I can remember going to Grandma Rudeen’s house when I was a kid and looking at her big, thick “Hultman Clan in America” book. It was compiled by Frank Holtman in 1970, and it included a tabulation of all the descendants of Jonas Peter Hultman and Anna Christina Johansdotter. They came to America in 1854. What I liked most about that book was that my name was in it!
There was a picture of Jonas Peter and Anna in the book. I remember thinking that Anna had the world’s strangest hairdo, but on closer inspection, it’s actually the world’s strangest hat:
Anyhow, Lisa Stena Hultman was the 2nd of their 10 children. Lisa Stena came to America as an 11-year-old with her parents, her half-sister Lena, a sister and two brothers (the other children were born in America). They settled first in Henry County, Illinois and then later moved to Randolph, Kansas. Lisa Stena married Louis Hanson, whose roots we explored a few days ago in Hanebo.
Grandma spoke often of her grandmother Lisa Stena, even though Lusa Stena died before Grandma was born. My own sister Lisa has inherited a piece of china that once belonged to Lisa Stena.
Here’s the family once again, with Lisa Stena seated second from the right in the front row:
(Their second son Edward, my great-great-grandfather, is in the center of the back row).
Notice that Lisa does not have a patronymic last name, such as “Jonasdotter”. Her family is descended from Johan Hultman, who served as taffeltäckare for King Carl XII of Sweden. He was important enough to pass on his surname to his children! Johan’s son Carl Niklas was the “city surgeon” in Uppsala, and his son Jonas moved to Hälleved and, according to church records of the late 1700’s, had an occupation of master-builder and mill operator. This Jonas (different than Jonas Peter in the picture up above – sorry, I know it’s confusing) was Lisa Stena’s great-grandfather.
In preparing for our trip, I had located the old mill site on a map, and I had intended it to be just a drive-by stop on our tour. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the site and found the remains of the old mill.
We also found the main “axle” still suspended over the stream.
Inside the foundation, we found some old saw blades:
There were also some burnt timbers lying about, suggesting that the building had been destroyed by fire. This was just a stunning find and completely unexpected! I will be anxious to investigate whether Jonas constructed the mill himself.
I am excited to learn that water resources engineering has been in the family for literally centuries!
Next we went to Stockaryd kyrka, where Lisa Stena was baptized. The original church is no longer standing, but photos and drawings were on display in the back of the church. We also stopped at the farm where Lisa Stena grew up, and also the church and farm of her father Jonas Peter.
We are now in Växjö for one night. Tomorrow we will explore the local museums before heading farther south to Martinsson country.