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

2012-02-29

G.003-3 Storgatan, Falköping (1901)

003.3A-2

Falköping, Storgatan. / Falköping, main street. (1901)
(förstoring från kortet nedan / enlarged from the card below)

Lindgrens Bok- & Pappershandel (John Swedmark), Falköping
No 170. Imp.
Sommar-filial vid Mössebergs Badanstalt (se 3.1).

003.3A-1

Text på butiksskylten: Kappmagasin – Skrädderiaffär
The sign says: Coat Store – Tailor’s Shop

003.3B-1

Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Storeg. Fristad
Från/from: Oscar

Obg. 5/10 -01

K.B.! [Käre Broder!]
Tack för brefvet! Äfven tack för alla [besvär?] , samt det jag kan få hjälp till erhållande af sågspån. Skall vidare [släpas? ---?] Gerda(?) är som Ni kanske kanske redan vet nu åter uppe o kry, roligt nog! Hälsningar! Oscar

Så här är ännu ett kort från Oscar (i Odensberg) till Gustaf (på Storegården), och daterat ca 2½ vecka innan det förra (3.2). (Jag går igenom korten i den ordning de sitter i albumet.) Oscars handstil är inte den lättaste att tyda! Lägger jag ihop pussel-bitarna från kortet skrivet 22/10 och detta från 5/10, så tolkar jag det som om Oscar höll på med något arbete där det behövdes “fyllning”, som kan ha bestått av sågspån, som han också kan ha behövt ekonomisk och/eller praktisk hjälp att anskaffa, och sedan att köra och få på plats.

Det framgår också att någon åter är uppe och kry; namnet är suddigt, men jag tror att det kan stå Gerda; vilket i så fall troligen syftar på systern – som denna tid verkar ha vistats hos den äldsta systern Emma (Wilander) med familj (i Sörby nära Floby, idag tillhörande Falköpings kommun). (Slutsats från några av korten i Gerdas album.) Detta kan stämma med Oscars osäkerhet om familjen på Storegården kanske redan nåtts av nyheten att hon var bättre.

Från vad jag minns att pappa berättat, så var Emmas make (Brynolf Wilander) “handlar’n i Floby”. Enligt släktträd som pappa ritat upp, hade de tre barn, Edit, Erik och Ella. (Inga datum.) Erik gifte sig med Vera, och de i sin tur fick tre barn, varav ett var Ulla, född 1939.

Oscar var gift med Elin, och de hade (enl samma släktträds-skiss) tre söner: Sven (+ 1973) (ing Malmö), Justus (fondchef Sundbyberg), Ingvar (ing Nr +). (Vad står Nr för??)

 

In English

Odensberg 5/10 –01

Dear Brother!
Thanks for the letter! Also thanks for all the [trouble?] and for what help I can get to acquire sawdust. Must also be dragged [ from there?] Gerda (?) is, as you may already know, up and well again, glad to say. Regards, Oscar

I’m scanning and going through the old postcards in the order they are in the album; which turns out not to be strictly chronological. This card was written 2½ weeks before the one in the previous post (3.2). Oscar’s handwriting is not always easy to decipher, but putting together the information from the two cards, I would say that in October 1901, Oscar was doing some kind of (farm) work  that required sawdust as “filling”, and he needed help with that from his brother Gustaf, who was otherwise living with their father and his new family. Possibly – but this is more of a guess based on a somewhat unclear turn of phrase – Oscar might also have asked their father for financial help in connection with this.

At the end there is the good news that someone is up and well again – as they may already have heard. The name is smudged, but I think it says Gerda. This makes sense, since from cards in her postcard album I conclude that around this time, Gerda was probably staying with their oldest sister Emma and her family, also in the vicinity of Falköping (Sörby near Floby), but not the same village as Oscar and his family (Odensberg).

If memory serves me right from what my father told me, Emma’s husband (Brynolf Wilander) was merchant/shopkeeper at Floby.

A family tree that my father sketched shows that Emma and Brynolf had three children: Edit, Erik and Ella. No birthdates given.

Oscar, according to the same sketch, was married to Elin, and they had three sons: Sven, Justus and Ingvar. No birthdates given.

2012-02-27

G.003-2 Swans (Mösseberg, Falköping)

003.2A-2
(förstoring från vykortet nedan – enlarged from postcard below)

Mössebergs Svanor (1901)

Lindgrens Bok- & Pappershandel, Falköping
A.J. Lindgrens Tr.

003.2A-1

003.2B-1

Poststämpel/postmark: 22.10.1901 PKXP (Falköping)
Frimärke/stamp: 5 öre
Till/to: Herr Gust. Ekman, Storeg., Fristad
Från/from: Oscar

003.2A-3

Obg.  d. 22/10 1901.  [Odensberg]

K.B.! [Käre broder!]
Tack för brefvet. Om du kunde få tillfälle ånyo komma hit en à 2 veckor o hjälpa till med körning, så vore bra snällt. Kom då snarast möjligt! Det passar så bra köra fyllning[?] här nu. Hälsa pappa o fråga [hur?] svar jag får på brefvet – om han kunde [läsa?] det? Många hälsningar! Broder Oscar.

Det här kortet verkar bekräfta att Gustaf under 1901 tidvis vistades på Storegården i Fristad och tidvis hos brodern Oscar i Odensberg nära Falköping. Vad “köra fyllning” på senhösten innebär vet jag inte riktigt. Jag har också svårigheter att tyda ett eller två ord i den sista meningen… Det verkar som om Oscar väntar på ett brevsvar från fadern (Samuel) också.

 

In English

Odensberg, 22/10 1901

Dear Brother,
Thanks for your letter. If you can find time to once again come there for one or two weeks to help out with driving, that would be kind of you. If you can, come as soon as possible! It’s a good time right now for driving [backfill?]. My greetings to Dad and ask him [when? how?] I’ll get an answer to my letter – if he could read it? Many greetings! Brother Oscar

This postcard seems to confirm that in 1901, Gustaf’s home was the family farm (with his father and stepmother) at Fristad but that he also periodically helped out at his brother Oscar’s farm(?) at Odensberg near Falköping. I’m afraid I’m not able to guess exactly what kind of filling or backfill is referred to here. There are also a couple of words hard to decipher in the last sentence, but it seems Oscar is also waiting for an answer to a letter he sent to their father.

For Mösseberg, see the previous postcard (3.1)

2012-02-25

G.003-1 Mösseberg, Falköping (1901)

003.1A-1

Ankdammen, Mösseberg (Falköping)/ Duck pond, Mösseberg

Mössebergs Bokhandel, (John Swedmark)
Oscar E. Kulls Grafiska Anst, Malmö - 202

003.1B-1

Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Storeg., Fristad
Från/from: (oläsligt/illegible)
Poststämpel/Postmark: 6(?).10.1901

(Poststämpeln har gjort avtryck i pappret och är därmed halvt läslig trots att frimärket är avlägsnat.)

2 riktigt hjärtliga tack för ni kom ihåg mig med v.h. Sänd flera! Många kära hälsningar från (…?…)

Jag kan inte tyda namnteckningen.

Från http://www.kurortenmosseberg.se/historik/ hämtar jag information som nedan återges något förkortad.

1746 genomförde Carl von Linné sin västgötska resa och kom en blåsig julidag till Falköping. Han studerade floran på såväl Mösseberg som Ålleberg och förundrades över den växlingsrika naturen. Det skulle dock dröja ytterligare ett sekel innan den viktigaste komponenten för en framtida kurort skulle läggas på plats – dragningen av Västra Stambanan.

Greve Gösta Posse, en av initiativtagarna till järnvägens etablering på Falbygden, undersökte traktens möjligheter för en lokalisering av en vattenkurort och Mösseberg valdes då vattnet visade sig vara “särdeles ymnigt” i S:t Eriks källa. Vattnet kunde lätt pumpas upp och komma en kurbadinrättning till godo. En annan god anledning var att Mössebergssluttningen ansågs naturskön med en vegetation av ädellövskog och mattor av vår- och sommarblomster. Efter en studieresa till franska och tyska badinrättningar lades ritningar och förslag fram till byggnation på Mössebergssluttningen.

Den 30 augusti 1864 fick projektet Kungl. Maj:ts godkännande för bolagsordningen för Mössebergs Kallvattenkurinrättning Aktiebolag, en benämning som senare ändrades till Mössebergs Vattenkuranstalts Aktiebolag.

År 1867 tillträdde dr Otto Torstensson, den förste badläkaren vid Mösseberg, i ”den ståtligaste och vackraste badanstalt som detta land dittills skådat”.

I Ny Illustrerad Tidning kunde man samma år läsa följande: “Några minuters väg från Falköpings jernvägsstation å den södra sluttningen av det egendomliga Mösseberg, der bokskog ännu påminner om flydda dagars skogrikhet, framqväller en källa, kring vilken den nya badanstalten blifvit uppförd i smakfull stil. Inredningen är efter nyaste och bästa mönster.”

Det vackraste badhuset i Sverige blev endast fyra år gammalt. I slutet av badsäsongen, natten mellan den 5 och den 6 september 1871, eldhärjades denna stora träbyggnad. Badsäsongen var egentligen slut, inga gäster fanns kvar i byggnaden men tre badbetjänter innebrändes. Anläggningen ödelades helt.

Redan ett år senare uppfördes ett nytt badhus på samma grund som det eldhärjade. Gästerna som mot slutet av 1800-talet till stor del bestod av lungsjuka, ersattes med de som återigen såg kurortslivet som en tillvaro för de mer bemedlade – samhällets toppskikt.

Med sekelskiftet byggdes kurorten till ytterligare. Den 14 november 1907 invigde prins Gustaf Adolf Vintersanatoriet som förutom gästrummen hade en sällskapsvåning med magnifika salonger i svit, rökrum, biljardsal, matsal samt fullständig badavdelning, kök och en stor ekonomiavdelning i en souterrängvåning. Tidens finesser fanns här som elektriskt ljus, centralvärme och vattenklosetter.

År 1901 verkar det troligt att Mösseberg fortfarande huvudsakligen var en kurort för lungsjuka snarare än en “semesteranläggning”.

Jag vistades själv på Mösseberg i två veckor i januari 2003 för en rehabiliteringsutredning, och då såg ankdammen ut så här:

19##_F21

Duck pond, Mösseberg, Falköping, January 2003 (my photo)

In English:

2 really heartfelt thanks for remembering me with friendly greetings. Send more! ‘Lots of love’ from (…?…)

(It strikes me that in translating greeting phrases it’s not easy to be sure that one catches the right level of initimacy. Especially not from 110 years ago!)

I can’t decipher the signature on this postcard.

Mösseberg was and is a spa resort in Falköping. The history page on their (Swedish) website tells me that the spa resort was founded in the mid-1860’s in connection with the railway being built.

[I think my blogging friend GB pinpointed Falköping very well with the following comment on a previous post here: “Between Google Earth and Wikipedia it's interesting to build up a picture of the locality of the sender and the recipient. Falköping looks very much like a road and rail hub despite not being a very large place.”]

Besides beautiful nature in the surroundings there was a spring well suited for a health spa. When it was first opened in 1867, it was described as the most beautiful and luxurious of its kind in our country. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed in a fire only four years later; but a new building was erected the following year, on the same foundation as the old one.

In 1907 there was a major renovation and additional buildings with the latest facilities were added, and it became more of a fashionable resort for nobility and royalty and other people with a lot of money to spend. In 1901, however, it was probably still mainly a resort for people suffering from consumptive diseases.

So the friend who received friendly greetings and sent thanks back for them may have been someone spending time at Mösseberg spa for that reason. On the other hand, it could of course have been someone visiting or living in or near Falköping for other reasons.  For example, it seems from the two next postcards in the album (coming up here soon), that Gustav’s brother Oscar lived at Odensberg near Falköping. But this seems not to be his signature (comparing with those other two). 

In January 2003, I spent two weeks at Mösseberg myself, in connection with an evaluation of my capacity for work after an accident. Not going into the details of that here (it was not a happy time) but one of the few photos I took while there was one of the duck pond, from the same perspective as that old postcard. It was a very cold January, as I recall around -20°C.

2012-02-24

Estelle Manville Bernadotte (1944)

Estelle Manville Bernadotte 1944

Estelle Manville Bernadotte (wife of Folke Bernadotte) in 1944, with kind permission from Patricia Allen DiGeorge of  http://www.LibertyLadyBook.com. 

My great-aunt Gerda was in Estelle Bernadotte’s employ for many years, but I still lack details of when or where it started or in what capacity (from what I recall being told, as chamber maid or similar).

Googling for more info on Estelle, I happened to land on Pat’s blogpost from 2010. I asked about the origin of this photo and got the reply that she got it from her parents’ wartime scrapbook. She kindly gave me permission to use it here, and even sent me a copy with higher resolution. Thanks very much Pat!

From the same blogpost I copy this:

On August 18, 1928 Time Magazine published this milestone:
Engaged. Count Folke Bernadotte, nephew of King Gustaf of Sweden; to Estelle Romaine Manville, Manhattan debutante, descendant of Jeoffrey de Magnavil, ally of William the Conqueror; in Pleasantville, N. Y.

Pat also links to Royal Musings where I find  more detailed information on the wedding:

December 1, 1928
Miss Estelle Romaine Manville, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Edward Manville, was married today to Count Folke Bernadotte of Wisborg, a nephew of King Gustaf V of Sweden. This was "one of the most brilliant society gatherings in recent years," according to the New York Times. The couple were married in the "small, ivy-covered Episcopal Church of St. John in Pleasantville, New York.”

The Wikipedia article on Folke Bernadotte, referred to in my previous blog post here, says that the couple got married in “New York City”. But since the same W. article also says Estelle was born in Pleasantville (Westchester County, N.Y.), it makes sense that that’s where the wedding was held rather than in N.Y.City. As the quote above even has details of the name of the church, I assume that reference to be the correct one.

What annoys me just now is that I’m sure I also saw a press cutting from the Bernadotte wedding among the family papers but I think I must have left that behind at the House, because I can’t find it now among the things I took home with me last time. I must remember to look for it next time I go out there!

A New Estelle Bernadotte (23-02-2012)

Here is some contemporary news, which happen to be loosely related to the life story of my grandmother’s half-sister Gerda. I’ve posted about this elsewhere but I’m putting it in here too.

The Associated Press
Date: Thursday Feb. 23, 2012 10:52 AM ET

STOCKHOLM — Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to her first child Thursday, a baby girl who will one day become queen, prompting banner headlines and 21-gun salutes across the country.

The girl, who is second in line to the Swedish throne, was born at 4:26 a.m. (0326 GMT), said Victoria's husband, Prince Daniel. She was 20 inches (51 cms) long and weighed 7.23 pounds (3.28 kg).

---

Victoria, 34, is next in line to the throne held by her father since 1973. Sweden changed the constitution in 1980, three years after Victoria was born, to allow the eldest heir to inherit the throne regardless of gender. Before that female heirs were excluded. Sweden's last female monarch was Queen Ulrika Eleonora, who ruled for just one year until 1720.

Victoria married Daniel, 38, a commoner and her former personal trainer, in June 2010.

As is custom when an heir to the throne is born, the Swedish Armed Forces celebrated the news with two 21-gun salutes at noon in Stockholm and other cities.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Entertainment/20120223/sweden-princess-has-baby-girl-120223/#ixzz1nELzQsvJ

image

This is the only picture made pucblic so far of Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland. With her parents Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. (Photo from the Royal Family’s Facebook page.)

As soon as the birth was announced yesterday, name speculations started. Today the name was officially announced, and the TV hosts were obviously a bit surprised and bewildered at first about the choice of Estelle. It took them a while to get their bearings and find the background for it. I wonder if I was the only one reacting with an “Of course!”  and wishing I’d actually thought of making a serious guess of it…

In the introduction page to this blog (see tab at the top of the page) I mention that my p.grandmother’s half-sister Gerda was employed as chamber maid or similar to Estelle Manville-Bernadotte, American wife of the well-known Swedish diplomat Folke Bernadotte, related to/member of our royal family.

Folke Bernadotte (2 January 1895 – 17 September 1948) was grandson to King Oscar II of Sweden, who was King of Sweden 1872-1907 (and of Norway 1872-1905).

Folke Bernadotte also earned his own place in history as a Swedish diplomat noted for among other things his negotiation of the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps during World War II. After the war, Bernadotte was unanimously chosen to be the United Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab–Israeli conflict of 1947–1948. He was assassinated on Friday 17 September 1948 by members of the Jewish nationalist Zionist group Lehi (commonly known as the Stern Gang or Stern Group).

On 1 December 1928 in New York City, Folke Bernadotte married Estelle Romaine Manville (born in Pleasantville, New York, 26 September 1904; died in Stockholm, 28 May 1984), whose family had founded part of the Johns-Manville Corporation. They had four sons, two of whom died in childhood, and seven grandchildren, all born after Bernadotte's death.

(Source: Wikipedia)

I have not yet found out at what point in history my great-aunt Gerda came to work for them. I’m hoping to maybe find some clue among the old postcards as I continue to examine these. If I don’t, I may try and think of some other way to find out, because I’m really getting very curious!

Anyway, my immediate reaction to the royal announcement today was that the name could hardly have been more perfectly chosen. It’s a stylish old name not worn out by recent popularity but not sounding too odd either. It’s got a French ring to it that goes well with the name Bernadotte. It’s got royal connection as pointed out above, but at the same time Estelle Manville was not born royal - just as the new little princess Estelle’s father Daniel was not! And it indirectly commemorates a member of the royal family whose life’s work really deserves to be honoured.

I’m sure my grandmother Sally would have loved it. She was a big fan of the royal family – partly, I suspect, because of her sister working for them! When I was visiting my grandparents in childhood, I used to read old weekly magazines from the 1940’s and early 50’s that my grandmother had saved. They had lots of articles and photos of the royal family then living at Haga Palace (which Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have now taken over as their residence).

image
Our present King Carl XVI Gustaf (in the middle), with his four older sisters, at Haga in 1948 (from Wikipedia). Back then, the Swedish constitution did not allow girls to inherit the throne – so the nation kept waiting and waiting for that little prince…!

2012-02-22

G.002-3 Skara, Water Tower, 1901

G.002.3  Skara, Vattentornet, 1901

002.3A-1

Förstoring från vykortet nedan. /Photo enlarged from the postcard below.

002.3A-1

Skara, Vattentornet / Skara, the Water Tower (1901)
A Granqvist & Co Skara

002.3B-1

Poststämpel/Postmark: Wara 26.9.1901
Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Storeg., Fristad
Från/from: Axel Jansson

Många hälsningar fr. Axel Jansson.
Many greetings from Axel Jansson.

Tyvärr vet jag ingenting om vem Axel Jansson var. Den enda upplysning kortet ger är att Gustaf i slutet av september 1901 tycks ha befunnit sig på familjens gård Storegården i Fristad. Eller åtminstone att avsändaren trodde det. De två andra korten jag hittills granskat från 1901 var adresserade till Odensberg. Jag hittade en anteckning i pappas pärm som tyder på att brodern Oskar (med familj) år 1901 bott i Odensberg. Det är ju möjligt att Gustaf vistats tidvis där och tidvis på Storegården.

Skara i Västergötland är en av Sveriges äldsta städer, och var en tidig kyrklig medelpunkt. Domkyrkan anlades troligen runt år 1000. Nuvarande utseende fick den vid en genomgripande renovering 1886-94.

Skara vattentorn hittar jag på Västergötlands Museums  hemsida, med följande text:

“Skaras vattentorn från 1898 är ett utmärkt exempel på den omsorg och kvalitet som kännetecknade samtidens ”nya” företeelser som elverk, vattenverk och liknande kommunaltekniska anläggningar. En vårdad och påkostad arkitektur bidrog till att orten utstrålade soliditet och framtidstro. Vattentornet ritades av arkitekt Ernst Torulf och är idag skyddat som byggnadsminne.”

image

Det som plötsligt blir intressant med vykortet från 1901 är att när det skickades, så var det inte en bild av ett gammalt vattentorn – utan av ett nytt och modernt sådant, byggt för bara tre år sedan.

In English

For once here is a sender of a postcard who writes out his full name – Axel Jansson – but then I don’t know who he is anyway!

The postmark and address indicate that in September 1901, Gustaf was staying at the family farm with his father and stepmother. Other cards from the same year (exact date on those not visible) tell us that part of the time he was at Odensberg (near Falköping). I found a note among my father’s family research papers indicating that the older brother Oscar might have been living at Odensberg in 1901. Perhaps Gustaf lived by turns in both places.

The photo is of a water tower in Skara.

Skara is a small town in Västergötland with a long educational and ecclesiastical history. According to local legend, Skara was founded in AD 988. With the Christianization of Sweden Skara became the seat for the bishop and a religious centre. The cathedral stems from the 11th century. There have been bishops of Skara in an unbroken succession to this day. The cathedral had a major renovation in 1886-94.

From Västergötlands Museum’s website, I found out that the water tower was built in 1898, and is preserved as a notable building because of being typical of its time. Back in those days, they took great pride in the architecture of public buildings like power plants and water works. The lavish exterior was part of creating an atmosphere of stability and belief in the future. The architect of the water tower in Skara was Ernst Torulf.

Reading this information, I was struck by the fact that in 1901, this was not a postcard of an old water tower. It was a postcard of a brand new water tower, built only three years ago.

2012-02-21

G.002-2 Stormy Weather at Varberg

002.2A-1

Varberg: Hamnpiren i storm. / Varberg: The Pier in storm.
Förlag: Vilén & Johanson, Borås1

002.2B-1

Poststämplar/postmarks:
PLK 208 B (=Herrljunga-Varberg) 6.8.1903
Borås 6.8.03 – 2 tur
Porto: 5 öre

Till/to: J.A. Johanson, Lugnet 51, Borås
Från/from: G.J. (?)

Varberg 6/8. Hjärtligt tack för brefkortet. Igår var här en väldig storm. Ganska vackert att se. Mamma behöfver ej vara orolig att vi gå på sjön, ty det är omöjligt. Vi mår eljest ganska bra. Helsn. G.J.

Det här är ett kort som inte verkar passa in i familjehistorien. Varken Gustaf eller Gerda kan vara inblandade, eftersom de 1903 befann sig i Amerika. Till skillnad från de flesta korten i albumet är frimärket kvar. Jag gissar att Gustaf kan ha fått kortet senare av någon som visste att han samlade på kort.

1 En sökning på utgivarnamnet Vilén & Johanson visar att det fortfarande finns ett bolag registrerat med det namnet (i Mölndal), men ej aktivt. Registrerat som aktiebolag 1929 med syfte att “bedriva handel med pappersvaror, emballage och kontorsutensilier jämte därmed förenlig verksamhet”.

 

In English:

Varberg 6/8 (1903). Heartfelt thanks for the postcard. Yesterday there was quite a storm here. Rather beautiful to behold. Mother does not have to be anxious about us going out on the sea, because that is impossible. Otherwise we are quite well. Greetings G.J.

This is a card that seems to fall outside the family history.  Gustaf probably got it second-hand later in life – perhaps from some friend who knew he collected postcards? In August 1903, both Gustaf and his sister Gerda were in America; and this card seems to have been sent from some G.J. to J.A. Johanson, possibly his/her mother. (I think it was usual in Sweden back then to address your parents “in the third person” rather than using “you”.) The name rings no bells with me.

Johanson is a very common surname or it might have been interesting to note that this is also the name of one of the publishers of the postcard – Vilén & Johanson. The company still exists but is not active.

The postcard shows quite a magnificent picture of stormy weather at the pier in Varberg, though.

Varberg is a town on the west coast in the county of Halland. Varberg and all of Halland are well known for their "typical west coast" sandy beaches. In Varberg the coast changes from wide sandy beaches to rocky terrain that continues north into the Bohuslän archipelago.

Varberg is still a popular summer and spa resort for  people living further inland. It’s reputation as a spa resort was founded in the early/mid 19th century. The railway line between Varberg and Borås was established in 1880. The town has an old fortress from around 1280-1300; now museum + bed and breakfast.

Below are my own photos of the pier and the fortress from 2001. (In not so stormy weather!)

0007

0008

2012-02-19

Why Did They Emigrate?

Hands Across the Sea_0001

R.M.S. CARONIA, (CUNARD LINE,) 20,000 TONS. 1

In English

How is it that one never seems to think of the questions to ask until everyone who might be able to answer them is already gone? Is it because the right questions don’t arise until you’re old enough to begin to get a bit of perspective on your own life? Or even that there might be some questions that cannot be asked until you’re free to use your own imagination to fill in the details?

I do remember from my childhood, that my p.grandmother Sally used to talk about her big family and the farm where she grew up. But I never really got a time-perspective on it. All the names were a blur, and I never quite ‘got’ who was who among all the family portraits that sat on top of the cupboard in my grandparents’ living-room.

Family portraits are funny like that – frozen in time – some people forever old, others forever young, depending on when they happened to have their photo taken. A bunch of familiar faces (when you’ve been looking at those portraits all your life) but if you never knew them, there is really no clue who was the oldest or the youngest among them. Or even who is who!

I always knew that my grandma Sally had a bunch of older half-siblings, but I don’t think I ever quite got how much older most of them were. Like the fact that her oldest half-brother Carl, who also lived on the farm where she grew up, was in fact 30 years older than Sally; and only nine years younger than Sally’s mother! Or that she had nieces /nephews older than herself. Or that her father died when she was only seven. Or that she can’t really have had any early childhood memories of the two youngest half-siblings from her father’s first marriage – Gustaf and Gerda – because they went off to America when she was about 2½, and did not come back until she was 11.

And until I found the postcard albums that belonged to Gustaf and Gerda, even less has it ever occurred to me to think about things from their point of view. (Gustav I never met because he died before I was born. I’m not sure if I ever met Gerda either, even though she lived to be 92.)

When their mother Anna Sophia died (at the age of 57, and having given birth to nine children), Gustav was 16, Gerda 13.

When, four years later, in December 1898, their father Samuel (63) got remarried to Selma (a 37 year old widow with a young daughter), Gustaf was 20 and Gerda 17. My grandma Sally was born just over a year later, in February 1900. 1½ year later, in the summer of 1902, another baby was born, Sally’s brother Nils.

It seems to have been in the autumn/winter of 1902, that Gustaf and Gerda both went off to seek their fortune on the other side of the Atlantic. Gustaf was 24 and Gerda 21. Their father had started over with a new family (also including a step-sister, by then 10 years old); with their oldest brother to help. There were enough people living on the farm. The other older siblings had their own lives. Work opportunities in Sweden were hard to find.

At least part of 1901, Gerda was living or staying with her sister Emma (married with children) and Gustaf may have been staying with his older brother Oscar (also married).

I’m not sure if Gustaf and Gerda went to America together on the same boat, but it can’t have been far between. They did not go to live in the same place or even the same state, though.

At Christmas 1902, Gustaf was in Pennsylvania. It seems he stayed in Pennsylvania until he went back to Sweden in 1911.
At New Year 1903, Gerda was in Chicago; and still there in 1910.

Gustav came back to Sweden to live and work on the family farm in the summer of 1911. (Samuel, the father, had died in 1907.)

I’m not sure when Gerda came back, but I found evidence that in 1913 she was living in Ronneby in Sweden (south-east coast).

The facts I’ve extracted partly from reading the addresses on random postcards, partly from dates of births and deaths collected by my father and one of his cousins (son of grandma Sally’s younger brother Nils).

Additional information from Wikipedia:

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, about 1.3 million Swedes left Sweden for the United States. The main "pull" was the availability of low cost, high quality farm land in the upper Midwest (the area from Illinois to Montana), and high paying jobs in mechanical industries and factories in Chicago, Minneapolis, Worcester and many smaller cities. The American environment also provided low taxes and no established state church or monarchy. Push factors inside Sweden included population growth and crop failures. Most migration was of the chain form, with early settlers giving reports and recommendations (and travel money) to relatives and friends in Sweden.

By 1890 the U.S. census reported a Swedish-American population of nearly 800,000. After a dip in the 1890s, emigration rose again, causing national alarm in Sweden. A broad-based parliamentary emigration commission was instituted in 1907. It recommended social and economic reform in order to reduce emigration. The effect of the measures taken is hard to assess, as World War I (1914-1918) also had its effect on migration. From the mid-1920s, there was no longer a Swedish mass emigration.

---

1 The postcard is an unwritten and undated one,
found at the back of the postcard album.

Royal Mail Ship (sometimes Steam-ship or Steamer), usually seen in its abbreviated form RMS, a designation which dates back to 1840, is the ship prefix used for seagoing vessels that carry mail under contract by Royal Mail.  --- It was used by many shipping lines, but is often associated in particular with the Cunard Line,2 Royal Mail Lines and Union-Castle Line, which held a number of high-profile mail contracts, and which traditionally prefixed the names of many of their ships with the initials "RMS".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail_Ship

2R.M.S. Caronia was built in 1905, in service for the Cunard Line 1905-1932 (scrapped 1932)

G.002-1 Motorboats at Westervik

G.002-1 Motorbåtar i Västervik

002.1A-1

002.1B-1

Poststämpel: ?
Till: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Odensberg
Från: M.B---

Spårö sund vid Westervik.
Foto: S. Eriksén, Westervik

Hjärtligt tack för vykortet idag!
Hälsningar många.
Väntar på nästa v.k. [vykort]
M.B---

De där båtarna ser ut att gå fort… måste vara motorbåtar!
När kom motorbåtar i bruk? – Enligt Wikipedia testades den första motorbåten med bensinmotor av Gottlieb Daimler och Wilhelm Maybach i Tyskland 1886.1

Kortet är troligen sänt 1901 eller 1902. Jag har tjuvkikat lite framåt i albumet och det verkar som att Gustav for till Amerika i slutet av 1902, för att inte återvända till Sverige (och då till Storegården i Fristad) förrän 1911. En teori just nu är att Gustaf och Gerda kan ha farit samtidigt till Amerika 1902, fastän de sedan skildes åt vid ankomsten. Gustaf till Pennsylvania, Gerda till Chicago. Mer om det när jag kommer till de kort som utgör bevis för teorin!

Jag har påbörjat en “tidslinje” i marginalen, där jag kan föra in årtal, var Gustaf och Gerda då verkar ha befunnit sig, och ev andra viktiga händelser i familjen. Tidslinjen kan komma att ändras om jag stöter på ytterligare eller motsägelsefulla uppgifter!

- - -

In English:

Postcard to Gustaf from somone with initials M.B.
View from Westervik (
Västervik) on the south east coast.
No postmark to show if it was also sent from there.

Heartfelt thanks for the postcard today! Many greetings. Waiting for the next postcard. M.B---

Those boats look like they’re going fast…
When did motor boats first come into use?
Wikipedia provides the answer:

1 The first boat powered by a petrol engine was tested on the Neckar river by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1886, when they tested their new "longcase clock" engine. It had been constructed in the former greenhouse (converted into a workshop) in Daimler's back yard. The first public display took place on the Waldsee in Cannstatt, today a suburb of Stuttgart, at the end of that year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorboat#History

The card was probably sent in 1901 or 1902. I have had a peek into the future and it seems that Gustaf left for America in the autumn of 1902 (not to return until 1911, and then to live on the family farm). It also seems Gerda must have left around that time too. Maybe they even went on the same boat? (I don’t know that for a fact though) but split up at arrival in the new country. Gustaf went to Pennsylvania, Gerda to Chicago, Illinois.

I have started a “Timeline” in the sidebar, where I can enter years, with notes of where Gustaf and Gerda were at various times, and other important events in the family. The timeline might change if I come upon additional or contradictory evidence!

2012-02-17

G.001-3–Girl with Mustache

G.001-3 – Flicka med Mustasch

Sid 1_0005-2

▲ Uppförstorad detalj. Se hela kortet längre ner på sidan.
    
Enlarged detail. See the whole card further down.
     English translation at the bottom of the page.

Sid 1_0006-1

BREFKORT – POSTCARD

Poststämpel/postmark: PKXP N1… (1901? 07?)
Till/to: H Herr Gustaf Ekman, Odensberg2
Från/from: ? 3

John Fredriksons Konstförlag: Christiania

1Jag sökte på PKXP poststämpel, och fann ett PDF-dokument med JÄRNVÄGSLINJER med PKXP/PLK/PKP mellan 1868 och 1968. Tydligen anger dessa stämplar järnvägslinje och ort efter ett visst system.

Jag tycker sista siffran i årtalet antyder en 7:a, men det är antagligen en 1:a – eftersom andra vykort tyder på att Gustav befann sig i Amerika från dec 1902 till sommaren 1911.

2Under den tryckta raden (Bostad) står: “om den kan uppgifvas”.  Jag antar att det tyder på att inte alla på den här tiden hade vad vi idag kallar för en adress; och kanske inte heller fick posten utburen till hemme. Kanske hämtade man posten i närmaste postkontor eller handelsbod?

3Jag undrar om avsändaren av detta kort möjligen är densamme som det förra kortet (1:2). Adressen på det förra är skriven med ledigare stil, men samtidigt har båda mycket sirliga slängar av samma slag på det stora bokstäverna. Vidare finns en kuriös detalj på båda korten: Ett extra ‘H’ före titeln ‘Herr’. Dessutom är båda uppenbarligen sända av någon med skämtlynne.

---

Sid 1_0005-3

Sid 1_0005-4

Meddelandet är svårtytt. Jag läser det som:

Undrar hur Ni befinner Er.
hoppas inte som! hjärtligt tack
därför i alla fall, i för. vk.
[“i förra veckan”?]

Jag har f.n. tandvärk, o är mycket retlig.

Inte som – vad? Inte som jag? Inte som bilden?? Inte som i förra veckan???

Den som sände kortet har också försett den unga damen på bilden med bläck-mustasch och skägg; på samma sätt som man ibland ser med bilder av Da Vincis Mona Lisa. Det anmärkningsvärda, när jag kollar upp data, är att dadaisten/ surrealisten Marcel Duchamps kända parodi av Mona Lisa med mustasch och bockskägg (se nedan) inte gjordes förrän 1919. Men det här vykortet är troligen sänt 1901, och i varje fall inte senare än 1907.

Jag tror att när jag gått igenom den här vykortssamlingen, så får jag ta upp konkurrensen med Dan Brown och skriva en ny DaVinci kod!

T.v.: Duchamps Mona Lisa 1919 4  

image     Sid 1_0005-1

Duchamp’s Mona Lisa parody 4  on the left

In English:

1Postmarks were coded to show railway line and locality along that line.

2The second line on the back of the card indicates that this space is set aside for the residential address – “if it can be given”. My interpretation is that not everyone back in those days had a proper address, or had their mail delivered to the door. Maybe they had to collect their mail at the nearest post office or village shop.

3I’m wondering if possibly the sender of this card is the same as with the previous anonymous card (1:2). The address on the previous one is more casually written, but they both use similar, very elaborate capital letters. And there is another detail that seems curious to me: And extra ‘H’ before the title ‘Herr’ (Mr.) Besides, both cards were obviously sent by someone with a sense of humour.

The message written on the card is rather mysterious. It seems to be written in incomplete sentences and using abbreviations; and no sender. (Text message style of 100 years ago!) This is how I read it: “I wonder how you are. Hope not like ! [me? or the lady on the picture? or last week?] thanks anyway for last week. I am currently having toothache, and am very irritable.” (The last sentence is written upside-down.)

Whoever sent the card has also given the young lady in the picture an ink mustache and beard; in the same way one sometimes sees it done to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The remarkable thing is that when I check facts, I find that the famous parody of Mona Lisa with mustache and goatee by Marcel Duchamp (see below) was not made until 1919; while this postcard  seems to have been sent in 1901, or at least no later than 1907. (The postmark is unclear, but other cards indicate that Gustav was in America between December 1902 and summer 1911.)

I think when I’m done with this card collection, I will take up competition with Dan Brown and write a new Da Vinci code.

4  In 1919, Duchamp made a parody of the Mona Lisa by adorning a cheap reproduction of the painting with a mustache and goatee. To this he added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul". This can be translated as "She has a hot ass", implying that the woman in the painting is in a state of sexual excitement and availability. It may also have been intended as a Freudian joke, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's alleged homosexuality. Duchamp gave a "loose" translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as "there is fire down below" in a late interview with Arturo Schwarz.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Duchamp

2012-02-16

G.001-2 N.N.

2012_02_16 Sid 12

BREV-KORT / POSTCARD

Poststämpel/postmark: (?)
Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Odensberg
Från/from: N.N.1

På framsidan står tryckt: N.K.F. Eneret.2
Av baksidan att döma är kortet tryckt i Danmark.

O, hvilken rar
flicka, jag sänder
dig henne att min
hälsning bringa.
fr. v. N.N.

“Oh, what a sweet girl, I send her to bring you my greetings.
From your friend N.N.”

1 N.N. = Nomen nescio (Latin)
Jag känner inte namnet/ I do not know the name
(Jag antar att “v.” står för “vännen”)

2 Eneret betyder ‘patent’ eller ‘monopol’ och indikerar
exklusiv rätt till en design. (Källa: Yahoo! Answers)
Eneret
means ‘patent’ or ‘monopoly’ and indicates
exclusive use of a design. (Source:
Yahoo! Answers)

G.001-1 Fristads Missionshus 1901

Sid 1_0001-4

Det allra första vykortet i Gustafs vykortsalbum är från 1901 och visar Fristads Missionshus. / The very first postcard in Gustaf’s postcard album is from 1901 and shows the Mission Covenant Chapel at Fristad.

 

2012_02_16 Sid 1 

‘BREFKORT’ – POSTCARD

Poststämplat1/postmarked: Odensberg 1901
Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Odensberg2
Avsändare/sender: Gustaf (?)

1Den andra poststämpeln på vykortet kan jag inte uttyda.
Portot ser ut att ha varit 5 öre.

2Odensberg ligger i Falköpings kommun.
Odensberg is a locality near Falköping, Västergötland.

 

Sid 1_0001-3

Den handskrivna texten på framsidan har delvis suddats ut, men kortet verkar ha sänts som julhälsning från en annan Gustaf.

The writing on the front of the card is smudged, but it seems to have been sent as a Christmas greeting, from another Gustaf.

♥ ♥ ♥

Missionskyrkan i Fristad idag (foto från deras hemsida 2012):
The modern Mission Covenant Church at Fristad:

image

Svenska Missionskyrkan är ett svenskt nyevangeliskt, reformert trossamfund grundat 1878, fram till 2003 kallat Svenska Missionsförbundet.

The Mission Covenant Church of Sweden  was founded in 1878.  It is a Swedish Reformed free church with its origins in the Lutheran Church of Sweden. As a movement they have roots in Pietism and the spiritual awakenings of the nineteenth century.

When Swedish Covenanters emigrated to the United States and Canada in the last half of the nineteenth century they formed the Evangelical Covenant Church.

♥ ♥ ♥

År 1884 var Gustafs far (min farmors far) Samuel Emanuelsson, med om att bilda missionsförsamlingen i Borgstena (där familjen bodde under åren 1867-1897). I denna församling var Samuel till att börja med vice ordförande. Han var också söndagsskollärare. (Uppgiften hämtad från en artikel i Fristadsbygden 2007  skriven av Sten Emanuelsson, sonson till Samuel och Selma.)

In 1884, Gustaf’s father Samuel was involved in founding a mission covenant church in the village where he and his family then lived – Borgstena (not far from Fristad). Samuel was vice chairman in the beginning, and Sunday School teacher.

2012-02-15

Gerda 1915

Gerda 1915-2   Gerda 1915-3

Gerda Ekman, oktober 1915 – Lyon, Frankrike – 34 år
[Gerda Maria Emanuelsson *25.10.1881  +10.8.1973]

Det här fotot av Gerda hittade jag inte i vykortsalbumet, utan i ett av kuverten med gamla foton som pappa sorterat. (Bland dem finns ett kuvert märkt ‘Gerda’ och ett annat märkt ‘Gerda?’.)

Jag väljer att visa det här fotot först, eftersom det är signerat och daterat. När man vänder på bilden , så framgår att den tryckts på vykortspapper (vare sig det nu skickats som sådant eller i ett brev), och senare beskurits till mindre format – förmodligen för att passa i en mindre fotoram. Till all lycka framgår dock fortfarande dateringen – Lyon d. 26 ok 1915 – och dedikationen Till Sally (troligen har det också stått “från Gerda” under).

Farmor Sally (född 3.2.1900) var då femton år på det sextonde.

Jag ser likheter i de två systrarnas utseende!

Nedan ett collage som visar det scannade fotot t.v. och i mitten min digitala bearbetning för att få mer skärpa i bilden:

2012_02_15 Gerda

This is a photo of my grandmother’s travelling and card writing half-sister Gerda. The original photo as scanned to the left. With digital improvements by me in the middle (using Picasa). This photo was not in the postcard album; but when I turned it over I found that it was obviously originally printed on a postcard, and then cut to fit into a smaller photo frame. Luckily, the cutting has left the date – Lyon 26 Oct 1915 – and the dedication to my grandmother Sally, who would then have been 15 going on 16. Gerda was born 1881, so would be 34 in this photo. I can see the family resemblance between her and Sally in her features.

2012-02-14

Family Graves / Familjegravar

Våra släktgravar på kyrkogården i Fristad (2011).
Our family graves in the churchyard at Fristad.

CIMG1816-2

DSCN1222-1_thumb2

Samuel Emanuelsson * 27/2 1835 + 15/2 1907
STOREGÅRDEN (Fristad)

Farmors far / my father’s mother’s father

 

DSCN1217-2_thumb2

DSCN1213-2_thumb2

Selma Emanuelsson * 1861 +1941
Carl Emanuelsson * 1870 + 1928
Gustav Samuelsson *1878 + 1952
STOREGÅRDEN (Fristad)

Farmors mor + två av farmors halvbröder (Samuels söner).
My father’s mother’s mother + two of her husband’s, i.e. my great-grandfather Samuel’s sons from his first marriage

 

CIMG1820-3_thumb3

Ester Ekman * 1876 + 1959
Gerda Ekman * 1881 + 1973

Två av farmors halvsystrar (Samuels döttrar)
Two of great-grandfather Samuel’s daughters from his first marriage

 

CIMG1813_thumb2

Olivia Emanuelsson * 6/1 1868 + 22/2 1899

Dotter till Samuel som dog innan farmor föddes.
Daughter from my great-grandfather Samuel’s first marriage, who died the year before my grandmother Sally was born.

 

DSCN1207-1_thumb2

Hildur (f. Lundgren) Hellsten * 1892 + 1964
g.m. Olof Hellsten

Farmors halvsyster, dotter till Selma i hennes första äktenskap.
Great-grandmother Selma’s daughter from her first marriage; and her husband

 

DSCN3527-1_thumb2

Sally (f. Emanuelsson) Thulin *3/2 1900 + 27/2 1979
g.m. Gustaf Thulin * 23/6 1904 + 9/4 1969
Farmor och farfar / My paternal grandparents

 

DSCN1210-2_thumb2

Nils Emanuelsson * 1902 + 1971
g.m. Carin Emanuelsson *1903 + 1986

Farmors helbror
My grandmother Sally’s younger brother and his wife

 

CIMG6805-1_thumb2

Birgit (f. Nordstedt) Thulin * 1930 + 2009
Bertil Thulin * 1931 + 2011

Mamma och pappa / My mother and father

 

Fristad-kyrkogrd_thumb2

Rebecka Thulin * 1843 + 1922
Alfred Thulin * 1855 + 1932

Farfars morföräldrar (han växte upp hos dem)
My grandfather’s mother’s parents (he was raised by them)

Last Names / Efternamn

Som om det inte vore krångligt nog med alla min farmors halvsyskon ändå – de hade till råga på allt flera olika efternamn, även som ogifta.

På Gustafs gravsten står namnet Gustav Samuelsson. Men i det gamla vykortsalbumet som tillhörde honom är korten från 1902 och många år framåt ställda till Gustaf Ekman. Ett par kort från 1930-talet i slutet av albumet är dock adresserade till Gustaf Samuelsson, vilket tyder på att han senare återtog det namnet.

Jag vet att även syskonen Gerda, Ester och Oskar antog efternamnet Ekman. Gerda och Ester, som förblev ogifta, har båda namnet Ekman på sin gravsten. Den äldre brodern Carl däremot hette Emanuelsson; dvs samma efternamn som fadern, Samuel Emanuelsson. En syster (Olivia) som dog 1899 hade också (enligt gravstenen) efternamnet Emanuelsson.

Även farmor hette som ogift Emanuelsson; och likaså hennes yngre bror Nils.

Jag har för mig att pappa någon gång sa, när jag frågade om den här namnförvirringen, att Gustaf kom att heta Samuelsson på grund av att den präst som antecknade namnet vid dopet skrev fel. (I tidigare generationer var det standard att efternamnet bildades på faderns förnamn. Samuels far hette t.ex. Emanuel.)

Eftersom Gustaf hette Ekman 1902, verkar det troligt att han och de tre andra syskonen antog namnet runt sekelskiftet. Vad som är oklart för mig är när och varför han senare bytte tillbaka.

♥ ♥ ♥

Turning over a number of random cards in Gustaf’s postcard album, they seemed all to be addressed to Gustaf Ekman.

This surprised me a little, because his last name according to his gravestone was Gustav Samuelsson.

This never made much sense either though, because his older brother Carl, buried in the same grave, had Emanuelsson as his last name. Gerda and another unmarried sister went by the name  of Ekman (also on their grave); and so did, I understand, their brother Oskar. But my grandmother’s and her younger brother’s last name was Emanuelsson.

The father’s name was Samuel Emanuelsson. His father’s first name was Emanuel… In earlier generations, names were passed on like that. Your last name would be son-or-daughter of whatever your father’s first name was. It seems to have been around my grandparents’ generation that the practice changed and children were given the same last name as their parents instead; and the ending –dotter (daughter) was put out of use. So my grandmother’s maiden name was not Sally Samuelsdotter, but Sally Emanuelsson.

I asked my father some time about the total surname confusion among his mother’s many siblings. He said the story was Gustaf was given the name Samuelsson by mistake. The parson misheard or got confused and wrote Samuelsson instead of Emanuelsson in the church records, and he got stuck with it.

However, the cards do tell me that for a number of years, he called himself Ekman instead. But checking some of the last ones in the album, it seems that in the 1930’s (or earlier) he had changed back to Gustaf Samuelsson.

Why some of them started calling themselves Ekman in the first place is not clear either. Maybe they just wanted a shorter name. My guess is that Oskar, Ester, Gustav and Gerda all changed to Ekman around the turn of the century. What I don’t know is why and when Gustaf changed his name back again.

 

Valentine Greetings

A Loving Thought C 190X

To My Valentine C 1908

♥ ♥ ♥

När jag bläddrade igenom de gamla vykortsalbumen, råkade jag lägga märke till de här två ‘Alla Hjärtans Dag’-korten, som skickats från anonym avsändare till farmors halvbror Gustaf 1908, då han (tydligen) uppehöll sig i Galeton, Pennsylvania, USA. Det första kortet här är inte daterat, men sitter på samma uppslag i albumet som det andra kortet, där poststämpeln (Galeton 1908) är synlig trots att frimärket är borttaget.

Jag undrar om Gustaf visste vem/vilka som skickat korten?

Jag kan inte påminna mig att jag någonsin hört vad Gustaf gjorde i Amerika. Men om han bodde i Galeton, så kanske uppgifterna om orten i Wikipedia ger en antydan. 1

I början av 1900-talet var Galeton - i spåren av en olje-rush i Pennsylvania i slutet av 1800-talet – tydligen ett blomstande industrisamhälle, där det fanns flera lättare industrier såsom stickfabriker samt ett garveri. 1910 bodde där omkring 4000 personer. 90 år senare (2000) var befolkningssiffran nere på 1325.

Valentin-korten får bli mitt första inlägg på den här bloggen, som är tänkt att bli en “upptäcktsresa” i min släkthistoria (min farmors familj) med hjälp av de gamla vykorten, farmors fotoalbum, och farfars och pappas släktforsknings-anteckningar.

♥ ♥ ♥

Flickering through the old postcards album, I happened to notice these two Valentine cards, sent anonymously to my grandmother’s half-brother Gustaf while he was living in Galeton, Pennsylvania, in 1908 (according to the postmark). (The first card is not dated but it is on the opposite page in the album.)

I wonder if Gustaf knew who sent them?

I don’t think I ever heard what Gustaf did while he was in America, but if he lived in Galeton, here are some suggestions:

From Wikipedia:

1Galeton is a borough in Potter County, Pennsylvania, United States, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Bradford. 2 Light industries such as knitting mills and a tannery have existed in Galeton. In 1900, 2,415 people lived in Galeton, and 4,027 people lived there in 1910. (As of the census of 2000, there were 1,325 people residing in the borough.)

2Bradford was chartered as a city in 1879 and emerged as a wild oil boomtown in the Pennsylvanian oil rush3  in the late 19th century.

3After 1871, the oil industry was well established, and the "rush" to drill wells and control production was over. Pennsylvania oil production peaked in 1891.

I thought the Valentine’s Day cards would make a nice first post in this blog, since I’m starting on Valentine’s Day. The blog is intended to be a journey into my family history, with the help of the old postcards, together with old photos and notes on family history also left behind by my parents and grandparents.