(Editor’s note: This new post was originally the page for the Minnesota Swede blog. However, it should now be considered the first post of the Minnesota Swede blog.)
Hej och Valkommen! My name is Matt Johnson and I am the great-great grandson of Sven Alfred Johnson who was born in Kanna parish in Kronobergs lan, Småland, Sweden, on August 26, 1856. My grandfather Sven Alfred, also known as Swan Alfred, immigrated to the United States in 1875 at the age of 19. He first took up residence in Nebraska where he remained until 1878. In 1878, he made his final move to Gibbon, Minnesota where he would meet Betsy Jacobson, my dear great-great grandmother and daughter of Swedish immigrants, and together they would settle down and have 10 children, one of which was Carl Johnson, my great grandfather.
That studious, good looking gentleman is my grandfather Swan. On May 9th, and almost 140 years to the day of my grandfather’s immigration, I will be visiting Sweden as a representative of Swan’s legacy and I will be returning to Sweden in the spirit of Swan’s memory as a descedent of a Swede – the land of my great-great grandfather’s birth and the land of my ancestors. It will be my pilgrimage. So please join me as I spend 28 days in Sweden. My hope is that I will be able to visit not just the birth place of Sven, in Smaland, Sweden, which is in Southern Sweden, but that I will also get an opportunity to meet the descendents of my great-great Aunt Karolina, Sven’s sister, who remained in Sweden.
During my visit, I will be staying mostly in Stockholm. However, I will have some free time to explore and learn about my ancestral culture. If I keep my mouth shut, I will be able to blend in and observe the Swedish culture as a native. See for yourself!
Or maybe I should sport the “All Viking/Scandinavian” look?!
I will be keeping daily accounts of my experience interacting with local Swedes and my experiences in general. I’m sure I will get the chance to improve on the little bit of Swedish I already know from my time spent with my grandmother Shirley. In addition, I am an Urban Dynamicist, so I will be studying Stockholm’s urban environment and taking notes. My general mode of communication will be through blogging on this webpage. The title of the blog is Minnesota Swede blog. I will also be posting Systems Science articles from my field notes and observations. Finally, I will be comparing and contrasting the Swedish point of view of Social Justice to that of the American (the United States) point of view of Social Justice. So please stayed tuned for those articles as well.
Tack for besoket! Or as my grandmother used to say, “Tack sa mycket!”