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Tag Archives: Ancestry

Part of the reason for taking the trip to Scandinavia was for my wife to connect with her roots. She had been working on her ancestry for some time and had developed a large tree with the Norwegian side of her family. She had been stymied on trying to develop her Swedish tree. About five months before we were scheduled to depart she found an individual in Sweden who was working on a family tree for the Olson’s as a favor for a friend. They were able to connect and the result was correspondence between long lost relatives. We modified our travel plans and scheduled a couple of days to visit relatives.

Early in the morning we walked to the outskirts of town to the local Toyota dealership. When we arrived it was closed and we were starting to be concerned when the rental agent drove up. He had been filling up the tank at the gas station and saw us walk by the station.

The rental car was a Volvo so we had to fiddle with the controls for a while and then go back and ask the agent about a few things. After a few minutes we headed out using our phone for driving directions. We hadn’t gone far when we encountered road construction and missed our turn. After a short stop to get oriented we made another attempt to get through the construction.

When we drove up to the cousins farm there were over a dozen relatives in the front yard waiting for us and the Swedish flag was flying at the farm house. Included in the group was the local genealogist who had reconnected my wife with her Swedish relatives. Just before we arrived a big American car drove by and they were sure that was us but we were driving a Volvo. We were invited in to get acquainted and participate in a morning brunch.

We then headed off to tour the homes of Linda’s ancestors. Our first stop was at Linda’s grandfather, Per (Peter) Olson’s,  birthplace. It was owned by a German couple who purchased it as a summer home. Apparently this is fairly common in this area of Sweden. They were very welcoming and invited us in to view the home. One interesting thing we learned was that most of these old farm houses can be purchased relatively inexpensively. A house like this would go for under $40,000 U.S. dollars. We are now thinking that maybe we could escape Trump by moving to Sweden.

Our second stop was Linda’s great grandfather’s home. It is amazing how well kept these old homes are.

Our third stop of the day was a visit to the childhood home of Linda’s  Swedish grandmother, Carolina Carlsson. This home was owned by a nice couple. He was Swedish and she was American. They had remodeled and updated the home and it was nicely done. She is an avid gardener and the yard was beautiful. Linda has a photo of her great aunt standing in front of the house so she recreated the photo with her and the current owners.

We stopped on the way to dinner to check out the horses. Linda’s cousin rides competitively and she showed us a couple of her horses.

One of the menu items for dinner was moose. The young man at the table is an avid hunter and shot the moose. Apparently they also have a large number of wild boars in the area. We were a bit surprised that so much wild game could still be found in Sweden.

After dinner we drove over to Arby Church where most of Linda’s relatives in Sweden are buried. Unfortunately they did not use headstones until relatively recently. However, there is a headstone for of Linda’s  Swedish grandmother, Carolina Carlsson.

We were lucky enough to attend a Swedish church service. Fortunately the minister sprinkled a little English in the service as well as adding a little humor.

It had been an interesting day. We picked up our car and headed back to Kalmar. We had no trouble getting back. The agent told us to fill up the car and we could leave it at a parking lot by the train station. After filling up the car we noticed that the car would die every time we came to a stop sign. We really started to worry that we put the wrong gas in it. All night we worried that we were going to find a large bill on our credit card because we wrecked the car. The next morning we were driving with one of the cousins to Vaxjo and noticed that his Volvo died at every stop sign. Turns out all Volvo’s sold in Sweden have this feature to save on gas. What a relief!

When we got back to our hotel early in the evening we found it locked up. The restaurant was closed and there was no one at the reception desk. It was like the place was deserted. We wondered why we were given a key to the front door. Now we know. It was Sunday and the place closed down.