View Full Version : help how do i find a Swedish immigrant

11-08-2006, 1:15 PM
I am trying to trace a swedish grandfather who arrived in the uk during the 1920s - i have his marriage certificate and all it says is Gothenburg!! I have absolutley no idea where to start - help please!!!

11-08-2006, 2:04 PM
Hi Sparkie
Welcome to the forum. :)
Where in the UK did your grandfather live? What was his age & occupation? You could try contacting the nearest Swedish church for information. In Liverpool there was a large Scandinavian population, mainly sailors, & the church that they built is still going strong. What was his father's name & occupation?

08-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Hi Sparkie,

I am now back in Sweden and have family connections here, so know my way around with Swedish research and the language. If you could let me have the details currently available (as requested by Wirral), I may be able to move this one along for you a bit. That is, if you haven't already done so.


08-06-2009, 11:03 PM
Hello Danny,
Sparkie only made one post on the forum, back in 2006, then disappeared never to be seen again :(

However, seeing as you have kindly replied with an offer of help you may find that some other members with Swedish connections may ask you to advise them.

Thanks in advance. ;)

10-06-2009, 8:53 AM
Hello Mutley,

Thanks for your reply. What a pity Sparkie didn't make it back. Hopefully he resolved his problem in the interim anyway.

Yes, it would be my pleasure to help out with any Swedish research related issues. I am also located in the town that has the Swedish museum and records for Emmigrants, which is very convenient.

HTH soon

10-06-2009, 9:24 AM
Good Morning all

Re: Sweden - I have recently been asked to help research with regards to a gentleman who hailed from Sweden (surname Olsen) Occupation Mariner and who remained in Liverpool for the remainder of his life. Therefore, would it be possible for me to share the information I have with you too - in the hope that I could request your help also please with respect to Sweden?

Hope you don't think I am too cheeky?

Kind regards


10-06-2009, 5:47 PM
Hi Suzie. No problem at all - hope I can be of help. Please send whatever you have, no matter how "insignificant" it may seem.


Dennis Lindgren
10-06-2009, 7:33 PM
Hi Danny this is my first post. Would you be willing to help me on my Lindgren ancestors in Sweden? I have a problem in not understanding Swedish as I have my G/G/Fathers "Journeymans Book" dated 1845, as well as I think my G/G/mothers Death Notice 1910, and cannot read them.

10-06-2009, 9:58 PM
Hello Dennis. Welcome aboard! Not a problem. Perhaps you could contact me through the private message link so that we can transfer scanned documents for translation via email?


11-06-2009, 7:27 AM
Hi Suzie. No problem at all - hope I can be of help. Please send whatever you have, no matter how "insignificant" it may seem.


Dear Danny

Many, many thanks for your kind offer to help me re: 'Peter OLSEN' - Sweden!

The information that I have so far in the 1891 England Census is thus:

Aged: 55
Born abt: 1836
Where born: Foreign, Sweden
Occupation: Mariner
Wifes' name: Fanny (nee Sullivan)
Civil Parish: Toxteth Park, Liverpool

In the 1891 England Census it states all of the above - excepting that Peter OLSEN's birth year is now listed as: 1847!

In the 1911 UK Census, Peter OLSEN is aged 77 years of age, his Occupation is a Night Watchman, he has been married for 30 Years and lives with his wife Fanny and has two daughters, Ellen and Emily, living at the family address: 55 Beresford Rd, Toxteth Park, Liverpool.

I gather from the 1911 Census information that Peter Olsen was born in BOSTAD - I am hoping this piece of information may help you in your research for this gentleman?

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to let me know.

Many thanks in advance with the above, if Peter Olsen can be found either in Sweden with regards to his parent's etc., or even with regards to which Ship he actually worked on as a Mariner/Sailor when he came to Liverpool - this would be wonderful news.

Thank you once again and I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Kind regards always.


13-06-2009, 8:38 PM
Hello Dennis,

Thanks for the first of the documents (death notice/13 &14). I have to say that on initial study, I think this little problem is going to have to go to someone better than me.

The writing is somewhat faded and blurred, as well as being in "old Swedish" - both in text and handwriting. I have had major problems with "interpreting" English handwriting styles on the various censuses, so you can imagine what this does for me!

I think your way forward is to enlist the help of a native speaking researcher in Gothenburg. That way you are likely to get more specific commitment and possibly free look ups.

Your "death notice" is in fact an "invitation for Your presence to honour our beloved mother Petronella Lindgren at the Burial ceremony in the Cathedral chapel, Wednesday 3 August 1910 at 4.30 in the afternoon". "Barnen" means the children. I would assume therefore that the lady was already a widow.

The Journeyman's book (of 40 pages) confirms that Wilhelm Theodor Lindgren was a baker and born in Gothenberg 28(?) March 1821. I think it says he was apprenticed to a Baker ??? in Uddevalla 12 March 1840 and qualified 22 February 1845.

Unfortunately he second page is too faded and the handwriting too indistict, for me to translate. I believe though it confirms his passing an exam/qualifying on 22 April 1844 and is signed Jönköping 22 Feb 1845.

I hope this helps a little.

Kindest regards

Dennis Lindgren
14-06-2009, 9:05 PM
Hi Danny
Thanks for the try. You have helped to confirm what we were told about Wilhelm being a Confectioner. He was said to have been in service to the King?. You've also caused great doubt about a Gustaf Herman in S.A. being Wilhelm's son and my G/Fathers brother. Gustaf was born 1891 in South Africa, according to his "CONTINUOUS CERTIFICATE OF DISCHARGE" book issued by the "BOARD OF TRADE" to all merchant seamen. This would have made Wilhelm 70 Years old at Gustaf's birth and Petronella would have had to have been in S.A.. Not impossible but unlikely.
I think Gustaf is related but as the son of my G/father's brother Anders William Pontus, who was last recorded as sponsor in 1906 at my uncles Bapt. I have not been able to find any other reference to him since. I'll try to find someone who is more fluent in old Swedish.
Thanks again for your efforts it is apreciated.

14-06-2009, 10:46 PM
Hello Dennis,

The "funeral invitation" didn't actually specify where the ceremony was to take place. I assumed it was in Sweden. As it was "signed" by Barnen (literally the children),it would have been Petronella's immediate offspring.

You obviously have a lot more information and insight to the family structure that I was not, and didn't need to be, privy to.

Another route might be to post on a Swedish genealogy site for more information on both Wilhelm and Petronella. Have a look at scangen.se; it's in Swedish but there is an "English" tab. There are several resources available, one of which should also be able to "decipher" the journeyman pages as well.

Finally, the translation of "bagare" is baker. Looks like he was a Master Baker, which would include confectionary, and quite possibly would have put him in the frame for "Royal connection". Fascinating!


16-06-2009, 9:46 AM
Hello again Susie,

I think we may have found your man. The details are virtually identical:

Bengt Peter OLSSON born 16 August 1838 in Hov församlingen (Parish), Båstad Municipality.

An unmarried seaman, he emigrated from Hov 31 December 1870 with the destination of England.

The Parish Registers for Hov, which were held in Båstad, were destroyed in the fire that destroyed two thirds of the town in 1870. However, a reconstruction by the Authorities from other records (the Swedish Church was responsible until quite recently for all population records) provided the following information. His parents were:

Ola PERSSON born 3 April 1797 in Hov. Died 4 November 1863 in Hov.

Ingar Persdotter born 10 March 1811 in Hov. Died 20 May 1874 in Hov.

Bengt Peter had siblings Anna, Sven, Nils, Petronella, Botilla och Kristina

(The Nordic surname pattern is evident here: Persson = son of Per, Persdotter = daughter of Per, and Olsson = son of Ola)

Sources: lookups on Swedgen’s copies of Småland Parish Registers, Sweden courtesy Bo Holm.

Finally I am still trying to find out if there is any record of his merchant navy employment, which may provide details of the ship and date of travel to England.

The medieval Parish church of Hov was demolished in 1836 as being too small for the (then) growing population. It was replaced by the current church which served the villages of: Dearp, Haga, Hallavara, Hillarp, Hov, Ingelstorp, Kärragårda, Muggarp, Olastorp, Perstorp, Segeltorp, Skrigstorp, Svenstorp, Tinkarp, Troentorp, Vråen, Ängalag (Engalag).
You will probably find the burials of the parents in Hov churchyard and assume that the family indeed came from the village of Hov.


17-06-2009, 6:59 AM
Dear Danny


I am simply overwhelmed by the depth of your kindness in researching Peter OLSSON and his parents. A million thanks to you for taking your time to help me with my Swedish query.

May I also thank you for taking the time to explain the Nordic Surname pattern plus, I was very interested to note your information re: Swedish history re: Hov etc.

I know that my friends will be speechless when they receive a copy of the information you have kindly supplied re: their Swedish G. Grandfather.

I shall await to hear from you with the greatest of interest if you are able to make a connection with regards to Peter OLSSON's Navy Record. However, please do not worry if you are unable to do so, as you have done so very much for me/my friends already and the amount of information that you have kindly shared with me in such a short period of time is truly remarkable.

If I can be of any assistance to you now or anytime in the future with regards to Ancestral UK/US research please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thank you and very special wishes always.


17-06-2009, 12:34 PM
Hi Susie,

Glad to be of help. I "think" he probably met Fanny on one of his trips to Liverpool, fell in love, then went back to marry her, and the rest is history as they say. Pure guesswork on my part - but once a Romantic........!

At least now you have a "starting point" to work back from in Sweden. I am still working on the mariner element so let's see what turns up. Then of course there are the parents and all of the siblings. I think you will also find that they are quite localised around Båstad, unless they too emigrated. Luckily the town I am in has the Emigranten museum and records for Sweden, so it makes things a bit easier.

Happy hunting

Dennis Lindgren
18-06-2009, 7:17 AM
Hi Danny,
The info that I had on Lindgren family stopped with my G/Father John Theodor Adabrick (Johan Theodor Alaric) who was a book binder and Married Mary Emma Caselton. My Uncle John William Theodor (1st Born. b1906 SA), I believe, researched the family tree and had made contact with Johan's Brother and brought the family to Cape Town to meet Johan. Johan apparently would have nothing to do with them and my Uncle warned me years later to let the matter rest and would not even show me what he had found in regard to the tree. I was not able to find it after his death, so it is gone. For whatever reasons there was never much talk about the Old Folk especially when us kids were around. Obtaining the Journeyman Book was a miracle. In 2007 my Aunt, the oldest member of our family, passed away. At the funeral in speaking to my cousin mention was made of him now having to clear out all his Mother AND Fathers goods A week later one morning it hit me flat in the face. I quicly phoned my cousin and asked if he new anything about the family tree. His response was "No, but I did find some old Lindgren papers which I threw into the refuse bin this morning. I'll fish them out this evening, if you really want them. They only collect refuse tomorrow".
Hence I have the torn remains of the book which I have patched and copied.
I am hoping to use this info to help create a starting point to build from in Sweden
I have found Lindgren names on Family bapt. cert. as sponsors but have no way of connecting them as family. I do not know of any siblings of Johan or Wilhelm in Sweden.
If Wilhelm was born in Gotenborg, how would one go about getting a copy of his birth certificate and what info would be on it?
Regards Dennis

04-07-2009, 7:01 PM
Hello again Dennis,

Here is what I have been able to unearth so far from Swedish sources. Wilhelm Theodor Lindgren’s Parents were:

Anders Lindgren
Anna Fredrika Söderström

Their Children were (including Wilhelm):

Anna Sophia 9 april 1807
Johan Georg 18 januari 1810
Gustava Fredrika 26 september 1814
Eva Maria 24 februari 1817
Wilhelm Theodor 27 mars 1821
Johanna Charlotta 29 september 1823
Hilda Carolina 4 oktober 1825
Christina Georgina 22 september 1827

All children
Born in Gothenburg, Kristine Parish.

Wilhelm Theodor Lindgren married Petronella Mandelberg

They had (at least) a son
Johan Theodor Adalrik Lindgren 23 September 1864 in Hjärtum (Göteborgs och Bohus County)

Petronella was born in Vänersborg according to the 1890
Swedish census
Homeparish: Haga
Residence: Annedal No. 64
County: Göteborgs stad

Petronella Mandelberg Lindgren born 13 Dec 1831 in Wenersborg. Died 30 July 1910 of a brain aneurism. She was already a widow at death.

Son Per Axel Teodor, b. 1873 in Sköfde

I checked Per’s birth details and the father is Wilhelm Teodor Lindgren.

The 1890 Swedish Census provided the following information:

Wilhelm Teodor Lindgren, former baker by profession, born 1821, married, alone in family, admitted as inmate to the Poorhouse, Gothenburg Lutheran (Gothenburg and Bohus Municipality, Västergötland)

The city of Gothenburg was founded by King Gustav II Adolf in 1621. A church was built on the site of the present cathedral. The church was dedicated in 1633 and named Gustavi Kyrka (Gustav’s Church) in honour of the King who, in the previous year, had fallen in the battle of Lützen. It got its status as cathedral in 1665 and was then renamed Gustavi Domkyrka (Gustav’s Cathedral).

The present cathedral is the third to be built on the same site. In the conflagrations of 1721 and 1802, the previous churches were completely destroyed, and in 1815 the present cathedral was dedicated by Bishop Johan Wingård. The architect was Carl Wilhelm Carlberg and the style is Classical.

Today the cathedral functions as a holy place for the diocese, a city church for the central city, and a parish church for the cathedral parish.

Visitors, searching for ancestors who used to live in the parish, are requested to apply for information at The Regional Archives in Gothenburg, www.ra.se/gla. Birth records, death records, etc from all the Gothenburg parishes up to the year of 2000 are kept there.

Hope this helps move things along for you.



Dennis Lindgren
05-07-2009, 10:33 AM
Hi Danny,
Wow! That is quite a collection of info you have found and my mind is starting to "Boggle". I think I need to absorbe this before moving on. I wonder how Wilhelm got himself in the Poorhouse ?
If it is alright with you I'd like to come back to you with questions on sources etc., when my mind has absorbed what you have given me. Thanks a million for what you have done, I dont think I would have found a fraction of the info on my own.
Great Job, thanks again


05-07-2009, 11:39 AM
Hello Dennis,

Well, we seem to be confirming some data but, as you see, there are several dates and places that need to be confirmed. I am still working on that aspect and will get back to you soonest.
Yes, the entry for the Poorhouse threw me as well. If he and older brother made it to SA, then it begs the question how and when - and what was the cause of his "demise" and "eventual rescue"?
My understanding of "poorhouse/workhouse" is that it was possible for inmates to leave, should they be able to prove that their future welfare was guaranteed by a relative/guarantor (Shadows of the Workhouse - Jennifer Worth ISBN 978-0-7538-2585-3).
Wilhelm was a Master Baker - quite a good job that one would assume was always in demand. So something "big" must have happened to put him in the workhouse and seperate him from his family.lt might be worth looking into newspaper reports from the era in Gothenburg. From your family information it would suggest that something serious occurred to cause the family to "not talk about him".
I am looking in the meantime at emigration records to see if there is any more information there regarding the family "move" to South Africa.

Please let me know how I can help more, once you have absorbed the info so far.

Cheers for now

louisa maud
05-07-2009, 3:56 PM
Quite a few years ago I wrote to the Swedish Archives and received a huge bunch of papers showing my gt grandfather's apprenticeship and when he moved about, I have never found out when he arrived in England but he was here by 1871, I wasn't able to get his birth cert, didn't know how to go about it at the time, in 1996 it cost me 20 Swedish krona, it cost me almost as much to send a money order but it was fantastic value for money, one of these days I must settle to get his birth cert, he was born circa 1846, the details received were mostly written in English

Happy hunting

Louisa Maud