While Louis Hanson was off in the California gold fields, his future wife Lisa Stina Hultman left Sweden for America.
Lisa Stina’s family had a remarkable background. In the early 1700’s, her 3x-great-grandfather Johan Hultman had been the personal butler of King Karl (aka Charles) XII of Sweden. King Karl XII was among Sweden’s most famous (or maybe infamous) kings and spent nearly his entire reign waging war across northern Europe. Johan followed his master into war and was even present at the King’s battlefield death. After the death of the King, Johan returned to a life of leisure in Stockholm and upon his death, the estate inventory showed “a rather well-to-do home.”1
However, each succeeding generation of his descendants saw the family’s prestige and wealth slowly slip away.
His children probably shared their father’s social standing. Johan had arranged for The Dowager Queen of Sweden to be godmother to his son Carl Nicklas. Carl Niklas later became a university-trained medical doctor. Not quite hob-nobbing with royalty, but still pretty prestigious nonetheless.
Johan’s grandson took it down a notch. He acquired some sort of construction background and eventually owned and operated a mill 200 miles southwest of Stockholm. No chance now for the family to circulate among the upper crust in Uppsala and Stockholm as they once did. Fast forward another couple of generations and we find Johan’s great-great-grandson Jonas Peter Hultman living on a farm in Stockaryd parish in Småland. Without a noble title and the land that goes with it, it probably wasn’t possible to grow or retain capital and wealth in 18th- and 19th-century Sweden.
In the church records, we find lots of information about Jonas Peter and hist family. His first wife had died shortly after the birth of their daughter, and Jonas Peter remarried to her younger sister. The family emigrated to America in 1854. We have some remarkable detail about their last two years in Sweden.
First, in 1853, we have the family’s “household record” for their farm at Hällayrd Södergård in Stockaryd. What’s important on this record is that Jonas Peter Hultman has “Eg. br.” in front of his name. That stands for “egare brukare” which translates literally as “farmer owner”. You can see off to the right that the family must have sold the farm and moved to Vrigstad in 1853.
The next record is a fascinating one that I found at the Swedish National Archives just last week. There are no moving-out ledgers for Stockaryd in 1853, nor are there any moving-in ledgers for Vrigstad. In the case of Vrigstad, the Swedish National Archives has digitized an alternative record source to use in place of the moving-in ledger. This is actually lucky for us, because instead of the ledger entry, we can see the actual document that the Hultman family took with them when they moved from Stockaryd to Vrigstad! It’s sort of like a “permission slip” from the priest back in Stockaryd, and it provides all the vital details about the family that the priest in the next parish will enter into his records.
Here it is:
This may not get your blood pumping the way it does for me, but how remarkable to get access to this document over 160 years after the fact, and from a distance of thousands of miles! Here is the what the document says, in both Swedish and English (thank you to my friend Kjell from the Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado for the translation):
|Äkta malarna Jonas Peter Hultman och
Anna Stina Johannesdotter, som 1839 kom
ifrån Skepperstad till Stockaryd och Gellaryd socknar
samt nu flyttar till Wrigstad sn, äro födde, mannen
d. 1 aug. 1812 i Skepperstad sn och hustr. d. 6 sept,
1818 i Stockaryd, till vilka socknar deras föräldrar
hörde vid födelsen.Båda äger godkänd Christendomskunskap,
hafva utan anmärkning brukat nådemedlen
och äro välkände till sin frejd, som kan an-
ses god..för löpande året här icke skattskrivne.
Båda är vaccinerade.Med dem flyttar deras barn:Hennes d. Lena Carin född d. 7/1 1838. Läser godkänt i och utan bok
Bådas d. Anna Lovisa f.d. 17/10 1840. “
” d. Lisa Stina f. 30/12 1842 Läser efter sin ålder
” s. Claus August f. 3/3 1848
“ s. Joel Fritiof f. 3/12 1851Lena är född i Skepperstad sn, alla de öfriga i Stockaryd.
Alla är vaccinerade.
Hjelmseryd d. 19 Jan. 1853.A. Hjelmquist
|Married couple Jonas Peter Hultman and
Anna Stina Johannesdotter, who in 1839 came
from Skepperstad to Stockaryd and Gellaryd parishes
and now move to Wrigstad parish, are born, the husband
Aug 1, 1812 and the wife Sep 6,
1818 in Stockaryd, to which parishes their parents belonged
at the time of birth.Both have acceptable knowledge regarding Christianity,
have received communion
and are well known for their civil status which
is good. Are not domiciled here for tax purposes any more.
Both are vaccinated.Their children move with them:His d. Lena Carin b. Jan 1, 1838. Can read in a book and also by heart
Both d. Anna Lovisa b. Oct 17, 1840. Ditto, Ditto
” d. Lisa Stina b. Dec 30, 1842 Ability to read is in accordance to her age
” s. Claus August b. Mar 3, 1848
“ s. Joel Fritiof b. Dec 3, 1851Lena is born in Skepperstad parish, all the others in Stockaryd.
All are vaccinated.
Hjelmseryd Jan 19, 1853.A. Hjelmquist
I’ve been wondering if the Hultman family was associated in any way with the Janssonists, since they ended up fairly close to Bishop Hill in Henry County, Illinois. I believe that the kind words from their pastor about their Christian faith and their good civil status indicate that this family was likely NOT part of the Janssonist movement. I should note, however, that there were a few Bishop Hill colonists from Vrigstad – perhaps Jonas Peter got wind of what his American prospects could be from the colonists’ relatives back home in Vrigstad? Just a theory…
They stayed for a little over a year in Vrigstad. Their Household Record entry shows them leaving for “Norra Amerika” in 1854:
Next we find them on the passenger list for the ship Eleonore, which landed in New York City on July 24, 1854.
The “bark” Eleonore had left from Gothenburg, Sweden with a total of 209 passengers and crew. This was before steamship travel, so it probably took between 45 and 60 days to sail from Gothenburg to New York. That means they most likely set sail in May of 1854.
The year 1854 was the first year that emigrants could travel all the way from New York to Galva, Illinois on the railroad – so the Hultman family was spared the harrowing boat ride and cholera epidemics that plagued Louis Hanson and the other emigrants who had to travel to Illinois via the Great Lakes four years earlier in 1850.
Next time we’ll look into the early years of the Hultman family in Illinois.
1From “Contribution to the Biography of Johan Hultman” by F. Wernstedt, 1934.