Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Search of My Swedish Ancestors – Phase One – Complete

When I last tried out ArkivDigital, I was having trouble figuring out what parishes to look in. It was suggested that I look for my ancestors first in FamilySearch and then use that information to find them in ArkivDigital.

I put this project on my to-do list almost every day for a month and finally got to it last week. It didn’t take too long, but did not produce the anticipated results.
  • Result One – there appears to be either an indexing or microfilming black hole around the city of Lund. Of all my ancestors from the part of Sweden, I found a total of one (yes, one) marriage record.  This is primarily the Nordstrom family – my great-grandfather, his parents, and his father’s ancestors. My cousin included them in the published genealogy, but not his sources.  
  • Result Two – I would estimate that most of the ancestors were not in FamilySearch, or at least not as listed by my cousin. Many of these individuals were born in the 17th and 18th centuries, so I can’t be sure that they existed, so to speak.
  • Result Three – I found siblings for several of my direct ancestors. As the published genealogy was at least 20 pages, it does not surprise me that only direct ancestors were included. I will have to remember to keep my eyes peeled for siblings of other ancestors.
  • Result Four – I discovered that Victor Witting (1825-1906) went to Chicago and died in Quincy, MA. He is buried in the Swedish Cemetery in Worcester, MA. Victor Witting would have been the great-uncle of my great-grandfather, Carl Gustav Nordstrom (1877-1931).
  • Result Five – Many of these individuals were baptized under a patronymic surname.  For example, my great-great Grandmother, who I’ve always known as Christina Gustave Mathilda Petterson was baptized in 1847 as Christina Gustave Mathilda Johannsdatter. I was, obviously, aware of patronymics but I thought they had been abandoned much earlier. Just another challenge.

Next up – phase 2 – activating my ArkivDigital membership and starting the hunt proper for my Swedish ancestors.

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