Thursday, May 28, 2015

Borg Family 2015 Sweden Trip

For Your Information:

The David Borg family will be on a journey to Sweden beginning 17 June for 2 weeks.  If you would like to follow us around Sweden, sign-up as a follower of this SweAme Blog.  You will then be notified when a trip update is provided.

The planned itinerary can be found on the Borg 2015 Travel Itinerary webpage:

The itinerary webpage provides LINKS to view the daily events via pictures and videos.  Live streaming (real time) videos will be scheduled and broadcast for your viewing fun.

Submit your comments and questions below.


Monday, April 6, 2015

New Sweden Heritage Day Celebration, 2nd Annual

May 2, 2015

Our Day’s Events

VÄLKOMMEN – Welcome!

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. New Sweden Heritage Center Tour and Heritage Displays

·       Tour the Heritage Center with members of the Church Committee working on the restoration.

·       Visit the 2st annual featured group of FAMILIES of our church: including families of ministers, music directors, and other church families who will share with you their roots as descendants from the Swedish church pioneers.

·       Enjoy a continuation of last year’s displays and meet volunteers who are available to work with you on your family history in Sweden and here.
·       Stroll through the silent auction and bid on treasures that come directly from Sweden and other special items.

·        Visit with your friends and enjoy the countryside.


VARSÅGOD – Please Come to Dinner!

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 or 6:00 p.m.- Meal Served in the Parish Hall.

·       Blessing by Pastor Hans Lillejord.
·       Enjoy a delicious, traditional home-made Swedish meal of meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, seasoned greed beans, Swedish rye bread and butter and Swedish summer tårta along with coffee and tea. Enter your ticket with your name, address, phone number, and email to win a door prize:  a very special made-made keepsake item from Småland, Sweden. Ticket sales end April 21st, or when all tickets are sold.
·       Enjoy Swedish music recordings while you enjoy your meal, and take your time and enjoy your dessert and coffee!


MUSIK OCH  SÅNG – Music and Singing!

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. – Program in the church

·       Opening, Pastor Lillejord.
·       Join in singing our National Anthem, Swedish National Anthem (music/words provided in Swedish and English.)
·       Enjoy special songs shared by the New Sweden 6 Singers.
·       Delight to the voices of a Swedish singing duo, Malcolm Nelson and Allison Tucker.
·       Everyone sing-a-long with a medley of our favorite Swedish songs (handouts provided in English and Swedish.)
·       Close with singing the Heritage Center theme song, FAITH OF OUR FATHERS.
·       Don’t forget to pick up your silent auction treasures!

KOM TILLBAKS  NäSTA ÅR – Come Back Next Year,  ALWAYS the 1st Saturday in May !

New Sweden Heritage Center, 12809 New Sweden Church Road, Manor, Texas  78653 phone 512/281-0056


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reading Swedish Records, Estate Inventory

Using Bouppteckning to find the parents of Inga Sunesdotter (1761-1803) in Asarum

David A Anderson

               Handwriting in Sweden from the early 1800s can be challenging to read.  One of the best ways to improve your skills in deciphering the words is to take known words, cut them out of the document with a snipping tool and save them in a folder with that word as the image name.  I started doing that with a Bouppteckning, or estate inventory, for a Johannes Nilsson who lived, at least most of his life, and died in Asarum, Blekinge. 
              In the first three Husförhörslängd for Asarum we find Bond. Johannes Nilsson and his wife Inga Sunesdotter living at No. 92, Per Nils Hoka, along with their four children: Thore, b 1793; Pehr, b 1795; Elizabeth, b 1798 and Carin, b 1800.[1]  We learn from those three sources that Johannes Nilsson is born 1772, 6 Junii and Inga Sunesdotter is born sometime in 1761.  The location(s) of their births is not given.  A search of the birth records for Asarum does not list a Johannes Nilsson on 6 June 1772.  There is a birth for an Inga in 1761 who could be the Inga we are looking for[2], but without knowing for sure that Inga was born in Asarum we can’t with 100% certainty say this is her birth record.
              From the records we learn that Inga dies 15 Sep 1803 at Per Nils Hoka[3] and Johannes dies there a year and two months later on 16 Nov 1804[4].  They leave their orphaned children behind.
              The Bouppteckningar (estate inventories) for Asarum are found in the Bräkne häradsrätt (district court) files and are accessible on Arkivdigital.   Inga’s Bouppteckning is found[5] as is Johannes’s.[6]  Although ultimately information found on Inga’s Bouppteckning would have lead me to the names of her parents, it is thru Johannes’ Bouppteckning that I started putting the clues together that allowed me to identify with certainty her parents.
              We know Johannes Nilsson

lived in Per Nils Hoka  and that he and Inga had four children (barn)  
whose names are: Thore ,

 Pehr ,

Elizabeth, or Lisbet  

  and Karin, or Karna .
From these examples we can see what various letters look like in the rest of the document and therefore begin to read it with a lot more confidence.  This is exciting stuff!  We read a bit further and find the word . 

That has to be barnans, or the children’s, and it is followed by:

!  Whoa! 

That’s moder broder, which is the mother’s brother, or uncle!  But wait, there is more, and it’s a name:   which is

followed by:  
which is telling us that the children’s uncle lives in some place that’s hard to read. 
We’ve seen the given name before, and it is Thore, but what’s the surname?  The first letter of the surname, and of the place he is from, is a bit strange and really doesn’t look like any letter we might be familiar with in 2015.  However, looking elsewhere in the preamble to Johannes’s Bouppteckning we find words that also have that letter as the beginning letter, and they are:  
and .[7] 

The first word is “?amt” while the second is “?lutat”. 
By now, for those of us who do not even speak much Swedish, but have looked at a lot of church records are thinking that the two words are ‘samt’, (also, or and) and ‘slutat’ (ended, end, the end), which makes that weird letter an ‘s’!  We then re-evaluate Thore’s surname and can now plainly see the name “Sonnasson”, and he is from some place that is: “Södra???rnö.” 

              One of the biggest benefits to using the newer photographic images of the Swedish church records on Arkiv Digital is the fact that many of the Husförhörslängd now have indexes or tables of contents that aren’t found in the older microfilmed records.  Turning to the “Ortregister”, or place name register, in the Husförhörslängd for 1799-1803, AI:2 (Arkivdigital, Image 4), we find the only one place with “Södra” and “rnö” in it, and that is Södra Sternö, found on pages 99-101.  Looking on page 99 we find house No. 62, Södra Sternö, and Bonden (farmer) Thore Sunasson, his wife, and three children.  Further down the page easily over looked is the name Gårdman (house man) Sune Thorsson who was born in 1730.[8]  This could be Thore’s father, and by default Inga’s as well.  Looking in Asarum AI:1, pg 75 we find Thore Sunesson, his family, and Sune Thorsson and his wife Elisabeth Mattsdotter who was born 1731.  A notation indicates that Elisabeth Mattsdotter has died in 1796.  Now we have a name of a possible mother for Inga and Thore!

              Looking in Asarum’s Husförhörslängd AI:3 on page 111 for House No. 62, Södra Sternö, we again find, as expected, Thore Sunesson’s family and again Sune Thorsson who was born in 1730.  A note indicates that Sune has died in 1804.
              Searching for specific people in Bouppteckningar takes a while since they aren’t indexed and not in strict chronological order.  Eventually the Bouppteckning for Sune Thorsson was found in the Bräkne Häradsrätt record.  [9] 
There are at least two children mentioned.  One is Thore Sunasson who lives in “Södra Sternnöö” and a daughter Inga who was married to Johannes Nelsson who lives in Pehr Nils Hoka.
              Going back to Asarum’s birth records for 1761, the year Inga was born we find birth number 24.  In the image you can see the place name “Sternö”, and by now you can also pick out two names that confirm that Sune Thorsson and Elisabeth Mattsdotter are the parents of the Inga Sunesdotter who married Johannes Nilsson:


[1] Asarum Hfl AI:1 (1794-1798), pg 107; AI:2 (1799-1803), pg 139; AI:3 (1803-1807), pg 168; all accessed via Arkvidigital,  20 Dec 2014.
[2] Asarum CI:2 (1745-1767), Fodde, pg 379, 1761, no 24, Inga; Arkivdigital, Image 195.
[3] Asarum CI:4 (1791-1813), Dödde, pg 797, 1803, no 69, Inga; Arkivdigital, Image 408.
[4] Asarum CI:4, pg 807, 1804, no 105, Johannes; Image 413.
[5] Bräkne-Häradsrätt FII:5 (1799-1805), beginning on pg 1373; Image 723.
[6] Bräkne-Häradsrätt FII:5, beginning on pg 1823; Image 959.
[7] Images are from Johannes Nilsson’s Bouppteckning found in: Bräkne häradsrätt FII:5 (1799-1805) Image 959 / page 1823 (AID: v156930.b959.s1823, NAD: SE/LLA/10008)
[8] Asarum AI:2 (1799-1803), pg 99, No. 62, Södra Sternö; Arkivdigital, image 105.
[9] Bräkne Häradsrätt FII:5 (1799-1805), pg 1455; Arkivdigital, Image 766.
[10] Last image from: Asarum CI:2 (1745-1767) Image 195 / page 379 (AID: v95383.b195.s379, NAD: SE/LLA/13008)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Santa Lucia 2014

Submitted by Donna Fowler

The annual celebration of Saint Lucia took place at Hutto Lutheran Church (Hutto, Texas) on Sunday, December 7th immediately following the regular worship service. The young lady representing St. Lucia was Kirstyn Lawson, a freshman at Hutto High School, and a very active member of Hutto Lutheran Church. Kirstyn wore the traditional white dress with a red sash and a crown of lights in her hair. She watched over the maidens and star boys as they served cookies, Swedish rolls, and tea to the members of the congregation.

Pictured are: Bradley Graham, Kirstyn Lawson, Matilda Rydell.
(Photo by Mike Fowler)

The celebration of St. Lucia Day, which is always on December 13th in Sweden is a day that the Swedish people remember a time of famine in their country, and how a Christian martyr brought food and drink in their time of need. The years of famine is what prompted so many immigrants from Sweden to settle in the Hutto area in the late 1800 and early 1900's. The black land was rich and fertile, and the Swedes recognized plentiful and good farmland when they saw it.

St. Lucia Day is also the beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden. In the early morning hours, it is customary that Swedish families awaken to have their own “Lucia” sing to them as she takes breakfast from room to room, waking her parents and grandparents. Lucia is typically the oldest girl in the family accompanied by her sisters and brothers.

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hutto was founded in 1892 by Swedish immigrants. The services were conducted in Swedish until after World War Two. Many of the Swedes that settled in the Hutto area came from the Småland region of Sweden, one of which was Gustaf Hyltin, who helped to build the current Hutto Lutheran Church building in 1892. Several of his relatives came from out of town and attended worship and the celebration of St. Lucia on Sunday. They also brought their family Bible, a prized possession which is written in Swedish, for members of the congregation to view.

Contact: Donna Fowler, 512-736-2001,


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Swedish Log Cabin

Swedish Log Cabin Restoration Project Completed

Submitted by Barbara Gustafson Pate

 Re-Dedication Event Scheduled
When:          October 26, 2014, 2:30 PM
Where:         Zilker Park, Austin, Texas
Parking:        Strafford Lane

Swedish Log Cabin History

The Swedish Log Cabin was built by a Scotsman named J. J. Grumbles in the early part of 1838. The cabin’s design was copied after the cabins that were built by the Swedish colonist in Delaware in and around 1638 – the Swedish are credited with bringing the concept of the log homes to America.
In 1848, S. M. Swenson, the first Swedish settler to central Texas, purchased 400 acres surrounding the cabin. He named this area “Govalle” after a dialectal Swedish phrase roughly translatable as “good grazing.”. S. M. later increased his ranch to 1,100 acres which was along the Colorado River in Austin between what is today Hwy 183 and I35. S. M. lived in this cabin until his uncle, Gustaf, came to America. S. M.  built his mansion close to where Huston -Tillotson College is today but it was never finished.
In 1853, S. M. Swenson’s uncle, Gustaf Palm, and his family came to Austin and became the second Swedish family to live in the log cabin. When the Palm family arrived in Austin, they had five children and were later blessed with four more children – bringing the total to ten (11) people living in the cabin. Gustaf was a watchmaker by trade and an organist by passion. Gustaf brought his organ with him from Sweden.
When they came to Texas they rode the train from Galveston to Brenham and the organ was carried by ox and wagon from Brenham to Austin. The cabin was enjoyed by many Swedish settlers as they gathered around Gustaf’s Swedish organ to sing. The Gustaf Palm family lived in this cabin until after the Civil War when their new home was built at l4th and San Jacinto. The log cabin was moved intact to this location to be used as a wash house.

When the property at l4th & San Jacinto was sold, Louis Palm, a great nephew to Gustaf Palm, had the cabin disassembled numbering each log. Then he moved the logs to his farm in Palm Valley and the cabin was reassembled by Carl Thornquist a couple of months later at Nelson Park in Round Rock and this was in 1943.

When Nelson Park was sold in May, 1965, the Texas Swedish Pioneer Association, including Carl Widen as President of the Association, made arrangements with the City of Austin to move the cabin from Nelson Park to its present location in Zilker Gardens. The cabin was moved by E. L. Bradford and restoration was handled by general contractor R. J. Lockhart. (HISTORICAL NOTE:THERE IS A MISSING VIDEO OF THIS MOVE THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO LOCATE AND SECURE A COPY.)

The log cabin was awarded the official Medallion of the Texas State Historical Commission in June, 1966.
The interior of the Swedish Pioneer Cabin at Zilker Gardens contains many household articles of authentic pioneer origin. Original contents of the cabin were lost, but descendants have donated treasurers from pioneer days. Among the interesting contents of pioneer origin are…

·       A deluxe, illustrated Bible, once owned by the late Captain Anderson of Galveston.

·       A homemade reed organ (made by C J. Swahn and used as a trunk for clothing and household goods when he came to Texas in 1867 with the 100 other young people from Småland, Sweden.  The railroad from the coast terminated at Brenham, and the group walked the 100 miles to Austin in 4 days. The organ was transported by ox and wagon.

·       2 large paintings of King Oscar II and Queen Sofia Wilhelmina of Sweden (Popular rulers who reigned during the heaviest immigration period of the early 1870’s)

·       A copy of the painting showing King Gustaf II Adolf of Sweden at prayer before the Battle of Luetzen in Germany, 1653.
·       A framed picture of the Rev. T. N. Hasselquist, one of the founders and the President of the Augustana Snod.
·       A Grandfather clock, completely hand-carved and donated by the Swedish cabinet-maker, Gustaf Flodquist.
·       A spinning wheel from Barkeryd Parish, the ancesteral area for most Swedish immigrants to central Texas.  It was donated by a resident of the Parish, 80-year-old, Miss Anna Johansson, who inherited it from her mother.
·       A flax shredder, a gift from Alfred Karlsson who lives on the farm that belonged to Johann Swenson, brother to S. M. Swenson.
·       A Swedish Mora clock which disappeared from the cabin in l994.
 ·       The large fireplace, which served for both heating and cooking, is hung with huge and heavy iron pots, an iron dutch oven, tea kettle and skillet.
·       2 wooden flax carders (used to split flax before weaving (one of these is from Johan of Långåsa in Sweden ( S. M. Swenson’s brother).
·       Other kitchen utensils include authentic wooden bowls, a butter mold, a meat grinder, a rolling pin, candle holders and a copper milk can.
·       A frontier bench with a carding stand attached so the women could sit down and card the wool or cotton.
·       A wooden carder from an old home in Sweden, which was a gift from Barkhold Good when he came to Texas in 1867 with the 100 young people from Småland, Sweden.
·       There was an old Swedish Mora clock in the cabin that disappeared in 1994 and we were told that one of the garden employees had taken it to be repaired and it never was returned. This was the most valuable piece in the cabin and we sure like to have it back.

 Note:  Not all the items are still in the cabin as over the years the varmints getting into the cabin at the park have destroyed some of the items.

Barbara Gustafson Pate

See Swedish Log Cabin for more information and photos.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Growing Your Family Trees

Eight Ways To Grow our SweAme Family Trees
Submitted by:  Jeanne Rollberg

The web provides us with so many options that it is easy to forget aspects of it that will help our family trees grow and blossom.

In addition to already existing databases like SweAme, FamilySearch,  Ancestry, and Arkivdigital, we should not forget:

1) That once we have done our genealogical research, we have a great chance of finding living family members (and their entire family’s pictures and relationships sometimes) on Facebook. To narrow down a list of “Jane Smiths” to ours, we can use place designations. It’s the “Jane Smith” who lives in Jacksonville. We can then message that Jane Smith to see if we have found the right one, and proceed with process of elimination.  Search obituaries for living family members, in particular, for use with Facebook.  Sites such as Genealogybank (paid) provide several extensive obituary listings. (Conversely, this also reminds us to re-check our own Facebook pages regarding privacy issues and our own family members and settings.)

2) Anecdotally, it is said that women tend to use Facebook more, and men tend to use LinkedIn more. Again, once our research has discovered who the living family members might be, we can often find them at LinkedIn. Use a city or other known information such as occupation to narrow down the persons with correct names. Contact them. Many people are very receptive to such contact and can put you in touch with other family members.

3) When searching for a relative, be sure to include the “Images” search tool at the top of the web page after putting in a name. If you can find an image of your person on a linked site, that gets you one step closer to locating the person. Photos from genealogy sites (and professional web sites) often appear once the Images search tool is used.

4) If you know where a person lives, try searching with a name in quotation marks and parenthesized area code for any people whom you anticipate still have landline phones. Ex: “James Norton” and (904) will often bring up White Pages listings very quickly.

5) More and more newspaper archives in varying languages are being published online. Put in your person’s name and a country as a search string and see if it automatically brings up articles or other information.  Use Google Translate for translation, if necessary, even though it may only provide an approximation.

6) Don’t forget Facebook “groups” that relate to your Swedish research. Facebook has “Swedish-American Genealogy Group” that includes more than 1,300 researchers from Sweden and America, and who often live in the exact locations you are researching.

 This local knowledge can often be a wonderful help!  Others to consider:  “Swedish Heart Genealogy,” “Technology for Genealogy,”  “Your Genealogy Brick Walls,” etc. (The message boards, too, organized by location, are very helpful in seeking particularized info in a locality.)

7) Use the genealogy apps on tablets to populate your tree. This is often easier than actually doing it via desktop or laptop, depending on what you are doing. Example: If you receive a photo of a relative in an e-mail, on iPad, you can save that photo, edit it right there, and then upload it to your genealogy tree app such as those available at  Likewise, when Hints come up, they can be viewed and the information may be saved less cumbersomely than by using a desktop or laptop computer.  For some types of information, though, it is better and clearer to use the desktop or laptop if the tablet display is too small to include what you want.

8) Sign up for as a Twitter follower for appropriate Swedish/Scandinavian-related information. The Tweets you receive can sometimes give you ideas/contacts about genealogy in various places and keep you updated on what is happening in various cities (especially in areas like Boston, New York, and L.A. that have Swedish American Chambers of Commerce), generally speaking.   In a short period of time, you can discover if you need to drop any of these entities that are not providing information you find useful.  Sweden & America” magazine, published in Swedish and English, is another highly useful tool in this area.  The Swedish American Genealogist is a major journal in the genealogy field.  It is published quarterly by the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois.

Jeannie Rollberg