Welcome to Tessa's blog

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Research and shopping

The headline includes two of my favorite pastimes. Sunday I recovered after the visit in Halmstad. Monday I tried to get the piles on the floor to decrease in number by filing some papers. Success was limited. Tuesday was a shopping day. I went by train to Helsingborg, and took a city bus to a mall called Väla. It's a big place, and there are several nice clothing stores and then there is also an Ikea-store. I didn't really need anything, but even so I managed to come home with quite a few items, clothes mostly. I couldn't resist a jar of cloudberry jam at Ikea either.

Today I went to the main regional archive in Lund. That's where they keep the estate inventories and church records for the 1900s (though not all of it has been handed in from the parish offices yet). I spent most of the day there, trying to find living family members of some unknown relatives I mentioned in an earlier message. My great grandmother's first cousin lived just outside Kristianstad, and no one seems to have known about it. I found out that his children are now deceased also, so I will probably not pursue it. While I was there anyway, I started listing the emigrants from Fjälkestad also. I have already made complete lists of the emigrants from Norra Strö, Färlöv, Kviinge and Gryt parishes. Önnestad will be complete soon. The only one I can't send via email is Färlöv (too large file), but if anyone wants the others, let me know. On my way back, I stopped by at work. My colleagues seem to be managing well during my abscence. It's still fairly quiet, the students haven't started their classes yet.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Interesting Saturday

I usually don't get out of bed at 6 a. m. on Saturdays, but today I did. The annual genealogy conference/fair hosted by the Swedish Society for Genealogists was held in Halmstad, and to get there in time I had to catch an early train. In fact, it was the very first northbound train today. Needless to say, it was very interesting to see the displays of books and databases for sale, the different on-line subscriptions to church records, the local historical societies showing their new publications and so on. I brought the "impossible" research questions, hoping that someone in some database would find an answer. I wasn't really successful, but got some new leads on where to look further. I also bought a few books (it's hard to resist) and the latest version of the Swedish passenger lists on CD. The library was open, and I went there to check the local collection. My great grandparents on my father's side used to live in Halmstad. The wife, Johanna, sold cheese in the market place and her husband, Carl Johan Kristiansson, sailed the seven seas. I looked for them in the books on Halmstad, but didn't find anything. It will require some more archive research here, I think. But it was a very nice library, brand new. Summing up, the day has been quite interesting and I'm glad I managed to get out of bed so early.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


A week at my mother's place meant some time to relax, but mostly we worked. At least that's how it feels. It started already the same day I arrived there, on the 17th. My mother and her boyfriend Pelle promised to help out at Play Day at Furuboda. It's an education and rehabilitation center for handicapped people. Once a year they arrange sports and games for handicapped children, and about 2000 people attend. They need large amounts of volunteers for this. I was there Friday to do something else, though. They get donations of books every year, and they needed someone to weed the collection. I sorted out about 10-12 boxes to be discarded. Saturday was the big Play Day, and I was busy handing out free ice-cream to all the kids. Part of the day I arranged the waiting list for the ones who wanted to go river rafting (not as violent as it sounds, the river here is very tranquil). After standing up for eight hours my back was sore, but the enormous response we got from parents and kids made it worth while. It is so rewarding to help out there.

Sunday my mother had to rest, but I attended an event at the local historical society at Norra Strö. They have just built a much-needed addition to the old school house they occupy. They didn't have a decent bathroom before, only an outhouse! And the large amounts of archival material needed a safe place. The new addition was properly inaugurated, and then a local celebrity gave a performance of parts of Vilhelm Moberg's works. I have compiled lists of all the emigrants from Norra Strö and some surrounding parishes, and I was selling it there for the benefit of the historical society. If any of the readers of this blog would like to have a copy (it's written in Swedish), I can send it as an attachment to an email. Let me know.

This week was a little slower, my mother and I spent time solving crossword puzzles. She even insisted on sending some in for drawing of prizes. She did that once before and won a gift certificate worth 50 SEK (7 USD). We also picked blackberries. There was quite a lot of it just 75 metres from the house. It's not the easiest berries to pick, because they defend themselves with spikes. The mosquitoes were very interested in our activities also. My legs and arms look spotted and scratched. But blackberries are very tasty, so we endure it.

Some of you might have heard of my mother's interest in slogan competitions. There are often flyers in the grocery store where you are asked to send in your best slogan/rhyme for that particular product, and there are usually great prizes to win. Sometimes they want your best recipe containing that product. My mother and sister are really good at coming up with slogans, and they sometimes win prizes. This week my mother picked up a fairly large rubber boat at the local grocery store. I wonder if she will have any use for it, though.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Archive research

For the first time in many months I spent an entire day at the regional archive. I had accumulated a fair amount of research questions that I needed to solve. Has anyone else noticed that finding the answers to genealogy questions tend to generate a lot more questions all the time? There are always some loose ends left. For instance, it amazes me that my grandmother didn't know that her great aunt had a son before she died in 1910. Now I found out that the son died in 1957 and he lived in a suburb of Kristianstad. Not at all far from Norra Strö.

Tomorrow I will go and visit my mother again. There will be a lot of activities this weekend. I actually haven't decided when to return to my apartment, but no later than Friday next week. There is no computer at my mother's place, so it will take a while before I can update this site.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


My memory isn't that good, apparently. The last time I saw my sister Anette and her family was at my birthday party on April 5. I can't believe I missed that.

Anyway, now I met them at my mother's place. We all went on a trip to the Danish island Bornholm on Saturday, August 11. It was a long travel day, but we had a very good time. We went by car to Åhus, took a free bus to the ferry at Simrishamn, crossed the water in about one hour, and directly upon arrival embarked on a tourist coach. We got to see small villages, a viewpoint overlooking a forest, a very old castle in ruins and a round church. When we got back to the harbour four hours later, there was a display of the Bornholm rescue services. My nephew John (aged 2) thought it was very exciting to sit in the driver's seat of a fire engine and to operate the fire hose (he loves anything that has to do with water)!

Sunday and Monday we were tired and had to take it a little slower..... We did drive to Åhus to get a large ice-cream, though. Tuesday was a long travel day also. We went to Ales stenar (Ale's stones/rocks), which is Sweden's Stonehenge. It's a formation of large rocks, and it looks like a ship. It's 67 meters long and has 59 rocks. The meaning of these rocks is debated, some say it's a solar calendar. We also went to Ystad, one of the major cities in southern Skåne. It's very picturesque, with old buildings and walking streets in the center of it. After this, I went home to Kävlinge again.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation - finally!

It's Friday afternoon and in just an hour I will be on vacation! Finally! It has been a long summer for me. This week the weather changed and it's sunny and warm (and humid). Hope it will be tolerable the next four weeks. This evening I will meet my sister Anette and her family, they are at my mother's place in Yngsjö. If I remember correctly, I haven't seen my sister since Christmas! They live in Borås, which is east of Göteborg. It would take about three-four hours by train, but I spent most of the spring renovating my apartment, so I didn't really have time to go and visit them. My bedroom needed a serious face-lift and my parents helped me painting the ceiling, walls and window-frames, and put in new floor boards. I slept on the couch in the TV-room for five months. I didn't really mind, since the bedroom turned out so well.

For those of you who are going to the Nelson Family Reunion in Milaca this weekend, I just want to say that I wish I could have been there too. I had a fabulous time there in 2005! Greetings to all of you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Another poem

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them?
Or don't you really know?
Some mighty strange discoveries are made
In climbing family trees,
And some of them, you know
Might not particularly please

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row
There might be some of them
You wouldn't care to know.
But here is another question
That requires a different view.
If you could meet your ancestors,
What would they think of you?

By Mable Baker

The beginning

After some explorations regarding the technical challenges of writing a blog-message, I think I can begin! Right now, I have desk duty in the manuscript reading room, but there are no visitors. It's usually crowded during the summer, and we don't know why they are abandoning us this year. We get visitors from all over the world in the summertime, but it's definitely different now. We are thinking of blaming the weather, like much else. It has been a terrible summer weatherwise. It rained for months. It stopped last weekend, but it was too late for many people. Many of my colleagues returned to work this Monday. I, however, start my vacation on August 13. As usual, I have lots planned. Already on Saturday I will do a trip to Bornholm, which is an island off the coast of Skåne, but it belongs to Denmark. There are rock carvings (rune stones), old castles and small fishing villages. Later, I will attend the Swedish Genealogical Society's annual conference. It's in Halmstad this year.
Undoubtedly, I will spend a lot of time at the regional archive in Lund also. It's not open on Saturdays during the summer, so the last time I was there was in May. I have suffered from symptoms of withdrawal for quite some time... There are so many ancestors to trace and so many relatives to find! Right now I'm doing research in Leroy Anderson's ancestry. For those of you who still don't know, Leroy Anderson was an American composer of light classical music. His father was born in the same village as I, Övarp in Norra Strö parish. We are distantly related. Next year will be the centennial year (Leroy was born 1908 and died 1975), with lots of events both in the US and in Europe. For more info: www.leroy-anderson.com
All for now. Thank you Nancy for the comment!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A poem

Your tombstone stand among the rest,
Neglected and alone,
The name and date are chisled out,
On polished marble stone.

It reaches out to all who care,
It is too late to mourn,
You did not know that I exist,
You died and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you,
In flesh and blood and bone,
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse,
Entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled,
One hundred years ago,
Spreads out among the ones you left,
Who would have loved you so.

I wonder as you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew,
That someday I would find the spot,
And come to visit you.

(Author unknown)


Since many other people have started blogs, I thought I would try it too. Mainly, I was thinking of all my relatives in the English-speaking world, who get to hear from me at very irregular intervals. Sometimes never. It's kind of sad, but there simply are too many of you to keep up the correspondence. This way, you would get to know what's going on in my corner of the world more often. At least that's what I will aim for.