Wednesday, November 25, 2015

family history

Another "post" that is really an ongoing repository. My Mum is Swedish and this is about her family history.

The Gustafssons

Karl Gustafsson m. Amanda

The family were based in Sundsvall.

They had five children:

Ida (died in childhood)
and a boy, who also died in childhood.

Sigrid was my grandmother (Mormor). I remember her and my great-aunts Moster* Anna and Moster Greta very well.

(*These Swedish aunt and uncle names "Moster" "Faster" and "Farbror" all express their relationship from the point of view of my mum, not myself. I don't really know if, as a great-nephew I should really be using a different form such as "mors moster" or "gammalmoster".)

Surviving nugget of family history:  Karl and two of his daughters Greta and Ida all shared the same birthday: August 24.

The Gullikssons

Faster Svea   (prompted by the news that Johan and Petra  at the cottage have just had a baby that they've named Svea. In Sweden as in England, there's currently a revival of names once considered very old-fashioned.)
  Faster Svea was Farbror Henning's first wife. (His second wife was Faster Selma.  I remember her, though not very well. When I was a child we sometimes used to borrow her apartment in Stockholm.)

Svea gave birth to a little girl who died after just three days.

(My mum was born to Klas and Sigrid three years later, and she was treated with perhaps painful protectiveness, because she was the only Gulliksson child; Klas and Sigrid were not young parents, and all Klas' brothers and sisters were either single or childless.)

For Svea the whole thing was so traumatic that she swore never to go into hospital again. She died, a few years later, of a burst appendix.

Moving to Fridhemsgatan

Fridhemsgatan 11 is the place of my earliest memories, when I was visiting my Morfar and Mormor (Klas and Sigrid) at Christmas time. This must have been 1962.

They moved there when my mum was about two.

She stood in the street and told the passers-by: "I used to live at Albertsgatan 4 and now I live at Fridhemsgatan 11."

(They had only moved a few hundred meters.)

The house in fact belonged to Farbror Henning, the most prosperous member of the family. Henning and Svea had lived there until Svea's death. Fru Wahlström, Svea's mother, still lived upstairs. Klas and Sigrid shared the house with her when they moved in.

Henning was a "gudtemplare" i.e. a Good Templar.  And my unmarried aunt Faster Lydia was a strict Baptist. (This is why my Mum and Dad's wedding, in 1957, was toasted in sparkling pear juice.)  



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