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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Site-seeing Saturday ~ Svenarum, Jönköping, Sweden

This church (kyrka in Swedish) is the place in which my Åman and Tolf ancestors worshipped during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The design is simple, but the feelings it invokes are deep and complicated.

A few clicks on my keyboard and I'm a world away, seeing a place my ancestors frequented for the important events in their lives; baptisms, weddings, funerals. In Sweden, they would also have visited the church to share their plans to leave the parish. Did they look back over their shoulders as they walked away?

Google and other sites can bring a wealth of geographic pictures to family historians. Mapping sites with satellite capabilities allow us to see our ancestors' hometowns in real time. Mortgage and real estate sites offer photos of homes we may never visit, but can see on our computer screens. The first home owned by an immigrant ancestor. The apartment building an aunt mentioned in a family story. These pictures make the events real. They imprint the memory of an ancestor on our own memories. This is a part of family history we shouldn't overlook.

It's important to get the facts ma'am; those names, date and locations. But it's equally important to color in the stories of our ancestors and their descendants.


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Very nice story. Thanks for sharing!

Keep these ancestor stories coming!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Chubbs said...

I just learned that my Tolf relatives were form the Svenarum parish. Do you have any more info on the Tolf line form this area? My family is Karl Emil Tolf-wife Emma Christina and children Frederika, Hulda, Charlie etc.Thanks, Karen

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