My first Swedish family connection!
On our way back south from Stockholm, we diverted to Vetlanda to have fika, a coffee break with cakes with my cousin Annika.
After several months’ research on my Swedish family history, it’s rewarding to make a connection across centuries and continents like this. Our last common ancestors were Nils Persson (born 200 years ago this year) and his wife Elna Pålsdotter. Son Sven went to Australia, Ola to America, Nils to Norway and Johann stayed in Sweden. Johann’s descendants are scattered across the south of Sweden, but to date I’ve only been in touch with Annika, and through her, her sisters and mother.
Most of the journey to Vetlanda retraced our drive north, except diverting at Mjölby where I recall a giant sculpture of a peeled potato decorated a roundabout taking us off the highway.
I’ve been using my driving time as an extended language lesson, each town or location sign a giant blue flashcard for me to rehearse difference vowels and word particles. Hearing Gustav snickering at my attempts is just a bonus.
In picking a first contact, I made a fine choice as Annika teaches English here, and brought along her friend and teaching colleague Malin. We just chatted about this and that over the course of an hour or so between Annika’s afternoon and evening teaching duties, and then a round of photos to prove to each side of the family that the meeting happened. Annika is my 4th cousin, which is what you’d expect from a common ancestor of that vintage, and for me typical in my closer overseas relatives who almost all arrived in Australia’s first century of colonization.
|We had another three hours on the road back to Gustav’s place. As much as Munson has been a great little traveller, in car and out, he was very glad to get back onto familiar ground and demanded an extended play time. I threw him his plush kong toy as a focus for play, which gave him squeaky delights for ages. |