Etikettarkiv: Salomon

6. Sofia Antoinette Eugenia (Eugénie) Björkman

St Jacob’s Church in the center of Stockholm is a landmark. Built in the 1600s, it has a beautiful red color and a green roof. Today it is famous for its music. I have walked by the church many times, too busy to take the time to sit down and listen to one of its free organ or choir concerts. But on a sunny day in the spring of 2019, I am following in Augusta’s footsteps which leads me to St Jacob’s Church. Almost to the day, 175 years earlier, on 12 May 1844, Augusta received her first communion in this church. She was one of the 166 teenagers (74 boys and 92 girls) who had gone through the bible studies and had passed their oral exam.

St Jacob’s Church, Stockholm

I sit in the pews trying to imagine what it would have been like to see all 16- or 17-year-olds and their families fill the church. In 1844, Abraham Zacharias Petterson was the pastor – a prominent preacher who was in high demand for memorial speeches and sermons. And the organist was Gustaf Mankell who later became a professor and member of the Royal Music Academy. But I don’t think he can top the organist playing today. His final organ piece is Bach’s Tocccata and Fugue in D Minor. It is mind-blowing.

For each parish in Sweden, there is a library of church records – births, baptisms, confirmations, etc. The best place to find Augusta’s friends in Stockholm is to look at the records of confirmations and first communions. Some parishes list them alphabetically but in St Jacob’s parish, Pastor Petterson has listed them first by gender and then by his perception of their importance – based on their family names and their fathers’ professions. Augusta is listed as number 10 out of the 92 girls. I decide to find out more about the first 20 girls on the list.

During the coming weeks, I will share what I have found. Today’s girl is #6 Sofia Antoinette Eugenia Björkman.

Sofia Antoinette Eugenia Björkman

Sofia Antoinette Eugenia went by the name Eugénie. She was born on 8 January 1828 in Sala. Her parents were Axel Ulrik Björkman and Maria Antoinetta Norlin.

Axel Ulrik’s father, Bengt Magnus Björkman, was an industrialist and one of Stockholm’s wealthiest in the early 1800s. He owned several large estates around Stockholm: Nacka, Farsta, Görväln, Skälby, Jakobsberg, and Bromsten. Today, they are all names of Stockholm suburbs.

Eugénie had three younger sisters and two younger brothers. They lived in Stockholm at Regeringsgatan 36. That is where the iconic department store, NK, is located today. But wait, wasn’t there where Augusta’s other friend, AugustaHolmqvist lived? After searching in several different archives, I realize that Björkmans owned the house while the family Holmqvist rented a large apartment in the house. And their next-door neighbors? It was the Salomon family who Augusta also was acquainted with.

The view from Holmqvist's apartment, the corner of Hamngatan and Regeringsgatan
The view from Björkman’s house at the corner of Hamngatan and Regeringsgatan

So while they were living in Stockholm, they also lived at Görväln at times, maybe during the warmer months. The beautiful manor house with its view of Lake Mälaren must have been a lovely place to spend the summers. One of Eugénie’s siblings, Axel Fredrik, was actually born at Görväln on the 13 October 1833. He inherited the manor house when his father died in 1855 and raised his family there.

Görväln – the manor house owned by Sofia’s father and then brother (by Fredrik Wilhelm Alexander Nay, 1822-1883)

Eugénie married Ludvig Teodor Almqvist in 1851. He was a politician, a member of the Supreme Court, and a Minister of Justice. Eugénie and Ludvig had one daughter and four sons. Their daughter, Lina, was born 17 August 1852 at Görväln. She would later marry Erik Gustaf Boström who was the Swedish Prime Minister between 1891 and 1900 and then again between 1902 and 1905.

In 1856, Ludvig Teodor bought Algö, a farm on the island Selaön close to Strängnäs. This is where they lived even though Eugénie had in 1855 inherited a country house, Kallhäll, which she and her husband owned for 19 years.

So, when Eugénie was listed as Number 6 by Pastor Petterson, he knew that she was one of the wealthiest girls in Stockholm. Who were the top 5 girls, and why?

Read more about the family Björkman (in Swedish):

Marie-Louise Forsell writes about Mamsell Eugénie Björkman in her diary.

In Search of Sophia Charlotta Salomon and her Family

Last week, I was reading the Swedish newspaper, Bohusläns Tidning, from 1845 and found an announcement listing the guests who had arrived at Gustafsberg’s Spa. The list included Augusta, her mother, and her brother. I got curious about the other spa guests. What could I find out about them?

I decided to start with what seemed to be an important family, the family of Krigsrådet Carl Jacob Salomon (A krigsråd was one of four civilian members of the Royal War Council. The other three members of the council were military leaders). Carl Jacob was not visiting the spa, only his wife and their two daughters and a son.

I assumed that it would not be difficult to find out more about this family. But it was!

Google was of no use. I didn’t even find the krigsråd himself! And Salomon is a very common name, both as a first name and as a surname.

Then I searched on free genealogy sites and in some books of important Swedish families and found only limited information.

I decided to get serious and turned to the census records of Stockholm for 1845. There I found the whole family with names and birth dates and an address: Regeringsgatan 38. That is where the famous department store NK is now located.

  • Husband: Carl Jacob Salomon, born 9 December 1784
  • Wife: Ulrica Sophia von Seltzen, born 24 April 1802
  • Daughter: Charlotta, born 28 January 1827
  • Daughter: Hilda Jaquette, born 7 June 1828
  • Son: Ernst Carl Victor, born 13 May 1831

Now that I had names and birth dates, the search got easier.

Hilda Jaquette

Next, I turned to published contemporary diaries – those of Marie-Louise Forsell and Lotten Ulrich. They were both well-connected in Stockholm and both mentioned meeting up with the Salomon family.

“Maybe Carl has already told the news that our old dancer, the honorable man Wrangel at The Artillery, is engaged to the youngest Miss Salomon.” (Sällskapslif och hemlif i Stockholm på 1840-talet: Ur Marie-Louise Forsells dagboksanteckningar).

Jaquette married Count Tönnes Wrangel in 1848 and lived a long life and had 4 children.

 Ernst Carl Victor

Ernst Salomon

Ernst was even easier to find. He even had his own Wikipedia page. He became a medical doctor and specialized in psychiatry. He also married and lived a long life.

Sophia Charlotta

The only thing I could find about Charlotta was that she had died in 1856. Or at least, that is what two sources stated. I checked the church records for the Jacob parish in Stockholm, but there was no record of her having died in 1856. I searched the digitized newspapers for 1856 and there was no obituary either. I was running out of creative ways of finding her. Had she moved?

Yes, had they moved?

I realized that there was an online digitized card catalog of property deeds in Stockholm between 1675 and 1875!

Using the information from the census records, I started flipping through the cards until I got to Salomon’s address. Carl Jacob Salomon had bought the house in 1827. Then, every time someone in the Salomon family died, there was an inheritance record regarding the change of ownership of the house. The first one was when his wife died in 1846. Then he himself died in 1850 and, finally, Charlotta’s death was recorded as the 3rd of October 1855. At that time, Jaquette and her husband Tönnes bought the remaining share from brother Ernst.

I never knew that this archive existed or how useful it could be!

So Sophia Charlotta died in 1855 and not in 1856 as reported. Now I could find her death in the church records – she died from tuberculosis, just like our Augusta, at age 28. And I also found her obituary in the paper. She died at Harfva Gård in Ed parish northwest of Stockholm.

Carl Jacob and his wife Ulrica Sophia

Likewise, I could now find mother Ulrica Sophia’s death in the church records. She died at age 44 on 4 July 1846 from edema. Her passing was also mentioned in the daily newspapers.

The death of Carl Jacob at age 65 on 6 February 1850 was announced in the papers but for some unknown reasons, there was no church record of his death in Jacob’s parish. Did he possibly belong to some other parish?


So what else could I find? What about portraits of the family members? In the 1840s, it was popular to have the artist Maria Röhl sketch you. Did the Salomon family commission her to sketch them? I searched on the Swedish Royal Library’s website and sure enough, found them all in 1847. That was the year after the mother had died.

Carl Jacob Salomon 1784-1850. Drawing by Maria Röhl 1847.
Charlotta Salomon (1827-1855) and Ernst Salomon (1831-1880) . Drawing by Maria Röhl 1847.
Jaquette Salomon (Jaquette Wrangel) (1828-1911) Drawing by Maria Röhl 1847.


And then, Google just decided to surprise me. I don’t know what I searched on, but there it was – a daguerreotype of the family taken in the interior yard of their house with a sheet hanging as a backdrop. The picture must have been taken in 1848 or 1849 as Hilda’s husband Tönnes is included (they married in 1848) and before 1850 when the father died.

Daguerreotype of family Salomon, 1848 or 1849, sold at auction.
Family Salomon, 1848 or 1849. Front row: Charlotte, Carl Jacob, Jaquette. Back row: Ernst and Tönnes.

Gustafsberg in 1845

In the summer of 1845, when the family was arriving at Gustafsberg, were they excited to spend some time socializing at this fashionable spa resort? Were the girls curious about meeting young men that might be suitable spouses? Or was their mother, Ulrica Sophia, already sick and hoped that drinking water at the spa would help restore her health? Was Charlotta, who was the same age as Augusta, already ill with tuberculosis?

Unfortunately, Augusta had not started keeping a diary yet so we don’t know if she already knew the Salomon girls from Stockholm and if they socialized at Gustafsberg. The only correspondence we have, where she alludes to the stay at Gustafsberg, is a letter to her best friend Lotten about a young man she met and fell in love with. Nothing came of it, but it would be fun to know who he was.

Ernst Salomon can be easily be written off, he was only 14 years old.