July 25 We all flew to New Jersey and then flew together to Oslo, Norway
July 26 We landed in Oslo about 10am local time. We had lunch in Norway at the Swedish border. We continued on to our hotel at Karlstad. 

We saw the Bridge in Karlstad, the Östra Bron, dating from 1761. It is the longest stone bridge in Sweden spanning 168 meters over the River Klarälven. It is associated with the Bridge Magazine. 

We also saw a ancient Rune stone and stone circle from early times in Sweden. 

July 27 The next day we went to the Kinship Center where local genealogy information is available. 

Then we went to Karlskoga to visit Björkborn, the manor home and laboratory of Alfred Nobel. This is where we met Alfred.

Next we visited the birth home of Olof Olsson, the pastor that lead the migration from Varmland to America for religious freedom in 1869.

Then we saw the Rune stone at Järsberg.

Next we went to the waterway that connects KristineHamn harbor to Lake Vänern. The Olof Olsson group with the Lindbergs started their voyage to American by traveling through this location on May 30, 1869. 

In the evening we boarded the M/S Vestvåg for an enchanting dinner cruise on Lake Vänern, Europes third largest lake. We stopped at a island and walked across to the far side of it. 

July 28 We went to a monument to Lars Magnus Ericsson who was the founder of the Ericsson company.

Next we visited Klässbols Linen Mill. See their web site for more information.

Also at this location were several old buildings including at grain mill with a water wheel. We met Ulla Smedberg Dixen here.  She is related through the Lindberg family.

Then we went to the silversmith shop.

Then we went to Gammelvala (Old Times) at Brunskog. This is a week long celebration of old times that was held during the week of July 23-30, 2005.

While there we met Irwing Furudahl who is a distant Lindberg relative (7th cousin). Irwing sent a letter to Geraldine Yagel in 2003 about the U. S. Lindberg family. I received a copy of the letter and contacted him. We have traded numerous emails since then. He is a very strong genealogy interest in the Lindberg descendents. 

Next we went to the church at Brunskog. This was the first church that Olof Olsson pastored.

July 29 We went to Sunnemo and saw the last church that Olof Olsson pastored. Alf Brorson told us more about Olof Olsson and how he not only had good attendance in his church, but he went out to other communities during the week and preached. The Lindbergs probably heard him during the week. They lived in a neighboring village of Västana which was about 12 miles away. When Olof's bishop told him that he could only preach in his own church and only on Sunday, he decided to emmigrate to America. The group that he went with had 276 people including 13 from his church, 76 from Västana, and the others from other neighboring communities.

We went to Munkfors Ironworks and saw the waterfall that was turned on only twice per year. Johannes Lindberg was known to have worked at this ironworks and others in this area. We believe he was a supervisor there. The buildings we saw in the ironworks were in use until 1943.

From Munkfors Ironworks we went south for about 3 miles to Västana and the farm that the Johannes Lindberg family owned. The farm was about 110 acres. It was originally formed in 1653. The stone part of the barn dates from that time. The barn without the extension on the right end, is the only building from when Johannes Lindberg was there. The house burned down in 1931 and was rebuilt at the same location. Johannes was concerned about having a school and donated the land across the road from his home in 1867. The school that was built was used until 1960. 

Lennart Lennartson is a historian that shared information about the Johannes Lindberg family. We also met Robert and Martina Lunde, the son and daughter of the current owner of this farm. The current owner is the secretary at the Kinship Center. Robert is a brick layer and a musician. He play the accordion (movie) for us. He also played the next day at the Swedish-American award ceremony.  


July 30 We went to the place that John Ericsson was born. It was an upstairs apartment. For more information about John Ericsson see this and this.

Next we went to the old iron mines of Filipstad. A chapel and the town cemetery are located here. Olof Olsson's 3rd pastorate was at the church in Filipstad. Olof's daughter Anna was born while they were here.

We had lunch in Filipstad with the Swedish-American of the year celebration group. We then went to the John Ericsson Mausoleum where celebrations of his birthday were held. We saw Jeanne Eriksson Widman, the Swedish-American of the year (movie). We then watched the US Civil War Battle of Hampton Road featuring replicas of the Monitor and Merrimac ships (movie).

We then went to the Karlstad convention center where the formal Swedish-American of the year award was made. Jeanne Eriksson Widman was the Swedish-American of the Year. Robert Lunde entertained us before the dinner and after the dinner (movie). We met the governor of Värmland, Eva Eriksson.

July 31 We drove to Torsby and saw Alf and Maud's home

We met Hans Lindberg at Torsby community center. Hans is a friend of Alf's and a genealogist. He is a 6th cousin of Karen, Ted, and Gary. 

We went to lunch in Torsby with one of Alf and Maud's sons. After lunch we met a second son. We went to a farm that one of their son's owns.

We then went to the Ekshärad church where the famous iron crosses with singing leaves are in the cemetery. Abraham Lindberg made many of these crosses. He is the ggg-grandfather of Karen, Ted, and Gary.

We went to the parsonage that Olof Olsson used near the Sunnemo Church.

We then went to the Sunnemo church for the Sunday evening service.

August 1  

We made a short stop in Sunne.  

We then went to the country inn at Medskogs Stugby to have a special Värmland lunch of Potatiskorv (potato sausage), potatoes, and lingonberries. 

After lunch, we visited Mårbacka, the home of Nobel Prize winning author Selma Lagerlöf. 

We went to the “Kinship Monument”, honoring the Finnish immigrants to Sweden and Swedish immigrants to America.  

August 2 We packed up to leave Karlstad and Värmland. We said our goodbye to Alf and Maud.

We took at bus to Stockholm. In Stockholm, we walked around on the island of Gamla Stan (Old Town). We toured the Royal Palace, but could not take pictures inside of it. 

Later we met Ulf Nilsson, 3rd cousin of Karen, Ted, and Gary. His wife and children were away at their summer home and we did not met them. He belongs to a yahat club in Stockholm. A friend of his owns the Olivia, a 101 year old boat that is used to take people on tours of Stockholm by water. They took us on a evening tour of Stockholm. 

August 3 We flew from Stockholm to Umeå where we rented 2 vehicles. In town we met Roland Tidström. He took us to the naval soldiers museum. Johan F. Bäckström, gg-grandfather to Karen, Ted, and Gary, lived in Sävar village just north of Umeå with his parents. He entered the navy about 1840 and moved to Långed, Nordmaling. 

We then drove to Långed. We stopped at the west bank of the Öreälven river. The last war that Sweden fought ended at this location. The Swedish army was on the west bank and the Russia army on the east bank. The Russian could not get across the river and left in June 1809.

We went to the home that Johan F. Bäckström lived in from 1840 to 1868. He was a naval soldier during this time. He also had brothers and nephews in the navy. He married Eva Johanna Davidsdotter in 1843. Their 3 children, Catharina, Johan, and Gustav were born here. 

We went to the court house in Orrböle. It was built in 1898 and was used instead of the one in Nordmaling. We had a symbolic trial there that represented the trial of Erik Olof Johansson at Nordmaling.

We then went to Högbränna village. Erik Olof Johansson, gg-grandfather of Karen, Ted, and Gary, owned a farm in this village from about 1835 to 1840. 

Next, we went to Torrböle village. Erik Olof Johansson was born here in 1806 and lived here until after he was married in 1833. Both his father and grandfather owned farms in this village. After living at Högbränna, he brought his family back here where he rented a crofter. He was living here when he was caught stealing in 1840 and again in 1841

We went to the farm that Erok Olof's father, Johan Jonsson, owned. Bernt and Birgitta Johansson own it now. Bernt is the ggg-grandson of Johan Jonsson. Their son Ulf lives in Canada and works for Ericsson corporation. Their daughter Ulla is married to Jörgen Vestberg. Jörgen is a ggg-grandson of Erik Olof Johansson. 

We went to the local church and had a wonder Swedish dinner with the Johansson and Vestberg families. 

August 4 This morning, Bo Nordenfors met us at our hotel. He took us to  Stavsjöholm and the home where Erik Bjurstrom's parents lived. The home was now just a pile of stones out in the forest. Erik Bjurstrom lived here with his parents and siblings. He was married in 1857 and moved to Långviken in 1858. 

After coming out of the woods we looked around at the current owner's house. This house was built around 1880 by a man named Holmlund. Do you think Karen is having to much fun

We then went on to Långviken where Erik Bjurstrom and Margareta Olofsdotter lived. We looked at the foundation of their home. Margareta's father was born here in 1805 and died here in 1853. Their daughter Anna was born here in 1860. She would later marry Karl (Charles) Lindberg. A second daughter, Emma, was born in 1862 but died after 7 months. Margareta died in 1865. In 1867 Erik sold the farm and was planning to move to America. He did not move to America until 1869.

Erik Eriksson (Holmlund) had been living at home in Holmfors with his parents. At age 19, in 1861, he moved to Långviken an worked as a farmhand for Erik Bjurstrom. He did this until the farm was sold in 1867. We believe that Erik Eriksson moved back home at Holmfors at this time. Anna Bjurstrom would later become the mother of Marie Lindberg and Marie would marry Erik Eriksson's son, Robert Holmlund.

Next we went to the church in Gideå which is the parish church for this area. Since this church was almost 20 miles from Långviken, the Bjustrom's or Erik Eriksson probably only attended here on special occasions. 

We had lunch in Gideå Bruk and met Benne Odén. Erik Eriksson's older brother, Jonas Petter Eriksson (Lindgren), is the gg-grandfather of Benne. Jonas Eriksson was a naval soldier, living on a naval soldier’s crofter(rental home) in Dombäck, Grundsunda församling, Örnsköldsvik’s kommun, Västernorrlands län.

Benne took us to the church at Grundsunda. Benne's grandmother and g-grandmother are buried here. 

Benne's g-grandfather was Per Erik Sundman. He was also a naval soldier and lived in a soldier's crofter from 1876 to 1890. 

Benne's grandfather Emil Odén married Marie Sundman. Emil worked at the paper mill in Husum. 

We went to the city of Örnsköldsvik. It is the largest city in the area. We looked out over Örnsköldsvik from the top of Varvsberget - a small mountain

Then we went to Benne's home and met his wife Runa. We also met his mother, Ingrid, and other family members. We had a very nice dinner there. 

August 5 The next day we went to down town Nordmaling where we saw the location of the court house where Erik Olof Johansson was on trial for stealing. Erik Olof Johansson was the father of Erik Eriksson (Holmlund). The court house does not exist any longer.  

We went to the museum that is behind the Church of Nordmaling.

Then we went into the Church. It was built in the 1480s. When it was built, it was next to a harbor of Nordmaling Bay. Today, the bay is 3/4 of a mile away. The ground in Nordmaling is rising at a known rate. It has been rising since the last ice age, because there is less weight on the land. The vicar told us about the church. The organ was installed around 1970. The church is the parish church for the Nordmaling area. It is one of 5 medieval churches in Västerbotten. At one time the church was occupied by the Russian army. The vicar showed us a Russian cannon ball that was taken out of the wall of the church. It is about 7 miles from here to Långed where the Bäckström family lived and about 12 miles to Holmfors where Erik Eriksson (Holmlund) family lived. They may not have came to this church every Sunday, but they would have been there on many occasions. 

Outside in the cemetery, we found several Holmlunds. They would not be relatives since Erik changed his name to Holmlund. We also found some Bäckström's that could be related as cousins.

For lunch we went to the Levar Hotel. The Levar Hotel named one of Sweden's four best roadside restaurants by the Scania European Guide in 2004. Levar Hotel is also Västerbotten County's oldest inn dating from 1635. The mayor of Nordmaling, Ulla-Maj Andersson, treated us to lunch. Roland told me that she is one of the most "red" politicians in the red (communist) party of Sweden. It was a very enjoyable lunch.

We then went to Olofsfors Bruk. It was founded in 1762. At this time Sweden was responsible for 35% of the worlds supply of iron. It was put at this location because of the waterfalls, near by forests, and access to the ocean. 
Swedish iron has always been sold as a quality product. Therefore, pig iron and bar iron, as well as ironware, were labeled with the stamp of the works. The sales organization was important, and they generally made use of trading houses in Stockholm or Gothenburg. In 1860, the personal ledger listed 232 people. Nine of these were women. Of the works’ income in 1860, 46 % came from wood production and 54 % from pig iron and bar iron manufacturing. Today it is a modern company that makes iron products such as metal tracks for forest machinery and blades for graders and plows. See their web site.

We saw the older buildings which are kept as a museum. We got to open the gate for the water to flow turning the water wheel. This ran a piston engine that pumped air into the blast furnace.

Next we went to Holmfors Bruk. There is a small village there. The Holmfors Bruk village was founded in the early 1840's by Olofsfors Bruk. It was a ironworks site founded here because of the waterfalls and the abundant forest in the area. A dam was built to hold back the water so it could be used for power. The dam broke in 1968 and today there is not much left. 

Erik Olof Johansson and his wife, Maria Jonsdotter, moved their family here about 1846. They move into a crofter (renter or workers home) that had been occupied by a man with the last name Holmlund. Erik Eriksson (Holmlund) would have been about 4 years old at this time. A younger brother Olof was born here and two younger sisters that were born and died here. Then at age 9 (1851) his mother died. His father remarried Margareta Forslund in 1853. Erik Olof and Margareta had 9 children but the last 4 died very young. In 1861 at age 19, Erik Eriksson left home and went to work for Erik Bjurstrom at Långviken. He did return here when the Bjurstrom farm was sold in 1867. In 1869 Erik emmigrated to America. In 1883 Erik Olof died and in 1885 Margareta emmigrated to America. She is buried in a unmarked grave at the South Swede Church at Bucklin, Missouri.

Across the road from Holmfors Bruk village was a wood maze and art museum made by a local artist.

As we left Holmfors we passed by the farm that Margareta's parents owned and where she lived before marrying Erik Olof Johansson. 

We went back to Nordmaling and then out along the northeast side of the bay to the summer home where we met the Wallin and Nilsson family. 

Olof Petter Eriksson (Vallin) was a younger brother of Erik Eriksson. He was born at Holmfors in 1853. He died of the flu in 1918 as did Robert and Lillie Holmlund. Olof Petter was the grandfather of Gunner Wallin and Kerstin Nilsson that we met this evening. Here is a picture of Gunner and his wife Astrid. Here is a picture of Kerstin and her husband Kjell. Gunner and Kerstin had a brother, Erik Wallin, that died in 1986. His wife, Marianne, was there. There were several children and grandchildren of Gunner, Kerstin, and Marianne there. See the group picture for the names of everyone. We had a very good dinner with them. They took us out on Nordmaling Bay in a boat

August 6 This morning we left Nordmaling behind and drove north to Storforsen, the largest rapids in Europe. This rapids is over 3 miles long and drops over 260 feet. The last mile has about 190 feet of the drop. The river turns at the bottom of the rapids. Our hotel, the Storforsen Hotel, is located right in front of the rapids. We had dinner at the hotel while watching the rapids. Here is a series of pictures at the rapids. Here are some short movies.
August 7 We drove north to Arctic Circle. It was nice to visit the Arctic in out shirt sleeves. We drove a few miles further to Jokkmokk where we picked up our Arctic Circle certificates. We also went to the Ajtte museum where we saw exhibits on Sami history and culture.

We continue the drive north to Kiruna

We went to the old wooden Sami church of Jukkasjärvi built in 1608.
Inside the church is a richly decorated altarpiece by Bror Hjort which tells the 
story of the conversion of the local Sami people to Christianity. Next to the church were some raindeer

We saw the site of the famous Ice Hotel, but it August it does not look so good. Here is their 2005-2006 brochure

Kiruna is the largest city in Sweden. The city limits enclose 7,500 sq. miles. Kiruna sits on the world's largest known concentration of high-grade iron ore. It is about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Since it is in the Arctic Circle, Kiruna experiences the mid-night sun from May 31st to July 11th. The sun set around 10pm while we were there.

August 8 We flew from Kiruna to the Stockholm Arlanda Airport. From there we went into central Stockholm where we took a walking tour. We went back to our hotel near the airport for the night.
August 9 We flew from Stockholm to New Jersey. We then had to wait for various connections back to our homes.