I made a major, MAJOR breakthrough in the ancestry of my Grandpa Lawrence Rudeen, through his mother Augusta Mathilda Gustafsdotter. At last, we have a true celebrity in the family!
My genealogy hobby has never been about collecting celebrity relatives. But it sure is exciting to stumble across one!
The family lore for Augusta Mathilda Gustafsdotter Rudeen, Grandpa’s mother, has always been that she came from money and a higher social class. The story is that her family was very disappointed in her choice of a husband, the poor farmhand Gust Rudeen.
I was perusing some of my DNA matches on Ancestry.com and came across a family tree that was connected to Augusta’s maternal grandmother and which had some nobility/aristocracy family members. So I decided to dig a little deeper.
A little bit of Googling led me to a website dedicated to the Alfort family; specifically, the descendants of a ship’s captain by the name of Erik Alfort (1659-1730). It turns out that Captain Alfort is indeed my 7x-great-grandfather. I am looking forward to learning more about him and will be writing some posts about his family soon. His wife, Maria Sophia Gyllenståhl, my 7x-great-grandmother, has an even more impressive pedigree and supposedly includes connections to Latvia and France. So that’s pretty exciting and I would have been happy to stop right there.
As shown on the chart below, Grandpa Rudeen and Greta Garbo are fourth cousins;
I was sort of crushed when I shared this with my kids and they had never heard of Greta Garbo. So here’s her wikipedia page if you need to refresh you memory about this famous movie star. Some are of the opinion that she was “the most beautiful woman who ever lived.”
I exchanged emails with the Esben Alfort, the young man who maintains the Alfort website. As a result of our correspondence, he has now designated the Rudeen family as belonging to the “G4a Branch” of the Alfort family. He has already written up some information about the Nebraska Rudeens so that our Swedish Alfort cousins can learn more about us.
Are you excited? I am!
I will look forward to sharing more about the Alfort/Gyllenståhl families in the coming weeks.
Bonus content: How am I related to Greta Garbo?
If you are a descendant of Augusta Mathilda Rudeen, then you are a cousin to Greta Garbo as well.
- If Augusta Mathilda is your grandmother (I’m looking at you, Stan, Florence and Marian), then Greta is your fourth cousin once removed.
- If Augusta Mathilda is your great-grandmother (that’s me and any other grandchildren of Walt, Lawrence and Edith), then Greta is your fourth cousin twice removed.
- For each generation “younger”, you are one more generation removed. So my kids are fourth cousins three times removed to Greta.
- My two grand-daughters are Greta’s fourth cousins four times removed.