Bridge to Sweden
Newsletter no 19
Photo: Marie Louise Bratt
... in English, Merry Christmas... We just celebrated jul in Sweden, with tomte (little gnomes), julgran (Christmas tree), glögg (powerful Swedish Christmas drink), and julklappar (Christmas presents). More Swedish food here.
You never had glögg, this wonderful hot drink, available everywhere in Sweden during this holiday - but at no other time of the year?
Here is the recipe, which makes enough for quite a crew (at least 20):
1 gallon of port wine
Simmer for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour, very slowly, covered. Pour into cups where you have already put slivered almonds and raisins. Drink carefully and not too much, because it is strong! But delicious!!!
But now to business...Emigration
The very early emigrants left Sweden for North America during the middle part of the 1800s. They traveled by sailing ships directly from Swedish to US and Canadian ports. This was a long trip, as you might have guessed!
Then steamships came along fortunately and it became possible to travel from Göteborg (Gothenburg), Copenhagen or Oslo (used to be Christiania) to Hull, on the British east coast. From there the emigrants continued, by train, to Liverpool on the west coast, where they boarded huge steamships and headed across the Atlantic ocean. Most of the Swedish emigrants traveled this way.
In 1914 the Swedish American line started to take Swedish emigrants directly from Göteborg to New York and it got much easier to travel to North America. You might be interested in checking out this website, Ships List , which has detailed information about the ships taking emigrants to America and elsewhere. To learn more about the emigration from Sweden to America, I suggest an interesting article by Nils William Olson. Just click on Life in Old Sweden, then Way Out, and finally on Emigrant Traffic on the North Sea.
How do you find the
Why would it be interesting to find these records? And where are they anyway? The original records are stored at the different regional archives, landsarkiv, but much of this information is now available on a couple of CDs, Emigranten and Emibas, which I'll discuss here. You can find out when your grandfather emigrated, with whom he traveled, and where he lived before leaving Sweden, not only the parish, but even the village and often the farm! You might be able to find the name of his parents, his occupation, and the place in North America, where he intended to settle. That's quite a bit!
So let's look more closely at these two amazing resources:
So let's have a look at the different databases included in Emigranten:1. Emihamn
... based upon police reports written just before boarding the ship. To the right you'll find what is usually included (Swedish terms in red)
(do not confuse with the CD mentioned below)
Here you'll find emigrants from the city of Göteborg (Gothenburg). There were many!After the emigrant's name you'll find
... with data taken from the Swedish husförhörslängd, (household examination records or clerical survey records). Here the minister recorded information about the members of the household, including names, dates and places of birth, marriages, moves, and more.
Emibas is not yet complete, but what is there is quite useful.
This is what you'll usually find, about each emigrant: