Sunday, December 7, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #48 Adolph Ekström of Björsäter in Östergötland


Never will I find a distant cousin descended from my great-great-grandfather Adolph Ekström. I've written before about how this family branch in Sweden has died out. I have no photos of this ancestor and little hope of ever finding any in the possession of a distant cousin. Of Adolph's seven children, only my great-grandfather Gustaf has living descendants.

The church records of Sweden are a wonderful resource that tells us about the genealogical events of the citizens. Here's a peek at the life of Adolph through the records.


Template and elements from We Are Family by Dianne Rigdon for Digital Scrapper, 2013


Through the records we learn that Adolph Ekström was born near Lake Risten on May 24, 1827, at a place known as Nässjö in the parish of Björsäter in Östergötland. His father, originally Eric Andersson, had taken the surname Ekström by 1797. Adolph was the 14th of 15 children born to the farmer Eric and his two wives. Adolph's mother was Christina Catherina Olofsdotter, who was originally from Grebo.

After his father's death in 1842, Adolph began his training to be a skräddare, a tailor. He moved from town to town, learning his trade while working for others. About 1850, Adolph finished his training, returning home. The records from that point on call his occupation skräddare. It appears his training and apprenticeship took about 7 years.

He married within Björsäter parish to Anna Charlotta Svensdotter on October 21, 1854. They called their home Kristineholm, which implies an island, likely on Lake Risten. They had seven children:
  • Charlotta, 1855-1855
  • Clara Sophia, 1857-1892, never married, no children
  • Carl August David Ekström Nordén, 1859-1934, 3 children, 1 grandchild who died young
  • Gustaf Emil Ferdinand, 1862-1927, moved to Chicago and has many living descendants
  • Ernst Viktor Leonard, 1865-1939, moved to Chicago, 2 children, no grandchildren
  • Emma Karolina, 1868-after 1939, no children
  • Eleanora Elisabet, 1871-1941, never married, no children

Adolph taught his sons the tailor trade, which Gustaf and Ernst brought with them to Chicago. The brothers opened a tailor shop in Evanston, north of Chicago. Son Carl, who took the surname Nordén, stayed in Sweden and plied his trade as a tailor in the city of Linköping.

Anna Charlotta Svensdotter died of breast disease (breast cancer?) on December 1, 1897, leaving Adolph a widower. He died of pneumonia on April 1, 1901. Their burial place is not known. 

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