Sunday, February 05, 2012

Perssons of interest

Since I presented my Sven Update report on Wednesday, additional information about my Swedish forebears and the other descendants has continued to filter in.

“Filter in” understates the case: from one ancestor, the search has netted nearly three dozen direct line ancestors and assorted cousins, without counting any of their partners. I owe about 80% of these to the work of Ylva, Kicki and Karin on the Swedish Heart Genealogy forum.

The process of tracing some of these people is a little heart-breaking. You start by tracing a name from a birth register, and you have all sorts of expectations of their lives and their families, and then hours or even minutes later, you have their death certificate on the screen in front of you. My “half-uncle” Per Nilsson died of “cystitis and nephritic suppuration” at the age of 26, two months before his third son was born.  I followed his widow and sons through a quarter century of census reports before they all disappeared from the Malmö area. I saw much the same with the family of Johan Alfred Persson – his family disappear around the same time (1900-1910). Have they moved to another part of the country, or have they too followed brothers and uncles to America and Australia? I know some of their grandchildren have resurfaced in Malmö decades later, but there are still many gaps to be filled.


[ Update 8-Feb: bottom centre of chart. Ida (1893-1901) & Anna (1901-1902).  The second half of 1901 saw not only Ida’s passing but  2 year old son, Nils Olof Uno (1899-1901). The eldest child Svea saw her next three siblings die in the space of a fifteen months. Two more sons added: Nils Uno Wilhelm (1904- ) and Odd Sixten (1906-  ). ]

I was going to print it all out neatly with Family Tree Maker, but there just wasn’t any nice way to manage 260 years of family connections.  The most recent date I have is one of my cousins passing away in 2003.

I’ve got two complete generations going back in Sweden with tendrils drifting back into the early 18th century. I’m quite happy to leave those excavations for now to look for more recent blood ties. The three obstacles I have are:

  1. Sven’s brother Ola in USA from 1882: I don’t know where he went and can’t tie him to any other people in US records
  2. Norwegian records: Sven’s brother Nils seems to have gone to Norway
  3. Privacy locks: once you get into recent history (the last century) – official records become increasingly inaccessible whether they be in Australia, USA, Sweden or Norway. There are still possible connections in Australia I can’t trace. The best chances are that the descendants of some of these dangling branches have done some of their own research, and will intersect with mine. Just writing about them here is as good a place as any to attract them.

Along the way I’ve become much more familiar with the Swedish church registers, household examinations, census forms and the naming system of Malmö’s parishes and streets!

Sometimes I feel like I’m going a bit cross-eyed with all these –Sons and –Dotters, like a period soap opera.


  1. Kicki Larsson12:19 am

    Hi Mike!
    I am so happy that we have been able to help you out. It's satisfying knowing that you can help eachother out I think. I was reading your info above and saw that you think Svens brother Nils went to Norway.
    They have a great forum in Norway at I got some help there myself with an ancestor of mine that moved there in the early 1900. You can register there and then see if someone there can help you find out where Svens brother ended up.

    Hugs Kicki

    1. Hi Kicki

      I look on that forum but since you have to pay in advance for membership and there is not much English support (even the "English" pages are written mostly in Norwegian), I think it will be too hard to use.

      I think Nils' son Nils went to USA so I am going to search there first!


    2. Kicki1:05 am

      Hi Mike
      If you like I can put out a question there for you about Svens brother Nils. I only need to know when Nils was born and where.


    3. I have the information about Nils and his wife Justina - they returned to Sweden and died in Göteborg in 1931/33.

      It is his living children that I want to trace now. I will put up a new post about what I know about them now.