Sepia Saturday

I paid a little visit to Kim's Mouse Medicine blog this morning
and saw she was participating in a play-along called
Sepia Saturday
started by a guy named Alan whose blog is called
News from Nowhere.

So I decided to jump into the photo pool
with an ancestor picture of my own.

Let me introduce you to Johan August Jonasson Blomgren
(known to his descendants as August Blomgren)
and his fetching bride Charlotta Jonasdotter.
They were my mother's paternal great-grandparents.

August was born in 1833 in Halleberga Parish, Kronoberg County, Sweden.
Charlotta was born in 1833 in Madesjo, Kalmar County, Sweden.
They married on April 11, 1857 in Madesjo. 

Swedish parish records tell us that August was a blacksmith.
He probably also farmed. Charlotta bore eight children: Emilie,
Jonas Joseph,  Carl, Adolf, Wilhelmina, Frans,
Anna Charlotta, and Aron Gottfried Blomgren.

Emilie, Carl, Adolf, and Frans all died in childhood or adolescence.
As the family accumulated funds, each of the older children
was sent to the United States. Each sibling went first to Nebraska,
where August's brother Jonas "James" Blomgren was living.
James worked for the railroad and helped the boys find jobs.
Wilhelmina worked as a nanny for a local family
and I suspect Anna did the same.

By the first decade of the 1900's, all four kids had worked their way to
the west coast, either eastern Oregon or eastern Washington.
All proudly became American citizens.

August apparently wanted to become an American, as well.
He filed "leaving papers" with his Lutheran parish
and actually traveled to the United States in the 1880s or 1890s.
I don't know how long he stayed or how many of the children
he visited. I don't know if he saw his brother
 in Dannebrog, Nebraska. Since he was traveling by train,
he probably did. But at some point,
 he went back to Sweden.
His wife was adamant that she wouldn't leave her homeland.

August died in Sweden sometime after 1907,
because there is a 50th Anniversary photograph
of them in front of their home taken that year.
 Parish records of deaths for that time period
aren't available so I don't know the date.
Charlotta died in February 1923 in Madesjo.
She was just six weeks short of her 90th birthday.


Alan Burnett said…
That is such a fascinating story and a wonderful photograph. Welcome to Sepia Saturday, I am sure pleased you decided to join in.
ellen abbott said…
Hi Meri. It was nice to see you over at my place today. What a great picture. I like how they are dressed basically the same with their flowers pinned on and her with just her bouquet and veil. It made me start to wonder when white became de riguere (sp?) for brides.
Tess Kincaid said…
Oh, this is a fabulous family treasure! I absolutely love hearing of everyone's ancestry. I see shades of your great grandmothers face in your own.
Betsy Brock said…
Hi Meri! I'm so glad you've joined in! This photo is absolutely stunning! And the story of their lives so interesting. She sure is beautiful! These old photos always make me want to see them smile, laugh and talk....just come alive. Thanks for sharing!
What an incredible photo! Quite a life they led....aren't you lucky to have the details!
What a great story and fabolous photograph.
Meri said…
Thanks, everybody - especially Alan for coming up with this concept. I spent way too much time doing genealogy. My great-grandmother Wilhelmina was my first foray into the Swedish records, all maintained by the Lutheran Church in Sweden. Her husband Samuel is one of my "brick walls," because I can't find hide nor hair of him in the Swedish records.
Karen Cole said…
Great story and photo Meri.

Terribly sorry to read about your dear cat. it's always difficult to part with a pet....true love there.

I must find out how to put the photo groupings together.
Stephanie said…
Fabuluous photo! Wow, that goes back a long way - wonderful that it's been preserved and that you've got the story. Thanks for sharing.

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