My Swedish Wife
Actually, she’s only part Swede, but that’s the part I’ve been doing genealogy on recently. We had followed her roots back to when her grandparents came to this country just after the turn of last century. I began searching for a site to work on Swedish records to see what we could find. That’s when I discovered Swedish church records. Apparently the church people (sounds like Saturday Night Live) came around to check on you and yours yearly and kept meticulous records. If you’ve done any genealogy you know how cool that would be. It is very cool, but it’s all in Swedish
The other problem for us is the last name…Ekholm. Most Swedish names are patronymic, meaning you are a “son” or “dotter” of your dad. My son would be Clay Durrysson. If I had a daughter, she would be Olga Durrysdotter. After awhile, every male’s name in Sweden was Jonsson, Nilsson, Fredsson, Tomsson (I made the last two up)…you get the drift. And it becomes very difficult to follow over time, especially working backward as we do in genealogy. And it was hard to figure out where Ekholm came from.
A little research helps. Around the mid-1800′s the people in charge of names in Sweden decided this son and dotter thing wasn’t working, so they told every family to pick one and keep that for everybody, male and female alike. That’s when women started showing up with names like Nilsson instead of Nilsdotter.
Still, where did we get Ekholm. Ek means oak and I’m not sure what Holm means but I think it’s something like place or area or home. Here’s what we found. Gudmond Jonsson, who was born in Voxtorp, Sweden in 1768 married Elsa Hansdotter in 1793. They had three kids…Jon Gudmondsson, Ola Gudmondsson and Hanna Gudmondsdotter. Since it appeared Jon would get the family farm, Ola went off to sea. When he returned to Sweden, Jon had died and Hanna had married Ola Paulsson and they had the family farm. I don’t know if our Ola was ticked off at Hanna and Ola Paulsson for taking the farm but it evidently didn’t bother him long because he took the name Ekholm, bought his own farm (with a grove of oaks, maybe), married Ingar Svensdotter and raised a family, one of whom was Sven Petter who’s my wife’s great-grandfather. Maybe it did bother Ola since he decided he’d had enough of that Gudmondsson family and started fresh with a new name.
When I learn how to put up pictures, I’ll show you what the farm looks like today, courtesy of my new Swedish girlfriend.