Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Eddie Tornquist

Eddie Tornquist was the first-born son of C. J. and Tilda Tornquist. He died Jul 12, 1889 at age 9 months 10 days. He is buried at Capitol Hill cemetery in New Sweden, Maine.

His parents were both born in Sweden. His father immigrated in 1871 when he was 8 years old with his parents and siblings.

His mother Matilda Strömberg died in 1890, two years after her infant son and six days after her daughter May was born.

Front: Eddie Safe in the arms of Jesus
Back: Son of C. J. & Tilda Tornquist died July 12, 1889 AE 9 mos. 10 dys

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Marie Victoria Malmquist, New Sweden, Maine

Marie's father, Eric Malmquist, emmigrated from Skane, Sweden in 1880 and then sent for his wife and three daughters, Marie, Alma, and Karen, ages 15, 8, and 3, to join him in New Sweden, Maine. Seven other children died back in Sweden before the family came to the US.
Eric worked as a tailor, first in a shop in the near-by town of Caribou and then going from house to house to do tailoring. His daughter Marie bought him a sewing machine in 1885.
After his wife Anna's death at age 69, he lived with his daughter Karen's family until he died at age 87. Eric Malmquist held the Boston Post Cane from 1921-1925.
Marie Malmquist, pictured at right, wrote 12 books, some in English and some in Swedish, including poetry and prose. She recorded much of the early history of New Sweden. She worked as a housekeeper, teacher, nurse, and foreman in a knitting mill and shoe factory. Marie lived in Sweden, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire where she died at age 92. She is buried at Capitol Hill in New Sweden, Maine with her parents as she never married.
Note: "fodd den" is Swedish for "born in" and "dod den" means "died in"
Anna Sofie Malmquist
Fodd den 5 Maj 1834
Dod den 28 Juli 1903
Eric P. Malmquist
Mar 14 1838-Aug 5, 1925
Marie Malmquist

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Beams

A wonderful surprise yesterday! I received an email that photos of my maternal grandparents cemetery stone in Auburn, MA had been taken by Don Beams, a volunteer for Findagrave.com. I had visited the cemetery once a long time ago (way before my grandfather died but after grammy passed) and ten hours driving to get there makes my chances low to return. I only hope that I can "pass it on" and make their day like Mr. Beams made mine. Thank you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Sweden's First Cemetery

The first burial in New Sweden, ME was that of infant Hilma Clase who died enroute from Sweden on July 19, 1870, just a few days prior to the arrival of the first group of 51 settlers on July 23. Her exact grave location is unknown as are the graves of others whose names are etched in stone on this monument.
The granite stone was erected in an area in the woods behind the present New Sweden Museum. This site is believed to have been the original cemetery. One wooden marker survives and is housed inside a glass case inside the museum.
The museum is in the background. The original community building known as the Capitoleum was built in the autumn of 1870. The adjacent town hall was struck by lightning and burned in 1971. An exact replica was built in the same location and houses the collections of the New Sweden Historical Society.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Postcard Friday: New Sweden Cemetery and Capitol

This is a view of the New Sweden Cemetery in the early days.
The smaller building on the right still exists and is located in the center of the New Sweden Cemetery. The image is probably from about 1900.
The postcard shows the community center known as the Capitol or Capitoleum (the large structure on the left) in New Sweden, ME.
This building served as church, school, and temporary shelter for the large numbers of Swedish immigrants arriving to start a new life. W. W. Thomas, Maine's commissioner of immigration who oversaw the establishment of the settlement, resided in small rooms on the first floor in the back of the building when he was in New Sweden to attend to business.
Built in the fall of 1870, the building stood for a little over 100 years before it burned. The contents were saved and an exact replica built to continue to serve as a museum.

Fajer and Eva Akeson, New Sweden, Maine

Fajer Akeson and his wife Eva are buried at Captiol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden, ME with his parents. All four were born in Sweden.
Fajer Akeson's father Ake came to New Sweden, Maine on December 10, 1871 at age 55. His wife's name was Maria. They were early settlers in the neighboring town of Woodland.
Fajer's younger brother Jens immigrated in 1880 and settled in nearby Perham, ME. Jens was born in 1857 in Stockholm, Sweden.


Fajer Akeson
Oct. 3, 1844-Jan. 23, 1929
Eva His wife
Apr. 14, 1840-Jan. 24, 1929
Ake Nelson
Oct. 25, 1815-Sept. 1, 1885
Maria His wife
Dec. 14, 1817-Mar. 11, 1900

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nils and Elna Olsson, New Sweden, Maine

Nils and Elna Olsson along with five children (Vilhelm, Algred, Judith, Karoline, and Anna)
all under age 10 arrived in New Sweden with the first group of settlers from Sweden on July 23, 1870. Nils was 50 and Elna was 30 years old.
Nils had trained as a cabinet maker in Sweden for seven years.
Nils is known as being the first lay preacher in the Swedish Colony and one of the originators of the First Baptist Church of New Sweden.
Nils was active as a community leader and is frequently found in local historical documents. It is noted, as examples, (1) that Nils gave a welcoming speech at the decennial celebration of the founding of the settlement in Swedish in 1880, (2) Nils Olsson was one of five from the 22 original settlers living in New Sweden on June 25, 1895 at the Quarter Centennial Celebration, and (3) that Nils conducted public religious services in Swedish at the corner camp on July 31, 1870.
Elna had thirteen children, four of whom died in 1876 from black diptheria.

Nils and Elna are buried in the Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden, just a short walk from where they first set foot on their arrival in 1870.
NELS OLSON, MAY 20, 1821-JUNE 11, 1908
ELNA HIS WIFE, AUG. 6, 1839-APR. 7, 1910

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jonas and Sara Bodin, New Sweden, Maine

Fifty one Swedes arrived in the wilderness of Aroostook County, Maine in what was to become the town of New Sweden on July 23, 1870. They were accompanied by William Widgery Thomas, Jr., Maine's commissioner of immigration. Many more Swedes followed in the next years. Some stayed and their descendants live there today.
One of the families that arrived in 1870 was that of Jonas and Sara Bodin. At the age of 52, the Bodins brought six children to America: Jonas Jr age 20, Per Otto age 10, Israel age 8, Maria age 25, Edla age 19, and Johanna age 17.
The Bodins settled on Lot C in Woodland, ME. Jonas was a farmer and a tailor. He died in 1882 and was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in lot: East side of walk 3 east Lot 8. His wife died in 1904.

Transcription: Jonas Bodin born in Sweden Europe Mar. 14, 1818. Died in New Sweden, ME. Aug 31, 1882 Sara V. Bodin his wife born Oct. 14, 1818. Died Dec. 6, 1904.