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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Peder Hilmar Bjerkmann

Peder was the 4th son and 8th child of Andreas and Gustava. Even though Grandma's scrapbook had no photographs of him, I had known about him for some years, having come across him in the transcribed records of Norway on familysearch.  I only knew his name and birth date - and my brother had told me he died when he was in his teens.
When I connected with my cousin in Norway, she had told me that Peder died of tuberculosis when he was 16 years old - and she sent a photograph of him. I was in awe of this photograph. It was the most haunting photograph I had ever seen - and brought such a sadness to me. 
The photograph was taken shortly before Uncle Peder died; and looking at the picture right now - Gr. Grandpa Andreas looking stoic with a clenched fist; Gr. Grandma Gustava in her attempt to be brave, but the blank stare in her face speaks volumes of her sadness; and Peder, looking frail and weak, with the hopelessness reflecting in his eyes - the sorrow just emanates from this photograph.

I often wondered why there were no photo's of Peder in Grandma's scrapbook. I can understand - and, maybe, surmise - the reason for none of Karl and Olga. They were so much older than Grandpa that he may not have known them all that well (and Karl supposedly left for the U.S. in the year before Grandpa was born). I can understand why the two baby Bredine's were not in the scrapbook. They died so young and photography was probably almost non-existent for most people. There were pictures of Ivan, Hjalmar and Nora - but no Peder. Was it such a painful memory to Grandpa to even have a photograph of his brother?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Leanore Marie Bjerkmann

Leanore (aka Nora) was the 4th daughter and 7th child of Andreas and Gustava. She married Harald (aka Harold) Laurentius Sundstrom in 1900 in Oslo, Norway. 
Harald was born in Goteborg Karl Johan to Johannes Bengtsson Sundstrom and Anna Maria Thoran. He had two siblings - Johan and Davida.
Harold and Nora had five children - Oscar Fritjof, Esther Davida, Viktor Andreas Laurentius, Svea Gustava Margareta, and Ragnar Harald William. 
Harold emigrated to the U.S. in 1909 with Nora and the children following in 1912. It is said within the family that Viktor died on the voyage over, but I cannot find proof of that. However, I also cannot find any record of him beyond the ship manifest either. So, it could still be a true story.
When they changed their surname from Sundstrom to Sondee is unknown. There is one record from Sweden that uses the Sondee surname. Whenever, and for whatever reason, they had changed it, when they settled in Waukegan, Illinois (near Nora's brother, Hilmar) they were known as the Sondee family.
At some point after 1935, Harold and Nora moved to Florida. Whether the entire family moved there together is unknown, but at some point, they all lived there.
Oscar married Melanie (maiden name unknown at this time) and they had a daughter, Barbara (she recently passed away). After Melanie's death in 1975, Oscar married a second time to Grace Hanson. They had no children together. Oscar died in 1989 and Grace in 1992.
Esther married Johan (John) Olov Wallin sometime between 1930 and 1935, probably in Waukegan. John passed away in 1947 and it appears that Esther never remarried and there is no indication that they had any children.  Also, sometime after John's passing, she moved to Florida. Esther died in 1995.
On a side note, my mother was named after Esther Sondee. Mom said that her cousin Esther was Hilmar's favorite niece and he insisted that his only daughter be named after her. 
Viktor was explained above.
Svea married Lloyd Hedman and had 4 daughters. Lloyd died in 1968 and Svea died in 1982.
Ragnar married Mildred Nystrom and had 4 children. Ragnar died in  1989 and Mildred in 2002. I remember Mom sending a Christmas card to Mildred every year when I was younger. She learned of Mildred's passing when she didn't receive the customary card in return. I think Mom really felt bad about Mildred's passing as she was the last link she had to her Aunt's family.

It is said that every person in this photograph are family members of the Hilmar Bjorkman family and the Harold Sondee family. 

Grandma Ragnhild with some of the Sondee family in Florida.

Nora and Ragnhild in Florida. One of my favorite photographs.

It is believed that this is Harold and Nora Sondee, but we are still uncertain of that.

Nora with her son, Ragnar.

Esther Davida Sondee, Mom's namesake.

Barbara Sondee Fisk - daughter of Oscar and Melanie.

Esther and Oscar Sondee. They were born in Norway and the rest of the Sondee children were born in Sweden.

Another photograph of the Bjorkman and Sondee family.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hjalmar August Bjerkmann

Hjalmar was the 3rd son and 5th child of Andreas and Gustava, younger brother to Bredine Olivia but older brother of Bredine Ottila. 
There is no indication that Hjalmar worked at Spigerverk with his father and brothers. His occupation was a Postman according to the various censuses.
Hjalmar married Anna Maria Johansen. Their marriage produced four sons - Birger Henning, Ivar Flood, Trygve Bull, and Sverre Bang.
The children were left without a father when Hjalmar died in 1915. Through the following years, they had lost contact with the Bjerkmann side of their family.
Birger married and had 3 children.  Ivar married,  but it is unknown if they had any children. At the time of this post,  it is unknown if Trygve or Sverre ever married or had any children.

This is the house Andreas built. It is believed that Hjalmar and his family lived here for a time. 
In the picture, from left to right are: Andreas, Gustava, Hjalmar's mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Eugenie, Dagny, Eivind, Astrid standing in front of Kristiane, Kristiane (who was pregnant with Viktor at the time), Ivan, Hjalmar's father-in-law, Birger, Anna holding Ivar, and Hjalmar.

This photograph is courtesy of Hjalmar's grandson. The picture is of Hjalmar and Anna, their 4 sons and a lady visitor.

These last two photo's are from Grandma's Scrapbook and are said to have Hjalmar in them, but I do not know which person is Hjalmar in either photo nor who the others are.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ivan Oluf Stjerkreutz Bjerkmann

For many years, we thought that Ivan was the oldest child of Andreas and Gustava. We now know that he is the 3rd child, and second son, of our great-grandparents.
Ivan, born in 1867 in Vestre Aker, Oslo, worked at Spigerverk, as did Andreas and Hilmar. It is unknown if any other family member was employed there, too.
Spigerverk was the local Iron Works factory in Vestre Aker. Andreas and Gustava lived in the factory employee housing district for many years. 
Not much was known about Ivan at first, even though Grandma's scrapbook had more pages of pictures of Grandpa's brother and his family than any other member of Grandpa's family.
As it turned out, Rønnaug and her brother are descendants of Ivan, and it was Rønnaug who identified the one 8x10 photograph in Grandma's scrapbook that I could not identify, but had attributed it to possibly being of the Sondee family. 
Now, this post is also where the identity is solved of who Eugenie and Astrid were - and where they fit in the family. It also identified two different pictures of the same  blonde-hair little girl that I had associated with Astrid Bjerkmann. It turned out not to be a Bjerkmann, but a Sjöholm - the adopted daughter of Grandma's brother, Axel.
Ivan married Kristiane Kristoffersen in 1892. They became the parents of five children - Eugenie Inga Marie, Eivind Thorleif, Dagny, Astrid Gustava,  and Viktor Sinding. Sadly, they lost Dagny when she was about 5 years old.
Eugenie married Harald Bjerkelund and they had 4 sons and 1 daughter. 
Eivind emigrated to the United States and was naturalized through his military service. He changed his name to Erwin Bjorkman. He settled in Wisconsin, marrying a woman named Helen. They had one son. Erwin died sometime prior to 1930.
Eivind spent some time in a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Milwaukee. According to those records, he had contracted Tuberculosis. This may have been his cause of death, but it is unknown as a death record has not been found yet. By 1940, his wife had remarried and had at least one daughter from this marriage. 
Astrid married Arne Fosbek and they had a daughter and a son.
Viktor married Anna Moe. I do not have much information on them yet, so it is unknown if they had any children.
Ivan died in 1938 and Kristiane died in 1931. 

This 8x10 photograph took up one whole page in the back of Grandma's scrapbook. I, at first, thought that it could be that of the family of Grandpa's sister, Leanora (Nora), but it was not. It is some of the Ivan Bjerkmann family. From left to right - Harald Bjerkelund (husband of Eugenie), daughter Eugenie, mother Kristiane, father Ivan, daughter Astrid, and son Viktor. It was taken in the home of Ivan and kristane, and believed to have been after the funeral of Gustava, Ivan's mother, who died in 1921.

This photograph, from Grandma's scrapbook, had also been a mystery. It has now been identified as Eugenie with her three sons - Ivar, Havald and Per.

Photograph curtesy of Rønnaug. Left to Right: Dagny, Eugenie, and Eivind.

This photograph was on a page in Grandma's scrapbook that included photographs of Hjalmar, so we naturally thought, at first, that this was Hjalmar with his wife, Anna, and oldest son, Birger. Such is not the case. This is Eivind with his wife, Helen, and their son, Russell. It is assumed, because of the photograph being in the scrapbook and the fact that Hilmar and his family lived not far from Eivind and his family, that the two families had contact with one another sometime before Eivind's death.

Mistaken Identity. Because of the placement in Grandma's scrapbook, the little girl was thought to be Astrid, daughter of Ivan and Kristiane (the photo's are labeled "Astrid"). It is now known that this little girl is not a Bjerkmann at all! This is Astrid Sjoholm, adopted daughter of Axel and Hildur. I guess it can safely be said now that Grandma did not put photogrraphs in her scrapbook in any type of order.

The  photograph on the left is of Astrid and Arne Fosbek on their wedding day. The photograph on the right of Astrid is from Grandma's scrapbook. As you can see, the little girl Astrid looks nothing like Astrid Bjerkmann. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Olga Milderine Olsdotter Bjerkmann

Olga was the second child and oldest daughter, born after Andreas and Gustava married in 1864. 
Olga was easy to find in the birth records; that is, after I discovered the family in the 1865 Norwegian Census. Cousin Rønnaug tutored me on the finer points and history of the Confirmation records in Norway and led me to where I could find Olga's confirmation record. 
Rønnaug was also the one who found Olga's records when we lost track of her after her confirmation. She's a regular "Nancy Drew" in genealogical research! Of course, what she found in the records on Olga nearly knocked my socks off. It turned out to be another family tree shocker.
Remember under the blog on the Norgrens, I said I would review Gustava's younger brother, August (the 2nd August), in a later post? Well, this is that post - because I can't review Olga at this point without reviewing August, too. Maybe you've guessed it by now or maybe you have not; but the records show that Olga and August were married in 1890. So, to wrap it up in understanding what this means - Olga married her Uncle and August married his niece!
Rønnaug found the individual Census record of 1891 for Olga. On this record it showed her listed under her maiden name, living in the home of her parents in Aker - but a couple of margin notes indicated that she had a husband who was currently in England. 
So, Rønnaug's search began looking for that mysterious husband. To make a long story short, her research led her to both Olga and August leaving the State Church, having a secular marriage, and being admitted back into the State Church at a later time. As August was a sailor, at the time of the 1891 Census, he was in England.
August and Olga had three children together - Olga Victoria, Margrete Augusta and Sverre August Bang. Sadly, the only child of the three, Sverre, lived to be an adult; and even he died at the age of 23 years old. Their eldest child, Olga, died when she was 6 1/2 months old; and Margrete was 2 1/2 months old when she passed away.
The family line discontinued with the passing of Sverre, who never married. His mother, Olga, died in 1904, and his father, August, died in 1913. 

A portion of the secular marriage record for Olga and August.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Karl Eilert Olsen Bjerkmann

The oldest child and the oldest son of Andreas and Gustava. Karl was born in 1863 in Halden, Ostfold about a year before the marriage of his parents in 1864. 
Not much is known about him (as he was actually a total surprise in our research) and there are no known pictures of him at the time of the writing of this blog post.
What we do know about him, so far, is that he married Marie Emilie Olsen in Vestre Aker in 1882. They had a son, Hilmar Olof Olsen, but he died about 3 months after his birth. The same year his son was born (and died), Karl left for the United States and Marie never heard from him again.
No records have been found of Karl leaving Norway nor have any records been found of him arriving or being in the U.S.
Marie lived most of her life with sisters and died in 1915 in Akerhus. She never discovered what happened to Karl. We are still actively searching for him in the records. We have tossed around ideas that he was a mariner of some kind or immigrated with the intention of sending for Marie at a later time; Or did he just abandon her? We honestly do not know - yet.

Just a slight update (or addition, actually), Karl was a sailor. Here is a page from the records of 1880 recording him as a sailor.


The Bjerkmann Children

Andreas and Gustava had nine children - Karl, Olga, Ivan, Bredine Olivia, Hjalmar, Bredine Ottila, Leanore, Peder and Hilmar.
Not all of the children were easy to find and/or research. We knew from Grandma's scrapbook that Grandpa had a sister, Nora (Leanora) and two brothers, Ivan and Hjalmar. Some family members knew about Peder, but the other children were unknown to us.
Also included in the scrapbook of Grandma's concerning Grandpa's family were two women - Eugenie and Astrid. We had no idea where they fit in. More on that later, along with a few pics that surprised me when they were finally identified and placed into the family tree.
I guess I would have to say that the National Archives of Norway Digital Archives was the main source for researching the Bjerkmann children. If it wasn't for their website and database, we would not have known about all of the children until this past year when I came in contact with our cousins in Norway.
I remember starting my research on familysearch for the children. I found Grandpa easily.....and Nora. The revelation came when I discovered that Andreas and Gustava were married under the surnames of Olsen and Olofsdotter. This fact led to the surprise of two children no one knew about - Karl and Olga, the eldest of the Bjerkmann children. 
Karl was the oldest child of Andreas and Gustava, born about a year before they married and Olga was born about a year later. The other surprise was Bredine Olivia. I had already added Bredine Ottila as Eugenie when I ran across her in the birth records, as at that time I thought Eugenie was a sister of Hilmar's. I knew that when you get two children in the same family with the same first name, it usually means that the first same-named child had died, so searching the death records I had discovered not only had Bredine Olivia died almost 10 months after she was born. of bronchitis, but I also found that Bredine Ottila died a little over a year after she was born, too. So, now it was back to finding out who Eugenie was and where she fit into the family. As I mentioned previously, more on Eugenie later.
I eventually traced nine children to Andreas and Gustava and found all of their birth records. The challenge that now laid ahead was finding out what happened to all except the two Bredines, Grandpa and Aunt Nora. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Norgrens

Gustava was born in Dals-Ed, Alvsborg, Sweden to Olof Andersson Norgren and Maria Eriksdotter. It was the first marriage for Olof and the second for Maria. Maria had her first son, Andreas, from a relationship with Johannes Olofsson. Her daughter, Maria, was born from her first marriage - to Nils Olsson. Maria and Nils were married in 1836, but Maria was widowed the following year. She married Olof Norgren in 1839.
It is unknown when Olof assumed the surname Norgren, but it is thought to be when he served in the Military.
Olof and Maria had five children together - Gustava, Johanna, their first son August (who died just before reaching 5 months old), Britta Stina and their second son named August.
The family moved to Halden, Ostfold, Norway in 1854. There is no indication that Maria's children, Andreas and Maria, moved with the family.
Olof died in Halden in 1858. Daughter Johanna migrated to Utah in the United States and married Andrew Truelson. Britta Stina married Iver Andersen and had seven children. The last location we have for them was Fredrikstad. August, the second son - I will review later on.
It is unknown when or where Gustava's mother, Maria, died. It was after 1883 as that was the last known correspondance through a letter to her daughter, Johanna.
Olof was born in 1818, Dals-Ed, to Anders Andersson and Marta Andersdotter. He had 3 known brothers and one known sister. His father and mother were born in Dals-Ed in 1774 and 1775, respectively.
Gustava's mother, Maria was born in Odskolt, Alvsborg in 1810 to Erik Olofsson and Ingeborg Halfvardsdotter. Maria had one other sibling - a brother - before her father died in 1812. Maria and her brother, Jonas, were placed in the custody of their paternal Grandfather, Olof Jonsson, after their father's death. Their paternal Grandmother was Maria Olsdotter. Olof and Maria also had three other children besides Erik.
Ingeborg, born in Dalskog to Halfvard Theman and Marta Eriksdotter, remarried in 1816 to Lars Olsson. They had five children together. Lars also had 3 daughters from a previous marriage.

A page from a book describing the Military record for Olof Andersson Norgren. At this time, it is unknown if he has any relation to the other Norgrens on this page. Page provided by Cousin R
ønnaug in Norway.

Next blog post, I will talk about the children of Andreas and Gustava Bjerkmann.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Andreas and Gustava Bjërkmann

So, now I come to the Bjërkmann branch of the family tree. 
For many years, not much had been known about Andreas Bjërkmann and Gustava Norgren. It has only been in the past few years - and mostly this past year - that the discoveries in research have surfaced and this is mainly thanks to my cousin, Rønnaug, in Norway. She's the original Genealogy "Nancy Drew".
I started out with mostly photographs and names from Grandpa Bjorkman's family line. The pictures of his parents, and a few siblings and their families.  Before I made contact with Rønnaug through her brother, Arve (who contacted me after seeing the memorial I posted on findagrave of my grandfather, Hilmar), I had the family pretty much put together with names, dathes and places. It was Rønnaug who put a more personal twist on the family line and filled in some blank spaces, too. 
I had known for a few years that Andreas and Gustava were both born in Sweden. In my research one day, I had come across their transcribed marriage record on familysearch. The names were Andreas Olsen and Gustava Olsdӓtter. Also, through the various records online at Norway's Archive website, I managed to find that Andreas was born in Rölanda, and Gustava was born in Dals Ed in Ålvsborg. Gustava's family was fairly easy to find in the Household Examination records on Genline, but Andreas was a bit more difficult as there were several possibilities. I had to trace back to records for his parents to be absolutely sure of the research. 
Andreas' parents were Ole/Olle/Olof Jacobsson and Catarina/Cathrina Svensdötter.  His siblings were: Maja, Jacob, Stina and Casja.  Andreas was the youngest and his mother died  the following year of his birth, during the birth of yet another child.  Ole married twice after his first wife died. The second marriage produced no children before his wife's death. The third marriage produced two half-siblings for Andreas - Carolina and Carl. 
Olof was born in Ödskölt to Jacob Nilsson and Borta Larsdötter. His siblings were: Nils, Catherine, Johan, Anna, Kjerstin and Karin. Olof was the youngest. He also had a half-sister from his father's second marriage - Maria.
Catarina was also born in Ödskölt to Sven Vallbom and Elin Nilsdötter. I have yet to find any siblings for her or her maternal and paternal grandparents.
Andreas and his brother, Jacob, both moved to Norway - Jacob in 1856 and Andreas in 1861.  As of this writing, they were the only known family members who moved to Norway. 
Jacob emigrated with his wife, Anna Marta, and three children. Four more children would be born to them after their migration. Jacob also had another child from a second marriage after the death of his first wife.
Andreas emigrated a bachelor. He married Gustava in 1864 after the birth of their son, Karl, in 1863. Eight more children would arrive after their marriage - Olga, Ivan, Bredine Olivia, Hjalmar, Bredine Ottila, Leonora (Nora), Peder and Hilmar. Hilmar and Nora would migrate to the U.S. 
On my next post, I will review Gustava's family line. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pop Sjöholm's "Lost Years"

I used the name most familiar to Herman in the title of this blog post, mostly because, during this era, I have the most empathy for him.
It has taken me a few days to start this post, as the years between 1869-1882 are the most confusing in Pop's life; not just emotionally ( and, most probably, psychologically), but also, in location. Herman moved around a lot during these years, sometimes, I suspect, not staying in one place for more than a few months.
After Herman left the military in 1868 (either voluntarily or involuntarily-still not sure of that fact), I think he drifted without any clear perception of what he was going to do. I have no records to show that he was employed, but I do have notations in one record that during these years, he was arrested for "walking around", which meant homelessness.
After much thought, I think the best way to record the "lost years" is to just write it directly from the records. Any reader of this post can draw their own conclusions on what was going on with Pop.

The most telling of his activities and whereabouts comes from the 1866-1868 Household Examination for Dimbo. One of the notations states that in 1869 he was in Dimbo (I am slightly assuming this as it did not mention a location, so I assume it was local) and was arrested for "doing something that isn't allowed".  There is a Moving Out record for 24 Oct 1869 which records Pop going to Karlsborg. I am assuming his arrest was prior to this move to Karlsborg. It is unclear why he went to Karlsborg.
Now, where Pop was in 1870 is equally confusing. I think he gets a big kick out of confusing me from the great beyond as Pop was one of the most complicated ancestors to research. I think it has been, oh, maybe 8 or 9 years since I began to timeline Pop (timelining is attempting to record the events and movements of one ancestor from birth to death) and I still do not have everything recorded or all of his life years timelined. I know the records are there, it's just that I think Pop laughs as he skirts his way through my research.
Anyway, in 1870 there is a notation in the 1866-1868 H.E. that says Pop was areested in Linkoping for "walking around and doing bettings". This is where it confuses me, as he spent time in Linkoping and Lidkoping - two vastly different places - and, lucky me gets the two places confused. Thanks Pop! 
Pop is also in the 1870 household record in Finland either visiting or staying with his step-brother, Otto Falk. It is unknown how long he was there. The record doesn't record that info and I have no records for Pop's whereabouts until 1872 when he was back in Dimbo (again from a notation that doesn't record a specific place, so assuming Dimbo) being sentenced to 1 month in prison for petty theft. 
Once again, there is nothing in the records for Pop until 4 Mar 1873, when he was moving out of Dimbo into Göteborg. 
From 1874-1876, the Karlsborg H.E. has Pop incarerated in the parish. It is unclear to me just how long Pop was in custody. One of the notations on the record indicate he could have been released 18 Apr 1876 and left for Göteborg, although a notation on the 1866-1868 H.E. mentions on 2 Sep 1876 "stealing for the first time - penal servitude for 4 months and loss of citizen's trust for 3 years" which probably occurred in Dimbo.
Another notation on that same H.E. mentions a 1877 conviction for "defenselessness -2 years social work ending 10 Dec 1879." And that is when we find him again, in 1879, from another notation recording being arrested in Linkoping for "doing something not allowed". 
Pop, once again, briefly disappears from the records until 1882 where he is found in 3 different ones - an H.E. for Lidkoping, a Moving Out record from Lidkoping to Sil, and another H.E. in Sil where he is now living in the same household with Alma's brothers, Gustaf and Johan.
There is no record of Pop having any legal problems from this time on, and he marries Alma in 1883, just about two months prior to the birth of their first child, Axel Sigurd Linus. Alma already has a daughter, Elin Evelina, from a previous relationship. So begins the lives of Herman, Alma and their children.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another Child for Margarethe Nord

While preparing for my post on Herman's "lost years", I felt I needed to do a little more research to try and keep the timeline from being too confusing as Herman moved around quite extensively during those years.
But while researching Herman, I came across an interesting record in the Stockholm City Archives under orphanages - another record of a child for Herman's mother, Margarethe.
In the 1855 Household Examination, Margarethe, Herman and the 2nd child named Anna were living in the home of an Anders Sundholm. Also in this same household was Axel Reinhold Falk. Axel was the brother of Claes Bernhard Falk, Margarethe's second husband; but Claes and Margarethe did not marry until 1857 - about 9 months after the birth of this recently discovered child.
This child, Axel Bernhard Sjöholm, was born 9 May 1856, about 4 months before Margarethe and Herman moved out of Kungsholm and into Hedvig Eleonora. The child, Axel, was not on the Moving Out record with them.
The Orphan record states that Claes Bernhard Falk paid for the expenses of Axel at the orphanage. Unfortunately, Axel died at the age of a year old - just two months before his second birthday. I have yet to find a death record for him.
So, I have a mystery here. Was the baby Axel the child of Axel Reinhold Falk or Claes Bernhard Falk? If he was the child of Axel - where did Axel go and why did he not acknowledge his child? And why would Claes marry a woman who had his brothers' child? And why would Claes pay for the child's support?
And if baby Axel was the son of Claes, why would he be placed in an orphanage? Why not acknowledge the child as his and take him home?

I am including a snip from the orphanage record, which is in pdf.


According to my cousin in Sweden, the record shows that Claes may have taken Axel to his home as a foster child, but returned him to the orphanage later on.
Also, I had done a little more research and discovered that Axel Reinhard Falk had died prior to the child, Axel, having been born.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Herman Justus Sjöholm - Life after his mother's death

The H.E. for the year of Margarethe's death, Herman is found in the home of his step-father, Claes Falk.
The following year, Herman is found on a registration for Stockholm with Claes and a record that appears to have him moving to Finland with his step-father. But that did not happen. He was found in the H.E. later that year as a foster son in the home of Christina Eriksdötter and her daughter, Charlotte.
It is unknown why Herman was not able or allowed to migrate to Finland with his step-father, Claes, nor how he ended up in the care of Christina.  It is known that he was there for a short period of time as early the following year Herman is in a Children's Home in Hedvig Eleonora being fostered out to a man named Johannes Martensson from Dimbo, Skarborg.

And it is in Annsberg, Dimbo, Skaraborg that we find Herman in the H.E. for 1856-1860 (Herman arrived in 1859) living in the home of Johannes Martensson, his wife Johanna Andersdötter, and their two children, Anders and Anna.
From 1859 to 1865, Herman lived with his foster family in Dimbo. On 7 May 1865, Herman joined the Military, at the age of 13, serving as some type of musician, but he was dismissed from the military 12 Dec 1868 for "conviction of thefts several times". He was 17 years old.
This seems to be the beginning of Herman's legal troubles that would last for quite a while (as late as 1879). It makes me wonder if his foster father enrolled him in the military as Herman could have been an incorrigible child and Herman, at his age, could not conform to military life and lashed out by stealing. Either way, during the period of his military years, the H.E. still records him as living with the Martensson's.
So, begins the "lost years" for Herman.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Johan and Margarethe

Johan Gustaf Sjöholm was born to Olof and Ullrica on 26 Dec 1816 in Maria, Stockholm. He was their third child and second son.
Not much is known yet of Johan's childhood with the exception that his father died when he was 16 years old. The earliest record I have, aside from his birth record, is an H.E. for 1832-1833 in Maria where he lived with his parents and siblings.
On 27 Sep 1840, he married Margarethe Nord, daughter of Lars Andersson Nord and Anna Persdötter in Örebro. I'm not sure why he was in Örebro other than the fact it is the county of his father's birth, and shortly after the marriage, he and his new wife moved to Maria.
Johan and Margarethe had 6 children. Their oldest, Carl Gustaf Ulfrid was born in Maria and died 3 days after his birth. Their second child, Gustaf Laurentius was born in Katarina, but their next child, Anna Mathilda Charlotte, was born in Kungsholm.  Their fourth child and third son, Carl Johan Lambert, was born in Katarina, but their last two children, Herman Justus and Anna Mathilda Margaretha were born in Kungsholm.
Now, the reason I am going through all this is because, of all of the children Johan and Margarethe had, only one child survived to adulthood - Herman.
As I mentioned earlier, their eldest, Carl, died 3 days after birth. Their next two children, Gustaf and Anna, were born, but Anna died a little more than a year after her birth. Carl 2nd was born a little over a year after Anna died.
But I think the biggest tragedy was the following year. Their son, Gustaf, died. He was just 6 years old. The day after they buried their young son, their baby Carl 2nd, died just short of his first birthday. 
After having 4 children, this left the couple childless until their son, Herman, was born the following year. Unfortunately, the tragedy didn't end there.
Two years after the birth of Herman, Johan died. Ten and 1/2 months later, Anna 2nd was born. This leaves a question as to whether or not Anna was the biological daughter of Johan or if she was just a late term baby. 
Margarethe was now a widow with a young son and a baby daughter. That is, until 2 years later, when Anna 2nd died. 
A year later, Margarethe and Herman move from Kungsholm to Hedvig Eleonora when Margarethe marries Claes Bernhard Falk. Claes is a widower with a young son, Claes Otto. 
Margarethe and Claes marry 15 Feb 1857 in Hedvig Eleonora. The following August, their son, Claes Bernhard, Jr., is born; but Margarethe dies in November and the baby Claes dies the following month.
This now leaves Herman living in a household with his step-father and step-brother. 
He is just 6 years old.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A History of the Sjöholm Line before Herman

I have been pondering the past couple of days on the best way to talk about the life of Herman Sjöholm without getting to wordy. However, I am a wordy person when I blog, so here it goes:
I am going to start with my earliest ancestor on my Sjöholm line - Lars Larsson - and make my way down the line to Herman.
I don't know exactly where Lars Larsson was born, but the H.E. for Mosjö, Örebro for the years 1750 -1765 records his birth year in 1706. The earliest record I have found for Lars was his marriage to Ingrid Mansdötter in Mosjö on 20 May 1730.
The H.E. mentioned above recorded a number of people in Lars' household, but it is most difficult to read. Ingrid's birth year was recorded as 1700, and their son, Lars, born 1736, was easy to decipher, but the others were much more difficult.  I think it's safe to say that he had at least one, maybe, two siblings at that time. 
The son, Lars, was the first one to use the Sjöholm surname. I have no record of his father using it. Father Lars death record for 20 Oct 1758 in Mosjö records his surname as Larsson. I have yet to find a death record for Ingrid.
Lars Sjöholm married 1st) Maria Persdötter b. 1725, and 2nd) Catharina Olofsdötter b. 1744. 
Because Lars and Maria's oldest child, Anna, was born in Grythyttan in 1764, it is unclear whether Lars and Maria married in Mosjö or Grythyttan. The couple and their daughter moved to Nora prior to the birth of their son, Carl, in 1767. Lars and Maria had 5 children - Anna, Carl, Catharina, Christina and Maria - before Maria Persdötter's death in May of 1780. 
The following December of that same year, Lars married Catharina Olofsdötter. They had two children together - Fredric and Lisa.
The Sjöholm line at this point jumps not from a son of Lars, but a daughter - Catharina. In 1784, Catharina and a man named Carl Hölmgren had an illegitimate daughter, Cathrina. Sadly, Catharina died before her first birthday. Catharina had another illegitimate child - a son, Olof. I have been unable to find the father for Olof, but I do know his name was Olof, also, as for a time Catharina's son went by the name of Olof Olofsson before permanently switching to the surname of Sjöholm. I have no other information on Catharina at this time, so I don't know if she ever married or when she died.
I am now on my 3rd great-grandfather, Olof Sjöholm.
Olof, the illegitimate son of Catharina Sjöholm and a man named Olof, was born 4 Jul 1787 in Nora. Olof is listed in the H. E. of 1787-1790 in the household of his grandparents, Lars and Catharina along with his mother and her siblings.
According to transcribed records on familysearch, Olof married Ullrica Gillberg on 25 Oct 1812 in Stockholm. It does not say where in Stockholm, but it could have been Klara as a Moving out record for Oct 1813 records Olof and Ullrica moving out of Klara and into Maria. 
Olof and Ullrica had 5 known children - Catharina Sofia, Carl Olof Ullric, Johan Gustaf, Fredric Wilhelm and Franz August.
I have only one H.E. for Olof with his family, from 1832-1833 in Maria before Olof's death in 1833 at the age of 45. 
Ullrica Gillberg (other spellings are Ullrika, Ulrika, Ulrica) was born illegitimate to Stina Mattsdötter on 8 Jan 1787 in Dingtuna, Västmanland. As far as I can tell, her birth record does not record a father.
I only have one H.E. for Ullrica prior to her marriage to Olof, from 1787-1788 in Dingtuna in a village called Gillberga. Perhaps this is how she acquired her surname. No other family is listed except her mother. All I have for her mother, Stina, is that she was born 17 Jul 1757 in Sweden.
I have the birth records for all of Olof and Ullrica's children, but only the death records for Johan and Franz.
My 2nd great-grandfather was Johan Gustaf. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Disproving a Family Story - Herman Justus Sjöholm

One aspect of researching family is proving or disproving family stories or legends. My great-grandfather, Herman, had a great family story connected to him, one I grew up listening to as my mother told it over and over through the years. As an adult, I began to believe the story was just a little too unbelievable. So, one of my research goals was to prove (or dis-prove) this family story.
Before I begin telling this family legend, I must clarify the pronunciation of the Sjöholm name. My mother always said that it was pronounce "Shur-holm". My brother told me it was pronounced "Wee-ohm". Wikipedia had a person with the same surname and a recording on the page of the name's pronunciation. It appears that my brother was correct. The pronunciation is "Wee-ohm" and it is said really fast - like trying to combine the two syllables.

Now, the story Mom told about her grandfather was as follows:
Herman was the illegitimate son of the King of Sweden. His mother was known as Katrin the Beautiful and her grandfather attended private boarding schools. When his mother, Katrin the Beautiful, would visit him in a large, very opulent carriage, she would bring him wonderful gifts. 

This story was told over and over again when I was growing up. It was a great story and created all sorts of wonderful fantasies in a child's mind. However, as I grew older, it became more and more just a far-fetched tale. How did an illegitimate child of a King become a humble house painter?   Eventually, my cousin said that the story was not true and that Herman had grown up in a Foundling  Home in Stockholm. So, when I began researching the Genline records, Herman was one of the ones that I researched first. 

Herman's immediate family - his wife and children - was relatively easy to find from Ragnhild's birth record and the recorded parish of her birth. But all Herman would report of his place of birth was Stockholm - and Stockholm is a large area to cover. It took many hours and many days to find him, but find him I did.
And the story was not related to royalty, but rather quite a sad one - of which his inner strength and the support of two significant people in his life helped him to triumph over the hardships in his life.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sjöholm Family Photographs

Herman Sjöholm and Sigga

Sigga's funeral in Mariestad

My Great-Grandparents, Herman and Alma Sjöholm with my grandmother, Ragnhild

A Memorial to Gustaf from 1902, front

A Memorial to Gustaf, back

Ragnhild and Judith.

Elin and her brother, Georg. It has been told by Mom  that Georg lost an eye caused by the Nazi's during WWII.

Great-Grandpa Herman leading a Temperance Parade

Axel,  Gottfrid and Ragnar