Etikettarkiv: Loddby

Carolina Wester’s family at Loddby and the accident in August 1831

It is a beautiful, late-summer Sunday. The Wester family at Loddby has attended church and listened to Pastor Mobeck’s sermon about the importance of rest and of keeping the Sabbath. Now they are back at Loddby and that is what they are doing. At least the women, resting. The three young men have decided to go fishing. The matriarch, widow, and owner of Loddby, Carolina Wester, and her daughter Caroline are sitting in the sunny parlor downstairs.

Sofia Ulrich is upstairs with the younger girls: Ulla, Ida, and Lotten Wester. They are sitting by the window, talking. Through the trees, they can see the sun glitter on the bay and the small rowboat in the distance. Sofia can’t tell if it is Berndt or Carl or Markus who is rowing. They are too far out on the bay. Suddenly there seems to be some commotion in the boat – is someone standing up? Then things happen fast. For a split second, it looks like the boat is listing, and then, with horror, she realizes that the boat is capsizing.

Lotten Ulrich’s diary, 1 September 1831

“Today, we received very sad news, that little Markus Wester has drowned at his mother’s Loddby and that both Berndt Forsgrén and Ulla’s fiancé Hülphers almost drowned as well. Poor Tante Wester who has just lost a beloved son in such a horrible way, and poor Caroline! Imagine losing one’s brother and fear for one’s husband’s life, especially as she is still ill, for it has not even been two weeks since she gave birth at Loddby to a baby who died the following day, and such a more heartfelt loss as they have been married for 3 years without being able to have any children, something they really wanted.

Poor Ulla, who lost a brother and was close to have her fiancé perish. She was with her sisters, Ida and Lotten, and my aunt Sofia upstairs and saw from the windows the little rowing boat capsize. They hurried down and sent a boat to the rescue, but the distressed men were several hundred meters from the shore. Berndt was about to take his last breath when the boat reached them. Young Hülphers, who was swimming towards the shore carrying Markus on his back, was completely exhausted and when the help reached him, Markus was already dead in his arms. Because of all the water he had swallowed and the horror he had experienced, he had passed out and died.”

The Owners of Loddby

Augusta’s brother-in-law, Gustaf Lejdenfrost, bought Loddby from Caroline Wester in 1832 and Augusta moved to Loddby in 1835. Augusta lived at Loddby with her mother, brother, and Lejdenfrost until she married. But who were Caroline Wester and all the persons named in Lotten Ulrich’s diary? And who was Lotten Ulrich?

Lotten Ulrich’s Diary

Lotten Ulrich (1806-1887) and Edla Ulrich (1816-1897) lived at the Royal Palace in Stockholm where their father, Johan Christian Henrik Ulrich, was the secretary to King Carl XIV Johan. The two sisters’ diaries were published in  Systrarnas Ulrichs dagböcker by Margareta Östman. When the king died in 1844, the family had to move to Norrköping (close to Loddby) and Augusta’s best friend in Stockholm, Lotten Westman, encouraged Augusta to get acquainted with the two sisters.

Geneology and Relationships – For those who are interested…

Sofia Vilhelmina Ulrich (1798-1866)

Who was Lotten Ulrich’s aunt Sofia Ulrich? She was indeed one of Lotten Ulrich’s father’s sisters (there were 9 children in the family). Sofia was born in Norrköping and in 1831, at the age of 33, she was living with the Ulrich family at Loddby. How was she acquainted with the Wester family? We don’t know.

Carolina Wester (1786-1875)

The matriarch, widow, and owner of Loddby, Carolina Wester, was born Heitmüller. In 1807, she married the 34-year-old widow, Markus Wester (1773-1820), who owned the ironworks at Molnebo. Together, they had 8 children.

  1. Daniel Kristian (1808-1813)
  2. Kristina Hedda Karolina ”Caroline” (1811-1891)
  3. Karl Erik (1813-1864)
  4. Lovisa Ulrika Maria ”Ulla” (1814-1886)
  5. Aronina Arvida Gabriella ”Ida” (1815-1886)
  6. Markusina Charlotta ”Lotten” (1816- 1839)
  7. Markus (1817-1831)
  8. Hjalmar (1819-1824)

Just a side note about names. I have never seen the names of Aronina and Markusina before. But just as the female versions of Christian, Carl, and Joseph are Christina, Carolina, and Josephina, I guess one can add “ina” to any male name – Aron and Markus become Aronina and Markusina.


Carolina Wester (1786-1875)
Markus Wester (1773-1820)

Caroline Wester (1811-1891)

Kristina Hedda Karolina ”Caroline” was the oldest daughter in the family. In 1829, she married Berndt Gustaf Forsgrén (1799-1888) who was a silk and clothing merchant in Stockholm. His store was located at the excellent address of Stortorget 1 in the Old Town, right across from the bourse. In the summer of 1831, Caroline must have stayed with her mother at Loddby for the birth of her first child. And now she had lost both her baby and her brother. It could have been even worse. She could have lost her husband too in the boating accident.

So how did life turn out for Caroline and Berndt? According to the census records in Stockholm, the couple had 9 children and, in 1845, the family lived at Stora Nygatan 22. Berndt Forsgrén was very successful and became extremely wealthy. One of their daughters, Carolina Elisabet, married Erik Swartz (b. 1817), and their son, Carl Swartz, became Sweden’s prime minister in 1917.

Berndt Forsgrén also had a successful brother, merchant Carl Robert Forsgrén (1797-1853). He married Sofia Ulrich’s younger sister, Anna Eleonora Lowisa (1805-1853) in 1826. Their granddaughter was Anna Whitlock, a famous woman’s right advocate and suffragette who founded a modern school for girls in 1878.

Ulla Wester (1814-1886)

Lovisa Ulrika Maria ”Ulla” was 17 years old in the summer of 1831. She was engaged to textile dyer Carl Abraham Hülphers (1806-1860), the young man who tried to rescue Markus Wester. Ulla and Carl married in 1833 and had one daughter, Sofia Karolina Lovisa (1835-1885). Sofia married Johan Gustaf Swartz (1819-1885) in 1854.

Interestingly, the daughters of the two sisters, Caroline and Ulla Wester, married the two brothers Swartz (Erik and Johan).

Ida Wester (1815-1886)

Aronina Arvida Gabriella ”Ida” married Frans Adam Björling (1801-1869) in 1842. It was his second marriage. Ida did not have any children but she was a stepmother to her husband’s son, Carl August Theodor. The family owned and lived at Slagsta, an estate south of Stockholm.

Lotten Wester (1816- 1839)

Markusina Charlotta ”Lotten”, the youngest daughter in the family, had a short life. She did not marry and died in Norrköping at the age of 22 from dysentery (Swedish: rödsot).

The image of the 3 men in a rowboat is from a larger painting by Josefina Holmlund (b. 1827):


Augusta’s Aeolian Harp

”Loddby, 8 May 1847

My sweet, dear Lotten!

…. It is a really beautiful evening, the bay is calm and clear like a mirror, a few stars shine in the clear blue sky, and I have put an Aeolian harp in the window. Have you ever heard one, Lotten? It is so indescribably melancholic when the wind seizes the strings and creates these sad, melodic notes. One can’t help but getting a feeling of sorrow. I imagine myself back in the Romantic times and believe I hear Näcken, the water spirit, playing on his silver harp during evenings like this, when everything in nature is poetry…”

I am still reading through the correspondence between Augusta and her friend Lotten. Augusta is home at her country estate, Loddby. I can imagine her sitting in one of the rooms on the second floor. Through the trees, she can see the bay of Bråviken. It is only May and the trees are still bare. The evenings are lighter and maybe she doesn’t even need a candle in order to write.


”It is a really beautiful evening, the bay is calm and clear like a mirror…”  Bråviken seen from Loddby

I continue reading her letter. Sometimes, the handwriting is hard to decipher and on page 3 of Augusta’s letter of 8 May 1847, I struggle with the Swedish word, Eolsharpa. What is that?

”Have you ever heard one, Lotten?”

I certainly haven’t heard one. I haven’t even heard of one.

Now I get curious. First, I find that the instrument is called Aeolian harp in English.

An Aeolian harp is a wind harp. It is named after the Greek god of the wind, Aeolus. Traditionally, they were long wooden boxes (sound boxes) with strings stretched from one end to the other. They were put in windows and the strings would vibrate in the breeze and create sounds.

I find a few images online of old Swedish Aeolian harps.

Swedish Aeolian Harp

A more complicated Aeolian harp is on display at The Higgins Museum in Bedford, UK.

British Aeolian Harp from 1812-1823


I also learn that Wendela Hebbe (b. 1808), the first professional, Swedish, female journalist, and her two sisters, Petronella and Malin, made their own Aeolian harps. They put them in their window, just like Augusta did.

Well, if they could make their own harps, I am sure I can find a YouTube video of how to make one . And I do. All you need is a box, some fishing line, and two pencils or pieces of wood. Of course, this is not how they made them in the 1840s! The first one I make doesn’t work. I think I was just a little too creative. I decide to watch the video again and pay close attention to details.

My Aeolian harp

It only takes a few minutes to make the new harp using a new US Postal Service cardboard box. Time for testing – but, of course, there is no wind!

I continue checking the weather and every time I see leaves moving in some light breeze, I grab my harp and head out. I stay with my ear close to the box, but even if there would have been a sound, there is too much background noise: the constant humming of air-conditioning units, trucks beeping as they back up, cars passing by, a lawnmower, distant police sirens, and a lot of chattering birds. I really can’t hear any harp sounds.

But maybe there was a reason for the harp being set in a window? The air would flow in one direction. How could I simulate that? I go inside and put my harp close to the air-conditioning vent in the living room. And suddenly – my Aeolian harp starts to play. I wouldn’t call it melancholic, rather an eerie sound from the un-tuned strings. It would make sense that the strings should actually be tuned.

And of course, one could build a really nice one to put in one’s garden.

But back to Augusta’s question: Have you ever heard one, Lotten?

Were these harps something new or something old in 1847? The harps couldn’t have been very common or else she wouldn’t have asked the question. Was hers an old one, that had belonged to her family, or had she gotten a new one or bought one? And who made these instruments and during which time period were they popular?  I am sure someone has the answers :).



I can see Erik and Augusta in the rowboat

“Rowed over to Loddby and Augusta came back with me to Krusenhof. In the evening, Tante and August came over.” 31 May, 1848

Erik Hjort was 16 years old when he wrote those lines in his diary. Augusta lived at Loddby and Erik and his siblings, Aurore, Nanna, and Axel lived across a small bay at Krusenhof.

I can see Erik and Augusta in the rowboat in the middle of the bay. Erik is by the oars; Augusta is sitting on the stern thwart. The day is calm and you can hear their voices and laughter even though they are still far away. What did they talk about?

Erik’s diaries give glimpses of the daily life at Krusenhof – going to town (Norrköping), to church (Kvillinge Parish), out riding, rowing, walking, driving the carriage, and visiting friends.

Would he and Augusta have written diary entries on the same days and mentioned each other?

Two weeks ago I got copies of 7 pages from his diaries during 1848-1849. Unfortunately, Augusta summarized 1848 in one sentence:

 “I spent the winter and summer of 1848 at home in deepest solitude, sometimes interrupted by a visit from and to Krusenhof.”

In January 1849, Augusta went to Stockholm with her relative, Hanna Schubert, and didn’t return until July. They spent the whole winter and spring enjoying the social life in Stockholm – summarized in just one short paragraph. I am sure she wrote lots of letters to friends instead. The rest of the year also just got a short paragraph – she was mostly living at Loddby, with the exception of a few weeks visiting the Schubert family at Fullerstad and a few days visiting Hjorts at Krusenhof.

But what did Erik write? He visited Augusta almost every other day, and Augusta also visited Krusenhof and spent a lot of time with Erik’s older sister Nanna. In the diary, he sometimes uses nicknames for Augusta: Gufsa and Guss.  Here is a sample of his writings from July 1848:

7th.  Gufsa came over with Nanna.  In the evening, we went to a wedding in Björnwiken and I accompanied Augusta home to Loddby and then got home at 2 in the morning.

11th.  Dressed in Nanna’s clothes, rode to Loddby where Augusta was home alone until the evening when the others came home.

27th.  In the morning, was in town for an errand. In the afternoon, with Nanna to Loddby for Guss’ birthday.

Now, did any other of their friends or family members write diaries as well? And if so, how would one find them?

Would the maid have used #MeToo?

William Hogarth (English, 1697 - 1764) Before, 1730 - 1731, Oil on canvas 40 × 33.7 cm (15 3/4 × 13 1/4 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
William Hogarth (English, 1697 – 1764) Before, 1730 – 1731, Oil on canvas 40 × 33.7 cm (15 3/4 × 13 1/4 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

On October 16 this year, my Facebook feed started to fill up with #MeToo – friends acknowledging that they had at some time been sexually harassed or assaulted. A simple hashtag and suddenly the whole world was talking about how men mistreat women.

It made me think of Augusta and her time period. I can’t imagine that she and her friends, who all belonged to a privileged class, would have been harassed. The men in her social sphere were chivalrous and a few made their feelings known by proposing marriage. The closest to harassment that she experienced was not physical in nature: some men let her know that they were displeased with her voicing her opinion.

But of course sexual harassment and assault existed, just as today, where men had power over women – for example, being the employer. And often, if the harassment became known, the woman was blamed.


I just thought of the maid at Loddby. Was she really as evil as Augusta had described? And who was she?

I had to drop what I was doing in order to find out who this girl was. But first some background from the diary. Why did I think of her?

Loddby, 29 August 1851

”May God forgive both August and the malicious, hateful Eva all the unhappy moments they give us. He is a weak, of alcohol destroyed creature and, therefore, he follows the directions of a bad, vindictive maid’s gossip when his senses are obscured.”

Loddby, 1 November 1851

”Eva, the wretched creature, Loddby’s evil spirit, is finally gone. God be forever praised! And I hope that it now will be a little calmer at home. She was, at the last moment, as mean and rude and deserved a good flogging if anyone had wanted to dirty their hands. She now moves to Mrs Rosendahl and will surely become a common street girl.

The new cook has arrived and looks fairly plain, but I have a panicky fear that there will be new courting, new scenes, new sorrows and more of that nature, which will never end until our Lord delivers us from the source of all evil, and that will likely not happen soon. Thus, patience, life’s most useful characteristic, don’t leave me as you have done so far.”

August is Augusta’s older brother. He does not work, has tuberculosis, and drinks. Eva, the maid, is described as someone with power over August and someone with bad morals (… will surely become a common street girl). Isn’t it more likely that August, being privileged, had power over the house maid?

Anyway, who was she? Maids are just referred to by their first name. How would I find out who, besides the family, lived at Loddby at this time?

The Swedish Household Examination Register

Sweden has had some very unique laws. One was the Swedish Church Law of 1686 which stipulated that the parish vicar was obliged to conduct household examinations, making sure the parishioners knew the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism. The results, in addition to some other information regarding each household, was then recorded in a parish register. A consequence of this law was eradication of illiteracy as all children were taught to read in parish schools. A curious detail too, is the recording of smallpox vaccinations which were initiated in 1804. It became the vicar’s role to keep track of vaccinations.

The household examination register in Kvillinge Parish, to which Loddby belonged, would definitely have the records for all who lived at Loddby manor.

And it did! And it was available online.

 Household Examination Record for Loddby 1841-1844
Household Examination Record for Loddby 1841-1844


The time period I looked at was 1841-1844. The persons living at Loddby manor in 1844 were:

Gustaf Lejdenfrost (Augusta’s brother-in-law and owner of Loddby), born 1799
Anna Söderholm (Augusta’s mother), born 1788
August Söderholm (Augusta’s brother), born 1817
Augusta Söderholm, born 1827
Stina Malla Kullerstrand (maid), born 1815
Eva Sara Sandberg (maid), born 1818

I had found Eva!

In 1851, she was 33 years old and August was 34. Would she have used #MeToo about the drunk man who she had to serve on daily, or was she, as Augusta suggested, taking advantage of August. We will never know.

I guess my next task is to find out more about Eva’s life. There are more digitized records online …

AP Rehder and his daughter Mathilde

At this time last year, Kerstin and I hatched the idea of making the same trip through Germany that our great-great-grandmother Augusta had made in 1847, and which she described in her diary. We thought it would be an interesting vacation trip. Then we realized that we needed to find out more about Augusta and her life in Sweden in the mid-1800s. We also wanted to share what we found, and we named the project Augusta’s Journey. And what a fun journey it has been!

Where has Augusta’s Journey taken us this last year?

Over the last year, Augusta’s Journey has evolved into a multifaceted research project – there are just so many topics that are interesting. In addition, we decided to make clothes that Augusta would have worn, and travel by similar means, following her travels described in her diary. And yes, she didn’t only travel to Germany, but made many trips throughout Sweden.

Kerstin and Sara
Kerstin and Sara

The highlight so far was our journey on Göta Canal where we, dressed in 1850s clothing, spent 4 days on M/S Juno, the world’s oldest registered cruise ship, making the same journey that Augusta described in her diary.

But the most positive outcome of our journey has been the new friends we have made over the year. And the positive comments from all who have been following our journey! Augusta’s family has certainly grown. So thank you for all kind support and interest!

What is next?

We thought that the journey through Germany, dressed in clothing of the time, might be nice to make this fall. But that would also mean making new clothes for colder weather. And travelling by train and river boats would necessitate some smart solutions to “luggage”. Whatever we bring, we will have to carry with us, and we would not have the same luxury as Augusta had – hiring local servants. The hatboxes would definitely have to be left behind (even though they were very good laptop bags on the Göta Canal cruise).

Lejdenfrost’s business contact: AP Rehder

Kerstin has already started researching Lübeck – our starting point in Germany. Gustaf Lejdenfrost, Augusta’s brother-in-law, had a business contact in Lübeck with the name of August Peter (AP) Rehder. In the summer of 1847, Augusta and her mother were invited to travel with Lejdenfrost to Lübeck and meet the family Rehder. This would also be a great opportunity for Augusta and her mother to do a sightseeing trip to Berlin, Dresden, Potsdam, Prague, Leipzig, and Hamburg.

Augusta’s Travel Journal in Germany

At 6 am on the 20th of June, 1847, Augusta, her mother, and Lejdenfrost arrived by boat to Travemünde and had breakfast “together with some members of the lovely Rehder family who had come to meet us.” After some sightseeing, they all traveled to Lübeck.

Adolph Menzel: Bauplatz mit Weiden

For dinner we were invited to Rehders and we spent the afternoon in a beautiful garden outside the city, where there was music and where we played games like ’last couple out’, ’one hits the third’ and others.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to find out more about the Rehder family? Who were they, and what happened to the family. Are there still descendants somewhere in the world, or some still in Lübeck who we could visit?

This week, Kerstin handed me the baton – she was already digging into the history of the Tesdorpf family in Lübeck and their relationship to Augusta’s friend Mina Tesdorpf. But she had found a hotel that might be Rehders’ old house – there was just some issues with the street numbers …

Hotel Anno 1216

Alfstrasse 38
Alfstrasse 38

“Behind the façade of one of the oldest brick buildings of Lübeck is a small, exclusive hotel like no other…” reads the welcome page of Hotel Anno 1216. The history of the house is indeed interesting “The historic building stands on the corner of Alfstrasse and An der Untertrave, thus occupying an important strategic position within the original street network of the newly founded settlement of traders. The first written reference to the house dates back to 1305.”

This is where my sleuthing starts. Of course there is a book one can buy about this house (Alfstrasse 38), but there are always online archives that will provide the same information. After some digging, I find the owner list of this house going back to 1305. And yes, AP Rehder bought the house in 1853 and sold it in 1863.

So, when Augusta visited in 1847, Rehder had not yet bought Alfstrasse 38, but lived right across the street from Hotel Anno 1216, at the opposite corner of Alfstrasse and An der Untertrave (today Alfstrasse 41).

The issue with the street numbers can quickly be resolved. The street numbers changed over the years but those on a city map from 1840 match Rehder’s addresses in the digitally available address books of inhabitants of Lübeck at the time.

Carolina Mathilde Rehder

Besides AP Rehder, his daughter Mathilde is mentioned by name. She became a good friend to Augusta, and when, after 4 weeks in Germany, they returned to Sweden, Mathilde and her father came along. Mathilde spent a couple of weeks with Augusta, first in Stockholm and then at her home, Loddby. Augusta was 20 years old and Mathilde was 19 and they became best friends. I wonder if Mathilde also kept a journal?

“In Stockholm we spent a few days to show Mathilda its beautiful surroundings and places that could be worth seeing. She found our capital, if not magnificent or spectacular – characteristics that we ourselves must admit it does not possess – at least, as she expressed, ”sehr gemüthlich”, and our park, Djurgården, won her undivided approval.

It does not take many days to take in all of Stockholm’s ”Sehenswürdigkeiten” and on the 3rd day after our arrival, we traveled with Raketen and Captain Sandberg to Norrköping.

Mathilda spent two weeks at Loddby; then her father came to pick her up and Lejdenfrost and I accompanied them to Norsholm, where we bade them farewell after a long and nice time together.”

So what happened to 19-year old Mathilde?

She married Cay Dietrich Lienau and had several children, the exact number we don’t know. Three children can be found on various genealogy sites: Paul Adolph Wilhelm (b. 1855), Cay Dietrich (b. 1867) and Louise “Lizzie” (b. 1869).

Louise emigrated to USA. She was married to Wilhelm Grojitzki who was also born in Germany. They settled in Michigan and had 3 children:
Amand Clara, born in 1889, married William Fredrick Lienau and had 5 children,
Clara Louise, born in 1891, married George H. Lozer, and
Alma Rowena, born in 1904, married Theodore John Kratt and had 2 children

So at least in the US, someone can call Mathilde his or her great-great-grandmother, just like Augusta was ours.