Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Archival Day November 14th.

On november 14th the Archival Day was held all over Sweden giving the public the opportunity to look behind the scene in different Archives and similar Institutions.
Here in Växjö the event was held at the Swedish Emigrant Institute.were the public could get help finding their emigrant relatives or listening to intresting lectures.

Here to the left Archivist Kristina Persson helps a visitor finding his relatives.

Gunilla Lundh-Tobiasson sang songs on record
at Smålands Musikarkiv( Musical Archive of Småland).

Lastly Titanic historian Claes-Göran Wetterholm spoke about the people especially the Swedes that sailed on the Titanic and the myths surrounding the ship. The Swedish Emigrant Institute also houses a small exibition about Titanic.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Genealogy Days in Falköping Aug 21-23 2009

This years Genealogy Days were held in Falköping a small town in the province of Västergötland.
The Genealogy Days consist of the yearly confernce of The Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies as well as exibiotions and seminars about genealogy open to all intrested in Genealogy.

Day 1 Aug 21

This the first Day of the Genealogy Days consisted among other thing of bus tours for all intrested to the historical surroundings of Falköping an area rich in historical landmarks.
I took a tour to the mediaval historic sites .
Here the "Genealogy Day's General" Ted Rosvall (former chair man of the Swedih Federation of Genealogical societies)
is counting all the participants in the bus tour.
In the background our mediavally dressed guide.

there are many mediaval landmarks of intrest in Västergötland the area along with the province of Östergötland were in the center of what was the mediaval kingdom of Sweden.

Among the intresting stops we made on our tour was at the mediaval church in Varhem. Wich was the site of an important monastery as wich church houses the graves of some mediaval kings and other important people.

To the lesf is the mediaval church of the monastery of Varnhem.the church is still in use but the monasterys buildings only ruins are left.
In the 12th and 13th century two Dynasties were fighting over the kingship the Sverker Families (or clans) (most of their kings were named Sverker) and the Erik Family (most of their kings were named Erik. The Varhem monastery was a stronghold for the Erik Dynasty.and several of their kings are buried in Varnhem.

Day2-3 Aug 22-23rd

In the vendor hall of the conference there was a lot of discussions and sellings of books and other materials from the different Genealogical Societies. To the left is visitors taking a look at
the materials from the Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies.The local Genealogical Society, Falbygdens släktforskarförening(The Falköping area Genealogical society) hosted the event.

One of the sponsors of the Genealogy Days was ArkivDigital A relatively new company who puts digitalised images of swedish churchrecords online. Arkivdigitals speciality is that they photograph the records in color with makes them more easy to read.

Here my friend Ingrid Nilsson from Trelleborg gets help to find her relatives in ArkivDigitals digitalisedimages


Some of the vendors and lectures was also of interest for those intrested in Emigrant research.
Erik Gustafsson from The Swedish American Center in Karlstad came as a representative for EMIWEB. EmiWeb is a webbased archive with databases covering with migration to and from Scandinavia.

Anna Lena Hultman (tot the left) and Ted Rosvall launched their joint project "Emigrant Forskning" (Emigrant research"
It is a handbook in for swedes researching the fate of their relatives who immigrated to USA and other parts of the world.
The book is the first in a series of Handbooks published by the Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies.
The book is very welcome and I was sure to get my own copy
immideatly ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New episode of Anna-Karins Genealogical podcast

I have posted a new episode of the podcast it features 4 interviews I made last year at the Genealogy Days in Malmö aug 30-sept 1th
At the yearly conference of Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies in Malmö.

1.Interview with Erik Gustafsson from Swedish American Center (former Kinship center) in
Karlstad. He speaks about EMIWEB The website with indexes of Swedish Emigrants .

2.Interview with genealogist Anna-LenaHultman about The DVD

The Swedish Death Index 1947-2006

and her own research center Konkordiahuset (The Konkordia house)

3.Interview with Claes Westling from the regional archive in Vadstena and the system of regional archives

4.Interview with Anders Nordström at SVAR .About their digitization of and putting archival records online.

This years Genealogy Days will be in Falköping in the province of Västergötland this weekend Aug 21-23rd I will be there too ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Minnesota Day and the Karl Oskar Days 7-9 Aug

This years Karl- Oskar Days were held 7-8 August. Not that the celebration to the original intent to celebrate the memory of the emigration of the many Swedes to USA 1850-1930 wich author Vilhelm Moberg captured in his Immigrant novels about the Fictional couple Karl-Oskar and Kristina.
Today the Karl -Oskar Days seems more to be an ordinary city-festival with street-vendors ,music and entertainment.

The churches in Växjö had their own activity together consisting of handing out small Bibles (over 1000)and serving waffles with cream and Rasberry jam .

The Friends of the Swedish Emigrant Institute
held their yearly meeting on Aug 8 th at the Swedish Emigrant Institute. Among the speakers were chairman Ulf Beijbom and a lecture about the Swedish Emigrant Institutes place in contemporary migration research wa held by the chairman of the Swedish Emigrant Institute Harald Runblom.

The Minnesota Day celebration was held as usual
the Second Sunday in August.This Year on Aug 9th. at the Swedish Emigrant Institute Among other entertainment, The Växjö Male choir sang traditional Swedish songs.

This Years Honorary Speaker was the former Speaker of the Swedish Parlament Tage G Petersson. The Award The Swedish-American of the Year was given as usual by The Vasa order of America's Swedish branch to Anne- Charlotte Harvey for her work documenting Swedish-American entainment history.

This Years Charlotta medal was given to Willy Läth for his work in helping the Swedish Emigrant institute to produce its exibitions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"The New Country" New Exibition about Swedish Emigration opens in Eksjö

On June 5th The Swedish Emigrant Institute opened a new Exhibition called "Det nya landet (The New Country) in its new temporary branch in the city of Eksjö.
The new exhibitions theme is the Swedes life in USA .Their life in the cities and their social situation both in comparison to the majority culture and in comparison to other immigrant groups. The exibition is to bee seen as a complement to the Exibitions in The Swedish Emigrant Institutes main exibitions in Växjö wich focuses on the Emigrants life in Sweden and on their experiences in rural USA.

The Mayor of Eksjö Lennart Bogren declared the
exhibition open and also held a short speech about
the Exhibition and the fact that many immigrants
had left the Eksjö area and settled in different
places in USA.

Willy Läth checks the exhibition a last time before the ribbon is cut !

A brass band wearing the old uniforms of the old
Småland Hussar regiment.entertained by playing old military music.

Several people came to take a first view of the exibition. The exhibitions main theme is the swedish emigrants experiences in the new country. Both with the majority American society as well as with and in comparison to other immigrant groups.

The United States sometimes saw its immigrants and and diverse ethnic make up as a strength.
And Sometimes as a weakness.
Swedes were sometimes looked
down up on. But in general they
had the advantage of being "White" and "Protestant"and so ended up on the upper part of the pecking order.
The Swedes were often pitted against the Irish which they also looked down on (and vice versa).

Many Swedes home in USA came to be in the expanding cities such as Chicago,Denver and Jamestown(on the left). sometimes the part of town they ended up in were among the simple neighborhoods as in "Swede Hollow" in St. Paul (to the right).

Carl Werner Pettersson and Yngve Turesson and Bertil Fransson seem
very happy with the exhibition.

Tore Sandh gives Lars Hansson and the Swedish Emigrant Institute a picture ofJohan (John) Vifvat (a civil war veteran) and his son Sam Vifvat( a soldier in WW1). Johan Vifvat came from the area of Eksjö and immigrated to USA in the 1850thies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Swedish National Day celebrated on June 6th in Växjö

The Swedish National Day is celebrated June 6th. The National Day has only been a Holiday since 1983.
Before that it was called "Svenska Flaggans Dag"(The Day of the Swedish Flag).
This year here in Växjö it was celebrated in the Park outside "Smålands Museum"(The county Museum). The celebrations contained both ceremonial and more relaxed elements.

Firstly members of the folkdance group Värendsgillet danced tradtional swedish Folkdances.

The Lord Mayor of Växjö Nils Posse gave stipends and rewards to people and organisations who have done beneficial work for the local community. Among the persons who recieved awards were.Ingemar Nordström wellknown saxophone player for his work with his dance orchestra and his his other support for local culture.

And Dalala Abdel Gani for helping young women and girls integrating in swedish society and for her work against honour related violence.

Coffe and cake were also served at the Swedish Emigrant Institute. I sat down there to eat a typical Swedish dessert (or perhaps typical for the province of Småland) "Ostkaka med hallonsylt (Swedish cheesecake with Raspberry jam).

As a closing of the National Day celebrations. The Swedish National Anthem "Du Gamla du Fria" (You old you free) and some other patriotic songs were sung by the Växjö Male choir.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Swedes participating in US Wars

Some days ago USA celebrated Memorial Day when men (and women) who died in war are remembered.
Sweden has not been in war since 1814 (even if we offcause have been affected by both WW1 and WW2 since the other Scandinavian countries were drawn into the war).
Howewer Swedes (and their descendants) have participated in all US ( and Canadian) wars since the Civil war upto the Vietnam war (and maybe later ?).

In the blog I will write a bit about swedes and swedish-americans (or swedish-canadians) fighting in US (and Canadian) wars between the Civil war upto WW2 (and possibly the Korean war).
So I put the question to you blog readers ?Have you had ancestors or relatives born in sweden (or in another Scndinavian country) or born by swedish(or Scandinavian )parents that have participated or died in any of these wars (or have you participated yourself)?
You are all welcome to comment on the blog or mail me at

Friday, May 22, 2009

I have crated a Group on Facebook for followers of the blog and Podcast

I have created a Group on Facebook for followrs of the blog and the Podcast on Facebook everybody is welcome to join

Monday, May 11, 2009

Visit to The Norwegian Emigrant Museum

On April 18 I had the pleasure to attend a Seminar at The Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Hamar in Norway.
The Emigrant Museum is situated beautifully in the outskirts of Hamar. it consists of both the Main museum building wich houses an exibition area with exibitions about the Norwegian immigration to USA as well as an archive and library with some research facilities.Outside is the Open Air museum with a coule of old buildings from Norwegian-America.

The Seminar I was attending was called "Introduction to Swedish and Norwegian Family research" was hold by a new network called Grensevandring (Boarder crossing) wich aims among other things to research the migration between Sweden and Norway. It is partly funded by the European Union.
The participants were mostly from local genealogical Societies from the county of Hedmark in Norway and the province of Värmland in Sweden.

Among the lecturers were Karin Fuglesang and Kristin Mikalsen
Who told us about how to do genealogy in Norway as well as how to do research about Norwgian immigrants and about the sources available at the Norwegian Emigrant Museum

The Emigration from Norway to USA started in
the 1820-ties and 1830thies
(a few decades earlier than in Sweden).
At the Norwegian Emigrant Museum have some intresting material about the Norwegians in USA.
Here Finn Einar Graff gets help looking for relatives in the microfilmed Norwegian-American

Here is an old Emigrant chest in the Exibition area used by Emigrants on their way from Norway to USA.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

At last new Episode of Anna-Karins Genealogical podcast !

At last I have a new episode of Anna-Karins Genealogical podcast.
In this episode I have 2 interviews I made at the Genealogy Days in Malmö last year. The First is with Lorna Nelson from the Old Mill Museum in Lindsborg Kansas.She speaks about the museum and about the first Swedes in the Lindsborg area.The second interview is with Peter Wallenskog of Genline. He speaks about two of Genlines new features Familjeband (Family ties) and Bygdeband (Ties to places).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Episode of "Who Do you think you are" on Swedish TV

The first episode of The swedish version of "Who do you think you are"(Vem tror du att du är) on the Swedish Television channel TV1 was broadcasted on March 24th. The first episode featured actress Helena Bergströms ancestors.
The program consentrated on some of Helena Bergström female ancestors her paternal grandmother who was a ballet dancer before her marriage as well as a paternal great aunt who was a modell to a famous sculptor in the late 19th century.
The program also contained information about the common practise of taking fosterchildren wich was a common way for married women in the working class to contribute economically to their familys upkeep.
Unmarried mothers had few possibilities to take care of their children on their own and to place them in fostercare was their only alternative.
Since Helena Bergströms paternal grandmothers family lived in the Stockholm area since the late 19th century the sources used were Stockholm sources often kept by the Stockholm city archive. To be able to se the program on webb TV please click here

The next episode of the program will feature former minister of justice Thomas Bodströms ancestors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"The Day of Family Research" held on March 21 th.

On March 21 th "The Day of Family Research" was held in many places in Sweden.
In this yearly event Genealogical societies show people how to do genealogy.
It is usually held in public libraries and sometimes in archives.

Here in Växjö it was held in the county Library were representatives of the Genealogical Society of Kronoberg and the "Old soldiers database" showed people how to find their relatives.
Some lectures were also given, the theme for this years lectures seamed to be about how people dressed in the 19th and early and mid 20th century

Here my friend Carina Nilsson gets help finding
her relatives in one of the databases of the Genealogical Society of Kronoberg

A librarian is showing a visitor how to look at scanned microfilmed churchrecord available online.

Here lecturer Gunvor Dahlman shows a pair of old ladies underwear from the 19th century !

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Computer Genealogy society in Sweden holds annual meeting

On March 7th DIS the biggest Computer Genealogy Society in Sweden held its annual meeting in Linköping in the province of Östergötland.
First a lecture was held by representatives from Jordbrukarnas Ungdomsförbund (The Farmers youth organsiation)about their Family Farm inventory .After that the meeting present chairman Olof Cronberg thanked former boardmember Sture Bjelkåker .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Swedish version of '' Who do you think you are ?''

Sweden will soon gets its own version of the popular Genealogy TV-show 'Who do you think you are ?''
In six episodes 6 famous Swedes will have their ancestors researched.The first episode will be broadcasted on march 24 .The show will be broadcasted by Swedens pubilc service TV company SVT

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Royal engagement in Sweden

Feb 24 saw the announcement of the engagement between the crown princess of Sweden
Victoria 31 eldest daughter of king Carl Gustaf and queen Silvia and Daniel Westling 35.

The couple met 8 years ago at a Gym in Stockholm where Daniel Westling worked as a fitness instructor (today he owns a succesful Gym and Fitness center. They have been a couple for about 7 years.
Daniel Westling comes from an ordinary middle class family in the small town of Ockelbo in the province of Gästrikland. Ockelbo is a small town with just 3000 inhabitants. The fact that Daniel Westling comes from neither a royal a noble family or a traditional upper class enviroment may have contributed a bit to the fact that king Carl Gustaf may have been hesitant to approve of him.
Traditionally members of the royal family had to marry members of other royal families or lose the right to inherit the throne and their royal titles(and be more or less kicked out of the family). Traditionally royal marriages were also arranged and sometimes the couple met for the first time on the wedding day or shortly before.
Two of the kings uncles and 2 other princes lost their right to the throne and was kicked out of the family in the 1930thies and 1940thies by the kings grandfather king Gustaf II Adolf when they married non royal ladies. However king Carl Gustaf married our present queen Silvia Sommerlath in 1976. Queen Silvia comes from a upper middle class family in Germany.

The wedding of Crown princess Victoria and Daniel Westling is planned for early summer 2010.
After the wedding Danel Westling will be styled "Prince Daniel duke of Västergötland".
the royal family has also taken the somewhat unusual step of announcing the engagement on Youtube.

Do you think the princess made a good decision or should she have given up Daniel and married someone of higher birth and social standing or resigned her right to the throne or should Sweden become a republic !!