Charlotta Eugenia Viktoria Klarstrom, (or Eugenia as she was called), was my great-grandmother.

She was the tenth (and last) child of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Elisabeth Christina Bennberg. I have written 9 previous posts on each of her older siblings over the past few weeks.  I am glad I took the time to do some more research on them, because it has given me greater insight into the entire family.  Don’t forget the siblings!!!

Eugenia was born January 4, 1888 in the Lenhovda parish, Sweden. Her family had previously lived in Gavle and in nearby Alvkarelby.  I am not quite sure what caused the family to move to the Lenhovda area, but they only lived there for about four years.  You can see in the map below that it was quite a ways from the Gavle area.

Her father, Carl Magnus, was listed as a “Klamparen”, which is a supervisor in a sawmill, who sorts the lumber out. Maybe they moved because of his job.

I started to get a bit confused, because despite the fact that I found Eugenia’s birth record in the Lenhovda parish records, she listed her birth place as Nybro on her declaration of intention.  I wasn’t sure which to believe.  Nybro is in nearby Kalmar county and there don’t appear to be any parish records from that town until 1932.  Could the records for Nybro have been included in Lenhovda in 1888?  They are about 55 miles apart.

I finally made sense of it all when I realized that the “Skogstorp” listed in her birth record was in fact the place where she was born.  Her family was living in the Skogstorp area of Lenhovda parish also:

And Skogstorp appears to be between Lenhovda and Nybro (actually closer to Nybro!).  Mystery solved.  I love those little “aha” moments.  I zoomed in as close as I could on Google and Skogstorp looks like it’s  not much more than a couple of houses and a whole bunch of trees.

The family moved to Alem in 1889 (one year after she was born).  Alem is along the coast in Kalmar county (not far from Nybro).

Here is the family in the household register in Alem.

And then the family moved yet again on June 27, 1890 – back to Gavle.  What is with all of the moving??  Why didn’t my family peacefully live in one village for a hundred years?:)  For this reason, I am forever grateful that Sweden has such spectacular parish records available.  To be given the exact date that they left the parish is amazing to me.

I have yet to find the Klarstrom family in the household registers in Gavle.  It’s proving to be much more difficult than finding them in the smaller parishes.  Gavle was a large city and the records are not indexed, which means I have to page through them.  I do know that they moved there in 1890 though, because it was recorded in the moving out records in Alem.

Eugenia’s father, Carl Magnus, died in Gavle on September 7, 1890 – only a little over a month after they moved to the city. She was only 2 years old at the time and would never know him.:(

I posted a request on Genealogy Wise for someone to help me translate what the cause of death was.  Someone kindly helped me out and told me that it says “submersio”.  He drowned.  I’m surprised and of course full of a lot of questions.  Was it an accident?  Was it suicide?  Was he working?  Did it happen in the river?  The sea?  The bathtub?  I’m not sure that I’ll ever know the answer to these questions.

I do know that his death left my great-great grandmother alone and she didn’t remarry.  Three of her ten children were already living in the U.S. I think that this paved the way for the younger ones heading over also, especially since they probably had to earn some money now that their father wasn’t working.  Eugenia’s brothers Hjalmar, Robert,  and Reinhold headed to the U.S to work in the 1890’s.  Olga left in 1892 and then returned briefly in 1898, to bring Klara back with her also.  Klara was the closest child in age to Eugenia.

As far as I know, this left my great-grandmother and her brothers Carl and Napoleon as the only children who were still in Sweden in 1900.  As I’ve said, I haven’t found them in the household records yet, so I’m not entirely sure if Carl and Napoleon were actually there.

I found Eugenia and her mother on the moving out list in Gavle on June 9, 1904.  They are listed as emigrating to North America.

I found them on a passenger list from Goteborg to Boston in June of 1904.  They were domestic servants.

I also found them returning to Sweden in 1905 though, so it appears that they only stayed for one year.  Why didn’t they go back?

Eugenia married Lars Julius Bergman on October 24, 1908 in Gavle.

Their first child, Martha Elizabeth Victoria, arrived a few months later – on January 3, 1909.  Did they marry simply because she was pregnant?

Another daughter, Elvy Kristina Eugenia was born in 1913.

Lars then left for the United States in November of 1913.  He immigrated through Quebec and moved on to Seattle, Washington.  He settled in the Ballard neighborhood, which was a thriving Scandinavian community.

Eugenia and the two children arrived the next year.  They traveled on the SS Helig Olav, arriving October 13, 1914 in New York.  They were processed through Ellis Island – which I think is very cool. :)I am assuming that they probably took a train across the country to Seattle to meet up with Lars.

A son, Walden Julius was born to them in Seattle in 1917.  Here is a picture of the family which must have been taken in about 1918-1919.  I love the bows on Martha and Elvy’s heads.

And then my grandmother, Eleanore Sonia Bergman came in 1922.  Here she is as a small child.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that Lars and Eugenia’s marriage was a very happy one.  They were still living together in the 1930 census, but I found an announcement of their divorce being granted in the Seattle Times in October of 1937 – after 29 years of marriage.

In 1935, Eugenia had put in her declaration of intention to become a citizen.  I was so overjoyed when I found this document, because I was lucky that it included a picture!

Eugenia never remarried and she died on April 15, 1960 in Seattle, WA.

If you’ve made it this far, then thank you for sticking with me.  I find that it often helps me to write out my research so that I can find the holes in it.  From looking back at what I have on Eugenia, there are a few things that I know I want to look into further:

  1. Try to find the family in the Gavle household registers.  (This will take a lot of patience, chocolate and BBC movies as I page through it.)
  2. Order the divorce records of Lars and Eugenia (although I feel a little bit like it’s none of my business.  I think one generation further back and I wouldn’t have any second thoughts about it.  What do you think?  None of their children are still living, but they have many grandchildren that remember them.Am I being too nosy?)
  3. Order her death certificate, just to have it.I’d like to know the cause of her death.
  4. Visit her gravestone and take a picture of it.
  5. Find out what the Order of Vasa was, which she was a member of.

Any other suggestions? Oh, and does anyone know how to get the little dots above the letters?  Klarstrom should have dots (I really want to call them umlauts but that’s German) over the o.  And many of the place names have special Swedish letters also.  I don’t know how to type those (other than to copy and paste them and I was WAY too lazy to do that throughout this entire post.):)

  • Shaz - May 8, 2011 - 12:44 pm

    ä Hold down alt +132
    Ä alt +142
    ö alt + 148
    Ö alt + 153
    ü alt + 129
    Ü alt + 154
    å alt +134
    Å alt + 143
    Ö alt + 153
    ö alt + 148

    for fun if you want degrees as in 100°
    that’s alt +248

    I mentioned this quite awhile ago, but your Elvy
    and my m-i-l Elvey (born 1909 in Chicago)
    are the only ones I have ever come across in
    all my Swedish research. Have
    you ever found any others?ReplyCancel

    • Jen - May 8, 2011 - 10:23 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for those codes. I need to post-it them to my screen. :)
      I have never come across another Elvy – not even in my family.


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I’m back with another installment of “Shopping Through The Ages”.  This week, I perused the 1898 Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog (available on Ancestry).

There were quite a few differences between the 1897 and 1898 catalogs.  I’m sure some of them I simply didn’t notice in the previous one, but I know that other items were new.

Fashion seems to have changed quite a bit.  The poofy shoulders of the dresses in 1897 were smaller. Some of them were actually a bit pointed instead.

It also looks like there was more variety to the patterns offered.  And more skirts with shirt waists rather than dresses.  They look like you can move in them a little better than the previous years.

It looks like some of the clothing was moving a bit more towards the practical.

But they were still tied down in corsets.

I love these bicycle suits.  You’ll notice that the ladies’ skirts are shorter, presumably so that they didn’t get stuck in the spokes.  They would have been absolutely scandalized by the bicycle outfits people wear today!

Here is some more men’s clothing.  I noticed that the suits were very “busy” with patterns.  I thought I’d include some overalls since I have many ancestors who were farmers.

Aren’t these hats adorable?

Don’t these children look like they’re having a good time with their “Combination Belt and Supporter”?  I think I’d be dangling it in front of the cat too!!

And on to some exciting new technology!  I found a “moving picture”machine  instead of the simple picture viewer from the previous year.

The biggest difference I noticed between the catalogs, was that in the 1898 one, there are many new products being marketed towards the Klondike/Alaska.  The gold rush started in 1897, so this makes sense.  I love seeing how historical events influenced the items offered.

And here are a bunch of items that I thought were fun…

As much as I like pickles, I can’t imagine owning a dish specifically for them.  It was called a “pickle caster”.  Now that I think about it, this is probably a good idea.  My kids are always sticking their grubby little hands in the pickle jar, trying to fish one out.

This is the first time I noticed a milk shake machine and an ice shaver!  Yum!

Don’t these look like the perfect little cake tins for a card party?

We’ve all seen the folding “Murphy” beds.  What about a folding bath?  “Every village and farmer may have a complete bath service as well as city folks.”  They were made to look like a beautiful piece of furniture, so that you didn’t have to have a bathroom to put them in.  You could have your folding tub in your living room!

What about this nursery chair?  Is it just me, or does it appear to have a convenient hole in the seat??

I loved these fancy plush robes.  It’s essential to keep warm when you’re out for a sleigh ride!

Before the advent of Lysol spray…

Don’t these look comfortable?? “For nervous diseases, nervous exhaustion, rheumatism, sciatica, lame back, insomnia, melancholia, kidney disorder, dyspepsia, diseases of the liver, female weakness, complicated diseases, caused by overwork, long hours of study, dissipations and indiscretions in youth”.  Wow.

And lastly, after looking through page after page of different types of transportation, I decided to educate myself a bit on what the differences between these different conveyances are.

Here are the definitions I found, using

Surrey: a light, 4-wheeled horse-drawn carriage having two or four seats.

Buggy: a light, four-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage with a single seat and a transverse spring.

Phaeton: any of various light, four-wheeled carriages, with or without a top, having one or two seats facing forward, used in the 19th century.

Trap: a light two-wheeled carriage

Jump Seat Buggy: a buggy with a movable or folding seat, used as an extra seat.

Buckboard: a light, four-wheeled carriage in which a long elastic board or lattice frame is used in place of body and springs.

Stanhope: a light, open, one-seated, horse-drawn carriage with two or four wheels.

It was interesting.  They also had delivery wagons, milk wagons, and even “sewing machine” wagons (specifically for the delivery of sewing machines).

They also offered  buggy painting.  It was neat to come across this page, because it was one of the only ones that was in color.

That’s it for this week!  I hope you enjoyed this post.  Join me next week when I shop through 1899!!!

  • MN Family Historian - May 7, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    Wow, those catalogs were a riot! The Alaska sweater picture looks more like mail armor from the Middle Ages.

    And I love how they proclaim self-heating, folding, bath tubs as “THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER APPLIED TO HOME COMFORT.” I’d never heard of them before. The whole concept sounds like an accident waiting to happen.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - May 7, 2011 - 10:01 pm

      It does look like armor, doesn’t it??ReplyCancel

  • Heather Roelker - May 7, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    The clothing from this time period look hotter than heck, but I bet I would look smashing in it! 😉ReplyCancel

    • Jen - May 7, 2011 - 10:01 pm

      It would be SO hot – especially with all of the necessary undergarments too!ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - May 9, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    I love the folding bathtubs! Especially important after wearing all of those clothes and undergarments in the hot weather – can’t imagine what people must have smelled like back them :-(ReplyCancel

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I have spent this week in a hotel room, with nothing much to do except tell the kids to be quiet.  (I’m so sorry to whoever has to share a wall with our hotel room!! )  At least we’re on the bottom floor, so their jumping and running around isn’t bugging people below us.:)

Since we’re done with our homeschool year, I no longer have a house or any household responsibilities, and I’m just looking for things to do, I was able to get a lot of reading done this week.

  • I was so excited to read about the new “World Memory Project”. What a wonderful idea!!
  • My friend Cherie was hard at work again this past week and created a 1790 census form, which you can input your information onto.  Thanks Cherie!!
  • I hate that I have so many unidentified photos in my collection.  (I’m glad to have them, I just wish that I knew who was in them!).  I love to hear stories of solved photo mysteries.  Cynthia of Heritage Zen had someone contact her this past week and identify a lovely couple which she posted last year.  That’s one of the many reasons I love blogging!:)
  • Have you ever heard of a Housewife’s diploma?  I probably could have used one of those before getting married.:)  I loved Jo’s post about her tree-climbing granny and her diploma over at Images Past.
  • Heather of Leaves for Trees had a beautiful post about WWI embroidered silk post cards.  They’re gorgeous!!
  • If you’re attending the NGS Conference next week and you “tweet”, note that the hashtag for the conference is : #ngs2011  I’m planning on trying out my Twitter skills a bit more during the conference. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to like it as much as Facebook.  Am I alone?
  • Debi from Who Knew? had a great post about her great-great grandmother’s certificate, which she had restored by a professional.  After taking Maureen Taylor’s Legacy webinar the other day, I was interested to see someone use a pro to restore their document.
  • The 105th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is out!  Head over to Creative Gene to read about everyone’s favorite current technology. Submissions to next month’s Swimsuit Edition are due by June 1st, so pull out those pictures of your bathing beauties.:)
  • How many of us can claim we have a goat-trainer in our family tree?  Wendy’s tales of her Grandpa John are always amusing.  He must have been such a character!!  On another note, if you can figure out why her ancestor, Frederick Harmon Brittain,  was in jail in OK in 1900, she’d be forever grateful.
  • Michelle’s series on using land records to solve genealogical problems was very encouraging.  I often find myself less than excited about land records, even though I know that they are a valuable resource.  Head over to The Turning of Generations to read the entire series.
  • Amy of The We Tree Genealogy Blog found her #16! What a wonderful gift for her to be able to give her 83-year old grandmother – the names of her grandparents.
  • I loved the post “Confessions of a Genea-Conference Groupie” over at Luxegen Genealogy and Family History.  If I had a babysitter, I’d definitely attend more conferences!
  • And lastly, in case you missed my earlier posts, I have started highlighting a year each week (or so) as I shop through the Sears Catalog.  I’ve posted 1896 and 1897. 1898 will be posted tomorrow.  I have had so much fun paging through the old catalogs!
  • Debbie - May 6, 2011 - 9:52 am

    Thanks for sharing these great finds! I also didn’t realize you were a homeschooling family. We are, too, and we love it! Good luck with the rest of the move.ReplyCancel

  • Joan Miller (Luxegen) - May 6, 2011 - 11:09 am

    Thanks for the mention :)

    I’ll be looking for your conference tweets!ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - May 6, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    Thanks for mentioning my blog – I feel like a star! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Wendy B. - May 6, 2011 - 3:41 pm

    Thanks again for the shout-out, Jen, and for all the great reading suggestions!! Yes, my Grandpa John was quite amusing, and a wonderful guy.

    I hope everything goes smoothly for your move. =)ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - May 6, 2011 - 10:34 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Jenn! :)

    I was at Maureen’s webinar too. It was excellent! Got me ready to go for this week. See you soon!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Goodrum - May 9, 2011 - 4:25 pm

    Thank you for the shout out!ReplyCancel

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Okay, so these aren’t that old – although they are very “loved”.

They were my mom’s books and have her name and address on the inside.  They were published in the early 60’s.

I loved reading them as a kid.  I still do. :)

Do you have these books sitting on your shelf also?

  • Chris Odom - May 5, 2011 - 11:55 am

    I do, in fact, have those same books and more on my shelf right now! They were also my mom’s when she was a kid. After my maternal grandmother died in the 1980s, the books came to my childhood house. When my mom passed, I brought them to my house! They are wonderful books, although yours are more well-loved! HA!

    Thanks for the memory jog!

  • Michelle Goodrum - May 5, 2011 - 6:53 pm

    Oh yes I do. Except for the one my brother grabbed! Good memories.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - May 6, 2011 - 8:59 am

    They are pretty worn! They made it through a fire in my parents’ storage unit, so they are a bit smoke damaged. I didn’t realize that there were other titles in the series.
    I was surprised as I was walking through the DVD section of a store last night and saw a new Peanuts movie called “Happiness is a Warm Blanket”!! I wonder if it has anything to do with this series of books. :)ReplyCancel

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I don’t have any idea of who this guy might be or where he is, or when this was taken.  In other words, I have nothing.:)

Any ideas?

  • Jo Graham - May 4, 2011 - 2:08 pm

    He looks happy. I too have a lot of unidentified pics which I hope someone will be able to help me with one day. If we post them, perhaps someone who can help will find them :-) Hope the move goes OK! JoReplyCancel

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