Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ancestors

I used to own my grandfather's logbook. In it he had written what a kilo, or what a ton of coal cost. Also, what it cost to have a cow betackt (the a with an umlaut). It meant a calf would be born soon. But their first baby would be born before the calf was born.
The job he got made it possible for him to get married. His fiancee had lived with her family in the city named Helsingborg. Here she was pampered, and lead a comfortable life with indoor plumbing. Her father was a successful merchant. The store was called Tengwall's and was still in the same place when I was growing up and owned by a woman who was my mother's age.  She had inherited the store. I remember going there with my mother to give Hildur her Christmas present, which yearly was the same potted tulip, which had been forced to bloom in time for this Holiday.
The job grandfather was given came with living quarters. Half the building was the schoolroom.  The other half was the Olsson's living quarters. The water pump was outside the kitchen and the Outhouse was as far from the dwelling as possible. This had to be shared with all the students in the school. Poor Botilda, it must have been a rude awakening for her. Grandfathers pay was miniscule and as far as I know, they never had a pair of store bought socks or stockings. In every photo of my grandmother, she was seen with the five sock needles, working on a new pair of socks for her eight children. Or maybe there were seven children.
Soon after marrying, Ivar was born. And then the others followed. Either my mother was the youngest, or morbror Olof was. My mother was born in 1886. Many of her siblings had already emigrated to America. Next in turn came Alma, who worked in NYC as a baby nurse. I forgot to tell about Ivar first. He had a good friend from school who left first to go to America. He ended up in Walla Walla Wasington, working for a grocery store. He convinced Ivar that the streets were paved with money and to hurry up and follow him. I wish I had seen his diary to read about his trip across the Atlantic. I know he landed in New York. But how did he get to Walla Walla. What adventures did he have on the way. He did not last long in the West. He returned to NY and became a teamster. How he got money to buy a team of horses I don't know. He worked for the Swedish American Line and delivered luggage and other ware. He married Henrietta and they ended up in Upper New York state as Maple sugar farmers. They had one daughter named Louise.

The next time I will tell you about Alma and Ida, both interesting cases. And then following will be the stories about one whose name escapes me at the moment. I know nothing about her so what you will read will be my own phantasy about her. Everytime her name was mentioned, the conversation changed and looks told one there was more about her that would not be fitting for small ears to hear. So do not believe what you hear, for chances are that I made it up.

3 comments:

Julien said...

So do not believe what you hear, for chances are that I made it up.

Haha - love it - can't wait! :)

mss @ Zanthan Gardens (Texas) said...

I love hearing about your life and your ancestors. It's wonderful that you know so much about them and it's great that you are writing it down for your descendants to have.

Barbara Shallue said...

I love family history! Thanks for sharing yours!