picture I put all the names in the filename with underscores inbetween. If its a picture of a house it get _house in the name and same with gravestone. Going into a folder its fast to find all _house pictures or _church pictures.

*I keep all files colourcoded (works on mac). Ive decided everything on my father side is blue and on mother side is purple. Green is on Christians side of the family. Mainly for a quick, visual view if Im looking for something browsing the folders.

Blue for Dad, Purple for Mom, Green for Christians side of the family. Other colours in my Miscresearch for people not related.
Im still into the phase where Im renaming records, date first and then name of who it concerns, works great for me atleast.

I got my inspiration on organizing mainy from those two sources:

Elyses genealogy videos at YouTube
Family History: Genealogy made easy podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke, check out episode 32 and 33

Day 17 completed:
*Trimming the Family Tree

Thursday, August 11, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 16

My 31-day genealogy challenge is over, last day was August 7. Its been great trying to do something with genealogy / family history everyday for 31 days and at least one different thing every day. The hardest part has been to blog about it everyday, thats why the posts are somewhat delayed.

Anyway, day 16. About two months ago, going through "hints" on my trees at I found something.. A tree with an cousin of my grandfather I didnt know about. I emailed the person who put up the tree and asked my mother if she ever had heard of that cousin. She had not. I looked into birthbooks and everything with this cousin was accurate. A few days later I got a reply from the woman who made the tree, which is my mothers second cousin. She and my mom talked on the phone a few times and Day 16 it was time to go visit her.

I brought my computer, camera and scanner with me and I went there together with my parents. We had a great time. Comparing photos and noticing we had the same ones. She also had letters written by my greatgrandfather to her sister which I scanned. We went to the cementary (which I ofcouse put up on and we drove by the house where my greatgrandparents used to live. While going on this sightseeing, driving on those narrow roads we ran into one of my mothers cousins who probably hadent met in quite many years. I didnt know, but I and her son are born on the exact same date and year. Cool. She also told us that just around the corner another cousin of mom where working, chopping some woods. We went by and said hi to him as well.

So, I truly had a great time. Some of the photos got identified, that is awesome. I know most of the people on those photos are relatives but it is always nice to know exactly.

Emma Berlin - sister of my
greatgrandfather Nils Anton Berlin.
One of the pictures we got identified.

Even if we thought we knew about all of my grandfathers cousins, we didnt. And that is why it is so good to put your research online, in this case at ancestry where thanks to the hintssystem two secondcousins found eachother. Ive had simular experience at where Ive also found relatives.

Letter written by Nils Anton Berlin
in 1909 to his sister Emma Berlin while
he was in the military.

Day 16 completed:
*Visited my mothers second cousin we never met before
*Went to see my greatgrandfathers house
*Identified a lots a pictures, scanned letters and pictures.
*Added Farstorp at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 15

Day 15. Exciting day. We went to the cityarchive of Helsingborg (Stadsarkivet Helsingborg). Ive been there a few times, mainly when they have some interesting seminar or open house, never been there doing any research.

So. We want to find out everything about our house. Its build sometime between 1896 and 1898, we dont have the exactly date. We also want to find out about everyone that has lived in the house. Not to long ago I found out that Christians grandmonthers aunt lived in the house. She died in 1919 from TBC.

Anyhow, we asked for all docoments / files that would have anything to do with our house. Nothing. (Which is strange, there s h o u l d be drawings). They said they had some stuff about another house so we wanted to look into that instead. But when they went to fetch it there was nothing. We found a binder containing an inventory of documents about where we live. Some things looked interesting so we asked for it. And again they came back, just telling it wasnt there. It should be but it wasnt. Finally they came with a box with letters and protocols which was about what they had. It was a bit exciting reading though those documents(from late 1940s and early 1950s). One person asking for permission to arrange a party at midsummer. And a list of everyone paying dogtax. In 1951 there were 189 dogs that were payed tax for. Name of owner, kind and colour of the dog was listed.

Isnt it strange that so many papers just has disappeard? The answer at the archive was that "that happens".

Our house, sometime 1910 - 1920
Day 15 completed:
*An afternoon at the archives

Saturday, July 23, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 14

First, I was going to write and post this yesterday but I followed the news from the terrible happenings in Norway. First the bombing and then the shootings.  This is not at all a political blog but it is happenings like this that affects so many people and sure put a deep mark into my timeline.

Day 14.

I had a week of "genealogy light" and now Im back into the heavier stuff (can I write like that?). We went to Ängelholm to visit our favorite second-hand bookshop. It was closed, owner on vacation. So, we turned our heads toward the libary, old newspapers on microfilm is never wrong and they have different papers compared to the library i Helsingborg. Well, only to notice they have paper from 1992 on spot, older you need to order. Ok. Looked into the books. Found a great one. Svensk Bebyggelse, Kristianstad Län from 1945. Seems like back in the 1940s it was quite popular to drive through Sweden, taking a picture of every house and every farm, writing a little text about it (when its built, who is the ower, when is the owner born and who are the owner parents). Ive bought a DVD set with a simular booktitle (Svenska Gods och gårdar) but it has mainly farms and not houses in the cities in it.

Its not like you go out and look for a book like that, its hard to look for something you dont know excist. Browsed through it and I found two interesting entries.

First, one in Vinslöv. This is the house of my greatgrandmothers aunts husband sisters. The aunt and husband emigrated to the US, I found thier decendants awhile ago, we keep in touch and Im trying to find out everything I can on the husbands side of the family. They didnt have a clue he had two sisters who stayed in Sweden (nor that the wife had a sister that stayed as well).

Second. My grandfathers brother. He build the house. The book is from 1945 and he died that same year.

Day 14 completed:
 *Found a book at the libray that contained pictures of my relatives houses

Thursday, July 21, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 8 - 13

Been busy days and Ive not been around my computer much. Those are the times when Im happy about all the genealogy possibilities I have on my iPhone. So, even when Ive been busy having friends over for gardenparty and painting the house for days Ive been able to get a small, daily dose of genealogy whenever I had time for a short break.

Day 8.
Not to long ago I found a "new" second cousin of my mom. Cool. One would think we had them all under control but we didnt. I was going through hints on and a family tree with names I knew showed up and one to us unknown aunt of my grandfather. Anyhow, we got in touch and I got some information from her and I spent some time adding it into my genealogy database ( I use Reunion) inbetween cleaning the house, baking this wonderful chocolatefudge cake and spending time in the garden being nice to the potatoes, beans and other vegetables.

Day 9.
Ofcourse I overslept, was thinking Id get up early to bake bread and cinnamon buns. The bread and buns turned out quite good anyway and while they were in the oven I browsed Appstore for family history. Found an ebook called Family History Search - How to find family you never knew you had. Read the first two chapters. No news to me so far, but just having it on my phone to read whenever I have a minute is great. Like when you are waiting for people to arrive to a meeting, avoiding the commercicals on TV or standing in a looooong line at the store.

Day 10.
Love podcasts so day 10 I listend to the Family Tree Magazine podcast episode 37.

Day 11.
When I dont have the time to do any research one of my favorite things to do is checking out different genealogy message boards. One of my favorite, a Swedish one, is Nice discussions and helpful people. Couple of years ago, at the genealogy conferance that is held once a year, some of us met at a restaurant and had a really nice dinner with a lot of genealogy talk. Its fun meeting people you "know" from the net IRL.
Also watched Who Do You Think You Are, Tim McGraw episode. Compared to the other episodes I think it was a bit boring. Ofcourse it was amazing about the diary but besides from that..

Day 12.
Swedish radio makes an excellent genealogy radio show called Släktband. All episodes are available on-line, streaming in an app or downloadable. Did I already write how much I love to be able to do so much with my phone when not having the time to start up my computer? ;)

Day 13.
So, been painting the house for days and now we are done and it starts to feel like vacation again. Spent a couple of hours doing lookups on my 1880 Swedish Census CD adding the information in Reunion.

Day 8 - 13 completed!

Friday, July 15, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 7

One week and Ive done at least one genealogy related thing everyday and its been different things everyday. Day 7 I uploaded the findings I did on Sunday to the Fridolf / Liljedahl family group I created on Facebook in 2009. Facebook is such a great place to keep intouch with relatives. When my grandmother Lilly was alive I usually met my cousins, aunts and uncles when it was her birthday and sometimes at Christmas. Her place was the natural meeting place. Now its easy to be friends at Facebook but also easy to create a familygroup. I like to keep groups open, makes it easier to find if someone is looking but it could ofcourse be an invite-only group as well.

So, twenty years later Im meeting with my relatives at Facebook, keeping updated what that are up to, looking at the pics they upload and reading whats going on in thier daily life. And what else, Ive found "new" second cousins though Facebook living in the same town, other living all over Sweden and Australia,  third and four cousins in Canada and USA. Love Facebook for the easy way to keep intouch.

I also got an invite to try out Google+ so I signed up there and are checking it out.

Day 7 completed:
* Uploaded findings to the Fridolf / Liljedahl familygroup at Facebook.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 6

Day 6. The other day I noticed that my iPhone hadnt syncronised so the newly downloaded genealogy podcasts were only on my computer. I also dicoverd that Ive been behind in listening.. I blame my work, too much to those weeks before the vacation I guess ;).

Anyway, since I have the great Genealogy Gems iphone app I could listen to the latest episode, streaming. Great. Im always amazed about how many conferences and interesting things going on in US when it comes to genealogy. When I started my research a few years ago I became member in five or six genealogy societies. Couple of years later I wasnt a member anywhere and now Ive decided to try them out again. I find it a little sad that often when the different archives arranges some kind of event its in the early afternoons at 3 pm. Whats with that? Ok, enough whining!

So, challenge: I created a family tree at with my findings of Anders Nilsson and the family on the picture from the day before. I was hoping to find some matching trees but no luck.

Anders Nilsson in Bubbarp family tree on ancestry

On the other hand, I found a passengerlist which told me that Bengtas husband Axel Persson went to the US in 1912 to visit a friend. At times I really love those small hint leaves. I had no reason to look for any passengerlists since I already knew that Axel died in Sweden but instead ancestry did it in the background and told me.

Axel Persson on SS Lustiana sailing from Liverpool
April 27 arriving in New York May 2 in 1912
Day 6 completed:
* Started a new family tree at

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 5

Day 5, one of those days

Ok, lets go back a few years when I and my parents went to see my mothers cousin. He had a bunch of photos, letters and all sort of family research goodies. And lots of photos didnt have names on them. Two generations back the people on the pictures were well known but now noone knows.

One picture has really cought my attention. Taken outside in the snow. When I first saw it I got the feeling it was taken in the US, I dont know why. Probably wishing it would be "my emigrants". Few weeks ago I looked closer at it. Especially at the man who holds a newspaper. I noticed it said "Norra" on it. Which would probably be the paper Norra Skåne which is in the area of north east part of Skåne (in the very south of Sweden) where my moms grandparents on her fathers side came from. Fine.

Last week, I was browsing some sites and found a link to a man who has digitalized a bunch of records. I found two of those collections very interesting. I bought them and I started to browse them when they arrived in the mail. Then it suddenly happens. When going though a whole bunch of pictures I recognize the picture that turns up on my screen. That feeling.. a mystery getting so much closer to its solution. You get all focused and feel the butteflies in the stomach. A big grin on your face (only stopped by your ears) and you feel your heart beat. This is the great reward after all those hours looking, looking and looking without a result. This is the reward for being that stubborn person that refuses to give up and quit. This is the reward you will live on for a few weeks and that well keep you going and extra motivated.

So, there it was. My picture. With names next to it. Ok, it was common names. Bengta and Axel Persson. Anders Nilsson (with the newspaper). Nils Persson and Augusta. Nilla with the picture of the husband Nils Nilsson who died in 1896.
Thank you for those clues. Place was Bubbarp (in Skåne, Sweden). And I had a date of death, 1896. Turned my face to and the Swedish Churchbooks on-line. Found the Nils Nilsson I was looking for. There were a couple of them but after looking into the house examine rolls I found the family.

Farstorp AI:9 1870-1878, page 272
I also found out that Nilla was Nils second wife.

Problem solved? Well. I now know who the people on the picture are. I looked into my CDs Swedish deaths 1901 - 2009 and Buried in Sweden to find out more. And it all matched. Augusta was married to Nils Persson and Bengta was married to Axel Persson. 

So, why did my relatives have a picture of this family? None of then are found in my tree (yet..). Bubbarp isnt a huge place so if nothing else, there were neighbours and probably good friends. I added them all in my special familyfile with misc people (here I put up people I research but thats not related) and I made a litte decendant chart. The father and grandfather of Nils I found in the book Gods och Gårdar  (= houses and farms). Nice books and sometimes you find out really nice things like in this case.

Bubbarp 2, the home of Sven Wollmerson, his son Nils Svensson,
his son Nils Nilsson (the person in the frame on the picture above)
and his son Anders Nilsson (the man holding the newspaper).

So, thanks to the archive made by Sigurd Svensson which now is availabe to buy from Tore Månsson that picture that cought my attention a few years ago is not a mystery anymore. And I got that amazing feeling doing the happy dance!

Day 5 completed:
*Identified an old picture and researched the people on it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 4

July 11, day 4 of my genealogy challenge.

Spent most of the day yesterday fixing in the garden. So, it was nice relaxing infront of the TV and have the genealogy brought to me without having to do anything. The US episodes of Who Do You Thing You Are are running here in Sweden right Mondays right now. Yesterday was Rosie O'Donnell. I really like the WDYTYA shows. New Swedish episodes are coming this fall.

Day 4 challenge completed:
*Watched an episode of Who Do You Think You Are

Monday, July 11, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 3

July 10, day 3 of my genealogy challenge.

In 2007 I listend to Thord Bylund when he was visiting Helsingborg and talked about how to find a father when listed as father unknown. It was very interesting and entertaining. Thord is a great storyteller. Enough for me to order the book Thords Tankar (Thoughts of Thord). So yesterday I found a nice place in the shade in the garden and finally started to read the book thats been in my bookshelf for four years. I came about one third into it and Ive read about moving the archives in Stockholm from different places into one spot, a lot about the north of Sweden and interesting facts about regional differences in surnames.

Day 3 challenge completed:
*Reading Thords Tankar.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 2

Day 2, July 9, of my 31-day genealogy challenge turned out really nice.

I started out listening to the episode #112 of Genealogy Gems podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke. It was about a genealogy kid camp. I wish there had been a genealogy kid camp when I was 10 years old. I remember I was interested back then and perhaps if I had been given a few guidelines I would have written down the stories my grandmother Lilly, grandaunt-and uncle Elsa and Darles and all the other older relatives told me. And asked more! Anyways, if your not already listening to Lisas' show, you need to check it out! Go to iTunes and do a search on Genealogy, it will show up and by now you will have lots of hours of interesting listening to do!

We also did a trip to Höganäs for a visit at Kullabygdens Genealogy Society (Kullabydgdens Släktforskare). They are open during the weekend for the public to come visiting and ask questions.
Open House!

Id been thinking of going to Höganäs anyhow at some point, looking at the cemetery so it fitted real fine. I have line of persons in my tree named Fridolf (from my greatgrandfather and back) and some of them moved to Höganäs. At the society I found some obituarys that they had in thier archive. Nice, right?

Augusta Fridolf, sister of my greatgrandfather Otto Fridolf

Elsy Fridolf, married to the son,
Johan Harald Fridolf of
Augusta and Fritz Leopold Fridolf.
 And its a typo on her birthdate,
she was born on February 11 (11/2 instead of 11/12)

After that, trip to the cemetery which I ofcourse first of all when getting there added to Billiongraves is a nice site, quite new, where you can search for headstones and cemetaries uploaded quick and easy with apps for both iPhone and Android. Love it! Stones get geotagged and you see them nicely on a map.

Höganäs Kyrkogård is now found at

So. Found the family grave of Gustaf Fridolf. He was my greatgrandfather Ottos uncle.

Gustav Fridolf Familygrave
Buried here are:
Gustav Fridolf
his wife Elinda (or Elida) Jönsson
thier daughter
Hulda Eufrosyne Fridolf

I would say, yesterday was a really nice day and within only a few hours I had a lot of genealogy done.

Day 2 challenge completed:
*Listening to Genealogy Gems podcast hosting Lisa Louise Cooke
*Visiting Kullabygdens Släktforskare and finding my relatives obituarys in thier archive
*Adding Höganäs kyrkogård (cemetery) to
*Finding my relatives headstone at Högnäs Kyrkogård (cemetery)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My 31-day genealogy challenge - Day 1

Starting yesterday, Im trying to do a 31-day genealogy challange. For 31 days Im going to try to at least one genealogy / familyhistory reseach releated thing everyday. To make it harder, it has to be something different everyday or else it wouldnt be a challange I think... ;).

Yesterday, Friday 8 of July we were at the library in Helsingborg looking into old papers (Helsingborgs Dagblad) from the end of 1800 and beginning of 1900 about happenings in Kropp. A few weeks ago we looked into the deathbooks of Kropp and found some stuff we wanted to look up. Out of the four we were looking for, we found more information about two. Think that is good.

First one we looked at was about two young women, Elna Kristina Magnusson, 21 year and Klara Sofia Johansson, 24 year who died on the same day and it said accident in the records on the 19th of December in 1888. So, seems like they made up a fire in the tileoven before going to bed and they died due to poisongas coming into the room.
Article about the two young ones who
died in thier sleep.

Second one was a man we think might have lived in our house. His name was Anders Nilsson and it said he died due to crushing his kidney when he fell of a bike. He died on November 6 in 1907. We didnt find any article confirming what was in the records, but we found his obituary.

Anders Nilsson obituary

Day 1 challenge completed:
* Searching for info in old papers about happenings in Kropp

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Researching a picture - Part 1 - Sandberg girls in Wausa, Nebraska

In 2007 when we started doing family history research we visited my mothers cousin, looked in photoalbums and read old documents.  A whole bunch of the photographies are still unidentified but on a very  few of them someone has written names. Names I have never heard before.

This will be the first post of a few with identified people. I dont know if there is a relationship with me, but maybe someone will recognize any of the persons. So, lets start with thisone of Selma, Olga and Augusta  Sandberg. From knowing thier names this is what I have come up to:

The Sandberg/Olsson family of 1889 (Peter, Kersti  and Selma) immigrated to the USA. They arrived in New York on May 16 1890 with the ship Gallia.

I was lucky enough to find them in the differnt census and when re-looking at the facts a couple of months ago I found that someone had added information at NICE! Thats one thing I have learnd over the few years I have been doing genealogy let the people rest for a while.

Are the Sandbergs related to me? I dont have the answer yet, I havent found any connections so far. The only little piece that make me somewhat suspect there is a connetion (which also could be only two familes knowing eachother) is the name Darlles who they named one of the sons born in the US. Darlles
is a VERY uncommon name in Sweden, infact, the only person I have ever heard of having that name is my aunts husband (and it was thier son who had inherited all those pictures from his parents). So, maybe, maybe the connection is on his fathers side.

Selma Olga & Augusta Sandberg
Wausa Nebraska

Facts and dates: I know there are some more information found in familytrees on but I don't have the sources so Im not adding them here at this point.

Father: Peter Nilsson Sandberg, born July 2 1863 in Fulltofta, Sweden
Mother: Kersti Olsson, born June 29 1865 in Linderod, Sweden.

Selma Sandberg: Born May 25 1889 in Vastra Sallerup, Sweden

Peter, Kersti and Selma arrived to New York
on May 16 on 1890 with the ship Gallia.

Passengerlist with Selma and her parents

Selma Sandberg: 
Born May 25 1889 in Vastra Sallerup, Sweden
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska

Olga Sandberg: 
Born August 2 1890 in Nebraska, USA.
Married to a Johnson who dies sometime between 1923 and 1930(she is listed as a widow).
US Census 1900: Lincon, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1930: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska (she and her children (b 1920 and 1923 lives  with her mother and two brothers)
Death: December 1980, Bristow, Boyd, Nebraska

Augusta Sandberg:
Born September 1891 in Nebraska, USA
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1910: Logan, Piece, Nebraska
US Census 1920: Morton, Boyd, Nebraska
US Census 1930: Bristow, Boyd, Nebraska
Death: February 1975, Norfolk, Madison, Nebraska
Burial: Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Bristow, Boyd, Nebraska
Augusta Sandberg married Lon Reckers Beckner and I
have found 7 children born betweenn 1910 and 1923

1900 Census

And the rest of the family:

Darlles Gothfred Sandberg
Born: May 8 1896, Nebraska, USA
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1910: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
WW1 draft June 5 1917
US Census 1920: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
US Census 1930: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
Married to Eva Stonewell (29 July 1895 - 17 December 1977)
Death: December 11 1966

Emil Algot Sandberg
Born: July 19 1898, Nebraska, USA
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1910: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
WW1 draft September 12 1918
US Census 1920: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
US Census 1930: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
Death: October 17 1989

Ester Sandberg
Born May 1900, Nebraska, USA
US Census 1900: Wausa Village, Knox, Nebraska
US Census 1910: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
US Census 1920: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska

Emma Sandberg
Born 1907, Nebraska 1907
US Census 1910: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska
US Census 1920: Mullen, Boyd, Nebraska

1930 Census

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Releated to a celebrity?

I was home sick a while ago browsing the TV-channels. Tuned in on the Oprah Winfrey show and it happend to be the episode where she told the story of her unknown halfsister Patricia. Ofcourse I had to watch it and from my genealogy point of view I found it very interesting.

One of the questions you unsually gets when telling people you are into family history research (after the most common one - "how far back have you got?") is if you have found any celebrities.

Ok, so I have some famous people in my tree since I happen to be related to a man called Önnarp Torden. He lived waaaay back so its not exactly that Marie Fredriksson (singer in Roxette) and Fredrik Ljungberg (football player) shows up at my door unexpectly for a cup of coffee.

I have also been reserching a friends´ tree who had a drawing teacher who had John Bauer as a student. Not exactly related but you find those kind of interesting connections a times.

But to my closest family, my aunts, uncles and cousins I could break the news that we were related to Hildur Alice Nilsson, also known as Alice Babs, rather famous in Sweden and Denmark (and nice to be able to tell the Danishbranch of the familytree this as well). She was also in the USA working with Duke Ellington.

Hildur Alice Nilsson aka Alice Babs

My grandmother Lilly was a huge Alice Babs fan, both coming from the same area (Blekinge) in Sweden. Well, go figure, if only I could have told her she was thirdcousin to Alice and that her greatgrandmother and Alice Babs greatgrandmother were siblings.

Alice Babs - Swing it Magistern

Alice Babs Duke Ellington - Heaven

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tracing Hilma Charlotta Hansdotter - my grandmothers aunt

 A few years ago I and my dad made a trip to Tving, the place where his grandparents lived. The place is still in the family, owned by his cousin. It was nice, we stayed in the little house and went sightseeing in the surroundings looking at other places where relatives had lived.

One day turned into a spontanious family reunion. We shared information and photos and it was all very nice. At one point though, noone had any information at all, or, at least not very much. My grandmothers aunt: Hilma Charlotta Hansdotter. I had the basic facts, birthdate and marriage date and that was it. Pretty much what everyone else had as well.

So, back home, I decided that it was up to me if I wanted to find out what happend to her. I knew that she was deaf since that was written down in the houseexaminerolls. I also know that she went to the deafschool in Karlskrona.

I started to dig!

Hilma Charlotta Hansdotter, born July 15 1875 in Tving. Parents: Hans Persson and Anna Andersdotter. Hilma had two older sisters and five younger sisters and two younger brothers. On 29th of December in 1903 she married Ernst Victor Samuelsson in Ronneby. Ernst Victor was born on February 28, 1876 in Ronneby. (Parents Samuel Pålsson and Cecilia Jönsdotter). Ernst Victor was also deaf.

So far, so good. I found out they had four children and that Hilma died shortly after the fouth child was born from TBC. The youngest son only lived for a few months and thier daugther died at age 13 from Spanish Flu. I tried to find the two other sons but I could only find one of them. He died in 1978 and I sent for the real estate papers from the archives. That solved some clues. His brother emigrated to the US and had three children that inherited thier uncle since he was dead. Thier names and addresses at the time of 1978 was written down. What a luck!

I searched the web trying to find them but it is really hard to find living persons in the US I think. Well, seemed like one of the sons where still living at the same address. I went for weeks trying to think of the best way to get in contact.. I would perfer email but couldnt find any email address. So, left was the phonenumber..

One day I took all my courage and dialed the number. A female voice answerd and I introduced myself and made sure I had called the right place. I had. And I was asked to call back a few hours later. I did and I talked to the grandson of Hilma Charlotta and Ernst Victor. He confimed we were related. He said he appreciated that I have called but he wasnt interested in any information about Hilmas siblings, parents or decendants. My mind froze and I think I just said thank you and then we hung up. I wish I at least had asked if he had any picture of Hilma Charlotta. We have pictures of all the siblings except of her.

Timeline and facts:

  • 1905 January 27, daughter Anna Cecilia Wiktoria Samuelsson is born in Ronneby
  • 1906 October 24, son Axel Hjalmar Viktor Samuelsson is born in Ronneby
  • 1909 April 6, son Ture Vilhelm Samuelsson is born in Ronneby
  • 1913 March 31, son Karl Alfred Samuelsson is born in Ronneby
  • 1913 May 1, Hilma Charlotta dies from TBC 37 years old in Ronneby
  • 1913 Jun 23, son Karl Alfred Samuelsson dies, less than 3 months old in Ronneby
  • 1918 December 23,  daugher Anna Cecilia Wiktoria Samuelsson dies from Spanish Flu, 13 years old in Ronneby
  • 1920 Ernst Victor Samuelsson marries Hilma Mathilda Ling (born Nilsdotter) a widow who also is deaf in Borås
  • 1928 September 17, Axel Hjalmar Victor Samuelson emigrates and arrives to New York
  • 1939 August 6, Ernst Vicor Samuelsson dies in Töreboda,  63 years old
  • 1965 April, Axel Hjalmar Victor Samuelson dies in Massachusetts, 58 years old
  • 1978 April 16, Ture Vilheml Samuelsson dies in Tving, 69 years old
  • Tving and Ronneby are in Blekinge province in Sweden.
  • Borås and Töreboda is in Västergötland province in Sweden.

Hilma Charlotta and her siblings:

  • Amanda Hansson (Dec 30 1871 - )
  • Johanna Hansson (Jun 17 1873 - 1937)
  • Hilma Charlotta Hansson (Jul 15 1875 - May 1 1913)
  • Carl Adolf Hansson (Sep 10 1877 - 1912)
  • Sara Lovisa Hansson (25 Jab 1880 - Sep 18 1938)
  • Mathilda Hansson (Oct 20 1882 - )
  • Emma Hansson (Oct 15 1885 - May 5 1931)
  • Otto Hansson (Jan 2 1888 - )
  • Nina Elisabeth Hansson (Sep 26 1890 - Oct 31 1965)
  • Anna Thea Hansson (Dec 13 1892 - Feb 27 1959)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Drowned in 1876 - Due to intoxication

I have a line of people with the surname Rickard born i Vinslöv. I found a person, Pehr Rickard, born 1844 in Vinslöv. I don't know if there is a relation, he was born out of wedlock and I don't know who his father was. The name is not very common and Vinslöv is not a very big place. I decided to find out what ever I could about him.

Pehr moved from Vinslöv to Ängelholm. From Ängelholm to Malmö and then back to Ängelholm. He made tiled stoves. Then, June 24 in 1876 he dies. Drowned in Rönneå the priest wrote down in the death book. Unmarried and only 31 years old. When looking in the death book I notice right under Pehr there is another maker of tiled stoves that also drowns, in the same day at the same place, Lars Magnus Persson from Lund. Why would they drown in the middle of the summer?

Ängelholm FI:1 (1862-1894) picture 80 / page 76 

So, down to the library, digging into the microfilms of old newspapers.. and I found a small notice in Öresundsposten..

Translated, something like:

"Due to intoxication,
A tile stove maker Persson from Lund and a tile stove maker Rickard from Engelholm, both in named town, on midsummerday, took a trip on the stream next to Engelholm in a small boat,  eventhough warned not to enter the boat, they did not follow the advice, the outcome, they both drowned. They were picked up after a while but thier lives could not be saved"

From Öresundsposten

Midsummernight eve is a typical Swedish tradition to celebrate and it seems like whoever wrote that article in the newspaper felt they had them self to blame since they were probably drunk.

I still havent found out if he is a relative or not.

All the places mentioned in this post are in the south of Sweden.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gunnar George Lejon - the body could not be taken care of.

A while ago I was updating dates on quite distant relatives. I was working on the couple Otto Vilhem Lejon and his wife Astrid Jeanette Gustavsson. The first thing that hit me was that Astrid died so young, only 28 years old on 3rd of July in 1925. Death cause - TBC.

Thier son Gunnar, born in Munka Ljungby, April 25 in 1920 was at the time five years old. I noticed that Otto remarried about a year later, July 25 1926 with 24 year old Lilly Sabina from Hjärnarp. Eventhough Lilly was that young she had lost her husband and was a widow. Otto died in 1958 and Lilly in 1974, December 30 on her 72nd birthday.

Gunnar, the son of Otto and Astrid died young as well, 22 years old on May 10 in 1942. I found it a bit noticable that his adress when he dies was in Örebro, in the Swedish army. I thought it might have been some sort of accident and did some searches on the net. It did not take long before I got some results.

I found him on a memorialsite of volonteers that died fighting for Finland in the Continuation War. He died at Jandeba at the Svir Front in former Sovietunion. It says that his body could not be taken care of. At Sandudd in Helsinki, Finland (Hietaniemen hautausmaa) there is a memorial with his name on it together with some other Swedish volonteers who died and whos bodies was left behind. A picture of the memorial can be found here: - Fallna rikssvenska frivilligas minnesmärke . Another memorial with his name is at the chapel in Arnäsholm close to Borås. There is also a book, Svenskarna vid Jandeba (The Swedes at Jandeba), about the subject and where there is a picture of him.

From just updating basic facts on some distant relatives and some simple searches on the net I sort of stumbled upon all this information, taking me to a huge cemetary in Finland I never heard of before, learning more about the Continuation War between Finland and Soviet and making me visit the library quite fast to see his picture. Genealogy amazes me!

I also found a notice from Svenska Dagbladet from May 16, 1942 where they write about the death of Gunnar.

Svenska Dagbladet 16 May, 1942. From the archive of Genealogiska Föreningen

Karna Nilsdotter Rickard - My second great grandmother

Today, January 10, 1919, 92 years ago, my second great grandmother Karna died. She died from the Spanish Flu which killed 35 000 Swedes between 1918 - 1919, mostly quite young people, 20 to 40 years old. Karna was 63 years old.

Probably Karna Nilsdotter Rickard

Karna was born in Vinslöv in the south of Sweden in 1855. Her father, Nils Svensson Rickard was a shoemaker. He was married to Elna Holmgren. They had five children, Anna, Karna, Anders, Nils and Elna. Mother Elna Holmgren died in 1886 and Nils remarried in 1887, to Elna Persdotter.

All of Karnas siblings emigrated. In 1882 Anders and Nils emigrated to the US. In 1888 Anna emigrated with her children Nils Henrik and Carl Emil. Her husband Jöns Nilsson went to the US the year before and in 1893 Karnas little sister Elna also travelled over the pond with her youngest daughter Elina Cecilia.

Anna, Anders, Nils and Elna were the first persons Im related to that I found emigrated to the US. I didnt even know I had relatives who did emigrate. And it is only a few generations back in time. I found it extremly exciting which kept my motivation up to found out what happend to them.

One amazing thing, when they left Sweden they were all going to differnet states in the US and when I finally found them they all ended up in the same state, in the same county and the same town.

So, Karna, she stayed in Sweden. Wonder why. I havent found any records that she ever got married. She had four children, Hanna, Marie, Per and Jöns Anton. She worked at a farmer called Per Persson who was a widower. He has confessed that he is the father of some of her children (my guess is that he is the father of all of them but I guess we never will know for sure). None of them inherited him though, his two sons, Sven and Nils from his marriage did. Nils does in his will refer to Hanna as his sister.

Only three days before Karna died, her son Per died, from the Spanish Flu as well, 29 years old. In his real estate papers it says he had a gramophone. I dont think that was very common at the time and Im quite curious about what kind of records that were on the toplist back then.

Eventhough Karna wasnt married, she and Per share the same grave and it says Karna Persson on the gravestone.

Headstone from Farstorp, Per and Karna.

The son Per is also buried with them.

Same headstone

Nils Peter Bengtsson - died in the end of 1800 in America.. or not..

The first emigrant I did research on was Nils Peter Bengtsson. There was such an exciting and interesting story about him. He was born in Grevie, in the south of Sweden in 1858.  He moved to America in 1881. In America he married Amanda Persdotter. She was also from the Greviearea in Sweden and born in 1857. She came to America in 1879.

A ring from Nils to Amanda.
Inscription says "NP to AP"

They had a daughter Anna Josefina in 1889. When Anna was just a little more than a year old her mother Amanda died in San Francisco, 33 years old.

Obituary of Amanda, wife of Nils Peter Bengtsson
The story told about Nils Peter and the daughter Anna says they were both headed home to Sweden after Amanda died. Anna was sent home in 1892 while Nils had some paperwork to take care of before he could leave. So, when he at last stod there with his suitcases ready to enter the ship, he suddely just fell and died on the spot. In Sweden Anna was raised with her grandpartens and aunt on her mothers side. The story of the sudden death of her father lived for generations...

As I wrote above, this was "my" first emigrant. I became a member at and seached and searched and searched. I looked into old newspapers on-line. I figured that somewhere there must me something written about this.

Anyway. I did find som people in the different US Census that might be a match but often there was something that didnt match, like age.. year of immigration and such. When I started doing genealogy and family history research I asumed that things in the records were somewhat correct (nowadays I asume they _might_ be right). I didnt dare to trust that someone I found would be "my" Nils Peter. And it would also be weird to think that he would be alive in 1930 since afterall, he died there on the spot on his way home to Sweden before the year of 1900.

First breaktrough. I orderd Nils parents, Bengt Peter Nilsson and Christina Nilsdotter, real estate records. They died 1900 and 1899. Nils was mentioned in the records saying that he lived in America. I had thought he would had been dead for a while by then. At that time, Anna was 11 and not that young anymore. But Nils wasnt alone living in the states. His brothers Johannes and Anders Bengtsson were there as well according to the papers. Looking for the brothers also opend up some more search alternatives. If I could find the brothers perhaps I could get a clue what happend to Nils. I posted requests at some messagesboards, one particulary at Bjäre Släktring where an expert on emigrants from the Bjärearea was very helpful.

Bengtsson is not the best surame to search for in the US. You could tell that by saying it out loud. Think of someone with a Southswedish accent coming to America, not knowing English and telling his name.. Bingsson.. Bangtsson.. Bentson.. Benson.. and then someone who doesnt know Swedish are going to type the name down. That is really a challenge.

Thanks to my post I got a record of memebers in a church in San José. There he was. Nils Peter Bengtsson, born February 15 1858 in Grevie, Sweden. Came to the US in 1881 and became a member of the church in October 7 1906. It doesnt get more correct than that. 1906, daughter Anna was 17 years old and it was maybe time to realize that the story that lasted for more that 90 years wasnt all true afterall.

Member of a church in San José
I also got a hint of a Nils P in a funeral  record in Santa Clara. Age didnt match though, two years wrong. I did order the record. A nice volonter at Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Socitey found it and sent it to me. It said that Nils Peter Bengtsson, born in Sweden, age about 80 had died on Christmas Eve 1936. Still I was really sceptical. In the attatched obituary it said he was an uncle of a N Gustavson and there was nothing about his daughter. In 1936 Anna was 47, married since 1915 and had two children who was 18 and 20 years old. My doubt was ofcourse due to the story and the fact that I didnt have any nephew H Gustavson for Nils.

Nils Peter Bengtsson obituary

To get more information, hopefully showing if I was in a totally wrong direction or right on track I orderd a death certificate. It wasnt exactly a piece of cake, forms to fill out and I also had to fax some papers. But at last it showed up. Very nice, thick paper with ornaments and stuff. It said Nils Peter was 87 when he died in 1936. That was a difference of whole nine years. I put the paper and Nils Peter away for a while, a little disappointed.

When I later took out the paper and looked a little more closly I felt unbelievable stupid. As informant, it said H W Gustafsen. That was something else than N Gustavson mentioned in the obituary.

Death Certificate of Nils Peter Bengtsson
And the best thing, there acctually was such a person. Nils Peter had a brother Gustaf. Gustaf had a son. Hjalmar Vallentin. And now when I looked up Hjalmar Vallentin, he did emigrate to America. 1914. In the passenger list it says he is going to San José, to his Uncle N P Benson. Two persons are travelling with him to the same destination.

From the passengerlist when Hjalmar Vallentin went to America.
I dont know for whom the story of Nils death was made up for. His family, siblings and nephews knew he was alive and where he lived. Digging into the story of Nils Peter has been very exciting and Ive learned so much while doing it. The story of him has been told so many times for such a long time and yet it wasnt true...

Nils Peter Bengtsson