Friday, August 29, 2014


This upcoming weekend, last weekend of August, it is time for the biggest Swedish event in family history research, Släktforskardagarna. This year it is held in Karlstad.

I am looking forward for inspiration, news and lots of fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

New DNA Family Finder matches

Yesterday I got some new matches at FamilyTreeDNA. Most exciting was that I got a match with a person that has a predicted relationship range of 2nd - 4th cousin. This person is also the closet match I got so far (except for my dad) which makes it even more interesting.

Since I got my own test results in November last year, I get about a handful of matches every month. Most of them are distant, 5th cousin or more and yet I haven't been able to find the connection on a single one.

In a way, I am surprised I have got so many matches. When doing traditional genealogy I don't run into many people researching the same family.

It is fun and interesting with the matches, you know for sure you are related but you don't know how. Sometimes the matches are a surprise as well, I have some matches in England that I don't understand. And a couple of matches in the US where I can't see that the match has any obvious connection to Sweden (or Estonia).

For me the DNA-genealogy really brought a new dimension to my research. From looking into records trying to find relatives I now have about 100 relatives where I need to find the records that shows how we are related.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Hanging out with the guests of a royal wedding (perhaps)

Imagine you are a 20 year old female in 1928. You are born in a small place in the south of Sweden called Södra Rörum.

So, your aunt Anna came to visit. She moved to America and Chicago a year before you were born. You decide to go with her when she goes back to Chicago.  When you and your aunt get on the ship Gripsholm you realize there are some quite well-known people going to New York as well.

Creme de la creme of Swedish society of that time, H. R. H Gustaf Adolf and H. R. H Sigvard at the time aged 22 and 21, princes of Sweden. Count Carl Bernadotte as Wisborg, Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg, Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg. Count Carl and Countess Ebba Bonde, Capitain Rolf Magnus von Heidenstam, Baron Carl-Erik von Platen and Baroness Gunhild von Platen,  Erik Olof von Platen, Count Nils Wachmeister with his wife Countess Märtha among others.

They are all headed to friend Edvard Manville, Pleasantville, New York for his daughter Estelle Manvilles' wedding on December 1, 1928. She married Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg. 1500 people were invited to the wedding and it was the first time a member of an European Royal family got married in America.

Estelle Manville, Wedding 1928. Public Domain photo:

Olga Elisabeth Olsson was born on July 18 in 1908. When she was seven her mother Ellen Elisabeth Svensson died. Olga grew up with her father Johan Olsson, born in 1881, who was a farmer. Six year after his wife died he got married to Ida Larsson. From 1922 to 1930 Ida and Johan have six children.

In 1927 his sister Anna comes to Sweden on a visit. She went to America in 1907 and became a US citizen in 1923. When Anna goes back to America in 1928, Olga goes with her. And that is when they get on the same ship as the bridegroom Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg and some of the guests of the wedding between Folke and Estelle, sailing from Gothenburg on November 16 and arriving in New York on November 26, five days before the wedding.

Swedish princes on the passenger list

Aunt Anna Olson on line 3

20-year old Olga Elisabeth Olsson from Södra Rörum going to Chicago and America in 1928

Olga Elisabeth Olson was a cousin of my grand aunts husband. What happened to Olga after she arrived in America, I don't know. Yet.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Census Sunday - Oregon State Insane Asylum

One exciting thing about doing family history research is that you never know what you will find.

A couple of years ago I was looking for a Janne Nyberg, born on June 9, 1867 in Grevie, Sweden. When he was 21 years old in 1889 he left Sweden and went to America. His destination was San Jose in California.

Well, the last track I have of him is the passenger list, he arrived in New York on April 22 in 1889. Since most of the US census of 1890 is destroyed the next census to look for in the 1900. Much could have happened in 11 years, he could be married and have a family or he could even be dead.

Looking for him I found a John Newberg, born in Sweden, June 1865 which is a two years difference from the Janne I am looking for. Says he came to the US in 1888 which doesn't match my Janne either. But he is born in Sweden and so is his parents.

Even if this person isn't the one I am looking for, he still caught my attention. Because he is an inmate at Oregon State Insane Asylum. Almost 25 pages, with 50 names on each side it listed at this place, some employees of course but most of them are inmates. There are babies listed and 8-9 year old children, teen-agers and people over 90 years old as well. Male and females. They are from Sweden, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Russia, US and a lot of other countries.

John Newberg is found on line 34

So, this happens every now and then.. looking for something/someone finding something unexpected that gets all the attention.. and suddenly three hours passed, just like that.

It seems like Oregon State Insane Asylum later was called Oregon State Hospital. This was the where the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was shot. Today, there is a museum, Museum of Mental Health which I would love visit if I was in the area.

Library of Dust is a book by photographer David Maisel who took pictures of some of the thousands of urns containing ashes of the remains of inmates that were kept in the building since no relatived claimed it...

"Esteemed photographer David Maisel has created a somber and beautiful series of images depicting canisters containing the cremated remains of the unclaimed dead from an Oregon psychiatric hospital. Dating back as far as the nineteenth century, these canisters have undergone chemical reactions, causing extravagant blooms of brilliant white, green, and blue corrosion, revealing unexpected beauty in the most unlikely of places. This stately volume is both a quietly astonishing body of fine art from a preeminent contemporary photographer, and an exceptionally poignant monument to the unknown deceased."

What happened to Janne Nyborg after he came to New York in 1889, I don't know... yet.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sibling Saturday - The siblings of Jens Nelson aka Jöns Nilsson

Jöns Nilsson was the husband of my great grand aunt Anna Nilsdotter Rickard. In US they are known as Jens Nelson and Anna Richardson.

Jens was the fifth and last child of Nils Persson and Sissa Jönsdotter. He was born at Nr. 10 Vanneberga, Skåne in Sweden on September 14 in 1859. The sponsors at his christening were Hanna Jönsdotter, sister of Sissa, Ingar Persdotter at Vanneberga nr 4, Anders Jönsson (married to Hanna, sister of Sissa) and Per Mattisson. In 1887 he left Sweden and went to America. The year after he was followed by his wife Anna Nilsdotter Rickard and thier two sons, Nils Henrik and Carl Emil Jönsson.

Birth of Jöns

Jens had two older brothers that he never met, they died before he was born. The oldest one was Nils who also was the first child of Nils and Sissa. He was born on October 5 in 1849 and died only two days old on October 7, the same day his was christened. The sponsors at the christening were Hanna Jönsdotter , sister of Sissa, in Vanneberga, the midwife Pernilla and Christian Persson, brother to Nils.  The cause of death was noted as fever.

Birth of Nils
In October, the 19th in 1857 Jöns was born, He died on January 13 in 1858, not even three months old. Fever was noted as cause of death here as well. The sponsors at the christening were Bengta Pålsdotter in Lommarp, Pernilla Olsdotter in Kialt, Anders Mattsson in Lommarp and Christian Persson, Vanneberga the brother of Nils.

Birth of Jöns
Jens older sister Elna was born February 5 in 1851. The sponsors at the christening were Karna Jeppsdotter and Per Mattisson at Vanneberga 4, Elna Perdotter in Röe and Anders Vanberg (husband of Hanna Jönsdotter, sister of Sissa) at Vanneberga.

Birth of Elna
At the age on 31, in 1882, she went to America. In 1891, about a year after the father Nils Persson died, she returned to Sweden. She bought a house in Vinslöv, and her mother and her niece Anna moved in with her. Elna died on March 31 in 1922. She never got married and didn't have any children. In her will, written in 1907 it says that her house and all of her belongings will be inherited by her sister and niece without interference from her other relatives living in America.

The house Elna bought after she came back to Sweden from America

The other sister Hanna was born on April 8 in 1853. The sponsors at the christening were Andreas Dahl and his wife Elna at Vanneberga nr 9., Pehr Sonasson at Vanneberga nr 13 and Hanna Jönsdotter (sister of Sissa Jönsdotter). She never got married. She had a daughter out of wedlock, Anna, born in 1876. Hanna spent a lot of time in Denmark. Her mother Anna stayed with grandmother Sissa. When Elna died Hanna inherited her house. Hanna died in 1928.

Birth of Hanna
The daughter of Hanna, Anna, born September 1 in 1876. Sponsors at her christening were Elna Nilsdotter, Håkan Nilsson at Vanneberga 13 and Jöns Nilsson, probably as in Hannas brother Jens Nelson.

Birth of Anna
ArkivDigital: Vinslöv CI:10 (1874-1894) page 26

Sponsors at christening of Anna
ArkivDigital: Vinslöv CI:10 (1874-1894) page 26
Just like her mother, Anna spends a lot of time in Denmark. Later she moved to Denmark and Copenhagen and got married to Jens Peter Petersen.

Marriage Jens Peter Petersen and Anna Nilsson, August 13 in 1908.

They live at different addresses in Copenhagen. They have two children. The son Oscar Christian Petersen born on November 5 in 1911. He was christened on February 4 in 1912 in the Nazaret church in Copenhagen

Birth of Oskar Christian Petersen

The daugher Agnete Elisabeth Petersen born on February 10 in 1913.  She was christened on June 10 same year in the Nazaret church in Copenhagen as well.

Birth of Agnete Elisaberh Petersen

I am able to follow them until the Danish Census of 1921, by then they live at Ryesgade 116b and has been living there for quite some time. In the following census they are not at that address anymore.

Google Maps/Street View: Ryesgade in Copenhagen, number 116 and the Nazaret Church

When Annas mother Hanna dies in 1928, Anna is present at the estate inventory but after that I have not been able to find them.

Folketaelling 1921 (Danish Census 1921). The family of Jens Peter Petersen, Anna, Oskar Christian and Agnete
Elisabeth lives on Ryesgade 116 B in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Follow Friday - The Genealogy Professional podcast with Marian Pierre-Louis

Not to long ago I discovered The Genealogy Professional podcast hosted by Marian Pierre-Louis. In every episode she talks to someone who made genealogy their profession in some way.  It is truly an inspiration to listen to people who make their living in the genealogy field. If you are able to find your special niche it is possibly to do what you really love full-time.

It is the same questions that is discussed in every episode, like how they got started, what was their biggest fear and what advice they have for others who would like to start a genealogy career. The episodes are between 35 minutes to an hour long. About fifty percent of the guests are in the US but also from other countries like Australia, England and Israel.

Great podcast, check it out, you can listen to it in iTunes or at The Genealogy Professional podcast.

The Genealogy Professional Podcast with Marian Pierre-Louis