MEMORIES OF FORMER DAYS
THIS HISTORY IS GIVEN TO MY
BELOVED FATHER AND MOTHER
AT THE TIME OF THEIR
1865 – 1915
Thank you both for all your love and care. I have gathered these thoughts
telling of what I have seen and experienced while living with my dear
Your loving son,
Carl M. Ahlberg
THE AHLBERG FAMILY
About the year 1766, a son was born in Hors Parish, Skåne, Sweden. He was
given the name of Lars. At this time Adolf Fredrik was king in Sweden and
“Hat and Cap” Parties vied with one another for power and authority.
We know no more about Lars until he moved from Skåne to Småland where he
was hired by Governor Morner in Vexiö. He was then about 15 years of age, a
healthy, hearty youth whom the governor chose to be his personal servant.
In Stockholm at this time lived a fine gentleman, namely, Gustaf III.
Through his influence the upperclass flourished in the whole country of
Sweden. Morner gave the new servant or attendant the right to choose a
surname for himself. The name chosen was “Ahlberg” which his descendants
have been using for 195 years for the seventh and eighth generation. (Note:
This history was written in 1915).
When Lars had finished his service with the governor we find him as
overseer of the estate of Svånas in Ormesberga Parish, about two Swedish
miles northwest of Vexiö. (1 Swedish is equivalent to 7 English.)
During this time he fell in love with a corporal’s daughter by the name
of Christina Damm. Their home was a pretty little cottage in the woods,
called Hagtorpet in Svånas. This marriage was blessed with five sons and one
daughter. The parents were devout Christians and brought up their children
in the fear of the Lord. Their whole life time was spent in this place,
Lars was 86 years old when he died which was in the beginning of the
1850’s. Christina, his wife, preceded him in death at the age of 76 years.
They had lived during a long and historic period. During these years, five
kings had reigned in Sweden. Poet-king, Esaias Tegner, was bishop in Vexiö.
Finland was conquered by Russia.
The monarchy form of government was given up for all time in Sweden when
a new form of government was adopted. Norway joined with Sweden under the
rule of the same king.
In France, a terrible revolution raged which was followed by Napoleon’s
power which shook all the thrones of Europe.
In America was born a new nation, the United States.
On March 13, 1809 Gustaf IV was made king and moved into the Stockholm
palace, beginning his reign in Sweden. In the same month a son was born into
the family of Lars Ahlberg, born the same year as Abraham Lincoln in
America, namely 1809. This son was given the name of Sigfrid Magnus.
During this time Napoleon, the Great, shook the world with the thunder of
war, but this little boy grew up in the calm farm home in Småland. When he
was grown to young manhood, he went to work for a tailor learning the trade
and later returned to his parents’ home. Here he started working for the
owners of Svånas Estate. His food given him each day consisted of a cake of
rye bread and a measure of soup. “Anyway”, he said, “I was strong, yes, even
more so than others.”
At Svånas he became foreman and later superintendent. Rudback, the owner,
let him oversee a farm at Berggåard in Öhrs Parish. While there he married
the owner’s daughter. Her name was Annakåjsa Anderson. After a few years
they moved on to her parents’ farm which they were able to purchase. This
home, Svartensgåard was not large, but fruitful, fertile and well situated
near the inn along the King’s Highway between Stockholm and Malmö. This was
25 years before trains were used in Sweden. This inn contained a saloon and
many folk patronized the place, which held both danger and advantage for the
family in Svartensgåard.
Grandfather was not an abstainer, but was never drunken. However, many
peasants succumbed to drunkeness, which was a national plague all over
Sweden during the middle of this century. One of grandfather’s sons was
harmed by drink, losing his health and strength because of it. My mother’s
father was a heavy brandy drinker, but in spite of it had good health and
lived to be 83 years old, departing this life in Öhr. Even the preachers
used to drink in excess, which I witnessed, even to the extent that services
had to be terminated when the preacher was at the altar before the sermon
was begun because this servant of God was drunken.
Surrounded by these evil snares, it was well that Grandfather did not
become drunken especially since during these years he became a business man
although he continued to live on his farm. His services were sought for
inventory, wills, auctions, etc. He evaluated estates and inventories and
was assigned to deliver an inheritance of several hundred thousand crowns
(Swedish money) to heirs in the province of Småland. This assignment was
made in Göteborg. It was commendable that he could carry out other
trustworthy assignments, even though his education was limited. During his
childhood there were no so-called folkschools. His learning was acquired in
reading, writing and arithmetic received in his own home. It was therefore
an unusual great natural gift that he was given and he used his talent to
I remember him as a fine cabinetmaker when I was 6 years old. He trained
himself in this work and could make both furniture and wagons. He was of a
quiet nature and conducted himself in a worthy manner. He had a handsome and
manly appearance. He was chosen to lead the singing in the church in Öhr. No
organ was used or needed because he had a good voice. It was before organs
were used in churches that he led the singing. He was also church warden
which was looked upon as an honorable position. He was married twice. In the
first marriage he had four sons and two daughters. He died after a short
illness in 1876 at the age of 64 years and is buried beside his first wife
in Öhrs Churchyard. Over their graves has been placed a large black iron
cross upon which is engraved in gold letters the following:
“Here lies Church Warden Sigfrid Magnus Ahlberg, etc.”
Grandfather was not a faultless person, but both he and grandmother were
religious. He called his children to his deathbed and warned them seriously
to turn to God: (translated from Swedish)
“In Christ’s wounds I slumber,
Which cleansed me from my sin.
Yes, Christ’s death and precious blood,
This is my adornment good.”
Sigfrid Magnus Ahlberg’s sons were, Jacob, Johannes (twins), Carl Fredrik
and Anders. Johannes died shortly after birth, but Jacob is now 76 years old
(1915). He was born August 26, 1840 in Öhrs Parish, Berggåard, Kronobergs (Lan).
He stayed at home and worked on his father’s farm until he was 25 years old.
During his childhood he attended folk school in Sweden. Although his school
attendance was short, he learned to read and write well and also learned
His brothers married and had large families. The youngest, Anders, is
dead, but Carl still lives in Öhr. Both sisters are married. Eva is still
living, but Christina also died. Father’s half sisters, Augusta and Ada, I
am not well acquainted with not hearing from them for the past few years.
The following is father’s own description: “In 1865, the beginning of
February the following happened. I was working at home with my father and
was told to take the oxen and drive to the woods for wood which I had
chopped the day before.
“When I was watering the oxen before departing, I saw Johannes Petterson
from Påstgård come to see my father. I knew nothing of his errand and
proceeded to the woods. I returned in the evening, completed my chores and
went to eat my supper. After eating, my mother said to me, ‘Your father
wants to see you. He wants to talk to you.’ I went up to his room.
“He said to me, ‘Johannes Petterson of Påstgård was here today. He said
to me that he wants you to go to him, buy his farm and marry his daughter,
Eva.’ ‘No,’ I answered, ‘I have never thought of that!’ My father said, ‘I
promised him that tomorrow night you are to go to see him.’ My mother came
and said the same. ‘Furthermore,’ said my father, ‘If you won’t do as mother
and I say, you can go your own way. I don’t want you here at home and you
will get no help from me.’
“The following day I thought about what I should do. Evening came and I
went to Påstgård which was near the church and not far from my home. There I
was warmly welcomed. Eva (the daughter) and I began to talk on different
topics. After 14 days my father-in-law-to-be drove with Eva and me to the
preacher to announce our engagement. After that it was announced in church
the three following Sundays. On June 4, 1865 we were married.
“I purchased a part of my father-in-laws farm and we lived there three
years. Our marriage was blessed by the birth of a daughter, born the 10th of
May, 1866 who was named Anna Christina. The Påstgård farm was sold, even our
part, since the so-called “new rich” for whom my father had taken out the
inheritance for in Göteborg, paid a high price for it. In 1868 we moved to
my father’s farm and worked it for one year. Here in Svartensgåard our -
eldest son, Carl Magni, was born November 14, 1868.
“The summer of 1864 has been called the ‘dry summer.’ From April until
August no rain fell. The sunshine was so hot no one could go barefooted as
we usually did. Price for cattle dropped. I sold an old useable horse for
two crowns and 50 öre and bought a year old horse for 75 crowns. The best
cows could be purchased for 15 crowns each. Against this, hay and seed were
“In the fall no rye was available. For wheat we paid 3 crowns for 20
pounds (somewhat less than American 20 pounds). The year 1869 was called the
‘hard year.’ Need was very great among the poor folk. Many people wandered
about begging. Money was received from America to help. The government of
Sweden arranged it so that the needy were given opportunity to work and in
this way they distributed the money.
“By this means a road was built between Öhr and Moheda, quite a long
stretch. The old road went over high hills and the new road along the lake
shore. My father built a pretty house on this farm at the foot of the road
in Öhr, which was later used as a store. He lived there several years on the
upper floor and later turned it over (Svartensgåard) to my brother Carl.”
In 1869 father moved to Moheda Parish. Pastor Palmer wanted father to use
his home. The pastor made a contract with father which was executed by
grandfather. All was clear, but was not witnessed. Though the pastor
promised on his honor, he entreated father to move to his farm. In the
meantime It happened thus - that the pastor held both of the copies of the
contract which lacked witnessing. So through changes and new promises from
Pastor Palmer, father began to work on the farm with youthful zest and
vigor. This seemingly useless farm gave matchless harvest. After one and
one-half years the pastor gave notice to father to move. After these two
years of hard work he had to move away. This was a great loss because father
had spent large sums of his money for ditches and fences which the pastor
gained. It was a hard blow for father, but it was worse for the pastor in
the long run because his farm failed shortly afterward and his son became a
A river flowed past the Moheda Parish farm. A bridge was built over the
stream made of timbers. A little boy who was not yet two years old tried to
cross over this bridge by himself. He accidentally fell into the river. The
reason for this happening was that the boy’s parents were away and had left
the little one in the care of a fourteen year old boy who had gone his way,
leaving the little one alone.
A neighbor, the wife of the church organist, saw that her neighbor boy
had fallen from the bridge into the middle of the stream. She ran and
rescued him, taking up a seemingly lifeless form.
In the evening when mother who was greatly concerned and worried could
not find him, she sought for him and found him warm and cozy in Mrs.
Redholm’s home without injury from the cold bath. That boy’s hand is the one
who has written this history.
God lets his trusting here
All good by grace enjoy
And the message of his love share
With the thousand angel chorus.
For if we sing with joy and praise
God’s angels from our childhood days
Will guide and keep us safe.
(Translated from Swedish.)
In March, 1871 father and mother moved to another village, Rosas in Bergs
Parish and rented a farm there. This also became our home for only two
years. The change was the important difference. Moheda was a lively
community and Rosas a little insignificant village. The reason for our move
from Rosas was this: Aunt Maria (mother’s sister) in America had written
wanting father and mother to move there. She wanted to purchase the tickets
for the trip and her husband assured father that there would be work for him
as soon as they would arrive. They decided to emigrate and an auction was
held to dispose of their goods. In the meantime, an uncle came and told them
he had been in America and planned to return there again and he advised them
to wait and accompany him. Also he said, “You can’t believe all that Maria
writes about America.”
After the auction we moved to Öhr and lived with mother’s father on his
farm. The trip to America was postponed for 26 years, which reminds us of
Israel’s children when they believed the spies and wandered in the
wilderness for 40 years before they entered the promise land.
From Rosas there is more to tell. There was born the family’s second son,
Anders Walfrid (Andrew) the 4th of June, 1871. This was a precious gift on
their sixth wedding anniversary. He was a healthy, happy youngster. He
He happened to have an encounter with a big, angry rooster which knocked
him over and sank his sharp beak twice into his cheek. I remember how the
blood ran from the bad wound. It left a scar which was visible for many
years. However, it was a blessing that the rooster did not strike him in the
eye. This is further evidence of the invisible hand or guardian angel.
During the family’s residence in Öhr the summer of 1873, father worked on
the railroad in Nassjö. There he rose from brakeman to conductor. The
company did not want him to leave and was promised a place along the highway
when the railway was finished. An inner force led him in another direction.
Here we wonder why! Uncle Petterson, Aunt Eva’s husband worked a short while
before this with the railroad on a lower level and rose to station inspector
with good wages and now receives a pension from the railroad. The sons of
railroad men in Sweden have many opportunities to work up to better jobs. We
ask, “What could we have become?”
However, it must have been for some good. Father and mother were destined
to be in the wilderness and experience the heat of pain so that they would
begin to thirst after the Living Water, yes, even also their children.
Grandfather recommended namely to father when he came home from the
railroad to visit the family to tend the farm at Texatorp in Ojaby Parish.
In the fall of 1873 we moved there. It was an out of the way spot and even
as children we disliked the name, “Texatorp.” Here we were stationed. The
harvest failed, although father did his level best. Neighbors had good
harvest, but not the Ahlbergs.
The cattle became sick and died, also pigs and other creatures. It seemed
we were bewitched. Yes, mother sent me at least one time to a clever woman
because bad luck persisted. But her witchcraft did not help.
Job lost first his cattle, then sickness came over him. It was the same
with father, yes, even mother received her share. One winter they both had
smallpox and lay for a long time dreadfully ill. After that father had a
sickness that continued for many years, namely stomach trouble. He tried the
best doctors, but no permanent help could be had from medicine. In between
times he worked and other times was deathly sick.
During these trials about the physical came anxiety over sin which led
him near the brink of despair. Mother, too, was convicted. A preacher whose
name was Fovelin, they liked, but his church was a long way from Texatorp.
Evenso they were so anxious to hear the Word of God that they went over the
hills and through the woods to Öja Church. Preachers, however, that were
nearer were “dead dogs on Zion’s walls.” Finally, father and mother found
peace with God through Christ’s blood. They read often sermons by Hoevn,
Norborg, John Arnth and Luther. Yes, they tested their faith in God through
these pastors’ sermons. One Sunday, after the usual hearing of these sermons
and searching my own soul, I said, “I know that, also.” “Oh, is that so,
Kalle little.” (an endearing name for Carl) said Mother. “Yes, that is very
good,” chimed in father. Even before father and mother had accepted the
Lord, I longed in my heart for Christ when I was seven years old. When
father and mother were converted, I was nine years old. Through listening to
them, I was led to accept the Lord and be saved from sin. There were some
things that father and mother read that I did not understand. Their life was
gloomy and slavelike because of the little knowledge they had. But for the
righteous shall new light come. It has happened so with them. Praise the
Lord! Now they are both happy in the Lord.
Father knew some about working with wood. Since there were no factories
in Herrangen where we lived, father made furniture during the winter and
built houses during the summer. He was skilled in putting up buildings
himself and supervised building. The pay for this work was very small, even
though the workday was from 5 o’clock in the morning until 9 at night, most
time off was two hours for meals. Earnings were inadequate for a big family
and time was limited when he could work.
During the cold weather, father had his cabinet working place in the
home. There were two pull-out beds and a bedsofa with wooden covers placed
on one side of the room. In the front was father’s bureau with tools and
mother’s storage chests on each side at this end of the room. In the center
was father’s workbench with tools, also the children’s table where 4 or 5
sat making match boxes. In the ceiling hung the furniture for drying and 2
nets of match boxes, also being dried. At the stove was mother’s place where
she did the cooking. During working time the floor was full of shavings and
sawdust. It was very crowded even though this room was really quite large.
When spring came we moved the stove out along with its long chimney. In the
summer mother prepared the food in the kitchen and it was cooked and served
outside, was covered and adorned with green leaves and flowers. The
workbench was also moved outside and work resumed.
While father was away working, lightning struck the barn one morning just
as mother came into the house after milking the cow. All burned down in a
short while. Only our pig came running out badly burned. At first he was
unconscious and when he came out he was frantic. None could get near enough
to the burning place to help the poor pig and he finally squeezed through by
himself. The owner of the barn had no insurance. Lost in the fire were
father’s workshop, boards and a new mangle which were not insured. It was
trying and hard to understand that God would let this happen to a poor
family who feared God and fled from the sins of the world. However, He who
let this happen raised up helpful people who sent help to father and mother
in their need.
In Texatorp, two daughters were added to the family, Jennie Mathilda
the 16th of March, 1874 and Maria Carolina, the 28th of January, 1876.
During the first years at Texatorp we had both maid and hired man. Because
of adversities this came to an end and father and mother had to get along
without them. Sister Anna and I had to help with the work in their stead. I
was 9 or 10 and Anna was two and one-half years older. We took care of the
farmyard, drove to the market-place and the mill and helped on the farm with
hay and grain and unloading of same. I chopped nearly all the wood we burned
when I was 7, cut hay with father and mother and when I was 9 years old,
harrowed all the fields with horse each spring. There wasn’t much time for
play. We did attend school even though it took an hour to go there. Lessons
were hard to learn because we had much work to do and could not attend
regularly. However, we took the examinations when they were given.
In 1879 we moved from Texatorp to be place called Herrangen. The reason
for our moving was that the contract had run out and a man made a higher bid
for Texatorp and it was impossible for father to raise this bid. It was hard
for father at times to hold back bitter feelings against that man. No one
can wonder at that as father had to move his family to a desolate house
where no ground could be farmed. No, we couldn’t even use the orchard at
this place. Therefore, I remember the sore temptations like the big ripe
astrachan apples near the house and the red raspberries. We were allowed to
gather the fallen fruit. Sometimes, not often, we boys threw a little stone
through the trees to get some fruit to fall.
Father was even now sickly. Two summers he went to a health spring at
Grannaforsa and bathed. “Does Jacob Ahlberg have money now?” asked some
folks which I overheard. Well, it was the last of his money that he spent.
Home with mother were six children.
Brother Enoch was born, March 30th, 1879.
Mother went out to work at a neighbors once in a while. From Vexiö’s
match factory we obtained work at home making match boxes. The older
children worked at this job. First we made the inside box and then the
outside, we assembled the two to fit together and placed the label on the
front side. It was hard to dry them during cloudy weather. We received 60
öre for 1000 boxes and put them on a cart and took them to the factory which
was 8 miles away. We could do two or three thousand at a time. We had to
wait hours to get them because so many people wanted to make them and earn
this little money. Andrew and I made the trip when we were out of school
which took a whole day. In the winter time we left home before daylight and
returned home after dark at night.
For 3000 boxes we received 1 crown (45¢) and 80 öre which was worth about
90 cents or in exchange for American money, 50¢. At any rate we could buy
coffee, sugar and was of some help in purchasing flour.
We had one cow. When we could milk her all went well. Otherwise we drank
our coffee black. Wheat was used in baking. Mother only baked it twice a
year. It was too expensive and did not last long, but rye bread and once in
while barley, often mixed, was plentiful so we could eat our fill. We also
had cooked cereal (gröt) and soup made from cereal. Meat, butter and fruit
were scarce. Mother baked and cooked better than most of the villagers. It
was hard for her at times, but the Lord watched over us so we did not go to
bed hungry and we never had to beg. To borrow or go in debt father and
mother did not want to do (were afraid of doing).
We had clothes we wore on Sunday and an everyday garment. We only had one
pair of shoes a year which we boys thought was good. During the summer we
went barefooted, and around home we hopped along in wooden shoes when it was
cold. Even though it was hard and living was frugal, we children were
healthy and rosy cheeked.
The following summer I went to a fishery in Ojaby. We fished in Helgas
Sea and sold fish in Vexiö. I was 12½ years old. Besides food and lodging I
received 1 crown per week or 16 crowns for 16 weeks.
Sister Anna was confirmed and was away working during the summer. In the
fall mother worked at a place where a girl lay sick and later died. Soon
mother became ill and bedridden with the same sickness which the doctor
called typhoid. Father came home to see mother and was taken ill with the
same sickness. For about 5 or 6 weeks brother Andrew and I cared for them
and the small brothers and sisters as best we could. No neighbors came to
see us. My sister Anna came home to care for her sick parents. She was 16½
years old and in love with a young man. This was in the month of November,
1882. The doctor had grave misgivings that father and mother could or would
live. Anna had not been home long before she began to pray to God that she
could die in Mother’s place because she did not want to be motherless with
the small brothers and sisters which numbered six. In the meantime she did
the best she could for her parents. Her prayers were answered. She also
became ill. Now it was my job – 14 years old – to care for the whole sick
household and the small children, the youngest of which was brother Gustaf
(George), one year old. He was born December 7, 1881. The doctor came once
and after that I reported to him in Vexiö once a week about the sick ones.
After three week’s illness Anna died with this victory song, “The Canaanite
Women and I” - Matt. 15:21-28.
Father and mother were bedridden for seven weeks. Fortunately, they could
be up occasionally. Father made a black coffin in which they laid away their
eldest daughter who had gone to her heavenly rest. Mother cut off every twig
on the blooming November tree which grew at our home and placed these
flowers around the withered rose in the coffin. The first Sunday of Advent
there was frost on the trees and clean white snow on the ground. A few
neighbors came to the funeral, but they stood outside and dared not even
shake hands with father and mother. Father and mother were too weak to go to
the grave. We rode quite a distance about 8 miles to the Ojaby Church. There
Anna was buried.
Quietly her body was lain
In earth’s quiet bosom
May this room of earth be forgotten
Where she rests without name.
Room and name the Lord knows well,
When he calls for all his children.
Sv. Ps. 265:9 (trans.)
It was near Christmas time that little Enoch, 4 years old was sick almost
unto death. He had not eaten for several days. One side of his body was
paralyzed. Mother asked father to make ready a coffin before Christmas
because she thought her son could not live long. “As long as there is life
there is hope,” thought Father. Therefore he could not make the coffin this
time. Enoch lay half dead with eyes closed and unable to hear. Mother poured
egg-milk into his mouth. Half of it ran out, but she continued a little at a
time. Slowly her son became better. He lost all of his hair and could not
talk and was in bed several months, but became well and had no ill effects
from the illness. After Christmas it was my turn to have typhoid same as
mother and father had had. For 5 weeks I lay with a terrific ache in my
head. The other children did not get sick with the typhoid. It was a year
before mother and father fully recovered.
In the fall of 1883 we moved again to Öhr on a farm that belonged to
Uncle Carl, father’s brother, who owned an estate which father tended. After
I was confirmed in Harlof Church, I left home to work at the fishery in
Ojaby. In the late summer I returned and worked for father. The 24th of
October I went to work in Hjärtanas, Thorsagård where I worked for the
following four years. The pay was 25 crowns the first year besides food,
lodging and laundry. After that they raised my salary 10 crowns per year.
Best of all was that the food was good and we were given God-fearing
guidance. During this time father and mother built a house along the highway
toward Vexiö in Öhr, which they planned would be their home until the end of
their days. There, like every other time, they put in lots of hard work of
which others reaped the benefits. In Öhr were born two children, Anna Emelia
on November 28, 1884 and Ernst, born March 1, 1882. This brother died in
infancy, August 15,1882.
In the year 1888, April 3, I bade farewell to my fatherland and left for
America. This journey was to Whitehall, Michigan. My aunt had sent money for
travel expense and also for my cousin August Johanson. Eva Johanneson was
also to accompany us. We arrived safely, but August died after being in
America 9 days and Eva later.
Two years later father and mother again said farewell to two more of
their children, Anders and Jennie who also traveled to the land in the west.
Although they were young, they had been away from home before, working.
Anders was first a painter, later he traveled nearly over the whole of
Sweden on a selling expedition. The last place he lived was Göteborg.
Father’s and mother’s prayers guided these children. With tears they often
questioned, “What will happen to our children?” Anders, though very good was
most aggressive of the children. Shortly after arriving in America, in a
mission house he met the Lord. He was severely convicted before he found the
peace of and with God. His brother Carl, however, was able to lead him to
the Lord. Jennie, also was convicted and accepted Christ as her Saviour. One
of the aunts, meaning well wrote to father and mother, “It isn’t enough that
Carl is bewildered, but now he has also bewildered both brother and sister.”
We had been brought up in the state church and the Augustana in America was
Letters were exchanged back and forth over the Atlantic between parents
and children. They understood by their letters that the children had chosen
the heavenly way through the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore they often sent
home a portion of their small earnings which the parents exchanged for
Swedish money. Evenso, it was very hard for the parents to keep the “wolf
from the door,” because they were anxious to pay the bills for their new
house. Work was scarce in Öhr so they moved in 1892 to Staveshult, Bolsa
parish near where Uncle Anders lived.
In the summer during harvest time a young 30-year old man came to the
place where father and mother lived. It was toward evening and the young man
asked for a place to stay. Mother, working in the kitchen, said quietly, but
somewhat surprised, “I can’t promise before the men come home.”
The stranger followed her into the kitchen and sat down on a couch near
the door, but mother never said a word. Soon lightfooted Anna, aged 14, rosy
cheeked came in, ran to Mother and whispered, “That is brother Carl.” Then
mother immediately recognized her son who had been gone ten years. She ran
and threw her arms around him and pressed him to her heart.
After this I was home with father and mother as I was the preacher in a
small church just west of Vexiö. In the spring of 1899 father and mother and
Sister Anna came with me to America. Sister Lina had preceded them. Brother
Anders, who lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan welcomed them into his home.
Later father was made custodian of the Swedish Mission Church in Grand
Rapids and lived in the back part of the church where they lived and worked
for nine years. Then their youngest sons, Enoch and George (Gustaf) came
from Sweden in 1901. Here they too were won over by the love of Christ and
lived with mother and father in the church. After a few years, they traveled
farther west and settled in Reading, Minnesota.
Father suffered a stroke when he was 60 years old. It was of such a
nature that it seemed he would not survive, but praise the Lord, he is still
alive and can still work at the age of 76. Later father and mother moved to
their youngest sons in Reading, Minnesota and then they all moved to
Worthington, Minnesota where they lived on a farm of 400 acres which George
farmed. Enoch, during the last years has been building in Worthington doing
June 4, 1915 was the golden wedding day for father and mother which was
celebrated in the Mission Church in Worthington, provided by the
congregation. They were given a beautiful gift in gold by the friends there.
There was also a gift and congratulatory letter from the church in Grand
Rapids to which they had belonged. They also received a gift from the
children. At this time a poem was read which was written by their son,
Andrew could not be present because of his work in Grand Rapids at this
time. He was foreman in the finishing department of a large furniture
company in this city. He and his good wife, Anna, have the following
well-behaved children: Fridolf Daniel, Margaret, Catherine and Russell.
Sister Jennie also lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband,
Charles A. Allen. He is a cabinet maker. They also have a nice family of six
children, Eva, Carl, Marian, Eleanor, Roy and Paul. Jennie was in attendance
at the Golden Wedding with her youngest son, Paul.
Sister Lina (Maria Caroline) Mrs. Bisdom whose husband’s name is Maurice
lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and her two fine daughters, Olga and
Thelma attended the Golden Wedding.
Brother Enoch is the only one not married. As far as I know he is the
only bachelor in our relation. We understand he will soon break the record
and will soon marry and take as his bride, Mabel Johnson. (Enoch and Mabel
were married March 28, 1916.)
Brother George and his good wife, Frida (Blomgren) have the following
lovely children: Frances, Helen, Eva and Marian. George is a successful
farmer who understands how to care for the ground and animals and continues
to go forward. Father and mother live with them and are well cared for.
Sister Anna Lives in Akron, Ohio. Her good man is Otto Martinson. He has
been pastor for a few years and also works as an inspector in a factory. He
preaches in the English language often. Their children are Franklin and
Carl (the writer of this history) has during the past 20 years preached
in the following places: student and preaching in Chicago, three years;
three years In Kronoberg’s Lan, Sweden; two years in Montclare, N. J.; four
years In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; five years in Hartford, Conn. and three
years in Manchester, N. H.
With his wife, Hilma (Johnson) they have been blessed with three
children, Carl Emanuel, Paul Magni, Jacob Elston, a twin sister, Elizabeth
who died in infancy.
As a conclusion to this memorial, we wish to praise God for His great
mercy: “Not for us, Lord, not for us, but we praise thy name for your mercy
and for thy truth’s sake. All the ways of the Lord have been merciful and
true.” Psalm 25:10. We have found that “all things work together for good to
them that love the Lord, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28. “Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
Psalm 103:2. To us He has done many good things.
I wish to remind the coming generations that God is righteous and with
Him can be found no unrighteousness. He is righteous and He is merciful.
No one on father’s side of the family has died of tuberculosis or cancer.
No one has been accidentally killed or lost any limbs. Marriages have been
blessed with several children and as usual several sons. None of these have
been childless. No one in the relation has become insane or been imprisoned.
All of Jacob Ahlberg’s children have accepted the Lord as Saviour and are
active in Christian work in their respective churches. However, God shall
have praise for all. May not one wander away from the Lord and may the
coming generations also put their trust in our God. Amen.
Written in Swedish by
Rev. Carl M. Ahlberg
Translated by his niece
Eva Allen Carlson
There have been many additions to the family tree since this was written
for the Golden Wedding of our grandparents. I feel that the following should
be mentioned. Uncle George and Aunt Frida had two sons Wesley and Harold.
Uncle Enoch and Mabel were married in 1916. They had the following
children in their wonderful family: Edna, Alder, Philip, Doris and Dale.
Dale was the twin brother of Doris and went to be with the Lord at the age
Aunt Lina had a sweet little daughter by the name of Marie. She was the
child of a second marriage. Uncle Maurice Bisdom died and Aunt Lina married
Joseph Krause. Little Marie died when a young child.
Aunt Anna and Uncle Otto had three more children. One little girl Carol
who died and then came Paul and Avery to bless their home.
Several of the cousins mentioned in this history have gone to be with the
Lord, Carl Allen, Dan (Fridolf) Ahlberg, Margaret Ahlberg Bontekoe, Roy and
My wish and prayer during the translating of this history has been that
all who read this and are part of this family tree will find the same God as
Saviour and Lord and be thankful for the great heritage we have in having
ancestors who loved and served God and went to Him for help in all their
disappointments and troubles. He is able also to guide and guard us from sin
and lead us to our heavenly home. Put your trust in Him.
Pictured Sanford & Eva (Allen) Carlson
Eva Allen Carlson
(1st grandchild of Eva and Jacob Ahlberg)
Scanned and digitized by Donald Sanford Bryant,
Grandson of Eva Allen Carlson.
In loving memory of my mother,
Jeanne (Carlson) Bryant 1924-2002
23 September 2002
Bryant Genealogy Page