Short: Minnesota – The New Sweden – Al Youngdahl
Swedish influence was very prevalent in Minnesota. My Dad’s oldest sister made Swedish cookies and treats for family gatherings, my parents made Swedish sausage with their friends, and we went regularly to Svenskarnas Dag in Minneapolis for the midsummer festival. We even said “hej” as often as we said “hi” to people we met. My Mom’s German roots were also a major influence as well.
People have heard of all the Swedes in Minnesota, but I wanted to try and answer some of the questions regarding just how significant the Swedes were in Minnesota throughout the years. Why and how did they choose to go there? What were the historical numbers of immigrants who came to Minnesota? Where did they live? What did they do? I hope this short will fill in some of the details about the connection between Swedes and Minnesota.
Al Youngdahl was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, moved to Colorado in 1979 and lives in Denver with his wife Barb Sanborn. He has always been interested in history and joined SGSC in 2014. Al first researched his mother’s German family back to 1634 in Pomerania in the 1990’s. With the help of online resources including Ancestry and ArkivDigital Al has traced the Youngdahl family back to Johan Jonsson (1663-1734) in Mansarp Parish, Jönköping Lan, Småland. He is also researching his Swedish Grandmother’s family from the Örebro Län area.
Program: “The Kristinehamn Project”
Presented by Neil Nystrom with remarks by Kjell S Andersson
Neil Nystrom´s ancestor Arvid Pedersson Roman was one of three men who founded the City of Kristinehamn in 1642. Arvid´s brother, Olof, became its first Mayor. Kristinehamn is situated about 15 miles from Kjell´s vacation home so it was natural for him to go forth and back to that city to help with the research. Neil had already found out that Arvid´s tombstone was to be found under a special pergola at the cemetery and he asked Kjell to go there and take a photo more than a year ago. It turned out to be 20 “picture grave stones” under that pergola. And they were huge! Actually, no other cemetery in Sweden has as many of these limestone slabs as Kristinehamn´s cemetery. It also turned out that around half of these gravestones were related to Neil´s ancestors and relatives. Neil has spent a lot of time on his family tree. Many of his relatives were members of the Swedish Nobility!
Neil Nystrom was born in Litchfield Minnesota (just a couple of miles from Greenleaf). Upon graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army serving in the US Army Security Agency as well as in Germany and at NATO Headquarters in Paris. His career included Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst and Design and 30 years as Director of Management Information. He retired in 1997 and enjoys Genealogy and reading history and biographies.