Swedish Family Heirlooms: Genealogy Show and Tell Treasures

My Swedish Grandmother Maja and family have left behind treasures which each tug at heartstrings linked with cherished memories.

What are your family heirlooms?, and why do you hold them to be treasures?

Among cherished family heirlooms is this steamer trunk that has special meaning. Little Maja, (named after her great great grandmother Maja), steadies up against a special treasure chest. The trunk transported Maja Källgren Wittenstrom’s family heirlooms from Sweden to America.

In 2004, exploring the attic of grandma Maja’s daughter, Linnea, I found a treasure chest almost tossed out with the trash.

Linnea was Maja’s final surviving child and had inherited her mother’s steamer trunk. The trunk originally transported special things from Sweden to adorn Maja’s home in Chicago.

Maja and grown children, left Delores, bride is Linnea, and son, Peter.

Finding family treasures within the trunk initiated a 16 year expedition to pull together a memoir of Grandma Maja’s Swedish family history. Genealogy connections may be linked to persons and events.

Maja’s life woven together with mine has become a cherished heirloom now in published book form. Amazon Books, 2020.

In my book: My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute I include some 50 pages of photos. In my view, all of the images qualify as heirlooms.

Heirlooms: Treasure? or Junk?

Note: The Internet provides some views and perspectives on heirlooms.

Welcome to My Maja “Heirloom” Show and Tell Museum

So here on display is a brief family museum tour of select Maja Family heirlooms. The treasures are accompanied with a brief explanation sharing some perceived significance.

The first group of heirlooms to be shared are special items that all came in the steamship trunk originating in Grandma Maja’s home in Sollefteå Sweden.

The photos are from Maja’s albums. The jewelry was worn my Maja and her mother, Ida. (See the portrait below displaying the broach in the upper corner)

The hand painted plate displays the Källgren house in Sweden. The beautiful clock once hung on the wall and mostly likely was inherited as a remembrance of Maja’s father who died the year before she set out for America.

The copper butter molds were used at Christmas to make the smorgasbord table extra festive. The antique thermometer may have come from Maja’s grandparent’s croft.

Notice the gold broach is worn by Maja’s mother Ida, for a portrait. It was a specially treasured favorite of Ida Källgren
Maja’s diamond and platinum wedding engagement ring is perhaps the most precious Maja heirloom for many reasons. “To death do us part” wedding vows meant being a widow from 1932 until her own death in 1969.
Marriage License
Grandma’s writing desk, she called her “secretary”.
A letter found in the trunk discussing Maja and children time in Sweden. Circa 1933
A precious engraved metal box perhaps a special gift for confirmation, or graduation. An heirloom that cries out, “why don’t we know about this?”
Maja’s ski trophies have been lost. She displayed them on her piano top and was eager to share stories.
Newspaper and momentos from the untimely death of her brother from the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918.
Maja and children’s passport to and from Sweden.

Published by Donnie: An Admiring Grandson

Living an inspired life modeled after my Grandma Maja who stepped up as a Swedish immigrant widow mom of 3 facing America’s Great Depression demonstrating uncommon grit and valor overcoming imperfections. I am determined to share her life lessons so she is no longer forgotten. I have a book to share and the reader will preview the entire story by visiting here. You are most welcome

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