Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inheritance--another perspective.

I'm on a journey now, in Seattle, but it's not the fun kind. It's work. sigh. Sad because I really like visiting Seattle.

But lately, I've been on a journey in books. I've been reading Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin about 3 Swedish sisters emigrating to America.

My great grandparents came from Sweden. Interestingly, they were 6 and 9 yrs. old or so. They didn't even know each other in the 1850's. And none of my family went through the Ellis Island stop. They all emigrated to Minnesota and landed in the same township, maybe by chance, and settled in and around Fergus Falls.

Now my new grandson is the 4th generation born here in America. He is now 4 generations removed from Sweden and the heritage on my mother's side. But something I was blessed to have was a full Swedish moor-moor. That means grandma;-)

She spoke Swedish growing up and taught me some in the kitchen as a teen. Why the kitchen? My grandfather was fully American already. His family had been in the country since around the 1600's as far as we can tell. He didn't speak Swedish at all. In fact, he was from a long line of circuit riding preachers. Long story short, he didn't allow Swedish in the house because he felt left out when all my moor-moor's relatives spoke Swedish and he couldn't.

Their love story is quite an interesting one. One that I want to write one day because Grandpa had a really, really good reason for his decision. My grandma was his second wife. His first wife had died in the flu pandemic, after a long marriage. Grandma was her cousin and much, much younger. So Grandpa had already been ensconced in this Swedish family for well over 15 years. That's a long time to be frustrated and not understand the chatter around you. I think he should have learned, but he didn't ever speak Swedish to my knowledge.

Anyway, little Jude and the newest book I've been reading, have really been making me think. Will he want to learn of his inheritance?

Yes, that's what my Swedish aunts called our heritage--inheritance.

I have a hand-written note from my Aunt Rhoda (who was really my grandma's cousin too.) She wrote out where everyone was from, marriages and towns in Sweden, and back several generations. She started the note, "Angela's Inheritance."

I think I need to do that for my grandson (and future grandchildren.)

Jude's Inheritance--all the people that loved in order to bring him into the world. A rich inheritance of strong people who traveled to the ends of the earth for their family. An inheritance of love down through the generations. Swedes who became Americans.

Have you ever thought of the generations that came before as your inheritance?
What would you think you inherited?

Please visit me over at God Uses Broken Vessels for my daily blog.


  1. You all know I've thought of the generations and our heritage. Our heritage is our inheritance. Discovering these gems of knowledge is my lifelong hobby. I want to leave this history to my daughter and my grandchildren--and statisfy my own selfish curiosity.

    Angie, please, please, please do this for your little grandson. You have an advantage that I didn't have. They came in the mid-1800's. That means there are records available to you that were not available when my ancestors arrived in 1630 and mid-1700's.

    You need to record all your memories and conversations you had with your grandmother. I am now the 12th generation here in my Hudson line. No one remembers the young 30-year-old Richard Hudson I, who boarded the ship "Safety" in 1630 from London, England, the great-nephew of the famous Henry Hudson the explorer. Was he in search of adventure? Religious freedom? Land ownership? A better life?

  2. Angie,
    What a great topic. I have a booklet that my aunt typed up after several conversations with my grandma. It is priceless reading those stories. I love them. I also have my grandmother's yearbook where she was valedictorian.
    My mom has done some geneolgy research. I think it goes back pretty far. My maiden name is Aebi---swiss folks they were...we are...

  3. So cool, Angie! And yours, too, Jenn. Lindi, I didn't even know you maiden name! :)

    We have a family tree with some research, but nothing very detailed. I would love to see more. My sister did find the copy of a census that was done that listed my great-great (or maybe one more great) grandparents. Really cool!


  4. Lindi,

    Can you remember Grandma Scott and Aunt Helen yodeling ?? I remember it well, and yes it was Swiss !