Dear Alice Rasmusson,
It was so nice to hear from a Leksand descendant - thank you for your letter, which I got today. It came to the right office which is the church archive of Leksand and they handed it over to me. I have done quite a lot of research on emigration from the province of Dalaena, where Leksand is a very important city today. Its a tourist area and very scenic and beautifully situated at Lake Siljan and the Eastern branch of the Dalälven, one of our most beautiful rivers in Sweden.
I enclose some papers from my emigration register and as I donít know if you understand or even speak Swedish I will make a summary in English.
The papers tell you that the Bodin family left Leksand on the 7th of April 1892 and that there were 17 persons who had left this area to move to other cities or even America (3 personas) that year.
It also says that Anders Andersson Bodin born in 1861 in the village of Västannor in Leksand parish got the permission to move from the regiment. He was a farmer but also a soldier. He had been living for some years in a parish close to Leksand called Gagnef and came to Mjälgen, a farm village close to Västannor on the 18th of August 1891.
In 1886 June 12 he married Anna Ersdotter born in 1868 June 1 in the village of Gröntuf in Gagnef.
They had the following children:
Anders Andersson (Bodin) born in 1888 January 12 in Gröntuf, Gagnef
Arvid Andersson (Bodin) born in 1889 October 17 in Gröntuf, Gaqnef
Anna Andersdotter (Bodin) born in 1891 October 10 in Mjälgen, Leksand.
None .of the children was baptised which might mean that the family were baptists instead of lutherans or at least that they had baptist ideas. Did they belong to a baptist church in America.
Anders Andersson Bodin was born outside wedlock and his mother was Bröms Brita Hansdotter born in the village of Västannor in 1830 Oct 4. Bröms is the name of the farm and later on it became a name used in front of the first names. As you can see you get your fathers name as a surname (for example Larsdotter or Ersson). From this you can understand that Anders Andersson Bodins father was called Anders + something. Bodin is his soldiers name. Normally in Leksand those days the wife never was called Mrs. Bodin but was Anna Ersdotter all the time.
Concerning your grandmothers parents I know they were called Erik Persson
Glad (Glad is his soldiers name) and Sara Ersdotter. They lived in Gröntuf,
Gagnef and unfortunately I have no records available of that area yet.
I havenít had a chance to check if you have any relatives still living in this area - there might be second cousins of yours but Id like to tell you a little about your grandfathers mother and her family:
Bröms Hans Jansson born in 1793 Dec 25 and dead in 1838 Nov 27 was married to Anna Ersdotter born in 1792 Sept 13 and dead in 1857 July 16. They married in 1820 and got the following children:
1) Bröms Anders Hansson (soldier Svensk) born in 1821 Aug 14
2) Bröms Per Hansson born in 1824 May 7
3) Bröms Hans Hansson born in 1827 February 17 (he moved to Stockholm to become a soldier in the regiment of the King and I know nothing about his future)
4) Bröms Brita Hansdotter, your mothers grandmother was born in 1830 Oct 4
5) Bröms Kerstin Hansdotter born in 1835 May 26.
This happened to the children:
2) married in 1858 to Kerstin Andersdotter born in the village of Östanmor in Leksand parish in 1831 March 5. They lived in the village of Smedsarvet or Smedby and got many children. The husband died in 1875 Feb. 5 and the family moved to Östanmor where the wife had her family to come back to. It must have been hard to take care of some many children alone.
The children were: Anna born in 1859 Feb 6
Anders born in 1860 Nov 18
Per born in 1863 Jan 9 and dead in 1866 Nov 27
Carin born in 1865 Feb 12
Per (the same name) born in 1867 Oct 27
Kerstin born in 1870 Oct 16
Brita born in 1872 Nov 10 and dead in 1872 Oct 29
Lars born in 1874 Sept 17 and dead in 1874 Dec 12
The family moved to Östanmor in 1876.
3) Moved to Stockholm
Please note that I forgot to start with number I. Number I - Anders Hansson Svensk married a girl in the neighborhood. She was called Jones Kerstin Ersdotter and lived in Västannor. She was born in 1809 Oct 30 and died in 1853 Dec 16. They married in 1853 Dec 16. Anders Hansson died as early as 1856 May 25 and their two small boys and a son born outside wedlock were alone. They are stated as "very poor" in the church register and had to move from the farm. They were Jones Lars Andersson born in 1848 July 3 and Jones Per Andersson born in 1852 Sept 29.
4) Bröms Brita HansdOtter born in 1830 Oct 4 . Your grandfathers mother.
Let's take a whole page for her.
Bröms Brita Hansdotter got a son outside wedlock in 1857 January 15. He was called Per and died in 1858 April 20. Then she got your grandfather Anders Andersson in 1861 Aug. 17. Then she got the daughter Anna in 1866 Aug 27. She also married in 1866 to Anders Andersson born in 1826 March 23 in the village of Smedsarfvet in Leksand. He died in 1867 and in 1870 she got another daughter outside wedlock, called Anna born in 1870 May 1. In 1881 she and her son Anders and daughter Anna moved to a village close by called Ytterakerö and there she married Färj Per Ersson born in 1815 Nov 7. He was a widower and together they all moved to a village in the woods called Skeberg. Färj Per died in 1889 July 3 and his wife who stayed in Skeberg died in 1910 May 15.
What happened to her daughter Anna born in I870 May 1. She got a daughter outside wedlock in 1889 Feb. 14. She was called Johanna Maria and when she was about ten years old she was taken to a home for orphans and children who the parents couldnít take care of. Anna married Ollas Anders Olsson born in 1856 Nov 3. Many of his brothers had left for America. I do not know if he did so but evidently he left his family and they did not know at church where he was. They got the following children:
Anders born in 1891 July 6 (he moved to Ösmo in Stockholm in 1911 Nov 15) a boy without any name born in 1894 January 2 and dead January 12 Karl born in 1895 Sept 23 and died in 1895 Sept 30
The husband disappeared from the family in 1901 and the wife and son moved to the village of Västannor (they lived in the Ingels farm number s. 17). There the wife gave birth to a son Victor in 1904 January 26 and twins Axel and Teodor born in 1907 Aug 14 and both died 1907 Oct 4.
In 1912 Dec 12 the woman also disappeared from Leksand. Did they possibly
go to America? What do you know Ct it?
If your mothers first cousin Anders or his sister Johanna Maria had any children you might have second cousins living in Sweden. I might be ale to find it for you if you would like, to.
Then finally number 5 which is Bröms Kerstin Ersdotter born in
1835 May 26. She had a son Per born in 1865 January 17 before she married
Ollas Per Persson born in 1833 Sept 16. They lived in the village of Torrberg
in Leksand. Their children were:
Anna born in 1868 Feb. 10 and Erik born in 1876 January 14
Well as you see there are many pieces of information to get from our church archive. I hope you will find it as interesting to read as I found it nice to work some hours to get it for you.
I will ask the tourist office to send you some material from this area so that you will easily find the places where your ancestors lived. Welcome to enjoy this area, which is more wonderful now when people has not these difficulties to struggle against - starving, crop failure and so on.
We could maybe also find the boat they left on. Imagine what a hard time t leave and to be on the ocean for so many weeks with small children.
I would also like Ďto welcome you to take part in a Swedish American Heritage Seminar in Leksand June 18-26 this summer. I'll send you a brochure.
I am busy working with A TV film about emigration from Leksand to America one hundred year ago. Hope you will have a chance to see it in America too.
I have been many times in Minnesota (also in Elk River) to do emigration
history research and I will return to the Middle West in June, 1988. I
will give some lectures on traditions transplanted to America at
a conference of Cambridge, MN in June. Later on after the seminar I will return to Minnesota, as a tour director and hope to be able to stay for some weeks to d research.
Please donít send any mother for the information. Instead I would appreciate very much if you wrote back to me telling me what happened to the Bodin family in America. ĎWhere did they settle? Marriages? Children? Dates of deaths and so on. Thank you in advance. I do look forward to your information (maybe also that you have some photos we might be able to copy?)
I am busy working on establishing an archive concerning emigrants from the province of Dalarna and so far we have traced about 40.000. So your information will be of very good use for us. Imagine that we get about 1000 letters a year from people who would like to find their roots in our area! Isnít that something!
With many regards from Leksand - your old country! Please write again!
Director of "DAlarnas Släkt-, hembygds- och emigrationsforskarförening
(Our genealogical association)
Address: Hantverkaregatan 1
793 00 Leksand Sweden