13 Jun 2016

Call a Swede

Sweden is the first country in the world with its own phone number, so that you can call a Swede. Last month, Sweden set up a new phone number called “The Swedish Number” (46 771 793 336). Call a Swede and a volunteer will answer to talk to you about their country.
In 1766, Sweden became the first country in the world to introduce a constitutional law to abolish censorship. To honor this anniversary, Sweden is now the first country in the world to introduce its own phone number. Call today and get connected to a random Swede, anywhere in Sweden and talk about anything you want.

“Random Swede answering,” said Christer Blom, picking up the phone. Blom is a 53-year-old software developer who lives in the Swedish countryside about 100 miles west of Stockholm. He volunteered to field calls from people across the globe two weeks ago.

“I just thought it would be a nice […]

26 Dec 2015

Swedish Bread Plate

This Swedish bread plate literally fell out of the roll top desk my mother took with her when she moved to assisted living recently. (It’s a very nice place and we’re all very relieved our mother has taken to the new place so well, is eating better, and also is no longer driving.)

My Swedish is abysmal but I think the inscription, “Bättre grov kaka än ingen smaka,” translates as “Better coarse bread than none.” If readers who know colloquial Swedish have a better translation, please let me know!

I have to believe this is my great-grandmother’s bread plate, or perhaps even her mother Carolina Larsdotter’s possession. Anna’s nephew, her brother’s son, came from Sweden to visit the family in Chicago. Perhaps the bread plate was a gift to his aunt.

I’ve written about my Swedish great-grandmother, Anna Larsdotter Hann, before. I admire her for raising three children under the age of five, including her […]

14 Nov 2015

Free Access to Swedish Records This Weekend

Get free access to Swedish records 14-15 November 2015 at ArkivDigital.

Click here to get started searching 57 million pages of Swedish parish and household exam records. Specifically, ArchivDigital Sweden holds

about 190,000 historical books, documents and records or 57 million digital color images of Swedish church records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records and other historical records. We use modern technology to digitalize the records directly from the original books and we extend the image database with more than 600,000 color images each month.

Get free access to Swedish records in their archives searching by county and parish name, district name, record type, etc. Search results are improved when using Swedish spelling and diacritical marks when searching, e.g. Örebro rathr than Orebro.

If you subscribe to Legacy webinars, watch the one with Kathleen Meade entitled, “Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online,” for excellent tips on using this resource.

Recently I posted about how meaningful Swedish All Saints’ Day was for me […]

31 Oct 2015

Swedish All Saints’ Day

I suppose every day is Swedish All Saints’ Day for those of us searching for our ancestors and wanting to know more of their lives in Sweden.
According to Po Tidholm & Agneta Lilja, of Celebrating the Swedish Way:
In the year 731 AD, 1 November was designated a day of remembrance for saints of the church who had no days of their own. From the 11th century, 2 November was dedicated to all the dead, of whatever standing, and was called All Souls’ Day. It was widely observed by the populace, with requiems and bell-ringing, but was abolished with the arrival of the Reformation. In 1772, Swedish All Saints’ Day was moved to the first Sunday in November and in 1953 to the Saturday between 31 October and 6 November.

In the 1900s, however, people began putting lighted candles on the graves of the departed on All Saints’ Day. This custom originated with […]