A 'Swenglish' journey through family photos, notes and postcards from the early 20th century.

2012-03-04

Selma and Samuel (my great-grandparents)

2012_03_04 Samuel o Selma

Min farmors föräldrar / My p.grandmother’s parents.

Samuel Emanuelsson, 27.2.1835 - 15.2.1907
Selma Alvida Pettersdotter, 16.8.1861 - 17.3.1941
m. 10.12.1898
(second marriage for both of them)

Detta är de porträtt av farmor Sallys föräldrar som brukade stå på skåpet i vardagsrummet. Så vitt jag vet, så är det det enda fotot som existerar av Samuel (som dog när Sally var 7 år).

När jag var liten undrade jag alltid varför denne förfader satt och höll i en skylt med budskapet “Herre föröka oss tron”, men jag tror aldrig jag fick något riktigt svar på det. Först nu när jag går igenom gamla familjepapper, så hittar jag också en artikel skriven om Samuel av pappas kusin Sten, som bl.a. upplyser om att Samuel år 1884 var med om att grunda Borgstena missionsförsamling. (Se noteringar till vykort 1.1 - Fristads missionshus.)

Min gissning nu är att fotot är taget i det sammanhanget, då han i början var vice ordförande i församlingen. I så fall bör Samuel på fotot vara i 50-årsåldern, vilket jag tycker verkar stämma bättre än om det skulle varit taget kring 1898 då han (63 år gammal) gifte om sig med Selma. (Hans första hustru Anna Sofia, som fött honom nio barn, dog 1894.)

När jag söker på frasen “O herre försöka oss tron” som jag vet finns i något av evangelierna (Lukas 17:5 - Och apostlarna sade till Herren: »Föröka vår tro.») finner jag på en sida från EFS, att den också förekommer i en sång av Lina Sandell: “O Herre, föröka, föröka oss tron, att otron ej måtte förlama vår hand, när vi satt den till plogen.”

Det ungdomliga porträttet av Selma är troligen också från före hennes äktenskap med Samuel. Selma var 30 år fyllda när hon 21.11.1891 ingick sitt första äktenskap och gifte sig med den nio år yngre soldaten Alfred Lundgren (f. 5.8.1870). Han dog tre år senare (1894, endast 24 år gammal) och lämnade henne som änka med en tvåårig dotter (Hildur). När hon gifte om sig med Samuel var Selma alltså 37, han 63.

Tillsammans fick Samuel och Selma ytterligare två barn:
Sally Maria 3.2.1900 – 27.2. 1979 (min farmor)
och Nils Helmer 17.8.1902 – 1.5.1971

Selmas äktenskap med Samuel varade drygt åtta år. Samuel dog 19o7, när Sally nyss fyllt 7 och Nils var 4½ (och Hildur snart 15).

Selma på äldre dar finns med på en hel del foton i farmors album, men här är ett favoritporträtt som också fanns med bland de inramade fotona. Troligen är hon här runt 75 eller äldre. På foton som jag kan datera till sent 1920-tal bär hon inte glasögon. På ett kort där min pappa är 7-8 år, gör hon det. (Detektivarbete!)

IMG_0002-1

 

In English

As far as I know, the portrait of my great-grandfather Samuel (1835-1907) is the only one of him that exists. The sign he is holding in his hand is a Bible quote and also part of a line from a Swedish hymn: “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)

It always seemed a little odd to me, this photo of the stern-looking ancestor holding those words in his hand when having his portrait taken. But of course back in childhood, I did not really consider when the photograph was taken, and how rare it was in those days to have one’s portrait taken at all.

Now, weighing all the facts that I have managed to gather so far, my guess is that the photo was probably taken around 1884, when Samuel was involved in the founding of a new free mission covenant church. (Compare this post about the first postcard in Gustav’s album.) This was a big thing back then since it involved disassociating oneself from the Lutheran state church and being excluded from (and excluding oneself from) taking part in communion there.

According to an article written by an cousin of my dad’s (also grandson to Samuel) in 2007, church records show that Samuel and his first wife used to take part of the communion in the Church regularly three times a year until the mid 1870’s; then they stopped. This is explained when Samuel instead appears as vice-chairman of the new mission covenant church.

This photo would then be showing Samuel at the age of around 50, which seems about right, and makes more sense to me than assuming it to be taken around the time of his second marriage in 1898 (when he was 63).

Things were very different around 90 years later, in the early 1970’s, when I myself of my own volition in my teens joined a mission covenant church. Since then I’ve also been member of a couple of other kinds of free churches while still also retaining membership in the Church of Sweden. Which, by the way, since the year 2000 is no longer a state church either!

Selma’s portrait is probably also from before her marriage to Samuel, although she was 26 years younger than him.

When Selma was 30, she first got married to a young soldier of only 21, Alfred Lundgren. He died only three years later, leaving Selma a widow with a 2-year-old daughter (Hildur); the same year as Samuel’s first wife, who had born him nine children, also died. Four years later, they got married again to each other, and then had two more children: My grandmother Sally (born 1900) and her brother Nils (1902). But the marriage did not last more than just over eight years, since in 1907, Samuel died too. By then, his eldest son Carl had already formally taken over the farm though; and Selma and her children stayed on there too, for another 23 years. (Carl, by the way, was born the same year as Selma’s first husband!)

In the photo of Selma in her old age she is probably 75 or more (she lived to be nearly 80). In photos that I can date to the late 1920’s, she is not wearing glasses. In photos from when my father is around 7 or 8, she is wearing them. (Detective work, this is!)

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PS. Additional googling tells me that the bow tie and the beard probably support early dating of the Samuel photo as well!

 

Family photos

1 comment:

  1. The picture of Samuel reminds me of Martin Clunes!

    I'm keeping up with it so far.

    ReplyDelete