My last family-history update - Svens and Svensibility – summarised my findings from the latter part of the 19th century into the first part of the 20th. After that burst of activity, I’m allowing my research efforts to go on a hiatus until a good crop of new clues surfaces.
Even when I posted that report a week ago, I withheld a big chunk of news: that I had the names of two further generations of Sven’s brother Johan Alfred PERSSON’s family taking me up to the present day. To be more precise: I have contact details for about fifteen living cousins of my father’s and my generation scattered through southern Sweden. The joy (and peril) of Facebook is that I was able to look up a few of these names and instantly put a face to them – and in case there was any ambiguity, the fact that most of them had their siblings, parents and close cousins as Facebook friends clinched the identification.
Not wanting to leap in on these folks in a crazy stalkerish way, I’ve sent one message via Facebook, and one via email to a couple of different people, introducing myself and pointing back to this blog to indicate my bona fides. I haven’t heard back from either – possibly because I’ve disappeared into their respective spåm folders. Maybe they’re not interested in my offers of discount libido stimulants or to broker funds between their accounts and some Nigerian diplomats in another part of the family. We’ll wait and see what develops there.
Further to that, my Swedish research elves have helped tease out some more information on the family of Sven’s elder half-brother Per NILSSON. His wife Johanna, who had borne him three sons and was widowed after 4 years of marriage, was last seen in 1939 – having not remarried in the intervening sixty years, alternating time between her two elder sons and their families.
Picking up the stories of her sons:
- Johann Edvard NILSSON (1875-1931 ) = Anna Gustafva PETERSSON (1877-1909) was a carpenter who moved to Stockholm in 1901. He married Anna in 1908 and she gave him one daughter Aina Kristina and died 8 months later. After the First World War, father and daughter moved to Arboga, west of Stockholm. Johann pre-deceased his mother Johanna who had joined them ~1919.
- Axel Anton NILSSON (1877- ) = Berta Elina PETERSSON (1873 - )
Axel worked on the railways like his father, with his job being described as stationskarl. He married Berta of Listerby in 1899 between the births of their first two children. Since my last post, a new son arrived, and the family moved around within Malmö – or it may be fair to say that the parishes/districts of Malmö shifted and renamed around them. Axel was still working in one capacity or another for the railways when I left him in the 1930s.
- Johan Albin NILSSON (1898- ) (no new information)
- Maria NILSSON (1899- ) (no new information)
- Svea Ingeborg NILSSON (1901- ): in 1932 she was a telephonist in Malmö
- Ture Hjalmar NILSSON (1906- ): customs agent
- Per Olof Hjalmar NILSSON (1879- ) was living with his mother at the time of the 1900 census, and in May of that year changed his surname to Ståhle. He moved to the same area of Stockholm as his eldest brother, and changed from being a träarbetare (woodworker) to being an electrician. In 1911, he married Amalia Melanie BEEZ (1889-1912) in Mühlhausen, Thüringen Germany and brought her to live in Stockholm where she died 5 months later. In 1913, he returned to Mühlhausen and married Maria Hedvig BEEZ (sister/cousin? of his first wife), brought her back to Stockholm briefly before they both moved on to Berlin. A 1917 letter shows them living at Emdener Straße 13, Berlin and applying to retain Swedish citizenship.
These generations of the family definitely had a rough time with early deaths leaving young children, and no remarriage for the partner. Even my ancestor Sven died of cancer at the age of 43, leaving 5 children and a widow who survived him by 35 years.
I checked the German records in case there was anything more about Per Nilsson Ståhle and his wife. I had my hopes falsely raised by the Ancestry software reporting his name in several volumes of German phonebooks up to the 1940s. After fruitless scanning of some of the pages I realised that it had assembled a number of badly-OCR’d fragments of text to arrive at these “matches”. To compensate for this waste of time, I took the opportunity to do some German pre-war phone-book tourism, which I can tell you is going to be das nächste große Ding.
As a footnote, I must add the welcome news that South Australian hatch, match and dispatch indexes are now available online.