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uploaded: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 @ 2:59 AM
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I have been researching my wife’s family history. Family history is like reading a great novel from the past. My wife is (and, for that matter, I am) descended from generations of farmers, who ultimately emigrated to the United States.

I learned the story of Anna Louisa
Lindberg. Anna Louisa was born in 1870. She was from a little village called Alm, near a little town called Stora Mellösa, in the County of Örebro län, in Sweden. Her father was an estate worker [statare], a kind of landless farmhand who worked on someone else’s farm on a year-to-year contract.

When Anna Louisa was 17 years old, she decided to leave Sweden and come to America. She came on her own, in 1887 or so.

In those days, one usually took a boat to the United Kingdom, took a train to the west coast, and then took another ship from England to the United States. I have not found her ship’s passage, but I have found her emigration permit from her home county, in 1887.

She ultimately settled in Kansas in the United States. Her marriage license was dated 1893.

She and her husband operated a set of small grocery stores. Their sons
set up a company called the Vendo Corporation, which made vending machines for soda pop.

She is my wife’s great grandmother. She died in 1949, in Kansas City.

So far, I have only spoken to one person who knew her, her grandson. His memories of her are the memories one has of someone from one’s childhood.

My wife is much too young to have met her. She only knows one story about her. My wife’s own grandmother, Helen, told her a story of Anna Louisa.
When my wife’s grandmother was to marry Anna Louisa’ son John, Anna Louisa pulled Helen aside. She gave her advice, translating into Engish an old Swedish proverb. She said “Now you’ve got the devil in the boat, and you must row him to the other side”.

I have but one written document in which Anna Louisa has written anything. It is a family Bible. There, in Swedish,
it says “Anna Louisa Pierson, born Lindberg, born Alm, Stora Mellösa, Örebro län.

From that single entry I have been
able to trace her, her parents and her grandparents through Swedish parish records It is like reading a mystery novel.

This song, “Alm”, images what it must feel like to leave one’s home alone at 17, to travel for the first time, to be among people who do not speak one’s language, and to find a new home. The sounds are what I imagine those feelings to be.

The samples for this song were all provided by 7003PD. Their samples were simply lovely and easy to use for the task.
Play Alm

by gurdonark

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