“Jönköpings Län: History, Culture and Cousins?”
Linda Gensmer, SGSC Member
Some of Linda Gensmer’s ancestors were from Jönköpings Län, which is now part of Småland and Västergötland. They lived in eight of the parishes on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern and she has traced almost all of the lines from the immigration in the 1870’s and 1880’s back to the beginning of the household examination records and in some cases, back to the 1600’s. This area is rich in history beginning with some of the most prominent noble families in Sweden and their castles to large mansions where her ancestors worked and small farms and backstugas where they lived. Famous artists and sculptors were also from this region.
On her most recent trip to Sweden, after the Swed Gen Conference, she met and spent four days with one of her cousins exploring the farms and churches where her ancestors lived and worshiped as well as ruins of castles and sites of soldattorps. These four days were filled with surprises, revelations and more cousins!
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Linda Gensmer has been working on genealogy off and on for forty years. Most of her research has involved tracing her ancestry in Colonial New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and then following her ancestors into Ohio, Indiana and Iowa. She is currently President of the Anthem Ranch Genealogy Club, Registrar for the Mount Rosa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. About four years ago she began to research the other quarter of her heritage, her Swedish immigrants. She joined the Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado just knowing her great-grandparents names, the names of some of their siblings who immigrated and the names of her great-grandmothers’ parents. Since then she has located several hundred direct and collateral ancestors back to the beginning of the household examination records and beyond. She went on the SwedGen trips in 2013 and 2015 and on the most recent trip met more than a dozen cousins that she never knew she had. She is the immediate past secretary of the SGSC.
Ron Floberg, SGSC Member
Did you know: Little known facts – or are they? Ron will share Swedish contributions to our everyday living in America.
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Ron grew up in a predominately Swedish community in North Central Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University. He began his Swedish ancestry search in the late 1970’s, has visited Sweden four times, meeting newly found relatives in the process and served two terms as President of the Swedish Genealogical Society. He is a mentor in the Society FIKA one-on-one program. He and Cheryl have been Coloradoans since the 1960’s interrupted by three years in the Chicago area.