Thursday, February 02, 2012

Sven update

After a long lull in my family history research I’ve had a big break-through on my Swedish ancestry. I owe it all to the very kind Ylva D who helps out on a Swedish genealogy group on Facebook. Someone said she should get a gold-star – I thought a constellation of them was in order.

I first mentioned my Swedish great-great grandfather Sven Pearson on this blog back in 2006, picked it up again in 2007 before I visited his birthplace Malmö, and then last looked in in 2010 when I managed to trace information about his wife Annie.

On Sunday I posted a précis of Sven’s background onto Facebook. Within a day Ylva had provided with me with a database link for the Skane region that I could use to search for free. All I had to work off was Sven’s name, age at marriage (23 in 1880) and his father’s name Nils Pearson. Playing around with these, I could only find one record fitting these parameters and with the child being born in Malmö.

I posted the details for this record back onto the Facebook comment thread. I wasn’t terribly hopeful as the fit seemed a bit circumstantial – I’ve learnt not to trust all the details on certificates. In addition, there was the possibility that my ancestor’s records hadn’t yet been digitized and I was simply finding the best match in an incomplete set. In any event the information gave the father as Nils Persson and the mother as Elna Pålsdotter.

I relayed this information to my cousin Annie back in Australia, who reminded me that Sven’s daughter was Eleanor, very likely an anglicization of Elna.

1857 Sven PERSSON birth

A day later (we’re up to Tuesday now), Ylva posted that she’d taken my lead and looked up the specific details, confirming that this Sven was a seaman or sjöman who had married in Australia in the early 1880s. Today she showered me with 75 years’ worth of  birth, marriage, death and census records.

Sven map

Sven’s father

     Nils Persson (1812-1886) born in Agerum, Blekinge county

in May 1856 married

      Elna Pålsdotter (1827- ?) born in Bara

after she had an illegitimate son Per in 1853.

Sven was the first born child in 1857, followed by 3 surviving sons Ola, Johan Alfred and Nils. One or more of those brothers emigrated to USA. More fun searching!

A little further digging gave me most of Sven’s grandparents: Elna was born out of wedlock to Paul Sandström of Trelleborg, and Hanna Jönsdottor, a piga (maid) of Värby. Nils’ father was Pehr Qvist, and mother Hanna Pehrsdotter. Most of the men were simply arbetskarl or labourers.

Sven went to sea at age 15 (1872) but it’s not clear how and when he got to Australia, but he was obviously ready with enough English or charm (oh those Swedes!) to marry Annie Lyons in Adelaide in 1880. Ylva tells me that the Mercantile Marine Records office in Lund’s regional archives can be contacted for more information.

That’s it for now – two new generations of family gathered up today. Temperature’s plunging outside… time to grab a snow dog for warmth…

[Edit 3 Feb: Updated Nils’ birthplace with corrected information, and added his mother’s name]

1 comment:

  1. See http://mikenbondi.blogspot.com/2012/02/svens-and-svensibility.html for latest on this quest

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