Monday, January 23, 2012

Chuggin' on down the svenska line...

Hej! Min hjärna gör ont från att söka svenska dokument hela dagen!

    I've been spending my time today scouring the messages and conversing with some very nice Swedes on Anbytaforum. A forum for the online magazine RÖTTER. 
     I signed up a year ago, about the time I made a few inquiries on my Jonsson and Stenman lines on  After not receiving any hits in the ancestry forum for a while, and the overwhelming feeling I got trying to search in a Swedish forum, (and, ok, to be honest, I had some awesome finds on some different lines and kind of left my Swedish lines in the dust).... I just forgot about it.  
     Fast forward a year later, and here I am thinking, well, I'm gonna try to google my great grandfather Helge, and see if anything pops up. BING. Oooh, hey look, something came up! Oh wait, that's just my post from a year ago. : /  Meh. I click on my own link anyway. Oooh, hey look, a couple replies! Alright!  I received the following information in response to my Ancestry Query:

It's been awhile since your post so you may have already found this, but:

Helge Sigurd Jonsson b. 13 Dec 1897 in Töre, Nederkalix, Norrbotten, Sweden to Gustaf Jonsson and Emma Ingeborg Lather (?Sather)

The HH 1891 to 1899
Gustaf Jonsson b 28 Jan 1858
Emma Ingeborg Lather/Sather b 19 Mar 1866
(married 7 Feb 1886)
Hulda Dortea b 29 Aug 1887
John Viktor b 23 Jun 1890
Emma Linnea b 15 Oct 1893
Helge Sigurd b 13 Dec 1897
Ingeborg Maria b 4 May 1900

Ester Eugenia Stenman b 25 Feb 1901 in Storön, Nederkalix to Nils Olaf Stenman and Anna Helena Johansson

The HH 1891-1899
Nils Olaf Stenman b 23 Oct 1861
Anna Helena Johansson b 21 Dec 1869
(married 10 Nov 1888)

Niels Albert b 1 Jun 1890
Hildma Helena b 4Jun 1892
Nanny Marie b 23 Oct 1894
Oskar Emanuel b 4 Feb 1897
Hulda Vilhelmina b 2 Apr 1899

And then this from another member:

Helge's father Gustaf Jonsson came from Markaryd parish in southern Sweden. He moved to Nederkalix in 1885.

Gustaf Jonsson b. 28 Jan 1858 is my great-greatgrandfather's cousin. As far as I know, almost everyone on Gustaf's father's side was born in Markaryd. Some have moved to other places later in life, but we still have many relatives in Markaryd.

YAAYYYYYYY, Happy dance! 
      So needless to say, this chipped out a little hole in the brickwall I had come to in my Grandfather's Jonsson line... and yes, of course, sparked an obsessive giddy searching spree.

    This spree led me back to the Anbytaforum. And this time, I wasn't going to let the Swedish language barrier stop me. Go Go Google Translator! Alright, after the first day, it did start to get to me again. But then I found their English discussion section, and all hope was renewed! :) 

     I received swift and knowledgeable responses from some resident Svenskar. Oh God Bless their hearts! And I learned a few very important details when it came to my Swedish Mysteries. 
     One being, things change in Sweden. A lot. Towns, parishes, counties. And not just that. The SURNAMES.... Oh heavens to betsy, the SURNAMES! There was a period of time until about the 1850's that they used a patronymical system. Then, some people did, and some people abandoned it, and just stuck with one single last name. Some soldiers were given new surnames. Some took on names of others in their town but were not related. Before 1900, women never took their husband's last name. Talk about a surprise to me! But, of course, before 1900, sometimes they did. aye aye aye. It seems there was no real conformity to surnames in the 19th century in Sweden. This scares me.
     But the best part about it were the helpful people on that forum who took time to explain all these things to an ignorant Swedish-American. And not only that, but also searched their records, and got me back another generation or two into my Swedish side. I was referred to the Nederkalix forum there (which is...don't Swedish.) and that people there will want to take a peek at all of this, since both my great grandparents, who had emigrated completely separately, but from the same Parish, ended up finding each other in the United States and marrying. So I made my attempts at posting in the Swedish language portion of the forum. Here's to hoping copious amounts of information come to follow! :)

   If you are a Swedish descendant, I highly recommend Anbytaforum. It has an extreme wealth of information and friendly people there to give you a hand. It's free to join, and with Google Translator on your side, you're golden. I'm bummed I didn't tap into it a year ago when I signed up. Well, that'll learn me.

Nederkalix, Sweden - Taken by my great grandfather Helge Jonsson


  1. Very good job! I enjoy your obsessions.
    As they say is Swedish..."Nu har du skitit i det blå skåpet."

    Jon Nels Jonsson

  2. Is that what Grandma would mumble under her breath? I never knew her cabinets were blue. All the pictures are in black and white. :P

  3. I have some information on the Swedish branch of my family tree, which was compiled by a distant cousin of mine, who hired a researcher in Sweden. I've never dared to try to research it further. As much as I hate our patriarchal naming system on a personal level, on a genealogical level I much prefer it to Nils Pehrsson being the son of Pehr Andersson, who's the son of Anders Jonasson... I hope my descendants won't be too confused by my last name being Lavoie, my partner's being Laudinsky, and our future child being a Lavoie-Laudinsky!