Etikettarkiv: Biel

Mathilde Biel, Elise Biel, and Josefine Stenbock

The Edgren’s census record for 1844. Girls boarding with Mrs. Edgren includes Augusta.

Augusta attended Mrs. Edgren’s school in Stockholm from the fall of 1841 through the spring of 1844. She boarded with the Edgren family together with 4 other boarders or ”pensioners”: Adèle Peyron,  Mathilde Biel, Elise Biel, and Josefine Stenbock. The school closed in the summer of 1844 but the following school year, Mlle Andriette Frigel had taken over at least some of the students and Adèle, Mathilde, and Elise were now boarding with Mlle Frigel.

Mlle Frigel's census record for 1845.
Mlle Frigel’s census record for 1845. Adèle, Mathilde, and Elise are now boarding with Mlle Frigel.

Adèle’s life story was chronicled in a previous blog. Who were the other girls, the sisters Biel and Josefine Stenbock?

Mathilde and Elise Biel

Mathilda (Mathilde) Carolina Sofia and Emilia Elisabeth (Elise) were sisters. Mathilde was born in 1830 and Elise in 1832. They also had an older brother, Fredrik August, born in 1829, and a younger brother, Carl Axel Hugo, born in 1833. Their father was German-born Christian Friedrich Biel and their mother was Augusta Mathilda Hasselström.

Christian Friedrich Biel and his business partner, Johan Albert Kantzow, started in 1808 the company Kantzow & Biel, one of the largest export and import firms in Stockholm. The company was also a major exporter of iron to the US. In 1824, Kantzow and Biel petitioned the US Congress regarding import duties levied on their iron shipment:


Journal of the House of Representatives of The United States, Being the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, Begun and Held at The City of Washington, December 6, 1824, and in the Forty-Ninth Year o the Independence of the United States.
Journal of the House of Representatives of The United States, Being the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, Begun and Held at The City of Washington, December 6, 1824, and in the Forty-Ninth Year o the Independence of the United States.


When Christian Friedrich died in 1839, Kantzow continued running the company.

So why did Mathilde and Elise’s mother decide that the girls should board with Mrs. Edgren and then with Mlle Frigel when she and the children lived in Stockholm? Being a widow with 4 young children who needed schooling might have been difficult. And as the family could afford it, it might just have been more convenient to have the girls live with their teacher.

It is also possible that she was not in good health. She died in 1847, at the age of 44. The cause of death was listed in church records as “wasting” (Swedish: tärande).

So what happened to Mathilde and Elise later in life?

Mathilde Biel


Mathilde, or Matilda, married Olof Nordenfelt in 1852. Olof was born in 1826 at Björneborg in the province of Värmland. When his father died, he inherited the estate and its ironworks. He became chamberlain at the royal court in 1860 and a member of parliament in 1867. They had 9 children and many grandchildren. Mathilde died in 1888 at the age of 57.

Elise Biel


Elise, or Elisabet, married Victor Edman in 1850. Victor was born in 1813 in Stockholm and this was his second marriage. His first wife died following the birth of their second son. Between 1856 and 1870, the family lived at Svanå in the province of Västmanland. Victor was the majority shareholder and manager of the Svanå ironworks. Today, Svanå is a conference center and

Emilia Elisabeth (Elise) Edman, born Biel. Photograph by Robert Roesler. Privately owned.
Emilia Elisabeth (Elise) Edman, born Biel. Photograph by Robert Roesler. Privately owned.

wedding venue.

In 1870, the family moved to Stockholm. They bought a house in the same block as where Elise and her sister had lived with Mrs. Edgren! The house was just around the corner from Mrs. Edgren’s school. They also rented a small farm, Edeby on the island Lovön.

In 1875, Elise and Victor celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and Victor surprised Elise with a gold bracelet consisting of seven linked medallions, each containing a photograph. The photographs were portraits of Victor, in the middle, and his six children – two from his first marriage and four from his marriage with Elise. In 2017, the bracelet was gifted to the Nordic Museum in Stockholm by Victor’s great-great-grandson and namesake.

Elise also had her portrait taken by Robert Roesler who in 1877 opened his photography studio on Drottninggatan 29 C in Stockholm.

Elise died in 1907 at the age of 75.

Josefine Stenbock.


Josefine belonged to a very old, noble family in Sweden. Her full name was Baroness Josefina Albertina Charlotta Fredrika Lovisa Stenbock. Her name appears in documents as Josefina, Josefine, Josephine, and Josephina – spelling variations were very common in the 1800s. She was 6 years younger than Augusta, born 7 May 1833 at Torsjö estate in Skåne. Her father, Count Magnus Albert Carl Gustaf Arvid Stenbock, was a chamberlain at the royal court and had also been an adjutant to the crown prince. Her mother was Countess Jeannette Margareta Hamilton. Josefine had an older brother and three younger siblings. Her youngest sister Sophia was born in 1843. According to genealogy websites, all of them were born in Skåne. It thus made sense that Josefine was sent to a boarding school in Stockholm.

In 1857, Josefine married Chamberlain, Count Jacob Fredric Theodor Uggla. With the marriage, she became a countess. They had two children, Margareta Charlotta Johanna Fredrika born in 1858 and Carl Otto Knut Teodor born in 1859. Sadly, her husband died in 1864 at the age of 34 and interestingly, he died in Dax, a small town in south-west France. Dax was famous for its hot springs and was the first established spa in France. Did he have tuberculosis? Did Josefina travel with him?

Josefine’s son, Carl Otto, emigrated to America and took the last name of his maternal grandmother – Hamilton. He became a captain in the US army and participated in the Spanish-American War. He married, had 6 children, and died in 1933. According to genealogy sites, he was also an artist (painter).

Josefine also did not live long. She died in 1881 at the age of 48 in Copenhagen. 

My illustration of how I imagined the three girls looked when reading in Mrs. Edgren’s class.

Mademoiselle Frigel and her Girls

Illustration of Little Women. Frank T. Merrill. 1880
Little Women. Illustration by Frank T. Merrill. 1880

In the fall of 1841, Augusta started school in Stockholm. It was a boarding school run by Mrs. Lovisa Edgren and her husband, Johan Fredrik Edgren. During the summer of 1844, the Edgrens moved and the school closed. Augusta still had one more year to study in Stockholm so what school did she attend in the fall of 1844?

Augusta’s best friend Lotten kept in touch with Augusta after they had both finished school in 1845. She updated Augusta on the latest gossip.

I thought that if I could learn more about Augusta’s friends, I might be able to get the pieces of the puzzle and figure out which school they all attended.

What I never realized was that the answer was in plain sight in some of Lotten’s letters – Mademoiselle (Mlle) Frigel. I even quoted it in my blog about Augusta’s friend, Adele Peyron:

“Yesterday, I was visiting Mlle Frigel and she always asks about you and sent her warmest regards. Adèle Peyron also sent you many greetings. Erica Degermann and I are invited to Mlle Frigel on a final ball on Tuesday.” (16 April 1846)

On 18 December 1845, Lotten writes:

Your greetings to Mlle Frigel and the girls have already been conveyed.”

It was that sentence I reacted to. It wasn’t a mother and her girls that Augusta was sending greetings to – it was a mademoiselle and her girls. Didn’t that sound like a teacher and her girls?

How would I find out?

Googling Frigel + Stockholm leads me to a famous composer and professor of music theory. He was during the late 1700s and early 1800s Sweden’s most renowned music theorist – Pehr Frigel (1750 – 1842). He married Maria Charlotta Palmroth (1766-1797). Did they have any unmarried daughters that could have been teachers?

More googling.

They had three daughters: Beata Helena Charlotta (2 December 1790 – 26 November 1855), Andriette Christina (21 September 1795 – 6 October 1882), and Margareta (who died in infancy). Either Charlotte or Andriette could have been a teacher – or both.

Charlotta Frigel

I start looking for Charlotta. The first place I search is the digitized census records for Stockholm. I only find P. Frigel in the 1835 census records and, sure enough, it is Pehr Frigel. He, his daughter Charlotta, and a “cleaning woman,” are listed at the same address. Andrietta must have been living somewhere else.

What happened to Charlotta after 1835?

Now I search the Royal Library’s digitized newspapers for any mention of Charlotta. There are two hits.

The first one is in the Daglig Allehanda newspaper of 17  July 1840, noting that “by the Royal Majesty” Charlotta and her sister Andrietta and 8 other girls have been granted the right to be legally independent (Swedish: ”att vara myndig”). Unmarried girls could apply for this right but it wasn’t until 1863 that women automatically were granted this right at the age of 25. Of course, if they married they lost this right and their husbands became their guardians.

The second notice about Charlotta is her death notice. It states: “Death in the provincial towns: Mademoiselle Beata Helena Charlotta Frigel at Aske Manor in Uppland, 26 November 1855, 65 years old.”

Did she become a private teacher in some wealthy family?

Aske Manor as it looked in 1879 (Upplandsmuseet)
Aske Manor as it looked in 1879 (Upplandsmuseet)

I search on Frigel + Aske and find the memoirs of Adolf Ludvig Sehmann, born 1809 at Aske manor.

“From my 4th year, 1813, I still vividly remember two events: a funeral for a merely one-year-old little brother, and the arrival of a teacher, Mademoiselle Charlotte Frigel, for my sisters. I can still vividly see her looks and clothing in front of me as if it was just yesterday.”

It is a long memoir, but very interesting, about his family’s extensive travels in Europe over several years, their health issues, and their deep religiosity.

I look up the sister who Charlotta, at age 23, was hired to teach in 1813. Johanna Vilhelmina (Mimmi) was 6 years old. Two years later, a second daughter, Maria Carolina Matilda, was born.

I don’t know how many years Charlotta stayed at Aske and whether she was living there or just visiting when she died in 1855.

Today Aske is a small conference center.

Andriette Frigel

Her name appears with three different spellings: Andriette, Andrietta, and Andréetta. In the census records, she is listed as the head of the household with the title of “sekreterardotter”, daughter of a secretary. Her father, Pehr Frigel, was the permanent secretary of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He was also a secretary in the Royal State Office.

Mlle Frigel's census record for 1845.
Mlle Frigel’s census record for 1845.

Digitized census records of Andriette’s household exist for the years 1845 and 1870. I first pull up the image for 1845. I can hardly believe what I see.

I have found Augusta’s school! Andriette Frigel is Mlle Frigel in Lotten’s letters!

“Undersigned, daughter to the late secretary in the Royal State Office, Pehr Frigel, and through the Royal Majesty’s graceful resolution of 19 June 1840 declared legally independent, maintains a boarding institute for girls.”

The girls boarding with Mademoiselle Frigel are listed as Adelaide Peyron, Mathilda Biel, and Elizabeth Biel. All three had boarded with Mrs. Edgren the year before (in addition to Augusta and Josefine Stenbock).

Google street view of where Mlle Frigel had her boarding school in 1845.
Google street view of where Mlle Frigel had her boarding school in 1845.

And where did Andriette live? In 1845, her address is listed as the block named Blåman, House No. 8 or, according to the new numbering system, Drottninggatan (Queen Street) 53. I enter the address into Google Maps and smile. Of course, I know where that is. It is a clothing store – Indiska. Every time I am in Stockholm, I check out their sales. So this is where Augusta went to school during the fall of 1844 and the spring of 1845. And it is very close to where she was living, boarding with the Ribbing family. That place is now a Starbucks Café close to the Central Station. Of course, the locations are the same, not the houses. Soon I will be able to lead walking tours through Stockholm in the footsteps of Augusta. We will meet at Starbucks!

So what happened to Andriette later in life? There is one note stating that she was an artist – something I have not been able to verify. I search the digitized daily newspapers again and find her death notice. She died in Stockholm in 1882 at the age of 87.

Pehr Frigel’s Funeral and Jenny Lind

Which brings me back to Andriette’s father, Pehr Frigel. He lived to be 92. His funeral in 1842 was grand, to say the least. The daily paper wrote about the music that was performed and the solo artists – including Jenny Lind. She was only 22 years old and belonged to the same parish as Pehr Frigel. She would soon become world-renowned.

A note on Pehr Frigel's funeral (Daglig Allehanda, 10 December 1842)
A note on Pehr Frigel’s funeral (Daglig Allehanda, 10 December 1842)

Jenny Lind in 1840
Jenny Lind in 1840