I knew the widow Palm’s story and the writing by Pastor Elroy Haverlah was good — it made me cry from time to time. What got to me was the depiction of a close family relationship. It is true that the Palm and Nelson families at Palm Valley (Round Rock, Texas) were close, but I was thinking about Anna’s relationship to my own family in Sweden. She was a blood relative. Her father, Johannes Carlsson, born in 1773 in Sweden, was a younger brother of my great-great grandfather, Anders Carlsson known as Anders Björklund when he became a military musician (drummer) like their father, Carl Björklund. That made her a first cousin of Johan and Emma Björklund, both of whom were my great-grandparents. Johan and Emma were orphaned when their
father died of TB when they were toddlers. Their mother, Ingela, had to rear three little children by herself with no help whatsoever from her husband’s family to which Anna and her brothers, Carl and Daniel Hurd, belonged. Ingela and her children survived without going to the poorhouse, but, at this point in my research, there is no indication that Anna’s family even knew about my great-grandparents, but they must have. Johan Björklund, my great-grandfather, came to Texas also and is buried at New Sweden, while Anna and her brothers are buried at Palm Valley separated by only a half-hour’s car trip. My family passed down a large amount of lore, but not a word about this story was ever breathed to me. It intrigues me and will probably become a theme in a story about the Björklunds in Småland.
Scattered Poems by Christian Stannow and translated from Swedish by John Weinstock, former head of the Germanic Languages Department at the University of Texas. Dr. Weinstock’s language sings in its richness.
Next book waiting for me is about our DNA:
Sam Kean’s The Violinist’s Thumb.
It is about Love, War, and Genius, as Written by our Genetic Code.
I will be tackling the topic of a cousin marriage in Sweden as it pertains to my family.