Wow.  Another week has somehow zipped by.  Time seems to be getting away from me.  Maybe it’s because the movers will be at my house in less than three weeks!  Or maybe it’s the fact that we’re taking yet another trip to Disney World next week.  Whatever it is, I feel like it had better slow down a bit or I’m not going to get everything on my to-do list done.:)

Here are some of my favorites from this past week:

  1. I loved reading Cynthia of Heritage Zen’s  3 part series “A Comedy of Errors: My Family in the Census.”  Make sure you study up for the quiz at the end.:)
  2. You still have time to join in on Bill West’s Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge over at West in New England.  I’m writing my post this weekend.  Hopefully I can get it done before we head to Florida again on Monday.:)  The deadline for your post is Sunday at midnight.
  3. And thank you to Michelle of The Turning of Generations for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to get my blog reading organized.  I’ve been putting it off for months, but it’s gotten absolutely out of control and it had to be organized.  I now feel like I can navigate through my blog subscriptions with ease.
  4. The 104th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is out.  Head on over to Creative Gene to peruse the great articles – this edition’s theme is “Cars”.
  5. Are you heading to the NGS Conference next month?  If you are, have you added your surnames to the Surname Catalog? Who knows, you might find a long-lost cousin!!
  6. I also loved the post “Never Say Never” written by Deborah at “Irish Genealogy: Help!  The Faery Folk Hid My Ancestors”
  7. Judy from Curbow-Montoya Family’s post on being an Army Brat really hit home with me.  I personally grew up in one spot, so I never had to deal with being the new kid.  I’ve married into the military though and have 5 little “Army Brats” of my own.  I often wonder how they will look back on all of our moving around.
  8. Have you been following Cheryl Palmer’s series on the Great Swedish Adventure?  She’s up to Part 7 and it’s getting exciting!  Click on over to Heritage Happens and wish her good luck!!
  9. Head over to Finding Family Stories to read about Tami’s 8th great-grandfather in the post “The Sad Story of Godfrey Nims
  10. Grab some tissues and read Sheri from the Educated Genealogist’s post, “Moments Like This Are Why I Love My Job“.
  11. I finally sat down and set up a genealogy-only Twitter account.  I really didn’t want to bore people who were following to hear about homeschooling or mommyhood with my dead ancestors.  If you feel so inclined, you can start following me on twitter – the link is in my sidebar.
  12. A big thank you to my long-time friend Cherie at Have You Seen My Roots? She managed to make my faded baby from this week’s Wordless Wednesday a little less faded.  Amazing, huh? Now if only I could figure out who it is!

  • Sheri Fenley - April 8, 2011 - 10:36 am

    Thank you so much for the mention Jen. I’ll let you in on something – I never intended for the post to be a tear jerker, just a happy ending. But even I got a little teary when I went back and re-read it! LOLReplyCancel

  • Bill West - April 8, 2011 - 11:05 am

    Thanks for the shout out, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy B. - April 8, 2011 - 11:53 am

    OOH! Excited about the Civil War blog challenge. Thanks for the heads-up, Jen! I think I’ll have some time on Sunday to whip up something about my Civil War ancestors.ReplyCancel

  • Adam Glenn - April 8, 2011 - 8:28 pm

    I also like the Never Say Never post. Thanks for picking some blogs to read, I’ll have to try reading some of them. I get most of my new blog reading through review posts like yours.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Goodrum - April 9, 2011 - 2:52 am

    You’re welcome. I hope your blog reading is as efficient, enjoyable and under control as mine is now!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - April 9, 2011 - 10:14 am

      Michelle – it is! I think I’ve saved myself a lot of time and frustration now. :)ReplyCancel

  • Heather Rojo - April 10, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    Some great ideas for reading tonight! I’m just back from NERGC and I need to catch up on reading blogs. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Palmer - April 10, 2011 - 6:30 pm

    Hi Jen! Thank you so much for highlighting my blog series! It is greatly appreciated! I have been so busy this week, I see I have lots of blog reading to catch up with now! I appreciate the mention, again, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Shenette - April 15, 2011 - 6:17 pm

    Jen – Thanks so much for the shout out! I’m finally getting caught up on my reading after three days at NERGC and an overly busy week. Thanks again.

    How did you do on the quiz by the way? 😉ReplyCancel

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Hjalmar Alexander Klarstrom was born in March of 1873 in Alvkarleby, Sweden.  He was the fourth child of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.

His family moved from Alvkarleby to Lenhovda in 1885, from Lenhovda to Alem in 1889, and on to Gavle in 1890, where his father died that year.

At 20 years old, on 26 May 1893, he left Goteborg for Boston with his younger brother Robert.

His older sister, Maria, had been in Boston for ten years and was already married with a young daughter at this time.  Perhaps they stayed with her family when they arrived.

I thought that he would be easy to find.  Hjalmar isn’t exactly that common of a name, after all (but I was really surprised at how common of a name it is in Sweden).  It means “helmet- warrior” in Old Norse, by the way.

I have no trace of him after his immigration record though.

I wonder if he may have Americanized his name.  What would Hjalmar be changed to anyway?  I am having a hard time making a guess since I can’t even figure out how to pronounce it. Or perhaps he went by his middle name instead.  I didn’t find any trace of an Alexander Klarstrom either though.

I wonder what happened to him?  His sisters were so easy to trace in the Boston area.  Why did he disappear?  Maybe he only used Boston as a jumping off point for further adventures.  Did he head West?  Did he work for a while and return to Sweden?

Perhaps I’ll never know…

  • Liz - April 9, 2011 - 1:48 am

    Jen. I am really enjoying this series. I may borrow your idea and do posts on my grand aunts and uncles,
    I am so far behind… Congrats on your blog anniversary and being named a top 40 blog!
    I hope to see you at NGS.ReplyCancel

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This poor picture has all but faded away. It’s almost ghostly, isn’t it?

I am not sure who this baby is, but I know that it is someone on my Grandpa Don’s side of the family.

  • Jo Graham - April 6, 2011 - 10:33 am

    Oh poor faded baby! I wonder if the photo could be digitally restored?ReplyCancel

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undefinedI feel so incredibly lucky to have Swedish roots.  Let me count the reasons…..

  1. I have absolutely fallen in love with the beautiful St. Lucia Day celebration.  I am bound and determined to attend one.  One of my favorite pictures is of my grandmother, participating in one of these lovely ceremonies.
  2. IKEA.  Who doesn’t love IKEA??:)
  3. The landscapes in Sweden are breath-taking.
  4. I always loved the Swedish chef from The Muppet Show.  Yes, I’m a child of the 80’s.
  5. For some reason, I really like Swedish names.  Lars. Gunnar. Brita. Elvy. And it cracks me up that my great-great grandfather’s middle name was Magnus.  I imagine him as a huge hulk of a man just because of that name.:)
  6. But by far my favorite thing about having Swedish roots is the fact that they kept such fantastic parish records!  Births, Deaths, Baptisms, Marriages, Moving records, and Household Examinations that list everything from birth dates and places, immigration information, shot records, and lots of other really helpful stuff.  Most of them go back to the early 1700’s and some further than that.  I have been having so much fun trying to decipher what I’ve found.

Do you have Swedish roots?

Have you traveled to Sweden to do research or simply visit?  Did you find long lost relatives still living there?

I would really love to go there someday.


  • Mike B. - April 5, 2011 - 7:21 am

    What resources do you use to find the birth and marriage records? I’m researching my wife’s family and their names seem to be extremely popular. Gustaf Gustafson and August Lindstrom. Other than being from Goteberg and eventually moving to Ohio, I have not been able to find any Swedish documentation. But they were married in front of the Queen of Sweden.ReplyCancel

  • Shaz - April 5, 2011 - 8:27 am

    My husband is 50% Swedish so I am very
    familiar with those clerical surveys.
    I used to joke that if you sneezed,
    the minister made note of it!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Palmer - April 5, 2011 - 1:10 pm

    I love the photo! Are you aware of living relatives in Sweden? I had a distant cousin from Sweden find my blog last year! My goal is to go to Sweden this year!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - April 5, 2011 - 2:13 pm

      I wish I knew of some living relatives in Sweden! I am hoping that by posting about my Swedish ancestors, one of them will find me! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy - April 7, 2011 - 12:32 am

    got a few Swedish roots on my “Anderson” side… but I haven’t been digging on that side just yet :) But they stayed close to their roots in the states, living amongst many swedish communities & towns :)ReplyCancel

  • Hillary - April 8, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    I have Swedish roots. My Great-Great Grandmother Boel Christina Nilsdotter was born in Skane, Onslunda Sweden in 1865. After imigrating to America alone at the age of 16 her surname was changed to Nilson.

    This is a line I’m currently working on an dwould love to know what sources you are using?ReplyCancel

  • Adam Glenn - April 8, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    I don’t have any Swedish roots but my brother lived there for a couple years and I would love to go there. Until then, though, I’ll have to be satisfied with IKEA.ReplyCancel

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This post is going to be short, because I really have very little information on him.

Carl Gustaf Adolph Klarstrom was the third child of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.

He was born on 6 Nov 1870 in Alvkarleby, Sweden – near Gavle. I found his birth in the Swedish parish records on Ancestry.

His family moved to Lenhovda, Sweden in 1885 and then on to Alem in 1889 where they only stayed for one year before moving again to Gavle, where they had lived before Carl’s birth.

His sisters were on a passenger list bound for America in 1910.  They listed him as their closest living relative – and stated that he lived in Gavle.

I found a Karl Klarstrom in 1893 on the SS Gallia arriving in New York.

I also found a Carl Klarstrom heading to Minnesota in 1901 who fits his age range.

I have no idea if either of these guys is him.

On one of the household examinations, it also mentioned that he immigrated.

He may have come to America for a time and then returned to Sweden though.

I did find a clue in Sweden, Births from the Swedish Death Index, 1947-2006 on Ancestry.  There was a Gustaf Adolph Klarstrom listed as being born 1 Nov 1871 in Alvkarleby.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t give a death date, but it does mean that he died in Sweden -if this his him.  I searched the parish records for that date and didn’t find anyone with a similar name born at that time, so I’m assuming that this is my guy and his birth date is simply incorrect in the Death Index (it’s a year and five days off).

Unfortunately, that’s all I have.  I know that there is more research I can do in the Swedish parish records, but it’s so difficult since…

  1. They are in Swedish, which I don’t speak
  2. The handwriting and abbreviations are sometimes hard to understand
  3. It isn’t indexed, which means I”m searching page by page

I might do a quick perusal, but this is definitely something I”m going to need to delve into when I have a bit more time on my hands.  So, in 15 years when all of my kids are grown up, maybe I”ll have the time to devote to it. :)

  • Cheryl Palmer - April 4, 2011 - 3:13 pm

    I am enjoying following along as I have Swedish ancestors also!! Nice to meet yours!ReplyCancel

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