14. Sophia Augusta Preumayr and her Famous Father, Franz

It was a beautiful day, finally. The last week of June had been unusually cold and windy and the relentless rain had flooded some streets. The women in the household, Sophia Augusta and her sister Mathilda, their mother, and their two old maids – Margaretha and Marie – had been forced to stay indoors for several days because of all this rain.

Sophia Augusta had felt sorry for her father and all the soldiers who were camped out at Ladugårdsgärde. She couldn’t imagine how it would be to sleep in a tent and then have to be out marching in weather like this. How could you even practice warfare in rain?

Her father could at least come home at night. He had the most admirable position. He was in charge of the music corps. And when he came home in the evening and told the girls about his day, about the close to six hundred singers from all the various regiments that he had to conduct, they had so many questions. How could you get them all lined up or did they stay in some formation? Or did soldiers from each regiment stay together so that it was visually pleasing as each regiment had a different uniform? What about the musicians? What instruments did they play?

He simply promised them that next Sunday, the day that the Royal Family would visit the camp, they could come along as well. The day would be a celebration of King Carl XIV Johan’s 25-year’s rein. The Royal Family would be seated in a specially built dais and there would be a sermon and then a review of the troops.

And now, it was finally Sunday, the day Sophia Augusta had waited for, and there was not a cloud in the sky and just a light breeze. Getting to Ladugårdsgärde had taken some time as all carriages in Stockholm seemed to be heading in the same direction. Sophia Augusta’s father had told them where they would have the best view, and once they got there, they had even found some large rocks to sit on under the shade of a few large trees. Sophia Augusta looked through her binoculars – trying to find her father among the hundreds of singers and almost as many musicians with their shiny brass instruments. They were all positioned at the base of Drottningberget – The Queen’s Hill.

The rest of the expansive field was filled with soldiers from various regiments. She knew some of them by their uniforms. And then there was the cavalry with their beautiful horses! And there were flags and standards and she recognized the standard of the Svea Life Guards with its yellow lions and blue shields. And curiously, she could see a large group of girls from Dalarna – they stood out by their traditional clothing – mingling with the soldiers from the Dalarna Regiment.

Review of the troops at Ladugårdgärde (Drawing in Illustrerad Tidning, nr 26 the 7th of July 1855)

The program started at a quarter to 2, with the chaplain of the Life Regiment Dragoons, the cavalry in Stockholm, and two assisting chaplains leading the service. Sophia Augusta couldn’t make out what they were saying but when the hundreds of singers joined in the chorales and hymns, everyone joined in too. It was so beautiful! She didn’t want the service to end, and when it did, after more than one hour, she was still hoping that there would be some more music. But the chaplain raised his voice and exclaimed “God save the King and the country”, and she knew that that was it.

But then, maybe it was planned, but it felt like a spontaneous reaction by all who had come out to see the king and the royal family on this glorious day, they all took up the national anthem – God Save the King! Sophia Augusta saw the king stand up and then make his way down to view the troops. She just wished he would have been mounted on his horse – that would have been a sight! But, nevertheless, what a beautiful day it had been. And how proud she was of her father, having perfectly directed all the singers and musicians!

King Carl XIV Johan (painting by Fredric Westin, 1838)

Sophia Augusta Preumayr

Sophia Augusta Preumayr was listed as number 14 of the girls who got confirmed in St Jacob’s church. The ranking was based on the pastor’s perception of the girl’s social status, based on her last name and her father’s profession. And Sophia Augusta had a very famous father.

Sophia Augusta Preumayr was born at home, Jacobsbergsgränd 14, in Jacob parish in Stockholm on December 1, 1827. Interestingly, a famous Swedish poet, Johan Tobias Sergel, was born in the same house in 1740. The house was demolished in 1943.

Sophia Augusta’s father, Franz Carl Preumayr, was born in 1782 in Ehrenbreitstein, Germany.

Franz Carl Preumayr in his youth. (Music and Theatre Library, Stockholm)

He and his two brothers, Conrad and Carl, were all extremely talented musicians who came to Sweden in 1802 to join the Royal Orchestra. Franz was considered to be the best bassoonist ever in Sweden. He was also a talented virtuoso. Later, he became director of the military corps of music, an esteemed choir leader, and a composer. His brother Conrad was just as talented but died at age 44. His brother, Carl, was foremost a violoncellist but took over the position of playing the bassoon after Conrad’s death. He was also employed as a singer at the Royal Opera.

Franz Carl Preumayr in uniform.

Franz married Sophia Crusell, the daughter of Sweden’s most famous clarinet player and composer, Bernhard Crusell. They had three children, Anna Mathilda, (b. 1822), Carl Bernhard Edvard, (b. 1825), and Sophia Augusta (b. 1827).

Franz Preumayr’s European Concert Tour, his Travel Journal, and his Meeting with Franz Liszt

 In October of 1829, Franz took off on a 1-year concert tour around Europe. He left his wife and his 3 young children in Stockholm. In his travel journal, he wrote the following on the day he left Sweden (Malmö, October 19, 1829):

“In a moment I shall be separated from Sweden, a country where I have all that in my life I hold dear, and I confess that it costs me indescribably much to leave it. Farewell, my dear Sweden! Farewell wife, children, parents, kin, and friends! May I soon get to see you all again!!!!!!!” (Translation, Agrell, 2015)


Franz Carl Preumayer’s Travel Journal 1829-1830 (Agrell, 2015)

But as we know, Franz had a successful concert tour and returned home the following October. His travel journal is very interesting. He describes how he was at a private soiree and heard the 19-year-old Franz Liszt play the piano. He was utterly annoyed:

“…then a young man played, with the appearance of a real fanatic or a runaway and crazy student. Probably, what he was playing on the piano, accompanied by a violin and a bass, was his own composition consisting of an introduction, a theme with variations, and a menuette. His theatricals and his playing was the most affected I have ever experienced. He worked with his body so that the sweat ran from his forehead, he stared like a maniac with his eyes turned to the ceiling. Now and then he glanced at the ladies, probably to see if such high sensitivity and expression had been communicated.

For my part, I felt really bad about these endless follies and, with pleasure, I observed that even the audience, every single one, with visible impatience were waiting for it to end. Depressed and deeply annoyed at the fool, who I think is called Litz, if I am not mistaken, I had a hard time focusing on the following, twittering Italian Quartet.”

What happened to the children Preumayr?

Anna Mathilda

Anna Mathilda was fortunate to have a collection of musical notes dedicated to her. In 1836, when she was 14, the 22-year-old German flautist, Carl Ludwig Heinrich Winkler, who had just joined the Royal Orchestra in Stockholm, published the following musical notes:

Francaises, Waltzes, and Anglaises danced in Stockholm in 1836, composed or arranged for Pianoforte and dedicated to
demoiselle Anna Mathilda Preumayr by C. Winckler.
32 skilling.

Maybe he was an admirer or maybe she was also a great musician and he wanted to show his appreciation. But even if she was good at playing the pianoforte, there would be no concert tour through Europe for her. She did what most girls did at this time. On December 18, 1845, she married the secretary of the Royal War Council, Lars Johan Rhodin. Two years later, on September 30, 1847, they had a daughter, Anna Sofia.

Carl Bernhard Edvard

Carl Bernhard Edvard also did not have a musical career. He married Johanna Gustava Elisabeth Fogelström and became a director of the Swedish Telegraph.

Sophia Augusta

And Sophia Augusta? What happened to her? Unfortunately, not even 2 months after becoming an aunt to little Anna Sofia, she suddenly took ill with stomach ache and fever. On the 21st of November 1847, she died from gastric fever, a catch-all name for diseases such as salmonella infections and typhoid. Her funeral was in St Jacob’s church where, 3 years earlier, she had been confirmed with the other girls. The funeral took place on the day that would have been her 20th birthday.

Post scriptum

Sophia Augusta is one of those girls whose life was cut short and didn’t leave many traces – only birth, confirmation, and death records and an obituary in the paper. It is of course possible that there are descendants of her siblings who might have collections of letters, diaries, or portraits of her. I just imagine that she did have an exciting life with both her maternal grandfather and her father being famous musicians. I also imagine that everyone in the family played instruments and sang.

And I imagined that she went to Ladugårdsgärde for the celebration of King Carl XIV Johan’s 25-year’s rein.

Besides several newspaper articles describing this event, Lotten Ulrich and her sister Edla walked to Ladugårdsgärde the day before the event. Lotten writes in her diary that she was sitting by her window in their summer house at Gröndal on Djurgården and could hear the army bands rehearsing. She and her sister decided to walk over to Ladugårdsgärde to get a good view. They sat down on some rocks under two spruce trees and could follow everything with their binoculars. She wrote in her diary:

”It was a rehearsal before the service that was to be held in solemn forms the next day in the presence of the whole Royal Family. Five hundred singers with the best voices from all the regiments, led by the distinguished Mr. Preumayr, would sing hymns and the National Anthem.” (Östman, 2015)


Enquist, I and H. Veslemöy. Preumayrs Resedagbok. Dokumenterat 49 (2017) p. 13-16.

Preumayr, F. C. Reisejournal 1829–30, 4 vols., Rare Collections, MS 329 (Stockholm: Music and Theatre Library of Sweden, 1829–30).

Agrell, D. C. Repertoire for a Swedish bassoon virtuoso: approaching early nineteenth-century 

works composed for Frans Preumayr with an original Grenser and Wiesner bassoon. 2015. Dissertation, Leiden University.

Östman, M. Systrarna Ulrichs Dagböcker. 2015.

Numerous articles in digitized Swedish newspapers describing the event at Ladugårdsgärde on 2 July 1843.


Att söka levnadsöden i de digitala arkiven

Idag skriver jag till er som undrar hur man hittar en historia som Anna Stinas, som jag berättade i mitt förra blogginlägg. Och det bara genom att leta i våra öppna svenska arkiv. Det finns nämligen inget skrivet om kusken eller hans hustru Anna Stina i Augustas dagböcker eller brev. Allt kommer från mina efterforskningar på nätet.

Jag tänkte visa hur jag gick till väga, steg för steg. Nästan allt hittar jag på Riksarkivets webb. Jag började med att ställa frågan:

1. Vilka personer dog på gården Loddby under 1840-talet?

Jag söker på Riksarkivet, bouppteckningar och hemorten Loddby.

Så läser jag igenom de bouppteckningar som är digitaliserade. Jag hittar några som jag tycker är intressanta, bland annat Anna Stinas.

  • Resultat: Anna Stinas dödsdatum, barnens namn och ålder, makens yrke.

2. Nu går jag vidare för att ta reda på vad hon dog av.

Söker i Kyrkoarkiv, Kvillinge,  död och begravningsböcker, 1854

  • Resultat: dödsorsak Nervfeber vilket oftast var Tyfus eller kunde även vara Salmonella.

3. Vilka var de, Anna Lisas familj?

Söker i Kyrkoarkiv, Kvillinge, husförhörslängder 1854 (och omkringliggande år). Bläddrar fram till Loddby (gårdarna finns i bokstavsordning). Här finns alla som var skrivna på Loddby under denna tid.

  • Resultat: Var de är födda och när, varifrån de flyttade in och när, hur bra de var på att läsa (bibeln mm) enligt prästen. Här finns även noteringar om vaccinationer! Jag noterar att de är statare.

4. När flyttade de till Loddby?

Söker i Kyrkoarkiv, Kvillinge,  inflyttningslängder, 1846, för att se när de flyttade in.

  • Resultat: September 1846

5. Varifrån flyttade de, från vilken gård?

Söker i Kyrkoarkiv, Simonstorp, utflyttningslängder, 1846 för att se varifrån de flyttade.

  • Resultat: Godgölen.

6.Vilken gård och familj kom Anna Lisa från?

Söker i Kyrkoarkiv, Simonstorp, husförhörslängder efter Godgölen, men det är ingen gård och finns inte i registret. Googlar på Godgölen på nätet med olika stavningar och hittar var sjön ligger. Hittar lite länkar till andra släktforskarsidor och hittar så småningom att torpet hör till gården Myckelmåssa. Tillbaka till husförhörslängden och hittar torpet Godgölen under Myckelmåssa.

  • Resultat: Anna Stinas familjs data, samt pigor och drängar på torpet. (Döttrarna har bra betyg i läsning!)

Där finns även Olof Persson som dräng.

7. Var finns den lille sonen?

Sonen, född på julafton 1845, finns inte med i husförhörslängden trots att han föddes på Godgölen 1845. Jag går vidare till Kyrkoarkiv, Simonstorp, födelseböcker.

  • Resultat: Hittar uppgiften om Per Eriks födelse och att modern var fästekvinnan Anna Stina. Inget skrivet om ”oäkta”.

8. När gifte de sig?

Går till Kyrkoarkiv, Simonstorp, vigsellängder.

Eftersom de står som gifta när de flyttar in på Loddby, måste bröllopet skett mellan Per Eriks födelse 1845 och september 1846. Jag letar igenom vigsellängderna och hittar paret där.

  • Resultat: Gifta i februari 1846.

9. Vad händer i den lilla familjen?

Nu följer jag familjen framåt i husförhörslängderna i Kvillinge från 1845 – 1854 och hittar de tre sönernas födelsedatum.

  • Resultat: Data på sönerna.

10. Vad händer efter Anna Stinas död?

Jag fortsätter följa familjen i husförhörslängderna 1855 – 1856. Då flyttar änkan och pigan Fredrika Söderström in i familjen. Och 1856 flyttar de från Loddby och Olof slutar som statare och kusk, och blir tegelbruksarbetare. Alla deras förflyttningar inom församlingen finns att läsa i husförhörslängderna under respektive boställe.

11. Vad kan jag få ut av bouppteckningen?

Åter till bouppteckningen. Bouppteckningar kan innehålla så mycket intressant information om hur folk levde och hur deras hem såg ut. Det gäller att läsa mellan raderna och ta reda på vad till exempel det betyder att en statare ägde en vävstol och en hyvelbänk. Vad kan uppsättningen av kläder berätta?

Det här var i alla fall ett smakprov på vad man kan hitta på Riksarkivet. Det är ett ständigt hoppande från det ena registret till det andra, den ena församlingen till den andra. Det tar tid, men är väldigt spännande!

Hoppas du blev lite klokare och kanske lite sugen på att söka din egen historia? Lycka till med dina egna efterforskningar!

13. Augusta Sjöstedt and her sister Ophalia

In May of 1844, Pastor Petterson listed Augusta Sjöstedt as number 13 of the girls who got confirmed in St Jacob’s church. The ranking was based on his perception of the girl’s social status, based on her last name and her father’s profession. Augusta Sjöstedt did not belong to the nobility but her father, Jacob Sjöstedt, was a wealthy brewer.

The first time I heard of Augusta Sjöstedt was in a letter from Lotten Westman to “our” Augusta (Augusta Söderholm). Lotten was making sure that her friend did not miss out on any gossip from Stockholm.

 “Do you know, I find Augusta Sjöstedt just as boring now as when she sat in school with open mouth and read German verses, do you remember that? And how her legs were always in my way? But it was a fun time!“ (Lotten’s letter to Augusta, Stockholm, May 6, 1846)

The school she was reminiscing about was Mrs. Edgren’s school close to St Clara church in Stockholm. Our Augusta, Lotten Westman, and Augusta Sjöstedt were classmates. In 1844, the school closed and many of the students transferred to Mlle. Frigel’s school.

A month later, Lotten wrote another letter.

“My dear, there are so many engagements here. At Mlle. Frigel’s school today, Ebba Almroth stated that Mlles. Schwan and Sjöstedt (the oldest) were engaged, but with whom she didn’t want to say. It may well be true, but you know how girls gossip about engagements in Mlle. Frigel’s school.”(Lotten’s letter to Augusta, Stockholm, May 6, 1846)

The next time I found Augusta Sjöstedt’s name was in the Order of the Innocence’s register of debutants in December of 1844. To become inducted into the Order of the Innocence meant that one could now attend the most exclusive of balls, The Innocence Ball – or simply, The Innocence. In the register, our Augusta signed as number 4718 and then Ophalia and Augusta Sjöstedt signed as numbers 4719 and 4720. Maybe they walked in together?

Augusta Amalia Jakobina Sjöstedt

So who was Augusta Sjöstedt? I easily find her – Augusta Amalia Jakobina Sjöstedt, born July 16, 1829. Her parents were Jacob Sjöstedt (b. 1785) and Sofia Ulrika Richnau (b. 1800).

Jacob Sjöstedt was a wealthy brewer in Stockholm. Augusta Sjöstedt was the baby in the family. She had 3 older sisters and 3 older brothers. The family was well off. That was important because, in order for the girls to marry well, there had to be some investments in their education and their social life.

Fortunately, the two eldest daughters, Lowisa Carolina and Sofia Maria Ottiliana had already married by the time Augusta and her older sister Ophalia were making their debut in society. Now the family only had to focus on these two daughters. Well, there was also another girl living in the household. The family hosted a girl from a small town. Her story is chronicled in a previous blog post as her daughter became a famous writer who won the Nobel Prize in literature.

Attending a private school and going to balls were part of the girls’ upbringing. To be seen and to socialize was important. Ophalia must have been ecstatic when, at the New Year’s Ball in 1850, one of the royal princes (later to become King Oscar II) asked her to dance the first waltz. The write-up, in Swedish of course, of the entire event can be found here.

Swedish King Oscar II in 1865

But besides education and being seen in public, it was also important to be able to sing and play the piano. Most of the girls, including our Augusta and her friend Lotten, took singing lessons. And Augusta Sjöstedt played the piano

And then, if you could afford it, you could commission an oil painting of your daughter. Imagine your friends and acquaintances coming over to see the portrait! Of course, your daughter would be wearing her finest dress, maybe a shawl thrown over the chair, and why not, seated by her piano forte.

Augusta Sjöstedt, oil painting by Lars Hansen (1846-1848)

I don’t remember how I was searching, in what database and with what search words, but up popped the portrait of Augusta Sjöstedt! So lovely, in a beautiful pink silk dress. The portrait was bequeathed to the Nordic Museum in Stockholm in 1938 by her daughter.

But what about Ophalia. Wouldn’t she also have had a portrait? All I could find was a small image of her that looks like it was cropped from a larger painting.

Ophalia Sjöstedt (1826-1897)

Well, it all paid off. Both Ophalia and Augusta Sjöstedt married in 1850. And both married officers of noble families.

Ophalia married Georg Julius von Axelson on the 13th of February. She and her husband had 4 daughters and 1 son.

Augusta married Adam Henrik Carlheim Gyllensköld on the 26th of September 1850 and moved to his home, Vederslöv, close to Växsjö.

Adam Henri Carlheim-Gyllensköld
Vederslöv Manor, Augusta Sjöstedt’s new home.

Over the next 13 years, they had 6 daughters: Alma, Berta, Valborg, Ingeborg, Cecilia, and Sigrid. The youngest, Sigrid, born in 1863, became a famous pianist. She studied at the music conservatory in Stockholm, then in Dresden, followed by Vienna. In 1889, she started a music institute in Stockholm.

Sigrid Carlheim-Gyllensköld, pastell painting by E. Olán, 1887.

Previous blog posts about Mrs. Edgren’s and Mlle. Frigel’s schools and about Augusta Sjöstedt.






Kuskens hustru – Berättelsen om statarhustrun Anna Stina på Loddby

21 september 1846 rullade ett flyttlass in på Loddby. Det var inget ovanligt så här års. Statarnas kontrakt löpte ut och det var många som passade på att byta arbetsgivare och flytta till en ny gård, i hopp om att få det lite bättre, åtminstone en bättre bostad, lite varmare och med lite mindre ohyra.  Men på denna skjuts satt en liten familj, helt nya som statare. De kom från torpet Godgölen i Simonstorp. Den unga hustrun 22-åriga Anna Stina, var torparen Gustaf Gustafssons och hans hustru Annas äldsta dotter. I famnen höll hon ett litet gossebarn, född på själva julafton.

Anna Stina var född och uppvuxen på Godgölen, torpet som låg under gården Myckelmåssa och sades ligga precis på gränsen mellan Skedevi och Simonstorp, med köket i den ena socknen och storstugan i den andra.

Till Godgölen hade drängen Olof Persson kommit 1840 som 22-åring. Dessa båda ungdomar fattade tycke för varandra och så blev på det viset, Anna Stina blev gravid. På själva julafton 1845 födde hon sonen Per Erik. Prästen som uppskattade Anna Stinas färdigheter i läsning, hon hade bästa betyg under husförhören, skrev inte att den nyfödde var ”oäkta”, utan noterade endast i födelseboken att modern var fästekvinna till Olof. Två månader senare gifte de sig. Nu uppfyllde den lilla familjen kraven för att bli statare.

Ett halvt år senare flyttar de alltså in på Loddby i någon av statarbostäderna.

Det här är inget Augusta har en aning om. De hörde till helt olika samhällsklasser trots att de bodde på samma gård. Men jag hoppas och tror att Anna Stina och Olof hade det hyggligt på Loddby. De stannar kvar på gården i flera år, medan andra flyttar vidare. Olof avancerar till kusk. 1851 finner vi tre söner i familjen.

Under dessa år har Augusta hunnit resa runt i Europa, hon har rest på Göta kanal och på västkusten, roat sig i Stockholm och blivit föremål för många unga herrars uppvaktning. Hon har också deppat över hur ensamt livet är på Loddby. Men så träffar hon Adolf Nordwall och de bestämmer sig för att gifta sig 1853. Augusta har blivit sjuk i TBC och bor under vintern 1852/1853 i Stockholm för att få behandling för sin sjukdom. Hon brevväxlar med sin mamma hemma på Loddby. Mamma Anna  berättar om hur Augustas brudutstyrsel tar form. Det vävs och sömmas för fullt på Loddby. Augusta behöver lakan, handdukar, dukar och täcken till sitt blivande hem i Strängnäs. Tjänstekvinnorna har fullt upp på Loddby för att hinna få allt klart till Augustas flytt till Strängnäs hösten 1853.

Den hösten blir Anna Stina gravid igen, för fjärde gången. 4 maj föder hon sin fjärde son, Gustaf Alfred. Sommaren går. 18 augusti föder Augusta sin första och enda dotter i Strängnäs, lilla Gerda. Det är säkert full uppståndelse på Loddby, mamma Anna har blivit mormor. Och ingen märker nog ett en statarhustru blivit sjuk. 28 augusti dör Anna Stina, 30 år gammal i ”nervfeber” (förmodligen Tyfus).  Hon efterlämnar sin make kusken Olof och fyra söner, den äldsta 10 år, den yngsta 3 månader!

Det var i Riksarkivet jag hittade Anna Stina från början när jag sökte efter bouppteckningar på gården Loddy. Sedan började jag gå baklänges och nysta upp hennes sorgliga historia i kyrkböckerna. Bouppteckningen är så intressant. Den här statarfamiljen hade det ganska gott ställt trots allt, väggur, byråer, skänkskåp, hyvelbänk och verktyg, gott om tallrikar, 3 tavlor, och Anna hade en guldring. Men det som fick mig att stanna upp var: en vävstol med tillbehör, två spinnrockar, nystvinda m m.  Det förvånade mig att hon ägde en egen vävstol!

Nu började jag leta efter fakta om statarsystemet och vilka arbetsuppgifter statarhustrun brukade ha. Det enda jag hittar är uppgifter om att de arbetade på gårdarna med mjölkning och gårdsarbete. Men Anna Stina måste ju ägnat sig åt spånad och vävning som sitt arbete på gården. Inte hade hon lyxen att ha en egen vävstol för sin egen del! Eller ägnade hon sig åt förlagsverksamhet, hemvävning. I så fall måste det skötts genom hennes husbondes nätverk. Lejdenfrost var ju vid denna tid ullimportör. Men min fråga just nu är: Var hon med och vävde Augustas brudutstyrsel vintern 1852? I så fall har vi kunnat lägga ytterligare en pusselbit i pusslet om Augustas historia, (eller ska vi säga att vi vävt in ytterligare en tråd i väven om Augusta)

Jag läste vidare i Anna Stinas bouppteckning. Där finns  beskrivet hur hennes garderob såg ut under rubriken ”gångkläder”:

Två rockar, en i vadmal, underkjolar, 1 snörliv, 1 ylleklänning, 2 tröjor, 2 bomullsklänningar, 5 förkläden, 6 sjalar, mössa och pannstycke. Av detta har man värderat rockarna och sjalarna högst. Kan det vara så att hon hade en fin sjal, en fästmansgåva?

Jag har länge haft ett par gardiner liggande, inköpta på Myrorna. Jag ville absolut sy en klänning som i bästa fall påminner om en statarhustrus sommarklänning. Och förkläde med. Och jag skulle sy dem för hand. De kläder jag hittills sytt har varit för en dam i Augustas samhällsklass, för att känna efter hur det är att leva i sådana kläder. Hur ska jag någonsin kunna göra likadant med min statarklänning? Jag tror aldrig jag skulle klarat av det hårda livet. Men klänningen är nu färdig, förklädet återstår. Jag satt i vår stuga i Österbotten och sydde på kvällarna under fotogenlampans ljus. Min man fotograferade mig på klipporna vid Norra Kvarken. Till sommaren ska jag jobba på landet några dagar i min klänning, för att se hur det känns.

Hur gick det för kuskens familj?

Ja, året efter Anna Stinas död flyttade änkan och pigan Fredrika Söderström ihop med kusken. Familjen flyttade från Loddby till stugan Åbo och Olof blev nu tegelbruksarbetare.  Året efter flyttade de till en stuga kallad Back. Och nu blev även Fredrika med barn utan att de var gifta. Prästen i Kvillinge var inte lika överseende utan noterade att dottern som föddes var oäkta. Denna piga hade betyget b i läsning om det hade med saken att höra. Men Olof tog på sig faderskapet och de gifte sig. 1862 flyttade de vidare till Kuddby och nu hade Olof avancerat till tegelslagare. Sönerna började bli stora.Två av dem arbetade till och från som drängar på gästgivargården i Åby. En son dog 1862, orsaken finns inte angiven. Här lämnar jag nu familjens öden.

Jag undrar bara, vem fortsatte att väva på vävstolen?


(Svartvita foton från digitalt museum på torp och väverskor)

3. The Beautiful Oscara Wahlström and the Elms of Kungsträdgården

Oscara was sitting at her dressing table. She appreciated the large windows in her bedroom. It was so much easier to powder one’s face in a bright, sunny room. She applied the pearl powder to her cheeks and forehead and then dabbed a little pink rouge on her cheeks – just a little. Carolina, her maid, would help her with the hair. Her long, thick, dark hair would be parted in the middle and then loosely braided and gathered in the back. She might curl it a little at the temples to add some extra volume.

While she was waiting for Carolina, she looked out the window. Through the trees in Kungsträdgården, she could see the Opera House and St Jacob’s Church. She was so happy that she and her husband had been able to get an apartment in Davidson’s House. The palatial-looking house, considered to be one of Stockholm’s most beautiful modern buildings, was 5 stories tall. William Davidson, the owner of the famous restaurant Hasselbacken, had invested some of his fortunes in building this grand house.

Davidson’s House at Lilla Trädgårdsgatan 2b (The house was demolished in 1902 and today, it is the location of Handelsbanken at Kungsträdgårdsgatan 2).
Kungsträdgården, probably about 1859-1860 (The large house on the right is Davidson’s House which was finished in 1859. As there is no grove of elm trees in the park, the photo must have been taken before they were planted around 1860.) Photo from Stockholm City Museum.

Adding to that, to have Kungsträdgården right in front of your door – well, one couldn’t ask for a better location. On some days, there were even open-air midday concerts right outside your window. And then there was the little grove of elm trees. They had just been planted and provided a shaded nook where one could sit with friends and read a book or work on some embroidery.

Midday concert at Carl XIII’s Square in Kungsträdgården. Drawing by Gustave Janet, 1866.

But today, Oscara was getting ready for something even more exciting. Today, she was going to sit for Stockholm’s most prominent portrait painter, Amalia Lindegren. It was exhilarating. At 36, Oscara thought of how much she had already accomplished. She had married extremely well and she loved her husband, she had a beautiful apartment at the most desirable address in Stockholm and, now, she was to have her portrait done! What else could one ask for?

Oscara Fredrica Leopoldina Wahlström

Oscara Fredrica Leopoldina Wahlström was one of the girls in Augusta’s confirmation class. She was ranked as #3 in the class, according to the pastor’s perception of the girls’ importance – based on family name and father’s profession.

Oscara was born 9 December 1828 to Helena Fredrica Dorothea (Fredrique) von der Feer and Pehr Wahlström, a justice of the supreme administrative court (Swedish: regeringsråd). She had a half-sister who was 11 years older, Maria Christina Elisabeth (Mimmi).

In 1845, the Wahlström family lived at Regeringsgatan 14. That was also a fashionable address. Regeringsgatan was the first street in Stockholm to get sidewalks along the entire street.

On 1 June 1850, Oscara married merchant (Swedish: grosshandlare) Joseph Michaeli (1825-1902) and in 1864, Oscara and Joseph commissioned Amalia Lindegren (1814-1891) to paint a portrait of Oscara.

Those are the few records of Oscara’s life: her birth, communion, wedding, and then finally her death. Her obituary stated that she died at an age of 66 years, 5 months, and 12 days, and was mourned by her husband, relatives, friends, and her lifelong housekeeper. She had no children, and she was buried in Solna.

Two years later, her husband, Joseph, married Anna Sofia Westman. When Joseph died in 1902, his obituary mentioned that he was survived by his wife and a daughter. The last sentence of his obituary read:

“His wife in the first marriage was Oscara Wahlström, known for her beauty in the Stockholm Society.”

The Elms of Kungsträdgården

What happened to that little grove of elm trees that had been planted in 1860? The lovely shaded nook, perfect for a conversation with friends on a sunny afternoon.

Over the next 100 years, they grew very tall and wide. In 1971, when I was 16 years old, they were stately old elm trees that provided shade over a little tea house in the park.

The little tea house in the middle of the elm trees.

But in the spring of 1971, the politicians of Stockholm had voted to cut down the 13 large elm trees. They had decided that it was the ideal place for the entrance to a new subway station. When the citizens of Stockholm realized what was about to happen to the stately trees, the word spread quickly (even in the time of no internet or cellphones). On the night when the tree cutters arrived, the demonstrators were already there and protected the trees. The next day, my friends and I joined the ever-growing number of demonstrators. It was all very peaceful but exhilarating at the same time. The demonstrations were successful and the elms were saved. The entrance to the new subway station was built outside the park and is one of the most beautiful subways stations in Stockholm.

The subway station at Kungsträdgården

The elm trees are still standing. And Oscara’s portrait is well taken care of at the Swedish National Gallery.

Oscara Fredrica Leopoldina Wahlström. Oil painting by Amalia Lindegren, 1864.