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Vacation trip to Norrland 2008

Every year we use to make a trip to look around in places where our ancestors lived - a "genealogy trip". This year it was to the places where Björn's maternal grandfather's mother and her ancestors lived in the county of Jämtland in middle Sweden. On our way home we also visited Sollerön in Dalecarlia, where Ann Britt had ancestors in almost all the villages. Sometimes we are lucky and actually succeed in localising and photographing a house the ancestors have lived in, and on some rare occasions even meet relatives unknown until then; but the important thing is to get a feeling of how nature and buildings look where the ancestors lived. For us living close to Stockholm city it is not so easy to understand how life was when you had 25 miles to your closest neighbour and 50 miles through dark forests and over barren mountains to the church - you understand better when you have been there.

Here are some of the 184 photos we took on the trip:

Indalsälven

Indal river - we crossed it innumerable times, it was always there!

In the middle of the Jämtland countryside (in Utanede, south of Bispgården) there is a memorial building dedicated to the Thai king Chulalongkorn - so peculiar!

Döda fallet

The Dead fall. The great rapids in the Indal river died in a night after they tried to make a bypass in the 1790:s.

Ann Britt och Björn längst ned i Döda fallet

Here we are posing in the lower end of the Dead fall - the water in the background is now just a calm backwater of the river.

Ormsjöbron

This is the bridge over the Långsel creek, the northernmost point on our trip - latitude 64,5 north; that's about the same latitude as Klondike. The creek runs into Ormsjön (Snake lake) in Dorotea parish in Lapland. One of Björn's ancestors, Johan Olsson Nyberg, who survived the death march over the border mountains in 1719 (more of the story below) became the first settler here.

Björnen

Between Norråker in Tåsjö parish and Harrsjön in Alanäs parish, right on the county border between Ångermanland and Jämtland, we came across this curious young bear - how he wondered what kind of creature our red car was! The highlight of the trip!

Harrsjön

Down in this valley is Harrsjön village - the road ends there.

Morfars syssling

Björn found a relative in Harrsjön. His maternal grandfather's second cousin, it turned out.

The Rista falls in the Indal river, near Undersåker in western Jämtland. Impressive!

A view to the north-west from Handöl in western Jämtland, close to the border to Norway. Probably it is the Midday mountains you can see in the background past lake Ånn.

Karolinergraven i Handöl

The memorial over the 600 Swedish and Finnish soldiers that were buried here in Handöl on 20th January 1719. Probably one of them was Björn's ancestor Zackris Ingelsson Bolling, who was one of the 3000 soldiers who died in the snowstorm on the border mountains on New Year's Day 1719. Most of them still lie out there, in Rangeldalen ("Skeleton valley") close to the border to Norway, but it is written about Zackris that he was buried here in Åre parish. Zackris' son Ingel was also along on the march, but survived to become a sergeant in the Jämtland Dragoons. He died 1761 in Zackrisgården in Yxskaftkälen in Hammerdal parish, which his son Zackris built.

Handölsforsen

The suspension bridge over the Handöl rapids - your knees feel quite wobbly when you walk out over the roaring rapids.

Daniel Jonssons epitafium

The memorial in Mora church over Daniel Jonsson from Bengtsarvet in Sollerön, born 1599, died 1664. He was in the 30 years war, and was promoted to major and commander of Mora company of the Dalecarlia regiment. He was Ann Britt's grand mother's grand mother's grand father's grand mother's grand mother's father.

Stuga i Bengtsarvet

A very ancient cottage in Bengtsarvet on Sollerön in Dalecarlia.

Page updated 2008-08-04